I started my veterinary career with the viewpoint that "Dammit, Jim, I'm a doctor", not a pet-store operator… or a boarding kennel operator, or any other non-doctor type thing. After all, I've got way too many hats to wear just as the doctor: pediatrician, obstetrician, dentist, radiologist, surgeon, pharmacist, internist, dermatologist, etc. Then, as a practice owner I'm in charge of inventory control, personnel, marketing, legal, accounting, capital improvements, and blah, blah, blah.
Why would I want to worry about boarding so that I can go to work on every holiday at least twice a day? Why would I want to clutter up my reception area with leashes and chew bones? Why would I want to devote a ton of space and time and capital to stocking prescription diets and Science Diet?
Well, I wouldn't want to. None of those things are money-makers. They don't have much to do with being a doctor. They aren't fun. So why do I DO all those things? They are services that my clients asked for repeatedly, and the clients pay the bills. The customer may not always be right, but he is always the customer. I'm here for them, not the other way around. And it's nice to see them come in when their pet is not sick.
Every now and then a request is made that we can't really make fly. Grooming services, for instance. It's hard to keep a reliable person, it makes a lot of traffic and takes up space that we need for patient handling. I tried it for a couple of years, but I much prefer to refer people to a groomer that we have confidence in.
Once in a while, someone asks where the nearest pet cemetery is. When they find out it's a hundred miles away, they say, "Man, you ought to start a pet cemetery here." Yeah, Dr. Mobley's pet hospital and cemetery. That is what they call a "mixed message". I don't think so. Nothing like walking through all the little tombstones on your way in and out of the clinic.
Then there's the request that brought these thoughts to mind. Not long ago, I posted about a dog who had eaten rat poison (or they thought he had). Today I had an email from a company that makes and sells rat poison… in England. They read my blog, and thought that a link from my site to theirs would be a good fit. "Hey, kids, be super careful and never let your pets eat rat poison… and here's where you can buy some!"
I guess when you're in the business, you have the viewpoint that everybody can benefit from your product. Hey, that's the way I feel about my product: a healthy pet with an enthusiastic owner.