A Tale of Two Redheads

 Allison and Josh

You can’t teach heart.

But if you could, Allison and Josh would be the instructors.

Lucky for us, these two kiddos (each being 10 years my junior…ouch) have a heart for veterinary practice, and are spending their summer at our clinic to soak up as much knowledge as possible.

Allison is the coolest kid on the block … my block anyway. I’m pretty sure that has something to do with her hometown – Bridgeport, Texas – which just happens to be my hometown. We could probably just stop right there, of course she’s cool!


I was introduced to Allison through Dr. Hal Reese, the veterinarian I worked for before attending veterinary school.  Allison knew she wanted to go to veterinary school one day, so she began volunteering for Dr. Reese while still in high school. She also knew she wanted to attend Oklahoma State University, much to Dr. Reese’s chagrin as he bleeds maroon, a Texas Aggie to the core J. 

Dr. Reese, perhaps grudgingly, sent Allison my way. She was a senior in high school and I was a second-year veterinary student when she came to the second best state in the country to visit Oklahoma State University.  She, of course, got accepted into OSU on the spot and is on a direct path to veterinary school.  Allison volunteers for me at Cushing Veterinary Clinic.  This girl is unstoppable. She comes in a few days a week and goes straight to work. It doesn’t matter what we are doing, she’s ready to assist. Not only does she volunteer, she is a full-time student, research assistant, and is a cheerleader for OSU! I told you she was cool, must be that Bridgeport blood!

She has a beautiful smile, a beautiful heart and a true love for animals.  It has been an honor getting to know her and help develop her husbandry skills.  I have no doubt she’ll make an amazing veterinarian. 


Josh, who we call “The Fonz” – onceyou see him, you’ll understand – made his way to our clinic through my friend and classmate, Dr. Allison Vanderhoof. Josh was looking for some mixed animal experience and Dr. Vanderhoof thought of me.  I eagerly accepted Josh’s very professional and polite phone call, and Josh started volunteering a few weeks later. 

Since then Josh has become an indispensable part of our team. He never balks at work and always shows up on time. Even cleaning cow poop out of the barn and our corny jokes (okay, mostly MY corny jokes) haven’t kept him away.  Josh just finished his freshman year at Oklahoma State University and is now working full-time at the clinic this summer.   We are happy to have him and ready for a fun-filled summer.

I brag on both of these kids because they don’t just want to become veterinarians, they are determined, and I can tell that nothing will stand in their way. Neither one has applied to veterinary school yet, but they are doing everything in their power to build their resume and gain as much experience as possible. I love watching their thirst for knowledge and understanding.  Both have such a passion for learning and it is amazing to watch them grow everyday. Both Josh and Allison are going to be amazing veterinarians in a few short years.  Watch out world!

Like I said, you can’t teach heart. I believe if you truly want to do something in life you should give it everything you have.  Take a lesson from these two kids and go after what you want. You don’t have to be the most brilliant kid in the room. All it takes is a little try and a whole lotta heart.