So I found myself having a hard time recently with trying my best not to judge a client.
This does not break client confidentiality, as the above is a case I've seen play out multiple times, with multiple different people of different backgrounds. The only reason we sometimes see these cases is because the holidays are coming up (Such as Christmas and even Super Bowl Sunday). People don't always directly say it, but I think they are embarrassed to have guests come over to the house and see what condition they are in. This is a sad circumstance. I'm sure there are lots of pieces of information I don't know about circumstances and mitigating factors, but it still gets to me. I try to educate people and I try to do it with charity, but when at the end of telling them how to take care of their dog, they just look at me blankly, it gets frustrating.
On the other end of the spectrum, there have been people sometimes that pleasantly surprise me. One young mother I remember ,who after finding out the family dog had diabetes, turned to her son and said, "Well, it looks like we won't be able to go to Disney this year after all." Not only did she make the decision to give up the trip to Disney to pay for the care of her "family member", she made sure her son knew that it wasn't a choice. You take care of your responsibilities and you take care of the pets that you choose to welcome into your life, even if it means you give up a much wished for vacation. I made sure I let her know I admired her parenting.
There was another person today who I commented how nice it was to see a parent teaching the right message. I've had people ask me to be quiet in an exam room so they can answer their phone, or leave the room to answer the phone or to mindlessly look at their phone and play games while I am trying to explain something. Today, I had a woman and a little girl and the little girl interrupted when I was talking with her to tell her she had several text messages on her phone. The woman looked at her daughter and said, "We are at the doctors, we are listening to the doctor and those people can wait, put the phone away." Wow! I need to hear that myself sometimes, it was great seeing someone teaching her daughter to respect others time.
I will try not judge and try not to get angry with people. During a time after I dealt with the first situation described, my husband asked how my day was going, I responded with, "I wish some people could be re-incarnated as a neglected pet." I do not wish that truly, but I wish people would think more about neglect and that it isn't just starving your dog, there are many other forms. That said, my dog could use a few extra back rubs and my husband reminded me that my dog could also get bathed more frequently as well...