I am always in awe of and enjoy reflecting on the seasonality of life—how jobs, friendships, pets, and even homes come and go in seasons. One year ago this month, I moved to the Triangle area from a small town in Colorado in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. My first job out of undergrad was at a local veterinary office and pet boarding facility. It was during this time that I adopted my rescue pup, a 2.5-year-old 60-pound female boxer/pit bull mix named Baby-Nugget-Nova-Jugs (she usually just goes by Nova). Shortly after Nova and I found each other, we made the move to North Carolina.
Making the transition from kennel staff to technical staff as a Veterinary Nurse was a huge learning curve. And on top of learning a new position, I was also acclimating to summer in the south and an entirely new life and community after my big move. Looking back on how much I’ve learned and grown over the past 13 months has given me a lot of hope, as well as major feelings of accomplishment. And I know I couldn't have done it without my faithful four-legged best friend.
The biggest thing I learned this past year is how to be a better pet parent. Nova is my first dog as an adult. I grew up with family pets my whole life, but I have never raised one on my own, and as many of you know, adding a young, large, energetic dog into your life can be quite a game changer. Working at Shiloh has taught me everything from choosing the safest toys that she will enjoy, to working on adult dog socialization, to managing Nova’s seasonal allergies.
Working in the veterinary industry has been the best crash course in being a responsible pet owner that I could have ever hoped for. Adopting an adult dog and a ‘bully breed’ has come with its own set of challenges. Nova is muscular and has a (wonderfully) big block-shaped head. Sometimes kids are scared of her. I missed a lot of critical training and socialization time with her as well, and we have spent our time together catching up on a lot of canine manners that she didn’t learn before we met.
All that said, I can’t imagine raising Nova without the support of my knowledgeable and kind coworkers at Shiloh. And this move would have been impossible without having her as my loving companion. So, it’s all worked out quite beautifully. The folks here have equipped me to be the best pet parent I can be, and for that, I am forever grateful.
Talitha and Nova
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