How Did I Get Here
It's 5 am and I can't sleep any longer. I hear the words my father would say, when he thought no one was listening, "Gotta be on top, Gotta be number 1". I heard him muttering this in the front yard while he was doing chores. He's like a shark, never stops moving. I guess I am more like him than I think and I see it in Charlie too!
I've got too much to do. As I sit on the couch, I wonder, how did I get here? Not meaning the couch, unfortunately I fell asleep on the couch last night finishing up some inventory on the laptop. Rather, how did I end up in my current situation?
Aaron and I met in Knoxville in 2004 during my clinical rotation at UT. I was living in South Knoxville, and after graduation, we decided to stay there and work. I was fortunate enough to start at Seymour Veterinary Clinic, where I gained so much valuable experience. We were open 24/7, had a cell phone attached to our hip during our "on call" nights and you never know what the night would bring. We worked on both large and small animals, so I would have to perform a C-section or maybe deliver a calf at 2 am.
After a couple of years, my school loans were just too high, so we moved to NY and stayed with my family. I again was fortunate enough to work for My Pet's Vet and have the freedom to practice high quality medicine. This hospital really shaped who I am today as a vet. We stayed in NY for 7 years, but after the birth of our son, we wanted a different environment for him to grow up. I was working 60-70 hours a week, stressed out, and overall, an unhappy person to be around. I didn't want my son to see that. So, we decided to move back to Tennessee. We have settled down, bought a house, started our little urban compound.
Last night we added a few more creatures to our Curtis Compound Zoo. I told Charlie we were going to have a fish tank at the clinic, so he thought we should add some fish to our tank as well. Now we have 3 goldfish - Slim, GOBO (Go Big Orange), and Jaws (he's really a cool looking goldfish, I will have to put his picture on this blog post). This adds to our 3 main furry creatures - Murr-ay Christmas, Squishy, and Pasquale. Our 13 feathered friends - unfortunately not all are named yet - Gloria, Ruby May, Falcon, Dooneese (from an SNL skit where Kristen Wiig has little hands), and 8 others. Now we have 2 baby pygmy goats as well - Charlie named one Storm Trooper, so we named the other one Boba (after Boba Fett).
One reason we moved back to Knoxville was to have some land, raise some animals, slow down our pace, and have a better quality of life. I think we have accomplished this, minus the temporary stress of starting up a new veterinary clinic. It is interesting that we have come full circle, making our way back to South Knoxville 13 years later, but maybe it was meant to be. Either way, I am so happy Aaron has nudged me for years to do this. This was one of his best ideas yet (but don't tell him that, he might get a big head).
- Dr. Leah Wulforst, DVM. Riverside Veterinary Clinic. South Knoxville.