Earlier this week, we saw a post online with one of the most wonderful letters we’ve seen in a long, long time. With the permission of all involved, we have reprinted it here in the hopes it will lighten your heart as well. We extend our heartfelt thanks to the veterinarian who shared it, and the wonderful client who took the time to write something so amazing for all of us:
After posting an article about veterinarians and suicide risk, an old friend of mine from college sent me this letter. I had to share it with all of you. May her perspective help you on those tough days, and in those moments of feeling like you aren’t making a difference. You are. Constantly. For so many people and animals…you just don’t realize it.
“So I’ve been thinking about your posts about vet stress for days, and I laid awake last night for hours, turning over and over the things I want to say to you and the rest of your amazing professional cohorts.
Our 9 month old puppy died of hydrocephalus when I was 8 weeks pregnant (he was a rescue from the pound and missed his early shots because he was found homeless). I think I thanked the vet, but the whole incident was tinged with so much shock and grief and horrible bureaucracy that required the removal of his head for rabies testing and then the lab accidentally destroyed it although they told us it would be returned for burial…what a sad, sad mess. Amidst all that, I didn’t convey all the gratitude I meant, and I feel terrible about it still.
Now my daughter is 2.5, and last evening out in our yard she heard a kid laughing out on a walk and said, “Somebody is having fun without me! ” I told her, without thinking, that at any given moment that is happening all over the world. Upon reflection, that sounded a little sad. Then I thought about you, and put it into a different perspective.
At any given moment, some pet is frolicking around because of you. Because you gave them their early vaccination. Because you saved them after an accident. Because you caught their kidney failure in time. Because of a thousand things you and other vets did. Hard things that tugged your heart and worried you and scared you, you did them anyway because you’re a hero.
Maybe an unsung hero, because people forget to tell you to your beautiful face how much you impact their lives, but certainly your work resonates down the months and years we all enjoy with our beloved animal buddies. I love you, across all the time and distance that separates us. I think of you all the time and wish you well and never tell you. I think maybe being a vet is a little bit like being a mom, in that your work is so crucial it becomes taken for granted that you’ll just give and give of yourself, always. That’s not fair.
I hope you can find some time to replenish your inspiring, amazing spirit after all your tough days making this a better world. Truly this planet would not be as sunny a place without you, specifically, and also without vets in general. Thank you so much. For every client you have who doesn’t acknowledge your worth and your guts and your hard hard work, I want to apologize.
I hope it gives you a tiny slice of gratification to think that at any given moment, your work is the reason why some happy animal gets to make their person laugh, and even if you can’t hear it, it’s a form of joy that sprung directly from you and your wonderful, passionate, heartfelt existence. Feel free to share this with your coworkers. You all freakin’ rock.”