Where to start my blog about my equine veterinary adventures……..I guess that the beginning would be a good place.
It was 1988-my senior year of vet school at Michigan State University and I was required to complete a month long externship in a private veterinary clinic in order to gain some practical experience in actually being a real life equine veterinarian as opposed to the “Ivory Tower” approach that I learned at school. My mentor and field service instructor, Amy Williams DVM, hooked me up with Cumberland Animal Clinic, a mostly equine practice in her old stomping grounds near Tallahassee, Florida to fulfil the requirement.
Being geographically challenged, just getting to Florida was going to be a major undertaking for me. This was long before smart phones with Siri, Garmin GPS’s with turn by turn directions, or ipads with Goggle maps with a nice blue line to follow. It was just me and some scribbled directions from Amy. The first part of the journey was pretty straight forward, get on I-75 and go south for 800 miles. My problems began in Moultrie Georgia, where I was supposed to pick up Highway 111. I drove around for the better part of an hour looking for this elusive road. I finally stopped and asked a guy in a parking lot for directions. He gave me long elaborate instructions involving things like take a left at the corner were the old Miller place used to be and then turn right at the 3rd light before the white church on the corner. Well having no idea who this Miller guy was much less where he used to live and the fact there was a church on just about every corner and most of them were white, this was not very helpful. I was still lost. I then stopped at a gas station and asked the girl behind how to get to 111. She asked me “well where are you now?” ???? Next, I saw a man raking leaves and I asked him if he might know where I could find 111? He told me that “he used to live around here but he moved a while back”. After that I gave up asking for help and just drove around until I did eventually find the right road. Sixty miles later 111 dumped me out at the Florida state line where a big sign with an orange on it said “Welcome to Florida” and “Fasten your Seat Belts” That should have been a hint that I was in for a wild ride.