Thursday, October 31, 2013

Veterinarian Woes

           A while ago my favorite dog magazine put out a call for readers to tell them what they looked for in a vet.  I have to say that my response was a litany about my favorite veterinarian that no longer practices in our area, but I didn’t really let them know what I actually look for in a vet.  I guess I never really thought about it.  Until now.

See, my dog has lumps.  He’s been a lumpy boy for some time now.  I’ve had dogs all my life and the vets I’ve taken them to have always said “fatty tumor, leave it alone”.  I have always had a doctor that I trusted and listened to me, at least as an adult pet owner.  When I was a child and just out of school I was still in fear of the vet.  They know so much more than I do. 

However, with age comes knowledge and with knowledge comes questions and new fears.  I have lived with this dog for ten years now.  I have known him since he was five weeks old and woke up with him in the middle of the night for barefoot walks in dewy grass so he could learn to pee outside.  I searched high and low for him when his beagle nose led him away from me into the danger of the streets and other dogs’ yards. 

When he contracted mange and no one knew what it was, I found a vet that did and he was cured.  And we loved this vet for six years, until he just one day up and retired and moved away.  Shock, fear and anger are STILL with me!  And for the last two years we have been shopping around and trying new veterinarians, wanting to find THE ONE again.  It isn’t going to happen.

So I’ve made the appointment, I am arming myself with knowledge and I will make sure that what is done is done with respect and care in the best interest of my dog.  This doctor is going to have to understand that I am an extension of my dog, that I speak for him and want only the best for him.  I don’t consider him a god and I will question him if I don’t understand.

And maybe, just maybe, someday down the line, this doctor will be “the one”, the one that we trust our animals lives with, the one we miss when he’s on vacation and we make ourselves wait for him to get back instead of going to another doctor (unless it’s an emergency), the one that we tell all our friends about so they know a good place to bring their own fur babies.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed.