It sounds cliche but when I was young I really wanted to be a Veterinarian. I had this book called What to Do Until the Veterinarian Comes and I read it over and over again. My dad saw my interest and talked to our dog’s Veterinarian Dr. N and asked him if I could “help out” around the office during the summer. Dr. N agreed so in the summer before 8th grade I started going to the Vet a couple of days a week.
The senior Veterinary Technician was a small wiry guy who didn’t say a whole lot to me. The other two Veterinary Technicians were young kids that were doing their BOCES internships and didn’t seem to take it very seriously. They were always processing the stool samples for worm tests. The testing solution was kept in a large Sunny Delight jug. Senior Vet Tech was in charge of the grooming services at the office. This was long before the days of Pet Spas, etc. His method of bathing a cat was to hook the cat’s collar up to the hook on the grooming table and spray water on the cat while it bounced around in all directions. The grooming area was in the basement which SVT had taken over as his own. He had covered the walls with dozens of centerfolds from raunchy magazines. Whenever I had to go down there I instantly averted my eyes from the walls but I know that I couldn’t help catching a couple of beaver shots. Oiy, did I forget to mention that I was 13 years old?
I did get to see more than a couple of operations and the Vet always let me be there for the patient examinations. There was one cat that had been brought in to be spayed and when the doctor got in there he found that she was already pregnant. Her litter in the placenta looked like a series of 8 golf balls evenly stacked inside a stocking. I think after that I had to go and sit down in the doctor’s office for a while.
Dr. N was very nice to me most of the time. He used to bring his dog with him to work once or twice a week. He saw how I mooned and carefully petted each and every patient that came in so soon after I first started he told me to go down to the end of the hall and say hello to his dog, Teddy. I did and as soon as I stepped into the room I was met with a snarling bark from a gigantic caramel colored Akita mix. Teddy was in a crate thankfully but he still scared the crap out of me. I am convinced that the Dr. knew that Teddy would do that and I do remember his smirky expression when he was setting me up.