“No matter how much cats fight, there always seems to be plenty of kittens.” –Abraham Lincoln
I often say that at almost 30 years of age, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. That’s not *quite* true. While some kids may have dreamt of becoming a vet, a ballerina, or even a port-a-potty maintenance man; I always dreamt of staying home snuggling my pets day in and day out. And to be honest, not much has changed. Getting out of bed every morning wouldn’t be nearly as hard if there wasn’t always at least one dog and one cat cuddled upi next to me, begging me to stay put for just oneeee more minute.
Unfortunately for me, being a stay at home pet mom doesn’t seem to offer a lot of opportunity for growth…or for income. So instead, I’ve been doing the next best thing – for the past 6+ years I’ve been employed at an amazing veterinary hospital. While it’s not QUITE the same as being at home in my pajamas with my own pets, it is pretty nice to go to work every day knowing that you’ll be covered in slobber from at least one dog and – if you’re lucky – maybe even receive a friendly headbutt from a kitty as well. I’ve also been lucky enough over the past few years to dabble in pet-sitting. That hobby is even closer to my ultimate full-time-pet-mom goal – I get paid to stay at OTHER peoples homes and snuggle their animals PLUS my animals while not getting out of pajamas all day. One step at a time, I guess.
Years ago, when I was first starting out in the animal field, the one thing I thought I would hate about working at an animal hospital was dealing with the owners. Give me a cranky cat or bitey dog any day, but trying to connect with the person attached to the other end of the leash seemed a lot more challenging. After all, I’ve always been more of an animal person than a people person. But strangely enough, that turned out to be the part I liked the best! Well…maybe second best…I don’t know if anything can top puppy kisses. I have a really, really cool job. I get to meet all sorts of people who have one very important thing in common – a love for their animals. The daunting task of customer service suddenly wasn’t so scary any more. I found myself getting excited when I saw certain names popping up on the schedule; I built close relationships with a lot of the clients – and some of those clients have turned in to my personal friends over the years. And as I became more comfortable in my own skin and started to feel like I was finally fitting in, I truly started to come out of my shell. If I couldn’t be a stay at home pet mom, working in customer service didn’t seem like too bad of an alternative. Over the past few months, I have even started to branch out a bit! I’m still working at an animal hospital (they’re stuck with me – I’m a lifer!), but my newfound confidence in my customer service abilities gave me the courage to spread my wings a bit. I applied to, and got hired at (!) a pretty well known bank this past January! But that’s a story for a different day.
So…who knows how the rest of this tale will unfold. Maybe some day I’ll reach stay at home pet mom paradise! But for now, getting paid to love other peoples animals isn’t such a bad gig. Who would have guessed?