I seem to be stuck on the subject of veterinarians lately! It must be because we’ve been spending a lot of time at the office of ours the last few months, so I thought I’d tell the story of how we found him and came to bring all of our animals to him for care.
Many years ago, almost 16 to be exact, we had a dog, Shelby, who was going through cancer treatment. The vet’s office we went to then was one we’d been with for quite a few years. We never really liked the doctor who ran the office (he got very impatient with our dog once, who was just scared), but there were other vets available there so we could usually avoid him. There weren’t a lot of vets in our rural area at that time so we had never really thought about switching.
In the middle of Shelby’s cancer treatment, the vet we were seeing left. We were switched to another vet, and it was someone we also liked when we met her. Shelby’s treatment only went for a few months, but towards the end of it, we heard this vet was leaving too. During that same time our cat Miss Bones got attacked by the neighbor’s police dog.
It was on a Sunday (Mother’s Day of all days), so we called our vet’s office emergency number, only to be told that none of the three vets there were on call and that we would have to take Bones to another vet many miles away. That was upsetting to say the least, but our neighbor offered to call his vet. Of course our neighbors felt awful about what had happened so wanted to do anything they could to help. So, on a Sunday afternoon, a vet we didn’t even know was willing to see our cat when our own was not even available to take a call. (That was really the last straw with them.)
Miss Bones didn’t make it, but during the few days that they treated and tried to save her, we came to be impressed with Dr. Hutchinson and his staff. As it turned out, his office was even closer to where we lived. We didn’t want to switch Shelby to a new vet in the middle of her cancer treatment, but we quickly moved all of our cats to his care, and have been with him ever since.
In all the subsequent years, he has always been available to take our calls and/or see our pets at any time, except for once when he actually took a vacation. He had another vet in the area available to help us when we needed it though (he has mostly been a one doctor practice over the years). I remember the time when Cricket fell off our deck when she was a puppy, and Dr. Hutchinson was out of town at some event and called me back from there. He reassured me that the fall probably didn’t do any serious damage and to let her rest for a while and then call him later when he’d be back in town.
He called me back as soon as he was back in town, before I even got a chance to call him and tell him that Cricket was OK after resting. Then there was the time just over a year ago when Luke came down with kennel cough on Christmas Eve. The office was closing early that day, but he still saw Luke, and also gave us a cell phone number to call if Luke got any worse. We could have called him even on Christmas if we’d needed to.
In my series on vaccines I’ve mentioned more than once that he and I don’t always agree on everything, but that he gives us his best advice but is never pushy and always lets us make the decisions. In the last few months he has had another vet join his practice. She is a young woman not long out of school, but when we have seen her we have been impressed with her knowledge and her manner. She was extremely patient with Luke’s fear issues when my hubby took him in for his annual exam. This is a very good thing since Dr. Hutchinson recently broke his leg when caring for a horse. He is not just a small animal vet, he also makes farm calls, and he’s going to be out of commission for quite a few weeks.
But when we just recently had an issue, we saw the new doctor and Dr. Hutchinson was also there, hobbling along on his crutches but offering his expertise and advice. Both doctors as well as a staff member were all there after their normal Saturday hours helping us out. Did I mention the staff there? He has a great staff who are always so helpful and caring as well, and this is also where I take Sheba for her grooming. My sister takes her dogs there for kenneling when they go away. They offer a lot of services, but for me the important thing is the level of proficiency and care. It’s tough when your animals are sick, but having them cared for by someone you trust and have confidence in makes it so much easier.
Do you have a vet that you trust and have confidence in?