I Love My Veterinarian
“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.” ~ Immanuel Kant, Philosopher
Over the past 10 years I have had two dogs, four cats, a ferret, a hamster, a Yellow Nape Amazon, and a rabbit. I have moved around quite a bit with various pets and each time I move, I have had to find a new veterinarian to take care of my babies. Just like any random group of people, there are veterinarians that come across as intellectual, some as kind, some are patient, some are compassionate, there are some veterinarians that seem too busy, some that charge too much, there are some that have a good sense of humor, and some that do not like to smile at all. Most importantly, there are veterinarians that make me comfortable immediately and some that put me on edge. Many times in my articles I suggest that developing a good relationship with your veterinarian and finding a good veterinarian is extremely important to the well-being of your pets. This story recounts how I found mine.
I still remember our first meeting like it was yesterday: it was a holiday weekend and I was planning to take a trip with my family to Disney. My two dogs needed an exam to get a special preventative vaccine for boarding, and all the area veterinarians were booked up for the weekend. I kept calling around until I found a veterinarian who had the availability; the only problem is that it’s an hour round-trip to the office. What choice did I have? The children and I were excited for our trip and we had already purchased the theme park tickets.
I woke up extra early the day of the exam, unshaven and wearing an obviously well used pair of shorts and t-shirt, I rounded up Duke and Daisy and put them in the back seat of my car. As I was driving to the next town over for this required exam I was quietly thinking “I can’t believe that I booked a veterinarian from the phone book without a personal recommendation from a friend or colleague, and I wonder what the new veterinarian was going to be like.”
As soon as I walked into the office I was greeted by a friendly person behind the counter who already knew who we were and seemed happy to see us. A few minutes later, because of the excitement of being in a new environment, Daisy had to go outside to relieve her bladder. The veterinary tech behind the counter offered to watch Duke for my brief walk outside, and the office manager immediately came out from behind the desk to help me get through the door that I was obviously struggling with. As soon as I came back in we were led inside right away where someone collected a few pieces of pertinent information from me that was still needed, and then proceeded to weigh Duke and Daisy. We were then led to an examination room to wait. The room smelled like a hospital and had all kinds of posters describing different medical conditions. There was a big picture of a dog heart infected with heartworms, and another big informative poster describing joint disease and its treatments. I was in there for about 5 minutes taking in the interesting new environment when the doctor opened the door and came in to introduce herself.
Dr. Vaujin immediately made me feel comfortable as she asked me a few questions about my visit and about the previous health of both Duke and Daisy. As the doctor was getting ready to start the exam, I began lifting Daisy to put her on the table when Dr. Vaujin stopped me and told me “there’s no need to bring her up here, I will go to her.” She asked me to hold Daisy while she examined Duke. She got down to his level and began a very thorough examination. She was so calm and friendly that she made us all feel calm. When she was done with Duke she started examining Daisy. Daisy is usually tough to hold down for an exam but for Dr. Vaujin she was more than willing to stand still. Dr. Vaujin spoke with a very calm voice; she was petting my dogs and making them feel relaxed, and she performed a very thorough examination with attention and gentleness. She discussed a condition that Daisy had with a fair amount of detail that only comes from someone that has a great deal of experience and knowledge.
When she was almost finished with the exam she told me what I had to do to keep Duke’s ears clean, and she gave me advice on how to keep his particular breed of dog healthy. She also spent a little bit of time discussing prevention, nutrition, and general care along with what to expect as they mature and get into their senior years. She not only was very caring but she was also extremely knowledgeable. Dr. Vaujin at the time did not know that I was a pharmacist at a veterinary pharmacy, nor did she have any other information about me other than the fact that I was a pet owner with two dogs that needed her care. Not only did she make sure my dogs were healthy but she spent a good amount of time showing me how to keep them healthy. I could tell that she absolutely loves animals and loves her job. It was such a great experience in that room that not only was it difficult for me to say goodbye, but Duke and Daisy looked sad to be leaving the kindness and love that Dr. Vaugin was showing them.
On the drive home I thought to myself, “Wow that was one of the greatest experiences I have had at a veterinarian office, and I am so grateful to have found a great addition to my family’s healthcare team.” I always suggest to pet owners the importance of finding a veterinarian that they feel comfortable with and to develop a good relationship with that veterinarian. Such a relationship is one of the most important things that helps ensure our pets remain as healthy and happy as possible.
On my drive to Dr. Vaujin’s office for my second appointment I had a smile on my face and the two thoughts that came to mind were how much I was excited to be going to see Dr. Vaujin again and how much I love my veterinarian.