The downer today was finding out that a long-time client has terminal cancer. I went to visit her in the nursing home and she really didn’t recognize me. We talked for a while and she finally associated me with her dog. Though she didn’t really remember me, she talked about the instructions for her dog’s medicine (now being cared for by her grandson). "I give it at six and six, every 12 hours." (She was right.) She also wanted to be sure that I had been paid (I had). I thought we might visit, but between her illness and her medication, it wasn’t much of a visit.
Then I opened my mail and found this nice card. It was from a new client whose dog we had just met last week. In addition to the lovely pre-printed sentiments, she had added a very nice message: "Thanks so much for the prompt and professional way our dog (Penny) and I were treated. She has never in her 5 years been examined so completely. All of you were so very kind."
Of course, everybody loves an "attaboy". This was a little different, though. For one thing, thank heavens her service was prompt on her first visit — we run behind so often. For another, there wasn’t anything particularly wrong with Penny; she was just in for a check-up. We took the same kind of (we hope) complete history that we do on every new patient, and she received the same complete physical exam that we (try to) give everybody.
In other words, we weren’t doing anytyhing we thought was out of the ordinary, but our new client felt it was special. Sometimes we’re getting it right, and that’s nice to hear.