Saturday, July 23, 2011

Long-lasting Relationships

There was a celebration today at my vet's clinic. Finally, after over a year of renovation, the new clinic space was ready for dedication and an open house. They have come a very, very long way from working in a mobile clinic because their original building was flooded to the tune of 4 feet of water, to turning a 2 year-vacant bank building into a state-of-the-art clinic. Today was the grand opening celebration and open house.

Now, I don't go to the vet much anymore. Instead of having to go every month or 6 weeks, I skipped a whole 18 months. Val had to remind me the girls need check ups. I like this whole healthy cat business where I don't have to worry about them picking anything up because they don't go outside. The worst things are Pilchard's mats and the occasional small cut on Mija's nose where Pilchard got mean. But Val insisted I come by and see the clinic so I did.

It's amazing. They kept the roof design which was one of skylights and turned the bank into a wonderfully inviting clinic. The walls are yellow and green, very complimentary. They have new equipment, digital x-rays and lab equipment, that means more things can be done in house. Instead of having to call you with x-rays, they have x-rays in 5 minutes. They have twice as much space. Every doctor has a spot for their reference books and the ability to log onto the Internet and do research while the patient is around.

There are some things that aren't completely finished. The basement is still a work in progress. They used to be able to take boarders; I boarded both Shakespeare and Betsy when I was going to be gone and they needed extra care. That's in the works. They are also considering turning what was one of the drive-through windows into a drive-through dispensary. You'd call in your pet's script and, if your pet didn't need to be seen, you could just drive through to pick up their meds. Only one other clinic in DuPage County offers that.

The building is full of natural light and that's one of the things that struck me most. Natural light is always more positive than artificial. It makes the space seem larger than it is and not claustrophobic at all.  

What really struck me was walking in the door and seeing familiar faces and having those faces say, "Oh my god! Look who's here!" I don't remember when I've been hugged so much, genuine hugs of people who know you and are glad you're visiting.

I have always liked these people. I've been coming to this clinic since Shakespeare was a kitten, that's going on 25-26 years. There is a lot to be said for having healthy pets, but I do miss knowing how everyone is and what's going on with them.

It's not often, anymore, that you establish long-term relationships with people who provide service. We are such a mobile society that we don't stay in one place long enough for the vet or the hair salon or the mechanic or the gal at the grocery get to know us. But there is a lot of value in knowing people, knowing businesses.

So, I raise a glass in toast to a new location and a new era for Animal Medical Clinic. Thanks, Val, for contacting me and "ordering" me to come.

Beverage:  Water


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