We had the good fortune of connecting with Douglas Mader and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Douglas, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
“People always think that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. The problem is, most people don’t take the time to water their own grass.”
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am a veterinarian. I have a bit of an unusual background in that I am a triple boarded veterinary specialist:
Diplomate, American Board of Veterinary Practitioners – Canine/Feline Practice
Diplomate, American Board of Veterinary Practitioners – Reptile/Amphibian Practice
Diplomate, European College of Zoological Medicine (Herpetology)
I owned an Emergency/Referral veterinary practice for over 30 years. At the height of my practice I had 10 FT doctors and over 30 employees. I left my practice a year ago, and now I am only doing wildlife and zoo work. No employees – just me.
Utilizing the skill sets I have acquired over my career allows me to better treat the unique animals I work with now. I volunteer my time with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service – for instance to help with the endangered Key Deer and Manatee. I have never charged for my service.
I love what I do and I am honored to be able to work with these wonderful animals. Is it easy? No. When things go well and the patient wanders off into the sunset there is no feeling like it. But, when the patient crosses the Rainbow Bridge, in spite of everything you can do, the feeling never goes away.
My goal in life is to help promote the Human-Animal Bond. That is why I wake in the morning. This HAB can be something obvious like a child playing with their kitten, or it could be a person marveling at a Bald Eagle flying overhead.
I just published my first book, “The Vet from Noah’s Ark: Stories of Survival from an Inner-City Animal Hospital.” It is all about living in the city and struggling to promote and save that all-important HAB.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
All of my “friends” have very similar interests. I would take them to my happy places like the Everglades, the Everglades Outpost, the Miami Zoo and a half dozen similar places in the Keys. In between we’d be on a boat – not fishing, just enjoying the water – both from above and below (scuba). As far as places to eat, we would most likely pack our own meals with reusable containers so we don’t add unwanted plastics to the environment. If we had to eat out, we would pick the smaller “Ma and Pops” places.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Life is a team sport. People may not agree, but whatever we do – be it a basketball player or an artist, we count on people around us to give us the fuel needed for our personal narrative. It may be a direct assist – like in basketball, or indirect – an artist needs quality brushes. In this latter case, someone has to make those brushes. So, while you may be painting the picture by yourself, you couldn’t do it without the hard work of others. My point – we need to appreciate everbody.