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home : opinions : opinions May 28, 2016

11/29/2013 7:08:00 PM
Sammy deserved better, and so did I
by Laura Pullins
staff writer

I was appalled at the attitudes of staff members at a local veterinary practice when I brought my dog to them on Nov. 22. With a mascara-stained face, I ran into their lobby and said "I've got a dog dying out here!" At first they just looked at me, then they asked, "Have you been here before?"

In a life-or-death situation, be it a pet or a human, a patient's history at your practice should be irrelevant. If this was a hospital for humans and I brought a dying loved one to you, would you ask whether I had been there before? I hope you'd get down to treating the patient as if time were of the essence - because in that situation, it is.

After you took my Sammy back, my brother and I anxiously waited in your exam room. It was a time of prayer and angst, yet the vet tech felt it was appropriate to come in and "shoot the breeze." Perhaps that was her way of taking our minds off the current situation, but it was neither effective nor compassionate.

When the doctor came to tell us our beloved Golden Retriever had passed, I asked if we could see him, hoping to have a moment alone with my companion of the last eight years. Surely my request wasn't too much to ask, and yet your actions indicated otherwise. At least three staff members came in and out of the room with other pets while I was saying goodbye to my lifeless dog on the exam table.

You may deal with dying pets regularly, and consequently have become desensitized to what it is like for family members, but you should know there is more to your job than just providing medical care for animals. I wasn't looking for your sympathy, but I sure would have appreciated a little empathy.

On your website you refer to your customers as being "like family." Really? Can you honestly say you'd treat a family member the same way? I sure hope not!

Know that I realize the attitude of your staff wouldn't have changed the outcome for my Sam, but in the future I hope you will show a little more respect to other families who find themselves in the same situation.

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