Sarah Southard, DVM
Pets and Livestock
Thanksgiving is upon us. We have much to be thankful for in the United States, especially compared to many places around the world where conditions are much more difficult to navigate. Yet, while we know all the good things that fill our lives, we often get caught up acknowledging the hiccups that wrinkle and complicate our days instead.
It only takes one unscheduled, critically ill patient entering our doors to throw the entire day into chaos in the veterinary clinic. But we are so very thankful to be able to help that beloved pet. Veterinarians and their staff members are thankful for a wide variety of other blessings as well. Here is a partial list:
Veterinarians are thankful for you, our clients. And we’re thankful for our beloved patients–your furry family members, large animal companions, working partners, and production animals.
Thank you for bringing us your fluffy, wiggly puppy for his first wellness exam and vaccines. We love helping him get a healthy start in life.
Thank you for trusting us with your beloved elderly cat as she slows down day by day. We are honored to help give great quality to her remaining time.
Thank you for allowing us to help keep your flocks and herds healthy and productive. We take seriously our part in helping to protect your investment and livelihood.
Thank you for letting us get to know your human family as well. We enjoy watching your children grow up and praying for your parents during their health challenges.
Thank you for arriving on time or early and having a great attitude toward our entire team.
Thank you for your patience and kind words, especially on the days when we’re swirling in uncontrollable chaos.
Thank you for bringing your dog on a leash, having your cat in a carrier, and having the cows in the holding pen before we arrive.
Thank you for your compliance with our treatment plans and post-surgical restrictions, even (and especially) when it isn’t easy.
Thank you for giving every dose of antibiotic we dispense and for keeping every follow-up appointment.
Thank you for valuing the diagnostic results, even when we “don’t get any answers.” Something ruled out is just as important as something diagnosed.
Thank you for your honesty in all things.
Thank you for letting us know in advance that your animal has behavior problems. We can provide a safer experience for both your pet and our staff when we are properly prepared before we begin.
Thank you for telling us when you, the owner, may have dropped the ball and missed a dose of medication, fed an inappropriate treat or meal, or failed to properly secure various substances your animal may have ingested. The embarrassment or guilt you may feel is a much cheaper price to pay than is the cost of complications created by incomplete or inaccurate information.
Thank you for letting us know when you can afford the gold standard of care for your pet’s diagnosis.
Thank you for being honest in the difficult times when you can’t afford everything that your pet might need. When we know this from the beginning, we can help you to prioritize the things that will be most beneficial in your situation.
Thank you for allowing us to offer alternative treatment plans or ownership changes when you aren’t able to do everything that your companion needs to be healthy.
Thank you for valuing our referral to a specialty facility when that is the best option for your animal.
Thank you for trusting that we truly have your companion’s best interests in mind.
Thank you for preparing before the need to be able to pay your bill in full at discharge. Earmarked funds in your savings account, a line of credit reserved only for veterinary expenses, or an insurance policy for your pet can make a huge difference in your ability to provide the level of care you desire.
Thank you for accepting, indeed owning, the immense responsibility that comes with animal ownership.
Thank you for not accusing us of making recommendations solely out of greed.
Thank you for bragging on our staff when they’ve done an excellent job and you’ve had a great experience in our office. Your appreciation and encouragement go so far in helping us to carry on during the less enjoyable days.
Thank you for bringing us your concerns respectfully when you are dissatisfied with our service or employees. As humans, we are not perfect. We appreciate learning what areas of our business need improvement.
Thank you for all the ways that you support and encourage us and our team members daily. Without that from you, we would not be able to continue our life’s work of improving the lives of animals, and through that, the lives of the humans that accompany them.