Wedding Crunch Time

With three months before our chosen wedding date, I completely changed reception plans from a daytime outdoor event to an indoor evening dinner. In my perfect world, I would have plenty of time to put together an inexpensive DIY wedding reception but I realized I just don’t have time for that. So I found a beautiful locally owned, fine dining restaurant with gardens. The best part? A lot of things will be taken care of for us. There are already nice oak tables and I don’t think I’ll cover up with linen. I can use their sound system for streaming the music of my choice. Aside from centerpieces and the cake table, there really isn’t much to decorate, the ambiance is already established. Stay tuned for more wedding posts to come!

Practice of the Year

Why have I been so busy lately? Well, I’m always busy working 40-50 hour weeks, regardless, but I decided that on top of all of the extra things I do besides tech/assistant work, that our hospital should apply for the American Animal Hospital Association’s (AAHA) Practice of the Year title. If you haven’t heard of AAHA, it is our industry’s only independent accreditation organization and the hospital I work for is accredited. AAHA hospitals voluntarily undergo regular inspections and are evaluated in literally hundreds of standards. Ok so… Practice of the Year… very detailed, time-intensive application… 7 weeks… that’s how much time we had to complete the application when I learned more about this accolade and we decided to go for it… This is the start of week three. Some of the application consists of essay-type submissions that are answers to specific questions. I want to post something I wrote for the introduction section of the application because I think it does a great job of reflecting my love for this field and some of the reasons why I stay in it and continue to find ways to grow. In one part of the introduction section you are asked to describe why your hospital is unique in 500 words or less. Since I will end this post with what I wrote, I will just add that you can expect puppy and kitten posts to finish out this week. This week will be my warm and fuzzy feeling posting week. I need to remind myself of the warm and fuzzies considering I’m constantly feeling like a grade school student who didn’t finish her book report in time except my book report is fixing a recall on my car or getting wedding invitations together. So here it goes, this is why our hospital is unique in 490 words (ps. I tried reading this to the staff at an all-hands meeting last week and had to have one of the doctors finish reading it so that I didn’t start crying):

If you were to ask every staff member at our hospital what about it they are proud of, you will get a long, varied list of answers. We are proud of our AAHA accreditation and Cat Friendly Practice certification. We are proud of the level of medicine and care we provide. We are proud of our facilities, our community, and each other.

When you ask every staff member at our hospital what makes our hospital unique, each individual will generate a singular, compelling response: our team. The importance of a veterinary hospital’s team is tremendous. Every single staff member executes our standard for care and compassion, they are a beacon for our message and recommendations, they are patient advocates, and they are, in a great sense, the establishers of each other’s quality of life. With the tremendous amount of time and energy that individuals devote to our field, we must recover and recharge somehow. Luckily, we do this by leaning on each other.

We go to great lengths to ensure that we create and maintain a cohesive and supportive team unit. Our hiring process is extensive, consisting of a handful of interviews for each candidate and ending with a review form completed by every existing team member. Aside from initial training, all team members participate in a continued education topic at bi-monthly meetings and are allotted a yearly allowance for continued education. Team outings occur quarterly each year but often times occur informally much more often than that. In the past few years, we have had the pleasure of getting together to enjoy dinners, baseball games, bowling night, game night, and pot luck thanksgivings.

Our team is exceptional in so many ways. Our doctors have visited patients in critical care at referral specialty hospitals and made themselves uncommonly available to discuss patient care to the team, clients, and other professionals. Our team members regularly send out cards on their own accord to clients to acknowledge events in their lives and in their pet’s lives. Our staff turnover is very low and the average amount of time our staff has been employed here is over 6 years. Every member is positive and supportive of one another. Every member cares deeply about pets and their people.

We are fortunate to have leaders who understand the value of utilizing the unique skills of each individual and encouraging personal growth. We have had multiple entry level staff members who are on their way to become or have become successful RVTs and doctors of veterinary medicine. If we assigned additional informal titles to our current team members, the list of titles would include party planner, storm chaser, personal chef, pet sitter, professional organizer, pet nutrition enthusiast, botanist, dog agility and training specialist, and social media expert among many others. Our hospital is only as unique as the individuals realizing its existence each and every day and what a unique hospital we do, in fact, have.

Lake Tahoe

I love seeing new things, and was lucky enough to spend the afternoon traveling around the circumference of Lake Tahoe. The colors of the lake aren’t exactly describable, but the center is generally a deep blue while the shore fluctuates between shades of blue, turquoise, teal and green. My favorite section of the lake was Emerald Bay, from which the first photograph is taken. There is a Scandinavian castle named Vikingsholm in the bay that I look forward to visiting in the future.


Birthday Time!

Today is my 27th birthday! I will be taking the next week off from posting. I just want to say that, so far, my week has been incredible. On Sunday I saw the latest Avengers movie and bought some kick-ass running shoes and insoles. On Wednesday, I went to Hollywood to see a couple of Finnish metal bands. Yesterday, I was able to go on a somewhat lengthy run for the first time since I got patellar tendinitis pretty bad a few months ago. The run was such a treat, I cannot even say. Tonight, I am seeing another live show, this time a couple of ska bands. Finally, tomorrow we are off to Disneyland for the weekend. It’s definitely not every year that I do this much for my birthday. I am super lucky. Cheers everyone and see you in a week.

Rough Couple of Weeks

As if day after day of working overtime for the past week or so was not draining enough, I began this week with one of the worst cases of neglect I have ever seen and a very loving family whose three year old dog was hit by a car and killed as a result of a freak accident. After extensive efforts, the doctor and I were unable to resuscitate that dog. Just the thought of that family still causes my eyes to well up. My empathy allows me to be absolutely great at my job but it also leaves me susceptible to great emotional fatigue at times. The two incidents this week, especially in comparison to each other, left me utterly drained. My request to take a personal day today was granted.

I wanted to write this post to give everyone a little update, thank you for your great comments, and let you know that I plan to increase my posting efforts more and more. I have also been volunteering some of my time to help an absolutely incredible cat sanctuary and I look forward to presenting more information about this in the coming week. I’m also planning on getting married this year so stay tuned and thanks again for your support.

WWE Wrestling

This week I got to nerd out at the Staples center and watch some wrestling. Gar and I had a blast! The special guests of the night were Snoop Dogg (pictured in the ring) and Hulk Hogan… some pretty funny stuff.