Veterinarians of tomorrow

Seniors Samantha Oleson, Mackenzie Gunn, Catherine Dickson and Adrienne Russell take on the world of animal health studies

Isabella Sada Nieto, writer, editor

As dreams of the future become part of the minds of young seniors, a question arises: what do they want to be when they grow up? Although being a lawyer, doctor, or even a pilot are answers people tend to have, four inspired young ladies have a different career in mind. As we grow, we not only interact with humans, and we co-exist with animals. Being veterinarians is what they hope to become. Seniors Samantha Oleson, Mackenzie Gunn, Catherine Dickson, Adrienne Russell, among many others, have been working hard toward learning all they can to pursue their dreams of helping animals come true.

“I’ve loved animals from the very beginning. I got into wanting to be a veterinarian at about six years old and just never stopped. I always want to know the answer to everything, and I remember every time we took our old dog to the vet. I’d constantly be interested in what they were doing and why,” Russell said.

Thursday, January 24 was a day that most of them showed livestock, some have practiced as interns in the local community, and some have been competing in Veterinarian competitions since the beginning of the school year.

“I’ve always wanted to show. My brother did it when I was younger and my FFA peers convinced me to try it out. I actually found time to do it this year. So, I gave it a try,” Gunn said.

Although some may argue that taking care of an animal is nothing more than feeding twice a day and taking them on daily walks, these girls may agree that taking care of an animal takes much more time and effort.

“I got to the arena at 5:45 a.m. and had to drench the animal with protein. When show time came, I had to give my animal a bath and blow out his boots of fur. After we did that we conditioned his coat and I headed off to the arena. I was nervous. I did my best with my lamb. I walked him around and showed him off to the judge. I made a sale. I got fourth place and even got some scholarship money. Not only did I show my lamb but I helped show Cooper’s chickens. We normally show three at a time. There is a lot of poop everywhere but it was a fun experience. Cooper also made a sale with the chickens I helped him show,” Gunn said.

Taking care of an animal is more than the information you can learn in a book. Hands on experience are what finalize and perfect the knowledge that lies under the scrubs and care.

“I work as an intern at a veterinary clinic where I help care for animals. I also help work the cattle at the ranch which includes giving vaccines, drenching, castrating and more. My favorite part about the internship is connecting with the clients and making sure they know their animals are in good hands. I also love getting to shadow in surgeries and gain new knowledge about their systems and muscles and all that good stuff,” senior Mackenzie Gunn explained.

Some may agree that going to a school like A&M, is the perfect school for anyone interested in agriculture studies, animal studies, and anything within those realms of study.

Although being around animals can make these girls happy, they understand that not all cases are the best ones to work with.

“Besides showing, I intern at a veterinary clinic in Manchaca called Manchaca Village Veterinary Care. I spend my mornings interning there before school and during my 1st period. I’m also in FFA where I participate in a CDE called the veterinary science team. This year will be my 3rd hear being on the team. As far as my plans for the future, I hope to take it a step further by going to A&M to major in animal science and hopefully, eventually get into the vet school there. I think I would like to specialize in some area involving small animals, but I haven’t decided what yet,” Dickson said.

“To anyone interested in studying veterinary science: it’s not all playing with puppies and kittens and rainbows. There are some very sad and difficult parts of the job that many people don’t consider, and things aren’t always fair or go right. Another thing people often don’t think about is how much speaking to clients is a part of the job while caring for the pet is very important, educating and calming down the owner is a big priority and sometimes extremely difficult to do,” Russell said.