Saturday, September 30, 2017

Cyberbullying and the Dragonslayer

,,, and sometimes you walk away to slay the dragon another day.

I'm off to hug my dog.. I'll be back in armor tomorrow...

(PS #trainwreck has an ethical code to her patients and family,, and fathers should be very careful what they put out there in the world.)

stay tuned,, this is a work in progress,,

The Second Round of Denial, Self-Pity.

Take a little stroll through LinkedIn, the Facebook pages of the veterinary management professionals, or, if you have access, take another little peak inside the "secret" pages of Facebook veterinary organizations. The backlash of complaining, sniveling, and nastiness is unsurpassed. The themes all center on a key point. They refer to "a video" or a "divisive rant" but the professionals of these are all circling their wagons, mounting their ammunition, and feeding the frenzy of fear based anger with more palatable axioms like "fatigue", "ethics" and "self righteousness." The war is real.

The anger runs deep and cuts hard. It runs on all sides now. At least for whatever consequences we all face the anger is universal. People are hurt, deeply. They are legitimately scarred. There is, however, NOT a universal responsibility to all sides to acknowledge this. Sure, the vet community at large can shoot the messenger, punish the singular face that brought this into light, but the mob behind the viral video is awake and now they feel acknowledged. The first weeks of the videos backlash included personal attacks to all of my social media, the clinic staff, and a real fear for my personal safety. This last week has become an onslaught of blogs by veterinary professionals feeling sorry for themselves. They are "tired". Well, for the record, are all tired. Let's just give each other that. Except that the other side has been tired for decades. (Who is the other side anymore?) At least you aren't also heartbroken that you were made to feel like an irresponsible, uncaring parent. Or lied to. Or guilt-tripped into paying for something without full disclosure that the same service might be available for a fraction of the cost down the road? Because that might be unethical? We are all tired. Tired of feeling inadequate, uncompensated, and unacknowledged. People put their pets down. We (the whole vet professional community) knew this, we tolerated it, we at worst excused and accepted this, and now we are too tired to say "I'm sorry" and move forward together. It's just another divide we place.

The wave of millions of people who feel that we failed them, (read the comments,, they use stronger words like "lied", "cheated", "killed", "extorted", etc) is real. These are real people. Real clients. People who loved, lost and can't get over it. Stop blaming them, they don't need judgement. They need help and we are responsible for too much of the vitriol to be ganging up, feeding more anger, and fess up.

You aren't tired, your burden is the anger that swells. For some it is self doubt, self reflection, inability to admit you are not perfect and that blind spot is the face of indifference you show the public countered by the mob mentality you show the vet community. You're burdened. The burden makes you feel "tired". The only way to unload the burden is to face it. Acknowledging your role in it by listening to those who feel wronged, accepting your part in it, and offering open ended solutions to resolving it.

Somewhere between both sides lies responsibility to uncover the truth.. maybe the only sincere way to set the burdened consciousness free for both sides. I'm exhausted too. Exhausted from apologizing when no one else can. When no one else will stand up for the people we serve when we disappoint them. Because the hurt goes both ways. And in the middle is the pet. That's the middle. Where the truth lies.

P.S. This blog was posted and pulled last week when a few torch bearing vets missed its point. I have attempted to edit it so as they might better understand it's intent. This, again, is not about you OR me, it is about the pet parents.. stop being such a bunch of egotistical haters, grow up, say you are sorry if you hurt someone. It's what you are teaching your kids to do in times of conflict,, isn't it?

P.S.S If you are such a coward as to leave an anonymous comment I reserve the right to delete it, post it, and/or cut and paste it with your IP address link.

If you have a pet who is the love of your life we want to hear about it. We are here for pet people across the globe. Building a place where information is free, compassion is universal and the pet ALWAYS COMES FIRST. Please join us on Open to everyone who loves pets. Dedicated to education, inspiration and empowerment. Because no one is ever alone,,, even if they are "exhausted".

Related articles; No More Blaming and Shaming: What Vets & Pet Parents Need To Understand About Each Other. Vet Billing, Suzanne Cannon.

I am also at Jarrettsville Vet, in Jarrettsville Maryland, where "economic euthanasia" is never a treatment option, and compassion is always free AND readily available.

Also on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook (where the troll guards are still (sadly) on duty.. ;-) ).

Video here.

Want to know about the costs at Jarrettsville Vet? Look here on our website

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Storm Behind The Rage. When The Truth Threatens. Backlash of Rant Video

It has taken me days to begin to try to understand the reasons for the intense backlash I am facing.
You see I posted this video. It went viral. It was an emotional plea for the veterinary community to do better than we have. To help people find meaningful AND affordable answers when they come to us in need. It focused on how expensive care has gotten, and how, for too many, veterinary care has gotten out of reach.

The example, (which in retrospect I would have changed and made less about the individual case and more about the systemic problem as a whole), was met by intense anger, threats, harassment and about the worst week of my life. I was attacked, ostracized, banned, bullied and castigated by, what appears to be (almost) the entire veterinary community. I am being called "the most hated person in veterinary medicine," "the reason the suicide rate is so high," and told that "you are under attack so be careful."

It is a burden of despair I would never wish on anyone. I find myself alone, afraid, and questioning everything I thought I stood for and belonged to. While I would never publicly attack anyone (maybe just politicians, if I am being open and honest), I would not ever name a business, or "throw anyone under the bus." You may choose to not believe that, but to most people outside of the veterinary community they seem to understand my point and my message without placing blame on any single person, business, or facet of our profession.

There is a problem. It is a very big, very deep, very emotionally charged problem. I am not the first person to bring it up, although I might be the strongest voice heard across the greatest distance. To deny the problem is futile. The number of people who have added their stories, relived and recounted their tragedies and their grief to the video feed proves this. The inane reaction to justify this 'out of reach for too many high cost' explanation from the vets that "our cost of education is $XXX (too high), our expertise and training, our overhead, our long hours, overnight/holiday/weekend schedules, etc. etc." are not falling on ears who understand, identify with, or even for the most part care. The general public can be told repeatedly about all of the reasons the costs are so high, but when their family members life is on the line, they don't care. They don't care why it is soo expensive, they overwhelming, over-archingly and quite verbally feel this is simply the case. Further, it doesn't motivate them to find resources they don't have.

Now I understand the arguments from the vet side that are being placed on the pet parents. All of the blame we place on them. This is also a waste of time, and a further divide we place on an already tenuous situation. They are where they are. Telling them they should have known better is salt in a wound simmering in shame and disdain. They are your customers. We wouldn't have a job if they knew how to avoid us.

Stop blaming. Stop shaming, and start listening.

Where does my personal discontent lie? I don't care how much anything costs when someone can afford it. The number of zeros, the placement of that comma sign are not relevant when a pet parent can pay. It ONLY matters when they come to us (yes, I know many of my colleagues now take offense at my use of "us" as I am, in their eyes no longer a part of "them") with a pet in need and we forget, or omit, or disregard their journey and their plight. We HAVE to listen. We have to offer assistance AND, most importantly, WE have to help. Realistically, when rubber meets the pavement, we have to speak a common language with a common patient centered goal and make it work. Start to finish. Everyone walks out feeling the patient was put first.

A significant part of the veterinary profession is focused on the top 20%. Those people (I, in truth doubt it is even 20%) who have lots of disposable income and are willing and able to pay regardless of the cost. These clients spend tens of thousands of dollars on their pets care. There is an inordinate amount of options for this population. They are well served and under representative of the pet owning population. The problem is that the able love their pets as much as the struggling.

I live with my pets, who are the only beings who will ever have my name to carry as their legacy (not silly to me) and I will fight for their well being for as long and as much as I am able to pay. I am a pet parent and they are my first and truest love and obligation. I am like all of those millions of passionate viewers. We, all of us, know this, we need to make this relationship paramount in every single decision making process and every single word we utter. It is the center of our duty regardless of which side of the exam table, or operating table you stand on. It has no price and yet it too often has narrowly defined options based only on available cash resources.

When a person comes to a vet they should not ever feel that their decision to love their pet depends on a dollar figure. It is possible in almost all cases to allow a pet parent to leave our facility feeling "ok" with their decisions. They may not have won the battle between life and death, but walking away accepting the consequences does not hinge on ability to pay large sums of money. We owe, I owe, each other that. We have forgotten, or overlooked in our defensive, protective posturing, to remind ourselves that compassion is still free.

So, I am at day 6 of this pit of pity. I cry everyday. Sometimes over the stories people have shared and the terrible heart ache they still carry. The overwhelming burden to help them move on if they can only forgive themselves. The fear that I cannot wear a name tag to a veterinary conference, of which I have to go to ( I am seriously considering going abroad for this next year), and the anguish I think I am putting my family and clinic through. I wish I were even more isolated so I could spare them this journey. It is that bad for me right now.

Medicine is all about dealing with worst case scenarios. Looking at a case and asking yourself what you need to do, what approach you need to take for the patient, how you can protect them from whatever this case might be if it is indeed the 'worst case scenario'. It is also about cajoling that client to understand your perspective on their pet, and encourage them to take the next steps needed to alleviate the condition. I am trying to strategize my own worst case scenario. Let the lynch mob of angry vets, who can't take responsibility, cannot for reasons I find inexcusable say that they have failed to meet our clients expectations and say that they are sorry (I sincerely feel like I am the only person able to utter these important over due words) and move forward. There seems to be only 2 or 3 people inside this profession who get this. Why is that? That is my question? Why do I see the world so differently than so many of my colleagues, and for heavens sake why can't anyone step up, hear the million people screaming for their pets, and say something! Why are we still throwing more division into an already over divisive topic?

The fact remains, vet care is too expensive for too many. It has to be mitigated somewhere.  We (vets) don't want low price options being offered out in our own neighborhood, yet, we don't want to lower our own prices. We aren't shy about asking for clients to pay thousands for our services, but we don't talk about the W2's we file. Why is that? Don't tout the same old "no one gets into veterinary medicine to become rich" when there are a number of vets, who would very closely approximate the definition of "wealthy" to the mass majority of the public we serve if their salary was revealed. Don't try to bull- your way into telling people they aren't worth your time because you aren't trying to get rich. Most people, (which is open to each persons interpretation), are trying to get rich. Most do it on the backs of others less fortunate. Be honest here. The vet profession can show a little integrity in this department. We all look for less expensive options. It is the nature of our being. Getting something for less because you have access to the price is called an open free market society. Getting rich by charging more, or spending less, is the formula to wealth. Wealth is still perceived as a sign of success. The cost of Vet med these days are squeezing this ability out of peoples reach. The divide between finding affordable accessible care and 'Ivory Tower' or "ideal standard of care" case management is harder to find and less appealing to offer. Where there is a market there is an opportunity. Maybe that is what is so threatening?

The profession may think I am attacking, undermining, or belittling them. Their efforts, their intentions, their heart and soul, but I am not. This is not about an individual, although we are of course a collection of the sum of our parts, this is an outcry for change in the system. It will happen, it has to happen.

Care costs, but that cost has options, real life-saving, life-changing options.. Decline a full blood work and do a PCV/TP and do the damned pyo surgery for $200 less. Why not? What do you have to lose? A dog, or a paycheck?

As always I wish you all love, peace, and kindness.

Find me, anytime, at Jarrettsville Vet, on and after the shit-storm passes back on social media.

If you have a story to tell you can email me.. If you have a voice to help others in their quest for help for their pets care and well-being join me on It is free for all and dedicated to providing real help for real people.. I cannot always tell people what they want to hear, but, we will always be compassionate to your pets.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Tribute To A Beagle. Jekyll, and the boy behind the nose.

It is time to pay homage to the lives in my sphere of existence who matter most.

It is time to tell the world about the lives only I know in the way that I know them.

It time to tell their tale, share their lives, and build them a chance beyond me. It is what a parent is put here to do. Love them along the journey of building them to live beyond me.

What if every person who loved every other took the time to put that love on paper? What if every parent loved their kids soo much they provided for them, both emotionally, financially, and physically?

There is life after yours. It is the place where this blog starts,, and the place where Jekyll will live on without me. Even if neither of us are physically here any longer.

Jekyll is a beagle. All beagle. He is welcoming to every human. Has no prejudice to anyone. He is Snoopy incarnate; mischievous, calculating, self-centered, obsessive, and charming. He lets his nose guide him, even if that nose leads him two miles away and into a strangers car for a lift home. He is as equally happy wet, dirty, and covered in detritus from four counties. as he is belly up spread eagle on my white linen couch.

He knows how to work a crowd. Whether it be for a food scrap, a ride in the back of the farm equipment, or a lap to scratch the velvet ears until the eyes roll back into a hibernating slumber.

Jekyll is the pup you trust with everyone, implicitly. He never takes advantage of a life less fortunate. He knows to be respectful to the cat who reminds him every single day that canine cowers to feline.

He is intelligent to the point of cynical.

He is on post, at all times. There is no rest, no day-off, no time to let your guard down.

He is curious to the point of careless. He can wander. It can drive you batty with worry. He takes off because,,, well,, he cannot control the urge. It is the calling of his most primal part of the ancestors soul that whispers him to go see what that smell is.." It calls him in invisible droplets of mysterious lures to far off lands with magical beasts awaiting his discovery. It puts his life in peril and causes me endless days of tracking across fields to retrieve my hound refusing to acknowledge, or pause, to heed my pleas to return home. He will not and cannot come home until he can no longer carry his solid paunch forward. He only stops when he can no longer track forward, which almost inevitably leaves him sitting pig-style panting in a field of the neighbors. Husband in Gator for beagle retrieval required.

Jekyll will be fine without me. He has that "jena se qua". It is star quality charm set among irresistable ears, a NASA Hubel nose, spotted caramel coat, and a face that reminds you to surrender your heart, soul, and sandwich. He can entice you to not be mad or disappointed, and not ever think you are in charge of a soul destined to wander the unchartered, unnavigable, and yet undiscovered wrinkles in the landscape I only see a fragment of the detail he does.

What does your pet bring to your life?

How do they enlighten you to see the world differently?

And, what plans have you made to insure they live beyond you?

Love you Jek-Jek. mom.. and dad.

To learn more about my journey please follow this blog. To learn more about pets and pet care please follow my YouTube channel. If you have a pet question, are a pet lover, or think that you would like to contribute to helping other pets across all socio-economic borders please join us at It is a free question and answer site dedicated to educating, empowering and inspiring pet people the world over.

I am also on Twitter @FreePetAdvice,, and punching a clock for the shear love of wet noses everyday at Jarrettsville Vet,, the greatest little vet clinic in the solar system.  And for the best Facebook page take a lookie over here at Jarrettsville Vet Facebook.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Euthanasia v. Standard Of Care

If you have to sit there and defend your "standard of care" while you push pink juice up a treatable pets vein you probably made the wrong decision.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Losing "Them" In The Blame Game. Why The Vet Video Rant Was Lost On The Vet Profession Blow Back.

It seems very disturbing that all of the energy of the video from the veterinary side has been focused on;

1. Defending why everything on the emergency side costs what it does. (I would probably use the words "so expensive" but I have to tread lightly and try to not incite any more riots).

2. On me. The attacks have been centered on me. Bullying, lashing out and hurting me. It has been a hard, painful personal attack.

Even between those two the point has been lost. The point of my outrage AND outcry for change was the pet. The patient. No one is talking about them EXCEPT the people who feel betrayed and let down by the veterinary profession (and me?).

This is not about YOU IT IS ABOUT THEM. The center of our profesion. The reason for our diploma. The one being we get up every day, work so hard, and make so little return on our financial, emotional, and deggedly tired investment.. our patients.

This, all of this, is just about them.

Where did they go in the arguing? The defending? The bullying?

They went where they always go.. into the shadows to be at the mercy of the world.

Stop pointing fingers, placing blame, and let's start every single discussion with

Not just "how do we do it better?"

But with real, meaningful,  tangible change.

The change is coming. If I have to carry it on my back alone, it will come. For you see, I am never alone. I am still that little girl in the woods seeking companionship in a world I don't quite fit into. I have the animals, my family, and now a ground swell of support from a place I never knew needed me.. the whole pet loving world.

It isn't that hard to find the compassion. Every single one of the vets who spoke out has it.. It just needs to be the first voice they listen to.. Let it guide you. Move mountains, be brave, and remember every one before us did it with less. Less fancy equipment, less skill, less overhead, and just as much compassionate dedication.

I am here. As I always have been. Trying to keep on trying. Never giving up on a case I think I might just be able to influence in a more positive direction. I hope the rest of the vet community, and pet loving world joins me.

As always, "if you ever have to chose between being right and being kind, chose kind".


Friday, September 8, 2017

Mobbing and Lobbying. The Backlash Of A Voice For Your Patients

There is no secret I harbor about which side I play for. If there are sides to be chosen and I am forced to choose one I have to play for the side that is my patients. I have to raise awareness, speak out unafraid and pick a side. I find it increasingly difficult to believe I am on a solo team. It may feel like it right now, but I know I am not alone.

The great divide between able and infeasible grows day after day. It grows in our economic landscape and it grows in veterinary medicine access. The great divide seems to also be growing between veterinarians and pet parents. We are uniquely intimately dependent on each other and yet the contention and animosity grows. I am not saying this to incite another social media riot, I am saying this because that is what I hear every single day in practice. It is why there are viral videos and thousands of broken hearted pet parents posting their stories beneath it.

We cannot go one day in the clinic without a phone call from a pet parent who is desperate for help. Now I know the knee jerk reaction is to place blame squarely back on the phone caller, BUT, I also know there is a pet stuck in the middle and I have an ethical obligation to the seat of my soul to not abandon caring for or about them. I feel as though I am alone right now in my profession because I can no longer stand by and watch these desperate people look hopelessly for help because it is less profitable to care. Let's be honest now, that is exactly what we are talking about, profitability and compassion.

The bond between our love for our pets and our spending on our pets also increases on an equal trajectory upward slope. It is so evident in our profession that veterinary clinics are being swallowed up by corporate practices at an alarming rate. No one outside of the corporate stake holders and retiring cashing-out veterinarians likes this change. No veterinarian wants to feel like they now work for a corporate decision making agenda and have lost or surrendered their ability to practice their own type of medicine with their own style for their own pateints. It is one of the many significant influences shaping the way we practice and the care our clients receive. Corporations are buying up clinics for one reason alone: Profit. Veterinary clinics, especially in their hands, are very profitable. On the flip side, veterinarians want to tell us that pet care is expensive because it is expensive to outfit a hospital with all of its needed equipment, personnel and such. At an individual level veterinarians want to be paid commensurate to their time and expertise. Veterinarians will also share that the profession is over run with over tired, over worked, professionals shouldering a huge burden of debt. The situation is tenuous and complex. At the epicenter sits our too often immensely needy, and, too often on the brink of near death, patients.

There is always a victim in life, it is the nature of our internal beast. Pets, the very reason we all went into veterinary medicine, too often end up the victim of a profession pushing the boundaries of affordability daily, a population struggling more to make ends meet, and a society who places greater importance on pets as a necessity in a complete family unit. There is raw, deep emotion on all sides and an ever widening gap in affordable prices to meet the gap in the middle. That is the reality. The blame, the finger pointing, the judgement all builds the resentment to a boiling point where an animal is left with the seemingly only feasible option of "economic euthanasia." A term so vile I cannot even permit it to be considered a "treatment". The idea of euthanasia being used anywhere as a suggested option outside of "end of life" is disturbing to me. I only hope it is something the profession will also at some point embrace.

We are at the place where clients frequently tell me they will not ever get another pet. It  is simply too expensive for them to bear the financial and emotional burden of. Can you imagine anything worse being said? The joy and benefits to our lives no longer outweigh the financial obligation. Beyond the emotional toll of losing a loved one people don't want another pet because of the financial emotional turmoil it places on them. How did this happen? Did we all got too emotionally invested to make practical economic decisions? The longer I practice medicine the more deeply I understand this role I have to accept when I help my clients through an end of life decision. I am, as I am asked to be, emotionally invested in their pets and their lives. It is the single most difficult hat to wear and the single most treasured moments I share professionally.

I am going to post some of the gut wrenching stories I am being flooded with. I am once again asking myself to stay strong enough to not surrender to the mountain of tragedy around me and the chasm of abysmal indifference below. I am at the limits of what I can do and at a precipice to either giving up on a quest I cannot abandon or dying alone in a profession of angry people defending their fear of being called out. The proof I will remind everyone is not in how we justify whatever we do, for in the end you only take yourself to the grave, it is in the seeds we sow, the change we inspire and the generosity to our fellow beings.

Please ask yourself what your role is? Ask yourself if you are capable of the emotional investment and ask yourself how imperative it is to never let one pet parent leave one exam room feeling hopeless, lost and unable to protect or provide the pet they love.

I posted a Facebook video rant on how ridiculous it is for most of my clients to find affordable care after hours. It has been met by millions of viewers, thousands of people supporting my posting it, and a huge backlash of angry, cruel, venomous veterinarians and veterinary personnel. The anger is palpable, real, and absolute cyberbullying. I was determined to help the pets in need before and now I am humbled and grateful for the pet parents, rescuers, and pet lovers globally and questioning why the vets are so angry if they are so confident that they are the victims of the outpouring of dismay.

Peace, love and compassion to you all. Krista

Links to Facebook posts here; 

Monday, September 4, 2017

The Things Only We Know. A Moms Tribute To Her Four Legged Kids, and Why We Need To Plan For Their Life Beyond Our Own.

It happens too often. One of our clients passes away and the family calls to inquire if the departed family pet can seek a home with us...

They, the clients, in almost all cases, have never asked, nor planned for their pets to be placed with us after their passing. Rather, these pets, our patients, find us because a relative has inquired about medical records, or advice for placement, when no one else in the family can, or more fittingly, WILL, take them. That,, and we are nosey... we know what happens in our little town, and we know when a client has a pet in need. We, almost advertise it. If you want to be selling yourself as the family doctor you better also live by it.

I always want to ask the caller if the dearly departed made provisions for their left behind dearly beloved? Or, if the family just took the money and dumped the tangible ties to the life they were bequeithed from. I am a cynic. It is compulsory when you are asked to take the collateral damage to the settled estate after the inheritance checks are cashed.

Who does that? Who dumps the pet of their family member after they pass? How do you accept anything from your departed loved one and leave behind the one who loved them while you were off fulfilling your own life destiny?

I don't know.. but I am not a realist,, we already know that.

In the last year my husband has laid to rest our dad, mom and brother. All this dying has gotten me thinking about getting my things in order. About how my life impacts others, and, how I can both provide second chances to my own pets and the patients I so dearly love.

This is a blog about precipitating second chances. About all of the life that is left to live when the whole cast of characters who make up your screen play exit stage left. This is about resilience and secrets. The secrets that I, as their mom, only know about. I want the world, the people I leave behind to know who they are, and how much they have to give back.

I am writing a series of blogs about the little things only a few people know about my kids. My kids are my four legged housemates, two pigs, two dogs, and four cats. They are each their own being, their own person. They each bring a different kind of joy with their own individual personalities, interests, and needs. They are who I know them to be, and more than I may ever recognize. They have feelings, insecurities, interests, love and kindness..

Maybe my life didn't really amount to much? Maybe a career, a home, a spouse, and a family made up of souls who don't carry a passport or a social security number isn't what others consider a legacy to be proud of? Maybe the lives I leave behind don't mean a whole lot to anyone else? But maybe they were all I ever really had? Maybe I was blessed beyond measure of commas on bank statements and retirement accounts? And, maybe the secrets we shared are just as important as the lives the rest of you lead?

Here are the things a mom knows about her kids. The things a mom treasures to provide meaning to a life I wrote without a guidebook to follow.

Pigs,, my life story should always start with a pig.. You need to be a little open to out of the ordinary, but, once you see the love and beauty under a bristle coat, you know what kindness and unconditional love looks like. The pigs are my daily reminder to think beyond yourself, look for beauty outside of the obvious places, and always be open to growing, evolving, and questioning.

Wilbur; trouble meets firecracker; curious like a raccoon, gentle like a bull.

Wilbur, nose in the hand that feeds him AND always happy to meet another hand.
Wilbur was found as a stray in a field. Young, intact, and on the run. He was taken to the shelter and exhausted his "hold period." He was cute, and they had room. I was ready to find him and he was ready to get out of the incessant dog barking hysteria he was cement block housed in. He is curious to see your hands. You must always present them upon introduction for inspection. Every knew arrival is a treat assumption that takes a few moments for him to come down from the disappointment of another empty promise. After a quick forgiveness moment he will roll over and let you rub his belly, or ears, for hours. If you insist he will succumb forever.

 Charlotte, all class and peaceful spirit. She is everything I will spend a lifetime trying to become.

Charlotte was a family pet. She grew up in a home and knew only love. I knew the moment I saw her that the rest of her days would be with me. She has more genuine adoration than almost any human being I have ever known. She is nothing short of perfection, she just came in the form of a species we don't tend to typify as such. All, yes, all, she wants is your time. There should be shrines erected in her honor.

Wren,,,  humble, sweet and thankful. She never forgets where she came from or how lucky she is to be where she is.
Wren, always upside down to show you where her heart lies.

Always bold enough to take the best seat in the house. Not shy, not pretentious, but smart enough to never let an opportunity pass her by.

 The best moments of life hide in the ones we share with few others. For Wren it is a belly rub.

Wren, trust beckons the belly-rub
Wren, the light of my every day,,, the one who chirps a "hello" every time I am near. I always chirp a "Good Morning Wren!" back.. our small banter of acknowledgement that we are here for each other.. always.

The short promenade from the food to the heated rest spot, above the hungry beagle below.

Destination reached... the stove cover is always a warm place to nap, and just a few steps from the food bowl.

 The guardian to each long nights journey. 

And saying "thanks" for every day along the way.

Jitterbug. The master of,, well, everything.

including the dining room table,

and Master of the evil toilet paper empire.

...and most importantly Master of the beagle.

Magpie.. all beauty and a bit of aloofness, just to remind you that she is a glam-girl unfettered and unchained by anybody. I have a lot to learn from her. She takes things on her own terms. Wants to meet everyone, but only accepts a few as worthy of her time or to touch her silkened coat. If she wasn't already so magnificent she would be adorned with an Egyptian gilded showgirl tiara.

Oriole, quiet, shy, fleeting, until she knows you, at which point she will lay her  massive 12 pounds squarely on your abdomen for the entire bedtime sleep.

Oriole, always taking the best seat in the house, if no one is watching.


The beagle. He is a beagle through and through.

In the event of a zombie apocoplyse where you forget to stock up on canned goods all you need to do is grab him. He can find food anywhere. Other planets, desolate deserts, a waste land, no matter.. each environment is his oasis. There is no crumb too small, or rotted organic matter too ripe to discourage or dissuade him. Every moment of his life is lived with the fear of a food shortage at hand. Stock up now, tomorrow it may not be so plentiful. It is a singular mission of a hyper focused olfactory savant.

His ears are made from the silk of the gods. They are hypnotic and an orgasmic tactile trip.
To know him is to always befriend him. He will never forget who you are. If you are kind to him he will greet you with longing puppy dog eyes, lowered ears and a furious low wag tail. It is every single affectionate sign that you are the most important, most loved, and worshiped person ever. You won't know a love like this again. He throws his adoration freely and completely. 

He is on duty. He takes this job seriously. If there were a marine corp for food procurement and guarding of said food he would be the General.

He may chat, wag, bow, and charm the whole crowd, but when its time to pick a seat at the table, or a spot to nap he will take the best seat at the head of the table on the pile of pillows on your side of the bed without shame, hesitation or pause for permission. He has none of these silly traits and no time to begin honing them. He accepts himself as an already perfect package, of which he truly is.

Charlie. The pit bull mix. Rescued from the local shelter when pneumonia was gripping him and his life was bleak and lost. He was too young to be facing the life he had in front of him, and likely dead if I sent him back to the shelter. He came to the clinic to get well at three months old, he went home with me that night and stayed forever. He is the quiet one. The one everyone overlooks in the limelight of his little brother. He sleeps like a mouse when he is chilly. Balled up as tight as he can wind himself. Tail over his face as the last bit if heat to be retained in the cold days of slumber.

He only wags when he hunts frogs. It is the only time he will stand straight, stern and focused. 

If he gets too hot he simply runs to the pond and belly dives in for a refresher hot day cool off. He runs down just as excitedly as he runs back up the hill to the house. Muddy face, gaping smiley mouth lolly-gagging tongue the pennant to fly his victory lap,

Like too many men he has a vision of himself as the bad-ass. Every new dog meet and greet starts with an erect head, thrusted face forward, raised hunches and a low saxophone solo swaying off screen to the opening dance scene of West Side Story,,, if he is a Shark the rest of the world is a Jet. "Go ahead, Make his day!"

He will never take advantage of you. He won't sneak into a couch, or chair without an invitation and he won't break your heart in the attempt at a score. Perhaps it is because he simply lacks the intelligence to do so, I prefer to think it is because he loves the affection and adoration that I have for him more than the immediate prize.

These are the secrets of my kids,,, the four legged, furry dependents who defined my time here and the time I treasured most. Should you ever be lucky enough to know them, OR, even lucky enough to share a life with them, these are the secrets they taught me.

What do you know about your pets that is your secret? How could you convince the world to give them a second chance beyond the limits of your life?  Have you planned for it? Provisioned for it? If you are a client of Jarrettsville Vet we want to help you do just this. Email me, stop by and chat, and please share your thoughts about your pets with your family. AND, most imperatively, DON'T think they cannot survive without you. They can, and they will. And they can be happy without you.

To learn more about my journey please follow this blog. To learn more about pets and pet care please follow my YouTube channel. If you have a pet question, are a pet lover, or think that you would like to contribute to helping other pets across all socio-economic borders please join us at It is a free question and answer site dedicated to educating, empowering and inspiring pet people the world over.

I am also on Twitter @FreePetAdvice,, and punching a clock for the shear love of wet noses everyday at Jarrettsville Vet,, the greatest little vet clinic in the solar system.  And for the best Facebook page take a lookie over here at Jarrettsville Vet Facebook.