Ever wondered what my dream is for the veterinary profession? To end the fear, anxiety, and stress we’ve been contributing to in the lives of our patients for way too long.
That dream was born when I heard famed veterinary behaviorist Dr. Karen Overall tell a vet conference audience, “Fear is the worst thing a social species can experience and it causes permanent damage to the brain.”
She went on to talk about signs of anxiety and fear in dogs, and I realized I only recognized about half of them. Worse, even of those I had recognized, seeing them hadn’t caused me to change the way I was acting toward frightened pets during my decades of practice.
I had to face the truth: Although I had the best of intentions, mostly just wanting to get my patients the medical care they needed as quickly as possible so they could leave my hospital, I had actually been causing repeated physiological damage to my previous patients. Before I left Dr. Overall’s lecture room that day, my heart, mind and focus were changed. The Fear Free dream was born.
If you’re a veterinarian, a veterinary team member, or a pet owner, this video can help you see the shape of my dream, and how it’s quickly coming true. Nothing has mattered this much to me in my professional life… nothing. I hope when you watch, you’ll understand why.