I had a lot of "firsts" today...we've been having some staff changes and I've been assigned with more responsibility since I have been here a little longer than some. I am now fully trained in receiving (finally) and have gotten the hang of getting all the meds together as well as the paperwork. I also drew blood today for a couple of dogs, which was quite nerve wrecking at first! I have held dogs before to get their blood taken out, but never actually taken the blood out myself with the syringe. So today I started with an easier dog, a big old sweet pit that had easy veins to find...and after doing him I felt a lot more comfortable doing shots. I just had to get over that tiny fear of hurting the animal because I thought I would end up doing it wrong, but now that I got those nerves shaken out...I'm good to go!
Most of my day was spent learning receiving and practicing all the paperwork and computer stuff; nothing too exciting. But just as I clocked out and was headed to go get my stuff, my boss told me to go to receiving (since everyone else had pretty much left) and receive the incoming dog. Turns out it was an OR PTS, which means "Owner Request - Put To Sleep" that is only for sick and old dogs. A woman brought hers in, accompanied by her boyfriend, after having the dog for 17 years. She was in tears the whole time while she said goodbye to her fragile pup. The dog was a black lab mix that she's had her ever since she was 16. The lab was wrapped tightly in a blanket, clearly on the last legs of her life with her eyes slightly closed. I signed her in as quickly as I could, made sure I got the owner's signature of approval, and carried her to the back room to put this old girl to rest.
This was also a first for me...the first dog I've ever held for euthanasia. You must be certified to do the injection, but not to hold the animals which is what I did while my boss did the injection part. It's a lot easier on me mentally knowing that the animal is older and sick, and that we're humanely relieving them of their pain. I've only seen one dog get put to sleep before, but I only watched and wasn't really involved in it. This was my first time actually being a part of it - two people are usually needed to do it; one to hold and one to do the injection.
My boss asked me if I wanted to be certified to do the euthanasias...but to be honest I'm not really sure if I want to or not, so I told him I'd get back to him. I'm not sure if I can mentally and emotionally handle the stress that goes along with that! But at the same time, the more of us that are certified...the more we can help each other out and not have just certain people be the only ones that do it. My co-worker who is thinking of getting certified also said this to me: "someone's going to have to do it, and better it be us who will be gentle and loving with them until the very end than someone else who probably won't give them that comfort they deserve". Also, if I want to become a veterinarian in the future...this is just something that I'm going to have to deal with eventually, so why not now right? Ugh, this is my dilemma right now and I'm so torn on what to do! To be or not to be certified...THAT is the question.