I’ve had many life changes since I joined ML&R four years ago. I moved from Austin to Dallas, made new friends, met and married my husband, Kyle, purchased and moved into our new home and had lots of times when life needed to come before work. ML&R has always honored our motto “No Success at Work is Worth Failure at Home”, but in March 2020, something happened that made me more grateful than ever for my team.
My dog, Jovi, is 85 pounds of pure love and has always been a happy and healthy guy. During the first week of the pandemic, Jovi suffered a spinal cord stroke while we were playing catch outside. As soon as Jovi collapsed, Kyle and I knew it was serious because his back legs curled under his body and he couldn’t stand up.
We rushed Jovi to the vet. Because of the pandemic, we waited in our car for two nerve-wracking hours while our vet performed a series of tests on Jovi. Ultimately, our vet referred us to a specialist where we were met with more waiting in the car while tests were run. Eventually, the specialist confirmed the spinal cord stroke and told us that there was a 30% chance that Jovi would never be the same.
Kyle and I went home without Jovi, exhausted and terrified of the unknown. The next morning, I tried to focus on work since our team was in the throes of busy season, but by lunchtime when Jovi still wasn’t ready for us to pick up, I couldn’t hold it together any longer. I reached out to my manager, Michelle Kopplow, and told her about our situation. Shortly after talking with Michelle, my partner, Meg Youngblood, called me. Not only did everyone care about Jovi and me, they also went above and beyond to significantly reduce my schedule so I could focus on him. I was so grateful.
Later that afternoon we were relieved to finally bring Jovi home. The vet told us that the more physical therapy we could do with him, the better his chances of recovery. The news about Jovi traveled quickly through our team whose support was overwhelming with calls, texts and even a Bark Box for Jovi.
Today, Jovi is back to his normal, happy self! He has a slight limp but has regained 95% of his mobility – it’s amazing! I’m not sure that the outcome would’ve been the same if I hadn’t been able to spend so much time with him during those first critical months after his stroke. Kyle and I (and Jovi!) are so grateful that my ML&R team truly understands that sometimes personal needs must come before work.
–Tara Loehrer, audit associate