How old were you when you decided, I mean really decided, what you wanted to be when you grew up?
For me, I knew pretty early, I believe around six or seven years, that I wanted to care for animals. But it wasn’t until the summer before 10th grade that I knew definitely… I was going to be a VETERINARIAN! That decided, I informed my parents I no longer wanted to be a ballerina or a teacher (shout out to all the dancers and educators out there!). That summer everything changed for me. Healing animals is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. SO WHAT CHANGED?
Surgery on a Hamster?
So let me back up a bit. I had a couple of hamsters going into my freshman year of high school, Slade and Alex. I had them for about two years. At the time, I didn’t know their lifespan on average was about three or four years. One day I noticed Slade’s cheek was getting puffy. He wasn’t his normal perky self. The lump grew quickly and I was getting worried. My mom and I decided to take him to a neighborhood Veterinarian, who happened to be a female. I had seen male vets before, but never a WOMAN!
I watched in amazement as Dr. A (I’m old and can’t remember her name, lol!) examined Slade. She discovered he had a mass. What she said after, I will never forget. “Would you like for me to perform surgery and remove it?” I couldn’t believe it, surgery on a hamster? She told me that although the mass would likely return, at least I would have a little more time with my furry friend. Dr. A only charged $25 for the surgery granting me more time with Slade….Thank you Dr. A.
Dr. A was my first Veterinarian role model, and I wanted to soak up as much from her as I could. The following summer I volunteered at her practice YUP, SHE WAS THE OWNER TOO! She showed me what Veterinarians working in a clinic do daily. EVERYTHING! Healthy and sick exams, surgery, behavioral and nutritional consultations, preventive care, humane euthanasia… She did it all.
I watched my first surgery at her hospital and fainted in the operating room…ON THE FIRST DAY! Usually when people faint, they’re out cold. At least that’s what I imagined. But I could still hear everything being said. Dr. A asked if I was diabetic. I said that I wasn’t. I was so excited that day that I didn’t eat breakfast. I’m not sure why I thought that was a good idea, but she was a pretty good sport about it.
Although this was one of my most embarrassing moments, I didn’t let it sway me. Thinking back, I’m pretty sure I destroyed her entire surgery setup. But she let me return anyway. I volunteered the entire summer, and at the end, I was even more determined to become a Veterinarian.
After volunteering at Dr. A’s practice, I didn’t keep in touch. I thought about her often and how she OPENED MY EYES. But life just happened. Recently, I did a little research, and found that Dr. A (who is really Dr. W!) is still practicing in the same hospital in Chicago. I plan to visit one day. When I do, I’ll tell her that volunteering in her practice was a defining moment for me. That experience inspired me to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. I MUST GIVE DR. W HER FLOWERS NOW!
That summer it all changed for me. I knew exactly what I wanted to be. I didn’t know what challenges were ahead, and there was no clear roadmap to follow. I did know I wasn’t going to stop until I reached my destination, TO BECOME A VETERINARIAN. But first, I had to finish high school! TO BE CONTINUED…
Hello and welcome to MY VETAMORPHOSIS BLOGSPOT! I wanted to start things off by sharing part of my personal journey. Not because I enjoy talking about myself, but because I believe it’s important to know who I am and where I’ve been. We’ve got to trust one another and build a connection. This is the cornerstone of a healthy coaching relationship. In addition to my stories, I’ll address other subject matter many of you can relate to. Feel free to recommend discussion topics. If you just have a comment, I’d love to hear!
I’ll be dropping two to three posts a month on my website, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Be on the lookout. So tell me, WHAT’S YOUR STORY?