Practicing Veterinary Medicine on any regular day is hard, and amazing all at the same time.

It is definitely mentally stimulating, but also draining, physically tiring, and emotionally exhausting.

Practicing Veterinary Medicine during a global wide pandemic is like nothing I have ever experienced before.

The way I have practiced for almost 15 years, completely changed this year. I keep hoping to come out on the other side, unscathed, but the other side still isn’t in sight for now.

I must first acknowledge here, that I am VERY aware of ALL of the people that are working day in and day out to bring an end to this chaos. I know that the people on the front lines may never be the same. I know that we are ALL surviving through this. Thank you to all of you.

But, this blog is an insight into Glanbrook, and the clinic we run, and the lives we lead.

This past year, I have never felt so much pressure. Knowing that the success of my businesses is keeping 18 people employed….well, that’s enough to keep you up at night and then some. Have I been doing the right things? Have I been doing enough to keep my employees and my clients safe? What is coming next? Are things changing forever, or will we see an end to this eventually? These are the questions I ask myself all day, every day…….while the phones are ringing, while I am typing records, while I am seeing patients, while I am holding staff meetings, and not to mention worrying about my family, and trying to sleep.

We have transitioned from having clients in the building with their pets, to standing in the parking lot talking to owners, to being able to allow only one person in the building while they say goodbye to their family pet, after they have been screened, had their temperature taken, and while wearing a mask. We are still striving to be the compassionate humans we always were, but at a distance, with only our eyes to portray our kindness. We can’t hug our clients when they lose their best friend or when they show us a picture of their new puppy they are bringing in next week.

Perhaps the masks are thwarting our compassion, but they are also promoting a lack of respect among some of our clients. It is like some people hide behind them. It’s like the mask has given them the power to talk to us like we don’t matter, like we must give them all of our attention and our 1000 other clients don’t matter. The masks have made them angry? Or resentful? The phone calls instead of in person conversation have made them lash out? And to be unkind?  I wish those clients could see the days that we spend from 8am to 7p in clinic seeing patients back to back all day long, answering and returning phone calls in between appointments, calling lab work, and typing medical records, completing surgeries, organizing child care, and online schooling, getting up at 6am to complete records or round before going to work, making referrals, responding to client emails, sitting in bed at night typing up consults, or placing orders for inventory, or researching abnormal cases, or travelling during COVID to help the animals and people in a foreign country. I wish those clients could realize that if I don’t call them back with their pets blood work in one hour, it’s not because I don’t care, or that I am doing something for myself, it is because I am tending to a really sick patient, or splinting a broken leg, or helping a family say goodbye to furry friend, or mourning the loss of my own deeply loved family pet, or trying to get my kids laptop working so that they can continue online schooling, or discussing cases and changes with my staff, or debriefing with my husband after a crazy day, or creating protocols for my clinic so that we can all stay safe.

Don’t get me wrong. This is my job. I don’t expect a thank you. I just expect that in a world that is falling apart, that we look out for each other. I expect that we remember that we are all doing this together. I expect that we remember above all else, to be kind and respectful of one another.

I want to get back to loving my job. I want to get back to being able to grow a relationship with a new client and laugh with them when their puppy gets the zoomies in an appointment, or cry with them when they are scared their cat is too sick to survive. I want to do surgery and enjoy doing surgery, without planning my COVID protocol updates, and organizing all of the clients I have yet to get back to in my head. I want to come in to work and be excited to be there, not still exhausted from the day before. I want my girls to enjoy coming to work as well, and not be worried about which client is going to yell at them next for missing something, or for not getting back to them immediately, or for modifications that have been implemented in our ever-changing protocol. I want to get back to being present, in the moment, at the dinner table, in the procedure or the appointment. That is only going to happen if we all do our part and work together.

My girls, that you interact with every time you visit Glanbrook, are my second family. They have adjusted to every change with fortitude. I know, with certainty, that these girls consider me to be their family too. I am so thankful for each and every one of them.

Chris is my longest work family member. She has strength like I have never seen. When Chris is there, I know everything is ok.

Crystal is my secret weapon…She is has super powers that allow her to run the front of my clinic like no one I have ever seen. She is genius.

Dr. Marissa is one of the most thorough and intelligent Veterinarians I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.

Hailey makes me smile. It may sound silly, but it is like she knows when I need a laugh and she is always there to provide it. I don’t know what I would do without her.

Dr. Julia is one of the most dedicated and compassionate Veterinarians I know, and I am so glad she is on my team.

Rebecca is such a solid member of our team. She gives 200% every day, and our clients and patients are so lucky to have her.

Andrea wears many hats and I am so grateful for her.

Annika is a future-vet, and I marvel at her work ethic and attitude daily. The world better look out because Dr. Annika is going to be fantastic!

Grace is a future-tech, and I have to say that the way in which she has grown this past year is fascinating. She is going to be an amazing veterinary technician.

Richelle has only been with us a short time, but she is already exuding compassion.

Leyna is a new member as well and seems to be loving what she does.

Caroline is our newest member, but she already keeps me entertained and is a welcome presence at our front reception.

Thank you to our loyal and supportive clients, you do help make our days easier. Just writing this blog has made me feel a bit better. I am hoping that 2021 proves to be a little easier for ALL of us. If not, I know I have a village behind me to keep going. We will get there.

I miss you so much Liskey.

Thank you, Dave. I love you.