There’s always a first

Vet school already feels like years and years ago but in reality this year will only be 5 years since I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.  I was just thinking about this recently and remembered Claire, my first dog spay in veterinary school.  She’s pictured below with me the morning before her surgery. 

We spent only one week with these dogs. They came from a shelter in Philadelphia and we spayed or neutered them and tried our hardest to find homes for them. Many students adopted them for their own. I remember praying I didn’t fall in love with my spay-dog because I couldn’t take her home to my apartment with my allergic roommate. And then it was Claire. She was initially wary of us vet students who were poking and probing her but as you can see, she became comfortable with us. I would spend my extra time with her that whole week. I asked my boyfriend if he could adopt her. I asked my classmates. I think I even asked my parents too. Just someone please adopt this adorable little girl! 

Her surgery went spectacularly. She recovered uneventfully and the following morning we spent an hour together with her on my lap as I wrote up her post-op medical record.  I started called her Claire-bear. I also started trying to figure out if I kept her on the lower floor of my apartment if my allergic roommate would be able to handle that. Maybe just maybe it would work. And then, on her last day before having to head back to the shelter, we received word that she had an approved adopter. Her savior was a veterinarian who lived on a small farmette. I was ecstatic…and oddly sad at the same time. She was destined for a life of fun and adventure; but, selfishly, I would miss my little Claire-bear. I think of her frequently, wondering how she’s doing. To this day, this picture is still saved on my phone. I picture her in my head romping around her farm by day and curled up on a super soft bed at night like the queen she deserves to be. 

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