People make mistakes

In response to the June 17 Fearless Consumer column, " Dog days: When Max went under the knife," I will continue to be a customer of Westwood Animal Hospital, mostly due to Dr. John Wise.

The staff at Westwood has never been anything but courteous to me, and I truly respect them. I have been assigned to Dr. Buhrman several times, and she provides outstanding services to my pets.

While I try not to establish too close a relationship with the vets there, as they come and go, I hope Dr. Buhrman will be associated with Westwood for many years to come. She is bright, professional, and cares about the pets. When she had to put my 19-year-old cat down after a stroke, she showed compassion and respect to me in my grief.

Every vet I have seen there has never hesitated to get down on the floor and play with my pets, and their personal relationship with my pets is very important to me.

In the early '90s, I had a cat misdiagnosed by a young vet who insisted she had a brain tumor; I insisted she had an inner ear infection. I was right, and the cat lived to be 19.

Not holding this misdiagnosis against the young vet, when he left to establish himself with another local vet, I followed. This man cried with me when I had to have my favorite cat put down to feline infectious peritonitis. A few months later, I lost my dog to an infection in her pancreas after the leading vet had taken her off antibiotics. I will never forget how the young vet's voice cracked when he telephoned to give me the news. This young vet has now established his own practice in Lynchburg, and if it was possible, I would load all my pets up and take them there to be treated.

I encourage every pet owner to go their local bookstore and buy a book on learning about diseases associated with their pets. Our pets cannot tell us how they feel. Only as responsible pet owners can we provide the appropriate information to our vets in order for our pets to be treated promptly.

Becci Harmon