Category Archives: Vet school

My Pre-furred State of Being

I have spent my entire life wanting to be a veterinarian when I grow up.  I think there was a month or two when I was about thirteen or fourteen when I was really active in my church, and for those two months I considered that maybe I wanted to be a UU minister.  Well, when that month or two was over, I was back to wanting to be a vet.


again, me in my Preferred State of Being: covered in dogs

I started working at a local vet clinic when I was fifteen, and never really stopped after that.  In high school I went abroad for six months and obviously could not keep my job while I was on the other side of the world, but no worries!  I found a Clinica Veterinaria where I happily worked every Saturday morning.  When I returned to the states, it was back to work at the hospital, and after not working with animals for one measly semester in college, I never took a break again until my first real-life job.  I decided to take a break from veterinary medicine and try something a little more human oriented.  I thought maybe animals weren’t my thing anymore… after a year and a half of rape crisis work, I went back to the dogs (and cats and rats and bunnies and birds… you get the idea).


Me in Chile circa 2002. No, I didn't medically treat these llamas, but I may have tried to hug them.

The big thing that I didn’t do in all of this time was actually finish my classes to apply to vet school.  Every year I have said, “This year I’ll finally take X so that I can get my application in for next fall,” and every year something comes up: I don’t have the time, I don’t have the money, I refuse to skip my honeymoon so I can take the first Organic Chem exam.  Not the worst excuses, but finally I realized something.

I don’t think I want to be a vet.

That said, I do (of course!) still appreciate a face-in-cat situation. Even if the cat is slightly perturbed.

A couple of weeks ago, I was preparing to leave my job at the cat clinic and wondering what would come next.  I put together a list of the things I have loved about all of the veterinary medicine work I have done in the last almost-11 years (seriously, almost 11 years? Crazy!):

  1. Working with people and animals. One or the other doesn’t quite cut it for me.
  2. Troubleshooting with people about their animals, a la, How can we get your cat to take its pill? How can we help you transition a new pet into the house? How can we get your cat more active or your dog more engaged? etc)
  3. Working with the same people over time, and getting to know clients. I love recognizing people when they come in; I love that they know me by name and that I know them well enough to stop and say hello around town.

The thing I realized is that none of this is specific to medicine. So… here goes something else?  Monday was my first day of officially no longer having a full time job.  Of course, I still got up at 6:30, dropped my wife off at the bus, took the dog for a run through the woods, and then went to my volunteer position at a wildlife sanctuary.  As I pulled up to my driveway after all of that, I glanced up and there was a bald eagle flying over our house.

(this is not the actual eagle, but this is what it actually looked like)

I’m seeing hope around every corner.  Here I am, knowing that I’m on the edge of something big, and feeling like I’m waiting for it to materialize in front of me.  I have a petsitting business and a domain name – could I someday expand this to a training/behavior business?  Do I go back to school for something awesome?  Does someone reading this know exactly what all the signs point to?



Filed under Menagerie, Vet school

PastSelf, I love you.

Do you ever want to just hug your Self-from-the-past?  Because sometimes I just want to hug my PastSelf and say, “Thank you, PastSelf, for making CurrentSelf happier and making my life easier.”

Examples of such times include:

  • PastSelf loses $5, and then CurrentSelf finds them in her shorts pocket JUST AS SHE WANTS A FIVE DOLLAR ICE CREAM CONE.  Thank you, Past Self.
  • PastSelf buys extra stamps and puts them somewhere that is easy to find.  CurrentSelf rarely needs stamps, but when she does, they are there! Exactly where PastSelf left them! Thanks, PastSelf.
  • CurrentSelf cannot remember where her official college transcript is… perhaps PastSelf, in some moment of organizational haze, put it somewhere organized… like in a file cabinet?  There it is!  Thanks, PastSelf

Here is why I am grateful for PastSelf today: I’m doing this whole applying vet school thing.  You may have heard.  Anyway, I’ve been agonizing over my letters of recommendation.  I know who I’d like to write them, but they’re people that I haven’t worked with in a few years, and I feel a little funny calling them up out of the blue and saying, “Out of all those other students you’ve worked with (who were not as awesome as I am, of course), please recall all the reasons I am amazing and write about them in detail. Thanks.”

On a whim I called the health profession advising office at my college, just to see if they had a file on me.  Maybe, on a whim, PastSelf set something up there?

You guys, I love PastSelf!  Not only did she set up a file, she already has those two letters of recommendation completed! In the file! And then they set up an appointment for CurrentSelf (that’s me, now) to talk to the main adviser about the whole application process tomorrow!

So things I love today:

  1. PastSelf.  Thanks again, PastSelf.
  2. The Office for Pre-Health Advising at my expensive college.  This alone is totally worth tuition.  Thanks, College.

Are you ever incredibly grateful for your self-of-the-past, or is this just a weird thing I do?  Or an awesome thing I do?  And is it awesome enough to be a reason to let me into vet school?  And did I mention that this blog is now going to be Roughing It: I’m Applying to Vet School! (and also maybe planning a wedding)?  Just kidding. Sort of.


Filed under Vet school