Animal Clinic of Kalispell - August 2022

Pet Press KALISPELL AUG 2022



Aug. 1 is Mountain Climbing Day, and Kalispell is a mountain climber’s dream. From gentle slopes to rocky cliffs, there’s

mountain to conquer. I know the uphill climb won’t last forever, but some days it is hard to see the peak from this vantage point.

a little something for all experience levels and risk tolerances. I’m personally not much of a daredevil, and I prefer to stick to the hiking trails and stay away from rock climbing. But that doesn’t mean I’m unfamiliar with fighting uphill battles. When I came to Kalispell 15 years ago, this clinic was a dying practice. You might even say it was on life support. I went from a steady job and salary to running a business that gave me no income for a long time. I had to work my tail off just to get clients in the door and keep the lights on. I thought I knew what I was getting into when I started, but I really had no idea.

Still, as much as I complain, I know many people would happily trade places with me. Kalispell is full of small businesses, some established and others just trying to get off the ground. Many of those business owners are our clients and friends. Anytime I see someone start a new venture, I have so much admiration for them. It’s because I know what it takes. I know how many hours entrepreneurs put in, especially when their business is new. I also understand the toll it takes on families, your time, and your sleep. So, I always try to support my fellow business owners as much as I can.

It took three to four years before things felt even remotely stable, then a couple of more years after that,

The Kalispell Chamber of Commerce has one of the top participation rates in the country, and I think we’re incredibly fortunate to have it as a resource. Due to everything going on at the clinic, I’m not as involved as I used to be, but I’ve met countless fellow entrepreneurs through the Chamber, and we’ve been able to learn and grow together. It also helps to have someone to gripe with about understaffing, working 60 hours a week, and the increasing demands of our customers while we get through rough patches. I know that this, too, shall pass. We’ll eventually reach the mountain’s summit — or at least a ridge where we can rest. Until then, I’ll keep climbing and do my best to not look down.

business finally felt relatively self-sustaining. For about seven years, we had steady growth, and I felt more like an employee. We weren’t too slow or too busy, my work-life balance improved, and everything felt under control. But nothing lasts forever, and now we’re encountering new challenges. Rather than trying to win business, we’re busy trying to keep up and find a way to squeeze all our patients in for appointments. Like most other businesses, we’re having trouble finding enough staff to keep up with our fabulous clientele, and Dr. Cosper recently retired. We plan on finding a few new veterinarians to take his place, but that will require some time.

– Dr. Jevon Clark

In other words, I’m working as hard as I have in many years, and the clinic is facing demands it has never had to grapple with before. This is a whole new



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Setting Boundaries for Your Teens As children grow older, some tend to engage in more risky behaviors. They like to test their parents’ patience and limits to see what they can actually get away with. But when you establish boundaries with your older children, it can set them up for success and teach them a thing or two about responsibility. Creating Boundaries That Reflect Your Values You cannot simply say the rules — your actions must reinforce them if you want them to be followed. They must also reflect the positive values that mean the most to you, as they will influence how your children see you. The clearer your values are, the easier it is to express and communicate them to your older kids, and the more likely they are to follow along with the boundaries that respect those values. Here is a list of core family values to consider: • Positive relationships — whether that be with family members, friends, coworkers, or even strangers • Priorities — define what matters to your family first • Honesty — creating a judgment-free space to be open and speak freely • Responsibility — taking accountability for one’s mistakes • Respect — learning how to communicate boundaries effectively

Hi, everyone! My name is Bridger, and I live with my mom and dad, Shauna and Tim. Until recently, my brother (Klyde) lived here, too. He was kind of a grumpy, old man — but I loved him a lot. Klyde liked cheese and getting in our parents’ boat, making him much braver than me. Water is scary! Work Hard, Play Hard

I looked up to Klyde a lot, so it was hard to say goodbye. He didn’t like to hang out with me too much, but we cuddled up together for the first and only time while Mom

and Dad drove him to his last veterinary visit. I knew he secretly loved me! Klyde always used to guard the house, so now that he’s gone, I’ve taken over as head of security, which is a lot of hard work.

But that’s not the only job I have! I help Mom and Dad

Be Supportive, Not Enabling Supporting someone is helping them do something they might not be able to do themselves in the right conditions, whereas enabling is stepping in and mitigating consequences that would otherwise be a result of a negative choice. Enabling is an undesirable behavior that can occur when parents give in to complaints or demands to avoid conflict. Instead of avoiding possible conflict, it’s best to support your older children while they navigate through your rules. Allow them to have questions or make mistakes. That way you can provide a framework where they have the ability to act and make decisions on their own. Setting rules or boundaries for your older kids is an essential tool that aids in their development. Over time, the process will help lay the foundations for them to become self-regulating adults.

run our advertising business, Navigate Marketing, where we

have all kinds of clients, including the Northwest Montana Fair! I love

riding in the backseat of the truck every day while we commute to the office.

Grain-Free Cat Treats Keep your kitty happy with these tasty protein-packed tuna treats! Inspired by






We all work hard, and sometimes I need to remind Mom and Dad to take breaks! I like to nudge their elbows with my nose or put my paw on their laps to remind them that it’s time for a walk. Sometimes, I just get tired of working all day and want to go home for

Most of us will outlive our pets. It’s a reality most of us don’t like to think about but will eventually have to face. Aug. 28 is Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day. Whether or not you’ve previously had a pet “cross the rainbow bridge,” euthanasia is a difficult topic for most pet parents. We also understand that it’s one of the most heartbreaking decisions you’ll ever have to make. “Euthanasia is one of the most important services we provide,” Dr. Clark says. That’s because our pets don’t deserve to suffer, and we owe it to them to provide a peaceful passing. Further, it’s a veterinarian’s job to help clients make the right decision for their pet while coping with difficult emotions.

my nighttime lunch!

I’m blind in one eye, so I have trouble with depth perception. That’s why I don’t ride in the truck bed — I might fall out! Mom and Dad tease me sometimes by throwing me food and watching me try to figure out where it’s going. I don’t mind. I just wait until it lands on the ground to pick it up, and I get more snacks. I’ve got to find some way to stay full between my lunches. Mom and Dad say I’m a retriever, but it doesn’t make much sense to me. I like playing keep-away, not fetch! But even though I had knee surgery, I have a good time running around, playing, and making new friends. I may have a few health issues, but Mom and Dad think I’m perfect just the way I am.

“When our clients are falling apart around us, part of being a good veterinarian is being able to separate our emotions,” Dr. Clark says. “If I get super emotional, it makes the clients worse. They’re looking for some stability, and they want to know that even though the decision is really hard, it needs to happen.” The decision to euthanize is deeply personal. So, whenever possible, we try to guide our patients instead of dictating what we think is best. “When pets are reaching the end of their lives, I encourage people to make a list in their heads of points that will indicate they need to make a decision,” Dr. Clark says. “It’s good to do that when it’s not an emergency, and you’re not as emotional.” Dr. Ball has clients keep track on a calendar of good days and bad days to help direct decisions.

If your business could use Tim, Shauna, and Bridger’s help, visit to learn more!


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2 cans tuna, undrained 1/2 cup cooked pumpkin

Dr. Clark notes some crucial considerations, including the pet’s pain level, continence, mobility, and appetite. Lack of appetite is particularly crucial, as not eating is likely to cause a pet more pain. Examining these factors in advance makes the later decision slightly less emotional. We encourage owners to be present with their pets during the euthanasia process. We will ensure the pet is comfortable, explain the entire process, and answer any questions. Once we administer the euthanasia drug, the pet will not experience pain and will pass on in approximately 10–15 seconds. Saying goodbye is the hardest part of having a pet, but it’s our duty as pet parents to give them a responsible and peaceful send-off. If you ever have questions about making this decision, the process, or how to remember your beloved furry friend, our office will always be glad to help.

3 egg yolks

3 tbsp sea meal mineral powder

1/2 cup coconut flour


1. Heat oven to 350 F. 2. In a bowl or food processor, blend all ingredients until they comprise a fine-grained mash. 3. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, place 1/4 heaping teaspoons of mixture, evenly spaced. Press each treat with a finger to make a small disc. 4. Bake for 12 minutes, until treats are golden brown. 5. With a wide spatula, flip treats, and return to oven for another 3–5 minutes, until the second side browns. 6. Cool thoroughly and store in an air-tight container. Treats should last up to 2 weeks in storage or longer if they are frozen.

– Dr. Jevon Clark







Dr. Clark’s New Uphill Battle

2 How Established Rules Set Teens Up for Success

2 Meet Bridger, the Marketing Dog!

2 Grain-Free Cat Treats

3 Dealing With the Hardest Goodbye

4 Pigs Are Brave and Loyal Pets, Too!

Lulu the Pig Is a Hero! SHE SAVED HER OWNER FROM A

Lulu captured the hearts of the Altsmans when their daughter asked them to pet-sit her overweight pot-bellied pig. The pair quickly fell in love with Lulu, and their bond got stronger each day. This relationship was literally life-saving when the wife suffered a heart attack one August afternoon. Jo Ann Altsman was home alone with Lulu and their dog, Bear, when the incident occurred. Her husband was off on a fishing trip, and the pair didn’t have any neighbors nearby. Bear began to bark to try and get someone’s attention, but Lulu knew she had to do something before it was too late. So, she made her way out of the doggie door, which badly scraped her belly as she exited. Lulu had never left the yard, but today was different. To get some attention, she decided to lie down in the middle of the road and play dead until a car stopped to check on her. After several minutes of lying on the street, several cars passed by but didn’t stop. So, she checked on her owner, then squeezed through the doggie door and lay down on the road again. After 45 minutes, a gentleman on a motorcycle pulled over to check on Lulu. She immediately perked up and began walking toward the house, leaving a trail of blood behind her as she walked. The man followed Lulu and found Altsman unconscious on the ground. He quickly dialed 911 and asked for assistance. When the medics put her owner in the ambulance, Lulu attempted to get in with them. Of course, she couldn’t come, so she began to squeal as she watched the medics take her mom away. Thankfully, Lulu’s wounds were attended to, and Altsman received life-saving open-heart surgery at the Beaver Medical Center.


Because of her loyalty and creative thinking, this pot-bellied pig became a celebrity overnight! She was a guest on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and the “Late Show With David Letterman.” Everyone fell in love with Lulu and her heroism.

Thank you, Lulu, for being a loyal and brave pet!



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