I recently started a new job at a vet clinic and let me tell you, there is so much more behind the scenes being done for your pets than you realize. Over these last few weeks, I have learned so much from both my coworkers and clients alike.
For example, did you know that Blue Heeler puppies are born white and get their color as they age? Did you know that this is because they have Dalmatian in them? I sure didn’t.
What about a chic number? The other day we had a client bring her Great Pyrenees in for OFA testing and I got the chance to talk to her and ask her all sorts of questions. The owner is both a dog trainer and breeder and she is so incredibly knowledgeable! She was throwing facts at me left and right and one of those facts she mentioned was what a chic number is. A chic number is a number given if the dog has all health testing recommended by the parent club.
This same client then asked me what breed of dog I currently have and what breed I want in the future. I told her I want my next dog to be a German Shepherd because I had one in the past he was amazing. She didn’t like my answer. She said that just because my last German Shepherd was fantastic doesn’t mean my next one will be, and of course, I can’t argue with that logic. She went on to ask me what German Shepherds were originally bred for and why they walk on their hocks.
Not knowing the answer I took a guess of herding or hunting. Of course, I was wrong and she gave, what to me, is the most interesting explanation because I have never heard this before, but it makes a whole hell of a lot of sense. German shepherds were originally used as perimeter dogs in the Alps and they walk on their hocks because that gave them the power they needed to move quickly through the mountain perimeter. Who knew?!
Although all this information is greatly fascinating, the best experience at work thus far, where I learned something new and also had the chance to experience something that can only be described as magical, was when I got to help with an animal c-section. A man brought his pregnant dog in for what was going to be an “all hands on deck” delivery. Based on the dogs' last x-ray we knew she was having at least twelve puppies! As everyone knows this is an insanely large liter.
Well, we were met with a surprise when in actuality there were 15 puppies being welcomed into the world!
Each of us assisting with the liter was handed a few puppies once the umbilical cords had been clamped and we had to basically wake them up. We had to clear their airways and rub them with towels to help them begin breathing. To say I was nervous and excited at the same time is an understatement. The puppies are so tiny and fragile that I was worried I’d break them when cleaning them off and helping them to breath, that I was rubbing them too softly and was struggling to wake them up. After one of my coworkers told me I had to “make them mad” and I watched her handle one of the puppies I was more comfortable with being a bit harsher with the pups. The delivery ended pleasantly with mama dog and all puppies, including the runt, doing well!
It still amazes me with how much I have learned so far after only starting this new job a few weeks ago, and I can’t wait to see how much more I learn along the way.