I noticed the other day that the clinic where I work is usually a very plesant place. Most people come in smiling because they are bringing their animals in for an annual check up (although those faces occasionally change when I read off the cost of their visit.) Mostly the clinic feels like a happy place, perky animals, smiling staff, and clients who love to just sit and talk with our vets. Yesterday we had two of our stray kittens adopted also, so that created even more smiles. But of course like any hospital it is impossible to have all smiles.
I was thinking about how for the vast majority of the time we have animals coming in the client would be happy, but it is those last visits that are the hardest, and they really are heartbreaking. Sometimes you get to know the animal and the client really well because they are coming in at least once a week, and other times an owner will walk in who we have seen a few years before to put an animal down. I worked with a doctor to put an animal down for the first time the other day. Other staff members at the clinic often will try to avoid watching the animal as they die, or after they die, and I can understand why. I don't think it is something that you ever get use to. Regardles of the age of the animal, or even if they have a bad attitude, or if you aren't even familiar with the animal it seems sad every single time.