‘The Incredible Dr. Pol’: Dr. Brenda on Why She Loves Being A Veterinarian, Plus Is She Leaving the Show?

Dr. Brenda is most definitely a fan favorite on NatGeo WILD’s The Incredible Dr. Pol. The 51-year-old veterinarian is a steady presence on the staff at Pol Veterinary Services and has been on the popular show since its start in 2011.

Dr. Jan Pol of 'The Incredible Dr. Pol'
Dr. Jan Pol of ‘The Incredible Dr. Pol’ | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Here’s what we know about the cool-under-pressure Dr. Brenda, whose full name is Brenda Grettenberger, what she loves most about life as an animal doctor, plus whether she is leaving the show or not.

Why Dr. Brenda loves the veterinary life

On the NatGeo WILD program, Dr. Brenda goes about her veterinary calls with calm and poise. Considering that she deals with large, unpredictable farm animals, it’s impressive how well she handles bulls, cows, goats, and other animals.

She told Monsters and Critics in 2018 that, after graduating from Michigan State University in 1992, she began working with Dr. Pol the same year and has been there since. “I answered a help wanted ad in the AVMA journal (magazine) to find my way to Pol Veterinary Services.”

“Life as a veterinarian is full of variety. I never really know what I may have to do from day to day. We start the day with a schedule and a plan, but the plan gets modified as needed depending on what phone calls come in and what emergencies happen. The ability to multi-task and work with plan B are very important skills.”

Dr. Brenda explains how to insert your arm into a cow and other useful tips

If you’ve ever seen an episode of The Incredible Dr. Pol, you know that Dr. Pol and every other doctor on staff spends an inordinate amount of time up to their shoulders inside a cow, usually to examine the animal when it is pregnant. It’s unsettling at first, but admirable, to see a doctor examine a large animal in this way. The threat of injury by the cow is always present, making their jobs even more hazardous.

In her conversation with Monsters and Critics, Dr. Brenda said, “In order to be able to examine a cow, I have to be able to restrain (control) her. This can be done with a halter on her head, and tying her to something solid. It may be as simple as holding her behind a gate. . . Hopefully, this can be accomplished without harm to me.”

“I try to use her natural “fight or flight” response to help get her to move where I want the cow to be. There are no written safety protocols to follow, just a matter of knowing normal cow behavior, and assessing the immediate working environment and using these things to my advantage to protect myself and keep the cow safe also.”

Is Dr. Brenda leaving ‘The Incredible Dr. Pol’?

The internet has been filled with rumors that Dr. Brenda won’t be returning to the show. There hasn’t been a conclusive word on the doctor’s status on the show, although it would be pretty big news to hear that she was leaving without saying goodbye after 27 years with Dr. Pol.

The signs online point to her remaining with the clinic, however. Dr. Pol’s son, Charles, who is also a show producer, recently posted an appreciative tweet about Dr. Brenda saying, “Dr. Brenda is such a calming presence. Such a good vet. We are lucky to have her on the team. #DrPol #NatGeoWild.”

Apparently, Dr. Brenda is still on staff at Pol Veterinary Clinic, but we’ll have to wait for the sixteenth season to start this month to find out for sure.

Read more: ‘The Incredible Dr. Pol’: The Beloved Veterinarian’s Heartbreaking Recent Loss