Any science nerd worth his or her salt is a Gary Larson fan. The guy is a genius. I can’t possibly pick a favorite one of his cartoons (though the bummer of a birthmark is up there), but anyone with a dog will remember the famous “Blah Blah Ginger” cartoon:
We all know this experience is not limited to conversations with dogs.
With kids, with co-workers, and especially with clients, I have to watch their eyes while I’m talking to see if they are glossing over and getting that “uh huh” blank stare. When I was first starting out, I spent a ton of time with each client explaining what I thought was going on, the differentials, and the pathogenesis of disease, as well as my plan for getting to the bottom of things.
I still do this, with clients who want it. Some do not. While I blah blah on, they are tuned out waiting for me to hurry up and just give them the estimate for treatment, which they will either approve or decline.
The key to success in these cases, to making sure the owner agrees to the course of action that the pet needs in order to get better, is to figure out what their “Ginger” is. If you can get their attention with the key phrase they find important, it makes life much easier. It usually boils down to two main things.
If you don’t treat it now, it will turn into a much more expensive problem.
If you don’t treat it now, YOUR PET COULD DIE
Obviously, approach number 2 must be used judiciously. If you said this about a pet with, say, a cherry eye, you’d probably get a lot of complaints. But in situations where it’s true- and there are plenty of those as well- sometimes you really need to emphasize the important stuff.