Home
Guest Posts
Print|Text Size: ||
Move Over James Herriot
Dr. Jan Pol’s the vet for the reality TV generation
Dr. Jan Pol with a patient.

In recent years, we’ve been hearing about a shortage of large animal veterinarians. As of last fall, nearly 1,300 counties did not have a single doctor for farm animals, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the problem was expected to get worse.

I’m thinking the unlikely television star of National Geographic Wild’s “The Incredible Dr. Pol,” might help to reverse the trend. Think of him as a sort of Dutchman-in-America-James-Herriot for the reality TV generation.

A 69-year-old small and large animal vet in private practice in Central Michigan, Dr. Jan Pol brings an engagingly cantankerous manner to his work. He can be brusque and even a little biting, especially when he teases his city-slicker son Charles, but you never doubt that he’s a truly compassionate, committed vet.

Whether he’s untwisting a cow’s stomach or yanking quills out of a hound dog’s muzzle (there are so many quills you have to wonder if the porcupine had any left), Dr. Pol gets the job done with a minimum of drama, which somehow makes for really good TV.

Print

Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom.

Order Dog Park Wisdom

Photo: National Geographic Wild.

More From The Bark

hurricane isaac katrina louisiana gulf coast dog rescue
By
Julia Kamysz Lane
By
Lisa Wogan
By
Laura Lippstone
More in Guest Posts:
Study Finds BPA in Canned Dog Food—and Dogs
A Lost Dog Spent the Night
Biff the Boxer Stars in John Lewis Ad
Service Dog Kicked Off Flight For Being Too Big
Greek Café Hosts Stray Dogs
Dogs Remember More Than You Think
Co-Star of “Cooking With Dog” Dies
Failed Fosters Dog Adoption
New Toys and Chews
For the Love of a Ball: Dogs as Conservation Biologists