I Kinda Want to be a Vet! By Pam Crooks

My husband and I are addicted to veterinary shows. Other than taking our pet dogs to the vet down the street for their yearly check-ups and vaccinations over the years, we’ve had very little interaction with the profession. Besides, living in the city makes the vets around here mostly small animal–cats, dogs, rabbits, etc.–anyway.

So our fascination with vets who treat horses, pull calves from cows, and pluck porcupine quills from inquisitive hunting dogs plunges us into a new world. We get to know the star veterinarian’s staff as if they were favorite characters in a sitcom. We see them get poopy and bloody. We witness surgeries that can be as intricate as one done on any human.

Kinda makes me want to do that, too. Pulling piglets and puppies from their mothers after difficult labors would be incredibly gratifying. Besides, those babies are so cute, right? Veterinarians make a real difference in animals’ lives and that of their owners. Of course, I’m too old to take on a new career like veterinary medicine, but sometimes, I think “What if…?”

Since I have to live vicariously, here are our top two favorite shows:

Heartland Docs DVM on Nat Geo Wild
I was instantly taken with this show as soon as I saw the first advertisement. The stars, Drs. Ben and Erin Schroeder have their clinic just a few hours away from where I live. http://www.cedarcountyvet.com They’re young and modern and tend to use more high-tech equipment like ultra-sound machines in the field when treating animals.

Ben and Erin are a loving married couple devoted to each other and their profession. It’s a given Erin will cry when an animal couldn’t be saved despite their best efforts. They’re teaching their two teenage sons to care and treat animals, too. They’re articulate, fun-loving, and so personable, you can’t help but like them immediately!














They’ve just announced a third season–yee-haw!–and you can bet we’ll watch each one.


The Incredible Dr. Pol on Nat Geo Wild

This is the show that got us hooked on veterinary medicine. Dr. Jan Pol is in his 16th season with Nat Geo Wild, and he’s had over 20,000 patients in his career. Like many clinics, it’s a family run operation with his wife, Diane, heading up the office. Their adopted son, Charles, is credited with the idea of featuring his father on a show, and it was such a success, Charles ended up being part of the cast.

Dr. Pol is as old school as Drs. Ben and Erin Schroeder are modern. He still uses the old mercury-type of thermometer and his clinic is dated, cluttered, and could use a good sweeping sometimes. Ha! But at 77 years old, he is unflappable, common sense sharp, and his clients love him. He’s not above stripping down to his waist to treat the messiest of animals or clomping around mud-and-manure filled corrals to see to his patients. The man isn’t showing signs of slowing down anytime soon, though admittedly, Charles is a big help in adding strength when pulling calves, or if nothing else, running back and forth to the car for needed supplies.

Dr. Pol is generous in donating his services at fair time. He’s a firm believer that kids need to learn responsibility toward animals at a young age, and it’s so enjoyable seeing him tutor the kids, doing their best to earn that coveted blue ribbon.

Space and time doesn’t allow me to mention two more of our favorite shows. But check them out. I think you’ll enjoy them as much as we do!


Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet, also on Nat Geo Wild.

Dr. Jeff, Rocky Mountain Vet on Animal Planet

Have you ever wished for a different profession?  Do you have talents that aren’t being used? Would you do what you’re doing all over again?

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Pam has written 30 romances, most of them historical westerns, but her newest releases are contemporary sweet romances featuring the Blackstone Ranch series published by Tule Publishing. Stay up on the latest at www.pamcrooks.com

28 thoughts on “I Kinda Want to be a Vet! By Pam Crooks”

  1. Oh my gosh, Pam, thanks for these! Love vet stuff since I first read James Herriot! I wanted to be a vet, but when I interviewed my vet for career day, he told me, ‘girls can’t do that’. Yeah, I’m old. Because of him, I’ve only used women vets, ever since! Checking out these shows….

  2. Pam- I wanted to be a veterinarian all my life. I graduated with an Animal Scirnce degree. I spent 20 years raising pigs for 2 different prestige hog companies. I was basically a vet there, helping farrow pigs (birthing) doing cesarians, vaccinating, castrating The male pigs, sewing you ruptures, & Artificial insemenation of sows, And so many other necessities. It was up to me to determine what the pigs were sick with and making the right call on meds.
    So although I didn’t get a veterinarian degree, I was able to experience the profession on an up close and personal level.
    I also wanted to be a journalist. I was in honors English in High School and in College. So if I could pick another profession, that’s what I’d like to do.
    Thanks for such a great blog. I’ll have to check these shows out.

    • Oh I would love these shows, I don’t have satellite or cable though so I’d have to see if any of their seasons are on Netflix or Hulu. I honestly had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to do when I grew up and don’t think I ever really found my calling before I was diagnosed with MS. I’ve been on disabilty for 16 years and honestly couldn’t imagine going back to work at this point. I’m so far behind in everything technical that I’d have to go back to school. Let’s see I’m heat intolerant, have tremors and diminished feeling in my feet and hands, have low stamina, high anxiety, often have brain fog… I’m not really high on the hireable list. Now dreaming, I’d love to be in forensics or be a profile for the FBI. I guess I need to just stick with being a single at home Mom with MS that loves to read, cook, watch Netflix and Hulu, that crafts and is just here surviving. I can dream though…

      • Yes, Stephanie, dear, you should be able to find the seasons on Hulu (or Roku?). I’m not quite familiar with those, but I’m pretty sure. I hope you check them out.

        Oh, forensics. Yes!! My daughter almost went into that, but how fascinating would that career be? Another one that would do so much good for law enforcement. My daughter is now working at a bank and one of their heads of cyber security, which is kinda like forensics, but not nearly as interesting, imo. But she loves it, so what do I know?

        And, Stephanie, even though you have health issues, your comments are always wonderful and insightful. Brain fog? It doesn’t show. You rarely even have a typo! LOL. We always enjoy seeing you here at P&P. You’ve become such a good friend to the fillies!
        As always, thanks for stopping by.

    • Tonya! I had no idea about that with you!! It sounds as if you were a vet in all sense of the word. A dirty job, eh? But vets are the ranchers and farmers lifeline. Their stock is their livelihood, and they need to keep them healthy and alive. I admire vets so much. Animals can’t talk about how they’re feeling, so the vet just needs to figure it out.

      But you’re not doing that anymore, are you?

      And it seems like being a journalist would be the opposite end of the spectrum. Ha! But I know you’d be good at it. Your reviews are always so well written, and you’re an avid reader.

      Please do check out these shows. You’ll relate!

      • I don’t have a veterinarian degree but I have pulled my share of calves. It is always a great feeling when mom gets up and licks her baby and gets the baby on its feet. Not such a good feeling when you do all you can and still loose mom or baby. I briefly considered vet school while I was in college but realized I don’t make decisions fast enough to handle emergency situations. At this point in my life I am doing what I always wanted to do and have been able to dabble in other professions as a volunteer for Cooperative Extension and our church teaching Family and Consumer Science and working with youth programs. Full time I am a partner in our livestock and grain farm.

        • I would absolutely love to pull a calf (although not by myself!!). I think the experience would be very gratifying, just as you described, Alice. You must be strong! At least in my vet show watching, some men have to use all their strength if the calf just isn’t passing through the birth canal.

          You sound multi-talented and live a busy and very full life. What a gift that is. Good for you, dear !!

  3. I too wanted to be a vet as a child, and had our vet to be my mentor, (required at the time) but alas no money to go towards all the extra schooling – have done my share of pulling, giving shots, etc over the years!

    • Oh, interesting about you, Teresa F! It sounds like you could be a vet tech, if nothing else, because you’re doing alot of the work that vets do, though yes, the schooling would be pricey. But worth it if you got into the field you loved.

      Pulling calves and other baby animals would be a highlight for me if I was a vet. It takes strength, doesn’t it? At least for the bigger animals. But how gratifying to save those babies when Mama is having a hard time. You have to work fast and know what you’re doing….get those babies positioned just right to pull out.

      Fascinating, fascinating.

      Thanks for stopping by, Teresa F!

    • A forest ranger is another good one! You must have a love for the outdoors and wildlife, Debra.

      There’s probably more to that profession than most people realize. You’d have to know a large variety of wildlife and their habitats, and isn’t there some law enforcement involved, too? You wouldn’t be sitting in an office all day, and that’s a huge plus.

      And yes, you do have talents!! No doubt more than you realize, dear.

      So glad to hear from you this morning!

    • I love veterinary shows because no two are the same. It’s fun to get to know the vets and their staff. It’s deceiving the long hours they have to put in to film these shows. And I’m sure it’s an intrusion into their day to have cameramen follow them around!

      More importantly, I’m always learning something. It’s all fascinating to me!

      Thanks for stopping by, quiltlady!

  4. I’m a housewife, so yes, I do wish for a different profession. I always wanted to do something in the travel industry because there are so many places I would like to see.

    • I must admit, when I was a stay-at-home mom/housewife, I felt like the world was passing me by some days–but not always. I don’t regret being at home at all.

      But I was the oldest of 7 children, and my parents couldn’t afford to send me to college, nor could I afford to send myself. I have a good head for business and organization, and I often think…what if??

      But it was because I was home with our daughters so much that I learned to love writing!! It was something I could do at home, and look where that career got me today. So everything happens for a reason!!

      Gosh, yes, the travel industry would be really cool. It’d be hard to be away from my family, but what better way to see the country and the world? And you wouldn’t even have to buy an airline ticket. Ha!!

      • You did very well with being a stay at home mom/housewife. Becoming a writer was a great idea for you and you have entertained many people through your books. It was the same with my family when it came to college, except we didn’t have a big family, none of us were able to go to college. I didn’t even start high school. I have one sister who worked to put herself through nursing school and she made that her career. Another managed to luck out and have jobs working at major airlines, so she has connections to travel. I am not close with my family, so the only ones I would miss , if I had a travel job, would be my husband and cats. But I may not even have them if I had a job traveling when I was younger. At my age now, it’s too late to start a career.

        • I firmly believe life takes us where we need to be, and being with your husband and cats is your place. Too late to start a career – me, too! But I do think . . . what if?

  5. I Love watching Vet shows! Vets are so tender on how they treat the animals . Our daughter wanted to be a Vet, but she is very allergic to cats, so she became an RN instead, it was her calling. She has been an RN now for 18 years now, and she has loved it. Thank you so very much Pam, I enjoyed reading your post. Have a Great rest of the week.

    • Howdy, Alicia! That’s one of the things I love about watching vet shows. They treat animals as if they were their own children.

      An RN is also on my list of “I kinda want to be…”. I have two sisters who are RNs, and they, too, are very dedicated. I can’t even pronounce some medicines let alone know what they are for, and they can do both – even spell them. LOL.

      Glad you enjoyed the blog, dear. As always, thanks for stopping by.

  6. Pam, we are kindred spirits. I always wanted to be a vet when I was younger, but like you, my parents didn’t have the $$ to pay for me to go to all those years of college and it was not a “burning desire”–good thing, because living here in OK, it would probably have been tough to get into veterinarian school–there’s only one “main one” at Oklahoma State University. I paid for most of my own college, just piece by piece through a 10 year period. Finally got my BA degree in English. My daughter wanted to become a vet–until she worked for one during high school. It was too hard on her to see the animals that came in that didn’t make it.

    So now, I’m way to old to even think of BEING a vet, but what I do instead is try to do what I can on social media to spread the word about dogs that need homes, dogs that are lost (Pawboost) and need to find their owners, spread the links for donation for animals that need surgery or medical treatment so others can donate, and sign petitions for all kinds of reform in animal welfare, treatment, testing, and so on. I’ve become a lot more aware of companies that do testing on animals, and so on. I can’t “do” a lot physically to help, but spreading the word on social media about these things has helped at least 6 dogs that were in shelters find homes (these are the ones I know of for sure that were a direct result of my posts) and funding for many animals that needed medical care/treatment in the form of donations to their causes.

    Great post! I have not seen these shows so now I have something else to look forward to!

  7. You’ve given a wonderful perspective on another side of being a vet – caring for animals by helping them find their homes and helping raise donations via social media! I’ve seen your posts, and you are very compassionate and loving. You’d fit right into the veterinarian’s world!

    Thanks for stopping by, Cheryl. Quiet morning for comments, so I appreciate you even more!!

  8. I love what I do, I just wish I had started earlier. But so much of what I do happened through serendipity, so it’s probably happening the way it was meant to be.


    • Hey, Denise! What a gift to have a profession you love. So many are unhappy with their employment. Sounds like fate stepped in and guided you, which is even better.

      Great to hear from you, as always!

  9. We LOVE Dr. Pol. We discovered him in December and wish we had found his show sooner. We also watch The Heartland Docs and have caught episodes of Yukon Vet. There are also several other vet shows that we watch. I did consider becoming a vet at one point. But it wasn’t an option at the school I was able to attend. We lived in the country and spent time at a neighbor’s farm. We also belonged to 4-H and spent every minute at the fair every year helping with the animals. It seems every place we have lived, we became know at the animal people. If they found injured animals, they would bring them to us. If there were snakes or other creatures where they weren’t wanted, they would call us to move them, they still do. Of course our children have followed along this path. One of our daughter’s trained to be a farrier and worked as a vet tech for several years. She still treats her animals and helps us with ours.
    As for me, I loved the jobs I had. I was a Peace Corps volunteer, worked at a children’s museum, and was a children’s librarian. Around all that, I was a military wife and mother. I was and am sort of a professional volunteer and it all has made for an enjoyable life. I really would not change anything.
    It would have been nice if those jobs had retirement benefits.
    If I had no family attachments, it would be nice to work in the travel industry scouting out places to travel and planning trips that would accommodate people with special needs and interests. There are older people and people with medical issues that would like to soak up more of the history and atmosphere of the places they visit, but most tours move too fast and don’t provide the opportunities.
    Stay safe and healthy.

    • Yay, Patricia B! You’re the first one who’s mentioned loving these vet shows, too!

      I may have mentioned before that you have certainly lived a full, engaging life. You’re a very giving and compassionate person, and you’ve found ways to enrich other people’s lives, too, with your talents.

      “Not change anything” reveals you’ve led a happy life, too. What a gift you’ve been given!!

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