a huge part of it is about what we give and what we take.
so today i want to acknowledge the contributions made to the animals in rescue by vets and their clinics. i want to talk about this in general terms but also about saints partnerships with our vets specifically.
first of all lets say a couple of not happy things about rescues and vets in general and de-bunk a couple of myths...
some folks think vets should provide medical care to rescued animals for free. medical care has medical costs and not charging to cover medical costs leads straight down the road to bankruptcy. also rescue is a non profit charitable endeavor...we can legally ask the public to donate to us to help the animals in our care. vet medicine is not a not for profit endeavor..legally it is a business and as a business it cannot solicit public donations to help pay the bills.
not only do all of our vets give us a fair discount but all of them carry some part of our $100,000.00 annual medical bill on credit for sometimes months at a time until we can raise the money to pay them. that is a big chunk of money owing to them to patiently carry for us.
no one because they are associated with rescue is entitled to special treatment, special consideration, special rules of behavior at any clinic. we are customers not bosses. and as such, we have a responsibility to understand the bounderies and limits of business relationships. it is not our job to instruct our business partners in how they operate their business..either it is a good match with us..or it isn't.
i have heard so many stories over the years from both sides of the rescue/clinic fence. crappy, uncaring, money grubbing vets...bat shit crazy, ill informed, rude or demanding rescues..unhappy people on both sides of the animal welfare fence.
i personally have chosen our vets and clinics with a great deal of care...i need intelligent, up to date, compassionate, respectful, highly skilled, responsible, patient, generous, and creative thinking, creative problem solving, medical practitioners with a great deal of common sense for our crippled crew. our animals do not just have one thing wrong with them..they have many things wrong with them that goes far beyond simple aging. i work with our vets to give our animals the very best of care..not to babysit me, hold my hand, meet my emotional needs or drop everything else they happen to be doing and focus solely on me.
i keep my appointment times confined to the 15 or 20 minutes of each appointment allotment..i do not stand there disorganized, talking non stop, flipping from one thing to another and back again repeating what i already just said..i am respectful that they have another appointment booked right behind me. and i sincerely apologize on the days when i know i am a bother. and this is not just related to our vets..this is also related to all of the other staff at the clinics because receptionists, techs and assistants all have to take time out of their day to deal with me.
and i think they appreciate this about me.
i get that the customer is not always right in veterinary medicine..i get the the customer does not always understand everything that goes on in the backs of our clinics and outside of the exam rooms. there is a whole giant world of a thousand other clients, medical crises, phone calls, test results coming back in, follow ups, of staff, rents, electricity, and hydro, bills to be paid, of equipment to purchase and maintain, of highly emotional trauma as some animal from somewhere is lost and cannot be saved, and of professional veterinary medicine standards to be achieved, monitered and maintained.
i think rescues and their fosters need to understand one very simple fact...without the goodwill and respectful, fair, professional working relationships with our vets, their staff and the clinics in general..our animals are totally screwed.
we do get special treatment because we are rescue...they hold our bills on account until we can pay, they give us fair discounts, they give our animals great care, they do their best to help us in every way that they can...but just because we are rescue..does not make them our personal slaves.
has everyone in rescue hugged their very great vet today?
big and grateful hugs to eastridge, to hillndale, to whatcom road, to agwest, to boundry bay and the folks at the fraser valley emergency clinic for working with us to help hundreds upon hundreds of homeless and sick senior animals during the past 10 years and also for being so willing to keep working with us every day in our future.
that takes guts, strength, patience and very kind hearts....our vets and clinics truly are great!