Costa Rica Veterinary Experience — Tuesday, July 2, 2019

A Paw-fect Birthday

Pura vida, this is Taylor and I was the leader of the day today. It also was my birthday today and let me tell you, it was a very eventful and exciting day. This birthday was definitely a much different one than I usually have. I usually spend the day with my friends and family, however, I got to spend this one with my new friends and family. In the morning we did the usual; have gallo pinto with eggs, plantains, fruit, and fruit juice. I thought that I would get sick of gallo pinto, beans and rice, but I’ve been in love with it since day one and I’m always excited to try the new juice of the day because they’re almost always different. Today’s breakfast juice was lime and guava which I have never had before, but was very good.

After a delicious and filling breakfast, we went to a beef farm on a tractor and learned about how the farm is managed and it was crazy to see the amount of hard work and care the workers put into creating the perfect environment for their animals. Later on we all got a chance to palpate a cow, otherwise known as a rectal examination. So, for the first part of my birthday I got to use a plastic glove all the way up to my shoulders and put my hand into the rectum of the cow. Through doing this, it made all the material that we have been learning during our lessons truly come to life because we would feel around for certain parts of the body such as the cervix, uterus, and right kidney. And the lucky birthday girl got to go first :)

I know it may seem very odd and probably something unusual to do on your special day but it was very interesting and cool and I hope that I get another opportunity to work this close with farm animals again.

I was feeling pretty accomplished after the beef farm because I didn’t get any mud or feces on my white tank top and couldn’t wait to do our next activity: visit the dog shelter. Again I got to be the first one to walk in and have the huge rush of dogs run at me and the first thing that happened was my white tank top become a brown one. However, I was surrounded by adorable puppies and dogs so I didn’t mind too much. Here we got to walk, play, and cuddle with the dogs.

Personally, my favorite dog was Cococita because she was the first to run up to me and would continue to follow me around or find me when we got separated. Also, she had a two month old puppy, Rudy, and still looked amazing. Rudy, of course, was adorable too and it was really awesome to watch Cococita be a great mother such as when Rudy would come up to her for milk.

While we were there we also got to practice performing physical exams which made me feel like an actual veterinarian. Lastly, we had another lesson and headed to dinner which was very food, as usual, with our variety of traditional Costa Rican food and I was surprised with a really good chocolate cake and poster.

Therefore, I think today was definitely one of my best birthdays as well as one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had and I am super happy that I got to experience it with my new family and we still have so much more to learn and take part in, so please keep following the updates as we continue our journey in working with exotic animals tomorrow! Adios!

-Taylor