Challenge & Reward

Dragon Doc

Hello Readers,

I hope that winter has been kind to you. As for me, we either need more snow, or a very wet, early spring. This dry, cold, snowless nonsense needs to stop. Plus, the lack of snow makes it harder for the frost dragons to get out and about.

In between wishing for snow and seeing patients, the last several weeks have been busy on the writing front. Soon — very soon! — my novelette, Squeaky Hatchling, will be available as a free download for subscribers to my mailing list. On The Dragon Doc timeline, Squeaky Hatchling fits between novels number one and number two, and I think it’s the perfect introduction to The Dragon Doc’s world. I’m dying to show you the cover for Squeaky Hatchling, but it’s not quite ready yet. Let’s just say that it depicts the most adorably ornery little hatchling dragon you’ve ever seen. I’m in love!

My first full-length novel remains on track to release later this year, and of course, I’ll keep you posted. Also, the first draft of my second novel is approximately 25% finished. I’m definitely keeping my editors occupied. Maybe not as busy as vet med at the moment, but still.

Speaking of veterinary medicine… now and then, someone asks me about my favorite aspects of my career. That’s somewhat of a tough question to answer; after all, much of veterinary medicine can be difficult and distressing. It’s not all about puppies and kittens. In fact, we don’t see puppies and kittens all that often. We mostly see pets that are sick or injured. Some are straightforward for us to help, and some are extremely complicated; but the most challenging cases are often the most rewarding.

That’s where we get to my favorite parts of veterinary medicine: the detective work that is the journey of determining a diagnosis, and the process of getting a patient better. Sending a patient home — one that came in painful, in shock, and dying, but is transformed to comfortable, healing, and happy — is extremely gratifying. No, the outcome is not always favorable, and those cases are heartbreaking. But it’s the successes that keep me, and many of my colleagues, going:

  • The Yorkie that was so sick, she couldn’t lift her head, swallow, or see, but within days she was walking, and within weeks, she was running and playing
  • The kitten that was paraplegic due to a pellet gun injury and given up for dead, but regained the ability to walk following months of rehabilitation, and remains a happy, healthy cat many years later
  • The small but mighty dog that was attacked by a larger dog, finally surrendered to the shelter days later, eventually fully healed after several surgeries and months of wound care, and lived many blissful years in a terrific home
  • The tiny, abandoned newborn kitten that was found emaciated and dehydrated, and beat all the odds to become a healthy, beautiful, sassy cat

The gratification of healing shines through in The Dragon Doc Tales. For those of you following The Dragon Doc on social media, you’ll recognize this dragon that collapsed on a remote stretch of road, but recovered and was released back into the wild. For those of you who haven’t seen The Dragon Doc’s posts on social media, come join in the fun! @iamthedragondoc on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Left: critically ill dragon collapsed in roadway. Right: same dragon recovering on vet clinic patio

Now it’s your turn. What do you do for a living? What are your favorite parts of the job? Please comment below. I love to hear from readers!

Until next time, watch out for dragons (even on country roads). And thanks for reading my tales!


Dr. S. K. Burkman, The Dragon Doc

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About DR. S.K. burkman

As a busy veterinarian, Dr. Burkman keeps her sanity by writing about dragons. Many of her own adventures and misadventures are woven into her novels.

2 thoughts on “Challenge & Reward”

    • Virginia,
      Thanks for your question! The Dragon Doc Tales are written for adults and young adults. The Tales have received enthusiastic feedback from readers aged 12 to 82.
      Dr. S. K. Burkman

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