I am very excited to be part of the Halo blogging community! I look forward to providing you informative and entertaining articles about the animals in our lives, including vacationing with and without your pet, common dog behavior challenges and how to protect your pet during a disaster. You are likely wondering who am I and what, exactly, do I know.
Well, I always knew I wanted to work with animals. When I was 13 years old I sent away to the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School for an application. As I got older I realized that becoming a doctor wasn’t for me, but being a veterinary technician was. Now as an adult I can safely say I’ve “gone to the dogs,” as well as to the cats, birds, rats, fish, rabbits and so on and so forth.
My life has always been about animals. I grew up with a wonderful beagle named Molly. She was my best friend. Today I am surrounded by Matte, Meeko, George, Serena and a bowl of fish. Each one of them is amazing, and I am blessed to have them in my life. Both Meeko and Serena are accomplished agility dogs. However, Serena always steals the show since she is a three legged agility champion (and one of the only ones in the entire country). Matte is a fantastic fashion-savy, pink hoodie-wearing feline. George actually holds the Guinness Book of World Records as the Oldest Living Rabbit. And, well, the fish, they help to provide a sense of peaceful tranquility in my hectic life. I am equally as blessed to have a wonderful husband, Joe, in my life. He is so wonderful that I know he completely understands why he’s not included until after the pets.
You’re likely wondering exactly what do I do? Well, I am a veterinary technician (board certified in emergency and critical care). Technicians are the unsung heroes of the veterinary world, just like those human nurses. We are the ones who care for the pets after the diagnosis has been made, and that fact alone is why I decided not to become a doctor. I wanted to be the one to treat and care for the pet.
I also run my own behavior business: Citizen Canine. I specialize in dog behavior problems and one-on-one obedience for older dogs. Usually the behavior problem is just a misunderstanding between both parties. One of my greatest joys is being able to save the relationship between dog and owner.
About 9 years ago I learned of a group of veterinary professionals who were part of a federally deployed disaster team for animals. I knew right away this was something I wanted to be a part of. My first deployment was 9/11. I still wear the emotional scars from that deployment, but I am so proud of the support our team provided to the search and rescue dogs while we were there. Since then I have been deployed to an avian influenza disaster and Hurricane Katrina. My involvement with animals in disasters now includes a state organization where I have helped to organize the veterinary response for my state. From veterinary technician to dog behavior to disaster medicine, my life has taken many different twists and turns.
My life, as I am sure is the same for many of you, would be empty without my animals. They make me smile and laugh even on my most challenging days. They have taught me to wake up and take a moment to stretch, to stop and sniff the morning air, to enjoy a sun spot on the floor and to take a moment to say hello to a stranger walking by. I am smarter, happier, funnier and live a better life because of my pets, and that is what I definitely know.
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