If you haven’t already, check out Part I before continuing. Or not.
As we turned down our little Neck that would lead us to our new home, my eyes widened and my jaw may have dropped a little bit. It looked like heaven. A house here, a field there and there and there, another house here, a thick grove of trees on both sides of the road, a little house there, another field, and then we came upon our little bungalow. It was, and still is, the cutest little place on a property that is magnificent! I could hardly wait to let the dogs out to run in this wide open area! They already had some of that at my parents’ house, but this was home! They would get to run here every day. But…
…crap! There are deer all over the place. Foxes. Raccoons, opossums, muskrats (all things my dogs would love to chase!)…and TICKS. I already knew there’d be fleas and was prepared for them. But the ticks. Yikes.
I arrived, with the dogs and cats, to our new home in early December. The weather was cool here, with highs in the 50s & 60s and lows in the 40s and 30s. It was really pretty nice considering what it was like when we left Northern Illinois. There were deer everywhere. In the midwest we contend with deer all year long. In California, we didn’t have to deal with deer, or many other wild mammals for that matter, at all. Those critters stayed in the mountains and foothills near the area we lived. When we’d go hiking in the foothills we’d come across a jack rabbit here and there, maybe evidence of a coyote, but otherwise all of the wildlife we’d happen upon was avian, arachnid or reptilian.
Neither ticks nor fleas, or mosquitoes for that matter, were an issue for us in the desert. Probably one of only 4 good things about living in the desert, in my opinion. We didn’t have to worry about flea and tick prevention, and heartworm prevention was not a top priority either. I would keep some Frontline Plus on hand to use if I knew we’d be making a trek up the mountains or to the East. I’d have Heartgard Plus on hand to use if we would be traveling to the midwest.
After being on the Eastern Shore of Virginia for one entire week I learned that I had trained my dogs well in terms of their recall. Nearly every single time we would let them out to eliminate or explore, there would be some critter worth investigating. All it took was a “EH!” and they’d stop dead in their tracks. So the wildlife issue was not an issue at all. But the tick issue? We were not only finding ticks on our dogs, but we were picking them of off ourselves every day. Yikes! Thank goodness I stocked up on some Frontline Plus before I left California. It worked well. I’d find a few well-fed ticks on Chompers and C.J. every now and again, but mostly they were dead or dying. But they’re still just freaking gross. Chris found one on him one day in a place that you would’t go searching for one. It freaked him out so much that he had me shave his head shortly afterward, worried that there might be ticks hiding in his mane. He had long hair for the majority of our time in CA, got a decent hair cut just prior to his interview here in VA, but he had never ever had a complete buzz cut. Welcome to the boonies city boy!
Chris already had a job lined up prior to our relocation. I had sent out resumes to all of the local veterinary clinics once I learned we’d be moving. I had gotten a response from only one of 5 veterinary clinics on the Eastern Shore before I left CA. They wanted me to fill out an application. Chris went and picked one up for me, as I was still in CA and wouldn’t be leaving for a few weeks. He filled it out to the best of his ability. When I finally arrived on the Eastern Shore, I called and scheduled an interview at the animal hospital.
Just a few days after I arrived I visited the animal hospital that I had been in contact with. I had a nice tour of the facility, met all the staff and then sat and chatted with the practice owner for a few minutes. It all seemed promising, then I was told they didn’t have any positions open at that time but they would keep my application on file for 6 months. I was a bit bummed, but I still had plenty of unpacking to do to keep me busy for a little while. It really was a shame because the practice was less than 3 miles from where we were renting. It would have been an ideal place for me to work! Alas, I had to keep searching.
A month had gone by and, though I wasn’t desperately in need of employment, I was ready for a job. I had settled into the house, unpacked what was unpackable for the short term that we’d be living there, learned to navigate my way from home to all of the important places: DMV, grocery story, post office, hardware store, etc. I figured out right away that I’d be spending a LOT of time shopping on Amazon. I continued to look for work that I might be able to tolerate. My heart and soul wanted to continue to work in the animal care field, but after having been ignored or denied employment at every veterinary facility and animal care facility (SPCA & Animal Control) I started to pick up applications for factory work and retail work. Then I received a call from the animal hospital that seemed interested in me from the beginning.
There was a recent and unexpected opening at the animal hospital and they hit me up because of my experience (ie: I wouldn’t require much training). I hadn’t had any other offers at that point so I took the position…as a Receptionist. Did I want to be a receptionist? No, because I’m a technical person, not a people-person. But I did know how to field phone calls and triage patients at the front desk quite well, and I really needed a job so I took it. The pay was okay, and it was more than the nothing I had been making, so I was all in!
Something was meant to be, because I was a receptionist there for maybe 6 months until I got repositioned as a veterinary assistant. I double-dutied for the longest time, but now am able to keep to the technical stuff more, which makes me happy-er. I am still willing to fill in on occasion when needed as a customer service specialist. Truth is, whether you’re a receptionist, a vet assistant, a licensed vet tech, or a veterinarian…you’re still a customer service specialist! I just prefer that title to be lower on my list of responsibilities, if you get my drift. I went into animal science for the animals.
Again, I digress. So I got a job! And it was something that made me happy. I am still there, if that tells you anything.
To be continued…