As 2016 winds down to a close I've been thinking about some of my really great clients. I've been at my current clinic for almost 6 years, and some clients followed me over from my previous one. This means I have a few clients whose pets I've been seeing for nearly a decade. During that time you can really get to know people and develop a close relationship.
Many small animal vets thrive on these relationships. It's certainly something that I enjoy, and it helps when I know not just the pets but the human family members as well. While I can't say that I really like every single one of my clients (nobody can say that), there are many that with whom I have a special relationship. For example I had one of my long-term clients invite me and my wife to a Christmas party at their home. Unfortunately I couldn't attend due to other commitments, but it meant a lot to me that they thought to consider us. Because I've moved around a lot during my career I haven't had these lengthy relationships with clients until now.
This time of year we typically have clients bring us Christmas cards and cookies, and they are always very much appreciated. It really means a lot to me and my staff when somebody takes the time to stop by and deliver a card and food just to let us know that they appreciate us and what we do. These kinds of clients really help make up for the difficult ones and are a large part of the reason why we as vets tolerate long hours, difficult work, and comparably low pay.
When I was younger I said that I didn't like people, and for the most part I still don't. People as a whole are rather difficult, and being an introvert I want to minimize interactions. However, when I was in vet school I realized that I did like "good" clients and enjoyed helping them and their pets. I am very nice and outgoing to all of my clients, even ones I'd rather not see, because my responsibility is to care for their pets and I believe in treating people as I want to be treated, not how they treat me. But there are some clients that I look forward to seeing because I've known them for so long, they take good care of their pets, and they're fun to be around. It's these clients that give me the motivation to come to work every day and make the effort in my job worthwhile.
So a big "THANKS" to all of my great clients that I've met and had over the year (and previous years). You make my job easier and keep me smiling.