We all have our own journey to travel in life and our own paths to follow. My path of self-discovery has caused me to evolve and change many times over the years. The path I have followed in my life has not been a straight path nor a well-traveled path. I feel as Robert Frost did when he said regarding his choice of paths: “I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
So here I am today: a veterinarian, pet lover, author, and blogger. I didn’t grow up knowing that I wanted to be a veterinarian or a writer. We didn’t have many pets when I was growing up. The only one I remember was a German shepherd that we had for only a short time. But I loved animals. I regularly watched Lassie on TV and read books like The Black Stallion and Jenny Lind and Her Listening Cat.
As a young girl, I was passionate about horses and I fervently wanted my own horse. I read every book in the library about horses. I spent hours drawing pictures of horses. There was an old saddle on the side of the stall in the barn behind the house where I grew up in rural Vermont. I spent hours sitting in that old saddle daydreaming of having my own horse someday. I never got my own horse, but I held onto my love of horses into adulthood.
Flash forward to my career as co-owner and manager of a motel in Tahoe City, California. While I lived in Lake Tahoe, I was a volunteer for Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care for four years. As a volunteer for LTWC, I raised, rehabilitated, and released back into the wild hundreds of baby birds and I loved it. I found so much satisfaction in helping those little birds. I knew that I had finally found my calling in life and it was to help animals.
My work for Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care was my inspiration for becoming a veterinarian. I went back to school at the age of 34 to reinvent myself and start a new career as a veterinarian. I got my B.S. in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology from the University of California Davis in 1997 and my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2001.
When I was in veterinary medical school, I wanted nothing more than to become an equine veterinarian. After I graduated from veterinary medical school, I started an internship at an equine hospital. But I got hurt too many times, and I saw experienced horse people get hurt as well. So I decided to go into small animal medicine caring for dogs and cats. I found that I loved working with dogs and cats, and I have never regretted my decision to go into small animal medicine.
One day about five years ago, I was looking through a box of memorabilia in my garage, and I came upon my mother’s handwritten journal and a large stack of letters that she had written me during her final months of life. I hadn’t looked at my mother’s journal since immediately after her death from mesothelioma in 1992.
When I read my mother’s journal for the second time, I realized that she wanted her journal published so that her experiences could help others. I then spent months transcribing my mother’s handwritten journal and letters and finally published them in my book entitled Eighteen Months To Live.
Writing the prologue, epilogue, and narration that were required to turn my mother’s journal into a book awakened something in me that I was not previously aware of – my love of writing. Shortly after publishing my book, I started my blog Rachele Baker, Veterinarian and Author.
I initially started my blog with the intention of writing about things related to my mother’s book, but my writing eventually moved in a different direction. I started writing blog posts about issues in dogs and cats with the intent of helping, educating, and supporting pet parents.
Now my website is full of articles that I have written about pet health and resources for pet parents. I love to interact with my readers in the comments section below each post, and I am happy to answer any questions that they might have related to the content of my posts. If you would like to subscribe to my blog, there is a place to subscribe on the right side of my website just below the graphic of the dog catching a frisbee.
I am now in the process of writing two books. The first book that I will publish is entitled 7 Simple Ways To Keep Your Dog Healthy. There will be seven chapters in the book covering important ways to keep your dog healthy and three bonus chapters. Topics covered will include keeping your dog at a healthy weight, choosing the best foods for your dog, taking care of your dog’s teeth, protecting your dog from fleas, ticks, and heartworm disease, and making sure your dog receives the right vaccinations. My goal is to publish this book in the spring. I will have a book cover reveal as I get closer to publication.
The second book that I will publish is entitled Dogs With Allergies: How To Stop The Itching, Scratching, and Chewing. The primary focus of the book will be about dogs with allergies to environmental allergens (atopy). Each chapter of my book will discuss a specific treatment for dogs with allergies including treatments that pet parents can do at home such as omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and treatments performed in connection with a veterinarian such as allergy shots. My goal is to publish this book in the fall.
I hope that you will join me in my ongoing journey by subscribing to my blog (on the right side of my website just below the graphic of the dog catching the frisbee) and/or by signing up for my email list (via the popup on my blog).