Manchester Veterinary Clinic

156 Spencer Street
Manchester, CT 06040

(860)646-5170

manchestervetclinic.com

Two Years In

By Kate Allen, DVM


When I joined the clinic two years ago, I began this very same blog entry.  I was just starting my career as a veterinarian, I had just graduated with a mind full of memories and memorizations from vet school, and I was starting a new chapter in my life.  There’s no better time to write a blog – so much to talk about, so many questions to be answered, so much to share.

Then my next patient arrived for their 3:00 appointment.

 

This theme continued for…oh, about two years.  I’d finally remember, ‘hey, I gotta sit down and write some of this stuff down!’ and then my next case would walk in.  Writing is not a chore for me; I love it, I thrive on it.  When I was at school, I had a job as a surgery technician for the surgeons after hours.  As they were busily at work at 3 am and after I had set them up with everything they needed, I’d sit at a table in the corner of the surgery suite, cap, gloves and mask on, writing a letter to my parents.  “There’s this amazing surgery called a gastropexy,” I’d write, and then describe it to them in detail, why it was happening, how the dog was going to be totally fine after it was done, and what a wonder medicine was.  They still have those letters.  My mother always encouraged me to write them despite her total aversion to anything remotely gory or related to bodily functions.

So, it wasn’t that the blog entry was hard to write; far from it, since I had so many stories to tell. It was my complete and utter devotion and love for the people and pets I met at my job.

Dr. Allen's girls; River & Faye - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

Every 30 minutes or so, I was meeting a new face – well, meeting new faces.  There were my patients, obviously.  Vet school doesn’t prepare you for the vast spectrum of personalities you come across in your patients.  Every single dog and cat I’ve met has been a unique individual, some scared, some overjoyed, some withdrawn, some outgoing, and some even feeling a bit aloof (more cats than dogs in this category, I’d say).  Each patient had their own stories to tell, if not with words, then with their actions, their relationships with their owners, and with their bodies.  And I loved reading and trying to understand each story my patients would tell – and, where I could, helping them to fix the chapters in their stories that needed help.

 

In addition to meeting my patients, I had the privilege of meeting their families.  Again, you can study all you want in vet school; it’s never going to prepare you for the infinite number of ways that people interact with, care for, and love their pets, and it has been a joy to see it all.  The people I’ve met through MVC have taken my breath away, made me think hard, brought tears to my eyes, and taught me well about what it means to love a pet.  Each family member shares a different story. Each person brings something new into the exam room with their dog or cat, and each person has a page or two of joy, sorrow, frustration, anxiety, fear, affection, and a myriad of other emotions to add to their story of their relationship with their pet.  The common theme to each story is love – a deep, abiding love for their pet that brought them to MVC in the first place.  It’s been humbling and honoring to be invited to read each of these stories.

Which brings me to this blog entry. Two years ago, I sat down to tell my story, the story of a woman who’d just left vet school and was starting out at the Manchester Veterinary Clinic. I’d still love to share those stories, if you’d like to hear them. But what has kept me busy, involved, in love with my job for the last two years is everyone else’s story. Thank you for letting me be a part of yours, and if it’s okay with you, I’d like to keep being a part of your story for a while to come.

Dr. Allen and her girls - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

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