Travels with Kathi #16

Travels With Kathi #16: Resolutions


Resolutions (Dedicated to special friends, especially two very special friends)

The day was January 2, 2017. Kathi and I were sitting around the house in the late morning contemplating the day. The phone rang and we quickly recognized the number of favorite long-time clients. This couple had a group of aging horses at their home. Their small herd was shrinking as the inevitable toll of old age was catching up to their beloved friends. So there was some trepidation in our minds as we picked up the call. “Good morning! What’s going on at your house?” “Ron, my mare is sick.” Their twenty-something retired mare was colicing. And I could tell by her voice, she was assuming the worst. “We’ll get ready and head that way.”

The eighteen miles between us and our patient seemed endless. If only Scotty from “Star Trek” could beam us over. Luckily for all, the mare was not displaying signs of severe colic or accompanying signs of shock. After a quick “hello” we started the normal colic exam, the same exam I have performed several thousand times in the last thirty-some years. The exam usually concludes with a rectal exam and stomach tube passing which I always accompany with my best self-deprecating humor meant to relieve some of the stress of the owner. The good news: there were no findings which led me to believe our mare would not recover uneventfully. Although experience has trained me to be cautious, I felt good about our patient and recommended we hang out and observe the mare for a while.

Watch and Wait

“Would you guys like to come in and have a cup of coffee while we wait?” Many times we have been invited in but we have been too busy to accept such invitations. But today we had the time and it just seemed like the right thing to do. As we drank coffee we talked about how common friends were doing, our dogs, trips we had taken together, trail rides we had gone on, lots of good memories. And best of all, our patient remained free of colic signs. Many times being lucky is the most important asset. As we got back in the truck to leave we heard: “We’re sorry you had to come out.” I answered with one of my favorite sayings: “It’s not your fault I went to vet school” to which she answered: “We’re sure glad you did!”

The drive home seemed much shorter than the trip over. This day had been a great day. We had helped a mare by using basic veterinary techniques, techniques we had employed thousands of times. We had been blessed with luck in that she recovered uneventfully. We were then able to spend nearly an hour with old friends recalling great times we had shared just by making the time. Yes, it had been a great day; in no small amount due to simple acts. And yes, I too am glad I went to vet school.



There are times when the mental fog created by the hustle and bustle of everyday life magically lifts and for a moment we see clearly what is really important, what truly has meaning. Many times we find that importance in the simplest things. What better time to find mental clarity than on the 2nd of January, the national time of New Year’s resolutions. What a perfect day to formulate resolutions. (By the way, I think we should make resolutions when they occur to us, when the fog lifts, instead of waiting until January 1st.) Here are a few that came to mind on that day:
– Look for greatness in simple things.
– Take time to celebrate old friendships.
– Remember it’s better to be lucky than good.
– Don’t forget to celebrate the good days in your life. That celebration will help you get through
the bad days.
– Look for and celebrate the good parts of your job.

And above all:
– Don’t forget to tell your family you are thankful for them and you love them.

P.S. Kathi, I love you!

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