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Vet Talk

Happy New Year!
January 5, 2015 (published)


Tony is smitten by the narwhal, a medium-sized toothed whale. The tusk is actually a long spiraled canine tooth.

It’s that time again: Put away the decorations, sweep up the confetti, take out the recycling while wondering where all those bottles came from, dust off the scale, and write the wrong date everywhere-Time. In other words, Happy New Year!

Not to wallow in the swamps of cliché, but the new year is a great time for examining the past and moving forward into the untrodden and un-yellowed snows of the future.

Looking at our past posts and your comments, I can’t help but notice that VetzInsight is a place of stories. When we started this blog a few years ago, Tony, Phyllis (our token non-veterinarian), and I had a vague notion of wanting to explain veterinary medicine in some way that would make sense, provide facts, and hopefully not bore the pants off readers, because having a bunch of pantless readers roaming around would not elevate the tone of the Internet. So we tossed around some narwhal jokes (see photo) and Monty Python references and tried to think of the situations we each have noticed the most.

Somewhere along the way, we collected a few more veterinarians – Teri, Wendy, and Michele – and we began telling stories. Some of those stories were of our patients - I was underneath a horse running away  - and some came from places closer to home, such as when Tony faced the nearing loss of his 16-year-old dog Nyse and Phyllis euthanized her aggressive dog.

And then a wonderful thing began to happen. YOU, Dear Readers. You happened. You began sharing your stories in comments, and we became a community.

You may not realize this, but when you hit that comment button, you aren’t just uploading your thoughts to some robot (and thus enabling Skynet’s eventual overthrow of mankind). That little button sends an email to the VetzInsight admins, and one of us – okay, me, because some fool decided I was least likely to turn the HTML into alphabet stroganoff – posts those comments by hand. This means that we read your stories, each and every one. Gotta make sure the nuclear launch codes aren’t in there or anything.

When you tell us we can do better, we try to listen and improve. When you help each other through difficult times, our hearts swell (in a non-pathogenic way). One truly amazing aspect is that our commenters in the post on euthanizing aggressive dogs have formed their own support group. Some of you follow each other's journey, and you make each other feel less alone. All of us feel privileged that we are allowed to share in your stories, grief and sadness; Teri has discovered how fulfilling it is for her to run what we call "Dr. Teri's counseling service."

When you ask questions, we try to get you some sort of information, although we can probably do better about getting that done in a timely fashion. My personal resolution is to work on posting comments even during weekends and holidays so that you don’t have to deal with the lag time.

But if there is one thing we hope to accomplish through this blog, it is to help you write happy endings to your stories by strengthening the bond between you, your animals, and your veterinarian. (Every time a pet goes to the vet, a fairy gets its wings. Or an angel claps. Or something cool happens.)

So, dear faceless, but hopefully pants-wearing readers, what stories would you like to hear this year? How can we better help you find your happy endings?

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