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One of The Incredible Dr. Pol‘s most beloved staff members – to the clinic crew and to viewers of the Nat Geo Wild hit – is Dr. Brenda Grettenberger.

The long-time staffer at Pol Veterinary Services is a fan favorite and opened up recently about how growing up on a cattle farm prepared her for her job at Pol Veterinary Services.

Dr. Jan Pol of 'The Incredible Dr. Pol'
Dr. Jan Pol of ‘The Incredible Dr. Pol’ | Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

How ‘The Incredible Dr. Pol’ came to be

Charles Pol, Dr. Pol’s son and an executive producer on the reality show, explained in a 2014 interview with National Geographic how The Incredible Dr. Pol came to exist.

“At the time, I was working in Los Angeles at Nickelodeon,” Charles said, “and trying to sell ideas for reality shows. My first idea was turned down, and I was advised to find an idea with a ‘larger than life character.’ I immediately thought of my dad. I pitched the project to a production company, we filmed a sample episode, and my idea became reality.”

Filming the series is no small feat. Dr. Pol and his staff are constantly on the move with farm calls and seeing clients in the office. The camera crew has to hustle to keep up, as Charles explained.

“We’ve had a number of close calls with the crew,” he recalled, “but the most dangerous was probably when one crew member got run down by a beef cow. We lost the footage of the incident, so it never made the actual show, but it was really scary.”

Dr. Brenda and Dr. Pol are a great team

Recently launched on YouTube have been the reality show’s after-shows called Recheck. A new episode of Recheck airs after each new episode of the show. In a recent moment on the after-show, Pol Veterinary Services’ “second most senior vet” made an appearance to check in and chat with Charles and Dr. Pol.

Charles reminded her of a recent moment in the clinic when all the other vets were away and it was just she and Dr. Pol left to care for clients coming in, just like “the old days,” as Charles put it.

“That’s right,” Dr. Brenda said, “we’ve worked together for quite a number of years, sometimes with help and sometimes just the two of us.”

Dr. Pol said, “Don’t forget, Dr. Brenda was born and raised on a dairy farm, so she knows what’s going on. She can do all the things herself, really.”

‘The cattle came first’


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Dr. Brenda explained what it was like to grow up on a dairy farm and gave fans an idea as to her familiarity and ease around cows and their various issues.

“I don’t know growing up any place else,” she said. “We had a small family dairy, my folks milked Holstein and Holstein cross cattle for about 40 years. They have sold the cows in the last couple of years.

“There was always chores to do, always milking to do. Everything revolved around the cattle. So, the cattle came first and then the rest of us,” she said smiling.