Quite a change of scenery…….
after leaving the urban jungle of downtown Toronto, I woke up to this view:
Checking in at the clubhouse of the Canadian Alpine Club in Canmore in Alberta and changing- very much to my wife’s dismay – from a junior suite to a couple of mattresses in the loft with shared kitchen and bathroom, I had arranged to meet Karen McMillan, a Canadian colleague, at a local veterinary clinic.
A bad (?) habit of me ( but also of a lot of other vets….) is that I love to visit colleagues in completely different parts of the world to compare notes and “to talk shop”.
Karen – who I had never met before – very kindly agreed to open the doors to her place in the heart of the Rocky Mountains and to show me around.
The first thought that I had while standing in front of her clinic was, that this was possible the most picturesque set up of a veterinary clinic I had ever seen…..
Resting in a peaceful valley at the foot of the mountains, built with a solid timber structure it was just beautiful.
This impression was enhanced when I entered the waiting room
featuring a wood burner and genuine blockhouse feel.
With the scales in the center (and not a corner) of the waiting room equiped with a jar of treats, dogs were pulling their owners through the door to be weight and to be greeted by the staff.
Karen who built this place with her colleague Sylvia McAllister some 25 years ago, took herself over an hour to show me every detail of the clinic and I have to say that I loved it !….
The consulting rooms were functional, but had a warm and friendly ambiance.
there was a separate room for rehabilitation consultations (which is one of Karen’s specialities) , a large preparation and in-patient area
day care facilities for dogs and cats and a dedicated operating theatre.
What surprised me was the small stock of anti-parasitics held at the clinic.
“Well” said Karen “we have ticks, but we don’t have any fleas here!'”…..
This very much matched what I had heard from my Scandinavian colleagues as well.
Building design (more tiled and wooden floors) and the colder temperatures make the difference.
Something else that was different, was that Karen rarely saw cats with fighting injuries.
“All the cats live indoors, because if they go outside they get eaten – usually by coyotes!”
OMG…..I suddenly realised how lucky our British feline friends are……
But there were also a lot of similarities with the medication we use, the anesthetic protocols and with our surgical workload.
It was really hard to leave this inspiring place and this friendly team of colleagues and I thought how lucky pet owners in Canmore are, to have veterinarians like Karen and her team.
The other thought was, that I could have done so many things differently and better, if I would have visited this place earlier….
One never seizes to learn…