Tuesdays with Tony
In case you all missed it, a few weeks ago, everyone here at the clinic up and abandoned me and Teenie for a weekend. Yes, you read that right, they left us all alone to fend for ourselves. Well, not really, they had a kitty-sitter come and feed us and medicate me, but don’t think for a second that I didn’t protest their absence. When they came back, they explained to me that the reason they left was to go on a team-building trip. That’s all well and good, but aren’t Teenie and I part of the team too? Then they explained that they went kayaking and that it involved water and getting wet, so I finally understood why they left us. Team building is such an important aspect to the well-oiled machine that is this clinic. So, this week, I want to talk to you about the people in my clinic that make the gears turn and allow us to come treat your horses every day.
The Office Staff
When you call the clinic during the day you will get the girls in the office. They are the first line of communication between you and the docs. They control the schedule. And let me tell you, sometimes they can be really strict! They keep the docs on point making sure they get to their appointments on time, bill and collect money appropriately, and answer all your questions throughout the day. Furthermore, they keep the financials of the clinic up and running. Without them, the doctors and technicians would be lost. Not to mention they make sure my feeding schedule is set and I receive my insulin daily, as you all know I am extremely demanding when it comes to food. Thankfully, I have them wrapped around my little paw.
Beyond keeping the docs in line, the office staff processes, packages and mails lab work. When we have a horse hospitalized, they will also administer medications as per the docs instructions. Similarly, when you call and request a medication for your horse, they get doctor approval and then get the medication prepared for you to pick up. I have been thinking about getting my own Facebook/Instagram page, but then I am reminded, I don’t have thumbs so making posts would be rather difficult. Nonetheless, Springhill Equine has both Facebook and Instagram which are primarily monitored and run by the office staff. I suppose I could employ one of them to manage my page, but I’ll just take over Springhill’s page when I want to. As you can tell, the office staff is essential to the everyday ins and outs of running the clinic.
This past week was veterinary technician appreciation week. A week really isn’t long enough to show just how much our techs are appreciated. They deserved to be recognized every single day for their efforts. Teenie and I like to show our appreciation by vomiting daily, drooling all over the computer screens, and getting locked into places we are not supposed to be. As you know, whenever my docs are working with your horse, they almost always have a technician with them. This is not only for the safety of my docs but for your safety and your horse’s safety. Our technicians are first and foremost horse people. They are wonderful at reading horse language. This allows them to know what a horse is going to do before they do it. Knowing and understanding horse language allows them to predict when and how a horse is going to react to certain situations. This allows them to keep the docs out of harm’s way.
Beyond horse handling and communication, the technicians provide your horse with love and care as if they were their own horse. They love each and every horse. A major part of the techs job is to be prepared for every appointment. They arrive at the clinic before the docs, they look at the schedule and get everything ready to load on to trucks for the day. When the docs arrive, the techs go over the plan for the day, they check to make sure the truck is stocked and that all equipment is charged and ready to go. When we have horses that are hospitalized, they administer medications and provide treatments to any hospitalized patients. The technicians are the doc’s right hand women. They are always one step ahead of them and always cleaning up after them. In case you didn’t know, the docs can be pretty darn messy. They expect me to clean it up but, I have more important things to do. Thank goodness they have amazing technicians who don’t mind picking up after the docs, and, well, me.
You all know my docs and you know what they do for you and your horses. I want you guys to know a little more about them though. Veterinarians go to school for at least 4 years before they even go to Veterinary School. Veterinary School is also 4 years long. So at the very least they have been through 8 years of school to become veterinarians. All the docs in my practice went on to participate in a year-long internship after veterinary school where they got to practice all they had learned while under the watchful eye of another veterinarian.
When you schedule an appointment with my docs they are giving you and your horse their undivided attention. They look over every aspect of your horse to develop a diagnosis and treatment plan going forward. What you probably don’t know is that even after your appointment is over, they are still thinking about your horse. They will often go home, research, and think about your horse for hours. So, while they may not be with you and your horse, I can promise you, cats honor, they are thinking about you and your horse. They worry, they internalize, and they grieve right along with you every step of the way. And they do it all because they love horses as much as you do.
The Wild Card
Dr. Lacher’s husband, Justin, is the wild card on our team. He does a lot of different things. For example, he pays all the bills and does the bookkeeping so we can keep getting drugs and supplies to use on the horses. If you’ve been to one of my seminars, you’ve seen him running the audio and video equipment. You might have even listened to the podcast he hosts and produces with Dr. Lacher called Straight from the Horse Doctor’s Mouth. Or maybe you’ve read one of the books he’s written about all the crazy horse things that happen around here, called the Adventures of the Horse Doctor’s Husband series. If you’ve watched one of the videos we’ve released, he was behind the scenes making it happen. Justin wears a lot of hats around here, but the most important one is Chief Cat Scratcher. It’s a critical role.
Not to be out done by any of the other team members, the cats, aka myself and Teenie, are an essential part of the Springhill Equine team. We provide hours of entertainment for everyone. We regularly get ourselves into trouble which keeps the team on their toes. Teenie enjoys bathing everyone in her drool and screaming demands for treats daily. I, on the other hand, prefer to keep things a little more lowkey and would rather wander down the street only to have the docs and techs come find me later. Of course, you know yours truly provides you with this weekly blog, but did you know that when you bring your horse to the clinic, I also provide free “CAT” scans of your trailer? When your horse is hospitalized it is up to Teenie and me to keep a close eye on him and alert the docs of any problems. They say they check the cameras at night, but we know they rely on us to keep the horses in line.
Needless to say, the Springhill Equine Team is a group of fine individuals who have been selected carefully. Everyone plays an imperative role in your horse’s care and without each and every one of them, I would surely starve. It is the goal of the Springhill Equine Team to provide care and support to you and your horse, night and day, no matter what.
Until next week,
P.S. If you haven’t been listening to that podcast I mentioned, you can find on the Podcast Page. It’s what all the cool cats are listening to these days!
Tuesdays with Tony is the official blog of Tony the Clinic Cat at Springhill Equine Veterinary Clinic in Newberry, Florida. If you liked this blog, please subscribe below, and share it with your friends on social media! For more information, please call us at (352) 472-1620, visit our website at SpringhillEquine.com, or follow us on Facebook!