Sunday, September 02, 2007

WCB #117 - Meet the Vet

When in times of illness, pain and hardship it's so very important that we can rely on, apart from the comfort of family and friends, professionals that we trust. And that doesn't only mean doctor's for humans, but also doctor's for the beloved family members called pets. The veterinarians.

I've gone through a fair amount of those over the years, some very skilled but without a decent bedside manner, others that have possessed both qualities and then some that really aren't fit to be called professionals.

I used to go to a vet that once had a very small family practise in the basement of his home - which made for some entertaining stories concerning surgeries in that very small room of his... - with a friendly atmosphere, he was skilled and the prices were adequate. In due time he apparently felt that practise became to small for his ego (?) and his amount of clients, so he moved on and built quite an extensive practise in the same area.

Still a family practise on the surface, but now with a lot of new veterinarians, nurses and staff that somehow seemed to move in and out from one week to another. You never really knew who you were to face when in need of veterinarian advice and care, and for some reasons the ones you took a shine to sort of evaporated until next time. The far from shining ones stayed on though...

Yes, still very good at surgery and with all the latest shiny veterinary aid thingies, but with that also came a substantial raising of prices - and the lack of feeling familiar and at ease, rather than being an assembly line cash cow.

There was a period I really did go to the vet very often - I don't actually remember why, just minor this, minor that and then major this I suppose - and the standing joke was that I made the best of effort to keep the vet's with sports cars and fancy holidays. Not to mention the fact that if I one day would go missing, the vet's would for sure be the first one to report me to be lost!

I was very much getting tired of having to spend hard earned cash and still don't really get what I think we all as concerned pet owners deserve in return - so when a friend raved about her vet, who she swore by and actually takes her straight across town but only 15 minutes drive from my place, I thought I'd give it a try.

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This vet used to work at a big vet's clinic, but then opened up her own practise in the old barnhouse that adjoins her own home, sort of very rural, but still actually only in the outskirts of one of Stockholm's suburbs. She's the only vet working there, and her assistant is her husband. So you have those three C's - continuity, consistency and comfort - every time you have to visit the vet's.

They're almost always very accommodating when you're in bad need of a veterinarian consultation, the prices are about one third (!) of what I did end up paying at the previous clinic and they have the ability to make most of the cats - I have yet to bring Malte there for his boost vaccination this autumn - feel very at ease. Not that they've ever been troublesome at the vet's, they're such stoical compliant little darlings really, but it's always nice to see someone having a really good hand with animals.

And I mustn't forget the one time I had an appointment for neutering one of the cats, left him there in the morning, was going to pick him up in the afternoon. But then the vet got a family emergency, had to rush off and promised to bring the cat home later that evening instead. It became really late, no call, no vet, no cat.

We finally drove there and picked the cat up ourselves, a cat we didn't think was neutered, but he was and the vet was so profusely sorry for all the inconvenience she had caused us, that she refused to let us pay for the procedure. That's what I call pleasant customer relations! They also drop by medicine when in need and make home calls.

The two times I've been forced to make that difficult and final decision, they've also been so very nice, calm and understanding without overdoing it.
And that's why I felt it being my pleasure as well as necessity to introduce you to the vet!

This weekend's catblogging is kindly hosted by Kashim, Othello and Astrid over at Paulchen's FoodBlog - if you want to light a virtual candle in remembrance of the loved ones that are no longer with us, please feel free to do that there. Of course you're also most welcomed with your entry even if you don't. See you there!

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