In honor of veterinary technicians, and in celebration of veterinary technician week coming up this month, I am very happy to present our first "My Vet Tech Story" for the month of October which is our new monthly feature!
Cindi Israel is passionate about helping others! In addition to being a computer programmer, she is now a newly registered Certified Veterinary Technician!
I was very honored to interview Cindi and learn her unique story about why she decided to become a vet tech at the age of 53.
VTP: Why did you become a vet tech?
CI: It started back in 2005 possibly as a result of hurricane Katrina. Living in CO I wasn't directly impacted by the hurricane, but I sat watching in horror as the water destroyed so many homes and left so many people homeless, lost, and/or injured.
I really, really, REALLY wanted to go down there and help out with animal rescue. I had a pickup truck, a horse trailer, and about 3 weeks of vacation to burn so I was ready to hit the road at a moment's notice. But no one would take me as a volunteer without training or experience.
So, over the next few years I attempted to get some training so I would be ready and able to lend a hand in my community if needed; I live in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado where wildfires are an expected occurrence. I decided after hitting one brick wall after another regarding animal rescue training that I was going to go back to school to study to be a Vet Tech!
VTP: What are your hobbies or what do you like to do for fun?
CI: I have several horses and love to go trail riding! I am not a competitive person so trail riding and enjoying the scenery is my thing. I also love DIY projects around my house so I'm always looking for something to knock down and re-do.
VTP: What pets to you have?
CI: I currently have 6 dogs, 4 cats, 4 horses, and 2 cockatiels.
VTP: What is it about being a vet tech that makes you happy and feel valued?
CI: I love it when a client brings in their sick or old or disabled pet, eyes filled with tears, thinking that this is it – it’s time for them to go. Only to find out that they have something very treatable or manageable that completely turns the situation around.
Earlier this summer, I was in a store after work still wearing my Rose Veterinary Hospital scrub top. A young man who worked there stopped to thank me for giving his beloved German Shepherd a whole new life. I didn’t know him but he explained that he thought his dog was dying and called to get an appointment, thinking it was likely going to lead to putting her to sleep.
Turns out his girl had severe arthritis and was in otherwise good health and after a couple of days on carprofen and tramadol, she was back to running around and hiking with him!
VTP: Any words of wisdom for those preparing to be a vet tech or are considering this as a future job?
CI: I’m not sure what to say to those who choose this as a profession. For me, it was more of a “calling” than an employment option. It’s a labor of love more than anything.
VTP: What are your aspirations since acquiring your CVT? How do you see using this in the next 10 years?
CI: I see myself continuing to volunteer. The program I graduated from is expanding so there are currently opportunities to get involved in the online/distance learning classes as an adjunct teacher.
I plan to start that in January and then hopefully move into an area in which I can help develop the curriculum for the program. And, of course, if we ever have another Hurricane Katrina or another crazy wildfire year, I would like to help out with animal rescue.
A couple of years ago I participated in a spay/neuter clinic in Nicaragua with World Vets. I would really like to do one of those kinds of trips at least once a year.
Do you have a unique story or would you like to share your vet tech experiences?
We will continue to do a monthly "My Vet Tech Story" piece to help inspire students or others who are considering this as a career or are interested in learning more about what vet techs do. It will be a peek into the life of a real vet tech! Tell us your story!