Veterinary Life in Alaska - 24 Hours

Posted: Jan 30, 2013
Views: 3023 - Comments: 2

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This trip to Alaska is not just about me teaching. It’s about me learning. And after 24 hours in this state I have learned a couple things.

The cold really isn’t that bad.

17 below is cold, don’t get me wrong. But it’s manageable. With proper layering, two pairs of gloves, multiple pairs of wool socks and a cute knit hat it’s even manageable. The wind? Forget it. The wind blows here like it blows at the Oregon coast. And blowing snow hurts your face like blowing sand stings your legs. It causes snow berms in the middle of the street. It might just blow you right off your feet. It’s COLD. When I lived in St. Louis I kept hearing "It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity". Now I can say "It’s not the cold, it’s the wind".

Chapstick is a necessity.

I’m not someone who ALWAYS has chapstick and puts it on every hour on the hour. Well, I didn’t used to be. I fear it may be what’s holding my lips onto my face up here. It’s important. It’s always in my pocket. And it goes on every hour on the hour.

Salmon tastes better in Alaska.

I’ve had some delicious salmon. Never really liked it until moving to Portland and this particular offering that I had for dinner tonight was fantastic. Perhaps I’m romanticizing this a little too much… But it was some good salmon!

Veterinary people are all the same.

It doesn’t matter where we work. It doesn’t matter where we were trained. It doesn’t matter where we lived before we came to where we are. We all think the same, we all have the same tendencies, the same communication challenges, and we all talk to big goofy hounds in the same dumb voice. This is a picture of the team working on the Far Country treatment floor:

Far Country Animal Hospital treatment room

I’m a sucker for a good mountain range.

I’m talking MOUNTAINS. Huge, snow-covered makes you want to pull the car over and soak them in mountains. And this place has them on all sides. Sorry to those of you who wanted to see pictures of anything else on twitter. All I can see are the mountains…

Alaska mountains

Time for bed already, I have another full day ahead of me tomorrow! Goodnight veterinary peeps.



debbie hill's picture

What an awesome opportunity! We want to hear what their days are like. Do they have scheduled appts? What kind of cases do they see?

April Rogers's picture

It was great having you here and I really do hope you get a chance to come back in the summer.