wiktionary.org defines the word vocation as the following:-
- an inclination to undertake a certainkind of work, especially a religiouscareer;
- often in response to a perceivedsummons;
- a calling;
- an occupation for which a person is suited, trained or qualified
It also defines the word passion as the following:-
- An object of passionate love or strong interest
Vocation & Passion is very closely related in my opinion especially when you see words like A Calling, Is Suited, Passionate Love and Strong Interest. If you have a strong interest in something, you will have passionate love for it and it eventually becomes a calling. As you go deeper into it, you will feel that you are a natural and whatever that you are doing feels like a perfect match.
In casual conversations, I normally ask my peers if they enjoy their job. Eight (8) out of ten (10) will tell me that they hate their job and everything else is great. This is more so with my generation and those before. I attribute it to the era when we leave school for higher learning. I for one did not know what I was good at and what are the options I have available based on my interest. I was not well informed as far as my education progression path was concerned. I stumbled a couple of times making the wrong decision and finally settled for what I did.
Simply put, there isn’t much choices given the circumstances I was in – financially and also as far as opportunity is concerned. You see, I wasn’t the bright student that scores straight As and I am definitely no public university material. The way I learn could be my biggest problem in the system that I was placed in. I just hate memorizing and regurgitating textbooks. I rather burn the textbooks and add the ash into my favourite drink (like what some of my friends did after the major examinations). It was one of my dream to be a veterinarian since I always have a pet since I was 7. Unfortunately, biology wasn’t my best subject and I just couldn’t get pass dissecting a little mice.
But lately, I have been forced to work with needles and so far, successfully administered Sub-Q injections for 10 rabbits. If I have a choice, I wouldn’t do it. Why?
Let me tell you why. We are all called for something in life. And when we are called, we go through all sorts of training to qualify us in the field of studies and then, we put into practice what we learn theoretically. I enjoy raising pets and I have great interest in the medical side of things except for injections, surgeries and whatever that has got to do with blood. Therefore, I leave it to the vets – who are trained and qualified.
Over the weekend, I had a case of emergency with one of my does. It was a delivery complication that most Holland Lop breeders dread. I had to intervene but my intervention wasn’t as successful as I expected. I didn’t make things worst either as I am very careful and had the real time support/advice from very experienced breeders in USA & Canada.
You see, veterinary science like any medical practice in Malaysia have at least 2 parts to it – consultation (diagnosis) and medication. It is pretty impossible for a pet owner in Malaysia to obtain drugs/medicine for pets so although most of the time my diagnosis on the problem is accurate, I have no access to the medication. It was such an instance at 3 a.m. on Saturday. I have no choice at all but to make an emergency called that cost an arm and a leg.
When I was waiting for the vet to arrive, I read the notice board. One of the notices captured my attention. It was written by the owner/chief vet at the practice. He was venting his frustration on past customers that could have tried tarnishing his reputation through various means. He mention how he could not be bothered with prominent figures holding titles. Through his writing, he showed those who did not appreciate his work the door while welcoming those who are willing to work with him and his team. I could understand why he was so frustrated. He even spoke to me on the phone telling me the possibilities and what I should be prepared for. I truly appreciate his honesty for telling me beforehand, rabbits are not their forte.
I needed the medication that they can provide me desperately. To cut the long story short, I did not leave the vet clinic on a happy note. I will not share the details as I am afraid Dr. may write another notice to vent about me. In fact, I was praying to God to please help my little doe while driving all the way home at 4 a.m. Basically, I cannot blame anyone for what has happened in the clinic. We all did try but was a little careless. Luckily, the problem corrected itself. The doe survived the horrific ordeal.
And so, this incident got me thinking really hard. The question that I have always asked was – WHY DON’T VETS DO RABBITS? For the longest time, cats and dogs has remained as a billion dollar business. This is the only conclusion I can make to answer that question above. I also understand that it is not worth for vets to specialize in rabbits just for Tru-Luv Rabbitry who may be one of the small group of people who cares enough to send their rabbits to the vets. The amount I paid at the vet clinic for the emergency call can easily purchase a few rabbits at the pet store. It does make rabbits dispensable because no one “WANTS” to afford medical bills on rabbits. SAD, BUT TRUE.
I gathered that this scenario does not only apply to Malaysia but even in the USA, breeders are left to fend for themselves. But, the only difference is, in the USA, rabbit drugs/medications are easily accessible. Most breeders have taught themselves how to administer injections. That is how good the support group is out there.
If my assumption and opinion is true about vets. They are people too and they also need to make a living right? So I wonder if 8 out 10 vets, like my peers, hate what they do. Meaning to say, there is a possibility that 8 out 10 vets are just doing it for the money and does not have the slightest passion or interest in what they do. It is the same as how most General Practitioners just prescribe antibiotics to every Tom, Dick and Harry that visits the clinic.
How much would it take for vets to start treating and be subject experts in Rabbits? I really have no idea. For the few that I have met who are rabbit savvy, I truly appreciate them. They are hard to come by and even harder to reach during the emergencies (at 3 a.m.). Even to reply text messages at 3 a.m. to agree to help in the emergency takes much courage, determination and most of all passion (to help animals).
The group of Show Rabbit enthusiasts and hobbyists is growing fast. But I reckon, we will be the ones suffering many sleepless nights due to the possible complications that will arise. For our rabbits are so exclusive and they mean the world to us not only the cost of obtaining them but also the value of all the hard work put into raising them.
If you ask me, I am lost as far as Rabbit Medicine is concerned but I know for sure, 90% of the time, we have to take matters into our own hands. As for the 10%, pray that the problems happen between 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays to Saturdays (possibly Sundays for some). That is the only times you may find your vets in their clinics and that’s if they do rabbits.
Good luck bunny friends…