The Animal Clinic of Kalispell - September 2023

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TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK Why I’m a Better Veterinarian Because of My Staff

I don’t talk about my staff enough, but if there’s any team worth bragging about, it’s this one. After 28 years in this industry, I know the people working alongside you can make or break a veterinary practice. I’m extremely grateful to have a team I can trust and rely on, so I want to pay tribute to all the work they do in honor of Labor Day. Running a business is a bit like being the conductor of a train. When you work alone, you’re responsible for pulling the train along the track yourself. As the business grows, you hope you can hire staff that 100% shares your vision and helps you pull the train. But that’s not necessarily the case. Sometimes you miss the mark and can have even a single team member that doesn’t share your vision completely. Instead of lightening the load, they add new forms of resistance. That can be an issue for any small business, but it certainly isn’t now. Everyone working at the Animal Clinic of Kalispell believes in the same mission and keeps the enterprise moving where it needs to go. We’re like a well-oiled machine. It creates a happier work environment and life, especially since the team makes up for my deficiencies all the time. I attended veterinary school to learn how to diagnose and treat pets, but about 80% of my actual work involves dealing with people. I love my clients, but I’m not everyone else’s cup of tea. Sometimes there are clients who I don’t gel with or don’t trust me. This gets in the way of delivering care, but then, our staff steps in and smooths things over. So, it feels good to have a team around me that ensures we meet the same service standards for humans as pets. If I’m not a good fit, we have five other doctors, and we’re certain we can create a “love connection.” Meanwhile, our veterinary assistants and technicians are outstanding. While everyone in the office works well together, a few veterinarian- technician duos are dream teams, and it’s incredible what they can get done. Our up-front customer service people are amazing. They have the most difficult job in the practice with little recognition.

I do my best to treat my staff well and keep them happy. I like to think that’s reflected in our remarkable longevity here. While job hopping is common in the veterinary world (and many other industries), we have multiple team members who have been with us for six or more years. It has been rewarding to see young single employees become married with children and watch their kids grow up. Their professional journeys have been just as exciting. Many businesses continue to struggle with staffing, but we’re essentially up to a full team here. I hope that points to a positive reputation around town as a company that treats people well. We’re pleased that we’ve offered the team more benefits and options than ever over the past year and hope to continue being a workplace where people want to stay. I couldn’t do any of this alone. If you’ve had a great experience with our office, you have our entire staff to thank. I want to extend my gratitude to them for constantly keeping this metaphorical train moving and providing the best service anyone could ask for. – Dr. Jevon Clark



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Hello, my name is Finley, and I’m a 1-year-old ragdoll. I’ve spent a lot of my life so far sick with feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), but Dr. Ball and Dr. Clark worked hard to make me feel better. Now, I’m a very happy cat who loves to play and snuggle. My family includes my brother, Purrcy, who is about my age, and an older sister named Belle. Purrcy and I are best friends! Belle is serious and doesn’t like playing with us, but she sometimes cleans me. We all like to go out in our yard together when the weather is nice, and I’m the ringleader. It’s my job to paw at the door until Mom and Papa open it. Sick to Snuggly

5 Unexpected Uses for Dryer Sheets UNLEASH THE MAGIC

Dryer sheets, thin pieces of fabric coated with softeners, fragrances, and lubricants, are a game-changer when it comes to freshening and softening your laundry! However, did you know these thin sheets of magic can also work wonders in your kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom? Check out some of these awesome dryer sheet hacks! Clean your pots and pans. It’s a real bummer when you have food stuck to a kitchen pot or frying pan. The next time you have food caked to one of your pans, place an unused dryer sheet in the bottom of the cookware, fill it with hot water, and allow it to soak. The silicone coating on the dryer sheet will help to soften and remove all the crusted food and particles left behind. Remove pet hair from clothes and furniture. If you have pets or visit a friend with pets, then you likely know the hassle of being carpeted in dog or cat hair. The same properties that reduce static on your clothes in the dryer are perfect for helping lift fur off your clothes and furniture. Just take a clean dryer sheet and wipe the area to loosen the hair. Then, follow up with a lint roller. Freshen up shoes. Nobody likes the funk of well-used sneakers and dress shoes. If your shoes have gotten a little ripe over time, add a scented dryer sheet to each one before returning them to your gym bag or shoe rack. Just remember to remove the sheets before slipping them on!

Since I’m a ragdoll cat, Mom says I should like to be picked up, but being held is not fun for me. I like having the freedom to move around! But when I want to be pet, you’ll know! I’ll bonk you with my head and shake my tail so you realize it’s time to pay attention to me.

Fall is here, which means it’s time to bring on the pumpkin spice la can share them with your furry friends. So this season, whip up th pooch can celebrate the season together! Pumpkin Spice Latte fo

Clean your car. There’s nothing worse than having a bunch of dead bugs all over your vehicle’s windshield and grill after a road trip. Dryer sheets have abrasive properties that are strong enough to remove the insects but are still gentle enough not to damage the paint and finish on your car. It’s a win-win! Remove soap scum. If soap scum coats your shower door and the corners of your tub or shower, use a damp dryer sheet to wash away the soap residue. It also works on hard water stains. The result is a sparkly clean shower without harsh chemicals!




HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT OUR NEW ANGEL FUND It breaks our hearts when a client wants to do right by their sick pet but can’t afford the proper care. Animal Clinic of Kalispell’s Assistant Hospital Manager Taylor has long wanted to find a way to help some of those people. Her advocacy has paid off, and we’re proud to announce our new Angel Fund for pets and their owners in need. BE A BLESSING FOR PETS IN NEED

My life started a little rough. When I first came home, I had a lot of congestion and always sneezed. I took antibiotics a few times, and everyone thought I was better until I started having trouble with my breathing. I had fluid around my lungs! I had to take medicine for a long time for FIP. I did not like getting shots at all, so it was better when I could start taking pills. I even had a chest tube for a while, so the fluid around my lungs could be drained at home. Fortunately, I’m doing much better now. Dr. Ball was worried about scarring on my lungs, but an X-ray recently came back looking great!

The Angel Fund is a community- supported resource that will provide financial assistance on a discretionary basis for urgent, nonroutine veterinary care. Depending on the circumstances and the available funding level, the Angel Fund may pay for all or part of the treatment. We’ve seen many times that when it rains, it pours. Multiple hardships and illnesses often hit families all at once. The Angel Fund will target responsible pet owners who need extra kindness and help in extraordinary circumstances.

Now, I have so much more energy. I want to play all the time. Besides spending time outside, I love cardboard boxes and fishing line toys. But my favorite toys are my little catnip mice. I like to take them with me everywhere. Every night, I curl up with Mom and Papa in bed. I knead them and rub them with my forehead until we’re all nice and comfortable. Snuggles are one of my favorite things, so Mom and Papa are glad I no longer sneeze on them all night!


Taylor developed a process by which clients apply for support so we can be good stewards of how best to use the funds. The Angel Fund is 100% donation-based, and Taylor says, “To be able to utilize it, we really need people to give. We’re trying to raise as much as we can so we have money available for people who need it.” We’re not looking for any large endowment, rather hoping that $5–$10 from many clients will gain momentum and add up over time. We want contributors to be confident that 100% of donations go directly to help pet owners truly in need and that many small donations can still impact a pet. The Animal Clinic of Kalispell has a donation jar at our front desk for those who want to contribute with cash. We can also accept check donations by mail and credit or debit card donations over the phone. All contributions are appreciated. To celebrate the Angel Fund’s launch and to thank you for your generosity, we are offering donors a gift throughout September. This month only, you can receive a free nail trim for every $20 donated! We hope you’ll consider contributing and sharing with your friends and family members who might also want to help. The more funding our community offers, the more care we can provide to deserving humans and their animals.

or Dogs

attes! But some sweet treats are better when you his pup-friendly pumpkin spice latte so you and your Inspired by


1 cup goat’s milk or unsweetened coconut milk

• •

Dash of ground ginger Organic xylitol-free whipped cream

• •

1 cup pumpkin purée

Dash of ground cinnamon


1. In a blender, place all ingredients and blend until mixture is thick and creamy, about 1 minute. 2. Into a small dish, pour about 3–6 oz of the mixture (depending on your dog’s size). Top with whipped cream and serve! TIP: Place the rest in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for about a week!

– Dr. Jevon Clark







A Labor Day Tribute to Our Staff

2 The Magic of Dryer Sheets: Surprising Uses Inside

2 How Finley Went From Sick to Snuggly

3 Pumpkin Spice Latte for Dogs

3 Help Pets in Need With the Angel Fund

4 Unsinkable Sam: The Feline Hero of WWII


How a WWII Cat Survived 3 Ship Sinkings

You’ve heard the saying, “Cats have nine lives,” and while there are countless tales of cats falling from trees or high-above windows, one cat put this theory to the test, earning himself the name “Unsinkable Sam.”

performed convoy escort duties — until a torpedo struck the HMS Cossack in October 1941, killing all 139 members aboard. Except for Sam. Once again, Sam clung to a wooden plank and floated safely to the nearby shore of Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory. British service members who found him ashore put two and two together and realized the cat — the very one their fellow servicemen saved in 1939 — was the only survivor of HMS Cossack, earning him the nickname “Unsinkable Sam.” The group in Gibraltar was from the HMS Ark Royal crew, and of course, they loaded Sam aboard when it was time to launch. But as Sam’s luck would have it, a torpedo struck the HMS Ark Royal just a month later, leaving him once again clinging to a floating plank near a boat launch back in Gibraltar. Luckily, Sam’s boating days were over, and he was honorably transferred to the position of “mouse hunter” in the building of the governor-general in Gibraltar. Eventually, the British restationed their favorite floating feline to a “home for sailors” in Belfast, where he lived for the rest of his days until his peaceful passing in 1955.

Sam’s original name was “Oscar,” and his legacy began aboard the Bismarck, one of the two first-class Nazi battleships in World War II. The Bismarck (with Sam) was launched on Feb. 14, 1939, and soon after engaged in battle with The Prince of Wales, an Allied battleship. The Nazi ship was severely damaged in this battle and ultimately sunk. Only 118 of the 2,200 crew members survived, plus Sam. The British destroyer HMS Cossack found Sam floating on a board hours later, and they promptly scooped him up and welcomed him aboard. Sam had officially switched sides to the Allied forces.

Now on the right side of history, Sam lived with the British crew for the next few months as they

Sam’s story may not officially prove cats have nine lives, but it makes at least three seem likely!



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