Every morning at 7:30 a.m., Bambi Fox takes her deceased husband James "Jim" Fox's Standardbred horses out for harness training. "When he died, I really didn't know how to deal with everything," she says. "I thought, well I've got a farm full of horses and I know kind of what to do with them, so, well, I'll just put one foot in front of the other and I'll work on the horses. We'll get through it somehow."
Bambi attended Auburn University to become a veterinarian and has practiced for 31 years. Here, she grinds a horse's teeth so they won't be so sharp.
Bambi gives one of her Standardbred horses an X-ray after she noticed him limping. "It's like having kids and grandkids," she says. "I knew that I would not be able to be a vet and do the horse thing with Jim and have children, too."
Bambi scans the X-ray for signs on inflamation. She decides she will need to perform a regional antibiotic perfusion so the horse can again put weight on his foot.
"Back when I was going to college, it was assumed that women would probably do small animals and we got teased a lot," Fox says. "I've had people tell me I was not big enough to do the job. It's like, well, okay there's not a weight requirement."
Bambi speaks with client Nathan Truax about how his mother is doing. Often her job as veterinarian extends beyond the animals and includes listening and comforting the animals' owners.
In her spare time, Bambi plays bluegrass banjo. She learned to play while in veterinary school and now performs with local bands. Here she rehearses with her sister, Robin McKenty (center), Jack Kerr and Whitney Harris (far right and in the mirror).
Bambi prepares for bed after a long day of taking care of horses, visiting clients and practicing for a Saturday banjo performance. "If I could, I would spend all day reading," she says.
Bambi takes a moment between morning chores in her barn to look out at the rain. She usually keeps about a dozen horses on her farm, which includes a practice track.
Bambi gives a reassuring pat to a horse suffering from pink eye. "They told me that grief is different for everybody," she says. "It's not going to affect you the way it does other people, but you'll know when you are going through the different phases of grief. The horses kept me focused and anchored."