My childhood was unstable because my mother was unstable. I was moved back and forth between my maternal grandparents' and my mother's as my mother repeated unsuccessful attempts at setting up a home. I learned to mistrust adults. I put my trust in animals. This is actually a common thing for veterinarians. Many of the pre-veterinary students that I have come across barely declare that they like animals better than people. However, I have learned that you must learn to communicate with people in order to be a good veterinarian. Good communications with people are a whole lot easier when you actually like people. Judy Stanton, my stepmother, helped me to see the good in other people and showed me that you could trust some people. This has made a tremendous difference in my life and my career as a veterinarian.
Because my own mother wasn't someone you could aspire to emulate, I am lucky to have had many other women who have served as role models. I am grateful that Judy Stanton was one of those women.