Wednesday, February 24, 2021

All the Little Leaves Make Up the Beautiful Tree ~ Buni

As we delve into a new year, a new dawn sets upon us. One night just like every other, but ringing with a different chord, a chord that echoes throughout the soul of every beating heart in the world. The reverberation of hope. Of change. Of wonderment. Of new beginnings.


But it isn’t this miraculous metamorphosis of living things. Do we think cells will divide much more quickly? Much more beautifully? Much more fruitfully?


Life is about chaos. As entropy, life’s degree of disorder, increases, so does the balance of all living things. But how can this be?


Simply: It is the creation of opportunity.


So appreciate the chaos. Love the fact that as each bounding atom collides with another, we are working towards a grand achievement, each and every second. That we are reaching new heights of thoughtfulness, communication, and empathy. With each new collision, there is a new connection, a new opportunity.


So let’s not look to this new year with any hope for grandiose change, but as the opportunity for newness, for growth, for enhancement. That every collision we have faced, we are etching into our souls a breach for commencement and opportunity. That every single one of our minuscule changes, whether interdependently driven or within our own self, is extremely purposeful. Remember, that it is indeed, all the little leaves that make up the beautiful tree. 

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Combating Compassion Fatigue During a Global Pandemic ~ Alison, Veterinary Technician

It isn’t a stretch to say that 2020 has been a hard year for everyone. Our concept of normal has been turned on its head and there isn’t any timeline for when that will change. As a healthcare professional it has made avoiding compassion fatigue a very complicated task. What is compassion fatigue you might ask? Compassion fatigue can be described as “the cost of caring” and anyone in a
care giving role is at risk to be affected by it. Some of the symptoms of compassion fatigue can include chronic physical and emotional exhaustion, irritability, difficulty sleeping, weight loss, and headaches but the symptoms can vary from individual to individual. 

Personally, this is something I have to keep a close eye on due to already suffering from depression and anxiety (which often times can present very similarly). My usual go-to to combat compassion fatigue
was a mix of going to the gym, yoga classes, massages, taking myself to a movie, exploring interesting places alone, along with many other hobbies. As you can imagine many of those options were taken away or greatly diminished once the pandemic started and everything closed down. The routine I once clung to was now completely uprooted and my already tainted sense of “normal” became even more unrecognizable. It took a few months to completely seep in, but after a seemingly random panic attack on the way to work and a few break downs it became obvious that I needed to be more adaptable in my routine of self-care. 

 Becoming adaptable for me meant looking at self-care as more than just things that make me feel good such as bubble baths or “treating myself” to take out meals. Sometimes self-care is finding the stressors you can control and proactively addressing them. Figuring out what I wanted to prep and cook for dinner after a full day at the hospital used to feel nearly impossible. Planning out a few simple meals over the weekend along with prepping any ingredients I could helped take a great deal of stress out of that process during the week. Additionally, having leftovers more often meant I had healthy lunches to bring to work instead of getting fast food.

            As earlier mentioned, physical activity was an integral part of my emotional release from work. Having that outlet no longer available had the biggest impact on my mental health. I had to rethink my workout routine in order to achieve the same results at home. This meant yoga via Youtube in the living room instead of in a class setting (now my furry friends can join in) and finding work out apps to help guide me. Aside
from physical activity I started writing in a journal to help mentally process any emotions or stress I had accrued during my workday. Last but not least, I try to do something that is just for fun like play an instrument or spend some time with animals.

            I am still figuring out my new routine but knowing that I can be flexible and adaptable during uncertain times has really helped. Learning to slow down, journal, and listen to my body has helped me identify signs of compassion fatigue sooner. Even as life as we know it goes back to its normal speed, I will try to incorporate these new outlets I have found.

Friday, December 18, 2020

A New Pet for the Holidays  ~ Dr. Kleisch

Happy Holidays! It is that time of year, and to me December is one of the greatest times of year. Additionally, there is no better time of year to have a new companion; but what is the best pet for you or your family? Then, once you get a new companion, what do you do next? We are seeing more and more companionship coming in ways of pets in 2020, and as an industry tend to see a wave of new pets in December/January. While there is no scientific research or algorithm to follow for deciding which pet is best for your household, taking a step back and looking at lifestyle and what you want to give to the companionship can create a wonderful life-long partnership.  

The initial step is identifying which pet is best for you.  Should you get a dog or a cat, should you get a small mammal (pocket pets), reptile or a bird? If a dog or cat is for you, then should you get a puppy or kitten, adopt a young animal or rescue an older animal. If a puppy or kitten –  will you use a breeder or rescue? As you can see there are a lot of decisions out of the gate! Then, if you use a breeder, which breeder should you use? As I recommend in the clinic – please complete enough research on the breeder to keep you comfortable with your decision. While you may have a breeder based on referral, it is recommended to contact several breeders to get a feel of the differences in the way they breed and care for pets. Whether getting a puppy or kitten from a breeder or adopting, puppies and kittens are busy little beings. They are funny and cute and full of promise, however, like all babies, need care and attention to fulfill their promise. While young pets do require attention, in return you get all of that  promise they have to offer. Adolescent pets (8-18 months) are more mature but can also carry their own challenges. Adolescent age pets can be mature or can be full of energy, spirit, and spunk. And, then the older mature adopted pets. We all love these older guys. However, we don’t always know the past history, exposure, training, or concurrent medical ailments.

For my family, it was a choice between a puppy or kitten. Our first dog was a puppy rescue and then our second dog was a puppy from a breeder.  When we decided to expand our family from one dog to two dogs, Margaret Ann (my wife) and I knew we wanted to get a younger dog for socialization reasons - wanting to expose the dog to all aspects of life at a young age since our family was planning to have children.  Additionally, we elected for a large breed active dog – a Labrador retriever. Already having a Golden Retriever, Cooper, and we knew we wanted another large breed and having one from a rescue we wanted one from a breeder. After researching breeders we brought home our second pet, Camden, December, 2012.

So, why did we choose a Labrador? And why did we choose a dog over a cat? Margaret Ann and I decided on a Labrador based on care requirements, energy level, housing arrangements, personality and temperament.  Since that December, our family has grown perfectly. While there are many different ways to decide on what would be your best fit for a new pet, hopefully you can take a moment and decide what would make a good fit for both you and your pet. After all, it is a companionship.

Cat versus dog, both are wonderful but also are different. I remember first year veterinary school our anatomy teach saying, “A cat is not a small dog”.  By now, you know for my family’s lifestyle we elected for a dog as the new companion. Fortunately, we knew the responsibility differences of a dog versus a cat, and we elected for a dog because at some point we would want to teach our children the responsibilities of pet ownership. Additionally, one day our children would want a “new pet” and we would likely look to get a cat at that time. In general, cats, unlike dogs, tend to be independent. Independence does not mean less companionship, but different. In general, cats are independent, clean, and are easily trained for a litterbox use.

If you are thinking a dog, I would advise you to look into factors of your living scenario, future family growth, and lifestyle you are interested having with your companion.

Size: You’ll want a dog that’s a great fit for the size of your house, yard and your family. Dogs’ sizes are as varied as their human counterparts - you can find everything from toy and miniature breeds all the way up to giant breeds. Smaller breeds are great for lap companions, riding in the front seat of the car and may prefer shorter walks. Then, the medium-to-large sized breeds will love the chance to go for long walks or spend hours playing in the backyard, but also require a larger space at home and more space when traveling.

Energy Level: Dogs’ energy levels are also as varied as that of us humans. Some are very physically active and need lots of mental and physical stimulation to keep their minds and bodies occupied (and out of trouble!). Others are content to nap at your feet on a lazy Sunday. Decide whether you are seeking a hiking pal or a more soft and snuggly pup.

Personality and Temperament: When choosing a pooch who’s going to be thrust into all sorts of situations and spending lots of time with every member of the family, it’s critical to find a match for your brood’s personality and temperament. Dogs can be easy going and laid back, playful and mischievous, full of the boundless energy of a new puppy, or anywhere in between. What type of temperament will complement your family’s?

We selected a medium to large size dog that we trust in all situations with children and company, and does a great job going on family walks but does require space and attention. We felt this was a great fit for us, and we are happy to have found a companion that matches our lifestyle.

The decisions don’t stop at what companion or breed you choose. There are many decisions to still be had when you have a puppy or kitten to shape to reflect your household. We approach medicine at Shiloh in a holistic fashion, and we start with you and your new companion. We will work with you on choosing the appropriate vaccines, preventatives, and training. December is one of the greatest times of year, and a wonderful time to get a companion. From all of us, Happy Holidays.

Friday, October 9, 2020

 Anxiety ~ Dr. Audra Alley

This month’s blog is something I think we can all relate to right now and I would like to share my family’s personal experience with anxiety.

It is possible to have healthy anxiety but what I would like to talk about is unhealthy levels of anxiety.  For this discussion, we will define anxiety as “the apprehensive anticipation of future danger or misfortune”. Some signs associated with anxiety in dogs include: inability to settle, panting excessively, barking, whining, inappropriate urination or defecation, or destructive behavior like chewing when left alone. Factors that may increase the likelihood of anxiety may include history of rescue from shelters, long periods of time in kennels or cages, one owner households, or previous history of anxiety.

Our home consists of two standard poodles, a cat and 3 adults, so it is always a little chaotic.  To my husband’s delight, Mercury (our younger poodle) remained attached to him like Velcro and followed him everywhere. Also, we considered Mercury our “high energy” dog. We grew accustomed to his episodes of barking and crazy behavior when we had guests visit or someone walked through the neighborhood.  

Our perception of this changed when we sought professional help to teach us how to train Mercury to be a little more controlled and to maybe even enjoy life a bit without being so wound up.  

For a little additional background, Mercury was adopted from an owner that kept him caged for multiple hours per day, and neighbors were complaining about his incessant barking when no one was home.

Even with all of this history, we did not appreciate the extent of Mercury’s  challenges until we had the trainer begin to work with Mercury for leash walks.  Mercury got so anxious that he could not stop jumping, barking and biting at the leash.  He couldn’t even eat his favorite treats, and it didn’t really seem to matter how tired he was before we put the leash on.

Dr. Barbara Sherman had always patiently explained to me that when a dog is experiencing high anxiety, they truly cannot hear what we are trying to say and are not able to control their own behaviors.  This is like telling someone having a full-blown panic attack to “chill out”, it is just not possible. 

Following my preference for an integrated approach, I opted to go with a combination of nutritional supplements, additional daily exercise (both mental and physical) and a prescription anti-anxiety medication.  The results have been eye-opening to say the least.

We still have a lot of work to do but now Mercury can accept treats when he is outside and can follow simple directions.  Leash walking is a work in progress, but at least we are now “in progress”.  Here’s what struck us the most – he can relax.  Compared to what we have experienced, Mercury can now rest in a room separate from people. He can sit and enjoy being petted without constantly nudging, panting and trying to climb in our lap; and he can sit with us on the porch without needing to constantly bark at every noise he hears.  At first, it seemed like he was sedated; but he is absolutely alert.  In some ways, he is a different dog. However, he is able to enjoy his life. My husband said “I can’t imagine what it must feel like to think something is about to get me all the time, and I think that might be what Mercury felt like”. I feel a little bad that I did not reach for medications sooner.

I think sometimes it is hard for people to understand that the much calmer version of their medicated dog is not an indication that the dog is “dopey” or sleepy.  It is actually their first introduction to their dog without the overwhelming anxiety that was ruling their pet’s life. Also combining medication with appropriate training methods is much more likely to create a healthy well-adjusted companion that we are all looking for.


Friday, August 28, 2020

Should I Consider Pet Insurance?    ~ Trisha, Patient Care Advocate

What is Pet Insurance?  It is a policy that helps protect against the unexpected costs associated with owning a pet.  It is available for cats & dogs, and even some exotic pets.  It will sometimes cover some wellness or preventative care services, but that’s usually an additional component of the policy that generally costs extra.

What does it cover?  Pet insurance is there mostly for the unexpected costs.  Most pet insurance plans view wellness services as an expected expense that pet owners can plan for.  The sick visits which involve injuries or illnesses are where it’s really beneficial.  Whether your pet gets an ear infection, is diagnosed with diabetes, or breaks a leg, those are all things you can be reimbursed for (plus obviously lots more!).

What doesn’t it cover?  All pet insurance policies have specific exclusions for pre-existing conditions.  This means that anything the pet has experienced prior to signing up for the policy will not be paid out.  So if your dog has allergies, and then you sign up for the policy, they will not pay out anything further for allergies but could pay for anything/everything else.   If you signed up before any signs, symptoms, or diagnosis, then you could expect payout moving forward.  [Note: Some policies can actually have pre-existing conditions “fall off”.  This means if after a determined length of time, the pet doesn’t show any further signs of that condition, it may no longer be pre-existing.  For example, if the pet had diarrhea 1 time, maybe due to something it ate, it could be removed as pre-existing.  But if the pet kept having diarrhea due to IBD, then that would still be pre-existing since it continued to be a concern.]

Other things the policy will not cover are explicitly written into the policy and can vary pretty widely by policy.  Some policies will not cover conditions that are considered congenital or hereditary, even if the pet isn’t showing signs for it at the time of the policy.  Some policies will not cover a “mirror”  injury, such as a Cranial Cruciate Ligament tear(similar to an ACL ligament in people) rupture to 1 leg if the other leg had the injury prior to policy sign-up.  A few policies have specific exclusions for periodontal disease unless further trauma is noted (such as breaking a tooth).  And as stated previously, wellness services are not typically covered unless the policy allows for an additional add-on for that service.

It’s also worth checking what the policy says about prescriptions, pet food, and supplements.  Sometimes they specify that you need to get the products from a veterinarian, so the products from the local pharmacy or online-store may not be covered.  Prescription pet food and supplements are pretty hit-or-miss; it is definitely worth it to read the fine print.

Are there any waiting periods?  Depends on the policy.  For some of the policies, it could be from 5 to 30 days, and it may also depend on if the condition is for an illness or injury related claim.

How does it work?
  You enroll your pet for the policy of your choosing.  For most programs, this can be done online at the company’s website.  For Trupanion, we can actually send an Exam Day Offer where we can email you a link for a 30-day free trial; it actually waives the waiting period since the exam will identify any pre-existing conditions that the waiting period is normally trying to identify.  You must sign up for the trial within 24 hours of the exam though!  Most of the insurance policies will allow you to do a medical history review immediately after signing up.  I HIGHLY recommend doing this, as it allows you to submit all medical records known for that pet, and the policy can immediately identify what conditions would be considered pre-existing.  This is super helpful to know what to expect moving forward rather than being surprised that something isn’t covered down the road. 

Each month you will pay a monthly premium which can vary from $25-75 per month.  That’s a huge range, and it depends on the terms of your policy (such as if you can choose your deductible or your pay out percentage), your pet’s age, pet’s breed, your zip code, etc.  My experience is that most people pay closer to $50 per month.  Trupanion & Companion Protect will lock you into a price so that it won’t increase except for cost-of-living, but won’t increase based on the pet’s age, which is definitely an incentive to start the policy while they’re young.

Your deductible is the amount of money you’d be expected to pay before the insurance policy will help cover anything further.  It is very important to pay attention if the deductible is per-visit, per-incident or annual.  Per-incident is nice for pets with a chronic condition, versus annual is better for pets who may have a few isolated incidents.  Example 1: A pet who gets diarrhea and is then diagnosed with IBD. Per-visit deductible: you would pay for each visit, so each recheck is it’s own visit.  Per-incident deductible: you would only pay the deductible once, and then rechecks would fall under the first deductible.  Annual deductible: you’d still pay the deductible each year, even if the pet didn’t have any other conditions, and regardless of how many rechecks you had in a single year.  Example 2: A pet who gets diarrhea, an ear infection, a broken toe-nail in the same year.  Per-visit: you would pay the deductible for each visit (and also if there were follow-ups for any of those visits).  Per-incident: you would pay for 3 different deductibles in the per-incident model, but rechecks would fall under the prior visit’s deductible.  Annual deductible: only pay the deductible once, as long as they all happened in the same year.


Once you’ve met the deductible, most plans today will pay out a percentage of all costs after that.  This can vary from 70%-90% (Trupanion typically will also not cover exam fees, as they consider it as part of their co-pay).  Most policies will also typically not cover administrative fees or taxes.

Lastly most plans have a limit, but not all.  This means that there may be a maximum that you can expect to receive as a payout per year or per the lifetime of your pet.  Hopefully you never bump into those numbers; but it’s possible, and worth looking at if you have “that” pet.

What veterinarians accept pet insurance?  All pet insurance plans will allow pet owners to choose the veterinarian they prefer within the United States.  Because the model is typically that you (the pet owner) will pay your bill in full and then the pet insurance company will reimburse you after you submit the claim, any vet will work for that purpose.  However, Shiloh Animal Hospital is partnered with both Trupanion Express and in the Companion Protect Vetwork partnership.   We offer a system where we can submit the claim while you are still here, determine the amount due that day, and then the insurance company will reimburse us rather than you.  It adds a few minutes to the checkout process, but can certainly be nice when you can skip the reimbursement step and get to the bottom line quicker.  Even if you have another insurance policy and you leave a claim form for your pet’s policy on file with our hospital, we will submit any invoices from our hospital on your behalf.  We typically submit claims about every other week, which takes the work out of it for you.  You can of course submit it yourself if you prefer, but it’s a perk we offer to encourage pet owners to have coverage :)

Parting thoughts: We hear a lot of people who say “I wish I had pet insurance.”  By the time you’re saying that, there’s likely already pre-existing conditions that may make it more difficult to justify.  Getting pet insurance after that point may help cover the things that are still not identified, but won’t cover whatever prompted you to make that statement.  So that’s why we try to plant the seed of at least thinking about it on your pet’s first puppy/ kitten visit to our hospital.  However anyone can do it at any point.  If you ever want the Trupanion exam-day offer, just let us know!

If your animal is just “a pet”, then this probably isn’t worth your while.  If your pet is more like a “fur-baby”, then this is something to consider if it’s right for you.  It doesn’t mean you have to get it, but at least think about it before the list of pre-existing conditions makes it too much to stomach.

It would be great if you signed up for a policy that you never needed.  Think of it like having good car insurance, but never needing to pay out.  It’ll seem like a waste of money to have had it, but if it means that your pet was healthy enough to not need it, then what a great silver lining!  I also firmly believe that “if you bring an umbrella, it won’t rain”, so if you take the time to get insurance, it’ll likely never get used.  But if you don’t have it, you’ll wish you did.

My last dog (Ruby) was a 4-year old, rescue, boxer/pittie mix.  She came with a mammary tumor, heartworm disease, mast cell tumors, and a fractured tooth.  When we signed her up for pet insurance and got the list of exclusions after the medical history review, we decided that the list of what they didn’t want to cover didn’t make financial sense for us moving forward.  But my current dog (Holley) is a 2-year old, rescue, pointer,   and although she had heartworm disease, everything else was clear.  So we’ve insured her since I have a sneaky suspicion that she’ll run into a tree or do something else equally stupid and/or horrifying that I want to be prepared for.

Friday, July 3, 2020

If you can, take a chance on a “work-in progress” rescue ~ Alex, Receptionist

My whole life I have always loved dogs. I hounded my parents for years until they gave in and let us adopt a sweet little puppy from a broken down animal shelter in the middle of nowhere. When she unfortunately passed away from old age a little over a year ago, I knew I would not be able to be dog-less for long.

Like some sort of cosmic event, I had been looking at Kodiak’s picture on the rescue website for almost a year at that point. I was sure he would be snatched up quickly because he was so darn cute to me. Since I wasn’t in a place where I could adopt him at the moment (our family dog was very dog aggressive, which meant she ruled the roost her whole life) I hoped someone else would welcome him into their home in the meantime.

However, lo and behold, right when I was still aching from the loss of my childhood dog, Kodi’s picture swam back on my radar on I couldn’t believe that he was still up for adoption, considering he was a young dog, happy, and friendly looking. Regardless, I applied to four different rescues, trying to keep my options open but the rescue I adopted Kodiak from reached out first and seemed incredibly overjoyed to see interest in hi
m finally. We scheduled a meeting for the next weekend and it was love at first sight.

I learned quickly that the reason Kodi was up for adoption so long (3 YEARS!) was because he has some nervousness issues. Because of that the rescue had spent ages trying to get him adopted with little success. I was undaunted. Kodiak ran up to me immediately when I went to greet him, and I just knew it was going to have to be me to give him the chance to flourish like he has always been meant to.

I’ll be honest, Kodiak is not the easiest dog, he can take anywhere from ten minutes to an hour to warm up to people. He is not the immediately lovable dog that most people are overjoyed at meeting, he’s picky and likes to get to know people first before he graces them with his attention. He used to be averse to any dog coming up to him and would sometimes snarl or snap if they tried to sniff his mouth in a normal dog greeting. He didn’t know what beds, toys, stairs, cars—honestly, I could go on and on with the list of things I have now desensitized him to.

However, despite these initial flaws I wouldn’t change a second of the last year and a half that I brought Kodiak into my family. He came with me when I moved states, started new jobs, started graduate school, and is always there at my side to take on life. I have been shocked and amazed at the progress I have achieved over the last year. I have watched Kodi come out of his shell and trust in more people than just me for once. I have finally taken him to some dog parks and watched him run around and enjoy himself to his fullest recently. He wouldn’t even let my mom pet him when I first got him and would run away and growl and hide behind a table. Now, he still takes a little bit to warm back up to her but he is actively looking for pets and love. Kodiak rarely growls from nerves or fear anymore and seems overall more confident and happy as every day passes.

It hurts my heart to think that Kodiak sat in a rescue for three years before I happened upon him. I’ll be the first one to tell you that it hasn’t been easy working with a dog who was literally afraid of everything and would only trust me to do anything for him. However, if you have the ability to take that chance, to accept a work-in-progress dog into your life, please do. Kodiak has become the love of my family, friends, and people I have met. He is so caring and smart. The effort I have put into him has been resolutely paid back in kind and I know I cannot wait to see what the rest of life holds for him and us.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Cows are Wonderful Creatures ~ Meg, Veterinary Nurse

            I grew up in suburban Minnesota, very close to the Twin Cities. As you can imagine, that meant that I had little experience with the farming community. How I managed to end up as a Dairy Cattle Research Intern at the rural University of Minnesota Morris campus is as much your guess as mine. I spent the summer after my freshman year of college chasing after dairy cattle in wide open fields, all in the name of research. There were several life lessons that I learned that summer, mostly taught to me by cows.

            Now, you might be wondering what on Earth a cow can teach you. They are stigmatized as being unintelligent, and sometimes scary, creatures. But boy, is that wrong! Everything I learned about cows and farming I learned the hard way (the first thing that comes to mind is experiencing just how much electric fences hurt, especially when you think they’re turned off but aren’t). Here are some valuable lessons I learned during that wonderful and exhausting summer:

            1) Calves are cute, but the diseases they can carry are not.

As part of a pain mediation study for dehorning procedures, we spent a lot of time working with calves. Placing jugular catheters, administering medication, dehorning, and observation meant many hours of close contact were spent with adorable calves. When I developed bad GI symptoms I was surprised to discover that I had contracted E. coli (likely from the close contact with the calves). After sitting in agony with horrific stomach cramps for a week, I quickly learned that while calves are cute, snuggling with them is probably a bad idea.

             2) Patience is a virtue.

This lesson is something that everyone realizes at some point in life. Mine came while trying to catch a nervous heifer that had gotten through some feeble fencing. She had become a bit nervous while we were moving her group’s grazing area to ensure that they didn’t over-graze any part of the pasture. This is a routine event, but young heifers are obviously a bit more nervous and inexperienced. She made a break through the fencing and so I quickly ran over to try and tempt her to go back through to where her other heifer friends were happily munching away. She started enjoying herself immensely and thought that we were playing a game…. I’m not sure how much time I spent chasing that heifer (they’re faster than you’d think), but I know I definitely have never been more exhausted in my life. I believe that it was purely her decision to go back to her group. Once she’d had enough fun, and realized that I looked about ready to pass out, she unceremoniously trotted back over to her friends. Cows can be stubborn animals, but it just takes a bit of patience to achieve the end goal.

               3) All the long days and hard work were worth it.

12, 13, and sometimes even 14, hour days were the norm that summer. I have never worked harder in my life. The work was very physical, but it also challenged me intellectually as well. I learned how to create my own research project and worked throughout the summer to gather data and troubleshoot complications. I quickly grew fond of dairy cows, a sentence that I never thought I’d say. They each have their own individual personalities, and it was a privilege to get to work with them every day. Everyone has their own opinions regarding things such as “organic” products, use of antibiotics and other medications in food animals, and food animal welfare. While I only saw a small portion of the dairy industry, I was able to formulate my opinions based on my experiences. I learned so much that summer and it has shaped my opinions and thoughts on all of those issues since.

Farm work isn’t for everyone, but I think everyone should take the opportunity to experience the fresh air and beautiful creatures. It’s hard work, but so worth it.