My very first childhood memories are of my adventures with my family pets. As one of 9 children it was sometimes hard to get a word in with all the humans: but my pets always listened. It was as though we understood each other. As a very young girl my father suggested I become a veterinarian, but I just blew him off and thought yeah right.
As I grew I took notice of how pets truly enhance our lives. They enrich our joys, support us in grief, and teach us about love and loyalty. As a young adult my father continued the gentle pressure: “don’t you ever think about being a vet?” he would ask. Eventually I began to feel this magnetic pull towards animals and medicine. It wasn’t just because I like animals, it was more because I really like people; and I truly enjoy seeing the healing power of the universe as demonstrated through the lens of modern medicine. I love helping people with their animals’ problems and watching firsthand how the human animal bond makes us each more human.
Once I finally committed to veterinary medicine it was like a well tailored jacket, it fit me perfect. I love my job, I love my patients, and I truly love my clients. I get to support the animal-family relationship from the pediatric visit all the way through emergencies, routine care, and even difficult medical conditions. I know what each of the pets I care for brings to their human counterparts and it is truly an honor to support this bond.
At graduation from veterinary school my Dad gave me a small wrapped gift box as many parents do… Inside was a framed drawing I had made in kindergarten. The drawing was of a lion sitting on an exam table with a stethoscope in his ears and a blood pressure cuff on his tail! Turns out Dad was right from the beginning, and apparently I knew it all along.
Excerpt from Dr. Abby Whiting’s BLOG: A piggy’s Tale: My life embedded with humans.