Winter in Ohio requires some sort of diversion to help us push through it, and I have found one wonderful escape that is worth sharing.
The Incredible Dr. Pol, televised on National Geographic channels, has become my great winter treat. I hope many of you know exactly why I enjoy this show, but for those who don’t, I intend to introduce you.
Dr. Jan Pol is a country veterinarian, and at a youthful 70 years old, he brings to the small screen a great wisdom with the ability to crack wise about his daily accomplishments on farms within his service circle. Born and raised in The Netherlands, this jolly fellow had the drive early on in his life to assist animals after helping deliver a litter of piglets at about age 10.
He met and married a wonderful match for his jolly enthusiasm, an American girl he’d met while in the United States studying. Diane and Dr. Pol set up a veterinary practice in Michigan, plugging away at farm calls, often eating cold dinners after the day’s work was all done. For years, this was their quiet, joyful life. They adopted three children, raising them in the rural ways of life filled with 4-H and FFA, county fairs and community gatherings.
Real world TV
The catapult to fame came unexpectedly when their youngest, a son named Charles, lived in Los Angeles for a time and suggested to a TV producer that his father’s life was interesting enough to be embraced by the masses.
And it certainly has been. I find myself looking forward to an hour with Dr. Pol. Dressed in blue coveralls, this hard-working man delights in hopping to it, smiling with anticipation for his next job. He explains that the dairy farmers need him in the same way he needs them, that one could not survive without the other.
A vet’s life
We watch him pull a calf on one dairy farm, dehorn calves at a neighboring farm, discuss selenium deficiencies with a young man whose grandfather helped set him up in the dairying business.
“It feels good to know a thing or two that you can share that makes a difference, and hopefully this young man will be successful for a long time.”
His daily schedule might include pigs, sheep, horses, goats and various cattle. He approaches each case with a great balance of sincerity and light-hearted curiosity. Through castrations, prolapses, displacements, choke, foot rot, mastitis and various injuries, we see the world that this happy vet has created for himself, his clients and his staff back at Pol Veterinary Clinic. His life story proves that if the right career fits the individual, there is no wish for retirement. The journey is the pleasure.
His shouts of “holy moses!” and “oh man, that was a tough one!” are filled with the happy enthusiasm this vet brings to his practice. With so much bad news coming at us from every direction, this simple look at a rural community through the jolly vet who cares for their animals is just a happy reminder that life is still good in many arenas, where a kicking cow in a stanchion might be the worst that happens in any given day.
“Thanks, folks! See ya next time!” he calls out in his endearing Dutch accent as he packs up his kit and rolls on to his next stop.
We can’t help but wonder what his next challenge will entail, happy to get to tag along.
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