I began my animal-care career when I was eight years old in Atlanta, GA, when the Atlanta Humane Society became my after-school home. I rode the city bus there most days to volunteer. In time, I became a fixture, and it was there I acquired my first horse, a rescued cruelty case being held as evidence against the abuser. With the help of my mom, I founded the Atlanta Humane Society Junior Auxiliary at age 13 and proceeded to organize the Junior Auxiliary’s first major fundraiser: a sponsored horse show. By this time, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had already seen thousands of unwanted animals perish and had determined that I would become an animal advocate. It was clear to me that we had made domestic animals dependent upon us and therefore owed them stewardship and compassion. I spent weekends and summers working for large- and small-animal vets as a volunteer. With the help of loans and grants, I attended University of Georgia as an undergraduate, majoring in zoology. To my surprise, I was accepted to UGA College of Veterinary Medicine before achieving my undergraduate degree and began my veterinary education in earnest in 1980.
By the time I graduated in June 1984, I had my first position working for both a small-animal hospital and a large-animal practitioner in Newnan, Georgia. While my work was exhausting, challenging and rewarding, it became clear that I needed a narrower focus. I had grown to fully understand that a veterinarian’s most important job is that of an educator. I put my attention on the world of companion animals and sought to become as proficient as possible. In time, I realized I wanted as much challenge as our profession could offer and began practicing exclusively in emergency and critical care. I spent three years being a “vampire,” getting up at 5 pm to work a 14-hour shift and sometimes making extra money at day hospitals as well. In 1994, I was invited to open and manage multiple hospitals in the Bay Area in California. It was another eye-opening experience for me as a manager and mentor to younger doctors. The day I relocated to California, I met the man who would become my husband. As our lives evolved together and we decided to raise a family, I left corporate medicine to return to my roots in general medicine, working in the beautiful setting of Marin County, California. Fortunately, Marc’s career brought us to the Denver area, and I have been given this opportunity to work with Overland Animal Hospital & Pet Resort.
I jumped at the chance to be part of this hospital because the outstanding facility, location and size offered an opportunity to realize a dream. Furthermore, the team already had strong values of compassion and unparalleled care for our patients. We understand that a pet is a family member and sometimes the only family we have in our homes. Their well-beings and your peace of mind is everything to us. Compassion is our guiding principle – for our patients, their families, each other. We hope to be an integral part of this community by serving pet-owning families. This environment will become a premier provider of veterinary care and ancillary services. In the hospital, we have set uncompromising standards of care for every patient. We are working to make all services available on site to allow us to serve your pets’ every need. We provide preventative care, “sick” patient care, digital radiography, general and advanced surgery, laparoscopic surgery, full service dentistry, on-site ultrasound diagnostics and more. Moving forward, we hope to provide physical therapy and remain open for after-hours care. Our choice to add training and daycare means that we can help strengthen the bond between pet and owner, prevent or manage unwanted behaviors and provide a safe environment for the physical and mental well-beings of our patients. We hope that you are as excited as we are over these enhancements and that there are more to come!