Bearing the brunt of a doctor’s refusal to listen is unavoidable if you want treatment. Either that or you have to break up with that person, that doctor and venture out to find another. Eight months ago, I fired our vet after telling them that they had failed to achieve any health objective at all with our dog Luna. Also, I suggested that they needed to do some emotional housekeeping which was pretty satisfying. The danger in their inability to listen and the danger in their unasked questions was that my dog was going to get sicker and sicker. I was watching it happen like a slow nightmare for her and for me. She was losing weight, vomiting, had never ever had formed stools, had intestines full of gas, was getting lethargic and utterly disinterested in eating, and this was costing us large sums of money with no payback at all.

My dog Luna has a story that I had tried to tell multiple times to several vets before I found a vet who had honed the lost skill of listening to a person’s story. Dr. Carol didn’t summarily dismiss me with Cerenia for nausea, an antibiotic for no reason whatsoever, and a steroid for later just in case the first two things didn’t cause enough confusion and further symptoms to treat on top of the presenting issues. I came to Dr. Carol mid emergency with our dog and she took us in and the first thing she did was to ask me to tell my story. Then she listened, asked questions, and took notes.

Greasy zero calorie pleasantries are not a substitute for listening to another person’s story. The answers are in the narrative. Looking at a person or dog’s patient history and then actively ignoring or minimizing what is said in the office or on the phone is a ginormous insulting mistake. My lived experience and my observations are valuable. Dr. Carol and her staff listen and provide expert care. My heartfelt thanks to her staff and to her for improving the quality of my dog’s life. If you have a story to tell about the health of your dog and want help understanding that story call Dr. Carol and start talking. She’s there to listen and offer excellent guidance.