My friend said one of the people on the trip was a local veterinarian who was on his 15th safari in Africa. After being super-jealous, I realized that this is a person who just loves animals and enjoys seeing them in the wild as much as possible. I could relate to the experience of getting out of the small exam room and into the expanse of nature where you can experience wildlife in its natural habitat. The joy and energy derived from seeing animals in the wild and primates playing and working in the wild as our ancient predecessors did is inspirational. Clearly, I’m not the only veterinarian chasing the animals and the natural world on my time off!
In the early years of Tufts University Veterinary School, our class was cooped up in some very small classrooms and a basement gross anatomy lab across from Tufts Medical Center in the very urban Theater District. If we stayed late dissecting in the lab, we made sure to walk home in groups swiftly past the Pussycat Lounge (this irony was not lost upon us) lest we be accosted by some of the local “characters,” to put it lightly.
Once a year, the city of Boston would get a cow out on the Common to re-create its use as a common grazing ground. Students would postulate that maybe that cow would be our only bovine experience during our four years at Tufts. The Boston mounted police were always a chance to get some close-up time with a horse. This was not vet school in Iowa! We took what we could get. In our junior year, we would move to the Grafton campus, where the large animals were plentiful and the pastures were, and still are, a bucolic scene.