Introduction to the Curmudgeonly Veterinarian:

Hello and welcome to my blog. It's brand new (unless you're reading this in 2029, in which case it's about ten years old). 

Introductions seem a good place to start. I'm assuming you're here because you have some interest in either veterinary medicine or curmudgeons. It should be noted, if you are looking for curmudgeonly VETERANS, you are in the wrong place. Sorry. 

So, then, who am I? (And isn't that one of the most enduring existential questions of humankind?) Well, for the purposes of this blog, I'm both a veterinarian and a veteran -- or at least a veteran of veterinary medicine, which is to say that I've been practicing veterinary medicine for over twenty years now. I wouldn't say that necessarily makes me special, ...

... as there are brand spanking new vet grads who can run rings around me in the clinic (sometimes literally -- annoying). But it does lend a certain gravitas [If you're going to read my blog, you should realize up front, I'm probably going to use words like "gravitas" from time to time. Don't like it? Go elsewhere. Thus the "curmudgeonly." Q.E.D.] to my perspective and, when prudent, advice. 

I graduated, as most likely did your local vet (especially if you're in the US), from a nice competent midwestern veterinary college. There was a lot of corn and dairy. And cows. 

I did like the cows, not so much the horses, though. I never grew up with horses (except the little plastic Breyer models -- had loads of those) ...

... so I didn't know much about their behavior. But the more I got to know my equine patients, as their cases were thrust upon me, the more they seemed like thousand-pound cats, prone to fits of spastic reactive behavior, only (unlike cats) the sort that could easily break your arm without a second thought. Twenty years later, my opinion remains unchanged, though I've at least had the common sense to confine my professional practice to the Under Two Hundred Pound category of animals. 

(Cuttin' it close, big fella)

That would be cats & dogs. I used to do the whole "exotic" animal thing: snakes, hamsters, turtles, cockatoos.... I spayed a gerbil once. Had a uterus nearly as big as a cat's. Says a lot about their purpose in life, gerbils.  But if practicing veterinary medicine exposes a person to the spectrum of human pet owners, then let's just say the spectrum tends to be a bit wider for the population of exotic pets' owners, with more of an inverted bell shape, if you catch my meaning. (Think fringes.)

Not that dogs and cats don't bring their own ... "interesting" clientele with them. It is, after all, working for the public, whether that's as a waitress or grocery clerk or accountant or veterinarian. It does indeed, take all kinds. So you know that crazy person arguing with the grocery clerk about the price of avocados, and going way over the top about it? That person probably owns a cat or a dog. And if you think they're any better behaved in the confines of a professional medical clinic than they are in the Quicky-Mart? You're mistaken.

So. That still doesn't do much to tell you about me, does it? Well, you'll get to know me. Or not. In truth, I'm mostly writing this for my own enjoyment, but I thought there might be a few folks out there who want to read along. Perhaps some veterinary professionals themselves who cheer along, "Fuck yeah!" (Right. Profanity. Yes, to be applied liberally. You've been warned.) Or pet owners. Or friends of veterinarians -- Mmm, that'd be nice, give 'em a slice of the challenges of their friend/partner/sister's quotidian life... 

We veterinary professionals are not, as it turns out, cuddling puppies and kittens all day. Nor is the general public always a pleasant and appreciative partner in the care of their pets. So, speaking on behalf of all the curmudgeonly vets out there, if you or someone you know has ever met us and upon hearing what we do for a living assumes a wistful tone of voice, sighs, and says, "Ohhh, I've always wanted to be a veterinarian!," rest assured it is sometimes all we can do to keep from rudely laughing aloud. Or not (resisting), depending on how many bodily fluids we've had to clean out of our hair/face/clothing that day.

So, come along as a reader. Or don't. (One of the many benefits of being a curmudgeon.) I'll be posting right here either way.


Buckle up. It's going to be a bumpy blog. 

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