Tag 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

Fingers crossed, here we go

So on Friday I quit my job.

I sort of laugh every time I tell someone.  Seriously, in this economy, I am voluntarily leaving a position that pays me money?  Ha, when I think of it that way, my stomach twists in a nice little knot.

There are lots of reasons that I’m leaving, but because I still work there for 6 more weeks, I should share the public one: I’m trying something different.

click for source

In the last year, as I’ve read about other people’s wedding planning journeys, I’ve actually been quite moved by a lot of them.  Many people thought they were doing one thing and then changed their plans because of their families – and then changed again to do something that felt more authentic.  People are saying “Screw tradition” left and right and still getting married in ways that feel true to them, and nearly always report that people complimented them on it.  You don’t need tradition to have an amazing wedding; you don’t need to buck tradition to have an amazing wedding.  You just need to do what’s right for you.

And hearing that mantra over and over – Do what’s right for you – and also reading about how well it turns out for people both made me feel a little stronger.  Yes, strangely enough, weddings and wedding planning are making me rethink the way I’m living my life. Weird.

I’ve been feeling for a couple of weeks like I’m on the edge of something big, like I’m in a place in my life where I can make a big change, take a risk, and maybe it’ll work out.  Maybe it’ll work out really well.  So fingers crossed!  Here goes nothing.

So, what am I going to be doing?  Well, all the things I ever wondered about! I am applying for volunteer positions with all the local wildlife organizations; hopefully I will hear soon about whether I’ll be working with squirrels, sea turtles, or wolves. Seriously.

And you know what else is awesome?  How supportive my wife is about all this.  She’s kind of the best.

Now we return to your regularly scheduled programming.  More wedding coming tomorrow? We shall see.

Has anyone else made a drastic leap of faith(/insanity) like this?  Please tell me it turned out well.


Filed under other

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