Class of 2014: 5 steps to loving your first job

We’re about one month away from colleges and universities turning new grads loose on the world, a day of joy and, if I recall correctly, complete, abject fear. 2014 is a rough year to graduate vet school. In my day (cue Dana Carvey Grumpy old man voice), back in the middle of the dotcom boom and a perceived ‘veterinary shortage’, the world was at our fingertips, a lush green forest ripe for the plucking.

hawaii.jpg

Now new grads are being forced upon a Dune-like landscape filled with such ominous portents as 3x higher suicide rate than the general population, decreased consumer trust, massive student debt, not enough jobs, colleagues who look suspiciously at your abdomen for signs of possible uterine occupation before deciding whether or not to hire you. Here you are, fresh faced grads. Can we get a sad trombone?

barren landscape of hawaiis big island in the volcanoes national park

image by photoeverywhere – stockarch.com

Well that’s kind of bleak, isn’t it. Kind of like the veterinary profession itself, these are two snapshots of the same place- in this case, Hawaii- presenting two extremes of what is possible. Most of your time is spent existing somewhere in between. The key to success here is to remember that neither is the land in which you will likely live; do not fear that barren and bleak is forever, and accept those moments of plenty as a gift rather than a life expectation.

hobbit.jpg

You are Bilbo Baggins. You are about to go on an amazing adventure, like it or not, and there will be trolls and spiders as well as angry humans and lots of long recitations of poetry. You will also find good things and good people along the way, and treasure at the end which will probably look nothing like what you envisioned it to be. I asked myself what 5 things I wish someone had said to me when I was spit out of Davis with a new labcoat and no clue, and this is what I came up with:

1. Don’t stress too much about finding the perfect first job.

It’s a starter job, like a starter car and your first apartment. If you get lucky and it’s the job of your dreams and you can see yourself staying there forever, great. If it’s a horrible job with a screaming boss and techs who walk around looking like they could kill you with mind bullets, take heart in the fact that you are still learning: learning what not to do. And you’ll have better party stories (trust me).

2. Accept that you are going to make some mistakes.

cartoon-business

One of the smartest people I know quit the profession one year in because she couldn’t handle not being perfect. I get it, we’re perfectionists who like to map out every destination on Google maps complete with images of every turn. However, we live and function in an imperfect world, where it often feels like you’re driving in heavy fog with a linen blindfold and two people who are supposed to be navigating arguing in the backseat. You may drive off the road here and there. That is what being a new grad is like. Hopefully you will have a decent team to help you navigate, but if not- see point 1.

3. Be OK with the fact that a few  people are going to hate your guts.

James Herriot ruined us all for this line of work, didn’t he? He taught us that even the grumpiest clients will eventually come around, and he taught clients that the barter system is still alive and well in this field. Neither are true. Some people are going to be nasty and mean and do their best to try and make you cry, quit, or vomit. Stop wasting your energy on trying to make them happy and focus instead on the many wonderful people you are going to come across, who will outnumber the horrible ones.

4. The Golden Rules never, ever go out of style.

Say please and thank you more than you think you need to, even to the grumpy people. Especially to the grumpy people. Don’t complain about work or clients at work. One, walls are thin and clients are often sitting in there with nothing to do. Two, it encourages everyone to go down that toxic drain and eventually the topic is going to be YOU. Third, the person you’re complaining about will most likely have what you said in confidence repeated to them verbatim. Expect it. Awk-ward. Be kind, even when your mind is screaming like Animal. P.S. This goes double for the internet. Repeat after me: There Is No Internet Anonymity. Again, trust your old Auntie V on this one.

5. Be selfish.

You’ve worked a really long time to get where you are, and now the expectations are going to get even more intense. When I say, “make time for yourself,” it’s not a feel-good sort of Oprahish platitude, it’s me grabbing you by the shoulders and saying “I beg of you to find a hobby and insist on indulging in it because you will go insane if you don’t.”

meru

Conquering a mountain doesn’t have to be quite this literal a metaphor, but seriously- sometimes you just need to leave your life, your job, your little kids, your diabetic poodle behind for a couple days and go above the clouds. It works and it’s OKAY.

Whatever it is you give, it will never be enough for some people. Draw your own lines, make your own limits, and do not let others do it for you. We are in a profession that takes a lot of emotional energy out of you, and this time is vital to recharge. Travel, if you can. Remove yourself from that place where you feel like the world can’t go on without you to put out every fire because, honestly, it totally can. Human first, vet second.

“I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.”  -Gandalf

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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Nice Mite photos

Some cool Mite images:

Oct 24 Tiny Mite NW Panthers vs SE Steelers
Mite

Image by YMCA of Western North Carolina
October 24, 2010 Tiny Mite Northwest Panthers vs. Southeast Steelers – North Buncombe Stadium

Katydid with mite
Mite

Image by Luísa Mota

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Charlie The Beagle Helps Change Baby’s Diaper | Video

Charlie the Beagle helps his mother change the baby’s diaper! What an awesome job he does! High five Charlie :)

The post Charlie The Beagle Helps Change Baby’s Diaper | Video appeared first on A Place to Love Dogs.

A Place to Love Dogs

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What would you do to find your lost or stolen dog?

An Indianapolis man is going to great lengths to find his Poodle that he says was stolen from his home last year. He has spent nearly $ 2000 on a mobile billboard, hoping to find a lead to locating Boomer. The family is offering $ 1500 for Boomer’s return, no questions asked.
The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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Snout Mite and Springtail (Entomobrya multifasciata)

Some cool Mite images:

Snout Mite and Springtail (Entomobrya multifasciata)
Mite

Image by Sandra-Photographie
I’m thinking that I found something faster than a collembola …. a Mite looking thing eating a collembola haha

Je pense que j’ai trouvé quelque chose de plus rapide qu’un collembole … un truc qui ressemble à un acarien mangeant un collembole lol

mite damage rubber plant
Mite

Image by dwblakey

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Happy Headshots

Just because they make me smile.

Crazy Coulee and Little Lacey

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Common Infections in Dogs

Some common infections in dogs can result in minimal problems for the health of the animal, but infections can also cause major illnesses that can be fatal. As a responsible pet owner you should be aware of these common infections and their symptoms in order to determine whether your dog is having a bout with an illness that will cure itself, or whether the symptoms are indicative of a serious disease. Early recognition and treatment of infections are your best protection against a severe illness or the death of your pet.

Rabies is one of the most common infections in dogs. The symptoms of rabies may not become noticeable for days or even months after a dog has been infected with the disease. The symptoms include refusing to eat or drink water, a high fever, seizures, and foaming at the mouth. Some dogs will exhibit what is called “mad dog syndrome.” A dog with this syndrome can become extremely aggressive and will attack humans or other dogs. Vaccination is not only your safest protection against a dog contracting rabies, but also is mandatory in almost every city and town in the U.S.

Parvovirus is another extremely contagious disease commonly found in dogs, and also requires vaccination with a follow-up shot every year. It is usually contracted through exposure to the infected feces of a dog or other animal. The symptoms of parvovirus include lethargy, vomiting blood, or diarrhea and loss of appetite.

Ear infections in dogs are more common in floppy eared dogs and dogs who spend most of their time outdoors. The symptoms include excess wax build up in the ear canals, a foul smelling odor from the dog’s ears, and pawing or scratching the ears. Ear infections can be treated with a drying cream from a pet store. Insert the cream into the dog’s ear and rub it in well. The cream will act as a drying agent and soak up the excess moisture in the dog’s ears. Serious ear infections require treatment by a veterinarian.

Distemper is a highly contagious infection that affects the respiratory, nervous and gastrointestinal systems in a dog. Like parvovirus, the infection is transmitted when an animal is exposed to feces that contain the virus. All dogs are at risk of contracting distemper, but puppies under four months of age are especially at risk. There is no cure for distemper but there are medications to help control the disease and keep it from worsening. Distemper vaccinations are also required annually for puppies and dogs.

The common cold in dogs is most commonly caused by kennel cough when an upper respiratory infection affects a dog’s lungs and sinuses. The symptoms include nasal discharge and sneezing, continual coughing spells, and great difficulty in breathing. Dogs who have strong immune systems are usually able fight off the infection before it becomes serious. Kennel cough is extremely infectious but can be treated and eradicated if caught in the early stage.

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Cool Mite images

Some cool Mite images:

Red Spider Mite Infestation
Mite

Image by bbum
Red Spider Mite Infestation

www.friday.com/bbum/2006/10/07/red-spider-mite-infestation/

Mite
Mite

Image by hummyhummy
E solo dieci minuti prima pioveva. Si erano presi per mano ed erano scesi di fuori a danzare sotto l’acqua fresca in un giorno di giugno. I loro corpi sospesi in note invisibili avevano creano melodie che ora, a pioggia terminata, brillavano nella luce che penetrava tra i batuffoli di nuvole e si specchiava sulle gocce, sui capelli, sugli occhi, sulle labbra…

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Nobody puts Geeky in the corner

When I was six, my mother enrolled me in my first dance class. I enjoyed it, I had fun, I got to wear cute little sailor costumes and get up on stage and tunelessly tap my feet.

The teacher always arranged us in two rows, and this being the early 80s before everyone had to get equal play, she arranged us not by height but by talent. The precocious dancers with the big smiles and the good rhythm were front and center, and those who tripped on their shoelaces or danced with the angry pounding feet of someone trying to stomp out the last burning embers of an old campfire found themselves perpetually in the back.

My dad has a lot of pictures of half of my body hidden behind the other girls.

Had I been desperate to improve my lot in life as a dancer, I imagine my parents might have encouraged me to spend more time honing my craft. I have learned in life that training trumps talent almost every time. However, I didn’t mind the back row, and they didn’t mind, so they let me be in between dance classes to pursue what really floated my boat: palaeontology.

I read every book I could get my hands on, gaping in horrified intrigue at the artist’s rendition of a Tyrannosaurus gorging on a defeated looking hadrosaur. It was riveting. I spent my allowance in the craft store and would rush home every day to put together my little wooden skeleton models. I had them all.

tyrannosaurus_t_rex_wood_kit

 

It never occurred to me that I shouldn’t be interested in science or that my time would be better spent improving my jazz technique than reconstructing extinct fossils. At night, we’d gather around the TV and watch Nova, or Cosmos- the original Carl Sagan version.

My mother, who is herself very Victorian and feminine, never made me or my sister feel like we weren’t girly enough, even when I was plastering the walls with Garbage Pail Kid stickers and cackling at the, ahem, crude humor. We were who we were, and in my case, that was a sci-fi loving anti-fashion science geek.

I worry sometimes, raising a daughter, that things are different now and there’s more pressure to conform along certain stereotypical lines. I don’t ever recall seeing shirts like this for sale when I was a kid:

ht_childrens_place_subjects_tshirt_kb_130806_16x9_608

 

I saw this shirt in Children’s Place, shortly before it got pulled, and promptly went next door to Peek where I found that amazing Jane Goodall children’s shirt I posted earlier this year. These messages we send to kids matter. They do.

Shortly before that T-shirt incident my daughter said to me, “I guess I’m just not good at math mom,” in response to a poor score on a math test she didn’t feel like studying for. Needless to say that didn’t fly; she may not care for it, it may not come naturally to her, but I wanted her to know she could overcome that. And with the help of a good tutor, she did. “I never,” I said, “ever, want you to think you’re not smart.”

She’s always been an artistic kid, and while I encouraged her to pursue those confidence building theater experiences I wanted her to know it didn’t have to be the only thing that defined her. You can be an actor and a writer and a mathematician and a dancer and an athlete. You can be in the front row of any show you want and are willing to work for.

I can only hope that in the face of many conflicting messages, she will remember this.

We’ve been watching Cosmos as a family the last month or so, because Neil deGrasse Tyson is amazing and the show just makes me happy. My son plopped down instantly to get his science fix, and a few moments later after realizing we weren’t going to be watching American Idol, my daughter sat beside him. A day later, they were discussing time travel in the car on the way to school and my nerdy heart soared. “When’s the next episode coming out?” they asked breathlessly.

That afternoon, my daughter took a break from recording and re-recording herself singing “Let It Go” over and over, sitting at the table earnestly scribbling away on a piece of paper. “What are you doing?” I asked.

“Writing a fan letter,” she said. “Can you help me mail it?”

I paused. I wrote my first fan letter when I was eight. I remember it well. Ricky Schroeder. I even sent him a Polaroid selfie, 80s style. He never wrote back and I was devastated.

So who was it going to be for my daughter? Harry Styles? She and her friends were just getting into One Direction and I wondered if she was about to ask me to subscribe to TeenBop or Tiger Beat. Maybe I’d luck out and find out she was thanking Idina Menzel for belting out such a catchy power ballad. “It’s not to Justin Beiber, is it?” I asked nervously.

She scowled. “Eeew Mom. Come on.” She handed me to letter. It began, “Dear Doctor DeGrasse Tyson: I really love your show.”

neil dgt

 

The kid’s gonna be all right.

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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Hank the Milwaukee Brewers Mascot Gets a Doghouse

You’ve might have heard of Hank, the Milwaukee Brewers furry mascot. We wrote about him when he was just a beaten-down stray who wandered on the Brewers spring training camp in Arizona looking for a shot. He got one. He made his mark. The brass called him up to the big leagues and shipped him to Milwaukee with the squad. The rest is history. Toast of the town, all that. 

Standing ovations? Check

Bobblehead Hank doll? Check.

Stuffed likeness? Check, check, check and check:


The Brewers won-loss record is now 15 and 5. First place in the National League Central and the best record of any team one month into the season. Did Hank have anything to do with that? I’d say so. 

In the meantime we’ve been admiring Hank from afar, the little southpaw with a wicked friendly streak, disarming even the most hardened coach and deranged lifetime Brewer fan. But now, we have to chime in. You see, the Brewers finally made Hank a doghouse, to be placed on the field during games, giving Hank a little place to call his own in foul territory.  

We can’t hold back any longer. Get a load of this crazy doghouse!

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It seems the Brewers are treating Hank like a champ, which is nice to see. Also, according to Fansided, merchandise sales are "through the roof." Trends like that should keep Hank in wet food for a long while. 

Imagine -- just two months ago Hank was wandering the streets of Arizona, with no idea where his next meal was coming from, and now he's the toast of Milwaukee, glad-handing fans at Miller Park and leading the team onto the field. It can almost make you cry, if you weren't a tough-as-nails baseball reporter. 

Read more about the bond between humans and dogs on Dogster:


The Scoop | The Scoop

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