edit: while I was just thinking I remembered that I had a small job before this vet clinic experience that I want to share too, reason being looking back on it gives me a good laugh.. 🙂 therefore when you’re done reading this proceed to the next entry
Ok, looking back on my last post I could tell my mind was going a million miles a minute trying to put as much out into text as possible. I’m assuming it’s because I haven’t written in a while, so hopefully this will not be as confusing the more I do this. I used to have a livejournal account where I could blog pretty much nightly of my experiences working at the 24 hour emergency vet. It was awesome, and I didn’t ramble. Like i said.. all in good time 🙂
Yes, I’ve worked at an emergency vet. In fact I’ve been in the veterinary field for.. *pause for thought of how frigging OLD this makes me* but 24 years. Got my first start walking into a local vet for an interview with a black corduroy trenchcoat, black boots and rebellious attitude. Why he hired me I have no idea, but there was something he liked about me because he hired me pretty much on the spot.
Dr Smith (yes, that was his name, not an alias) inherited the practice from his father and was one of the well known vets in the area. He was an veterinary opthamologist so my first real task as a vet ‘assistant’ was to stand in surgery while he did cataract removal surgeries. It was the coolest thing i had ever seen! Slowly I was trained in other fields and he was patient and understanding when I asked question after question. Being a teenager I still did irresponsible things like party too late and go into work half asleep. More than once I would sneak into the xray developing room and take a nap. Still, even though back then I thought Dr Smith hadn’t caught onto to my trickery I know now he knew damn well what I was doing, but he kept me in line. Maybe to him I was a project? One day a lady brought 2 cats into the clinic for ‘euthanasia’. Now, only recently I had learned what that word meant and it wasn’t as pretty and exotic as it sounded. I asked my boss why she wanted her cats killed. He explained to me she couldn’t keep them anymore and they were peeing in her house. I don’t clearly remember what I did next but somehow those cats disappeared from the cages they were in I ended up at my house lugging two heavy cat carriers ready to hide these cats in my mom’s garage. When my mom asked me what the hell I was doing I told her what had happened and she wasn’t sure how to react. Eventually my boss came to my house and took the cats back. I don’t know if he ended up putting them to sleep or not but I think he kind of respected me for going on a crusade to save these 2 cats what in my mind didn’t deserve this death sentence. What ever it was he had a lot of patience with me. Sadly though, as i was working there and while he taught me the basics of what would eventually blossom into a full career for me he fought his demons of his private life. Married to an Iraqi woman named “Shala” who only cared about shoes, shopping and status she would come into the clinic with their two kids in tow asking for more ‘Moneeeeeee”. None of the staff said much, but we all dispised that woman. Then, shortly after Christmas one year Dr Smith set up a ‘workout’ room in one of the storage rooms in the clinic. He claimed he would go in early to get a workout before opening up for the day. Then a shower was built in the bathroom closest to his office. It became apparant that his home life had become unbearable and he was living at the clinic, but still nobody.. not even the receptionist who had worked for his father before him said nothing.
I left there to persue something different about 2-3 years later and went to work for a non appointment vet clinic. Later on I learned that the receptionist had showed up for work one day to find Dr Smith laying on an exam table back in the treatment room. He had put a catheter into his arm and had a bag of fluids spiked with the pink euthanasia solution running into it. On his chest was a note scribbled in his handwriting “If anybody asks, I had a heart attack”. Dr Smith left behind a son, Bruce Jr and a daughter Gillian. I have no idea if they knew the truth behind how their father died or how they are even doing today. It angers me though that he left his kids behind to deal with the loss of their father in such an abrupt way, fictional heart attack or not.
Even to this day I have talked to people from my home town that fondly remembers Dr Smith and a comment is made like “that heart attack took him too young!” I bite my tongue letting them think that, it’s better that way.