Large animal veterinarians know all too well that holidays are often interrupted with emergency calls. Thanksgiving and Christmas are known for large family gatherings with large meals, but they are also known for cold weather. Before I hired my first associate, I was a solo practitioner and I worked every
Thanksgiving and Christmas for 7 years with no break. It was a given that I would be called out at
some point during these holidays.
One Thanksgiving in particular, my mother-in-law came to visit for the week. She remarked that she wouldn’t mind going on a few calls with me, if I got any (If I got any…that’s funny). I ended up getting called out at least 7 times. Of those 7 calls, 5 of them ended up with the patient being put to sleep. Cold weather also seems to take its toll on the older population of horses. As a rule of thumb, more euthanasia procedures are performed in cold weather around the holidays. It can be very depressing. By the end of the week, my mother-in-law said she felt she was a bad luck charm for me. I reassured her that it just happens that way sometimes.
Another Thanksgiving, I had cooked all morning and there was a lot of friends and family at my house for a midday feast. I managed to get everything cooked and eat way more than I should have when the call came in. It was a cow in labor and the farmer needed help. This time, two friends of mine decided they wanted to go with me. I said sure, come on. I can always use another set of hands. We arrived and I assessed the situation and decided that I would be able to get this one out but was going to need those hands after all. I hooked up the chains and handed one of the handles to my friend and said, pull. We pulled and pulled, but it finally came out. The look on her face was priceless. She got some cow poo on her shoes, a little delivery goo on her clothes, and a workout. Regular occurrence for me. A once in a lifetime experience for her.