So here we are at the other side of the table… I needed someone to confirm what I was denying to know (so I went to our local specialty clinic, who I frequently refer to). My best friend, my partner has lymphoma of her stomach, liver and spleen.

This was a very hard day, but I want to share what I have learned from being on the other side. I know this will get some criticism, but please be kind, I still think we can all learn from this, I certainly did.

It is scary when your best friend is sick and you are more emotional and fragile then you thought you could be.

Someone taking your dog away, who is sick (to get vitals and do an exam), doesn’t feel right and separation anxiety is real (especially when this happens before you meet the vet and no one gets a thorough history on your dog). Shouldn’t history guide you through the exam?

Asking for money before services are provided and then refunding things back to the card (when sedation isn’t needed), seems impersonal and makes you feel untrustworthy.

Avoid stating the obvious (especially to a colleague or a medical professional), it makes you lose credibility.

Even when you go to a specialist you are looking for some comforting words and not just words of wisdom.

Compassion and empathy are priceless and should always be part of our profession (this applies to all staff).

When you have bad news for someone, adjust your tone accordingly, it helps them be prepared.

Veterinarians should talk to dogs, look at Dr. Doolittle, he was very successful.

When you can’t “fix it”, you should have a plan on how you are going to “make it better”.

Never forget the oath you have taken.

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