Why I became a Vet – My Rocky Story

Why I became a Vet – My Rocky Story

People often ask what inspired me to become a vet. In short, it was Rocky. She became my fluffy companion when I was only 10 years old. Rocky came from the streets and was a Japanese mixed breed. After wearing my father down, he finally agreed I could keep her as long as she was kept outside. Fair enough, Rocky was a survivor and we did have a restaurant with people coming and going all the time. Rocky settled in happily and I loved her like another family member.

Rocky was about 6 months old when she had a simple spayed operation. The vet said come back in 10 days so he could remove the stitches. Part of the deal with my father was I paid for anything to do with Rocky, so there I was 10 days later with my father but it was clear even to me that Rocky was still very sore and red. 

I questioned the vet (btw, something a 10 year old should never do in Japan) ‘Are you sure she is ready?’ . The vet (and my father) looked shocked at my line of questioning. Regardless, he ignored me and took the stitches out anyway. The wound just opened up and that’s a hell of a sight for a 10 year old to see! 

I was disgusted, the worse the bit was I asked him to use anaesthetic, which I would happily pay for, while he stitched her back up but he refused and told my dad and I to hold her. I can tell you, I have never looked at anyone with such anger in all my life. Rocky was screaming with every single stitch as you can imagine……I was so upset, I had to leave the room! 

Poor Rocky was crying all the way home. That was the moment, I decided right there in the car, I would not allow Rocky to be seen by this or any other terrible vet again and further still, this would never happen to any other fluffy either! I would be the vet!!!! 

Life is much simpler at 10, isn’t it? I would be a vet the next day 🙂  I never gave up on the journey to becoming a vet and this memory is a daily inspiration for me.

My husband says I’m very fortunate to know what I wanted from such a young age. I don’t know about that but I do know the journey from a 10 year old to qualifying as a Veterinarian Surgeon in another language from Brisbane University was not an easy ride culturally or academically, it caused a lot of family conflict, hard work, fun and commitment, but that’s for another time……….

PS; Never ask me about Rocky please, I always cry if I talk about her 🙂 

RIP Rocky and thank you for the inspiration x



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