Sunday, March 29, 2009

Precious lessons, precious moments

I have now officially been back to work for 3 weeks, going on four. It has been a really nice process, getting back into the swing of things, made much easier by my jobs' willingness to let me get back to work slowly. I've been oh "phone duty" since I've been back, and have been able to take it at a slow pace: allowing both my body and mind to get used to doing something other than sit on the couch and type on the computer. Tonight, however, is my first shift OUT of the phone room and back into "reality". Not only was this shift throwing me back into the pool with my responsibilities of old, but it was a shift that threw me right in the deep-end: a shift in the emergency room.

I'm about half way through as I write this, and I'm doing pretty well. But, just like with everything else that has come along with this "experience", I'm learning (well, relearning)lots of lessons. Because I was in the "phone room" for a few weeks before I even went into the hospital, it's been (honestly) about 3 months since I've done anything BUT talk to clients over the phone. I have to now not only relearn all of the little processes that come along with working in emergency, but I also have to relearn how to interact face to face with clients and their pets; both of whom are often distraught over the circumstances that brought them to us in the emergency room in the first place.

A few of our policies have changed, so I am also having to learn and apply those on the spot; but even doing that, I'm finding that getting back into the groove is just like getting back on a bike. Sure, it takes a little time to get my balance and bearings, but after a little bit of practice, I'm cruising right along unassisted.

That assistance in coming back has definitely made a big difference too. I can always depend on our amazing doctors, technicians and fellow receptionists to help me along the way, should I need it. It is an amazing feeling to not only really enjoy what you do, but to enjoy it AND be surrounded by other people who enjoy it as well. I really love all of the people that I work with, and am eternally grateful for their patience, guidance and help that they have given me, even when they were busy. It's great being part of any team, but to be a part of a team that has the same passion that you do is a truly wonderful experience. And although a lot of the lessons from today have served as "reminders", this is one lesson that I had not forgotten. The support that everyone has given me has been strong all along; tonight is nothing new. And even before my latest difficulties, I was aware of how amazing everyone is here. This had been our veterinary hospital for several years before I started working here last year. I had direct experience with every ones loving care before I got to actually work directly with them. It was a dream come true to get the job here; I knew I was going to be part of something that would impact the lives of people and their pets. Through the good times, and the bad.

And that brings me to the biggest lesson that I have had to relearn since I started my shift tonight. Beyond relearning my job and its responsibilities and beyond becoming more aware of my limitations and my can/cannot do's, I've had to relearn the hard lessons of being a pet owner. The hardest lesson being the one we all must someday regrettably face: the lesson that our furry children have life spans that are greatly shorter than ours. And that some day, a day that will come too soon for us all, we will have to say goodbye.

I can't say that this lesson had been one that I truly "forgot". Just a few days ago I read a post about this very difficult subject at one of the blogs we follow, "Whippet Snippets". And I know all of us Sheltie-bloggers are aware of the scare that Gio and his mom (and brother Romeo) faced just last week. We never know when our beloved friends time will come; we just know that it will come far too soon. And we know that there is always that possibility for the "emergency". Even if our pet is young and healthy, there may be a day that something tragic suddenly occurs; maybe, like in my own case, it will not be life ending, but life altering. No one knows when they will come up, or what the outcome will ultimately be: that's why their called emergencies! But although no one is ever prepared for one, just know that caring people in terms of veterinarians, technicians, and receptionists will be there; maybe not being medically able to save your friend, but hopefully making the process of saying goodbye even the slightest bit less painful. No one can ever take that kind of anguish away, but maybe someone will be able to lessen it a little bit.

I am so grateful for my job...not only because having a job in this tough economy is a blessing in itself, but I am REALLY grateful to have MY JOB. I get to go to work somewhere that is a state-of-the-art facility with a great reputation (which I can personally attest to!), work with incredibly caring and compassionate people who truly care about the pets, their owners and coworkers, and do a job that touches peoples lives every day. And all of those qualities combined not only make going to work a privilege, but a pleasure. Even though some days are tough, especially those days spent in the emergency room, those tough days are the days that teach you the most important lessons of all: our time here is short, and our time spent with the furry loves-of-our-lives is even shorter. Make sure you make the most out of every moment with them. You never know which moment may be the last you will share. Don't live your days in darkness and fear, but in light and in love.

I'm glad to be back to a more "normal" shift at work, and glad to be learning (and relearning) some important lessons while I'm here, but I am going to be even more happy and grateful when I can go home and hug my dogs. Snuggling with them, stroking their pointy Sheltie-heads and entwining my fingers in their soft fur is going to be a wonderful way to end today; and a reminder to pray that I get to experience the same precious gifts tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Hey there,

    I was researching for shelties as I'm going commit to one, thus stumbled on your site.

    I REALLY love your shelties! They are the most beautiful shelties I've seen (to me, at least).

    Really gorgeous!! :) Their coat is like no other.