Every day in veterinary school, clinics can be a challenge in one way or another, whether it is the hours, difficult cases, paperwork, etc, and sometimes it is easy to lose focus on real life. Some days I even forget what the sun looks like after being walled up inside the veterinary hospital during the daylight hours and even after the sun has set. My dogs, though, are my salvation.
My dogs are happy to see me every time I walk through that door, and they shower me with lots of kisses. They don’t know that thirty minutes before I walked in, I was lifting the body of a dead pet from its owner’s arms one last time or that I had spent the day fighting to treat and care for a pet that was less than thrilled to be in the hospital. They just know they love me and that I am home, which makes their world wonderful. They keep me going. Our long walks every night force me to get some exercise and take a break. It is a chance to collect my thoughts, laugh at my dogs, and just spend some time relaxing. Once a week, we go to obedience class as well, which is another place to let the worries of school melt away and focus on something unrelated. I love working with my dogs and training them to succeed. They each just earned their American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Award, and I couldn’t be more proud. It is important when you are a vet student to have that thing that keeps you going and keeps you grounded to the real world. That thing is different for everyone, but for me it is the dogs I love.