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President's Message

Spring Greetings!

"April showers bring May flowers" - farmers are in the fields and things are turning green. Ah, summer in Iowa where if you listen, you can hear the corn grow. The
saying used to be "knee high by the Fourth of July" but now it apparently is as "high
as an elephant’s eye" (from Oklahoma, the musical). Either way the sun is shining and
it is getting warmer. I can ride my bike outside. But I’m getting ahead of myself, it’s
spring, not summer yet.

As I’m starting to write this Winston, whom you have already been introduced to,
is sneaking off to try and get some cat food before I stop him. He is persistent, I’ll
give him that. The cat room is really just a small room we use for an office. We have
put the cat’s food and litter box here behind a baby gate that has a cat door. She is
getting older and can’t jump like she used to, so a cat door it is. Winston at 75-80 lbs.
can still wiggle his way through this door. This is a feat I have not been able to catch
him in the middle of. My husband did once, and Winston got scared and yanked
backwards enough to pull the entire gate out of the doorway. It was stuck around
his middle and Mike had to chase him down to help him out of it. I’m pretty certain I
would have peed my pants had I seen this. It must have been a sight. Didn’t stop him
from trying again though. Shucks.

The entire RAGBRAI route was published late in March. I am busy planning my stops
and getting letters ready to send to the veterinarians along the way. I have explained
my idea for a fundraiser before but a recap is I will send out letters with a business
card. On the back of the card will be a dollar amount. The card can be turned in at
the IVMA Annual Meeting’s PAC or Foundation tables or mailed to the IVMA office.
I will donate the amount on the back of the card. A matching donation is desired but
not a necessity. Dr. Bill Williams will be riding part of RAGBRAI with me and will also
be raising money for a great cause. More information to come! Both the PAC and the
Foundation have great needs for funds. Let’s see if we can help them out. If we make
changes to this plan, I’ll let you know.

I had students at the office yesterday. I have an ever-evolving group of students who
come in once a month to do spays and neuters on local barn cats. This helps the
students get more surgery time. They also get much needed practice at intubation,
anesthesia monitoring, and how to stay calm when faced with an occurrence that
was not expected. I think the most common “occurrence“ is having a pregnant
queen. I’m not sure why I term this uncommon because we all know how fast cats
reproduce. But it is good experience to work with the larger vessels etc. that you find
in a pregnant queen.

This is not a one-way relationship. I too learn from the students as we talk about
many things as I oversee their work. It is very refreshing to see their enthusiasm at
getting to fill a Saturday with doing surgery. I have talked about mentorship before
and I think of this as an informal mentoring program.

I think that is all I have for this month and it is nice today so I really need to get out
on my bike.

Until next month,
Brenda Bright, DVM