A Bit of a Fish out of Water

Greetings from my new gig at Mazie’s Mission. The rescue world is a fascinating place. There are ins and outs and thoughts and intricacies that I haven’t even scratched the surface of. Honestly, I’m a tiny bit afraid to blog about rescue stuff, because these are passionate people with strong opinions. Many moons ago I wrote an article about how to select a reputable dog breeder for PetMD. People lost their minds over the fact that breeders exist & if you get a pet from one you’re going straight to hell. The trolls were so mean I had the post taken down.

For the record, none of my pets have been purchased from a breeder. People will always buy dogs from breeders, so for Pete’s sake, look for a reputable breeder , and don’t buy one from a puppy mill (or any PetLand). Also, there are many, many purebred dog rescues out there with lovely, lovely dogs looking for forever homes (even Doodles, which, between you and me, are not “really” “purebred”).

Anyhoo, I imagine, if this blog gets more popular, there will be plenty of opportunities to disagree with my opinions (perhaps even with the Doodle statement above). The good thing is that I get to review comments before they publish, so if they are civil and respectful I’ll post them. If they are mean, hateful and awful, they go in the trash. Calm discussion is great, unhinged diatribes, threats and name calling are not.

So back to Maizie’s Mission: I haven’t felt this out of my element since I was a baby vet (Hence the “Fish out of Water” title. Get it? I’m the fish and suburban regular West Plano veterinary practice was my water? Now I’m flopping around in rescue practice? No? Whatever. It’s a lovely cliche’d metaphor, and probably also why I haven’t written a book.)

It helps that the staff, rescue groups, and vet are super nice and wonderful and tolerate my barrage of questions  and inadequacies. I’ve gone from paper-full records to paperless, so  that adds to my learning curve and anxiety induced constant brain fog.  I feel like I’m living on caffeine, post-its, and sheer terror of screwing up. Medicine-wise I’m transitioning from handling pampered pet issues like obesity, allergies, dental disease, age-related illness, and pancreatitis (from overindulgence) to shelter pet issues like acute infectious disease, parasites, and orthopedic injuries. I have to look something up every single day I work.

The difference now, compared to when I was a baby vet, was that back then EVERYTHING was new and scary. At least now, I’ve got a solid foundation in basic vet skills, but it’s still a little embarrassing when I have to look up something as simple as how to treat diarrhea in a 3 week old kitten.

They haven’t fired me yet, so I guess I’m muddling through OK.

Here are a few of the animals I’ve seen:

This is “Nubs” a Mazie’s rescue. She’s about 14 weeks old, SUPER sweet. Apparently her mom chewed off her back feet (?!) She gets around great on that left rear nub, even though it’s missing a foot, but the back right leg is too short to touch the ground. We will fit her with a prosthetic when she’s a little older. She’s still looking for a home. You would never believe she’s handicapped, she runs and plays like nothing in the world is wrong and YOU are the one with the issue.



This is “Star”, she was also a Mazie’s foster (she has subsequently been adopted by her foster parents). She had an extracapsular repair by our friends at Lone Star Veterinary Surgery, for a torn ACL . Post-op, she wasn’t using the leg properly. Our dear friends at Integrative Veterinary Wellness are helping us with physical therapy and laser treatments to see if we can bring her back to full function.
This is “Leonard”. He came to us from another rescue. Not sure of his adoption status. That big pink thing is a large oral tumor, called an epulis. My boss was able to remove the mass, which miraculously turned out to be benign and hopefully Leonard will get to live happily ever after. Here’s a tip: don’t stick your fingers in Leonard’s mouth to examine him. He’ll bite. I learned this the hard way (I knew better!), and my new staff got to experience my annoying habit of crying from sheer embarrassment when I get bitten. Way to look professional, Viv.  I think that was my first day.

6 thoughts on “A Bit of a Fish out of Water

  1. I know in a few short weeks it will all be second nature just like when you were a “baby vet.” In this position you will become the he to of many and I can’t wait to hear more stories.

  2. Couple of things…

    First off, Leonard is an asshole. He is and adopted asshole, but an asshole none-the-less. And for the record, when I was bitten, I cried the second someone asked me if I was okay! Like, ugly cried. It was hideous.

    Second off, you are doing amazing. I am so proud of you. You are taking this on, in-stride, with the same passion that all of us have and a heart the size of Texas. Who gives a sh*t that you had to look up treating diarrhea in a 3 week old kitten?? You treated it. And the kitten is doing AMAZING and will go on to be a loved member of someone’s family.

    Third-ly, Doodle’s are NOT purebred and anyone who says they are can fight me.

    You are an incredible human being and we are lucky to have you. Thank you for loving Mazie’s… and every single jacked up critter that comes to see us.


    Your New Lead Technician

    PS: Get your sh*t together. You rock.

  3. Keep up the good work! I’m so excited that you’re on a new journey to help all the furry friends who need extra TLC.

  4. I learned a long time ago not to contradict other pet people because, as you mentioned, they always think they’re right. I confess that some of their beliefs upset me because, in my opinion, they are oh so wrong!

    Do NOT declaw your cat. (Declawibg is a big deal with me.

    Always set aside a monetary amount to take care of a sick pet. No reason to euthanize because YOU can’t afford it. (Would you let your child die?)


    Keep up the good work Dr. Viv.

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