Dreams Come True

Growing up, Christine Hedrick had a dream.

Actually, she had three dreams.

“I knew I would work with animals,” the 2001 DVM graduate said, “and I wanted to be a teacher.”

The third dream?

“Many of my elementary school and high school teachers encouraged me to be an author,” Hedrick said.
And imagine that, all three dreams came true.

Hedrick attended the University of Iowa where she “had the intention of being a teacher.” But her heart pulled her in a different direction.

Soon she was volunteering at a veterinary clinic and by the time she graduated with an elementary education degree she had plans to be a veterinarian. Since Hendrick lacked many of the prerequisites required to earn admittance to vet school, she spent time as a substitute teacher in the Iowa City area while she went back to school.

One dream checked off but even today Hedrick still teaches. She is an adjacent biology teacher at the Des Moines Area Community College.

“It can be tough, but I know my limits,” Hedrick said. “I love teaching and as a biology teacher I get to integrate my veterinary medicine stories into my lectures.

“I try to brainwash my students into going into a career that I love.”

That was dream number two – becoming a veterinarian. After graduating with a DVM, Hedrick worked fulltime at Jordan Creek Animal Hospital in West Des Moines before transitioning to relief work at the same clinic.

“I love everything about being a veterinarian,” Hedrick said, “especially helping patients. I know I can help animals and since I’m not working fulltime now, there is really no need for a break from practicing.

“I’m sort of ‘on-call’ in the neighborhood and help with their animals as much as I can.”

Not working fulltime also gave Hedrick an opportunity to achieve dream number three and the COVID pandemic provided the perfect platform for Hedrick to write her first book.

“I was hearing from so many different people about how veterinarians were being battered by the public during the pandemic,” she said. “I wanted to show a side of veterinary medicine that the public could relate to and understand.

“I was hopeful that I could not only make myself feel better but maybe help others as well.”

The result was Into the Fold, a novel that pulls back the curtain on life from a veterinarian’s perspective in a way few people outside the field have understood. The novel’s main character is Carrie, a young and driven veterinarian whose dream career is revealing harsh realities that throw her well-planned future into question.

Into the Fold absolutely made me better,” Hedrick said. “I love the characters in my book and how they lift up those around us.”

Hedrick wrote the first draft of Into the Fold in three months and then spent the next half-year editing, and then rewriting and rewriting.

“The heart of the story remained the same from the initial draft to the final version,” Hedrick said.

Her experience in writing Into the Fold has encouraged Hedrick to continue her dream of being an author. She is currently working on a second book that she describes as “much different and edgier” than Into the Fold.

“This book is out of my comfortable zone,” she said. “I’ve had to do a lot more research and I’m definitely stretching myself as a writer.”