I've used the same vet's office since The Tide was a young lass. When we moved to Huntsville from North Carolina, we used the vet that may parents' used which was also the vet that performed The Tide's hip surgeries before she was one year old. The vet was Dr. L. and he was always so wonderful with all the animals and their owners. He would remember each animal by name and what was going on with them and took time to talk to you when you went in for a visit. It was more or less like and extension of your family.
The Tide always loved going to the vet, I suspected it was because she somehow knew that the people in that office were the ones who saved her life and allowed her to live for so long. When we would pull into the parking lot, she would start getting excited and she would always nudge me out of my seat until I got out of the car and then she would run to the front door. she is probably the only dog in history to love a trip to the vet's office.
A few years ago, Dr. L. was diagnosed with cancer and as a result had to take time off to care for himself. He ended up selling the animal clinic to his longtime second in command, Dr. J., who has always been nice but also lacked the compassion that Dr. L. seemed to have. Dr. J. was blunt and to the point and I doubt he's ever cried over the loss of an animal. I've never had a problem with Dr. J., just have always preferred Dr. L.
Since Dr. J. took over the clinic, I had noticed, but not really thought much about, that there were fewer and fewer cars in the parking lot. My dad had noticed the same thing but chopped it up to the economy and people not having the money to spend on their pets when it's difficult to put food on the table.
Fast forward to last Tuesday when my dad and I worked at our respective polling locations. My dad's location is close to the vet's office that Dr. J. now owns and throughout the course of the day, he heard multiple stories of negligent care. There was a misdiagnosis and a couple of cases of prescribed medications not being in line with what a dog should have received, and another case of where a dog was going to be put down, but a last minute call to the Barn saved it's life. (The Barn is Auburn for those of you who may not know.) All of this information was a little disconcerting and my dad told me I might want to look at changing vet's and that he was thinking the same.
After thinking about it and discussing it with my dad, I decided to go ahead and make a change. In addition to all these terrible stories, I had a heavy heart every time I walked into the clinic as all I could think about was The Tide and even cried when I took Pippa for her first appointment there. A co-worker of mine had told me long ago about the excellent care he received at Chase Animal Hospital, particularly when his Husky had to have a leg amputated. Some other friends also use this clinic and come to find out, so does one of my cousins. I made an appointment there for last Friday, September 13 to take Pippa in for her second round of boosters and her rabies shot. When I called to cancel my appointment with Dr. J. for the 14th, the girl that I spoke to said, "Ok, thanks." and hung up the phone. I was shocked that I wasn't asked about rescheduling and thought that if they were not that interested in my business then I certainly shouldn't feel guilty about leaving.
I took Pippa in last Friday to Chase and the people there were very nice. I was comforted by the fact that there was a Bible verse and a cross on the wall and anyone who loves the Bible enough to put a verse on the wall is a-okay in my book. Admittedly, I did tear up a little while waiting on the doctor - I think from now until the end of time I will always think of The Tide when I am at a vet's office. There are three vets at Chase and the one I saw was probably in his 60s and in a way remind me of my dad. He was a round, jolly fella and he had a nice personality. Pippa got her shots and I made an appointment for her next round of shots.
So, I've made the plunge and I think I will stick with Chase. It's closer to my house and I really don't have any regrets about leaving Dr. J. I am extremely grateful for the care they provided The Tide over the years but without Dr. L. there I'm not sure it will ever be the same again. So, new dog, new vet and I think we're going to like it just fine.