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Pet Talk: Fur-ever grateful for the support

Wednesday 1 November 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Opinion, Pet Talk


Pet Talk: Fur-ever grateful for the support
Outgoing Te Are Manu Vet Clinic medical director Dr. Michael Baer watches as a veterinarian works on a patient. TAM/23103126

Less than three weeks until I finish at Te Are Manu (TAM) and as always when something is about to end, my mind drifts to what has happened, what was then, and what is now. And how lucky I have been, writes Dr Michael Baer, the outgoing Te Are Manu Vet Clinic medical director.

I arrived at the heyday of the Dog Registration Committee. That gave me a great introduction to the other organisations Te Are Manu works with. Led by the Police Service our committee made great gains in coming to grips with the dog related issues around the island.

The Ministry of Tourism are of critical importance to these efforts. Promotion and organisation, liaison and securing funding. Lots of people are involved but I wouldn’t have known anything about what to do without a few people in particular, so to Christian, Sieni, and Carlene all I can say is thank you so much.  You made my job easy, even if I often made your jobs difficult.

The Ministry of Agriculture were a valuable member of the Committee, but the relationship between TAM and Agriculture is much closer than that. We are neighbours for a start and as I write this, I can see Victor and the boys hard at work, grafting fruit trees. I will miss the tunes and the laughter that often accompanies their work. But mostly I have worked with Livestock and Biosecurity. It was flattering to be asked to help at times. Biosecurity does an amazing job keeping the country free of diseases that are commonplace everywhere else in the world. And the Livestock people are knowledgeable and capable and a joy to work with. Once again, a lot of people are involved, but I have to single out a few, who I dealt with more often and made my life so easy.   Of course, Temarama, Ngatoko, Parvi, Patu, Cecelia, Aketairi, Raita and Teatai. The last four of these were Paravet students, together with Tuaine, Tuatai and Tekura from Mauke. What a pleasure and privilege it was to help them with the course. And for making my job easy, even if I made your jobs more difficult.  Meitaki maata.

That leaves the SPCA, with whom we have perhaps the closest relationship.  What an amazing organisation. We are so lucky to have them in the country.  And what a dedicated and special crew of people. I was lucky to work with Steve and Jenny when I first arrived and David, Sher, Pauline and Jo have been around since way before I arrived. But Mata (Junior) and Sarah Nooroa are the people I have worked with most. Officially Sarah works for TAM, but that doesn’t stop her “volunteering” for the SPCA seven days a week. And Junior is always on call. Great organisations are made by great people. Thanks for making my job easy, even if I made your jobs more difficult.

But DRACC are not the end of the story.  Paws’N’Claws are such an asset to our work, and Shannon and Don have my admiration for what they have done.  Aitutaki Community Animal Rescue do great things every day, and Steph, Yvonne, Vicky and Winnie helped me so much. Marilyn in Mangaia and Jude in Atiu have helped at every turn. And Air Rarotonga…

Air Rarotonga have been fantastic. The support they gave to my many requests.  The reception I received was as happy, as helpful and as friendly when I changed bookings for the 170th time as it was at the beginning. I don’t know how they managed it, even I was ready to plant my own boot in my own pants some days. And yet Air Rarotonga took it in stride, sorted out the problems I caused them and flew me around the country. Meitaki maata.

There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child. I don’t know about that.  But I do know that to have any success as a vet clinic it takes a lot of cooperation from friends and helpers.