Friday, February 22, 2013

Have Vet Licence - Will Travel

So I have this gig that I have been doing for the last 10 years or so, doing locums at various vet clinics.  I have found that it works out quite well - people don't get sick of me and vice versa.  Since moving to Saskatchewan, I have found a more permanent home at Poplar Valley Animal Clinic at Mankota.  My old dog Fly gets to come to work with me - and she spends a busy day sleeping under the desk - a clinic dog if you will.  I barely see Alan the boss - while I am there he is off doing what has to be done at his own place.  The same goes for me - when I am not working, I am doing what has to be done - whether that be working sheep, working cows, working dogs, or working at getting the gumption to clean the house. I recently renewed my Alberta and Saskatchewan licences, since you have to have a licence in each province you work in.  I have only a few demerit points on them...oh, that might be my driver's licence I am thinking about - easily done when you drive the miles I do. 
There has been a clinic in Alberta that has been a regular stint for me.  The owner and his wife make their way for their annual winter holiday for a month in Hawaii as I look after the clinic, and their dog Kiera.  I have been doing this for the last ...oh my gosh....9 years!  How time flies when your having fun (paying bills).  When doing a locum, sometimes the clients will question your abilities, or be leery about making an appointment.  As I get older, it gets easier, since I look older and obvious with age there should be experience.  Then there are the clients that try to pull the wool over your eyes, stating that "Dr. So-and-So aways gives me a discount." or "I came in two years ago for my dog's ears, and I can get medication at anytime." If I could have got paid a dollar every time I heard these comments, I probably could have retired already.  Sorry people, I worked very hard for my licence...I follow things to the letter.  Next time, ask your pharmacist if you can pick up some antibiotics without seeing your doctor - I am sure you won't walk out with any medication either-unless it is Chapstick and Preparation-H (please read directions on how to administer-don't want to mix up the ends).
While I was here, the excitement started when when I woke up and just about stepped in Kiera's diarrhea - yup, the little dog was upset about her owners leaving her.  I practiced my placing intravenous fluids on her, and a few days she was as good as new (as new as a 12 year old, blind Miniature Schnauzer can be).  Puppy vaccines, spays, neuters, a fluke infested Catahoula hound, preg checking, a horse that got killed by a kick to its head by its pasture mate, an exciting hour of trying to castrate a horse (which ended up having enough drugs to drop and elephant, but not enough to drop this pig), and a week of caring for "Maple", the 13 year old Cocker Spaniel who got ran over by her owner and broke her pelvis - she is trucking along quite well now-it was all in a days work.  James Herriot eat your heart out. 
As I worked in Alberta for this month, I have decided it will be the last year I will work away from home.  Nineteen years of going to clinics away from home can be placed in the annals of history for this vet.  It has been a ride, but I have run out of gas.
One bright note - I bet I won't get any speeding tickets going to Mankota from our ranch!


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