The Interesting Life of a Veterinarian
Everybody has some interesting stories when it comes to their jobs. I think I seem to have more than my fair share of interesting stories.
Allow me to give you an example. . . About four years ago my parents were living in Arizona but had bought a house north of Decorah. Because of this I would drive up there every other week and mow the lawn.
Every week my wife and I attend a Bible study on Thursday nights. One of those weeks our Bible study was going to have a social at a dairy farm north of Calmar so I thought I would run up to mom and dad's house to mow the lawn before the social.
So I drove up early with the vet truck to mow the lawn and then swung by the farm on the way home to enjoy the social. When I arrived everyone else was down at the calf condos so I made my way down there to see what everyone was talking about. As I chatted with everyone the farmer walked up to me and jokingly said that he was glad I had brought the truck because he had a cow who had started to calve and wasn't progressing as quickly as he thought it should.
That was all that was said and we continued on with our social. A couple of hours, and a couple of burgers later, we were sitting around the fire enjoying the nice spring evening. The group was starting to break up and my wife and I were talking about heading home when I heard someone come up behind me.
"Ryan, I hate to bother you and I will understand if you don't want to, but that cow still hasn't calved and I think the calf is backwards. If you don't want to help I'll understand and call my vet, but I thought since you were here. . . "
"No problem. I know that if I pulled onto a farm at this time of night and later found out that another vet had been there the entire time, I would not be happy with them. I'll get my stuff."
"Now I just want to make clear that I am very happy with my current vet and I am not looking to change," he informed me.
"Understood," I replied.
It did not take long for the news that "Doc Ryan" was going to be pulling a calf to trickle through the group. Most of them had not grown up on a farm and if they had it was a beef farm so they had not gotten in on any of this excitement before.
Next think I know it looked like lemmings heading to the sea as a line of onlookers filed into the barn. Some small kids were present so all on lookers were encouraged to stand several feet away. I have found this to be less scary for the kids because sometimes the cows make a lot of noise when I get to pulling. Plus if the calf is dead, which is very possible in a breach calf, it is easier to convince the kids that it is sleeping.
While I was getting my equipment together I could distinctly hear
When I checked the cow I was delightfully surprised to find that it was a pretty straight forward breach calf. With minimal time and effort I was able to reposition the calf, get my chains placed, and hook up the puller.
The addition of the puller lead to some excitement amongst the onlookers. They really got to talking when I started using it to pull the calf, but I don't think I really understood the impact it had on them until I read an email from one of them the next day. It was obvious that he had not been in on many pulls before.
All in all I thought the night was a success. I enjoyed good food with good friends, had the opportunity to show off some of the nicer aspects of veterinary life, delivered a live calf without much trouble, enjoyed the short lived status of local hero, and to top it all off I got paid. On time!