Can I Be Your Mentor?

Have you ever had a mentor? Most of us have in one way or another. I’ve had many. When I showed horses growing up, I learned from a variety a people, formally and informally. Authors of books and reading material were also mentors. I read a lot about training and horse care. I developed an affinity for people I had never met in this way. I followed one horse trainer’s articles and books religiously.

In my career, I learned to listen to colleagues with more or different experience. I still do. On line, I am an active member of Veterinary Information Network for advice, information, and support. I also have a circle of friends that are veterinarians, some local, others not. We learn from each other via email and phone calls.

In business, I learned from my father…mostly by osmosis. My father owned a hardware store for many years. He was a man of integrity and honesty. He did the work and he got paid for it. He did not cut corners to save a buck when repairing a lawn mower. He provided a service for his customers as I do. I will never charge for services that I did not perform to the best of my ability. I will always be honest about procedures and expectations. Frankly, sometimes it would be easier to lie, or fabricate something to tell pet owners. I don’t have the crystal ball that my clients wish I did.

With animals, I have had many mentors. In Labradors, I have learned from long time breeders, other competitors, and trainers. In some cases I learned what I did NOT want to be! I think that counts. I have never been afraid to ask questions. I also have read hundreds of books……I’m not kidding. I still have stacks of them yet to read. Again, there are some authors that I consider truly gifted, both in knowledge and their ability to  communicate that knowledge.

My venture into the cat show world has been a real lesson in mentoring. In this world, there are actual formalized mentoring systems to help newbies! Don’t you wish it was like that everywhere? It expedites the learning process exponentially.

In my career as a veterinarian I have served, and continue to do so, as a mentor to others in the field with less experience. I have seen and treated a lot of pets in thirty years. In general, I have worked with animals for, gasp, forty years. Besides being a veterinarian, I have worked as a stable hand, kennel help, petting zoo employee, and animal research facility janitor. I shoveled a lot of s&%@. In my obsessed hobby life, I have shown, bred, and trained dogs and horses, shown cats, and lived with all three species for my entire life. I think this qualifies me as a mentor in pet ownership.

In summary, pet mentorship is how I look at my job. I want to help you be a better pet owner. I want to help you have a better bond and  a healthier pet. I’m experienced and willing. Just give me a chance.