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Why I Love Being a Veterinarian…

In our business, when you hear the signalment… un-neutered, male, Pitbull that has never been to a clinic, most veterinarians start to cringe and get the muzzle ready.  In my case, this was a walk-in during my lunch hour at Mass Ave Animal Clinic (MAAC).  We agreed to see the dog since the owner did not have his own car, and had found a friend to drive him to the clinic.  As standard protocol, I sent my technician in first to get a history and assess the situation.  Upon return, my technician said that the dog was a bit hyper, but so far behaving itself. The owner did warn us that the dog was very territorial at home, and he was not sure how he would react here.  The dog had survived parvovirus as a puppy, and now was 11 months old. This particular day, the owner wanted to have a rabies vaccine given.  Due to a tight budget, he could not afford anything else.

I entered the room, muzzles in hand, and was immediately pounced on by a 65lb blue Pitbull.  Lucky for me, he was as sweet as they come!  He had a huge blocky head and soft eyes.  The owner was very cordial and also very apologetic for letting the dog jump on me.

After a full exam, I could have just given the rabies, had the client pay the bill, and gone back to lunch. Instead, we continued educating the client on heartworm, core vaccines, flea prevention and general dog husbandry. We talked about his territorial issues at home, socialization, and the importance of neutering him!!!  It may not have been the quickest, or most expensive appointment that day, but it was by far the most rewarding.  When the owner finally checked out, I handed him the rabies tag and made a quick comment that I do to most clients “ Okay, he is legal now!”  This client gushed thanks and said “It has been a long time coming.” He walked out of the exam room that day with pamphlets on just about everything dog related.  As he was leaving, he said he “wanted to do right by my dog,” even if that meant coming back every month until his care was complete.   With the wave of a hand, he and his dog were out MAAC’s front door.

These are the days that I smile and know that I picked the right profession.  For one, I love when dogs break their stereotypes for the good.  Secondly, nothing is more rewarding than educating a client, and hopefully making a dog’s life better.

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