Dr. Becky Lee Burk is a small animal veterinarian practicing in Benbrook. She and her husband Michael, an Air Force pilot, live in Aledo with their children—Ezra, 9, and Libby Rose, 6— and their two dogs, Boy and Clovis.
5:20AM Wake up. The first thing I do is let our dogs out, and then I get showered and do my makeup. I enjoy the process of putting on makeup. For lips, it’s always Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick. I have the luxury in my profession to be able to kiss my patients so I need a product that will not leave lipstick residue behind on their fur.
6:15AM I attempt to gently wake up my kids. I like to give them plenty of time to get up and moving in the morning well before school. My son is really great about getting himself dressed and fixing his own breakfast. My daughter has ADHD so I have to be with her to walk her through all of the steps: get dressed, wash face, brush teeth, etc.
6:30AM Breakfast usually consists of cereal, but since we have time today, we do something a bit more elaborate. My daughter loves to help me cook her eggs in the morning.
7:20AM It’s a mad scramble to put Boy and Clovis into their kennels, grab a protein shake and run around frantically looking for shoes and backpacks.
7:30AM I make it over to the school in time for drop-off before heading over to the veterinarian practice where I work in Benbrook.
8AM After arriving at the practice, I immediately get busy. I start with reviewing test results and then move on to catching up on voicemails and emails. I have a little extra time before my appointments start so I try to finish
up some outstanding medical records.
8:20AM My appointments begin. Even though we have wellness exams scheduled every 20 minutes, our practice also sees walk-ins so it’s hard to know what the day will bring.
9AM Between appointments, my team does clinic rounds. We discuss appointments, assign a technician to each of our hospitalized patients and triage surgery times. We try to end with a joke to lighten the mood and get everyone ready to tackle the day.
11AM Surgery time. Our practice offers promotional discounts on dental prophylactic cleanings for National Dental Health month in February, but so many pets need cleanings we’ve extended our discounted procedures into April. I do two dental cleanings and spay and neuter procedures.
1PM I head home for lunch and let the dogs out. I have a Cobb salad and a slice of homemade passion fruit tart. I hate to cook but I love to bake, so I typically have at least one kind of baked good around the house at all times. I tidy up the house from the chaos of the morning and even have time to watch a little television before heading back to work.
2PM As I drive back to the practice, I listen to an episode of one of my favorite podcasts, Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert.
2:30PM I go through the appointment list for the afternoon, then read through old medical records to prepare and catch up on phone calls to clients who called while I was in surgery.
3PM Appointments start back up again. Today one of our walk-ins is a 13-year-old Boston terrier who has rapid onset weight loss, weakness in his hind legs and increased thirst and dehydration. A huge part of veterinary
medicine is being a good listener and knowing which questions to ask owners since our patients cannot speak for themselves. I do an exam and blood work confirms that the patient is in diabetic ketoacidosis. Then comes the hard conversation about treatment and what the owners could expect long term for a diabetic pet. Once my job as diagnostician and educator is over, the owners must decide how to proceed.
6PM I finish up with my last appointment of the day. Before I leave the office, I go through my call list one last time to make sure all prescription requests have been completed, finish up my medical records and check on
6:30PM I finally head home for the day.
7PM Thankfully my husband has something ready for dinner by the time I get home. We both hate to cook so this is always a point of contention in our house. Tonight he picked up an enchilada casserole from Your Personal Chef here in Aledo—we eat pre-made meals from here at least twice a week. It’s super delicious and very convenient. After dinner, I review school folders and check homework for Ezra and Libby Rose. I try to have both kids bathed and ready for bed by 8pm.
8PM It’s time to unwind as a family. I read one or two of the Elephant and Piggiebooks by Mo Willems with Libby and get her tucked in for the night. Ezra stays up reading a book from the Who Was? nonfiction biography series for another half an hour.
8:30PM I finally get to sit down and just disconnect for a while. Michael and I watch something on Netflix, and I play one of the Lego games on Xbox. My daily life is composed of noise, like barking dogs, yowling cats and yelling kids. Mindlessly bashing Lego bricks is very cathartic for me. It really allows me to unwind and de-stress.
9:30PM I begin my nighttime routine to get ready for bed. I love makeup but I’m terrible about skin care—my best friend does the Korean 10-step skin care program so she often sends me products. The latest is some kind of
“snail cream.” Once I’m ready for bed, I read for a bit and then check through my emails one last time.
10PM Lights off.