On Sunday morning, before leaving for Egypt, Karen was watching a video about veterinary compassion fatigue.
Already? I thought.
After only 25 years?
Fatigue? Sometimes, yes.
I don’t think so.
When we decided to start our own veterinary practice 25 years ago in 1993 we didn’t plan too much detail. But we did know exactly what kind of veterinary practice we wanted. We didn’t bother with a mission statement, as was the fashion then (and perhaps still is), but we had some key ideas: professionalism, friendliness, care, and compassion. And these concepts were to be applied to our patients, their owners as well as our staff.
We scraped together some money and went ahead. Karen was the solitary vet, we employed Debbie and Le-Anne to work as receptionists and I did the management and planning. Debbie, who has incredible business acumen, had found our site on Cogges Hill Road, and was (still is) a good friend. (She now runs the highly successful ‘Shake Shop’ in Witney – best ice creams and shakes in the area. Debbie is not paying me to say this. No, she’s really not!)
The practice consisted of a front desk, a solitary consulting room, a corridor with some cages and an operating theatre. Upstairs lived some people.
Over time the practice grew considerably, and we built 2 extensions. We also took over the flat upstairs.
And now there are 20 of us.
Throughout these past 25 years we stuck to those initial concepts, that commitment. It permeates throughout the practice, it is taken on board by every member of staff, and it continues to serve us well. Our clients notice this.
When Jessica posted news of our 25th anniversary on our Facebook page a few days ago, the response was overwhelming. It made us proud to be a part of this continuing story.
Oh yes, we all went out for a meal to celebrate, and here are some pictures: