Tuesday, May 31, 2011

And They Said it Couldn't be Done.

So Memorial Day weekend was fun. After taking the appropriate time to think about the reason for the extra day off work and thank our troops for protecting us, Casey, Tyson, the boy and I went on several adventures. Adventures that left my dog like this 24 hours after the long weekend ended.

We started by going to visit the boy's parents. Where we had beer. Quite a bit of beer, come to think of it. Which is probably where this whole idea was born. You see, I spent the week before Memorial Day weekend referring to our trip to visit the boy's parents as the weekend of "six dogs, five people."

Six dog, five people, you ask? You mean the dogs outnumbered the people?! INSANITY!

I know, right?

Since I have become a pit bull advocate, I have adopted out six pit bulls - seven if you count my own. That's not a huge number by any means, but it's a number that I'm proud of because the now pit bull owners either did not previously have dogs, or hadn't ever considered owning one of this much maligned breed. And now? Some of them own two. Which is how we ended up in the weekend of "six dogs, five people" where all the dogs were pit bulls. And since all of the dogs (that outnumbered the people) were getting along famously, and since they were all pit bulls, I got the crazy idea that we should line the dogs up according to size, make them all sit, and then take a picture.

To which the boy's dad said, "That will never work."

Now, let me give you a quick lesson in Emily-Psychology 101, dear internet readers. If you want to absolutely ensure that Emily does something, make sure to say something to the effect of, "You can't do that," or "You'll never do that," or "That's impossible." Pretty much all I hear when you say that is "Challenge Extended*" If you want to make sure I'll die trying to prove you wrong, make sure there's plenty of beer involved.

And so, I set about to make my dream a reality. I had some help, as you can see. And, as you can see from the "setup"** the dogs did not originally begin in the correct order. Since we needed one photographer, we only had four people to prep six dogs. Everyone was a good sport about saying "sit" and "stay" over and over and over in increasingly stern voices. (Commands that I'm not entirely convinced that every dog understood, but since everyone else was sitting, the rest probably figured, "Meh. Why not.") In the end, as I held my peanut butter-covered hands out in front of me and backed away slowly, we got the picture below. No Photoshop needed. Absolute Perfection.

Behold, "Obedience." In order from left to right we have Izzie, Fatty, Lilly, Casey, Tyson and Odie. We had some difficulty deciding if Fatty was bigger than Izzie. I think we decided that he's bigger, although maybe not taller? And Odie is MUCH bigger than Tyson, but unfortunately his hip dysplasia makes him sit on his haunches, which makes him look not only shorter, but like we beat him into submission to get him in the picture. (We didn't.) My dog is the only one with her tongue out. (there's a joke in there somewhere, yes?)

Oh, and I was also proven right. Again.

Seriously, can you believe they're all looking at the camera? Seriously? Click on the picture and zoom in on it. It's ridiculous how cute they all are.***

*Why yes, I watch How I Met Your Mother. Barney Stinson is my hero. High Five!

**As much as I would like to say that I am not the gigantic butt in the middle of the picture, we all know that would be a lie. Le Sigh.

***But do NOT click on the picture with my gigantic butt in it. No one needs to see that.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The (Embarrassing) Future

This is going to sound lame, but when the idea of embarking on this vet school journey first occurred to me, I pondered it for a long long time. A long time. I don't take big decisions lightly because (you may have gotten this from reading this blog) quitting and/or failure are akin to a death by fire for me. In the end, what ultimately made my decision for me was something intangible. Something tiny. Vet school is a lot of debt and a lot of hard work, and did I really want to do this? I mean, I SAW the animals who needed help and I KNEW I had all the tools to accomplish my goals, but this was a pretty big mountain... and not all of it was within my control (obviously.) Was I willing to deal with all of that? The more I thought about it, the more I warmed to the idea. I tossed it out to a couple of people whose opinions I trusted, and instead of mercilessly making fun of me, they seemed supportive. Like maybe I COULD do it?

What tipped the scales for me was an image. A sort of picture of what I wanted for the future. (To recap, a large part of this decision was based on a fantasy. Argh. There goes the whole "logical" thing I try to stick to.) There's not a whole story entwined in this image, it's just a clear picture of a moment in time, and it hasn't changed in almost four years. (Even with my aging and failing memory.)

As someone who never really had career goals... who wanted nothing more than to be "happy," I didn't really take this image seriously at first. I mean, it doesn't encompass ALL of the reasons why I want to do this, does it? And even when I wanted to start this road, it was huge and daunting and scary and all sorts of unknown. I cried about it (surprise!) to a friend who told me to just make a list and get started. So I did. And this image... it sort of faded in the daily grind of ochem and applications and interviews and certainty that I was never going to get accepted.

But now?

In this image, it's almost like I'm watching TV where I'm the main character. I'm wearing scrubs. My hair is long and tied back in a ponytail. (It also has some curl to it, which is completely unrealistic and I attribute that to complete dreaming.) I have a stethoscope around my neck and a white doctor's coat on, so I know I'm a vet. I'm talking to a patient. My scrubs are a bright blue and they're a size small. I'm not smiling, but I just know I'm happy. I look happy. And fulfilled. Is that possible? The most embarrassing part? I'm wearing a ridiculously sparkly diamond on my left hand.

(Who knew I really did want to get married?)

It's probably a ridiculously idealized image of my future. I'm under no illusions that being a veterinarian will be easy, or that I'll be happy all of the time. But this snapshot... it just stays in my mind.

Soooo... let's recap. To accomplish this I need to:

-Get in to vet school (check!)
-Actually GRADUATE from vet school
-Fit into scrubs that are a size small
-NOT cut my hair
-Find a job after graduating from vet school that allows me to work with clients
-Help underprivileged animals (I'm assuming this will take care of the "fulfilled" part, right?)

Seems manageable enough. (Gulp.)

(I didn't put 'get married' on there because I can buy my own sparkly diamond if need be. So there.)