When I was 18 I got an elephant tattoo, and that was the beginning of my elephant collection. Why? Because I really like elephants. They're beautiful, extraordinary creatures. When I was younger, my dream was to work with elephants and other large mammals but that faded a bit when I discovered how much I enjoy working with smaller pets and also realized how much less likely it is that my smaller patients could kill me during the course of a work day.
So ever since I was a teenager, people have given me elephant things as gifts. I have most of them gathered in one room as a collection but there are little ones stashed here & there; an elephant candle holder or plant stand being put to use in the living room, an elephant mug in the kitchen cabinet and lots of elephant jewelry. Out of all the elephants I own, I have purchased very few of them myself. Many of them have come from people who aren’t in my life anymore and I like having that connection to them, knowing there was a time when that person cared for me enough to give a thoughtful gift.