When you have a farm full of different animals, you quickly learn that you get to take on lots of roles. While city dwellers with pets take their animals to the vet, on the farm… you learn that it is you that often becomes the vet.
In my new role, I have had to overcome my longtime fears of doctor-like stuff. One of my childhood horrors were shots. I had a horrible anxiety as a kid that I would be diagnosed with diabetes and have to get shots daily. To me, there was no worse fate.
So, when I found out that I had to give my livestock their own shots – I was in a state of shock. All my new farm friends couldn’t figure out my panic. But they all helped me by doing the shots for me. However, after a few years of that – I started to feel that I needed to work through this fear to become the true farmer I wanted to be.
I learned the proper method of giving a shot at a 4H meeting using an orange. But it still took me another year before I had the guts to try it. The first shot I ever gave was to my daughter’s horse. I had seen many others give this animal a shot and all she did was stand there. I figured I could handle that.
And handle it, I did. She did just stand there and let me fumble through the process – my hand shaking all the way. She was a perfect first patient.
I have now learned to give all my animals their shots (although the wiggly baby goat is not as easy as the horse!). I still feel a bit of adrenaline rush each time, but I am so much more comfortable with it. I even had a new neighbor ask me to help teach her to do shots the other day! What I love most is my daughter, who also said she could never give her horse a shot, did her vaccines for the first time all by herself this year! I so love the life lessons that farming teaches my kids.