Caring For Animals Isn’t What I Do, It’s Who I Am

Caring For Animals Isn’t What I Do, It’s Who I Am

So as I’ve mentioned before in previous posts, I work part time as a vet tech, that’s a veterinary technician! (Just in case someone wasn’t sure) I, believe it or not, LOVE my job!! How many people do you know that can honestly say the same?! I have worked within this particular profession for almost 7 years now, at the same animal hospital. Currently I only work 1-2 days a week, depending on how busy the schedule is. Throughout any given day, at any given time, there can be, and usually is, multiple different things all going on at once.

As a vet tech, my job is pretty much to do whatever I can in order to help the Dr. Sometimes that means filling prescription medications, helping with surgery, restraining a feral cat for the Dr to examine, doing toe nail trims and …eeeek! anal glands , drawing blood, taking X-Rays, answering telephone calls, drawing up and administering medications, taking care of hospitalized pets and much more. Unfortunately, we also are faced with the tough, ‘this is life’ duty of putting people’s pets to sleep. I LOVE working with animals, but this is the real story, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Yes, of course we get to see adorable puppies and kittens come in for their check ups and vaccinations (who doesn’t LOVE puppy kisses??) But we also get to see the old Labrador Retriever come in for his routine bloodwork because he has cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. The poor dog seems to come for an appointment every few weeks with a new lump. It’s sad!! But you know what??

He’s happy!!

I always try to imagine what this particular dog would be doing if he had HIS choice, he wouldn’t be sitting around sulking and feeling bad for himself! He’d be out running, playing fetch, and exploring. Thinking this way for me, turns a not-so-positive situation into a bearable idea. As long as they’re happy, sometimes…that’s all that matters!

When pet’s get old, or are extremely ill, owners will bring them in to be put down. Not that I have to explain…but this is the worst part of my job. This is where I, as a vet tech take on the responsibility of not only making sure the pet is comfortable and taken care of, but that the owner is treated with just as much care and empathy. When owners are crying and apologizing to me for being so emotional, I tell them, ‘it’s ok to be upset! I would be just the same way with my own. I’m sorry for your loss’. The unfortunate reality of the situation is that pets don’t live forever, as a matter of fact, they don’t live that long at all.

We are here to help…you, and your pet. When we ask if it’s ok to ‘take them into the back’ for certain procedures such as a blood draw or a toe nail trim, it’s because most pets, believe it or not are less stressed, and less protective when they are away from their owners. Most owners don’t want to see their baby being poked with a needle! (Yes, we use needles to draw blood- TRUST ME, we would use osmosis if we could! ) But it’s ok to trust us, we love your pet! That’s why we work with animals Sometimes it even takes us a little longer to bring the pet back to the owner because we are busy giving it lots of love… and treats!

Even with all of the bad that I see, I wouldn’t trade my job for anything. It is so nice, and comforting to be surrounded by people who share the same passion in wanting to help animals. Caring for animals isn’t what we do, it’s who we are!

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My name is Ashley, and I am a wife to Greg, mother to a 2 year old daughter Ailyn, and pet lover/owner to Geno and Keirra. I am a mostly stay-at-home-mom, but I do still work on occasion as a vet tech.

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