Oh The Unfortunate Place That You’ll Go!

Picture of Alyson Zawisza

Hello again! I’m having such a wonderful time and I’m learning so much! 

In the past week I have learned how to properly herd sheep, trim hooves, give injections, build fences and today I learned how to shear. There are so many facets to this life of sheep farming, so many more than I ever thought and I’m trying to take in as much as possible.

I really enjoy sharing in my host families passion and love for animals. Every day I watch as the farmer I work with interacts with them and it’s amazing how much he truly enjoys them. In spending so much time with the sheep and taking care of them so much, I feel like I am getting quite attached to them. With that said, I discovered today that I had forgotten the true reality.

I knew going into this internship and into this career that there are parts that aren’t going to fun. There is a reality to every situation. While it is so much fun caring for these animals and being around them, they are not pets. The sheep that my host family raises are raised for meat. Today we went through the groups and weighed them all and nine of them were ready to be sent off.

As an animal lover, we never want to see animals hurt, in pain, or killed but we have to remember that that is a part of the job. More importantly, it is this family’s livelihood that has been passed down for generations. Though the situation bothered me, I forced myself to go with my farmer to drop them off, where they will be loaded onto a train and sent to Galway.

Today was a quick reality check. I think this was important to mention as it is something that can be uncomfortable, it can even be scary. However it is a part that myself and anyone going into the veterinary field or planning to do an internship like this must be aware of. I was asked if I wanted to go and I could’ve said no, but that is too easy. There is no learning to come from that, that is not the reason I came on this journey. I came into this internship to learn and understand the good, the bad, and the ugly. Today was the bad but tomorrow will be the good and in a few weeks it will be the great!

– Alyson, Becker College, USA

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