Surface Creek Veterinary Center December 2019

December 2019 www.surfacecreekvet 970-856-4474

SCVC Pawprint


So, if you really want to love on them, take your dog for a walk or hang out with your cat in their sunny window perch. As for your cows and llamas, a carrot and a pat on the nose might be just the thing. Merry Christmas to you and your family. May you spend it with the pets (and people) you love. Thanks for being part of the Surface Creek Vet Center family!

should get their pets for Christmas. Just like with kids, your pets would rather have your time than any

purchased gift. Of course, they’ll get excited about a new bone or toy, but what they really want is for you to take them on a hike or to the park. They just want you to spend time with them. Often, people want to know what their pets are thinking. If your pets could talk to you (and they do; we just don’t always understand their language) they’d say, “Another walk, please — more belly scratches and sitting on your lap!” All a dog wants is another walk. Seriously, you can take them on two walks in the morning and they’d still be happy as can be with another walk (or two) later that day. We joke with our cat clients that all cats want is a warm, sunny window. It’s pretty true, though. As we sit here writing this, two cats are basking in the sun next to us. They’re fast asleep, paying no mind to what anyone else is doing. They’re warm and content. It’s easier to not put in the time, but as you get older, you realize you want to spend every minute you have doing something worthwhile. We want to spend the time we’ve been given being really good parents, people, and veterinarians.

A few years ago around this time, our kids asked us, “What can we get you for Christmas?” “Don’t buy us anything,” we told them. “Just give us a gift certificate for a family game night or plan a day in the park together.” Spending quality time together is more precious than anything that can be found at the store. Similarly, we do our best to give our kids quality time, too. Kids don’t want to watch TV with you — they want attention. With our 9-year- old, we make paper airplanes and fly them at the park. We might go on a cross-country ski trip for Christmas or take them biking during the summer. We try to do an activity like this together at least once a month.

Dr. Susie and Dr. Jeff

P.S. Pet photos with Santa is happening on Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.! We can’t wait to see you and your pets here.

This is the same advice we give to our patients’ owners when they ask what they


Our 2019 Dog Jog was a blast (even if it was a little chilly)! We LOVED seeing all your creative costumes! Check out some of our winners — aren’t they great? Plus, Pet Photos With Santa! A LOOK AT DOG JOG 2019

As Dr. Jeff and Dr. Susie shared on the cover, if your pets could tell you what they really want for Christmas, it would probably be something along the lines of more walks and more sunny windows. Inspired by the classic song, a couple of our pets got together and composed a holiday rendition of their very own. It may not rhyme, but it sure made us smile. 12 DAYS OF PETSMAS By Peek-a-Boo, Stevie, and the other resident pets of SCVC A FURRY SPIN ON THE CLASSIC SONG 12 Days of Petsmas

OWNER LOOK-ALIKE Boone the Scuba Diver and Sarah the Mermaid

FUNNIEST Josie the UPS Dog

CUTEST Buck the Pumpkin

SCARIEST Joey the Lumberjack

... and there’s more fun to come ...

On the first day of Petsmas, my humans gave to me, My very own cushy bed to sleep in. On the second day of Petsmas, my humans gave to me, Liberty to sit on the couch. On the third day of Petsmas, my humans gave to me, Three healthy homemade treats. On the fourth day of Petsmas, my humans gave to me, Four tweety birds to “play” with. On the fifth day of Petsmas, my humans gave to me , Five miles of walks! On the sixth day of Petsmas, my humans gave to me, Hours of fetch in the backyard.

On the seventh day of Petsmas, my humans gave to me, A cleaning of all of my canines (er, teeth!). On the eighth day of Petsmas, my humans gave to me, My very own sunny window to nap in. On the ninth and 10th days of Petsmas, my humans gave to me, Nine and 10 scratches behind my ears (my favorite spot). On the 11th day of Petsmas, my humans gave to me, A farm to roam free on. On the 12th day of Petsmas, my humans gave to me, The best gift of all: uninterrupted time with them.


Join us on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Surface Creek Vet Center to get your pet’s photo taken with Santa and celebrate the holiday season!

We can’t wait to see you and your pets here.

Disclaimer: No tweety birds, animated or otherwise, were harmed in the making of this song.



That includes cleaning surgery rooms, helping with surgery prep, and “mostly anything that needs to be done.” Sierra’s enthusiasm for her work is clear to all who meet her. “I love it,” she says. “I get to be around the animals all day and interact with people.”

We’ve been lucky to have Sierra at Surface Creek Vet Center since she interned with

us during her senior year of high school. Since graduating in June, Sierra joined our team full time, and we (including the pets) couldn’t be happier to have her here! When it came to life after high school, Sierra knew she wanted to be a veterinary technician. Surface Creek Vet Center was the perfect place to learn and get some hands-on experience. Starting out as an intern, she was grateful to have patient teachers like Dr. Susie, Dr. Jeff, and Desiree. “They’re so welcoming and always willing to teach me,” she says. “When it’s all new, it can be overwhelming, but they really help you do it step by step so you understand it all.” Sierra’s positive, get-it-done attitude made her the perfect fit for our team. She is always ready to jump in anywhere, helping our vets prepare for a busy day and caring for your pets. “I help wherever it’s needed,” Sierra says of her role. lients Spreading the Word

Even at home, Sierra isn’t one to stay still. She prefers to stay busy, which isn’t hard since she lives on a farm where there’s “always something to do.” She also competes with her horses and is an ace in archery. You may have seen Sierra at our Dog Jog this fall where she had a great time meeting all of you! “It was really cool to meet people and pets who are clients, talk to them, and hear their stories,” she says.

In January, Sierra will begin classes to get her veterinary technician certificate. We’re excited to watch this hardworking, knowledgeable individual continue her career, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for Sierra!

Thanks so much to these clients who referred new patients to us the past two months:

Gingerbread Dogs

Inspired by

‘Tis the season for holiday cheer! Share some cheer with your four-legged friends with these special holiday dog treats.

Dixie Severson

Chance Fischer


Debbie Smith

Carol Nations

• •

1 tsp cinnamon

• • •

1/2 cup vegetable oil 6 cups oatmeal flour

• • •

1 cup molasses 4 tbsp honey

Kathy & Elden Anders

Keith & Kacy Stillings

1 tsp dried powder ginger

2 tsp baking soda

1 cup water


1. Heat oven to 350 F. 2. In a medium bowl, combine molasses, honey, water, and oil, and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing well until dough forms. 3. Separate dough into four equal balls. Wrap dough balls in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3–5 hours. 4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out chilled dough to 1/4-inch thick. Use dog-shaped cookie cutters to cut out treats. 5. Bake for 20–25 minutes on baking sheet until cookies start to brown. Carefully remove treats from the oven and let them cool completely before serving to your dog.





1 2 What to Get Your Pets for Christmas inside this issue We Celebrate the 12 Days of Petsmas

Holiday Events and Dog Jog Recap


Team Member Spotlight

Clients Spreading the Word

Homemade Gingerbread Dog Treats


Peyo the Therapy Horse

Horsing Around


Horses have been loyal and useful companions to humans for centuries. But unbeknownst to many who fear these long-legged, 1,000-plus-pound mammals, horses are also naturally intuitive

competitor accompanies his owner, Hassen Bouchakour, on visits to hospitals and nursing homes, bringing joy with every clop of his hooves.

Patients suffering from all manner of ailments blossom when Peyo comes to visit, laughing and smiling while being nudged by his soft nose. He seems to have a keen sense for patients who are truly suffering, and though his handler is always nearby, Peyo often chooses which rooms to enter of his own volition. Having a horse in a hospital room may not sound very sanitary, but Peyo goes through a strict grooming regimen to be deemed hygienic enough to be around patients. His hooves are greased, his mane and tail are braided, and his entire body is rubbed down with antibacterial lotion before being covered by a blanket. Before Peyo became a therapy horse, he was almost put up for sale by Bouchakour, who had a hard time wrangling Peyo’s fiery personality. But, over time, when they traveled to shows and competitions together, Bouchakour noticed the horse was drawn to the injured and disabled and would instantly calm at their touch. “It is one of the most pure, honest, and sweet things,” Bouchakour says. “They like each other very much without asking for anything else.”

and extremely sensitive to the moods of people around them. These traits make them excellent therapy animals for those with autism, cerebral palsy, chronic illnesses, and

PTSD, among many more. In fact, there are dedicated horse-riding camps geared toward chronically ill children and adults all over the world.

However, riding horses isn’t the only way to benefit from equine therapy; horses are also fantastic comfort animals that can relieve anxiety and promote a positive environment for bedridden patients — as long as the doorway is big enough.

Meet Peyo, the 14-year-old “love stallion” from Dijon, France, who is cheering up chronically ill patients one nuzzle at a time. This accomplished artistic dressage


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