If you are able to read this, congratulations on surviving the record cold weather. I tried to avoid walking in that winter-not-so-wonderland as much as possible this weekend. Oh for those happy summer days…
Needless to say, this weather changes things at the vet clinic as well. Which brings up another aspect of being in rural veterinary practice–you’ve got to be more than just a doctor. Sure, that’s the important part, but if you’re going to make it in the Dakotas you’ll need to pick up a few other skills besides the ability to spay a cat faster than it takes Lynyrd Skynyrd to finish “Freebird”.
For one, snow removal becomes important. It’s hard to work on animals at the clinic when the clinic is buried in a giant snow drift. So being able to run a snow shovel and a skid steer becomes necessary.
General maintenance is also a good skill. Since most (but not all) veterinarians started out as farm or ranch kids, being handy comes naturally. Like this morning, where Carolyn was greasing the chute to make sure it keeps functioning smoothly.
And then fixing the things that break seems to be a regular chore. It’s probably not surprising that animals weighing somewhere between one half and a full ton are hard on equipment. That’s why we have a chest of tools at the ready.
The list could keep going, but one thing that stands out from all these tasks is this list isn’t exclusive to our vet clinic. In small businesses, factories and farms across America, people wear several hats to keep the business going. Just like Alabama sang in their classic “40 Hour Week”, their work keeps this country turning around.
Photo Credit: The marvelous kitten picture was taken by Leah Geis, master kitten photographer.