Over the last couple of days, i've had to take foster kittens in for their vetting, and i'm reminded again why i love my own vet so much.
Often i try to schedule the foster kittens with Dr. Bea, but sometimes the coordinator at the shelter has already got spaces available with other vets, and asks me to take mine there.
Now i will admit that Dr. Bea's office isn't that much to look at. It's in the shopping center with the local Mom and Pop Grocery. The owner of the property, which houses multiple businesses, does not maintain the place well, while he charges a mint (in the words of one renter, he's a slum lord, which you can tell by the fact that the parking lot is nothing but holes in some places and he still hasn't had the damage fixed from the lightning strike six months ago).
The corner the vet's office is tucked into borders on the back of the building, and you can see the dumpsters and the rear entrances and delivery docks for some of the other businesses back there, including the restaurant. There are always wild stray cats -- ferals -- hanging around, which Dr. Bea has fixed and which get fed by the office staff, as well as the people at the dry cleaner and the flower shop. They also eat out of the restaurant dumpsters, so we are talking some well fed strays.
Once in the office, it is very nondescript looking. The linoleum is old and the ceiling shows where there have been roof leaks that the aforementioned landlord was not very quick to repair. The waiting room is crammed with all of the products they have to sell on a couple of shelves, and has a very hard bench, three chairs (one of which is always occupied by the office cat), and a round table with copies of animal magazines. The walls are decorated with pictures of clients, reward posters, offers of free animals, and pamphlets that look like they have been around since the place opened, whenever that was.
There is only one exam room. Once you get an animal or two, a carrier, the vet, the vet tech, and the owner in there, it becomes a bit crowded. An old curtain separates it from the next room, which is storage, OR, and lab all in one.
Way in the back are the kennels and cages, and a bathroom, as well as a washing machine. No dryer, so you find towels hanging to dry back there on every available surface. There's also a tub set up for washing animals, with old hooks in the wall so you can attach leashes and make sure whatever is being bathed doesn't make a run for it.
Dr. Bea's personal office has every available surface, desk, file cabinet, even the top of the safe where the expensive meds are stored, piled with books and pamphlets and ledgers. Looking into cabinets and fridges makes for interesting exploration as they dig for supplies. You can tell it's organized, but not really. They know where it all is, somehow.
Behind the front desk in the first room is a computer and all the filing cabinets, and usually an animal or two at the feet of whoever is back there.
When you do walk in, you are usually greeted with a smile from someone behind that desk, too. Even if the person on duty is on the phone or talking to another client, they look up at the sound of the door bells jingling and smile. Often someone else walks out from the back to see who has just come in.
They talk to you as quickly as they can when you walk in. You get personal service. Dr. Bea usually walks the client she's just finished with out to the front, and then tells the next person herself to go on in the exam room.
Seldom do i go in that there is more than one other patient in, and a crowded day once was 3.
Contrast this with the offices i've been in over the past few days.
Each is in a much newer building. Spacious waiting rooms. Plenty of room for the supplies that you can only get at the vet that they sell. Much more modern decor, and several people behind the front desks.
Often those people are too busy to greet you. You are kept waiting while they take personal phone calls, or talk to another client about how awful the teacher at such-and-such school is. You never see the vets, who are in the back in what are probably much bigger exam rooms, dedicated ORs, separate labs, everything. It's a "hand over the animals for surgery and leave" thing, very cold, very clinical. The animals are just another number in their nice, modern, office.
Even though my vet's office can't run a debit/credit card when someone is on the phone line, you aren't kept waiting while they take personal calls.
They make sure you know you matter, and so do your pets.
That's why, as long as she will stay in practice, i will go to Dr. Bea. Even if the place does look like it's run by a slum lord.
Akibasan Gongen Hibuse Matsuri -- Odawara, Japan (ritual giving thanks for fire and water)
Clute's Christmas in the Park -- Clute, TX, US (food and fun; through Saturday)
Day of Quito -- Ecuador (founding of the city in 1534)
Days of Reckoning Begin -- Fairy Calendar (no, they will not tell us what they reckon)
Dia de la Constitucion Espanola -- Spain (Constitution Day)
Give a Secret Gift Day -- obviously in honor of the original St. Nicholas
Independence Day -- Aland Islands; Finland
Microwave Oven Day -- patented this day in 1945
Mitten Tree Day -- remembering when mittens were the big gift to find hanging from the Christmas tree
National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women -- Canada
National Gazpacho Day
National Miner's Day -- US
Pawnbrokers' Day -- on St. Nicholas' Day, in his role as Patron Saint of pawnbrokers
Sindhi Topi and Ajrak Day -- Sindh, Pakistan
St. Nicholas of Myra's Day (Patron of apothecaries/druggists/pharmacists, archers, bakers, barrel makers, boatmen, bootblacks/shoe shiners, boys, brewers, brides, captives, children, coopers, dock workers/longshoremen, fishermen, grooms, judges, lawsuits lost unjustly, maidens, mariners/sailors, merchants, penitent murderers, newlyweds, old maids, parish clerks, paupers/poor people, pawnbrokers, perfumers, pilgrims, prisoners, scholars, schoolchildren, spinsters, students, penitent thieves, travelers, unmarried girls; Greek Catholic Church in America; Greek Catholic Union; University of Paris; Varangian Guard; Greece; Russia; also dozens of cities around the world; against imprisonment, robberies, robbers)
Christkind -- Central and Southern Europe (the traditional gift giving day, instead of Christmas)
Andrew J. Howard, 1969
Andrew Cuomo, 1957
Peter Buck, 1956
Randy Rhoads, 1956
Steven Wright, 1955
Tom Hulce, 1953
David Ossman, 1936
Wally Cox, 1924
Dave Brubeck, 1920
Agnes Moorehead, 1906
Ira Gershwim, 1896
Lynn Fontanne, 1887
Joyce Kilmer, 1886
William S. Hard, 1870
John Singleton Mosby, 1833
Today in History:
The Mongols under Batu Khan occupy and destroy Kiev, 1240
Don Alfonso V of Aragon grants Barcelona the right to exclude Jews, 1424
The first edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica is published, in Scotland, 1768
Harriet Tubman escapes slavery, 1849
The 13th Amendment to the US Constitution is ratified, abolishing slavery, 1865
The first crematorium in the Us begins operation, in Washington, Pennsylvania, 1876
London becomes the first city to license taxicabs, 1897
One year to the day after the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, the Irish Free State comes into existence, 1922
U.S. federal judge John M. Woolsey rules that the James Joyce's novel Ulysses is not obscene, 1933
The Vanguard rocket, the first US attempt to launch a satellite, fails, 1957
The Canadian province of Newfoundland is renamed Newfoundland and Labrador, 2001
NASA reveals photographs taken by Mars Global Surveyor suggesting the presence of liquid water on Mars, 2006