Faye grew up in a cold and strict household where love was just something she saw on TV. She never felt a parent’s warmth, never held her mom crying when a boy broke up with her, never got a pep talk from her dad, and never truly felt loved. That is, until she started volunteering at a local dog shelter in her teens and found all the love she’d ever wanted from the dogs she cared for. That’s when she knew the only thing she wanted to do in life was become a veterinarian.

Fast-forward eight years and Faye’s on her way to making her dream come true. She’s started vet school and is interning at a local vet clinic, shadowing the staff, observing surgical procedures, and taking care of the animals that pass through there.

One afternoon, the door to the clinic busts wide open and a man comes in covered in blood, panting, and holding an injured fox in his arms. Faye rushes to help and alerts everyone to the emergency. He was driving and the fox jumped out in front of him out of nowhere. It’s got a few broken bones, likely bleeding internally, and holding on for dear life. He keeps saying he’ll pay for everything, “just save her, please!”

They perform surgery and do their best to stabilize it. It’s now been recuperating under observation for almost a week, during which the man came in to check on it daily. Faye’s impressed with his concern and always enjoys seeing him. “Not many people would care the way you do, Michael.” He smiles at her, but she can tell he’s still remorseful about the accident.

“You know, she’s much better now and on her way to making a full recovery. It really wasn’t as bad as it looked.” He seems relieved. “Thank you so much, you have no idea how glad I am to hear that.” He pauses. “Then, maybe… tomorrow instead of coming here, you can tell me about her progress over coffee?”

Faye thought he’d never ask.

This is one of many short stories I’ve been writing for Teodora’s drawings ever since she said she was bad at writing descriptions for them. I thought I’d enjoy helping her and trying to write something different than I was used to. I’d never collaborated creatively with anyone on anything before Teodora and I love the purpose she’s added to my writing and how she challenges me with each drawing.

She says she’s not good at drawing animals, but I’ve seen her do it before and I think she does a great job. 🍓

For more wonderful drawings, follow Teodora on Instagram @teoctobart. You can also buy her a coffee on her Ko-fi page.

For more stories, she’s got her own tag here.

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