One of the presents was a lovely cat book from Furry Logic which is done by a NZ artist. You can see it on their website here
One of the benefits of my work is the number of people I get to spend time with.
Firstly, I have a wonderful team of lecturers who bring our programmes to life. They are all either vets, vet nurses, or specialists in anatomy, animal behaviour or microbiology. Secondly, to support us, there are some amazing technicians who make us all look great by taking care of all our needs, and also, our pet animals we keep.
Third, we have an entire team of people running the library, reception and all the other admin areas. Special mention has to go to the wonderful staff who keep our favourite haunt, the cafe going!
And finally, the reason we are there, that we exist at all, is the students. We might moan about workloads and marking and make jokes about how much work we get done when they are not there; how the parking is easier and the queues shorter. But we all know it is a quiet, sad and lonely place without them!
Over the years I have been privileged to stay in touch with or even work with many of my students once they have graduated. I hear from some of them as they travel around the world. I watch them marry, have children, buy houses, grow up, grow old, do well, struggle, fulfill the potential we thought they would, or exceed our expectations. Such are the joys of teaching, whatever area you work in. I feel as much pride in watching them develop as people, as whether they go on to excel in the area of their veterinary nursing skills.
Some of my students now work in a wide range of areas; general small animal vet practice in NZ, Australia, UK, or even Canada, and some in the USA if they have the green card! Some are now rural or equine technicians, many in research facilities or specialist surgical practices. A number are in zoo work, or Kiwi recovery, working with endangered birds, and other wildlife. A few are Beagle Handlers at the airport or on the ships, working with MAF (Ministry of Ag and Fish). We have past graduates in pet shops, working as animal control officers and educators for the City Council or the SPCA, various Cat and Dog rescue organisations, at groomers, boarding kennels and catteries... some are into dog training and behaviour specialists, running puppy play schools, working with difficult dogs who have problem owners.
Here in New Zealand, the SPCA are doing their bit for child abuse.
To quote from that site:
In what is believed to be a world-first, Child, Youth and Family (CYF) and the SPCA will join forces this week to combat abuse in New Zealand.
On Wednesday, the two groups will sign an agreement for the SPCA to report signs of child abuse when inspecting or taking animals from homes and, in return, CYF social workers to report neglected or abused animals they spot while working with families.
The agreement is believed to be the first in the world to introduce a reporting protocol between a national child protection agency and a national animal welfare society.
Some of my students are also now teachers, adding back to training our students. The circle is complete.
So, despite the stresses and strains, what makes it worthwhile is the feeling of achievement and plenty of pride in the contribution they all make to society and the animal world.