May 2016 – Dr. Frost’s Observer Today Article

Happy Mother’s Day!

By Dr. Rebekah Frost - OBSERVER Columnist

Warm baked bread and butter, songs and prayers before bed, mountain pies and stories around the campfire, planting beautiful spring gardens, helping make homemade goat milk fudge, and weekend horse back rides; these are just a few of my memories of my mother.

dr frost mom

Dr. Rebekah Frost with her mother Karen Swerdon.

My sister, brother, and I are very fortunate to have a mother who is always there for us. She gave up her job as an art teacher to stay at home with us. My mom and my dad chose to raise us on a farm and to be self-sufficient. We raised our own chickens and eggs. We had a goat herd and my mom made cheese, butter, and fudge. We planted a garden every year and canned our vegetables. We made maple syrup from our trees and baked our own bread.

My mom taught me the value of hard work and the skills of being self-sufficient. My husband Daryl and I have chosen to raise our children much in the same way and I am grateful for the time my mom took to show us how important it is to have a strong work ethic. Not far from where I grew up, my family lives on our own small farm. We make our own maple syrup and have two beehives. I enjoy canning vegetables from our garden we plant every year. This past year we raised our own pigs and chickens for meat. We also eat fresh eggs every day from our flock of chickens.

Having grown up on the farm being surrounded by many animals, my mother passed on a love for all animals and taught me how to show respect for God’s creatures. This was one of the most important things she could have taught me. In my career as a veterinarian, a sincere love and kindness for animals is extremely important. Most animals will sense that you truly care for them and are much more relaxed, making my job easier. I became comfortable not only around cats and dogs, but large animals like horses, cows, and goats. I also gained a respect for wild critters and have even rescued an orphaned fawn, feeding it goat milk until we could find a wildlife rehabilitator to raise him. I am very fortunate to be able to work on a variety of animals and am not afraid to treat anything from a 1 pound hamster to a 1,000 pound horse.

Another important skill that my mom passed on to me was a sense for business. Even though she was a stay at home mom, she was always finding a way to make money to help support the family. She made cabbage patch dolls and doll clothes. She made handmade pottery and homemade fudge. She raised Tennessee Walking horses and Dalmatian puppies. She makes her own jewelry and now owns her own clothing store in Lakewood. I am fortunate that she taught me to work hard for what I want and this has helped in my journey of becoming a business owner. I wouldn’t have even taken a chance on buying the practice if it wasn’t for my mom’s support and mentoring as a business owner herself.

On this Mother’s Day take a moment to appreciate and thank our mothers for all that they have done and all they have sacrificed for us. They have helped shape us and make us who we are today. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there from the Dunkirk Animal Clinic!

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