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Caribou and muskox stew – Nicole Cummings

A series of posts from the trip of 2009, never before published on this website.

Originally published at

Friday, May 15, 2009 | Posted by Nicole Cummings

I did not have a chance to blog last night, but tonight I am taking over for Shawn, to give him a night off. Last night we ate caribou and muskox stew. It was interesting!

I discovered I absolutely love caribou meat. It tastes like a very tender beef that basically melts in your mouth. The muskox meat was a little bit tougher but had a sweeter taste. The only problem with the muskox was that most of the meat in the stew had some fur stuck onto it, which made for a few extra minutes of food inspection before eating it! It was a great and tasty dinner, though, which ended with me laughing so hard at something someone said, that I snorted caribou up my nose.

Shawn, with a dog recovering from surgery. After surgery the dogs are quite sedated and the team monitors temperature, heart rate, respiration and looks carefully for any signs of pain.

Today was another long day in the clinic. We arrived at 8:30 am and walked home at 7:30 pm. The good news is that we are now running like a well-oiled machine! Things are getting done more efficiently and faster. I am also feeling much better about my skills as a surgeon. Today we spayed two female dogs from a dog team. This was an important moment for us because the owner of the dogs was extremely hesitant about going through with the surgery. He went back and forth in his own mind about what to do; he cancelled and then rescheduled his appointments for surgery. Dealing with a person who is refusing to spay his dogs might seem like a frustrating challenge to a veterinarian. It takes a great veterinarian to experience this moment not as a frustrating challenge, but as a chance to educate one person in the community about the benefits and risks of surgery. In the end, we realized he was not an “irresponsible owner,” but someone who truly cared about and feared for the safety of his dogs. After a long discussion, he finally agreed to go through with the surgeries for both dogs, and they did really well!

Later in the afternoon, the team split up and Dr. Anne Marie Carey, Stephanie Robataille, and Aleta Schmah visited a local school to discuss dog safety. Stephanie will be guest blogging tonight to tell you all a little about how that visit went. Right now, it’s time to eat some dinner, and then we are having some of the local Chinook organizers over to play a “games night.”

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