3:  Meeting Anne

I first met Anne in the postoperative recovery room that housed dogs after experiments, located on the rooftop of a former tuberculosis ward. At the time, as the animal laboratory manager, I was in charge of maintaining the equipment and cleaning each room. That day, after finishing cleaning the operation laboratory, I climbed the stairs to clean the recovery room on the rooftop. When I reached the rooftop, I saw an unfamiliar foreign woman washing the room with a hose in hand. I first thought that she was one of the foreign students or foreign researchers who came up from time to time, but I had never seen a student or researcher actually cleaning up the place.

She noticed me standing there, and greeted me with a smile. Of course she spoke in English, so I had no idea what she was saying. I only smiled back awkwardly and returned to the management office, feeling somewhat disconcerted. And she was there again the next day. Not only was she again cleaning the room with a broom, she was also feeding the dogs with canned food and milk. Since I was in charge of the management of those dogs, and they were my responsibility, I half resented her feeding the dogs more than necessary, but I was not able to communicate due to the language problem. I therefore sought help from a professor in the animal management committee, and discovered that she had come to work under the auspices of another animal committee professor. I was told that a corporate animal welfare organization had unofficially requested that Anne’s wish to come to Japan be accepted, and so it was.