One question that comes up occasionally is “Why don’t you work on Fridays?”
There are 2 parts to the answer.
Firstly, from the mental health angle, it’s important to have a healthy work/life balance. A realized years ago that if I worked 6 days a week, I would start resenting my work and that probably wasn’t good for my patients. We all need a bit of time away from our work to recharge and refocus.
Secondly, I use this time away from work to volunteer at a local dog shelter.
We’ve all heard it, and deep down we all know, that volunteering or “giving back” is immensely satisfying. If you aren’t doing it already, I hope you find something that suits you soon. It doesn’t need to be with animals. There are plenty of charities out there desperate for help.
I have been volunteering at The Save-a-Dog scheme in Stonnington for over three years now. I suppose it’s our unofficial charity at the clinic.
The work I do isn’t glamorous. There’s chopping up food, feeding the dogs, cleaning out their pens, washing towels, walking, playing, talking and cuddles. I come home on a Friday evening physically tired but emotionally elated.
Patients at the practice also get to contribute to the welfare of the dogs!
As you can imagine, we go through a lot of towels at the shelter. So, we have a towel donation hamper in the reception area of the clinic and every couple of weeks I take a bag of fresh towels down to the shelter. The other workers at the shelter always appreciate how clean ( and occasionally ironed!) our towels are.
There are some amazing dogs looking for homes. Having rescued three myself while I’ve lived in Camberwell, I can testify that a rescue dog will always appreciate having their own home, their own bed and their own human family. Go in with an open mind. I went looking for an older, small male dog and ended up coming home with Lucy. I haven’t regretted it for a second.