Animal Care Attendant
What inspires you most about your job?
What inspires me the most is the people—the faculty, staff, and students—who show up every day with their endless amount of compassion and genuine, heartfelt concern for both our clients and their pets.
What surprised you most when you started in this field?
What surprised me then, and still does, is the magnitude of love and devotion so many people have for their pets. Some these animals are loved as deeply as one would love a child. The bond between pets and their owners is one of profound and deep significance. It’s good to know I’m not alone.
Your profession is all about helping others. Tell us about your most memorable story about helping a pet at Foster Hospital.
The most amazing and memorable stories are those that I can share of our clients helping each other. It could be as simple as offering a sweater, a cup of coffee, use of a cell phone, a hug or some kind words. I have even seen perfect strangers offer financial assistance and a place to stay while their pet is undergoing long treatments. Some of these clients have stayed connected long after their chance meeting at Tufts to check on each other’s progress or to provide comfort after a devastating loss. It’s a remarkable display of true empathy in its purest form.
What is your favorite part about working at Foster? What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
I can’t name any one particular aspect of my work over another to call my favorite. It all boils down to one fabulous role. I brought up my children telling them, “Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life.” Foster Hospital is a revolving door of fascinating and interesting people from all over the world—each individual equipped with wonderfully unique stories and experiences, all of which contribute to my coming to a job that I love. 4. What advice do you have for vet students? Treat not only your patient, but also their owner, with great awareness. Look at the WHOLE picture. Take care of yourself, and get as much sleep as you can. It’s ok to cry. As a matter of fact, if you don’t, you’re in the wrong business.
Do you have a pet? Tell us a little about the pet.
I have had many pets – each one with its own unique story. ‘Russell,’ a Shih Tzu, was one of only two dogs I have ever purchased. Russell is a 9 years old Shih Tzu. He is extremely sociable. He just loves everyone. He’s the kind of dog that will just plow through a crowd to greet the newcomer. He’s the welcome wagon of the house. The most astonishing attribute of Russell is his ability to connect with us and understand. We were on a walk one day and he was off leash. We were walking in an area of open fields. He had run quite a ways up in front of me so he was pretty far away. He stopped and turned to see where I was. I waved at him. He wagged his tail. Yup. He understands everything.