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So, do you ever have one of those work days that make you hate your job a little? It happens to all of us right?

That’s the kind of day I was having yesterday. It just seemed like nothing was going right. Every dog seemed to be in a cranky mood (read: ready to bite my face off), I had clients showing up late left and right, one dog urinated on my new Toms ballet flats (maybe I had no business wearing them to work in the first place but still) and my back was aching from the previous day’s surgeries. By about noon I was ready to throw in the towel and call it a day, but my day had only just begun.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, I had a huge gap between my 4:00 patient and my last evening appointment (which makes my 8-6:30 day seem even longer). That left me waiting around for my last client of the day who showed up at 6:15 to fill out new client paperwork for a 6:00 appointment. You could say I was annoyed.

The patient was an English bulldog and the only thing listed in the appointment description was “unable to walk.” Since sometimes the owner’s version of the problem is a little different than what’s actually going on, I was hoping for a simple muscle strain that could be treated with rest and anti-inflammatories (I mean who really wants to be doing xrays at the end of the night?) but when I saw her crouched in pain under the exam table reluctant to move either back leg I knew it was going to be a little more complicated.

This dog was in pain.

I’ll admit I grumbled to myself out loud as I drew up the drugs to sedate her for the xrays, (why couldn’t this dog have come in earlier in the day?) but when I saw her body go from twisted and tense to relaxed and loose as I gave the injection I realized I was the one who had the least to grumble about.

Her xrays showed a severley arthritic hip and were very suspicious for a slipped disk that was probably the cause of her severe pain. We got her started on pain medication and by the time we finally sent her home (approaching 8:00 at night) she was by no means as good as new but at least she was more comfortable. I started to feel some of my agitation from the day fading away and even started to smile a little (perhaps the first time all day long?).

Not to mention, her owners were extremely kind and grateful, thanking us multiple times for staying late to treat her. I found myself feeling proud of the way our staff really rose to the occasion even though they were being held up late too, insisting on helping the owners get their still somewhat sedate dog out into the car. I wish I could have snapped a picture but the image of two me-sized girls carrying 70 pounds of dead weight out into the dark parking lot honestly almost made me tear up a little.

There may be aspects of my job that I don’t love (the long hours, my aching back and feet after a busy work week, the fact that no shoe or article of clothing is ever truly *safe* and that I’ll never, ever make it to a Friday night happy hour) but at the end of a day like yesterday, I’m reminded of why I do what I do and I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to say that I do love my job. (Ok, most of the time ;)).

Breakfast this morning was a waffle with peanut butter and a pear-ginger smoothie.

(Fuel for a busy Saturday at work)

I’m happy to report that today was a much better day. I finished up on time, every dog seemed to be in a good mood (read: kisses all over my face) and all of my appointments went smoothly. Coincidence or an attitude adjustment? I can’t say for sure but either way I’ll take it. 🙂

I hope you’re having a wonderful Saturday!