Dog Days of Summer

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This morning I awoke to a very angry alarm clock. It seemed to scream at me to “Wake up! Wake up!” On any other day I would have hit snooze, but today was a volunteer day! I scrambled out of bed, grabbed the pair of scrubs and sneakers on my bedside table, and got ready for the day.I was soon walking to the parking lot to await the arrival of the other volunteers who I would be carpooling with to the clinic in Sacramento.

Before I write anymore, I should explain what Mercer is.  Mercer Clinic for the Homeless is a monthly clinic that serves homeless individuals in the Sacramento area to ensure proper care and health of the pets of the homeless. I began volunteering at this clinic during my first year at UC Davis and it has been a blast! It was here that I learned animal restraint techniques and how to communicate with clients from diverse backgrounds. I learned that the bond between a person and animal transcends a person’s living situation. I learned not to judge someone’s appearance or living situation and the joys of living with a pet.

During each clinic, undergraduate volunteers (such as myself) are paired with veterinary students in order to assist them in performing physical exams and serving our clients. Today, I paired myself with two vet students. They were both very welcoming and we worked as a team to exam our patients and reassure our clients that their animal(s) were doing fine.

One client that stood out to me was a female Boston Terrier. She was a beautiful dog with a wonderful owner and I couldn’t wait to help them out! At the end of the day, our patients left with wagging tails and our clients waved goodbye to us with happy smiles. What a great day!

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Have you made a difference in the life of someone today? It’s never too late!

-Paige

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