The thought may not be original but as the year draws to a close and the time for reflection is upon us, I can think of no better philosophy with which to remind ourselves. After an election that appeared to bring out the worst in our society, I realize just how fortunate we in the veterinary field are. Veterinarians, technicians, nurses and veterinary administrators have committed ourselves to a lifetime of kindness and caring for our four legged patients and their two legged friends. Its not always easy, frequently fraught with emotion, with some moments being extraordinarily soaring and others plunging us into despair. The highs couldn’t be higher and the lows often mentally immobilizing. But through all of the efforts, one thing remains clear. You have put your hope, trust and family into our hands. Although we can’t always succeed at curing illness, delaying the progression of aging or controlling the ravages of cancer, one thing remains clear. As long as we are kind, honest and true to ourselves and you, our “extended family”, we can find fulfillment beyond our wildest dreams. We hear many stories of frustration, anger and disappointment over the care that people have received elsewhere. Though medicine is not an exact science and there can be many approaches to treating the same condition, one thing remains clear. We speak for our pets, since they can not. The most important requirements for health providers is that we listen to you, understand the emotion you are feeling and be kind and thoughtful in our approach to treatment. Your preferences for your pet’s care is always the central theme of treatment. Though we all reap the extraordinary benefits of having pet companions accompany us through our lives, we have individual thoughts when it comes to their care. These should always be addressed and considered. What is right in the eyes of one is not always right for another. Please remind us of this if you feel we have ever lost our way.
As you move through this holiday season, remember that being kind to others can be a most fulfilling moral compass. We don’t have to agree on politics, sports or medical care but one thing remains clear. We are more alike than different. And we all have a common goal: personal happiness. Thank you for allowing us to participate in your lives.