Years ago I had an interview with two veterinarians that owned a clinic north of Toronto. I don’t remember their names but I recall thinking they seemed like kind and gentle men. While waiting to meet with them, I noticed a photo album in their reception area. It was filled with pictures of dogs and cats and thank you cards from clients. During my interview, they asked what I most hoped for in my career as a vet.
“Someday, I hope to have an album like the one out in your waiting room.” I answered.
They laughed and said, “Well, unfortunately most of those pictures and cards were received after a pet died, so not necessarily the most uplifting.”
Perhaps they thought I was silly but twenty-two years later, my feelings haven’t changed. Every card of thanks and picture that we receive is a reminder to me that what we do matters – that we make a difference in the lives of our clients and their pets.
A couple of weeks ago, I had a moment that surpassed my wide eyed musings of so many years ago. One of our patients, Madison had an appointment for a laser treatment. She’s a beautiful chocolate lab with a mask of white around her eyes and nose. Kristin carried out her treatment and when they were finished, Madison headed out to the front desk with her mom.
I was sitting in my office when I heard a chorus of voices, “Where are you going?”
I stood and headed out to see what was happening. Madison had wandered by the reception desk to the pharmacy and turned the corner to the treatment room. When she saw me coming towards her, she stopped.
“Oh Madison – hello beautiful girl!” I said as I placed my hand on top of her warm head. She swished her tail back and forth, like wind shield wipers during a gentle spring rain. Then she turned and walked back to her mom’s side at the front desk. Turns out, she wanted to come and say hello – to me. And afterwards, I just could not stop smiling.