I’m a client today.

My baby girl (dog) is having cruciate surgery today and I’m an anxious pet owner. I was up most of the night with anxiety even though she’s having surgery done by a highly recommended veterinarian, one I recommend to my clients to do an amazing job on their sweet babies. She’s being taken care of by my technicians in the hospital I work in with pain medication I am in control over and I still have anxiety about her comfort, and her recovery, and my ability to listen to instructions and take care of her at home properly. It’s not a life-threatening procedure, she’s not an unhealthy dog, and I know everything that’s going to happen during her procedure. But still, I have a knot in my stomach.

As colleagues, we laugh at each other about things like this because we know we are ALL anxious pet parents. I don’t think it’s uncommon for a lot of us as veterinarians and technicians to step out of our critical thinking, scientific, analytical work brains and into that of just raw emotion and empathy for our pets when we have to relinquish control and let someone else do the work. I think it’s really good for us to remember what it’s like to be in the same position as our clients. I think about ALL the patients I have had to refer for cruciate surgery in just the last month and I’m so honored and impressed by the pure trust that owners have for us to take care of and do right by their pets. It really is a gift that people come to us and believe we will do the best we can every day to make their pets better. I believe and trust the doctor doing surgery on my precious dog right now, but I’m still a nervous parent waiting in the wings to hear that everything went well and is just as expected. It’s good to be in this position, perspective wise. It’s healthy to remember what your clients experience when they hand over their precious babies to you. So I thought I should write it out so that our clients know we understand. Sometimes we REALLY understand because we’re experiencing it over our own babies. We present ourselves to you as calm, confident, capable, knowledgeable, professionals because, well, we ARE calm and confident and capable and knowledgeable. But we have all felt the raw emotions over our pets the way you feel them. And we thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for letting us do our best to help your babies any way we can.

Tamara Rattray, DVM
nervous mom today, back to being a veterinarian on Monday.