Oh, hullooooooo! Everytime I think of the phrase “Oh Hello”, I hear the voice of Robin Williams as Mrs Doubtfire. Remember the scene where he dunks his face into the meringue pie, so as not to be discovered by whomever was at the door late at night. I think it was his ex-wife? Been a long time since I watched that movie. May have to watch it again soon.
It has also been a long time since I was able to write to you all, and so I say again, Hello! What a crazy couple of weeks it has been! As you know, Bear Creek Animal Clinic has had the honor of joining forces with Dr. Nile McGhie. She started with us on March 14 and has made a great impression on the staff, the clients that have met her, as well as the pets that have come to see her.
And you know how the only thing that never changes is change. No sooner had Dr. Nile gotten her feet wet, then we learned that my own favorite Dr. Deb was leaving. I asked her to take me with her, but she already has three dogs and a cat at home. Moving into a much smaller house in the middle of the Redwoods of central (or is it northern?) California really did not have much appeal to me. I am more of a city cat. Though I love to watch the sun cross the sky, and the trees and flowers bud and bloom, I need people and activity around me. She and I decided it was best for me to stay here, keep an eye on things.
Then last week we had the Bear Creek Animal Clinic open house. It was a chance for all of our clients to come and meet Dr. Nile, visit with Dr. Alice and the rest of the team, and take a tour of the clinic. Everyone had a great time. There was much laughter and talking. Eating, drinking, and merry-making. And lots of prizes! Victoria really hit that one out of the park. There were samples of pet care products and toys given out as door prizes. About every 10 minutes she drew out a ticket and read off the number. That lucky number holder got to pick a prize from the plethora available. There was also a fishbowl with other tickets, for the raffle drawing. I was quite disappointed, I must admit, when I discovered there were no actual fish. The raffle drawing took place Monday. Charlie won a $50 gift card to Caldera Brewing. Steve won a $25 gift card to Home Depot and Karen won $25 to Target. Jane won a huge basket full of different big dog items, like flea and tick protection, heartworm preventative, a throwing disc, balls, chews, a neckerchief, a stainless steel bowl, and various other things. Phoebe and Jim each won gift cards to Coming Attractions theaters, with candy. Becky and Linda each won a Dutch Bros cup with gift cards to Dutch Bros as well as a certificate for a free exam and discounts on services at that exam. It was a very successful evening!
One of the highlights of the evening was getting the opportunity to hear more about Dr. Nile’s philosophy of care. I found out that preventive care is really, really important to her. I wondered why. If I didn’t live here, I would hate having to come in just for a physical every year. My father always lived by the philosophy that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. So why go to the doctor if you’re not sick? What Dr. Nile had to say made a lot of sense to me. She said that preventing disease is easier (and less expensive) than treating it. “Early detection provides the best chances for successful treatment and/or management of disease.” That sounds reasonable. Things start aching or creaking or not working like they used to, but the change is gradual enough that we don’t really think about it too much. When you visit the doctor and start listing the things that have changed over the course of the last months to year, the doctor can put the outline together and start to see the picture taking shape. Like she said, early detection leads to more successful treatment or management of a given condition. Maybe a nutritional supplement or change in diet is all that is needed to counter a potentially problematic change.
Another thing she discussed is her philosophy of detailed problem assessment. She really likes to probe into the whys and wherefores of a given issue or set of issues. Sometimes that will require diagnostic testing or imaging in addition to the physical examination. The tests and imaging help her fill in the outline and add details to the overall picture. She is adamant though that tests be performed as necessary and for diagnostic information, not just “because we can”. If she recommends a test or study, it is because she is confident that it, as well as partnering with the appropriate specialists, will guide her to the answer and help her more effectively treat your pet.
I also learned Dr. Nile loves working with all kinds of animals, and I have surmised she is particularly fond of felines. Who wouldn’t be? She talked about her future plans to develop a backyard poultry service, to better serve the Valley’s backyard farms. She is focused on husbandry guidance for now, but over the course of the next few months will be expanding into caring for sick animals as well.
I don’t know if you remember, but Dr. Nile also likes to hike and bike and camp and be outdoors. She rides her bike to work most days, especially when the weather cooperates but even on days when it doesn’t. She shares her love of biking with my girl Cindi. They, along with their husbands, rode in the Pear Blossom Pedals and Pears event last Saturday. To hear them talk, it was a spectacular experience. Sunny, not too warm, beautiful hills and dales, orchards and vineyards.
It has been a busy few weeks, but I am happy to report that things are moving along quite smoothly. A silver lining to the grey cloud of Dr. Deb leaving is that Dr. Alice has rejoined us temporarily. It may not be for long, but we will certainly enjoy having her around as long as she can be. I promise to keep you informed of any more changes (though I don’t anticipate any for a bit, now). And of course, should you have any questions or would like to meet Dr. Nile, you can certainly call or come by the clinic. My girls will get you taken care of straightaway!