A few of us here at the VBB have fielded more than a few critical comments about our blog posts, some downright calling us names. I feel they are just jealous that they are not as awesomesauce as we are, but I digress. :)
I had to share a story about a situation that came up this week at my clinic that was so appalling, I had to write a blog about it so that I don't kill the person who did this.
So we're doing our normal routine right before lunch - working on a dental while the staff sees tech appts, etc. Right about then a car drives up in our parking lot and sits there. We notice, but no one has come in yet, so we just sort of wait.
Then one of my staff noticed that a woman with a small child got out of the car, brought a dog that was wrapped in duct tape to our light pole, and proceeded to tie the dog's leash to the light pole. Staff ran out to the car to see if we could help, and this person had the nerve to tell us that "the dog needs to be euthanized but I can't afford it." That was it. No explanation, just made it clear she was gonna dump her poor dog off on us and leave.
The dog had some sort of extremely large tumor on its side, and this idiot had wrapped duct tape around the dog in some feeble attempt to control the fluid leakage. Never mind that she hadn't taken the dog to a vet for ANY form of care. Do I really have to say that this person had no business owning a pet? But I digress again.
My staff caught her in time to shame her into admitting what she was gonna do. She told us she could not even afford euthanasia. Normally I would try to help if possible, but this person was so unbelievable in her trashy attempt to dump her suffering animal off on us, that I told her to take her pet to the low cost place and have him euthanized. It broke my heart for the pet. It made me want to kill her dumb ass.
But she was not a client of mine, and other than paying for it all out of my own pocket, there was nothing I was going to be able to do to help. And believe me - I pay out of my pocket every single day helping people and their pets. I'm much more apt to give a lot more when I'm being met in the middle for the most part. But come in as a non-client, offer ZERO money and just expect me to take care of your responsibility? Um. No.
So when people get mouthy with us and accuse us of being heartless or cruel or that we are being overly hard on clients... understand that it is because of situations just like this that we suffer from a condition called Compassion Fatigue - a very real syndrome that vets (and other healthcare professionals) suffer from, because of the constant struggle of caring for animals a hell of a lot more than a significant amount of the general public cares for them.
It simply wears us down with time.
10 years into this career, I can tell you that my used-to-be bubbly self looks at the newer generations entering the profession and I feel badly for them, because I know that they too will suffer from compassion fatigue at some point in this career.
Because you just can't fix stupid.