When I was little, I used to get so excited every time we had to go to the vet, even if it was just to get cat food. I remember listening to the vet nurse telling my parents what would be best to give a castrated male cat, so it wouldn’t gain too much weight, while rummaging through all the different dog toys and looking at all the other pets in the reception area. I remember thinking to myself that I should remember the things they said, so I could impress my grandmother with all this cool animal knowledge when I got home. Although I can imagine the misremembered nutritional advice for cats didn’t sound hardly as impressive when it came from a five-year-old, I remember feeling so encouraged while relaying it.
Since it’s the International Women’s Day today (at least almost, since this is going up past midnight local time), I’ve been thinking a lot about how grateful I am for having had people around me that said I could be anything I wanted when I grew up. I know that’s not the case for all girls growing up, and I’m so grateful to be living my lifelong dream right now. And I think five-year-old Benedicte would have gotten a kick out of hearing that current Benedicte had the opportunity to go to a Hills seminar this week on proper animal nutrition.
You’d think that attending seminars after lectures would be quite tedious, and the last thing you’d want to do after a long day of statistics. But let me tell you, I think a lot of the others would agree that it was a welcome diversion from population medicine. We didn’t just get into what kind of kibble was best for your dog or cat, but learned about proper exciting diseases connected to malnutrition. We heard stories from real cases, and even debunked a few myths about some of the more “trendy” fad diets for dogs, and how the “dogs are wolves, they should eat the same things”-argument is fundamentally flawed. In short, I learned a lot.
When I go home for Easter, I think I’m going to tell my grandmother the stuff I’ve learned in the Hills seminars. Because even though it’ll probably sound as janky as it did when I tried to explain it as a five-year-old, I know she’ll listen and encourage me just as much as she’s always done.