We have had the pleasure of working with Rob Dock since April 2016. Rob came to us with a background in veterinary emergency medicine, x-ray technology, and information technology. During his time at Leo’s, Rob found his true calling is in computer technology, and we have encouraged him to pursue that dream – and associated certifications – while he was working with us.
You’ll find while reading these write-ups from previous students and employees, that it’s not unusual for someone who starts working here to end up in a completely different career. That’s because we want our family members to find what makes your heart sing, even if it’s outside the realm of veterinary medicine, and we will often push you, and guide you, to make tough life choices.
Why do we push people out of vet med, if that’s where you’re supposed to end up? Because… well, because we’re family, and that’s what family does. We teach you how to fly, and if you fly back to us, it was meant to be. If you fly away, we will celebrate with you. We don’t tell people where to go, we just help you get there.
Rob was kind enough to write a note for future students and potential employees about his experience with our hospital, before he moved on to the next step in his life path.
We’ll miss you, Rob. You’re a good man.
Rob dock writes about his year with Leo’s, January 2017
“My boss rocks!” is not something many people get to say or even want to say. Unfortunately, we hear all too often about the manager that makes a work environment a living hell or about a boss who has little to do with the employees and would rather focus on other “more important” aspects of his/her life. Even worse, I believe many of us who have been in the veterinary field for any time at all have probably experienced something of the latter.
However, it is with great pleasure that I am able to write that my boss does indeed rock! It is really quite a shame that I am leaving the veterinary profession, but if it can happen no other way, I am so glad that I was able to spend some time at Leo’s Pet Care with Drs. Magnusson, Gilliam and all of the staff.
“If it’s so great there, why are you leaving?”
Thankfully, my decision to leave the field is not brought on by workplace circumstances but rather by finding my true passion. In all fairness, I actually think I can credit Leo’s with some of my decision to head toward my new destinations or at least for being unconditional and unwavering in their support. At the end of May in 2017, I’ll be heading towards a career in IT.
I will be leaving behind an official 4 year stint in the veterinary field (I’ve been around it all my life but just started working in it recently), and I’m glad to be ending it on a high note with the last year at Leo’s.
“What should I expect working at Leo’s, then?”
Leo’s Pet Care brings along with it a different workplace environment. You’ll find that each of the other employees will jump at the chance to attempt to help in any way possible. Dr. Magnusson plays a vital role within the workplace other than being just the owner or even veterinarian: he is a caring, loving human being. With confidence, I can state he is the only employer I’ve had that truly cares enough about each of his employees to take those moments out of his already busy schedule to check on us, allow us to pick his brain, and genuinely care about us. Expect for him to figure out a problem of yours and help guide you to a possible positive solution.
“What about the field in general?”
Veterinary Medicine can be a tricky beast. I have loved working with animals and helping clients with their pet needs for a majority of my life; however, there are moments within this field that can take even the sturdiest down. You’ll need to be prepared to explain everything to a client. Not everybody works in this field, and as such, they are not as accustomed to the best practices of the trade, nor are they familiar with what is best for their pet. Sometimes, clients don’t want the best for their pet, and you need to be willing to either understand why or (more favorably) let go. Other times, there isn’t anything more you can do to help a pet, and you have to be able to grieve and move on.
Though with the negatives, there are always positive counterparts. Nursing sick patients back to health and getting loving licks is pretty darn rewarding in and of itself! More seriously, leading a client to understand how to best help their own loved one has great benefits on the mind. Forget about the small victories of placing a catheter smoothly or getting a bandage to stay in place over the weekend; having a client understand that they, too, can help their pet in its health means you did a wonderful job.
“Any passing tips for the newcomers like me?”
I’m elated you asked, Reader! The best advice I can offer is short, but I believe it has the most poignant meaning: take breaks. I mean this literally and figuratively. Take breaks while you’re on shift to make sure you’re hydrating well and keeping your blood sugar up. I’m not kidding – do it. But also, while you’re on those breaks, emotionally figure out a way to take a break from the field. I’m not saying you need to hate on Veterinary Medicine while you’re off shift, but rather, a more eloquent way of putting this might be “Take the time to hit the reset button.” Decompress after a hard shift. Find something you love OUTSIDE of work. Vent if you have to. Whatever it is, take the time to do it.
Lastly, remember the reason we do what we do. Whatever your source of inspiration for joining Veterinary Medicine and at whatever level you intend to finish (from Assistant to Veterinarian), remember why you were drawn here. Reflect on what brought you to the point of thinking “Hey, this Veterinary career might not be such a bad idea!” and write it down, make it your mantra. If you ever start to lose sight of this, take a step back and see the above advice.
For me, I still love Veterinary Medicine, and a part of me will always long to be here. I never lost sight of my goal of being in the field, and that helped me through some very tough situations while working in years past. Similarly, I’m absolutely ecstatic that Leo’s found me and held on tight for my last year. I couldn’t have asked for a better send off.
Thank you to Dr. Magnusson for all that you do, and thank you to each of the staff (you know who you are!) for being there for me for all of the unthinkable. This isn’t the last time you’ll see me!