This Thanksgiving week, Nat Geo WILD sets the primetime table with heaping helpings of viewers' favorite veterinarians and previews a new show featuring animal dermatology (might not want to watch this one over turkey, though).
From Monday, Nov. 22, to Sunday, Nov. 28, Nat Geo WILD offers episodes of Critter Fixers: Country Vets, Heartland Docs, DVM, Hatcher Family Dairy, The Incredible Dr. Pol, Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet and Vets on the Beach.
Also included are sneak peeks of a new show, Pop Goes the Vet With Dr. Joya, focusing on veterinary dermatologist Dr. Joya Griffin. It's a bit like Dr. Pimple Popper for critters.
So, why focus on animal docs for an annual Thanksgiving event?
At the biannual TV Critics Association Press Tour this past summer, network spokesman Chris Albert said:
These past 18 months have been a wild ride and has shown us the importance of the human-animal connection.
And Nat Geo WILD continues to bring viewers a satisfying helping of what we all need this year: heart, humor, and animal antics.
In what is now a holiday tradition, the network’s annual Vetsgiving programming event is stuffed with all of our favorite veterinarians and the heartwarming tales that they tell.
Added Dr. Oakley, who was a longtime fan of The Incredible Dr. Pol, one of National Geographic's first veterinary shows:
I grew up watching Nat Geo, like watching Jane Goodall. I mean, that inspired me. Then I saw Dr. Pol, and that inspired me.
Each of these new vet shows are showing a different aspect of the profession and how deep it is, and how much we want to do for animals, and how much we can do as vets.
So that's pretty exciting, to have all these different vet shows showing off all their skills in different places.
Dr. Pol and Dr. Oakley both inspired the docs of Critter Fixers: Country Vets to try their hands at TV.
Said Dr. Vernard Hodges:
Diversity is definitely a big thing. We didn't see Black veterinarians until we were in college. [And] we watched Dr. Pol. We watched Dr. Oakley and these other guys, they gave us aspirations.
Now that some of the Black kids see us, hopefully we're able to inspire more and keep it going.
Now, Dr. Joya Griffin joins the lineup. Her show, Pop Goes the Vet, previews at 11 p.m. ET/PT on Thanksgiving night, Nov. 25, and then again on Saturday, Nov. 27, at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series premieres in Spring 2022.
She explained how she came into the unusual specialty of animal dermatology.
I am one of three African-American boarded dermatologists in the country. That's it. And I didn't even know dermatology was a specialty until I had my own pet, and it needed to see a dermatologist.
So when I went to vet school, I took it with me. Her name was Gizmo and the first appointment I made was with the dermatology service.
I saw this huge transformation from this sticky, stinky dog that had a poor quality of life and lived in an E-collar, to a dog that was having a full, happy life and looked amazing again. So, I was inspired by that.
Here's a peek at Dr. Joya in action:
Click here for info on the full Vetsgiving lineup.
Image: Nat Geo WILD
Kate O’Hare, a longtime entertainment journalist, is Social Media Content Manager at Family Theater Productions.
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