Veterinarian: Building Relationship through Work

It’s such a long word, that I will shorten it to “vet” for this post – not to be confused with veteran though.

I think a good addition to the holiday calendar would be a “Take Your Parent to Work” day.

After living with my daughters for years into their teens and more, it was easy for me to view them in light of their history. I remembered all their intermediate steps of growth into maturity, but didn’t always remember to view them in the present, as someone would meeting them for the first time. That’s why it was such a pleasant surprise to see them at work. It added a new dimension to our relationships to be able to view them as respected professionals with awesome people skills. (Of course, there is still a little motherly bias in my evaluation… it’s allowed.)

My daughter the large animal vet started working in a practice right out of school. She often had to drive to farms, haul equipment into the barns, keep her own digital records, handle phone calls on the fly, and more without any assistance. When I would visit for a few days I got to ride along as vet tech. This was an interesting pastime for me, having been a people nurse for years and finding that there are a lot of similar procedures. As I have written back on day S, I also love saving animals when possible.

Oh the things I never thought I would see. Foals being born, horses castrated, goats getting C-sections, llamas, cows, pigs getting diagnosed and treated. There were calls in the middle of the night, and times when different equipment was needed for emergencies that helped me understand the stress of the work. I heard Julia giving good news to clients, and bad news, handling both with diplomacy and compassion.

She works with a larger group of doctors now and often has an intern to help, so I don’t ride along anymore. I do hear the stories though. It’s now easy to also see her as an adult professional, as well as a daughter. I think it’s a very important perspective for a parent to have and I’m thankful.

Different professions create differing opportunities, of course. I remember when daughter Esther started in retail sales when she was 15. I would go to pick her up sometimes and watch while she handled sales in a busy clothing store (I am so compulsive – would straighten clothing racks while waiting!) She had stories of shoplifters and irate customers that were hair raising. With amazement, I have watched her climb the career ladder as she mentored others and stepped into the role of consultant. I don’t get to go to work with her, but I can, and do, ask questions. I want to know the role work plays in her life. I want her to talk to me about work when she needs someone to listen, and to reasonably expect me to understand. It adds much to our relationship.

And a lot more has happened in the last 8 years!

So here’s the question. What do you know about your adult children at work? Did you ever take them to your work when they were young? Our work is a big part of life. Knowing something about each other’s work life is a huge part of “knowing and being known” and that is what relationship is all about.

By the light of the moon…

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Today Dr. Julia had only one appointment and we were going to spend a good part of the day switching her vet box from one truck to another – a process requiring a lot of unloading and reloading and four strong men to do it.  Unfortunately the doc has also been on call all day.  It is now dark and she is still giving shots to Howdy, Whiz, and Li’l Snip.
It’s been a long day and a hard day. The worst of it was euthanizing a sweet little mini who was in severe colic. We shed tears along with the family over that one. Those are not easy decisions to make.
And we have not even started switching trucks. Maybe tomorrow.  Some days are just this unpredictable.

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Today’s List

Today I made a list, which I almost never do anymore.  There were some important things that I didn’t want to forget.  I am never sure of my lists – are these the most important things? what am I forgetting? can I possibly do it all? But I did make the list and then prayed that if it mattered at all, I would be directed what to do.

And then I did other things, none of them on the list.  I guess it didn’t matter?

But it was ok.  I had made the decision someone else’s.

Today I helped my employer, somewhat longer than I had planned, but she needed it.

Today I returned a phone call and as a result, someone who needs a place to live, might have exactly what they wanted.

Today I fed someone who couldn’t feed herself. The food looked disgusting (pureed) but she ate it.  She had no response except to swallow and look at me once or twice. I felt overwhelmed with compassion.

Today I called the above person’s husband and told him that his beloved wife with Alzheimers was clean, fed and safe for one more day.

Today I came alongside someone who was helping someone else and hopefully answered some of his questions and encouraged him.  We made copies of his friend’s last will and testament.   We went to a restaurant and I had a strawberry shake while I watched him eat his burger and fries.

Today I let my cat sit undisturbed on my lap for half an hour.  It was the only time I was stationary at home and it did me good too.

None of these things were on my list, but they were on God’s list and ultimately I was very satisfied.  I’m making a list again for tomorrow but I’m not going to worry about it. The God I believe in is also making a list which is far better than mine. Hopefully as I trust him, my list will match his more and more. That is really all he asks of me.

F for Fingers

fingers that play (to the beat)
fingers that play (to the beat)

fingers that work (and take a beating)
fingers that work (and take a beating)

adjusting and healing
adjusting and healing

steering in the right direction
steering in the right direction

keeping the truck on the road
keeping the truck on the road

um... oh well, you know
um… oh well, you know

learning
learning

providing diversion and entertainment
providing diversion and entertainment

keeping up with events on the news
keeping up with events on the news

etching an award for a deserving teacher
etching an award for a deserving teacher

ready to type the next post
ready to type the next post

Fingers – think of all they do. Think of what life would be like without them… Think of how awesome it is that they obey orders that start way up in your head without you even having to think about it.  We are wonderfully made!  Have you ever really looked at the hands and fingers of the people you love? These are fingers from my family and friends doing what they do for fun and for making a living.