I am often asked why I am a vet. Why did I choose this? Why not something else? Something easier? Something that pays better? Why would I take out a massive loan to start my own practice?This is Val. Or Valkeryie. She was one of my first spays back in 2008. She was my first gastropexy. She was an adorable, cute and wonderful German Shepard puppy. I’ve been privileged enough to see Valkyrie through the years. Her lovely owner, and now my friend Meghan Bentley, has followed me from clinic to clinic. From country to country. We’ve had marriages. And kids. And divorces. And international moves. Through it all Valkeryie was always there. There were other pets. Rabbits. And dogs. And cats. But always Val. This winter was hard for everyone. Especially Val. We battled arthritis, urinary issues, neurological issues. All while I wasn’t seeing GP patients. We recently had to say goodbye to Val. Meghan followed me to yet another clinic for this. And this is why I’m a vet. Not an MD. Not a nurse. Not an actuary (as my job skills in high school said I should be). We chose to let her go, with her people. With no pain. With no fear. Calm and spoiled for the day. As a veterinarian I believe my job is to do everything I can, while I can. But also to recognize my limitations. To recognize kindness in all its forms. To be selfless. The ultimate gift of peace to patients and their families. She was one of my first patients from puppy to geriatric. My hope is that I will be able to have this honor for many more over the next decades at my own practice. Valkeryie. 2008-2021.