Thank you for your patience, practicing veterinary medicine during a pandemic

Dr Sarah Boston
6 min readMar 27, 2021

I recently read this tweet from a stand up comedian I follow:

“Your dog is ready, now we will take an hour to bring her out to you” all vets

And it upset me in the way that Twitter is designed to. It got under my skin and it made me want to rage-tweet a response (which I did). But that still wasn’t enough for me to let this go because I sense that through this pandemic, the general public doesn’t understand what we have been going through as a profession. The only thank you I have heard from a public figure was from former First Lady Laura Bush, who graciously included us on the list of essential workers that she thanked during the star studded One World: Together at Home online Pandemic-alooza on April 19th, 2020 when we naively thought that this was going to just be a few months of this and that we were all in this together. It was notable then and it still is now, as veterinarians struggle to care for animals during “these extraordinary times”.

The reason that this snotty tweet, which was really meant as a joke, got to me is that is showed no compassion or understanding for how hard it is to practice veterinary medicine right now. We are invisible until someone needs our services, and then many of our clients are quite grumpy about the process. (#notallclients) Many clients have complained about how inconvenient this is for them, how they can’t believe that they can’t come into the clinic, and that our safety protocols are “ridiculous”. Some have taken to blasting the clinic and veterinarian with one-star reviews because they weren’t let inside, “even though they were wearing a mask”. I have seen grown men bang on our glass doors, screaming and demanding to be let in. We have clients that have lied about their potential COVID exposure, potential clinical signs and travel, and the fact that they were waiting for their COVID test results (spoiler alert, they were positive). We have clients that are impatient and rude with our staff asking them COVID screening questions, and clients that have refused to distance or wear their masks when we bring their pets out to them. Many vets have made exceptions and allowed clients inside for euthanasia, as we can’t imagine not allowing owners to be with their pets to say goodbye. (Even though human…

Dr Sarah Boston

Dr Sarah Boston is a veterinary surgical oncologist,author(Lucky Dog,House of Anansi Press),cancer survivor & comedian @drsarahboston