You don’t hear it enough. So I want to to hear it now.
We treat animals but we care for their owners – mostly indirectly, but often directly.
Through the 20+ years that I have been a veterinarian, I have helped my clients care for new puppies, deal with pets in both good times and bad, make difficult decisions taking into account both their human families and their four legged members, and lay them to rest.
I have not only stood by, but I have hugged, consoled, and cried with owners as they said their final farewells to dogs, cats, horses, cattle, goats, and even reptiles and birds.
It is a people profession – We act as counselors, confidants, and advisors.
When I first graduated from Veterinary School, I was all about helping animals. I quickly realized that through the animals, I was primarily helping people.
When my children were small, I backed off from practice because it took so much out of me both mentally and physically. I needed to be there for my family.
Now that my children are older, I have made a conscious decision to work more. I went back to “school” to get certified in veterinary chiropractic. That is what I primarily do now.
This allows me to see people in a special setting. I have time to spend with them and their pets. I get to know their expectations of their animals. Whether it’s a rodeo horse that needs an adjustment to perform its best or a sweet older dog that has a job description like “trouble maker, joy, guardian of the window, or sniffer of all the things”.
Just this week I saw an older dog who is beginning to have trouble with fecal incontinence, getting up and down, and just slowing down in general. He is on all the right medications from his regular veterinarian. I was able to add to that care and adjust quite a few sore areas to help him to feel so much better.
As I got to know the owner, she told me why they couldn’t just “give up” on this dog. She had lost both her daughter and son-in-law in a tragic event. Her house was silent. Then they got this puppy. He broke the silence in their home. He is their link to their absent daughter.
Animals are so much more than it appears on the surface. They are links to happier times, they are support creatures, they are tangible memories, they are comforters.
Veterinarians are a crucial part of people’s lives.
Whether you are a veterinarian who gives puppy vaccines, only does spays and neuters, specializes in orthopedics, performs alternative and rehabilitation therapies, are a surgeon, or are a general practitioner, you are important for so many reasons.
Thank you for doing what you do.
You matter to so many people for so many reasons.
All my love