I wrote for years before I was ever published, and I don’t think I could ever stop. That said, I was also a veterinarian before I sold my first book, and I still volunteer my time to help with animal welfare causes. So that is a career I would be happy to return to – while still secretly writing strange stories back in my doctor’s office.- James Rollins, author
Who knew that some artists, actors, teachers and writers wanted to grow up and be veterinarians? According to quotes from singer Whitney Huston, actress Kristina Applegate, or writers Amy Hempel and James Rollins, each thought about careers, or actually had some experience working in a veterinary clinic. Rollins actually was a practicing vet; however, my all-time favorite veterinarian James Herriot, an excellent storyteller, wrote about life of a country doctor (All Things Bright and Beautiful).
Twenty five years ago, my late mother (then a college English teacher) bought several acres southeast of Tucson Arizona to write and have a couple horses. Her friends included longtime horse-people, a farrier, and other writers and saddlebums. With a ranch residents including an older palomino and Paint (horse), a burro (rescue), two greyhounds (racetrack rescues), two cats, one “Nubby” and an occasional stray, her vet was a member of the family.
As for me, I live in part of San Diego county that many associate still with pickup trucks, and farm animals (even though the one lone cow I pass on my way to the freeway hasn’t seen a blade of grass in a few years}. The area appeals to my not-too-country and not-too-metro senses. With second- and third-generation residents who provide directions including the Feed store and the rodeo grounds, “going into town” means driving twenty minutes to the Walmart or the Costco in Santee. Several “East County” folks I know have a farrier, veterinarian, and saddlebums on speed-dial.
With the vet recommending surgery, Dexter spent yesterday as a guest of the El Cajon Valley Veterinary Hospital. He got a growth surgically removed from his ear. He came home groggy with an ear bandaged and cone around his head. Two to three weeks of pills for inflammation, antibiotics and pain. Two to three weeks in a cone while his ear heals. And then it will be time to get Comet into see our vet for his annual physical and shots. I may not have a vet as a member of the family yet, but Doc Rhoades is someone the dogs have seen more regularly than my in-laws.
Confession: I actually worked several years on a ranch tending to horses and livestock, I never thought about become a veterinarian and less, a writer (blogging wasn’t a “thing” then).