By Bill Stork, DVM
Above my desk hangs a plaque:
“I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of livestock resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.”
The Veterinarian’s Oath has guided our profession for 150 years.
The thread that binds us as vets is that we get to work with and for people who care deeply about animals. On farms in the production sense, where the better environment and feed we provide, the healthier and more productive the herd. In the companion animal paradigm, we meet all types of people. Regardless who they are Monday through Friday and how they may be perceived at large; as veterinarians, we see them caring for their animals.
We have known…
… the stray lab who would not leave the side of a young boy in a wheelchair, and the owner who tracked grass clippings into the clinic from working odd jobs to pay his bill,
… the terrier who will not rest a wink until every squirrel, rabbit and stray cat is in a tree, a hole, or Dodge County, and who also will not leave the lap of a boy with Autism.
There is a lady nearly eighty years old, long widowed, all the while supported by her daughters, who has defeated three separate cancers. Her cats, Orville and Melvin, need her.
There are the farmers, with skill sets born of necessity - if not survival - who are bound first and foremost by the value of family. They are stewards of this land, unspeakably beautiful, muscular, and productive. Whether tens or hundreds, every dairy farm I have ever set boots on still has cows with names, and men who cry when they die.
As we approach the last Thursday of November we at the Lake Mills Veterinary Clinic are thankful for our patients and clients, many of whom have become friends. We are grateful to be a part of their care. They teach us on a daily basis the inherent good in people, as they care for their animals. Many have inspired us professionally and grown us personally.