Thanking my vet for really exceptional service?
April 7, 2016 6:55 PM   Subscribe

In the last four months, I lost both of my beloved cats to cancer. During the great cat die-off, my vet was not only a vet-- he was a friend, a shrink and a sanity check. He emailed me daily, even on his vacation. He did free house calls. He called me several times a week. I would like to thank him in some way which is both a big enough thank you and not too much.

I know the standard is a photograph of the pets, and I will do that as well. But I was thinking about sending a nice gift basket to him at his practice with a note of thanks for going so far beyond the call of duty. I thought about enclosing a humorous note to say thank you to his girlfriend as well, since a lot of this extra support happened on "her" time. Weird, or appropriate? He really went well above what I have experienced from vets in the past. If weird, what would you suggest?
posted by frumiousb to Pets & Animals (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Mentioning the girlfriend might make it a little weird, but instead of a gift basket, you could do a gift certificate for a nice restaurant, which he'd presumably use with her.

Also: with the pictures, a long letter thanking him and you should leave a detailed, personalized five-star review on literally every review service you can think of.
posted by kate blank at 7:06 PM on April 7, 2016 [8 favorites]

A gift basket is nice. He's more than likely going to share it with his support staff rather than his girlfriend, though.

After my very caring vet was exceptionally kind when the Best Dog in the World died, in addition to a thank you letter, I donated to her practice's Good Samaritan fund, which helps defray lab costs* for pets whose owners might otherwise not be able to afford to pursue care.

*The vet donates her time for these situations but third party labs still want to be paid to run tests.
posted by jamaro at 7:09 PM on April 7, 2016 [15 favorites]

Skip th GF mention.

When my vet went above expectations this past year, we took in really nice chocolates with a thank you card.
posted by MandaSayGrr at 7:09 PM on April 7, 2016

If I were you (and with 14- and 11-year old cats with health problems, I will be sooner rather than later) I'd drop off a gift certificate for at least the value of a nice lunch for two at a local restaurant. Near where they live if you happen to know, near the clinic if you don't.
posted by padraigin at 7:11 PM on April 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

You can say, "please thank your family" but not girlfriend.

I would do four things:
- A thing to post on the wall (the picture, a note)
- A consumable gift for the office staff
- Donation to their angel fund or whatever they have
- Gushing 5-star Yelp review
posted by Lyn Never at 7:13 PM on April 7, 2016 [18 favorites]

Note: in your Yelp review, don't be too too detailed about the above-and-beyond stuff he did, so as not to obligate him to that forever, but you can certainly speak to his kindness, availability, concern, and general above-and-beyondness.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:19 PM on April 7, 2016 [31 favorites]

Yes, pay it forward and donate to whatever fund they have to care for strays and such.
posted by jbenben at 7:26 PM on April 7, 2016

I sent the vet & staff a heartfelt letter letting them know how much the big and small kindnesses meant to us, brought a large orchid to brighten the office, and brought nice snacks for the staff who I knew put in serious hours. I also wrote top-rate reviews everywhere I could.
posted by quince at 7:55 PM on April 7, 2016

I hope this is obvious, but continuing to use his services in the future and recommending him to other people is the best gift you can give a professional like him.
posted by saeculorum at 8:04 PM on April 7, 2016 [5 favorites]

With the gift basket, add in towels. Something for the staff, and hand towels, wash clothes, maybe one or two full sized towels. They need them, or all the vets I've encountered have, at least.
posted by kellyblah at 8:47 PM on April 7, 2016

Is the vet a member of a professional association? See if they have a recognition award you can nominate him for. You can also check with the chamber of commerce and your city. Or if you have a little local story, get in touch and see if they'd like to write an article about the clinic.
posted by betsybetsy at 4:31 AM on April 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

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