I grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago. As a little kid, I was always fascinated with animals and particularly enjoyed watching Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom with my family on Sunday nights. One cold, blustery late fall evening, when I was nine years old, I heard a loud crash at the picture window in the front of our house. When I ran up to the window I saw several feathers stuck to it and looked down and saw a beautiful large woodpecker, motionless, on the ground between the house and the bushes. Feeling very sad that the bird was likely dead, I went outside and crawled into the small space where the bird was lying and saw, despite the fading light, that he or she was still breathing. Running back into my house, I found an old shoe box and punctured some holes on the top of the box and lined it with some Kleenex, placed the bird inside and put the box under a lamp in our family room. At least the bird would not freeze to death, I thought to myself. As soon as I woke up that morning I raced over to the box and very carefully cracked open the lid to see the bird looking at me. I ran outside with the box and opened the lid and the bird flew up and away to a nearby tree. That experience immediately filled me with such joy, and a sense of accomplishment, that I knew I wanted to have some job working with animals. During high school I spent several days observing, behind the scenes, at a local veterinary office and knew then I wanted to be a veterinarian.
After graduating from veterinary school, I relocated to Phoenix to escape the Midwestern winters. I am fortunate that my immediate family also lives in the Phoenix area. After practicing in the Moon Valley area of Phoenix for 13 years, I started and operated Anthem Pet Medical Center from 2005-2015 and now my sole focus is dedicated to operating Stetson Hills Animal Hospital. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, exercising and outdoor activities, cooking, and watching football and basketball. My personal pets are Cleo, our Heinz 57; and Maximas, our rescue Doberman. We also have our office cat, Fiona, whom many of you have met.