The Veterinarian – After All of My Whining, I’m still the Who…..

Just because your dog food has the word “BLUE” in the title somewhere doesn’t mean it is awesome or the best food on the planet. People just seem to love to shout that fact out for whatever reason. They can’t describe anything else about the food like it’s nutritional breakdown and why it’s supposedly so superior or better, but they know it is the best food out there ’cause its got “BLUE” in the name. Chalk another one up to the success of herd hypnosis marketing based completely on the buzz word of a color and the religion of retail business.

Also, you are not an animal nutritionist unless you have the credentials/degree. You are not. You need to go to school for a long time to earn such a degree/education and have the experience and background information necessary to understand the theories, principles, and very important intricacies involved in that science. Just because you cook for your dog doesn’t mean you are feeding him the right/proper/balanced/healthy stuff. Just because you read an article or two on the internet, most often written by someone with no credentials or education, about canine or feline diet, does not mean the internet is an accurate or viable source for that information. Just because your dog starts refusing a proper balanced diet because you feed him way too many table scraps or junk food or “stuff that looks better than his dry dog food” does not mean you should continue that pathologic cycle of behavior and poisoning.

Sixty to Eighty-Five percent of the dogs we see are obese. They are obese because of what and how their owners CHOOSE to feed them. This obesity potentiates many diseases, significantly worsens arthritic pain, and definitively shortens their own dogs life. It further decreases the quality of their own dogs existence/life.

Just because you choose to feed a diet with “BLUE” in the title or choose to cook for your dog does not mean that what you are doing is healthy or rational or respectful or loving. Often it actually correlates with the exact opposite.

CHOICES of the nature of what I speak go far beyond diet and someone that CHOOSES like this is probably truly just focused on being the one who gets to CHOOSE whatever may be. That is really all that it is about most of the time. Other people, their kids, and their animals “responding” to their “CHOICE”…”jumping” if you will to their “CHOICE”. Not health…not help….not nurturing….not love….not care. They really don’t want to listen or put in the time for educating themselves or be introspective enough to accept that they may have made some false assumptions/mistakes and that they may need help or guidance themselves. They may go through the motions of acting like they are listening, but at the end of the charade, however elaborate, they are still going to CHOOSE their way and no one is going to convince them otherwise.

These “CHOOSERS” distort most, if not all, of the objective data you present them with. Their elaborate tactics at avoiding and distorting expert professional advice and creating delusional support and reinforcement for their “CHOICE” is utterly, utterly astounding. It is truly hard to believe until you see it day after day after day and you watch pet after pet after pet suffer as a result of their owners “professed love.”

Antibiotics that “cause itching”, pain meds that “cause a dog to feel miserable”, dogs three times their ideal body mass, suffocating in their own blubber who “aren’t obese”, classic owner fostered unsocialized canine behavior that is expressly attributed to “the previous abuse from a man or a male veterinarian”, pet insurance “that will save me money”, excruciatingly painful loose teeth that can’t be extracted because “the dog can’t eat without them”, euthanasia not based on the suffering of a pet but rather on the “owners selfish needs”, mixed breed dogs now marketed/sold as “specialized supermix breeds dogs with the best, best, best personality imaginable and the best, best, best, non-allergy producing coat available”, on and on and on the “love” goes……on and on and on the CHOICES go.

I love the minority of clients that actually listen. I love those that are willing to move beyond their own fear and selfishness and vulnerability, to learn, to consider, and to believe that I might be able to help them and their pet even if just a little bit. I love to pass my knowledge and my gift along as freely as is possible in hopes of making existence better for those people and pets and other creatures that are within my orbit. I love to make a resounding difference in any positive way and I love to help life end as gently as possible when it must.

I love all of these things and they hold me together, but on some days it can be very, very trying when the CHOOSERS surround you and act so offended and slighted at how much “you don’t understand their dog’s dietary preferences” or how much “you don’t know their pet like they do” or “how much a crook you are” for trying to just make a decent living or how “limited my knowledge must be about the physiology, anatomy, and behavior of felines, canines, avians, and exotics” because after all, I am only a veterinarian.

Perhaps instead, I should just sell pet food with a “BLUE” in it or change professions and become a rich pet insurance salesman who doesn’t have to actually care about the pets or work near as hard as I do. Perhaps, I should just keep my mouth shut and stop all the whining. After all, my profession was my choice and I might offend some clients with my words. But then, who will speak up objectively for the pets? Who will speak up for their quality of life? Who will protect them? Who will tell the people (or at least try the best they might to tell the people), to stop hurting, torturing, over-feeding, and destabilizing the pets that they so dearly claim to love? Who? The businessman? The insurance man? The breeder? The pet store clerk? The feed store owner? The fancy-dancy super-boarding facility owner? Who???

Yeah, I did choose my profession. I damn well did. I chose to be a veterinarian. I actually chose to be a good veterinarian and that comes with a significant price; a very significant and substantial price, and come hell or high water, I’ll be the best damn “Who” that I can possibly be.

After all of my whining, I’m still the Who…..I’m still The Veterinarian.

Jeff Cribb DVM          2014

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