I’m not in the housecall business, and generally if people ask if I make them the answer is “no”. But there are a few exceptions. One is a cat that is too old and fractious to be put through the stress of a visit to the vet; his owners are lovely and live just a few blocks down the road. He needs injections occasionally, and takes them much better in the arms of his dad in the kitchen. Another “patient”, is a dog who used to have his nails trimmed by his owner. When the owner died, his wife couldn’t bring herself to take over the job. She called a week before we opened, two months after her husband’s death, to ask if I would mind – it’s safe to say that if she asked me to do her grocery shopping I would have happily agreed, but I certainly wasn’t about to say no to driving a few miles and cutting the nails of a sweet, calm old Lab, and alleviating some stress and sadness for her grieving owner.
I make almost no money whatsoever from these trips: housecall fees are readily waived for brownies or good conversation. But I love doing it, I love being a small town vet who is able to do it; there’s something sweet about being let into someone’s home and being able to help them and their pets so directly.