We speak to Grove Park's vet about working with animals and children
If the adage ‘never work with animals and children’ contains any truth, then Paloma Diaz Carretero has gone very wrong somewhere along the line. But the Veterinarian mother of three who runs two practices with her husband, also a vet, would not only disagree, she would sing the praises of the menagerie of pets she shares her home with.
Paloma met her husband Onno Wieringa when she asked him for a job. “I couldn’t speak much English at the time but he took a chance on me. He advised me to take a job up in Liverpool. I was lacking confidence because of the language barrier but it was a good experience because it was a very busy four vet practice and none of the other girls wanted to work there, I didn’t know better! I learnt to deal with the public, I had to talk, I had to gain confidence, I had to toughen up!”
Eventually Paloma came back to London to work with Onno at their practice in Kensington. “We’ve got some really famous clients,” she says, “but to be honest I don’t know who most of them are, I look at the animal much more than I do the person! I listen to them of course but I really don’t look at them and even If I do I don’t always know who they are!”
In March 2003 they opened Grove Park Clinic on Burlington Lane close to home they share with their three children, a dog, a cat and guinea pigs.
“It was time for me to go back to work after my third child but I wanted to make sure I could fit work commitments in around being a mother. Local people have a great understanding of the responsibility of having a pet, they’re mostly professional people who appreciate all the options available for their animal, it’s a real community of animal lovers.”
“But because of that there are a lot practices that chose to set up around here so we have to show why we’re the best option.
“Some people do treat their pets like their children but I don’t judge, it’s not my place to judge and I do care. It is very important to me that whatever someone feels about their pet I respect it and I feel that makes me different. I care as much as they do and it’s not my job to be thinking they should or shouldn’t be thinking that what matters to me. For example some people say, ‘it’s just a dog’. I know it’s a dog but for this particular person it’s more than a dog, their life revolves around this dog and if they see that you see that they will be a satisfied client.”
“We’re all qualified vets, were all professionals but what sets us apart is the fact that we really care.”
Paloma has agreed to be ChiswickW4.com’s animal expert and will be answering questions from local people in her new monthly column. If you have a pet or are thinking of getting and would like to ask her advice, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 5, 2009