Karlene Stange, DVM
I am a veterinarian who studies world religions and spirituality. Since 1985 I have provided pets with alternative and complementary veterinary health care. These therapies improve whole body health through acupuncture, nutrition and Chinese herbal medicine, which I added to my repertoire in 1996.
Before I could say the word veterinarian,
an "animal doctor".
My grade school, middle school and high school teachers however, told me that was impossible; "they don't let girls be veterinarians." Thankfully, my mother said that I could do whatever I wanted.
At Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, my professors agreed that I was smart enough to be a veterinarian but that my unconventional attitude would cause me to fail the entrance interview. At the CSU admittance interview two men asked me how a little girl would ever be able to treat horses. I told them that if 1200 pounds of horse didn't want to do what I wanted it to, it didn't matter if I weighed 100 pounds or 200 pounds. "Size is not the issue, skill is." And I concluded the interview with, "I'll see you in the Fall."
Apparently my confidence convinced them and I was admitted to veterinary school. Four years later, as graduation neared, my professors told me that I would be a good horse doctor but that I would never make a decent living in Durango because, "the old ranchers will never accept you."
The old ranchers that called me treated me with respect, saying "yes, mam; no, mam. It sounds
like you know what your'e talking about little lady." One man even added, "And she's a damn sight better to look at than Harry.