On the Job: Kris Tajchman

On the Job: Kris Tajchman

May 01, 2007

Kris Tajchman, Practice Manager and VSPN Member, West Ridge Animal Hospital, Topeka, Kan.
It's easy to feel warm and fuzzy over a furry feline or pooch, but other pets can inspire the same devotion from their owners. This is a lesson that my team learned after an uncommon encounter.

A woman called our clinic to ask about euthanizing Beta Star, her Beta fish. We briefly discussed the details of the procedure, and the technician communicated the quality of life and cost information to the owner. Content with our response, the owner scheduled the procedure.

Once the technician hung up the phone, several of us joked the owner should flush the fish instead of bothering us for an appointment. We couldn't believe she felt so strongly about the physical suffering of her fish.

When the owner and her mentally challenged daughter arrived at our practice the next day, they were very sad. The owner shared how she and her daughter had cried because other practices laughed at them. She thanked us for taking the time to help them say goodbye to their pet.

We cried with them when Beta Star died. The technician presented the family with a small box with Beta Star's name on it to bury their beloved fish at home. In one last act of kindness, our team acknowledged their loss with a sympathy card.

Not only has this event served as a reminder of the love between pets and their owners, but it also demonstrates that there are countless opportunities every day to affect the lives of our clients and their pets if we perform every service with compassion.