Reeves Elementary School Kids Learn About Veterinarians

Dear Readers,
This post is being presented today at Thomas L. Reeves Elementary School in Long Beach, Mississippi. Dr, Randolph will be in the classroom of Mrs. Jill Lipski and Mrs. Robbin VonderBruegge. as part of an annual January program to emphasize the importance of reading in the daily activities of various professions.

My name is Dr. Randolph. I am a veterinarian, a doctor for animals. Veterinarians go to college for eight years, and I have attended Ole Miss, Mississippi State University and Auburn University. I have been practicing veterinary medicine for thirty years and I practice on small animals, mostly dogs and cats. Sometimes, though, we see hamsters, rabbits, gerbils, hedgehogs and rats.

Here is a picture of our hospital, Animal General Hospital on Pineville Road, .

Reading is important for veterinarians because we must be able to read medical books like these

Good readers can read all of the words in these books
Good readers can read all of the words in these books

with many hard words in them. While reading, we learn about the parts of the body called ANATOMY, how the parts work called PHYSIOLOGY, and what happens when the parts get sick, called PATHOLOGY. When we read about SURGERY we learn how to take the body apart and put it back together better than it was before they got sick.

Reading doesn’t stop for doctors when we finish school because we must have CONTINUING EDUCATION, in which we go to classes taught by teachers and read about the newest things we can do in our jobs.

Like most people, doctors like to read for fun, too, so we read the newspaper, and the comics and books that are entertaining.

When veterinarians work, most of our work is done in the Examination Room.

Kristi can lift even the biggest dog with ease using the lift table
Kristi can lift even the biggest dog with ease using the lift table

This steel table has a motor that lifts a big dog up for us so that we can check all of his parts, take his temperature, listen to his heart and find out why he is sick and get him the right medicine so he can get well. Since pets can’t talk, I have to be very careful in my examination to find out where he hurts or what is wrong with him. Sometimes we give shots.

Some veterinarians take care of big animals, like horses and cows. These doctors may go to a farm to work on the animals, and sometimes the animals come to him in a trailer pulled by a big truck.




Veterinarians help animals in many ways, and not always by working on the animals. Another way I help animals I never even see is by writing this blog, Six days each week I write a POST that explains about illnesses and injuries and ways that people can take better care of their animals. People can read this blog many ways: they can go to the site and read articles, they can subscribe to get an article every day in an email, or they can go to Twitter and find a link to an article.

I also write articles for the newspaper so that people can read about caring for their animals and better understand how to keep them well.  Doctors are also teachers, because we teach pet owners how to keep their animals well.


One day a man had a new puppy. She was a happy, healthy puppy who came from a good family, a healthy Mama dog and a healthy Papa dog. The man named her Catherine. He made a bed for Catherine, but the puppy didn’t like the bed. Instead, she wanted to curl up in the man’s lap to sleep.

Your Pet's Doctor in the Sun Herald
Your Pet's Doctor in the Sun Herald

The man loved his puppy so much he said, “Any time I am not at work you can sleep in my lap and I will pet you and stroke you and keep you safe.”

Catherine is very loved.
Catherine is very loved.

Catherine gets only the best food and lots of clean, fresh water
Catherine gets only the best food and lots of clean, fresh water

The man made fresh water for Catherine, and fed her the best food he could buy. They went for long walks and when they got back from their walks they would both get in the recliner and take another nap.

Soon it was time for Catherine’s first doctor visit. The man said, “I will take you to see Dr. Randolph and he will keep you well so you can have a long, happy life. Pets need to go to the doctor regularly just like children do!”

Catherine came to our office and we checked her thoroughly. When I got to the part where we checked her tummy I felt something that shouldn’t be there.

“Is Catherine missing any toys?” I asked the man.

“No, she has only chew toys. She chews those up and swallows them sometimes. Why do you ask?”

“I feel something in her tummy that shouldn’t be there. Catherine needs to have an X-ray to find out what it is I’m feeling.”

We took the X-ray, and this is what we found.

Catherine swallowed some really tasty rocks!
Catherine swallowed some really tasty rocks!

“WHAT IS THAT? I MEAN, WHAT ARE THOSE?” the man exclaimed?

“It looks just like rocks,” I explained. “Are you missing any rocks?”

The man had a knowing look on his face, like when you are working on a jigsaw puzzle and you figure out where a piece goes. I got the feeling he was about to solve the mystery.

“I was cooking on the barbecue grill yesterday. Steaks and chicken, and the juices were dripping out the bottom of the grill. I saw Catherine licking the rocks under the grill, but I didn’t think anything about it. I went inside to eat supper but Catherine wanted to stay outside. My wife and I watched her while we were eating, and she stayed pretty close to the barbecue grill the whole time. She must have swallowed some of the rocks she was licking.”

“Silly Catherine,” I said. “She thought the rocks were food because they tasted good. I hope she learned her lesson.”

Rocks came out in Catherine’s poop for three days. We gave her a some medicine so they wouldn’t hurt. She never ate rocks again, so I think she learned from eating them that rocks are not food.

These are the rocks that Catherine ate, then passed.
These are the rocks that Catherine ate, then passed.

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  1. My 9 yr. old, Emily, is CONVINCED she want to be a veterinarian. She asks me DAILY to find classes for her and get her things to dissect. For Christmas, she got to shadow our veterinarian for an afternoon during surgeries. This experience only intrigued her more! Can you offer any suggestions so I can give her as many opportunities as I can? We home-school, so we are flexible. Thank you.

    • Dear Emily,
      I’m delighted to hear that you are interested in becoming a veterinarian. Some suggestions:
      1. Get a free subscription to in the upper right hand side of the Home Page. That way you can be sure to read something about pets every day except Sunday.
      2. Try to work out a schedule with your family’s veterinarian for time to spend with him. I’m going to be honest here: you will not be benefitting him, you will be in the way. So, don’t try to go every day, probably not more than once a week. Take his staff some brownies or other goody each time you go. Send him a Thank You Note periodically, teling him how much you appreciate him taking the time to show you things. Take the initiative to do things he doesn’t ask of you, like cleaning the floor when you see a spill, or getting staff members to show you how to walk dogs and clean cages. You have to take the non-glamorous with the glamorous.
      3. After you have shown a few years of dedication to the profession and you are older, ask him about a part-time job after school. It may start out to be just a cleaning job, vacuuming and mopping, but you can do a little animal-related work with that, and prove yourself and your level of dedication. so that you can transform that into a part-time animal-helping job.
      4. Study hard! You are not going to be admitted to any veterinary school without excellent (not just good!) grades.
      Take all of the science and math classes you possibly can.
      5. Don’t lose sight of your goal. If you are sure that you want to be a veterinarian, you must be single-minded in your dedication.

      Write to me periodically to let me know how these tips are working for you and what ideas you’ve come up with on your own,
      Best wishes,
      Dr. Randolph

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