“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” ~Charles Dickens

Roller coaster

FreeImages.com/James Williams

The morning started pretty routinely. I saw a few appointments and did some surgery, just the usual life-saving stuff that’s ho hum these days (kidding). Our local board-certified radiologist  stopped by on schedule to do ultrasound exams on a few patients that we’d lined up. Just another day in paradise. Continue reading

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI always thought I would be identically fond of all my pets. As a kid, before I had any furry pets, I was in love with the concept of loving a cat or a dog, having a little best friend to be mine; all mine, not shared with sisters or brothers, as loving and loyal to me as I would be loving and loyal to him. Continue reading

Stuck in the 60’s

There’s an interesting mind set with some clients when it comes to treating animals, a sort of temporal stickiness. Their minds get stuck in time, to when they were kids and how animals were treated “then”.

Most of the time this happens with people from a rural background, and I can understand why. Animals on the farm are regarded as commodities, which most certainly are (thinking cattle, sheep, chickens). You can only put as much money into them as you think you can get out, or you’ll go broke. Continue reading

The “it” factor

Dog, Scottie-ishI will admit to a personal pet peeve. Well, OK, I have a bunch because I’m old and crotchety, but this is one that’s in the front of my brain at the moment.

I simply cannot stand it when pet owners refer to their pets as “it”. Pets are not “it”, even when they are neutered. They are “he” and “she” and a proper name or a cute nickname. “It” distances the person from an emotional involvement. “It” means that the pet is a thing, not a companion or a friend. “It” means you can’t even remember whether your own pet is male or female, or it doesn’t matter to you.

It even bothers me that animals are referred to as “it” in veterinary journals. I really want to change all of the “its” to “he” or “she” when I read these articles.

We don’t call our friends “that man” or “the subject”. We save that for people we don’t know or care about; strangers. Pets should be close to us, tied to our hearts. We should know their personalities, their foibles, their likes and dislikes, and we should strive to make their lives pleasant and fulfilling. If we have this relationship with animals they aren’t objects, but little furry beings that deserve better than to be called “it”.

Everything you ever needed to know about pet food

There are a lot of people with vested interests out there trying to tell you what to feed your pets. Pet store employees and veterinary staff have opinions. Your friends and family have opinions. People at the dog park have opinions. The Internet is full of opinions. Opinions abound and some of them are wrong. Some are downright dangerous. I would like you all to approach the subject of pet food with the same degree of skepticism and critical thinking that you would take to other important topics in your life. Would you change your kid’s school because some mommy at the playground told you her kid’s school was better? Would you ask advice about buying a car from a kid at his first after-school job at a car wash? So why are you taking the advice of your neighbor the unemployed encyclopedia salesman about what to feed your cat? Continue reading

Not the sharpest tool in the shed

After more than 30 years in the veterinary field I have finally come to the realization that I’ve been doing things wrong all this time. I guess I’m a slow learner.

I last wrote an entry on anesthetic-free dental cleaning and how veterinarians are being cast in a very negative light by the proponents of these “procedures”. You can, obviously, read the post yourself. A bit of spleen was vented, and I felt much better afterward. I’m almost over it, I promise.

The other day, though, I had an epiphany. What I finally realized is that it doesn’t matter whether clients follow my advice or not. In fact, it’s absolutely financially more lucrative for me if my clients don’t take my advice on any preventive measures. Better yet, I can stop recommending preventives or screening at all. This would have two huge benefits to me.  Continue reading

Today I’m a tetchy dentist

I’ve been getting feedback on a recent post (The Ten Commandments of Dentalism). Veterinarians saw the humor in it, and the clients who have read the explanation gave generally positive feedback.

Mustache and dog 108 x 148There is, however, a small subset of readers who think that veterinary dentistry is just a way for vets to make money as they sit back and twirl their Snidely Whiplash mustaches. Why would owners spend $500, $600 or more to have the vet “clean the teeth” when it’s obviously something that can just be done by a groomer for $75? What a scam vets are running.  Continue reading