Here is an exclusive interview with Dr. T. R Wati, one of the pioneers in Nagaland who owns “Animal Health Center”. Animal Health Center is one of the animal clinics in Nagaland with proper facilities. I met him first a few days ago at his clinic, when I took our puppy to be treated. His devotion, the way he treats animals, and the way he talk to his clients with such a degree of humbleness impressed me.
Andres: I’m very impressed with the way your clinic is set up. How long have you been in practice?
Dr. Wati: I started this in 2004, so it’s about seven years.
Andres: Is this a pet shop or an animal clinic? Many people seem have a misconception. Would you like to clear the air?
Dr. Wati: This is a combination of both animal clinic and pet shop. But, I initially started this as a clinic for all kinds of animals and birds. Besides, I have to meet public demand and my intention is to satisfy all my clients.
Andres: How did you get started as veterinarian?
Dr. Wati: Actually, to be an animal doctor was never my dream. But this was the seat allowed to me after sitting for an exam. But I have no regrets at the moment.
Andres: Can you describe what you do in one sentence?
Dr. Wati: It will take time for the public to understand. I’ve been practicing this for the last seven years. Now what it was before, it’s completely changed. I was one of the pioneers and people slowly came to learn what I actually do. Giving treatment and taking care of all kinds of animals and birds is my job.
Andres: So, what types of animals and birds do you treat here?
Dr. Wati: Actually, I’m ready to treat all kinds of animals and birds. But, I’ve been mostly dealing with swine cases and pets because these are the common cases in Nagaland as of now.
Andres: What does your work entail?
Dr. Wati: Usually I’m here in the clinic by 8:30 in the morning. I work here till 5 in the evening. But, there is no fixed work timing for me. Whenever I get a call that’s my work timing, I am ready for anything.
Andres: Wow, that must be lot of work, isn’t it?
Dr. Wati: Yes, it is. But I enjoy what I do, so I have no complaints. Also, my wife, she helps me run the pet shop and pet chemist store.
Andres: Good. Well, what do you dislike most as a veterinarian?
Dr. Wati: I don’t have anything such as disliking. But, there are times I get clients, where they want only one solution for their dying animals…like, a magic. And one solution is not the solution. They need proper care and sometimes even long treatment.
Andres: I am most certain that you come across such situations many times. What do you like about what you do?
Dr. Wati: I’m enjoying every singly bit of my work. I’m slowly become more efficient and adding various facilities in the clinic. My main priority is to save animals and educate farmers…, that is what I enjoy most.
Andres: What services do you offer here? Does it include boarding, grooming, x-ray, ultrasound testing or any other facilities?
Dr. Wati: At the moment, I have a friend called Yangti. She is a pet groomer from Vancouver, Canada. She is helping me and also training my staff with different styling techniques to groom pets. She is really awesome…also the first to bring Western standard of grooming pets in Nagaland. Otherwise, I don’t have x-ray or ultrasound machines. They are very expensive. But, I do the normal blood test, urine samples etc here in my small lap.
Andres: That sounds awesome. Well, what are your charges? Are they affordable for the mass or something only the rich can pay?
Dr. Wati: That’s a very good question, Andres. My consultation fee is Rs.100. But…say, if your pet is advised five days of treatment, then you don’t have to pay extra charges, except for those that I prescribe for the pet if you buy them here.
Andres: That is really cheap. Otherwise, it’s really expensive in other cities. Do you also provide emergency services?
Dr. Wati: Yes. I’m available 24 hours a day and anyone can also reach me on my personal mobile number…anyone and everyone is welcomed.
Andres: Are there any perks to this career?
Dr. Wati: Yes, the relation or connection that I share with pet lovers and their animals is simply wonderful. Besides, there are so many thing that I am happy about, which I never thought about. And, now I have set up a huge circle of regular customers.
Andres: What is a common misconception people have about what you do?
Dr. Wati: In Nagaland, many people look down at us and they don’t really understand our work. But to my surprise, there are many people who are gradually recognizing the concept. Besides, it’s easier to make the middle class people understand the value of a vet doctor.
Andres: What is most challenging about what you do?
Dr. Wati: There are lots…saving animal is my priority. I do whatever it takes to save a life.
Andres: What are your hours of operation?
Dr. Wati: As I said I don’t have a particular working hour.
Andres: I heard a very interesting story about you. Someone had to travel all the way from Kohima to your clinic because the dog had some complication during her delivery. Is that true?
Dr. Wati: Yes, that’s true. (Laughing out loud) how did you learn that story?
Andres: Every journalist has a way of finding out things. Tell me the story.
Dr. Wati: Yes, it was pug (a type of dog breed). The pug had some complications and struggled to deliver for two days. Somehow, they got to know about me and reached my clinic at 8 in the morning. I was told that, there was no proper facility in Kohima to treat the pug and some would even not take the risk. I performed the surgery in my clinic. Unfortunately, two puppies were already dead because the mother suffered for two days. But, I was glad…I saved the other six baby pugs.
Andres: That is simply amazing and such a brave accomplishment. Well, it was a pleasure talking with you, Dr. Wati. Is there anything that you would like to send across to the mass?
Dr. Wati: Human being…we are lords on earth. Who will take care of all these animals and birds if we don’t take care of them? I think we should learn to take proper care of animals as much as we can.
Let’s take care of our pets for they need our help. Lord Jesus Christ said, “Love the God you serve” and “Love your neighbors as you love yourself.” Now, what about “Love your pets, and all other the animals and birds on earth as you love yourself?” There is no harm in kind deeds. One can reach Dr. Wati on his personal mobile +91-986-209-2268 or office number 038-62-293-356. Email id: email@example.com or simply walk-in to his clinic located opposite DBHSS, River Belt Colony, Dimapur. Save the world in every little way we can.
Andres Meren Molier
Travel and Social Events Journalist