I love my new job.
It’s filled with moments that fill my day with giggles, sadness, and hope. I thought that working with animals would be scary, but it’s been the most fulfilling thing I have ever done. I’ve worked with the homeless. I’ve worked with children. I’ve worked with grieving families, but nothing fills me with more love than working with animals. I continue to work with the homeless and children in my free time, but my full time is dedicated to those who simply can’t speak for themselves. They need us to do it for them.
Let’s walk through my morning…
I got here today at 8:15. Set my things down, and began my ‘morning tour’ to see who had joined us since I left last night. I make it upstairs and see a random cat walking around in the exam room– big and fluffy, black and white dude (or dudette) without a care in the world. A staff member is checking out some very young (maybe two weeks old) kittens with one of our amazing kitty foster parents.
By the time I make it to my executive director’s office, I’m not the only one. She’s brought her cat with her for the day, who could easily be Garfield’s twin because ‘he’s been a little sick’ and they have a house showing this afternoon. Within moments of my arrival, a gentleman and his daughter are at her office door asking if we’ve had a chocolate lab brought in, because their lab had bolted from their yard earlier today. We discuss how the police department and some volunteers were at a local community center trying to corral a dog earlier, but we weren’t sure if it had been brought in.
As one of our staff goes to check the ACO (Animal Control Officers) kennels and we’re taking the gentlemen’s information, I spot a chocolate lab standing in the parking lot outside of my boss’ office. I point and say, “Sir, is that your dog?”– it is. So, we sprint into action. One of our techs grabs a leash and makes a dash for the parking lot, and I book it downstairs, grab some bones, and meet them outside of my office where it looked like the pup was heading. By the time I get outside, there’s a police officer where the dog was sitting, and the dog, who has since spotted his owner, is making the head-down-walk-of-shame back to Dad.
All is well, and everyone is happy. I make it back to my boss’ office, fill her in and we continue our morning meeting before I have to leave at 8:45 for another appointment. Yes, that was my first 30 minutes of the day.
Every day may not include racing after a dog, but each day is the best day ever… even on the really hard days. It’s rewarding to know that whether we’re educating the public on what we actually do; or performing a surgery to save a life; or providing love and comfort to an animal in their last few moments, that what we do makes a difference. Initially, I was afraid of making this move in my career, but now… I can’t imagine my life any other way.
Change is a good thing.