I have done my time calving cows at 3am in a February sleet on the side of a hill, I have been kicked right where it hurts by that foal, and I have been, and continue to be, shredded to bits by that wild, poor frightened cat. I have TB tested cattle in the wettest, coldest & dirtiest of places. I have been bored to tears doing the routine, mind-numbing administrative work that comes with any job.
Most hurtful of all I have been accused of being ‘in it for the money’, of being useless because I couldn’t cure what was incurable, of being too slow in getting there after driving 30 miles in 20 minutes. No different from any of vet, I have experienced all the bad bits of being a member of this profession. I have felt cold, sore, tired, lonely and despondent.
And yet, for all that, I would not alter one single thing. When it really comes down to it, if I could press that magic button and bring me back to that pivotal moment of my life, aged 16, filling in that form…..would I change? No. Never. I would never change, I would always chose to be a vet. I am a vet, it is who I am. It defines me and from as early as I can remember there was never another option, and if I could chose again there never would be another option.
For all the hardships every day is different, every day brings new challenges and satisfactions. With hand on heart I love what I do and can not think of a better way to spend my day and I enjoy immensely being able help my clients and their little pets. My clients I see as friends that I will travel through life with, I will see their children born and raised, and those children will come to me as clients in the years ahead. I am honoured that my clients will pay me for my expertise, and will entrust the care of their animals to me. I owe a great debt to those who have entrusted their pets’ care to me.
But what is the clincher for me, what really decides it, is the how I feel when I am asked what I do for a living. Nothing – nothing – could make me prouder than being able so stand up tall, shoulders back, head high and say ‘I Am A Vet’. Not proud of my personal achievements for I have done no better than any of my colleagues, but proud that I can stand shoulder to shoulder with vets from all around the world and what we have achieved in the 250 years of our profession. Proud of their integrity, their dedication and their unstinting insistence that the vet will always do their utmost for their patients and clients. Proud that the vet will always answer that 4am call, that the vet will always attend when summoned, that the vet will always be there for their clients no matter what. And yet we keep doing it, often to the detriment of our personal and family lives, and we love doing it for we love our jobs. We are always there for you and your pets and that will never, ever change.
So I commend my colleagues in this profession. I commend how dependable, honest, incorruptible, caring, compassionate and dedicated the vet is. We are the animal kingdom’s health professionals, we will never let down those who depend upon us and we will always, always do our very best for our animal patients to make them better and relieve their suffering.
That is why I am, and will always remain, a vet.