- Reading time: 4 minutes
- Price: Free download
- Published: 3rd December 2021
- Price: Free download
- File format: Text
The sound of a diesel truck and the smell of horse manure bring flashbacks of my childhood. Growing up on a farm and being very active in the rodeo world, I was a firm believer that the thundering sound of horse hooves matched the beat of my own heart. Although I began riding horses before I could even run, I was surrounded by all types of animals, such as cows, dogs, goats, and even birds. I spent my summers and falls handling horses and other large animals, and my springs raising cows, goats, and sheep. Growing up on a ranch and being active in the rodeo scene taught me the value of time management, hard work, and prioritization.
My love of learning and interest in animal life began early and was only strengthened when I became involved in 4H at age six. Working with my horses in diverse situations and with other riders throughout the years taught me valuable lessons about what it takes to be a veterinarian. From public speaking to leadership to attention to detail, I learned that one of the most important qualities a veterinarian must have is flexibility. This lesson really hit home for me when I spent nearly an hour after my shift at River City Veterinary Hospital to ice an unruly dog’s inguinal area because he had ripped his stitches after a neuter. Ultimately, the dog was in less pain, and I learned that flexibility is much more important than cooking dinner before 8:00 p.m.
Just a few years after joining 4H, I discovered the EhCapa Bareback Riders, a nonprofit club focusing on natural horsemanship. With nearly 50 other riders under the age of 18 (and just as many horses), teamwork and communication with the people around you and your horse was the key to success. When I began riding my third horse Bird, I faced a new set of challenges. For an entire summer, nearly every time I got on her back, I was confronted with bucking, rearing, and pushing my legs into the fence. About six months after our first ride, we clicked. I finally realized that she was extremely sensitive and required a soft hand. Had I given up on trying to ride her after just a few months, I never would have discovered what an amazing horse she was. My foundation for patience, communication, and teamwork were only strengthened and I grew more confident in my own abilities. Bird and I endured many trials, including a traumatic jumping collision, thus proving to me that perseverance and dedication can produce success.
I had always been fascinated by the diversity of animal life, but I built a passion for pet owners when I began my first job at River City Veterinary Clinic. As I became more familiar with the owners of dogs who attended daycare, I came to care for those who are hopelessly devoted to their pets. As an owner of an elderly dog myself, I understand how difficult it is to entrust a stranger with her health. I began to enjoy talking to owners, learning more about them, and became comfortable with handling pet owners with diverse personalities and concerns. Now, I comfortably converse with pet owners at Affordable Veterinary Care in Moscow, where I currently work.
When I spent the summer interning at H Bar H Veterinary Clinic, I discovered the value of problem solving. A horse came in with a limp in the front leg, but presented no other symptoms. The veterinarian and I worked for nearly an hour and a half performing nerve blocks to determine where the pain was coming from. In situations like this, it requires a veterinarian to think outside the box and have critical thinking and patience at their disposal. During this internship, there were countless other scenarios that demanded attention to detail, creative thinking, and determination. It is because of my experience with Dr. Hardy that I aspire to work in a mixed animal practice with an emphasis on large animals. I crave the diversity of large animal medicine, and enjoy the task of problem solving on a daily basis.
In an effort to enhance my problem solving skills further, I became involved with Emerging Leaders, a semester-long program that teaches leadership skills in a hands-on environment. As I moved through the program, I learned that leadership is more than just working together to solve a problem. I found that elements of speaking, flexibility, tolerance, and education are all required of a great leader.
I also joined Guiding Paws of the Palouse, a WSU club that performs preliminary training on potential guide dog puppies. While I gained valuable animal experience, I also learned how to communicate with other members and the puppies themselves. When elected Equipment Manager, I honed in my organizational skills and now manage all of the vests, kennels, and other equipment issued by the club. Keeping my files organized allows me to ensure that all equipment is taken care of and the membership dues are paid.
Now, I work as a Cougar Connector for WSU. When I give tours, I love meeting new people, working on my toes, and sharing my school spirit with prospective students. Talking to people with vastly different personalities has taught me to speak to people tactfully and effectively, while maintaining a degree of professionalism.
All of my many experiences, including my childhood on a farm and years at a small charter school have helped me develop skills that will help me succeed. Years spent in an academic, yet competitive environment have taught me to be a keen, ambitious student who puts academics first. The many teachers with diverse views aided in my open mindedness desire to become educated about politics and world affairs. My involvement in Emerging Leaders, multiple clubs on campus, and a demanding job have given me the tools, like time management, problem solving, and a love of learning, to thrive in veterinary school with a strenuous class load. I am certain that my dedication to school, my animal experience with 4H and the EhCapa Bareback Riders, and my time with various veterinary clinics have prepared me to thrive in veterinary school.