If I roll up my sleeves, you will see many scars. I have worked in veterinary hospitals for 20 years now and the first ten years were spent in a hospital that cared for a lot of exotic pets including iguanas. Iguanas are quite entertaining, and while I was getting used to handling them, I discovered that they like to continue moving their legs when you pick them up. Iguana toenails can leave a good scratch if you aren’t prepared for it and in my early years I wasn’t, and have the scars to show. None of the iguanas were aggressive; they just had places they wanted to go!

I have been bitten by a few kitties and was once bit in the face above my eye by a dog that was recovering from anesthesia and had a moment of confusion.

These are the scars you can see. The scars that people cannot see are shared by all of us who work in veterinary hospitals; they are the ones that leave the deepest scars. If you look at 20 years as a full-time staff member and look at the average life expectancy of many pets, in theory, almost every pet that came in as a puppy or kitten would have passed away by now. We become so attached to our patients and care deeply for all animals. We watch them grow, are there when they need medical care, and we are often present when they leave this life.

As each of us goes through this life and meet each other, know that everyone in one way or another has scars; seen or unseen and be kind.

Written by Jen Kendrick, Site Coordinator


Not One More Vet

DID YOU KNOW – Veterinary professionals are more than twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts as other Canadians are?

Read More
See All Articles