Occupation: Veterinary technician-in-training at Craig Veterinaty Hospital
“I’m a veterinary technician in training, but I don’t really have any college time put in. It’s like on-the-job training here. I don’t know how long I plan on doing it, but I really enjoy it.
“I’ve been doing it for eight years. I started volunteering when I was 10. My sister actually started working here first, and I just tagged along behind her. I started out cleaning out kennels, walking animals, stuff like that. I can do almost anything today. I help with x-rays, I can prep and help with the surgeries, I can give vaccinations. Basically, I still do the same stuff I did before too, like mop floors and clean kennels.
“I’m graduating from high school this year. I’m a home-schooler, and basically I make my own hours, so I do schoolwork after I’m done with work. I might take a few classes up at (Colorado Northwestern Community College), probably nothing too extreme until later. I’ll probably keep working here unless something else comes up.
“I like the environment here. Wayne (Davis) is a great boss. It’s kind of like having a second father. And, I like helping animals, like if it has a broken leg, you can fix it. Dogs are probably the most common (patients), but we do get quite a few large animals coming in. We see a lot of horses and cattle, sheep, some oddities like llamas, a couple donkeys.
“We’ve had a couple golden eagles here, a few red-tailed hawks. One of the golden eagles we had here was one of the more interesting. We were nursing it back to health because it had been hit by a car. Birds can be different than dogs and cats. It depends on the situation, but they can be extremely fragile and you have to be careful when holding them. Cockatiels and parakeets, we’ve had to wrap them in a towel to keep their eyes covered so they don’t get stressed out. It’s not like a dog because they really don’t adjust to new environments.
“We get a lot of lizards and fish, too. We had a lady that brought in an iguana that her dog had attacked and broke its jaw, and we were able to wire its jaw, and it’s healing nicely. I’m actually the proud owner of a tortoise that was found on the road and the person didn’t want it, so I ended up adopting it. I’ve adopted a box turtle, too.
“At my house, I have a petting zoo. I have four cats, two parakeets, two tortoises — one’s the African desert tortoise that someone brought in. They were just coming home from work and this big old tortoise started crawling out in the road. When I looked it up on the Internet to see what species it was, it said it liked the outdoors, so someone probably had it outside and it walked off or got out of its pen or something. She crawls pretty fast and she’s pretty big.
“I don’t really have a lot of spare time. Any spare time I have I give to volunteering at my church or for Love INC. I also do kitty adoptions here. People will bring in a litter of kittens or a pregnant cat that they don’t want, and I can let her have her litter and find them homes.
“I’m not really a huge people person. I mean, I like people, but I probably work better with animals.”
— Interview by Andy Bockelman
Click here to have the print version of the Craig Daily Press delivered to your home.