Colorado veterinarian sings to dogs before surgery
Dr. Ross Henderson serenading his patient (image via FHAH)


Most animals are terrified of going to the veterinarian’s office. Dogs, the minute they hit the pavement and begin to sniff, know exactly where they are and will do everything within their power to get back into the car. While even the shortest visits can strike terror in their hearts, extended stays for surgical procedures only prolong that fear. A Colorado veterinarian by the name of Dr. Ross Henderson knows this, so he’s come up with a way to put them at ease — by serenading them.

The Singing Vet

Henderson, who with his family make up the majority of the staff at Fox Hollow Animal Hospital in Lakeland, Co, loves his job. And, like any compassionate vet, he wants his patients to be as calm as possible during their visits to the family-run facility. That’s why he’s taken to strumming his guitar and crooning to the frightened dogs there facing surgery. For one pet answering to the name of Ruby, the singing vet broke into his very own rendition of Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love to calm her fears.

Paying it Forward

Most, if not all, vets love animals, or they wouldn’t have gotten into the business. This is the first example I’ve heard tell of where one goes the extra mile to such an extent as to break out his or her guitar prior to surgery and begin to warble. But Henderson’s is a pay it forward plan for all the love animals give us. “They just love us like crazy,” he explained. “You can’t repay for how much they give to us.” That’s obviously not true in his case.

Going the Extra Mile for Animals

According to a post by Fox Hollow, “Sometimes your patient just needs you to go the extra mile to make them feel comfortable when they’re here for the day to have surgery. Dr. Ross has mastered the technique . . .” That technique includes going into the largest kennel the hospital has on site, plopping down on the floor and cozying up for a while with the dogs awaiting their turn to go under the knife. It’s pre-op care like none other, and it seems to work.

All the World’s a Stage

But not everyone is a fan of Dr. Ross’s soothing ministrations. Apparently, the office feline, Greg, whom Henderson also regularly serenades, is by now indifferent to it. In an interview with Today, Henderson admitted, “I think he’s immune to it, though,” and he believes his own dog, Charlie, is just plain “sick of me singing.” Yes, all the world’s a stage and everybody’s a critic.