We have recently started not being open every Saturday. Of course, I end up pulling shifts at our local ER fairly often. I prefer to work on weekends because staying up all night affects me for the next week, and leaving animals uncared for after midnight doesn’t seem right.

Anyway, last weekend I had a rare weekend off. It was a luxury that I hadn’t experienced in a while, and I intended to make the most of it.

First off, I was going to sleep in. However, this day began early, just as it often does for veterinarians. The animals don’t wait, and there are always treatments and care. This particular morning, I knew I had to go in. A patient had died late last night. Although it was expected, it was later than I felt comfortable calling this family. I set my alarm early, but then lay back down. I allowed myself a few extra moments in bed.

After calling and then helping with treatments, I started chart completion and review. It’s a task that demands precision and thoroughness to ensure the best care for our furry companions.

Then I set up to go pick up some button quail. Button quail, also known as Chinese painted quail or King quail (Coturnix chinensis), are small, ground-dwelling birds related to the quail we raise for food. However, button quail are tiny birds often kept as pets, and they offer a unique charm. They are, in a word, cute. I ordered some eggs, but none hatched. Someone had some to give away about an hour away. I decided to go. It was a nice drive, and I met a young person who was thinking of vet school. I left with 5 button quail that I would trade for the meat birds.

On the way through Greenup, I picked up pizza and tried to meet a friend for lunch. Unfortunately, this was the rare day that she wasn’t working. I ate enough breadsticks that I was too full for the pizza, so I had it for breakfast the next morning. Please, don’t tell my M.D. It is not something I do often.

Back at the clinic, my responsibilities were ever-present. I placed several orders for patient medications. There didn’t seem to be time for this crucial task last week.

And then, there was the unexpected yet necessary venture of spider hunting. Now I realize that most of you would think that I was checking for spiders, but actually, I took my new spiderlings out hunting. I had a gift card that was about to expire, so I bought some jumping spiders, praying mantises, and some new isopods. Only the jumping spiders have arrived and the food hasn’t. So, I took them out to catch small insects for them. Together we got one housefly and eleven gnats!

Then I had to work on the meticulous task of reconciliation – ensuring that all the records and finances were in order. It’s a crucial aspect of running a veterinary practice that often goes unnoticed but is vital for its success. Unfortunately, I had a few front desk staff members who didn’t understand how critical this information is. I spent several hours before I accepted that it was going to take multiple people to find the information to correct the accounts.

I took a break to shop at a falconry store in England. I had sent money for the falconry picnic fundraising raffle. I had really wanted to attend the gathering, but ER duty conflicted. Still, I had won a gift card and I certainly didn’t want that to go to waste! (I have a new glove and new anklets on the way.) (Yes, my bird is still missing, so I ordered stuff for a bird that I do not have.

In the midst of it all, I found time to work on an article, sharing insights and knowledge with pet owners. It’s an essential part of my commitment to keeping the veterinary community informed.

This profession is more than a career; it’s a calling. It’s a life filled with dedication, compassion, and the unwavering commitment to the well-being of animals and their human companions, even when weekends off become a rare and cherished commodity.