Not only was it a mistake, it created damage and fallout far beyond what I had intended. While I built strong and long-lasting relationships with colleagues all over the world, I was creating division within my geographically close colleague community.
We must, as a profession, refer out early and often. There are cases that, even after 15+ years of excelling in my profession, I simply have no business seeing without the oversight of a Veterinary Behaviorist. Each and every one of us owes the general public and our own profession that honesty and courtesy. We own the public honesty about who we are and who we are not. I am not a Behaviorist. I have dedicated my life to excellence in my profession and I am very proud of who I am, which is a Certified Trainer and a Certified Behavior Consultant. I want my clients to trust, implicitly, that if I cannot help them I am both humble and educated enough to refer them to a Behaviorist who can.