May 2020 www.surfacecreekveterinarycenter.com 970-856-4474
WITH THE PEOPLE (AND PETS) YOU LOVE Slow Down and Savor Moments
talk to someone who you can share memories of your mom with. For mothers who’ve lost children, I can only imagine your pain. Please know our hearts are with you. Mother’s Day at our house usually involves making breakfast for Susie and spending a nice day together. The kids help make her pancakes, and even if some of them don’t look quite like pancakes, Susie, being the good mom she is, still eats them. Sometimes we’ll go for a hike. We keep it pretty low key because those are the moments we all enjoy the most. Susie is a natural mom. I always say that our kids will turn out great in spite of me. They are so good because she’s such a great mom — they turned out okay because they have her. Susie is such a great influence for our children. I’m so grateful I get to spend my life with this woman. So, if I can leave you with one thought, it’s to be with (or call or video call) the people (or pets) you love. Tell them you love them, and make sure you keep letting them know. Dr. Jeff
lucky are we that we had a trip to get canceled? If that’s my biggest complaint, I’m doing pretty well. I knew it was time to take a step back and realize we’re pretty blessed. When we’re forced to slow down a little bit, it brings things into perspective. It means more time at home with family, and having a little more time on our hands isn’t a bad thing. Life isn’t all about being fast-paced and going from one thing to the next. These times spent at home are opportunities to be with the people we love. Slow down a little. Sit back and enjoy these moments with your loved ones. Don’t take them for granted. When it comes to everything going on in the world, this is the perfect time to appreciate your family. Do something fun together like play a game, go for a walk, or take a hike. Appreciate your mom and tell her you love her. Give her a call. If your mother has passed, sit quietly with your pet and remember her or
With Mother’s Day coming up, we want to share a message for Dr. Susie to let her know what an awesome mom she is. Dr. Jeff is taking over the column just this once (don’t worry, we edited it) to share his words of wisdom on what makes her such an amazing mother to their kids and why he’s grateful to have some more time with family right now. While there are a lot of crummy things going on in the world that we could focus on, I’d rather focus on the good stuff. We had a good reminder of this last month: The trip we were supposed to take as a family got canceled. It was easy to feel upset or frustrated. But as we stood there talking about it, I realized: How
“THE KIDS HELP MAKE HER PANCAKES, AND EVEN IF SOME OF THEM DON’T LOOK QUITE LIKE PANCAKES, SUSIE, BEING THE GOOD MOM SHE IS, STILL EATS THEM.”
In our high-tech, low-contact world, it’s easy to get lost in the folds of the internet and let the digital world take over. Before you know it, you wind up feeling a little deprived of real interaction. That’s what our pets are so wonderful for. They provide unconditional love and acceptance that isn’t as easily doled out in the human world. They remind us that we need to step away from technology and be present in the real world because come on, come on, it’s nice outside, and there’s a squirrel I want to chase! For folks recovering from substance abuse, it’s even more important to have daily reminders of love and acceptance. That’s why Stephen Knight, a recovered addict who returned to school to become a substance abuse counselor, started Dogs Matter. For Knight, getting a dog eight months into his recovery program changed his life. His pup, Jayde, taught him how to trust again and build relationships. The love that Jayde provided helped him get through the toughest points. In that spirit, Dogs Matter provides temporary foster care for the pets of people who are entering recovery programs, where pets typically aren’t allowed. When they complete the program, they are reunited with their pets. Knowing their pets are being taken care of allows them to focus on their recovery, and the joy of being reunited helps them stick with sobriety. The results of the organization’s efforts speak for themselves. Three years into the program, around 70% of clients are clean and sober. “Most made it through the [most difficult] first year because they had their dog back,” Knight told NBC News. When you’re looking for extra love and acceptance, you don’t need to look much further than your four-legged friend. Look out for them by keeping up on their routine vaccines, parasite prevention treatments, dental care, and any other treatments they need to stay healthy and well. THE LIFE- CHANGING BOND BETWEEN PETS AND THEIR HUMANS The Best Companion
THE STORY OF GRANDPA MASON
How a Feral Cat Came to Care for Orphaned Kittens When cats are orphaned as kittens, they don’t get the chance to develop all the skills needed to become successful cats. Just like human children, kittens need older role models too. The most famous cat role model had a rough start in life but became an inspiration for kittens and humans alike. His name was Grandpa Mason, and during the last years of his life, he stepped up and gave love, care, and guidance to the orphaned kittens that lived with him. The Canadian animal rescue group TinyKittens rescued Grandpa Mason in 2016 from a property that was scheduled to be bulldozed. The poor feral tabby was suffering from many health problems, including severe dental issues, a badly injured paw, and advanced kidney disease. Since TinyKittens is a no-kill rescue organization, euthanization was out of the question. Given his health conditions, veterinarians predicted the battle-scarred Grandpa Mason didn’t have long to live, so TinyKittens’ founder, Shelly Roche, took him in and provided him with a comfortable place to sleep, plenty of food, and time to relax in the last months of his life. Grandpa Mason had a hard time adjusting to domestic life and would often shy away from being petted. In an interview with The Dodo, Roche described him as “an elderly gentleman [who] lived his whole life a certain way, and then, all of a sudden, [was] forced to live completely differently.” After Grandpa Mason grew accustomed to his home, Roche took in several foster kittens, and those new roommates completely altered Grandpa Mason’s behavior. Roche expected him to hiss, swat, or growl at the kittens when they invaded his space, but he didn’t. Instead, he allowed them to crawl all over him and appeared to enjoy it when they licked his ear. Suddenly a playful, affectionate, and gentle personality came out of Grandpa Mason as he played with, bathed, taught, and cared for the orphaned kittens that Roche welcomed into her home. Potentially due to the kittens’ influence, Grandpa Mason surpassed his prognosis by more than two years. During the last few years of his life, Grandpa Mason passed on important lessons and good manners to the kittens he looked after and adored, as a true grandfather should. He passed last September, but he spent his last night in his ultimate happy place: snuggling in his bed surrounded by kittens.
GET TO KNOW KAYLA! TeamMember Spotlight This Pre-Med Student Jumps Into Each New Opportunity
When she got to college and started her pre-med classes, Kayla found that a lot of the concepts and procedures were familiar because she had been introduced to them through her work at Surface Creek Vet Center. “It’s been really neat to see how it relates to human health, how many similarities there are. It’s given me more confidence in going into the medical field. I got to see these things hands on, not just out of a textbook,” Kayla says. Outside of work and school, Kayla looks forward to summer weather, when she can go camping, hiking, and floating the river. She also loves to travel. Last year, she went on a mission trip to Brazil. “I was leading the mission trip, and we were on the Amazon River, going to different tribes,” Kayla describes. The journey provided opportunities to get acquainted with Amazonian
The global pandemic has caused disruptions to everyone’s lives, including college students who’ve been sent home after school closures. The silver lining is that a couple of the students who are typically only with us for the summer have returned a little earlier, and we were happy to welcome them back to the clinic. One of those students is Kayla. Kayla is a pre-med student at Colorado Christian University. She’s wanted to be a doctor since she was a freshman in high school, and Surface Creek Vet Center was a great place to get experience in the medical field. “I started as an intern, shadowing Dr. Susie, then was hired on and got to be part of the hands-on processes,” Kayla says. “The longer I’ve been here, the more hands-on experience I’ve gotten. I’ve gotten to be there for surgeries and get introduced to the medical field.”
wildlife. “Going there, I swore I wasn’t going to get in the river, but the first day, I didn’t want to get out of the water. One of the tribes took us to catch a caiman, and another took us fishing for piranha,” Kayla describes. “It’s one of my favorite places.” While she’s home, we are so happy to have this passionate, dedicated student helping us at the clinic. We also can’t wait to see where Kayla’s adventures take her next. We know this pre-med student is going to go far.
Clients Spreading the Word Thanks so much to these clients who referred new patients to us the past two months:
Does your picky kitty turn up their nose at every treat? These homemade goodies are sure to delight even the most finicky of felines! Homemade Chicken and Cranberry Cat Treats
• • •
2 tbsp olive oil
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1 cup oat flour
1 tbsp dried catnip
3 tbsp unsweetened, dried cranberries 4 oz plain chicken, cooked and chopped into small pieces
1 large egg
1. Heat oven to 350 F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. 2. In a food processor, mix flour and cranberries until fine. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until combined. 3. Measure out 1/4 tsp-sized portions. Roll into small balls, then press flat with your finger on the baking sheet. 4. Cook treats in the oven for 15–17 minutes, or until golden and dried on top. 5. Allow treats to cool completely before serving to your cat. Treats can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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Dr. Jeff’s Mother’s Day Message inside this issue
The Best Grandfather a Kitten Could Have
The Best Companion
Team Member Spotlight
Clients Spreading the Word!
DIY Springtime Cat Treats
Bird-Watching for Beginners
Bird-Watching for Beginners
WHY MAY IS THE BEST MONTH TO START
Gear Up One of the best things about birding is that you don’t need a lot of equipment to do it. As long as you’ve got your field guide and comfortable walking shoes, the only other thing you’ll need is a pair of binoculars. And they don’t have to be fancy. As long as they can zoom in on faraway trees and perches, they’ll work for now. You can always upgrade later. Go Exploring Your very first birding excursion is important because you don’t want to be overwhelmed or underwhelmed. So use your field guide to home in on a single bird and go find it. It may be local, or you can plan a trip to a specific bird’s natural habitat. Stay focused and don’t get distracted by other species. The thrill that comes with spotting your first bird will keep you coming back to find the rest. Bird-watching is a wonderful hobby because it’s easy to get started and can last a lifetime. As long as you can walk, drive, or look out a window, you can be a birder. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and find some birds!
Bird-watching is like a lifelong scavenger hunt that you can play anywhere on Earth. The activity provides a mixture of science, travel, and beauty, and it’s a chance to get outside for feathered adventures and quiet reflection. The month of May is a great time of year to go birding because rising temperatures prompt
spring migration. So if you’re eager to begin bird-watching, there’s no better time than now. Here are some tips to get started.
Educate Yourself Thousands of species of birds span all corners of the globe. That’s why finding them is an exciting prospect — there’s no end to the hunt! Start by researching birds that are native to your location. Purchase a field guide with pictures of each bird and maps of their range and use it to figure out where different birds live. From there, it’s easy to pick your first spotting goal. You can even get yourself extra excited by watching a few bird documentaries.
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