By Dr. Carol Rowe
Many years ago, a 14-year-old high school student came to our veterinary practice to participate in a “job shadow.” I knew Kelly from our church, and her parents were faithful servants. Shortly after Kelly finished her job shadow, she asked if she could come work at the practice. I told her yes, but also emphasized that her relationship with the Lord was first and foremost. To this day, I’m not really sure why I said that as she was a responsible student who didn’t party. I guess due to the association through our church I wanted to be somewhat of a mentor to her at the practice. We were happy to have her join our team.
Our relationship with Kelly’s family grew when in 2006 my husband had a large clot in his leg and pulmonary emboli. He had to be evacuated by air for medical treatment. Kelly’s mother worked at the local hospital and was a huge support to our family throughout that ordeal. My husband survived, and we rededicated our lives to the Lord after that scare. Although their family had then joined a different church, Kelly’s mom made a special effort to come back and take photos the day we were baptized.
Kelly was a great employee throughout her high school years. My husband and enjoyed her basketball games, and she babysat our son. Eventually, she left for college but would return to work at our practice over Christmas breaks and summer. I was happy to give her a letter of recommendation when she applied to veterinary school and she was accepted to Washington State University for the fall of 2011.
After graduating in 2015, Kelly married a former technician at our clinic, and they added to their family two little boys.
What started as a job shadow led Kelly to see God do even bigger things! At the age of 57, I wanted to focus on my cases rather than on running a business. My husband and I were hoping to travel more for pleasure and to be able to work more with Christian Veterinary Mission. We trusted that God would bring the perfect opportunity. Just recently, Kelly Burke purchased Blue Ridge Pet Clinic from my husband and I. Now, having gone “full circle” professionally, Kelly owns the business and the transition has been seamless. I am enjoying working for her now.
Kelly’s and my professional relationship works well because of Christ. We are not “unequally yoked.” She led the local chapter of Christian Veterinary Fellowship when she was at WSU, and she also went on a short-term mission trip to Mongolia with CVF. I help to lead a yearly short-term Apache trip every summer with CVM and CVF. We also have a weekly chaplain visit at our practice with prayer. We are united both professionally and spiritually, and it is the Holy Spirit that unites us and brings peace. From a job shadow to clinic owner, God brought Kelly out from the shadows.
CVM offers internships, externships and job opportunities on our job board. Find out how God will lead you to serve Him through your profession. If you are interested in finding out more about the Blue Ridge Pet Clinic, you can visit their website at blueridgepetclinic.org