Last week I extracted the sweetest little pair of Victoria’s Secret underwear from the innards of a beagle.

Though the pink had long since faded to gray, and I’m sorry to say the elastic had melted in the acids the teensy thong had marinated in for months, there it was: a sign of victory for me as it exited in two pieces (one directly out the stomach, another via a small incision in the intestines).

It’s never pretty, watching these goods exit (never mind the stench). But for me, it's always a great moment nonetheless. Because when a dog who’s been vomiting for months (it’s a long story) finally gets his day in the OR, it’s a joyous thing, indeed.

Nothing is quite as satisfying––OK, maybe a successful C-section for a struggling bitch. But otherwise, it’s strangely exhilarating to pull a string from a cat’s bowels or disgorge a tampon from a pug’s cecum.

These are momentous times: when you know survival is possible now that you’ve been given a chance to put things right.

But it isn’t always so glorious. For all the times I do manage to take things out of untidy spots, there are at least ten downright depressing episodes to deal with, as those of you who read Dolittler daily will doubtless attest to.

But it’s not all so bad...nor is the sum total of my veterinary experience as disheartening as it sometimes seems if you read me regularly. (Otherwise, I think I would’ve slit my wrists by now.)

That’s why I feel the need to reaffirm my love for this profession on this Labor Day with an ode to a pair of Vicky Secret panties and a big thank you to the gods of veterinary work. Because no matter what it is we do in this world, no matter how dirty, messy or demoralizing, there’s always a moment we can point to that makes it all worthwhile.