Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Mad Dr Liz - 2005 and now

The website of Russell Vale  Animal Clinic has been going on since 1998 (when we opened), and even in those days, I was still the author of all of the content.

In those days, it was a software program called Frontpage that I used, and I had to upload it via ftp onto the server.  And it would take forever! These days, it is a template where I fill in the information, and it is all done online. So much easier!  My website had 10 pages - Home, What's New, Petcare, Usual Info, Make a booking, Ask Dr Liz, Animail, Search, My Pet Hate and Indy's page.

The current website has a few more than that now. I restarted Animail back in 2012, we now have a more sophisticated online booking system, and obviously, always update the website (so there is always something new).

But this memory trip now is all about a very very special dog. 

In 2005, I met a dog called Indy.   He had a neurotoxin that affected him so that he could only move his eyelids.  After a few weeks treatment at the Animal Referral Hospital, he then came to me for his rehabilitation care.  He stayed with us for 4 weeks. As his owner lived in Sydney,  I used my website to keep the owner updated on Indy's treatment and progress, and it worked out well.  Prior to Indy coming to me, he was living with his "Nan" in Wollongong.

Indy came to us only being able to lick food from a syringe.  By the time he left four weeks later, he was able to walk and even run. It was an intensive four weeks of rehabilitation with us, and then more when he went home.

Indy - at the vets in 2005.
Recently, we had to say goodbye to Indy. Shortly after,  I received a sweet email with a copy of what I had written on the internet.  The owner had printed it off at the time, and kept a copy, and forwarded it to me. Not everything stays on the internet forever!

I promise to write and share what I had written back in those days, but for now, I just had to share what I wrote at the bottom of my website back in 2005.  Obviously, I was very opinionated and mad back then too!

"I am Dr Liz. I often pretend to be a bit mad and a bit nutty, but I am sure I am as normal as the next person who works 60 hours a week plus not including my own kids and animals for very little monetary pay (I know I would get more on Centrelink "pay" ). (And as one of my long term clients recently mentioned to me... "just pretend"???).  I have wanted to be a vet since I was 6  years old, so I consider myself extremely lucky to have achieved my childhood dream.  I believe in a passion for what you do in your life, and I consider myself one of the lucky ones in life to be able to do something that I feel passionately about - all of the animals that I look after.  I am equally fortunate to have a wonderfully supportive spouse, and four wonderful, yet energetic children ranging from 5 years to 13 years, all of whom take after both Dirk and I, that is, they all share our love of animals and their care.  I als include in our family, Teddy (our dog), Jamie and Sapphire (our cats), ten chooks (with multiple names), and 6 rabbits (with an escape artist called soxie).  We have no staff or employees, just family.  After all, your family will stick by you, no matter what."

Our eldest daughter Tegan, with one of the bunnies.
Well, alot has changed, but alot has stayed the same.  I am still mad, but alot more nutty (I think). My kids are now ranging from 14 to 22, and our pets are different too.  We have Piper (our dog), Pusski and Dash (our cats) but no chickens or rabbits. (the foxes liked them too much).

I am still as passionate about the veterinary profession itself, and of course, about all of the beautiful animals that form a part of my life. 

Keep an eye out for excerpts of what I wrote in 2005 about Indy.   It brought a tear to my eye reliving those days, and a warm glow to my heart that we were able to help Indy and his family through that very difficult time, with a great outcome.  Now that is what being an animal lover and a vet is all about!