the storms gather…

and I get to watch for the 4 hours I’m traveling

I have had a few days off this week and decided to take the time up in Jacksonville with the daughter who doctors horses and other larger quadripeds. My history with veterinarians has always been on the client side, meaning that I see them come out, do their work and leave.  Now I have seen the practitioner side where they go from one job to another with multiple phone calls in between, maybe a meal, maybe not, and arrive home late with equipment to clean, supplies to restock, notes to record and file, and their own animals to tend.  This is not a job for the faint of heart.

Dressing a bad leg wound

Dr. Jules is just starting her practice and for that reason she takes any call that comes available to her.  Networking is important and every call provides an opportunity to meet people, make friends and pass out a business card.  Basically, what this means is that she will drive great distances for an appointment which nets her practically nothing monetarily.  Also since appointments come to her throughout the day, rather than all being in place in the morning when she starts, they can’t be grouped geographically.  One day, for instance, we started out in south Jacksonville, next took a call over an hour away in the north, and ended the day back in the St. Augustine area, followed by the trip home to, you guessed it, north Jacksonville.  All that drive time, lest you think it is peaceful and relaxing, is office time.  The computer sits on a stand at her right hand, her personal phone is somewhere between the seats and her work phone is on her lap except when she’s talking or texting. There is constant communication going on.

Her canine assistant sleeps on the floor behind her seat (nervously because articles in the shared space keep shifting and landing on top of her).

It rains almost every day lately and much work is done outside. Getting wet is common.

Most of the patients are large, frightened to the point of needing sedation, and non-English speaking.

I didn’t get a picture of it (aaaarghgh… should have!) but frequently saw Dr. Jules’ hand disappearing up to the elbow inside a horse’s mouth to check a tooth.  Dental work is done with a grinder the size of a machine gun. I “got” to hold the tongue aside (grab it in whole hand and pull to the side, yuck) and keep the horses’s head up in the air.  I also got to mess up an appointment on the computer, drop some papers in a large puddle, and get us lost driving to a farm – good job VetMa!  All in all, an interesting couple of days and I’m looking forward to a next time.

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