Driving up the winding driveway of my local veterinarian I couldn’t help but remember every drive before with all my family of dogs. My children. Being anxious some days when they were sick and we were scared. Yearly vaccinations and health exams. Why in every clinic is there the proverbial resident cat? Who acts like he built the place, pays the bills, and can say who comes and goes. That’s a question I’ll have to ask my vet. In fact their was a lot of questions I wanted to ask my vet.
Graciously agreeing to meet with me and sit for a spell while I took up her time was Dr. Vicki. Who smiled pleasantly and replied” My time belongs to “God”. A seasoned vet of 45 years had seen all the changes and turmoil of life. I asked her what made her decide to be a Vet she stated her love of science, math, and a brief thought of nursing, all led her down this path. As time when on Dr.Vicki made the transition to small animals. This was mainly brought about by the economics and disappearance of family farms. While small animals were easier, as they would be brought into her clinic, larger animals didn’t have that bonding interest with owners, even though small family farms tended to name their cows.
We mused at how 45 years ago she was one of only six women in school, today most veterinarians are women. Then time to discuss the unpleasant part of her profession–euthanasia. Although it is a part of the life and death cycle, you also have to be part grief counselor, supportive in decision making,during sad times,and professional.
I asked her what is the most important thing future veterinary students should know she strongly suggested “it is a 24/7 job. It’s a lifestyle. You must be available at all times if you are in an individual practice. You will be called anytime of the day or night. For porcupine quills to what now!!” I forgot to ask about the proverbial cat’crawling around and making sure everything was in order.
I know her time is Gods to give, but I am thankful he placed her down the road from me.