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Scrubs to Snuggles: The history



Scrubs to Snuggles- Vet's journey as a pet-parent

There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face- Ben Williams 


You must be wondering why I would pick up a quote that equates psychiatrists with puppies, or maybe not. But, I am going to go ahead and tell you why anyway. Life comes with its own hurdles and challenges for everyone but sometimes they may feel harder than they are supposed to and it becomes difficult to continue. 


I am a veterinarian by choice. And you might wonder why I would add by choice in the previous sentence. Don’t we all choose our professions by our own will? Umm, I can't say for sure how it happens in other countries but in India, no. During my vet school days, I met a lot of people who were in this field because they were from farming backgrounds or couldn’t clear the human medical entrance exam and I would often feel sad for them. That they were onto something that they didn't want to be in. I decided that I wouldn’t ever make a decision that makes me feel stuck until one day, I did. Ah, the twist. The twist that I enjoy and detest together. 


I have always had animals in my life but with animals, I have also always had a very strong support system. It was always multiple people taking care of 2-3 animals at the same time. When I adopted a puppy in college, my friends would take care of her when I wasn't around. My parents later on ended up keeping her when I started working. 


Working as a vet meant having no other life. The shifts were long, tiring and emotionally draining. But that's what made it worth it, you know? The long nights and days, my conversations with pet parents about their struggles, the surgeries and the emergencies were what made me full. But before I knew it, I was burnt out and tired. Didn’t mean I wanted to stop but it meant that other aspects of my life started getting affected more than I wanted them to. 


I kind of stopped caring about the world. My work became my everything. I was dating at the time and that was one part that still made me feel alive. The thing is, my boyfriend, now husband, is in the Air Force. It means only one of us could keep our careers intact and since he didn’t have that option, it was my decision whether I wanted to keep my relationship or my career and I chose the former one. 


I thought I’d find animals everywhere which is the case but what I didn't realize is that remote places will have crude practices and financial barriers. After we got married, I struggled with getting jobs in remote places. The languages were different, the payments were negligible and the work was, in my opinion, substandard. 


I started working online. I realized I am a good writer and a veterinarian and that can take me places. But the lack of physical presence of animals around me would pull me down every day. How can I - who loves to treat animals - not be around animals at all? And that was a challenge that brought me down. So down that I didn’t think my life was what it was meant to be. 


While travelling I helped some animals out in remote places and I started feeling alive again. I wasn’t sure if it was my treating animals that gave me a satisfactory feeling or the animals themselves. 


Anyway, soon, my husband and I decided to adopt a kitten and our kitten was going to arrive from a city 5 hours away. The week before she was about to arrive, we saw some puppies about a month old irritating their mother who looked like a puppy herself (must've been about 1 year old) and thought that this was a sign. The temperatures in this place were subnormal and there was no chance that the litter was going to survive the winter. 


After giving it no thought, Raghav and I ended up adopting a puppy from the litter. We thought that we picked the quieter one up but little did we know that the puppy was a notorious one. This series is going to be about her. Her name is Pepper and while she is our princess, she is also responsible for giving us sleepless nights and destroying the house. But she is also pulling me up. Slowly slowly, without even realizing it (hence, psychiatrist). I hope you have a great time listening to my stories from the other side and seeing me fail at the advice I used to give my pet parents for their puppies!!


PS: The kitten we were going to adopt, was adopted by one of my friends. She lives close to my house and Pepper and him often have playdates. 


PPS: I wasn’t going to give up on the kitten’s adoption that happened after him waiting for almost 3 months. 


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