Bob and his Iowa State classmates celebrated 25 years of veterinary medicine last weekend. As you might imagine, the tales were flying fast and furious. Here are two.
Leon got called out to a country property where a mastiff was down in the woods. The massive dog had an inoperable tumor on his leg and needed to be put to sleep. It was muddy and Leon struggled to get his footing near the dog, who was in pain, growling, and snapping. Leon got one dose of tranquilizer into it, but found himself slipping and scrambling in the mud and underbrush to get his balance. He was straddling the dog's giant head when it reared up with a growl, mouth open and teeth bared. It made a giant snap with its teeth a quarter inch from Leon's.... and then fell to the ground.
Kelly was finishing up a long day of working cattle through a chute. He was tired and down to the last steer, a 900-pound wild one. He didn't secure the headgate. The steer broke through, spun around, and kicked the vet in the groin with the force of all 900 pounds. Kelly went down. In and out of consciousness, he tried to stand, but couldn't. The farmer called 911 and Kelly's wife, Dawn. She arrived to find him crawling and clutching at gravel, out of his mind with pain. The EMT's called for an air ambulance to lifeflight him to Omaha (an older vet had been killed by a bull a few months before and nobody was taking chances). The next thing Kelly remembers, he's waking up buck naked, strapped to a board, covered in oil (for a heart monitor, most likely), and rising into the air. A beautiful woman is leaning over him saying, "Look into my eyes." Kelly knew what had happened. "Am I in heaven?" he asked her.
Long story short, Kelly spent a day in the hospital, endured some humiliating proceedures, and went home to continue being a vet -- the world's most dangerous occupation.
L to R: Leon Larson, Bob Freese, and Kelly Turner of the Iowa State class of 1987.