matt_horseSunlight’s resilient rays silently slice through the dew-laden air, a prideful cock crows, and the Chenoa Manor routine of my summer internship clicks in to overdrive. Boisterous piglets, as if dipped in chocolate, tackle each other in a mud bath, riotous rabbits bound from burrow to burrow, and copious amounts of chickens invade my personal space. Ina, a Shetland pony rescue, arrives with a severe case of laminitis, a hoof inflammation. Patience and trust-building are the essential stallside manners in cases dealing with abuse. Spending my days solidifying the bonds among God’s creatures has gained me a place at the Chenoa trough.

My desire and vision to be a veterinarian has only become further congealed as My Future. Leadership opportunities at Chenoa are abundant as the worker drones of diverse peers tend to their assigned chores. Four years of leading Chenoa experiences improved my leadership skills in all areas through making sure everyone and every animal was safe. This interaction has given me the chance to learn cultural differences and appreciate the individuality of my peers. One of my peers has a hearing disability. This has exposed me to the culture of people with disabilities and the communication of sign language. I never realized the multitude of frustrations and obstacles differently abled people must face.

Throughout my internship at Chenoa, I have grown physically, mentally and also spiritually. Being under the wings of Dr. Teti, I experienced the depth of the relationships not only between the animals, but also between us. He showed me how to truly care and understand the animals with just limited communication. As my mentor, Dr. Teti guides me through my long journey toward becoming a veterinarian, which I am forever grateful for.

by Matt P., student intern