The vets just met to review and end Dr. Vanderloo’s official probationary period (over wine, so you know it wasn’t bad!). She’s been with us now since December and we are delighted she will be remaining with us for a good long time. Dr. Vanderloo jumped right in to the madness that was a three doctor practice during a busy time (with only two active doctors!) and it was like she’d been here for years. What a relief to Dr. Meyers and myself! We could finally find time in the schedule to pee!

But the review got me thinking. Usually I write about the medical aspects of our clinic and try to give our clients some pointers on things they might not be thinking of when it comes to their pets. But there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that might come as a surprise. Part of hiring a good vet isn’t just her (or his) medical prowess or communication with clients (though those things are certainly important!). It’s also about how she fits into the culture of our clinic. In “The Back”, the vets are dealing with the nitty gritty of anesthesia, surgical procedures, in hospital patients, and working through tough cases as we balance the myriad of other vet and business tasks. The techs are running to assist us (we are NEEDY!) and take care of all those in-hospital patients (at the very least, think poop. In large quantities. Frequently). And things can get exhausting and stressful, especially when there are patients who we are really worried about.

So what gets us through when things get bad? Or sad? Yes, there’s occasional tears. But what helps us keep going is really our laughter. We laugh A LOT in The Back. We are certainly irreverent. And perhaps some of us over-share (okay, not “perhaps”). And some might even think we are a little unprofessional in our familiarity with each other and our lack of employer/employee distance (as in hardly any). But we truly enjoy each other and support each other. I feel so lucky to work at a place where that is the case. Not many people enjoy their jobs, their patients, their clients, AND the people they work with. It’s certainly been one of the most challenging parts about integrating new staff.

I appreciate this group of people who get my twisted sense of humor and have my back. And I am grateful for each one of the team that add their own twist right back. Happily Dr. Vanderloo is no exception.

Laugh long, laugh often, Everyone!