By: Terry Lackmeyer, My Pet’s Brace Customer Service Representative
As the year comes to a close and we pause to reflect, I’d like to give you a glimpse into the feelings and thoughts of the people who keep the wheels turning, or shall I say “keep the dogs walking” at My Pet’s Brace.
Each one of us realizes we have the privilege of working in a very niche industry. With so few companies making devices for animals, we are aware of the huge responsibility that rests on our shoulders to help these animals. Each dog that comes to us is a new challenge because every dog is different. Dogs may share the same injury, but their anatomy is different, their personality is different, their environment is different, and their owner is different. Each dog is unique, and we strive to treat them as such. Some dogs come to us with unbridled enthusiasm – happy to face new people and places. Those are the easy ones. Others are very frightened and require extra time and a very gentle touch. Some, although few, are aggressive and require not only extra time, but also caution. Others we only know by a leg and a phone call (casts shipped to us from all over the world). We gladly take whatever time is needed to see that each dog has a positive experience with us and their brace. We have had the opportunity to help over 1,500 dogs with custom leg braces and prosthetics this year alone. As you can see, some cases have been truly unique. Nya came to us following a serious accident where both front legs were severely injured. She had the wonderful fortune of being treated by a veterinarian that completed a complicated surgery where she reattached the pads of the amputated paw to the bottom of the front leg and surgically saved the other front leg with an external fixator. Following the removal of the fixator, Nya came to us for a carpal brace for that leg and is now living a very happy life. Ginny came to us with an unusual disease that caused severe muscle deterioration and malalignment of her back legs, necessitating a stifle brace to keep her mobile. When these special cases appear, all of us come to watch and cheer as the animals take their first steps toward a better life. All our employees are intense animal lovers and come to work each day ready to serve those creatures that need our help. Many bring exceptional knowledge, beyond the basic love and medical expertise required to help the animals that pass through our doors. One employee was involved with the training of search and rescue dogs with the Penn Vet Working Dog Center, another spent years working in a boarding kennel and evaluating dogs for group interactions so that all dogs involved could interact peacefully without confrontation. Another employee trained dogs in obedience and agility spent more than a decade as a groomer, and donated countless hours fostering dogs for rescue, while yet another employee grew up on a farm raising and showing livestock in 4-H competitions. We also have three vet techs with decades worth of care and expertise. How many people get to say they love what they do? Fortunately, we do. As the year ends, we realize our ability to help injured animals is what keeps us going and striving to constantly improve our product. It’s knowing that every day we can make a difference not only for the animal but also for the owner. It’s what makes our customer service exceptional – knowing that the faster we respond to our customers, the faster their pet is going to feel better. It’s knowing that when distraught owners call, we feel their anxiety and concern. It’s knowing that when owners call and tell us their pet has passed away, we understand the pain and intense loss they experience. As animal lovers, our job is bittersweet – we are sorry that we see injured animals every day, yet we are thrilled to be able to provide a product and service that makes their lives better. To all our referring veterinarians and past and future clients, we say thank you for entrusting your pets to us. From all the employees here at My Pet’s Brace, we wish you and all the pets in your life a happy, safe, and injury-free New Year!