How One Little Dog Saved My Career

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Rest In Peace, Hugh Jackman

I want to be a veterinarian, and I’m proud of myself for wanting that.

At some point in her life, every single little girl in America, like me, has probably said, “I want to be a veterinarian when I grow up!” Most of these little girl’s thoughts on the subject probably equate to: doggy + grown-up = veterinarian(!).

Yeah, no.

Being a vet is a lot tougher than the general, “I’m going to save animals!” As I grew older, I began to wonder if I really wanted to perform euthanasia or watch a dog suffer and die because modern medicine didn’t have the technology required to save it. I wondered if I really wanted to see the inside of a dog’s stomach while I performed surgery, or see animals so hopelessly mauled that they didn’t even look like an animal anymore.

And so I let my dreams of becoming a veterinarian wither and die, and I began to search for a new career, one that was less heartbreaking, less horrific, and with less risks. I tried to get more into computers, because I felt that I needed a job just to make money and keep living. I even considered working in wildlife rehabilitation (which I think is still a super cool job, by the way), before throwing that to the wayside too, because it didn’t make enough money.

I still loved dogs, but I couldn’t find a well-paying job concerning them where they wouldn’t get hurt.

Even then, I jumped at the chance to start volunteering with animals.

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Max playing on the beach with his foster family.

Although I never really worked with him, I met a dog called Max. He was a pit bull. He had three legs. He wasn’t very good with children. He’d been abused. And yet, he was one of the sweetest dogs I have ever known.

And he inspired something in me.

What if I could work with dogs like him every day? What if I could save their lives, and give them a second chance?

I read Max’s backstory, and I found that he had been a stray dog when he got into a car crash which broke his leg. He was taken into rescue, where his leg was deemed unfixable, and had to be amputated.

Had that veterinarian not been there to amputate Max’s leg, he wouldn’t be around today, and I would have never gotten the chance to meet such a wonderful dog.

And that awoke my old dream.

I now knew that I wanted to become a vet.

So I toured shelter vet facilities and learned how to prepare vaccines, administer medication, measure pills, and watched spay/neuter surgeries.

My dream had been reawakened, now with a new purpose.

I know what risks I’m taking. I know the pain involved with the job.

And I’m ready for it.

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