What a year!
It seems that history will confine 2020 to being remembered as a defining year in many ways, for better or for worse! Our world has been changed forever and we have had to change our behaviours and the way we interact socially and even the way businesses operate and how we all work….often from home. Meanwhile our pets all just assume that we love them so much that many of us stopped going out so often just so we could spend more time with them! And of course we do love them!
Looking back on this year it seems to unfortunately have been dominated by the effects of the covid pandemic. Holidays cancelled, weddings postponed, final year school formals rearranged and Victor Harbour gets a reprieve from schoolies week! Of course South Australia survived the year relatively unscathed and with a sense of pulling together and dealing with the pandemic relatively well despite the air remaining thick with the unknown throughout a lot of the year.
Around the world we saw some of the worst and yet some of the best of humanity, as is often the case in times of crisis. And during the year many of us have been lucky enough to have the steady company of our pets who have remained their ever-loving, non-judgmental, playful and entertaining selves.
During the latter part of my career it has become apparent in times of crisis (Foot and Mouth outbreak in Great Britain, the GFC, Covid-19) that our pets really have become for so many people, part of the family. They haven’t been neglected during these times, in fact quite the opposite, and vets have tended to become busier than usual as a result.
At the end of March the Gawler Animal Hospital team SPLIT into two teams and staff worked long and hard with continual ‘clean downs’ between shifts on top of our regular cleaning required to maintain hospital status. I couldn’t have been prouder of our staff for the way they responded to the changes and indeed how hard they have continued to work throughout the year. After returning to one team and our regular shifts, the way in which consultations have needed to be performed have been very different and constantly changing depending on the level of restrictions in the community. Running back and forth from the carpark has been tiring work and not being able to speak to people face to face has made things harder, as well as just missing out on the general chit chat and banter that we love with our wonderful clients. Honestly, everyone has had various struggles and we are just so grateful to have been allowed to continue to care for pets, making them better when sick or injured, and to keep doing what we love so much.
One other significant change for us toward the end of this year was the retirement of Dr Dave MacPhail after many years of dedication to building Gawler Animal Hospital into the great place it has become for pets, owners and staff.
So it feels like this year we were all in a big canoe cruising down a river that suddenly became rapids smattered amongst boulders that eventually sent us over a big waterfall ……..onto a serene lake, calm and quiet, cool and peaceful, a lake fondly know as 2021. Hmmm…not sure that’s going to be the case.
But however your 2020 looked we want to say thanks for your patience as we treated our patients. Thanks for allowing us to continue to care for your pets and we hope that 2021 is indeed a year of relative peace and enjoyment for you. Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and hope you get some time to relax and enjoy time with your pets and spoil them ….with pats and cuddles (but not the Christmas ham!)
Dr Steve Crouch