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Have you met our Ji?

As you may have noticed, I've been writing a little about our nurses each month. I think it is important that you know who is looking after your furry friends, where we have come from and why we adore our jobs.

To make writing these articles a little easier, I asked the girls to send me a few chronological dot points to fill in the gaps. Ji went the extra mile, she wrote me a story of her incredible history so I thought that I would leave her words as they are, and share them with you.

Now before you go on to read about her, I feel I need to add in my little bit too...

I clearly remember interviewing Ji, it was in the x-ray room of the clinic whilst we were in the middle of renovations. We were feeling a little awkward as we had to conduct interviews in a tiny, windowless room with no airflow on a warm day.

Any awkward feelings quickly dissipated as I was immediately struck by her open, honest and genuine nature. You can tell by the way she speaks that her passion first and foremost is animals. She has a way of down playing her incredible role in the adoption of SO many animals, she presents it as though it is just something that you do.

If everyone had a small part of Ji's compassion, the animal world would be a much, much nicer place.

To be honest, Ji is understated about everything she does. She is actually an Indonesian trained vet whom is in the process of transferring her qualifications to Australia, we get to the privilege of having her on staff as a nurse until this process is complete. We will then be proud to welcome her on board as a vet.

Anyway, enough from me! Ji tells a far more interesting story!

My full name is Sarojini Selvaraju but more popularly known as ‘G’ as my dad put it. My parents must have thought it was a mouth full to say and gave me the option of a shorter name, an alphabet. On my third birthday, I was bought a cake in the shape of a very large alphabet G. Everyone believed that that was my name, even me.\

I’m the last child to a small family of four, having only one older sister.

When I was about 3 or 4 years old, I realized that I had zero tolerance to animal cruelty and felt a wave of sadness when I saw unhealthy stray animals around me. I would then force my parents to bring the stray puppies and kittens home to be treated and fed; once they were healthy and super cute, they were adopted out to family and friends. I would also yell and cry at the same time to people who were being cruel to animals, both adults and kids, and when they wouldn’t listen, I’d drag my dad in to help. He was my knight! As I got older I was clear that this is where my heart lies, and this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Hence, I started the journey by going to Vet school. During which I fostered 14 stray kittens who were fighting for their lives, nourished them to become beautiful cats and adopted them out to friends.

I’m Malaysian and of Indian heritage. After completing secondary school, I left to Indonesia to pursue my dream to be a Veterinarian. It was a long and challenging journey as I needed to adapt to a completely different environment, language, and sub-cultures. I was, at the time, the only Malaysian or foreigner in the faculty, but I would say that it had made me adapt even faster than expected. When I graduated, I also gained a large Indonesian family and a town to call my second home.

My first dog was the love of my life, a gift after years of begging for a dog! My dad took me to the SPCA to pick my dog when I was 11 years old, and there she was, a cute furry grey Terrier just wagging away on two feet! Once we had our first dog, the whole family couldn’t have enough! We went to get Scully a friend, Chelsea, the most beautiful German Shepherd! She had one floppy ear that made her look so adorable! Scully went on to live for a beautiful 16 years, and Chelsea lived to be 12 years old. Just before returning home from Indonesia, I read a newsletter from SPCA and couldn’t believe my eyes. A 4-year-old male grey terrier, who looked like he was reincarnated from Scully, named Scruffy(!) was up for adoption! I immediately emailed mom the newsletter and they went on to adopt him within the week. I returned home to two amazing dogs; Scruffy, and Roxy, dad’s Rottweiler.

I picked up the love for reading from my dad. My choice of books is usually wrapped around spies, law, and international crime. I do also love books that tell stories of ancient times and history where we can experience different cultures. I play the organ and piano, and I’m currently self-learning the guitar. I love music in general, mainly rock, blues and jazz, but I’m also a huge fan of the classical.

I used to be active in Tae-kwon-do and did swimming as a sport. Now, I only swim occasionally.

I got married in January 2016 and moved to Melbourne 5 months later to start a new life. The both of us fell in love with Melbourne for all of its beauty and culture and diversity when we visited in 2010. I’ve always wanted to move to a different country because the world, to me, seems too interesting to be stuck to one, and what better time to do it then now.

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