Sunday, February 26, 2006

Updates about Brooke

Hello ALL family and friends.

I guess you can call this a late holiday letter, a belated Valentine's hello, or just a late Saturday night in which I got some time to up date you all on what I have been up to since oh....Thanksgiving. This may be long, so grab some popcorn and a diet Dr. Pepper and lets get started :-D and go back to December.

Two days before my birthday I took one final test, what my whole veteriary education had lead up to. My national board exams. Yes is was a 10 hour trivial pursuit of veterinary medicine. I had questions from alligator vitamin deficiencies, to random pet bird disease, to the ever so common dilemma of putting a rapid cow into the food chain. I was patient for ther results for about a month but as the score report dates become more and more delayed the anxiety of me and my classmates began to rise. I had one vivid nightmare after another that I did not pass. The day had come that I had to start driving to my preceptorship in Madison, WI and I still didn't know my score. Well I am driving through the middle of Missori when my friend calls to tell me that the scores are in. After a little encouragement from Nathan over teh phone, I decided to pull off the highway at an "interesting" fireworks warehouse and gas station (not a combination I would think was particulary safe but anyway). I call and the lady told me I PASSED! After thanking her and telling her I love her ( I was slighly emotional), I called Nathan and started bawling. I had convinced myself I didn't pass and I just let out all my stress from the last 4 years or rather 26 years :). I next called my dad at work and told him and my mom (and yes, I was till crying). But it was an unbelievable feeling for the next 6 hours of driving I felt like I was walking in air.

I stopped to stay the night with Grant and Sheryl and was greeted with 2 dozen roses from Nathan, dinner at a Mexican restaurant treated by Grant and Sheryl, and a big bouquet of flowers from my parents.

For the past 3 weeks I got to go to Madison for a preceptorship at a small animal clinic. For the first 1 1/2 week I got to stay with my friend Tami and her husband Sean in their beautiful house. I was never lonely with their 3 cats, 2 labradors, and Weimerer puppy. Then I went to stay with Cameron and his roomies near the capitol. I think his apartment had the very best view in all of Madison. A direct view of the lake from one window and a direct view of the capitol building from the other window. Unfortunetly I couldn't get his roomie's Siameese cat to warm up to me despite the fact it spent one whole night staring at me.

While in Madison I worked at Truedall Animal Hospital. I was extremely impressed with how the hospital was run and the types of clients that it attracted. I decided to use this practice as my standard of the type of medicine I want to practice. They were nice enough to allow me to go out on interviews in the afternoon.

While I was there I sent out 30 resumes and I was suprised at the large percentage of responses I got. Of course with these responses I realized I was a little rusty on my Wisconsin geography because I had applied at a couple of places near Lake Superior. But I braved it and started my interviews in the Stephen's Point area. What to say about that? It was an interesting expience and I learned what I don't want from a practice, but I was also disappointed that there are people that practice medicine that way. I did end up canceling some other interviews in that area. Ok, let's cut ot the chase. On my second to last day in Wisconsin, we got a huge snow storm -- so severe that the University of Wisconsin canceled classes for the first time in 16 years. But I had a gut feeling about an interview in Pleasent Prairie. So I started out very slowly and I am glad I did. So I end up at what i think is the right clinic (2 hours early) and go in to introduce myself. All I get is blank looks, I verify that this is the Care Animal Hospital. But the docs I was suppose to interview with didn't work there. I said..."Well this is embarressing". They try to help me out but I am a bit confused myself. Luckily Nathan and his handy computer came to save the day. He finally figured out there is another Care Animal Hospital south of Milwaukee, owned by the docs I was suppose to interview with. Thankfully I was so early.
When I arrived at the night clinic I walked in and it was beautiful and they were busy despite the snow. The doc I was interviewing with was in surgery (an orthopedic one, which excited me). After the surgery I shadowed her around to appointments and loved the cliente (they were all professionals and no one bargained prices). The staff where certified techs and even after a very long day people were still having a good time.

Whew...I almost fell asleep while writing, so i had to take a sleep break. Anyway I am back now. Anyway our personalities really clicked and they offered me a job after looking for someone for almost a year. I officially accepted this week. So where is this place? It is in Pleasent Prairie, Wisconsin. It is right b/w Milwaukee and Chicago, 6 minutes from Gurnee Mills Shopping and Six Flags :-D, 40 minutes from O'Hare airport, 25 minutes from Milwaukee International Airport. A little history about pleasent prairie? Well it use to be a very blue collar area until many of the factories closed down 10-15 years ago. As these people moved away to find better jobs, more professionals started moving since it is so close to 2 big cities. Everything after that is history. The population is growing very rapidly. Want some more info on Pleasent Prairie? Go to: Nathan and I plan on renting an apartment for a couple of months until we can find a nice house to buy. Of course it may be diffucult finding an apartment since many places don't allow dogs (but they do allow cats). Anyway, my start date is June 1st?

So what about Nathan? Nathan's company is making some major changes. They hired a new CEO who has lots of experience of taking small companies and turning them into $50 million dollar companies (at which point he moves on to a new small company). They just finished getting rid of some "extra bagagge" and are now in the process of hiring lots of people, a process in which Nathan has taken part in. But through many resumes and interviews Nathan was able to sift through the applicant pool to find people with good potential. Next month his company is moving into a new building in the Bricktown district in Oklahoma City his companies url is: . Nathan talked to his boss this week and he will continue to work for Amcat after we move via telacommuting (I think that is the right word). That way he won't feel pressured to take a job that may not suit him in Wisconsin.

Ok, so where am I now? I am in Ohio for the next 6 weeks. I am going a 3 week preceptorship with Dr. Dyce an orthopedic surgeron at Ohio State University. I am having a blast. I am learning how to do complete orthopedic exams, how to manage wound, and I get to watch some cool surgeries. My second 3 weeks here i am going over to food animal and I am going to do a preceptor with Dr. Anderson, the world renound alpaca man.

OH! let's not forget to boys. Mason is doing great. During my last rotation at Oklahoma state before heading up north, I got to do some more x-rays of him. He is looking great. He has a couple of small stones in his bladder but they don't seem to be bothering him at this point. While I am gone Nathan and Mason are bonding .... Nathan is enjoying teaching Mason how to sit and stay :-) (keeping mouth closed and Nathan got a new pooper scooper so they can pick up poop together. Oscar is as good as ever. He has a new friend that will come over for play dates every so often. She hissed at him at first, but Oscar was patient and then they just hit it off and started playing. Harry is also doing well....although he doesn't appreciate Oscar using his cage as a back up litter box now that his cage is next to Oscar's real litter box. But we are working on htat.

Oh yes, I forgot one more thing. I found a Jack Russell dog for my parents. Kelsey is a 2 year old Jack Russell that was presented to Ohio State with a broken jaw. After a little investigation through radiographs and biopsies (to rule out cancer - which was negative). The owners did not have the money or didn't want to put the money into helping her so they surrendered her to the Humane Society. Well there was an intern who loves Jack Russells and immediately began to foster and nurse her until Dr. Dyce returned from England. She fed her by a syringe and took her everywhere. When Dr. Dyce got back he wanted to first see if it would heal well by herself. But this week he was not comfortable with the stability of the healing process and wants to put a plate in. He guarenteeed she would be normal after that. The intern would love to keep Kelsey but she said it is really hard to find places to live when you own more than one dog. So I have been keeping an eye on her this week to see if there is anything "wrong" with her. She loves to sit on your lap and to find warm places. Her favorite thing to do is be near people. She is house trained and loves the trick "Bang bang" where she rolls over and plays dead. She only barks when she has to go to the bathroom and will jump in your lap. She is otherwise very healthy and likes other dogs. So despite being a Jack Russell she is not spiteful and over engergetic like one. So she is going to become a Pitel. The surgery is going to be covered by the school and she will be having this week. So wish her luck :-D

Dad's building is really coming along. They started putting the steal beams up this week. Here is a link to some pictures: . The business is really booming and dad has had to rent some more space to handle all the orders. For those of you who don't know, he is building a new facility in Flemington, NJ that will be 22,000 sq feet (I think). We are all very proud of him. Website compliments of Adam and Grant.

Nathan's mom also opened her new salon Salon DiAmici this past month and it is going better then ever expected. Clients who left the old salon they use to work at due to the poor attitudes of the owners are now returning to Jan's new salon. The vibe of the place has made a 180 degree turnaround. We are also proud of her success. Webpage compliments of Nathan.

Grant received his Masters this past fall and is now working towards his PhD. Yea Grant! Adam is doing excellent in school and is getting a great reputation in the engineering school for his film making abilities. He made a very popular National Geographic type documentary on the behavior of the electrical engineer that I look forward to seeing on very soon (hint hint).

Ok so I am about done here. I now I forgot things so sorry. But if you still haven't had enough of us... go to