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President's Message

Greetings fellow veterinarians and veterinary technicians!

This will be my last article as I am passing the gavel (although I never got a gavel) to Dr. Shawn Nicholson at the Annual Meeting later this month. I was very concerned when I started down this path that I would not have anything to write about. Then, Winston came along. He has provided me with lots of entertainment and stories to tell. I hope you all have found them funny or at least worthy of a chuckle or two.
Speaking of Winston and RAGBRAI. Ok, so I haven’t mentioned RAGBRAI. I do want to recap my adventures on RAGBRAI and this story involves both Winston and RAGBRAI. Mike, my husband, drove to Lansing to pick me up after I finished RAGBRAI. Since Mike has retired, Apollo and Winston are not in their kennels much. We had a neighbor come over and let them out for a potty break about halfway through the day. We got home and Mike went in to put them outside as I was unloading my bike. I came in with my gear just as they were coming in from outside. Apollo was excited but Winston was beside himself. So much excitement!  He ran through the house peeing the entire time. I mean full on urination all through my house. That dog has the largest bladder.  He had just been out. Seriously, what’s up with that? Oh well, as I was cleaning up his mess, I figured he REALLY missed me. It is nice to be missed.
As far as RAGBRAI went, it was a great week. You couldn’t have asked for better weather. I really enjoyed stopping and visiting with some of the practices along the way. There were some that weren’t open, albeit because it was Sunday or before or after hours. Some were open but the doctors were not in, avoiding the crush of mad cyclists descending on their communities. Others I didn’t make it to because they were too far off the course. Especially on the 100-mile day. I’m sorry I missed you. I did enjoy seeing the docs I got to talk to. I especially liked the comment from the doctor in Waukon. When I asked if he got the letter I sent, he said “Well, yes. I’ve been waiting for you. What took you so long?” I went to his practice on the last day, and it was hilly, I mean major hills. I said something to that effect, and he chuckled and said “Well, you’re not done yet!” What a true statement- there were some even bigger hills left for me. It was great to make those connections.
Donations made to the IVMA Foundation during RAGBRAI including matching funds totaled over $7,200. Overall, I would say this was a very fun and successful adventure!
One last story. On the first day of riding, I stopped to see Buford the steer. He is touted to be the largest steer in the country. For a mere $5.00 you could sit on Buford and have your picture taken.  This seemed like a good idea so I was waiting in line and talking to the owners of Buford. I have to admit I asked why he had not been sent to market as it was obvious, he was big enough. She chuckled and said Buford was a pet (worst investment ever according to her husband). I told the owners who I was and what I was doing, etc. I then had my turn and when I finished, the man in line behind me said he had heard some of my conversation and commented that he thought Buford was calm because he knew what I could do to him. I asked this gentleman what he thought that might be.  He says, “Snip, snip. You know.” I then asked if this gentleman was from Iowa or had any farming experience. He said no. I go on to explain the steer has already been castrated. No “snip snip” would be happening and if he had been a bull, I would most certainly not have tried to sit on him!
With that, I am handing over the reins to Dr. Nicholson, who knows way more than I about steers.

Brenda Bright, DVM