5 reasons to watch Critter Fixers with the kids
Critter Fixers: Country Vets a family friendly show that works on so many levels, from introducing city kids to the love and care that farm animals need, to showing the reality of a job that never sleeps.
Critter Fixers: Country Vets, now showing on National Geographic Wild (DStv channel 182) is the perfect edutaining show for the entire family to enjoy together.
The documentary takes us inside the Critter Fixer Veterinary Hospital in Bonaire, rural Georgia, and introduces city kids to the love andcare that farm animals need. It also gives viewers a deeper look at the reality of a job that never sleeps.
Here’s why you should set a reminder now to watch Critter Fixers: Country Vets with your kids:
- “It’s going to be educational,” says Dr. T. “You’re going to learn something about your pets that you didn’t know.”
- Dr. Hodges adds, “Kids, especially sitting down with their parents, are going to learn to follow their dreams. We not only talk about animal stuff, we talk about being 2 kids from rural Georgia who had these dreams and plans. Follow your dreams because anything is possible. Dream big and chase ’em.”
- Dr. T continues, “The next 2 kind of coincide with each other” Passion! You’ll see the passion that Dr. Hodges and I and our staff have for not only the pets, but their owners as well. They go hand-in-hand. We haven’t thus far had a pet that came in the front door by itself. They have to come in with owners and clients. Our passion is for both of them, because they’re members of the family. We’re just treating another member of the family.
- And Dr. Hodges concludes, “The 5th thing is if your family loves animals, this is the show to watch, because we’re going to have all kinds of animals from ducks to geese, to sugar gliders to chinchillas to camels. You’re going to see a wide variety of animals, and you’re going to see how they’re taken care of. I know a lot of people when they go to a veterinarian, they wonder what goes on in the back – you’re going to see everything. You’re going to see the tension and drama and the looks on our faces when we’re worries about how we’re going to fix it. You may see come tears, you may see love, you’re going to see smiles, you’re going to see hugs. You’re going to see a wide array of emotions. And they’re going to be good emotions. Very family friendly, and you’re going to see some amazing pets and owners.
10 things to know about the docs
- Dr. Ferguson’s first patient was a dog that had been hit by a car, which he nursed back to health himself, when he was a kid. That, along with rescuing strays in his neighbourhood, set him on the path to being a vet.
- Dr. Hodges grew up on a small farm where his pets included goats, cows, dogs, a cat, turtles. He wanted to be a marine biologist like the great ocean explorer and conservationist Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
- Dr. Ferguson and Dr. Hodges both grew up without the internet and agree that their favourite animal books as kids were the ones with facts and pictures, especially Jacques Cousteau’s books.
- Dr. Hodges’ favourite name that some 1 has called their pet belongs to a 1-eyed cat named Popeye (he operated on Popeye himself in a procedure called enucleation, which means the removal of the entire eye). Dr. Ferguson took a shine to Sacagawea as a name for 1 of the horses he’s treated (named after a Lemhi Shoshone Native American guide who led some early American explorers).
- They’re always tempted to keep strays. “Always,” insists Dr. T. “We like to love on animals”. And they’re proud of their kids for following in their footsteps and wanting to help stray animals, too.
- The first time they watched the show they were surprised by how interesting and entertaining it was – and how clearly their friendship came through on screen.
- COVID-19 has had a serious impact on their practice. At first, they had difficulty accessing basic things like masks and personal protective gear. But due to factory shutdowns, they later had to deal with issues like the special food that some animals need to survive no longer being available at all. The pandemic also impacted the number of cases they could see.
- While both doctors are excellent at communicating with their patients, some are easier to understand than others. Dr. Hodges admits that he’s never quite sure what snakes are feeling, while some small animals go from seeming okay to attacking and latching onto you with their teeth, especially with being at the vet’s office being a stressful experience.
- They note that their most unusual patients in their first season include a camel and a chinchilla – neither of whom are used as standard patients in their veterinary training. Recently their most unusual patient has been an emu. 1 of the things they had to figure out was whether it was male or female, which meant checking the cloaca for its reproductive organs – while keeping an eye on its huge claws. The doctors are ready to do a lot of reading, research and reaching out to experts.
- As country vets, they often see people try to take raccoons as pets (we’ve seen them online, they’re so cute it would be hard to resist). 1 of the biggest problems aside from aggression in adult raccoons is that the animal can carry Baylisascaris from roundworm, which can infect humans and cause brain damage. The doctors note that people also bring them all sorts of snakes that they’ve picked up in the wild.
Watch Critter Fixers: Country Vets S1 from Friday, 2 July on National Geographic Wild (DStv channel 182) at 18:00
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