My Blog: Introduction
In preparation for “blogging”, I was encouraged to do a bit of reading concerning the “do’s and don’ts” of writing for a business website. Much of the information from these articles concentrated on how to use the blog for “commercial” purposes; that is, how to cleverly advertise and promote your business in multiple ways. Suggestions included writing about special events happening at your practice, discussing seasonal issues that might cause one to visit the veterinarian or buy some particular product, promoting a health issue (dental cleaning, spay/neuter, heartworm testing) with a “special for this month”, etc.
Well, I guess this isn’t going to be your prototypical “business” blog . . .
I grew up in Columbia, Missouri, one of 5 kids in a pretty typical Midwestern family. In 7th grade, my biology teacher (Mrs. Calder) assigned us a 2nd semester term paper. I spent evenings in the university library “stacks” researching the Watson/Crick discovery of the DNA double helix . . . from that time forward, I was going to be a “biologist” of some sort. By the time I finished college at Tulane University, my career choice in biology centered on becoming a veterinarian.
First, four years in the US Navy—remember, this was a long time ago; a clash in Vietnam was still underway. Post-service, back home and admission the University of Missouri School of Veterinary Medicine. Graduated in 1982 (like I said, a long time ago)–after 4 great years as a veterinary student, learning things actually relevant to my chosen career—then, off to Boston, MA and my first “job” as a veterinarian.
This is where “life lessons” began. I remember arriving in Boston with all I owned in the bed of my Datsun pickup; and $27.00 in my wallet. The day before I was scheduled to start work, I stopped by to check in, and get a pay advance for my first/last months rent . The first thing I noticed was that my boss (Rod) and another male veterinarian at work that day were both wearing ties . . . I honestly, didn’t own one (you have to remember, I went to college in the late sixties; as a rule, a lot of us were a bit “anti-establishment”). In my defense, when I interviewed, Rod was in “scrubs” for surgery; the other veterinarians there that day were female. I borrowed a tie from my uncle who lived in the suburbs, wore it for a month until I could buy a few of my own with my first paycheck . . . and, have worn a tie to work every day since (now, 34 years).
So, I worked and learned my “trade” in Boston for 3 years, then in Boulder/Lafayette, Colorado for 2 years—and arrived in Corvallis on September 15, 1987; as proud owner/partner/veterinarian in Willamette Veterinary Clinic. Can’t imagine how I could have been any luckier; I now consider myself a “born again” Oregonian, and feel so very fortunate to have lived, worked, and raised a family in Corvallis.
Here’s the plan for this blog . . . I have accumulated an incredible wealth of memories and stories over my years as a practicing veterinarian—some are funny, some sad; more “life lessons”, and many clients and pets who were able to teach me things I never could have learned from a book or by attending seminars and lectures. I plan to tell some of those stories, in somewhat chronological order, and hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy telling them. Additionally, I will occasionally have “guest authors” (veterinarians and staff from Willamette Veterinary Hospital, “WVH” from here on) write up some of their personal experiences, so you get an updated idea of what goes on in the daily life inside a veterinary hospital.
We’ll see how my perseverance and your patience hold up . . . if you don’t enjoy this blog, you are welcome to ignore it; if you do, you are welcome to comment! I will (almost always) take the liberty to substitute names and some particulars to protect the privacy of clients, pets, and staff. Enjoy . . .