You wouldn’t know it by the way the weather has behaved the last few days, but we are unofficially into the summer season. Memorial Day provides the unofficial kickoff, and what a kickoff it was this year with oodles of sunshine and a thrilling running of the 99th Indianapolis 500. In the months to come we will enjoy cookouts, vacations, hikes, pool days, baseball games and so much more. Summer has something special in store for everyone and each of us has a unique summer memory or summer tradition that we hold close. Recently members of our staff took time out of their busy schedules to recount their own summer memories and traditions so that they can be shared with all of you!

Ray Schmitt, Marketing/PR Executive – My favorite summer tradition is one that began fairly recently. My father’s life-long dream was to own a boat and he achieved that dream in the summer of 2010. I was living in South Carolina at the time and only got to go out on the boat once a year when I made it home to visit, but now that I live closer it’s wonderful. My wife, my dog and I meet my parents at “their” lake a short drive northeast of Saint Louis multiple times throughout the summer. My sister and her fiance often join in and my brother will travel from Boston to meet up with us for a week-long lake trip and spend each day on the boat. It’s far and away my favorite way to spend time with my family in the summer.

Kathryn Fitzwater, DVM, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgery – My favorite thing about summer is the long summer days and outdoor movies in our backyard.

Terry Grieshaber, DVM, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Dermatology – I really enjoy doing manual labor outdoors on a hot, humid day and finishing the days work with an ice cold beer on my front porch. It takes me back to my roots.

Amy Rader, DVM, Director of Emergency Services – The favorite part of summer for me is spending time in the garden. Flower gardens and vegetable gardens. Nothing taste better then the food you grow in your own back yard. R&R = spending the afternoon laying in the hammock with a good book, listening to the birds.

Kathy Kemp, Administrative Assistant – One of my favorite summer memories is the first purchase of my life. My best friend and I were riding bikes. We went around town to garage sales and crossing over the forbidden river when I found the garage-sale find of my life. I found an item that I could not live without so we raced home and I asked for the money to purchase it. My mother said no, but her boyfriend said yes – it was only 50 cents after all.
So Julie and I raced back to the sale and it was gone. I balled my eyes out for a whole minute. The man of the house was gone, too, but there was a teenager overseeing the sale. Through my blubbering, I asked about the item and whether it had been sold. The boy didn’t know so he called for his mom. She came out and saw my tear-streaked face then hollered inside to her husband. He came out with my item in his hand and he was calming me down as he explained that he had taken it inside to clean it. I was over joyed. I gave him the two quarters and thanked him profusely. He asked if I wanted a bag and I told him I didn’t need one because this was going on my handlebars.
I rode all the way home with a great big smile because I was so proud of my very first purchase. It was short lived though because I scared the heck out of my mom as she saw me riding up with an alligator on my handlebars and my face all dirty from crying. Of course, her first thought was that I was hurt.
Ignoring her, I grabbed it up and headed inside. Then she put the brakes on hard and told me no way was that thing going in the house. Well, I ducked under her arm, weaved past the door, and ran into my bedroom. By the time my mom caught up with me, I had put my stuffed alligator on my bedside table facing the door so he could guard my room with his wide-open, teeth-baring mouth.
My mom finally changed her mind when she heard the whole story, but my very first purchase all by myself, even though it was with borrowed money, was complete and I had a stuffed alligator for the next 10 years always at my bedside.

Megan Anderson, Registered Veterinary Technician – My favorite thing about summer has always been vacation. My mother always went out of her way to put together elaborate trips across the country. By the time I started college, and subsequently was not able to travel as much, I had visited 43 states. My favorite trip was the two weeks we spent in Alaska traveling the Alaskan Highway in a motor home. We’ve always paved our own paths on our tips and spent every effort staying away from the “popular destinations.” We had more fun just hitting the road and experiencing what each state had to offer. I plan to add California to my visited list this November at the Veterinary Dental Conference. Even though it’s not really a “vacation,” in my opinion, it will be fun none the less. I’ve have many adventures through my summers and I hope to share my experience with my new family as we grow.

We hope you enjoyed our favorite summer memories and traditions. What are some of your own? Feel free to share them with us on our Facebook page, and ones that include pets are highly encouraged!

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