Introducing Dr Julia Coughlin, DVM.
Greetings! Today I am taking over the blog to tell you a little (or a lot) about myself. My name is Julia Coughlin and I was born in the small town of Kearny, New Jersey, in 1985. Being born in the middle of a decade means that I unfortunately was too young to fully appreciate the 80's and I feel as though I missed out on a great time for music, fashion, hair and make-up.
My mother tells me that I have always loved animals. I would point to all the cats when she pushed me in my stroller and I would hang out by our fence line to be nearer to the neighbor's dog.
When I was 8 years old, my family moved to Hunterdon County where we lived on a pig farm for almost 2 years! These were my happiest days as a kid. Despite the overwhelmingly STRONG odor from the hundreds of pigs, I thought that I was in heaven. In fact, my family still makes fun of me for this! There were piglets, geese, chickens and a horse. I ran around and visited with all the animals on a daily basis. On nice days, I would sit under a tree with our Golden Retriever and read. I would study dog books like a 15th century cloistered monk, and memorize each breed, their trademark features and personality traits. I was a pretty weird kid!
Fast forward to High School. I graduated from Immaculata in 2003 and had no real idea what I wanted to do with my life. I went to Rutgers University and thought I would end up with a history or literature major. I needed to find a job and took a receptionist position at a local veterinary hospital. I felt so lost at the time and little did I know that this choice would dictate the rest of my life going forward.
It was at this veterinary job that I first met Dr Charlie. How fortuitous!
I eventually left Rutgers, still feeling a little lost, but kept working in the veterinary field and living along the Delaware River in the Lambertville - New Hope area. After 7 years of working, I went back to school. School was easier this time around and I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Biology from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. I knew I wanted to go to Vet School and got a place the first time I applied! I couldn't believe it! My dream was to live in the Caribbean (I hate shoveling snow) and be a vet. Naturally I chose to go to school at St Georges University in Grenada, where I could accomplish two dreams at once.
Vet School was hard. But amazing. There were many ups and downs and it changed me a lot. I can barely remember who I was before I went to Vet School and I also blame Vet School for not being able to remember much of anything at all besides random animal facts (Where are my keys? Dogs have 42 teeth. What's my address again?). I made some amazing friends that I miss very much now. My class separated for our final year, which brought me to Oregon State University.
Oregon - what a place! Friendly people, coffee, pine trees, rain!!! What a great state. We (have I mentioned my devoted husband, Ryan? No? More on him later...) drove there and back with our 4 dogs and our cat Mao Mao. It was a great adventure. Oregon was where all the years of lectured finally came together and made sense out on the clinic floor where you are taught to be a Doctor. Oregon is also where we said goodbye to our 13 year old little pug girl, Lola. After years of being away, we found ourselves homesick for our friends, family and that East Coast je ne sais quoi (aka GOOD PIZZA! I LOVE pizza).
Which brings me to where I am now. Being homesick, I remembered my friend Charlie was wanting to open her very own Veterinary Hospital. Hmmm, I wondered, is she still going to do that? It all fit together as if it was meant to be. And so here I am. I moved back home, I am working in a gorgeous new practice, with fabulous, welcoming and fun people. Pinch me!
Ryan, my devoted husband, was with me through it all. We got married in the middle of vet school because I clearly like doing things the hard way! But I couldn't have accomplished it without him. Or maybe I could, but I definitely would have starved without him!
So, if you find yourself in Stockton please stop in and say hello! I love people who love their animals and I love caring for animals of any kind. Even snakes - but I might love them a tiny bit less (sorry snake people!) Everyone that comes in to see us has been so friendly and supportive of our new hospital and I am truly grateful to be a part of this wonderful community! Thanks for reading and see you soon!
Julia C. Coughlin, DVM