Yesterday I was fortunate enough to receive resounding confirmation of why I went into vet medicine to begin with. In my job that happens surprisingly often—a thing that makes me willing to continue to subject myself to the never-ending stream of euthanasias, vet-business issues and pet owner-related stress.

Mitigating all those things I dislike about my profession are the moments when I can effectively thwart impending doom and defeat death. This may sound overly-dramatic when I relate the following circumstances (but it’s perhaps the little things that make me happiest):

Lola swallowed something bad—a tennis ball. How it got there is a mystery perhaps only an American Bulldog’s owner can understand: she just gulped it down.

An X-ray confirmed the presence of a corrugated mass in the stomach. After some barium (administered to highlight its borders and benignity—and establish the presence of a patent, healthy intestine) I gave Lola some foul stuff. I placed a small tablet of apomorphine, a potent emetic, into her conjunctiva (the spot between her eye and its lids) to speed its absorption into her bloodstream and ensure a rapid cessation of symptoms once washed out.

Five minutes later, Lola vomited her stomach’s contents—the ball and a bunch of now-yellowish barium. You might say, “Yuck!” but we all jumped for joy and hugged one another like a bunch of girls after winning a soccer match (it was all I could do to keep myself from throwing off my scrub-top, Mia Hamm-style).

It’s these moments of drug-induced glee that fuel my love of this profession. After my recent posts on the sad reality of our vet business, it was about time I gave you all a welcome reminder of how much we love our job.