Surface Creek Veterinary Center - March 2020

March 2020 970-856-4474

SCVC Pawprint


Spring Flowers Bring Puppies and Kittens

Something else we want to address this month is the change in minimum wage that went into effect in Colorado in January. With the increase, we had to assess how that will impact our practice. Despite our growth (thanks to you!) and our best attempt to fight any sort of fee increase, the increase in minimum wage does put us in a difficult place with being able to pay our employees a fair wage and provide the quality service you deserve. Because of this, we will be increasing our fees across the board later this spring. It’s not something we are happy about, but it’s something we need to do in order to continue to keep our doors open. Please reach out with any questions about this change, and thank you for understanding. We want to make this an easy transition for you. As a small business, each person who walks through our door is an invaluable part of what we do. If it weren’t for people like you, our amazing patients and community, we wouldn’t be here. We truly appreciate you and the value you place on providing quality care to your pets. Dr. Susie and Dr. Jeff

spaying and neutering pets. Beyond preventing overpopulation and keeping animals out of shelters, spaying and neutering keeps your pet healthier. Males that have been neutered are less likely to stray from home, making them less prone to getting in a fight with other animals or finding themselves on a road or other area where they might get hurt. Neutering also lowers their risk of infectious diseases, and neutered pets aren’t susceptible to testicular cancer and other nasty diseases they can get later in life. Females who’ve been spayed are less likely to develop mammary cancer or conditions of the uterus that can be lethal. In general, pets that are spayed and neutered are a lot healthier than those that aren’t. We recommend spaying and neutering around 6 months of age, but it is never too late. All month long in March, we offer a 17% discount on spaying and neutering services, so give us a call at 970-856-4474 to schedule your appointment and let your friends and family know if they have been wanted to get their pets fixed.

re you looking forward to spring as much as we are? The flowers

begin to bloom, the sun comes out more, and here in Colorado, folks are still hitting the slopes for some spring skiing.

In our world, spring also ushers in a very active time of year in the form of more puppies and kittens. With more food available and more opportunities to get outside and meet up with mates, spring is prime reproduction season for the animal kingdom. Because we see this rise in reproduction, we like to get the word out about the importance of



As Dr. Susie and Dr. Jeff shared on the cover, spring can be a busy time of year for our pets. In addition to, well, getting busy, they are eager to enjoy the outdoors with you! Here are a few ways to help your pets make the most of this season. 3 Tips to Keep Them Safe and Healthy There’s nothing quite like a garden in full bloom. As you prepare your growing space for that moment, keep your pets in mind. Always store fertilizers, plant food, and lawn care treatments in closed, secure containers that won’t tempt a curious dog or cat. Some plants, like rhododendrons and azaleas, are very toxic to pets, so keep this in mind as you make your plant selections. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) provides an in-depth list of plants that are toxic to pets on their website. HELP YOUR PET HAVE THE BEST SPRING Make your garden prep pet-friendly.

The First Feline Stationmaster in All of Japan TAMA, THE CALICO During the mid-2000s, the Kishi Train Station in Japan began to deteriorate. By 2006, Kishi Station was left completely unstaffed because of low ridership and financial problems. However, one last resident still remained after everyone else was long gone: a black, white, and tan cat named Tama. Tama first appeared at the station as a young cat in the late 1990s. She lived near the train station and would visit commuters daily to receive affection and the occasional treat. But, as it turned out, her continued visits to Kishi Station would end up playing a much bigger role for the station. The same year it became unstaffed, residents living near the station asked the president of the Wakayama Electric Railway, Mitsunobu Kojima, to revive the station because the cat’s survival depended on it. It turns out Tama’s original owner had asked the railway workers to care for her before he moved away — he couldn’t bear to take her from the station she loved to visit so much. So, Kojima decided to go meet Tama. He liked her immediately and adopted her. A year later, Tama was officially named the Stationmaster of Kishi Station, the first cat stationmaster in Japan. To complete her look, Kojima gave her a small conductor hat to wear as she greeted commuters from her window perch inside the ticket gates. As an official stationmaster, Tama became well known all across Japan and throughout the world. She appeared in the media and on promotional materials that soon brought much-needed foot traffic to Kishi Station. Thousands of tourists came rushing to Kishi to see Tama for themselves, ride the Tamaden carriage, and pick up Tama merchandise inside the station. Tama brought joy to all commuters for the next several years before passing away in 2015. Nearly 3,000 people attended her funeral, and her legacy lives on. Tama’s successors continue as stationmasters: Nitama, who serves as Kishi stationmaster, and assistant Yontama at Idakiso, five stations away. Tama’s friendly and loving nature impacted many people around her, and she will always be affectionately known as the cat who saved the Japanese train station.

Don’t let Easter go to the dogs.

During Easter festivities, it’s easy for a chocolate egg to get left in the yard or on the floor and tempt your canine or feline friend. Prevent them from getting sick by keeping treats out of reach. If you do an Easter egg hunt, keep your pets inside, and make sure you account for all sweet treats before letting them out. Or better yet, opt for pet-friendly treats and let your pets participate in the hunt!

Prevent hitchhikers.

Be aware of pests like ticks, fleas, and thorns as the weather warms up and your pet begins to spend more time outside. Keep these pests away by looking for any unwanted hitchhikers while you brush your pets. Remove stickers and thorns as soon as possible. If you notice a tick, safely remove it or give your vet a call to ensure the tick is safely removed and doesn’t spread disease. Your vet can also provide you with flea-prevention formulas and heartworm prevention. Spaying and neutering services— which are 17% off this month — plus flea, tick, and heartworm prevention are all available from your team at Surface Creek Veterinary Center. We work hard all year-round to keep your pets healthy. Give us a call so we can make this the best year yet for you and your pet.


MEET BARB! TeamMember Spotlight Our Caring Receptionist Is Here to Make Your Visit Easy

lients Spreading the Word Thanks so much to these clients who referred new patients to us the past month: Barb’s favorite part of her role is “talking to clients and getting to know their pets. I enjoy hearing about what’s going on in their lives and Y ou may already be familiar with her from speaking with her on the phone, but now you can put a name to the voice: Meet the newest member of our team! Surface Creek Veterinary Center’s new receptionist, Barb, was a client of ours before joining the team, and we couldn’t be happier to have her on board! After getting to know Dr. Susie and Dr. Jeff, who care for her two cats, Barb decided she’d love to be a part of the work they are doing. When a position opened up, it was the perfect opportunity for her to join the team. It also helps that Surface Creek is in her neighborhood — Barb lives about 1 mile away from the vet center.

getting to know them.” Be it greeting clients on the phone, welcoming them when they walk through the door, or helping them to easily transition to their clinic room, Barb is here for our clients and their pets. This animal lover has two pets at home: an orange kitty, who’s about 5, and a 15-year-old black cat named Zero. Barb says Zero is her baby. “He likes me the best. Right now, since our own kids have left home, the kitties are our kids,” she says. In addition to hanging out with their cats, Barb and her husband love spending time outdoors. And they don’t let cold weather prevent them from getting outside. For three winters in a row, they’ve bundled up and headed outside to

go ice fishing. “I didn’t think I’d like it at first,” Barb says, “but it’s so much fun.” They have a complete setup, including a heater and cold- weather gear, to ensure they keep warm. They

also enjoy snowmobiling during the winter. In the warmer months, the adventurous couple likes to go camping, hiking, and Jeeping.

Inspired by Puppy’s Favorite Natural Peanut Butter Sandwich Treats


Trina Baker

Alexandra Matheson

• • •

1 large egg 2 tbsp honey

• • •

1 1/4 cups flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

Deanne Yninguoz

1/2 cup milk (replace with lactose-free milk for lactose-intolerant pups)

1/2 cup creamy, xylitol-free natural peanut butter

Desiree Montoya

John Freeman

Vicki Watts


1. Heat oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. 2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, mixing until soft dough forms. 3. Flour countertop, then roll dough to be 1 inch thick. Use 1 1/2-inch circle-shaped cookie cutter to cut dough into circles. Use all dough. 4. Bake for 10–12 minutes until cookies are an even color on top. (Note: Cookies will lighten in color as they cook.) Carefully remove from oven and transfer to wire rack to cool. 5. Smear a little peanut butter in the center of 2 cookies to make a sandwich, and serve to your favorite pooch! Pro Tip: To keep cookies fresh, don’t turn them all into sandwiches at the same time. Wait to put natural peanut butter between cookies until you’re ready to treat your dog. With this method, cookies will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks.





Spring Happenings at Surface Creek inside this issue

1 2

Bringing Love, Joy, and Life Back to Kishi Station

Help Your Pet Have the Best Spring


Team Member Spotlight

Clients Spreading the Word

Peanut Butter Sandwich Dog Treats


The Evolution of St. Patrick’s Day

Completely Different Roots


From extravagant parades to green-dyed rivers, something about St. Patrick’s Day feels quintessentially American — despite its Irish heritage. That’s because many common St. Patrick’s Day traditions actually originated in America, evolving beyond their roots in the Emerald Isle in a few key ways.

The observation of St. Patrick’s Day grew in popularity in cities with large Irish populations, like Boston, New York, and Chicago. Then, in the booming post-World War II economy, various businesses aggressively marketed the holiday to Americans of all heritages. Thus, it became a day when anyone could celebrate Irish American heritage, or at least it gave everyone an excuse to drink like they believe the Irish do. Ironically, imbibing was not a part of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Ireland until relatively recently. Due to the religious nature of the holiday, pubs and bars closed down on March 17 until 1961. Additionally, the traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage is another American addition. In Ireland, pork and cabbage was actually more common, but impoverished Irish immigrants substituted less expensive beef for pork, and the tradition stuck. Even though the most widely observed St. Patrick’s Day celebrations originated in America, many of them have found their way back to Ireland. Starting in 1996, the St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Dublin now attracts over 1 million attendees with all the drinks and revelry that Americans love. You’d be hard pressed to find a green beer, though. In the hallowed birthplace of Guinness and whiskey, some traditions may be better left across the pond.

On March 17, Irish folks commemorate the death of St. Patrick, who brought Christianity to pagan Ireland during the late fourth and early fifth centuries. Historically, these religious origins make for a more somber observance of St. Patrick’s Day. Many Irish families go to church and eat a modest feast as the extent of their celebration. However, St. Patrick’s Day in America is not so much about venerating Ireland’s patron saint as it is about celebrating Irish heritage in a foreign land. When Catholic Irish immigrants first came to the United States, they faced persecution from a largely Protestant population. In response, Irish Americans began using March 17 as a day to publicly declare and celebrate Irish heritage with parades and demonstrations.


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