With the launch of a new documentary series, local veterinarian Dr. Barry MacEachern (Dr. Barry, as he has widely and affectionately become known) hopes viewers come to better understand the partnership between a vet and their clients.
“It’s important pet owners feel part of the process when they come into a vet clinic with their pet,” says Dr. Barry. “They’ll get to see that yes, we are trained to be vets, but we’re also human.”
Dr. Barry is speaking from his busy veterinary clinic, the Burnside Veterinary Hospital, before performing three back-to-back animal surgeries.
spending 10 years saving animals on the hit television show Hope for Wildlife, now he’s starring in his own series, Dr. Barry, documenting the day-to-day life of his own vet clinic. “Seeing dogs and cats is truly where my passions lays,” says Dr. Barry. “Going through vet school, I had no intentions of doing wildlife, that’s just something I fell into and wound up doing for ten years and enjoyed every moment of it. But my passion is with people and their pets that they share their homes with.”
This sentiment led Dr. Barry and his husband David, the clinic manager, to open their own animal hospital in 2014.
About the show
Dr. Barry follows the staff - two additional veterinarians, support staff, technicians, and assistants – both at work and what’s going on in their lives as well.
“We are a small workplace,” Dr. Barry says. “We are all friends and we all know each other. Our day-to-day lives spill into our work lives as well, and they’ve incorporated that into the show.”
The episodes chronicle the challenges of caring for pets from the time an animal comes in with a problem, to meeting with the owners, their pet, and following through the exam, the treatment, and a follow-up with how the animal fares.
“One of the episodes is about puppies and how cute they are,” says Dr. Barry. “But it’s for viewers to see as well that it’s not all puppies in veterinary medicine. We do see sick and dying animals. So there’s sad times as well.”
Bonnie McCormick is a registered veterinary technician. She’s been at the clinic since the doors first opened. She says she had fun taking part in the series.
“It’s reality-based, so they are filming the whole time. You are just doing your job, they’re there and you just try not to think about it. I’m not a shy person so it doesn’t bug me. Some of the newer staff were a little bit leery of it. But you get used to it,” she says.
McCormick says everyone bonded really well with the production team, and they all became friends. When she became pregnant during filming, she had fun working with one of the camera people to tell her colleagues on camera.
“They’re a good crew. They get along with everyone. They’re basically one of the team.”
‘Like a family’
As for Dr. Barry, McCormick sings his praises.
“He’s a great vet. It’s not just coming to work, punching in, doing what you need to do, and going home,” she says. “We’re honestly like a family. We all get along great, we see each other out of work. He’s a great boss and a friend to us all as well.”
She thinks viewers will learn a lot from the series.
“They’ll see what goes on behind the doors out back,” she says. “A lot of the time they’re in the exam room, their dog’s being taken out back, they’re being told what we’re going to do, but they don’t really know. We’re all good people that are here to take care of their pets. They can trust us and not have to worry.”
Dr. Barry is the latest series announced to air on OUTtv, Canada’s LGBTQ TV network.
Did you know?
OUTtv is the world’s first LGBTQ+ television network and the leading LGBTQ+ streaming service with over 2,000 hours of content. Subscribers can stream their favourite series, movies and documentaries via iOS and Android devices, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire and via all browsers for $3.99 a month. To learn more about OUTtv, visit OUTtv.ca or OUTtvGo.com.