Wow, time flies. I saw Teresa at the IVMA office a week ago and was reminded I needed to get this column submitted. Yikes, that came up fast.
I put an old dog down last week that I have cared for since it was 8 weeks old. It is a blessing to be able to help people with their pets and to follow them through an entire life. That circle of life, as pointed out in The Lion King, is and always will be with us.
As empty nesters, my husband and I should be free to do more things without having to worry about our kids, but then we (or should I say “I”) my puppy Winston. I do believe the words “what was I thinking?” have escaped my mouth on occasion. The getting up at night when training, cleaning up his messes and the constant supervision, these are all things young people with babies/kids are used to doing. Just to let you know- been there, done that and it is great, but now I’m finding it tiring.
But Winston is now in obedience class. He sits when I say sit, he offers a paw when I say shake and he almost has "roll over" mastered. What a star pupil! He’s going to be a really well-behaved dog, in say a year or two when he is finally out of his puppy stage. I’ll take credit (along with Erin Topp of Topp Canine Solutions) even though he most likely will have just matured.
So, as I ponder maturing, I look back at choices I have made in my life and career. I can honestly say I wouldn’t have done much different. None of us can get this far in life without a few slip-ups. But overall, I am happy with my accomplishments. I have enjoyed life and still enjoy my work. But, I do think of retiring some day and selling my practice at some point. I am hoping to find someone who will want to buy my practice, someone who isn’t so overburdened financially by student loans that they can’t see ever being in the position to buy. This of course brings me to how we as veterinarians and as members of the IVMA can help with student debt. We can keep mentoring students as they go through school, we can support the IVMA Foundation which has given numerous scholarships to students and we can continue to support the PAC, which has helped get the Iowa VLRP passed and funded. There is my shameless plug for what I think is important.
Back to that circle of life. As those of us who are circling closer to the end of our working life and those just starting around that great circle, let’s remember to welcome and support those coming into this great profession.
Brenda Bright, DVM