The oldest boy had put down in his yearbook a few years back that he wanted to be a vet when he grew up. So, we stopped at the vet school. I wanted to give them some practice with initiative, so when we found the communications office, I told the older one to go into the office and ask for a tour. We rehearsed it a couple of times, and then he tried: “Hello, ma’am. My name is … I would like to be a vet when I grow up. Is there someone here who could please give me a tour of the school?”
After a quick peek outside the window by the receptionist to verify that there was indeed a supervising adult present, the older kid comes out saying that “She said that there was no one available to give tours that day.”
So, we went down to the dean’s office and tried again. This time we got a card from the receptionist who told us to call and make an appointment.
Finally, we went down to the student’s lounge, and I told the boy to go up to a student who looked friendly and explain to the student that he wanted to be a vet when he grew up, and that he wanted to know what it was like. He got an answer the first time he tried: “It’s a lot of fun.” Not a bad answer for a 4th grader. Although he probably needed to try a few more people to get the tour, he was shy, and I could tell somewhat uncomfortable with approaching people he didn’t know, so I let it go.
But I told the boys, the vet school only takes the best of the best. Out of the whole state of Texas, they might take 100 students each year. If you wanted to be one of those students, you were going to have to hear “no” a lot of times, and not get discouraged, before you found someone who said “yes”. It would take talent, hard work, drive, and persistence to become a vet.
It had been a long trip, and now we were tired and ready to drive back as we headed back out to east Texas, we would encounter 2 dogs with collars on the highway near Onalaska,
and then another dog nursing puppies just west of dacosta road on 195, and then a beagle crossing 195 east of the Alabama Coushatta reservation.
The boys wanted to stop and pick them up, but I reminded them that we had pulled 15 ticks off of their dogs when I got there. Those dogs were not in any state to warrant picking up some more. So, I dropped some food. Maybe others will be kind enough to provide some Thanksgiving leftovers…