If you read the profiles of veterinary nurses on the websites of clinics, most of them will say that they always wanted to work with animals. My origin story is a little different..
After high school I started studying psychology at RMIT University in Melbourne. I found the subject fascinating, and it had seemed to come naturally to me in high school. Some friends of mine told me off for distracting them in class; annoyed because my marks were better than theirs despite being chatty in class.
After only 6 months in the course it was clear to me that psychology wasn’t for me. While fascinated by how people think and behave, I was never that interested in counselling people through psychological issues. This was a major focus of the course – the idea being that psychologist should be involved in both research and in counselling in order to keep their research relevant.
So without any real direction I decided to enter the workforce in a steady office role. I couldn’t believe my luck I got an entry-level administration position at a small law firm in inner city Melbourne. I almost didn’t apply for the job because I though that I was under qualified for it (I’d only had a handful of retail jobs by then).
It was a fantastic, supportive team and I’m happy to say I’ve stayed friends with many of my colleagues there. I enjoyed the work well enough, and a promotion to a management role kept me challenged. But honestly it didn’t do very much for my personal fulfilment. So, when my partners job took him to a city on the other side of the country for 12 months (Perth, WA) I decided to blow my savings on a trip to Europe and then join him there.
I did some temp administration work while I was there, but found myself with a lot of spare time. To put it to good use I started volunteering at a cat shelter which was something I’d wanted to do for a long time. I really enjoyed it and put my hand up for more responsibility helping out in morning cleaning and feeding. When kitten season hit they asked me to work as a casual kennel hand and I enthusiastically agreed! It worked out great – they had an extra pair of hands during the busy time of year, and I didn’t feel guilty leaving after only 6 months.
I found working at the Cat Haven to be wonderfully rewarding. I loved reuniting lost pets with their owners, helping animals to find the right loving home, and knowing that I was reducing the number of lost and unwanted pets.
One day a special kitty named Wizard come to the cat haven. He had a tumour on one of his hind legs and the decision was made to amputate the leg. It was a pretty exciting time for the shelter – they rarely had the funding to perform surgeries like this one (although they are increasingly able to save sick cats).
The kennels hands were invited to observe some of the surgery. I popped in just as they took the saw and started cutting through his bone. I still remember looking at the surgery site and the grinding sound it made. Later, I told my boyfriend the story over the phone but had to cut the story short. Imagining the sound of metal on bone made him feel queasy. That was the moment I realised that I do, indeed, have the stomach for veterinary nursing.
I started this blog as a way to document my new-found passion and stories of animals! I’ve always had an interest in writing, so I’m thrilled to have found a creative outlet in which to develop my writing!
I hope you enjoy my blog, and I’d love for you to share any feedback, questions, comments or animal stories you have with me!