I just got back from vacation, and of course my first shift back was ridiculous nutty. . . so I had intentions of a proper post tonight, but no can do! Needs sleeps…
So, instead, a wee vet tale!
Sometimes, I get attached to a patient and their families and then when it comes time to say goodbye, for whatever reason, it’s very sad all around. I want to comfort them as much as I can, without over stepping my role. It’s a delicate balance. But if you do it right, you leave a positive impression on the client despite the horrible sadness of the situation.
How do you know if you did it right? Well, sometimes you get a thank you card (I got a hand-made one from a little girl, thanking me for doing everything I could for her little kitty… made me cry, not gonna lie), or sometimes the client gets a new pet and brings this new pet specifically to you.
This long-winded introduction brings us to my first wee vet tale:
There was this dog we’ll call Fido. I was Fido’s vet for about half a year and really enjoyed her and her owners. She had an unfortunate accident and it was a really sticky situation and a very difficult decision for her family to make… but ultimately they decided to say goodbye. So I euthanised Fido, and the owners were present while I gave the lethal injection. It was very sad, I cried a little after I left the room…
Then one day Fido’s owners come in with a new dog: Rover! Rover came into their life somewhat by chance and while they weren’t looking to fill the hole Fido left, they couldn’t pass Rover up. So they brought Rover to me for an exam and vaccination.
So I’ve done the exam and get the vaccine ready. I’m all ready to go, and Mr. Owner is holding Rover on the exam table. I says to Rover, I says: “Okay, Rover, are you going to be a brave puppy?” And Mr. Owner holds Rovers face, and looks the dog in the eyes, and says:
“I don’t know, Rover, the last time she came at my dog with a needle it was lethal…”
. . .
And in that moment, these people became my favourite clients of all time. Because if you can make a joke about death, you are A.O.K. by me.
(and if you’re wondering what my response was: “But that time the liquid was blue, this time it’s pink! Pink is the happy injection!” and we all laughed.)