Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Vicarious Vet

I have been told my whole life that I should have been a veterinarian. The only person that hasn't told me that was my high school chemistry teacher who I had to beg(and I mean BEG) for a passing grade so I could keep at least a B average to continue driving my car. It also didn't help that a good friend of mine that is a few years older than me and a whole lot smarter flunked out of vet school. And to be fair I am just not that ambitious. So I moved my wish onto my son, who is very smart and very ambitious. I thought I had a pretty good shot with him because he loves animals as much as I do and excelled in all the sciences. I pictured in my mind him becoming a vet and me working in his office. I pushed pretty hard but he chose people over animals and is now in graduate school studying molecular biology and doing medical research along with his lovely girlfriend at the University of Colorado. I told you he was smart...and I couldn't be more proud.
I have always been fascinated with veterinary medicine and although I do whatever I can myself I do enjoy taking my animals to the vet. It's better than shopping. As long as it's not too serious, then it's not so good, but that's rare since I try to be proactive and use good management with my critters. Anyway, I always learn something new and usually come home with something to doctor up my animals with. I always did love to play doctor and I love my vet. He is practical while staying up on the latest things and he respects my knowledge. I still remember the day he got his first ultrasound machine. I had a Sheltie that was due to have puppies and he wanted to try out his new toy on my very pregnant girl. He asked me if I would let him give her an ultrasound, free of charge, so he could check it out. I told him sure if he would let me go back and watch. So we went into the back room where the machine was set up and put Grace on the table with her tummy exposed. The vet tech. shaved her belly and we proceeded to wave the magic wand on her only to see one humongous puppy. One! And I had 4 already sold. I was a bit distracted and as I picked Grace up to leave my foot got caught on the electrical cord that was draped across the room and sent that ultrasound machine almost crashing to the floor. If it hadn't been for the doctor's quick reflexes my bill would have been seriously higher. I wonder if he ever lets owners in to watch anymore?
I am also a huge fan of James Herriot. I have all his books and read them to my son as he grew up. They are truly laugh out loud before it was LOL. One time my son had an assignment to write to his favorite author and he chose Dr. Herriot. He wrote to him only to get a letter from his publisher saying that Dr. Herriot was too ill to answer any letters. Shortly after that we heard that he had died. Hubby came home to his wife and son crying their eyes out. He said,"Oh my gosh, what happened?" We howled, "James Herriot died."
It has left a bit of a hole in my life. But I think I have found a way to fill the void thanks to a comment left on my last post from "I need orange" sending me to a blog called Vet On The Edge that is very James Herriot like. It is funny.....and you know how much I like funny and it is about veterinary medicine.....and now you know how much I like that....and it is from Alaska where my Grandpa lived.....which reminds me of another story. When I was a child my grandpa lived in Alaska. I heard stories of his dogsled and was so excited to travel to Alaska to visit him. I didn't say a word to anyone how excited I was to get to go out with Grandpa on the dogsled. Imagine my disappointment when I got there and he had traded his dogsled for a snow machine (that's Alaskan for snowmobile). I have never gotten over it.
Anyway check out this vet's blog my friends, but grab a cup of coffee or tea and be prepared to spend some time reading about the adventures of a vet on the edge.
I give this blog a two thumbs up. I plan to live vicariously through her.


Pat said...

I just wanted to let you know that I went to Vet on the edge and absolutely love it! What a fabulous story teller! Thansk soooo much!

ga.farmwoman said...

Oh, I love all of James Herriot's books and still have them. They are well worn now.
I can't wait to look at the Vet on the Edge blog.
Have a good day.

Marie said...

You have a wonderful blog. Fabulous photos. I am envious of your life. Thank you for sharing.

Marie said...

Rats, I forgot to add: Have you read the book "Life in the goat lane"? I think the author was Linda Fink. (or Funk) It is really funny and thought you might be interested as a goat person.

goatgirl said...

Pat, I'm glad you liked it as much as me. You are so welcome.

Pam, I got my James Herriot books back out and plan on reading them again this winter. I started last night and it is just as good the third time around.
I sent you some rain it should be in Georgia in about a week.

Marie, Welcome and thank you. I love my life too.
And no I haven't read that book but plan on trying to find it! Because I love goats and I love funny.

MaskedMan said...

Have you read Gary Paulsen's work? He's a musher, writer, and an Original Character(tm).

If not, start with 'Winterdance,' and go on from there. His writing is, by turns, poignant, hilarious, matter-of-fact, and heartbreakingly beautiful.

goatgirl said...

Oh yes maskedman we are big Gary Paulson fans. We follow the Iditirod with our 4th graders and Gary, lately, always enters and then scratches or withdraws.
He is quite a character alright but a very good read.

Esther Garvi said...

I love James Herriot's books! Lots of people have told me as well "You should be a vet!" (well, I've been told I should have been a politician too, so I don't know how much that counts for when I come to think of it...) but animal behavior has always fascinated me the most! So if I didn't already have my niche working with people in the poorest country in the world, I would have been studying animal behavior somewhere deep in the heart of nature... :-)

Thanks for the Vet on the edge tip!

MaskedMan said...

Ah! Another I-rod fan! Most excellent!

I do amateur I-rod race commentary and analysis for a couple message boards every year - I'm close on 4000 miles away fom the action, but I've got good local sources of information, and am plugged into the informal underground information flow between the various locals, musher's teams, their supporters, and so on. I'll send you a link, when I start the next batch of Iditarod threads.

goatgirl said...

Esther, You have found your calling. And who in their right mind would want to be a politician anyway? Stick with animals. I too love animal behavior and training is one of my favorite things to do. I'm glad you like Vet on the Edge.

maskedman, That link would be great. We really get into it with the kids. We have been doing it for about 6-7 years now and do a ton of lessons centered around the race. We feel like we know the mushers personally. By the way I re-read my comment and I do know that it is spelled I-D-I-T-A-R-O-D. Misspelling bugs me. But every time I right that word I have to think about where all thoses vowels go. I guess I wasn't thinking.
And I happen to be in love with Martin Buser. Don't tell Hubby.

goatgirl said...

maskedman, I meant write...not right. I better quit while I'm ahead and get off to work to teach children how to write right.

MaskedMan said...


No doubt, thinking of Martin and his team had you distracted from your spelling. Heh!

Martin's a pretty admirable guy, in any way you care to name. And tougher than seasoned oak, too - imagine mushing down the trail in typical I-rod conditions, with a freshly amputated finger! And running with the lead pack the whole way, to boot!

Definately peek in on AKDD's blog after the turn of the year, as the mushers start to get vet checks done - She'll be seeing many of the big names!

Marie said...

Have you seen the min-series "The toughest race on earth" yet? I think it's on the discocery channel. It is a documentary type reality show during the Iditarod.

(showing last years race of course)

Winterdance is one of my absolute favorite books. :-) (did you know the movie Snow Dogs was based on it? A sad attempt at the book in my opinion. (I was so disappointed when I found out.) Iron Will is a much better sled dog movie for fans.

goatgirl said...

Marie, I haven't seen it yet. It's on past my bedtime:) I will wait until they show it again earlier. Since we follow the race at school, we get the previous year's movie and watch it with the kids. We call it Iditarod Lunch Bunch and the kids bring their lunch in and watch the movies. We also have "Season of the Sled Dog" with Mary this one! And one on Susan Butcher. I miss her:(
And we have watched Iron Will. Love that too.
My favorite Paulsen book is Woodsong. That opening chapter make the hair on the back of my neck stand up.
And my favorite Iditarod saying is...Alaska, Where men are men...and women win the Iditarod!

goatgirl said...

Marie, I found Life In The Goat Lane on ebay. It was only about 3 dollars. Thanks for the tip.

goatgirl said...

maskedman, Yep that's my Martin. Every year we pick our musher to win and I always pick him. Maybe this year:)
Thanks for the tip on AKDD's blog. I'll be sure to read all about it.

Esther Garvi said...

Dearest Goatgirl!!

Welcome over to Ishtar's ark, cause you've been given an award!

Warm greetings from West Africa,

MaskedMan said...

Yeah, GG, Martin's always competitive. Maybe this year, indeed. It'd be nice to see *someone* go for five!

Frankly, though, as much a Mackey fan as I am, I'm kinda rooting for Ed Iten - The same year (2005) that Martin took his freshly-butchered hand down the trail, Ed went down the trail with a deep knife wound in his knee (hunting accident), and dang near won, anyway! Had he been able to 'pedal' effectively, that might well have made the difference for victory.

goatgirl said...

Wow thanks Esther! I love an award!

Maskedman, We like Ed Iten too.

Beth said...

So did your dog only have 1 puppy or was the machine wrong?

goatgirl said...

Hi Beth, Yep, only one big puppy. The machine was right so I had 3 disapointed people.

Wrensong Farm said...

Great post! I wonder how many animal lovers out there were told they should have been a Vet....I know I was one....and for many reasons I didn't become one either. I enjoy Vet visits picking their brains. AND have read the Herriot books more times than I can remember. :) Thanks for the heads-up on the Vet on the edge blog, great reading!