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Dear Animal-Loving Angels,

We need your help. We need to find a horse property before May in the Evergreen area that can accommodate the animals of the ResqRanch, and allow us to have more volunteers and classes. We also have a volunteer update on our ResqRanch.org website. It will also be a safe haul-in space for our large animal patients, such as a safe, warm place for pregnant animals to have their babies in winter. The only thing holding us back is having the perfect location, so if you know of an available property that has the water and can accommodate 10 or more large animals, please contact DrQ at Aspen Park Vet hospital 303-838-3771 right away, thank you!

The last issue I mentioned was that I just returned from the largest veterinary conference in North America, with over 800 hours of available continuing education classes. It is always a wonderful experience, although a bit overwhelming at times trying to figure out what classes to attend since one can’t do them all! I returned and shared with my staff many of the new innovations, procedures, and products, so we could discuss as a team and decide what, if any, was important to add to our services. We are continually improving to serve you better!

I am excited to share that we are in the process of obtaining a Digitherm medical-grade digital camera! This amazing device will be able to help us determine areas of pain in the body without exposure to excess radiation like an x-ray. Also, the camera will allow us to show clients the before and after images of inflammation in the body after treatment and can even help identify if tumors are cancerous or not just by taking a thermal heat image of them! I am so excited to share that we are the only veterinary hospital in the area to have this piece of valuable equipment, which will be able to help us so much better figure out areas of pain, and improvements in progress, with a harmless digital heat mapping picture.

Also now available is something called a ‘liquid biopsy,” which is a simple blood test that looks at DNA markers for cancer anywhere in the body. The technology is advanced and quite accurate, making a good screening choice for even young animals to ensure problems can be caught early.

Also very exciting is the ability to know about intestinal health gut biome testing for animals with any kind of chronic disease. As you may or may not know, 80% of an animal’s immune system is lining the intestinal tract, so having good gut health is critical to having a strong immune system. So if your pet has chronic diarrhea, allergies, or any other sort of recurrent health condition, ask about gut biome testing. We have many ways to treat animals if the test shows the good bacteria in the intestines needed for maximum digestion of food and nutrients is not optimal. You are what you eat!

Probably the most interesting lecture I attended was explaining the latest about COVID 19 in people and pets. There is a test available, and at least 15 pets in Colorado have been verified to carry the virus. This is likely a very low number since regular vet offices like ours are not allowed to routinely test animals. You have to have permission from the State Vet’s office and make a special request, to have an animal tested, since right now, with the ongoing global pandemic, government officials are not allowing any covid testing to occur which might delay, or delay, a human test. So, for now, the test is not readily available. Also, there is a very good vaccine that has been developed and administered to over 11,000 animals (mostly in zoos) with ZERO adverse side effects. That is incredible! However, the vaccine is only available with special permission right now and is not available for pets. Hopefully, that will no longer be the case in a year or two. Interestingly, one researcher sampled a herd of deer in rural Iowa and found 83% of the animals tested positive! We now know animals can readily get the disease, and in fact, we are sure we have seen several cases of it, especially in indoor house cats that suddenly became sick with respiratory disease, but no exposure to any other animals except their humans who tested positive. We know cats are a little more susceptible, but any animal can get it and pass it to people, like ferrets, guinea pigs, and dogs. Also, an animal can get it, give it to people, and then get it again or pass it on to other animals. So if you or someone in your family tests positive for COVID 19, minimize your contact with them while you’re sick. And if your animal gets sick with it, keep in mind what we know is they can shed viruses for up to 12 days. Pretty scary stuff, but at least most animals recover, and luckily we have lots of different ways to boost the immune system with supplements and herbs to help animals get over any infections faster.

If you have questions about any of these topics or have an animal training video request, please be sure to send us an email at help@aspenparkvet.com. Thanks so much, as always, for reading. God bless, and until next time, take good care! DrQ, Dr. Tam, Dr. Hunt, and the crew of Aspen Park Vet and the ResqRanch.

End of Year Wrap Up 2021

Year End

End of Year Wrap Up

The year started with the excitement of filming a pilot for a Nat Geo Wild television show. We shot video at the hospital, SeaQuest (sadly later this year we would no longer have a partnership with them), around the horses, and at an alpaca farm. Eventually, the show was not picked up due to COVID, but the promo is done and will perhaps make it another time. Or not, unsure how badly we wanted to be followed around by cameras 24 hours a day, anyway.

I continued my volunteer contribution to the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association Executive Board in the role of immediate past president. As such in January I helped facilitate an entire day of continuing education on aquatic animal medicine for veterinarians. It will be strange after several years to no longer be a part of the executive board, although I wish the organization well and know they will continue to thrive without me.

Just when I thought I might then have a little extra free time, I applied for and was accepted, into the Leadership Evergreen program for 2022. This local nonprofit is a community organization for local business leaders that takes place over an entire year, teaches participants the history of the area, goes in-depth on the inner workings of local governance, and expects a group project to be completed that enhances the lives of people in the community. It is an excellent way for local businesses to connect with other business leaders and then give back to the community. My hope is that it will help drive more awareness about the unique offerings of Aspen Park Vet as there are a lot of vets to choose from in the area but of course none unique like ours.

Later in the year, I presented two lectures on aquatic animal medicine at the virtual World Small Animal Veterinary Association Congress. It is an honor and still a little hard for me to believe I am an international expert on aquatic animal medicine.

Online School

The school year continued with my girls still struggling with adjusting to online school, having many inaccurate tardies and absences due to internet connection problems, and many missing and ungraded assignments not recorded in the system although they have the work done on paper. The girls were feeling especially defeated and frustrated. I saw teachers overwhelmed by the change and some incapable of managing a sudden entirely new way of doing their job without enough time to adjust, adapt and learn how to do it well. It’s a tough time for all. Fortunately, we were able to get away and snowboard some which is a welcome escape for us.

My beloved 12-year-old Sushi Rottweiler developed bone cancer the previous December. Despite vowing I would never do it to my own dog, Dr. Tam and I amputated her affected leg. Within 2 weeks she was up and running (hopping) and living her best life. She made it past her 13th birthday, we lost her 8 months later. I can barely describe how worth it was to still have her throughout most of the year. To see her vibrant, pain-free, accepting of her new body, and ready with kisses and playing with toys again….it was a truly magical few months and those extra days are a gift I will always be grateful for. It was a hard loss for the kids who could not remember a day of their lives without her. Her ashes sit now by the TV as she is still a part of our lives every day until we meet again.

Sushi Rottweiler

Requiring months of hard work to perfect and create was the APVH Wellness Plans, a dream several years in the making. The plans afford clients the option to spread out their vet care over monthly payments to allow for easy budgeting. We will be revamping and discounting them though, to make them even more attractive for clients to sign up as I think a program like that is an important way we can partner with our clients to help make affording their pets easier especially as the costs of everything seem to be spiraling out of control.

Another long-range goal was reached with over 150 hours of hard work culminating in the proud launch of my first online class, Dr. Q’s Horse Training Masterclass. Actual sales of the class (a real nail-biter moment) were proof positive the course has value and will continue to be in demand. A real shining moment after nearly 10 years of attempting to launch an online course.

Join Our Horse Training Master Class

The children and I got our COVID vaccines. It seems like a real miracle that after only one year of a crazy global pandemic, we have an effective vaccine. Humans can be quite resourceful and make tremendous strides when they work together. The fact we have an effective, safe, vaccine only one year after the start of a global pandemic is nothing short of a miracle.

I tried diligently to get my finances in order so that as the weather turned warmer we could begin to look for a place of our own again to call home. Unfortunately, my divorce nearly 10 years ago still haunts me. However, I was finally able to find a credit repair company that I worked with throughout most of 2021 that got errors corrected to the best of their ability although it took much longer than expected. At this time, I am still waiting to hear if it is enough to help us finally realize our dream and move to a permanent horse facility in the coming year.

Completing the Horse Training Masterclass course then freed up the time, and gave the inspiration to begin the riding training in earnest of little Cesar the Wild Mustang. A real opportunity to see if everything in the Masterclass would work when applied to the training of a young horse. It was a wonderful time bonding with my younger daughter as we rose early before dawn each day to beat the heat and the flies and spent time nearly every day with the horses. By Cesar’s 21st training session, we were able to successfully take him on a trail ride! It was a truly magical time of bonding, and the looks on the faces of the people who never thought I would ever ride that horse, were priceless, as I rode him all happily and effortlessly all around. Another truly magical time.

The biggest project of the year was being accepted into the federal Small Business Administrations Emerging Leaders program. I was one of the final 19 business owners chosen out of 120 applicants. The program is a condensed, Harvard-based MBA curriculum and requires at times a relatively intense amount of time and study. I spent the entire rest of the year studying and learning business and marketing to learn how to better manage the practice for future success. This course was such a gift and should be required before anyone buys a business! The course culminated in the creation of a Growth Plan which gives a roadmap for Aspen Park Vet to become a 24-hour veterinary mixed animal ER and Wellness center within 3 years. It is in this course that what we learned was what was expected all along to be true, that APVH and its stellar team is indeed an above-average veterinary practice.

Dr. Tam has now been with the practice for over a year and is blossoming into her role in the practice. She got married this year and is settling into married life and hoping to buy a house soon.

Diane, Koreen, Judy, and Rachel are also with us another year. And we had the pleasure of Ben, Sibylle, and Mozelle, a certified Veterinary Technician, joining the team. We also welcome the addition of Dr. Hunt, certified acupuncturist, to our team, as well, and look forward to when she will be available more days of the week.

In the summer I left with the girls and Oma for the most elaborate trip of my life. After not having seen my Mom for over a year due to COVID, we decided to do it up. Renting out my house in Bailey made it possible for us to take a dream Amtrak train trip from Denver to California with a stop in Yellowstone along the way. Denver to Salt Lake was epic and I highly recommend it if you ever get the chance. The rest was, well, shall we say, an adventure. We took a long bus ride to Yellowstone and got stranded there. It took quite a bit of resourcefulness to salvage our visit through Yellowstone park, which was amazing. Once back on the train we were rerouted often because wildfires took out the tracks in places so much of the time we were supposed to be on a train we were on buses. It was also shocking to see so much trash and so many homeless camps along our route. Highlights were getting to visit with Mark again from Santa Barbara Koi, and catching up with family Auntie Marium and Anna at Coronado beach. We were accosted, twice, by homeless people on the trip, very scary but ultimately no harm done. In the end, I think we were all just happy to be back and feel safe again!

The experience was enough to inspire me to join a gym when we got back if nothing else to give me the false sense of security that if my family was assaulted on the street again I would not be helpless to fight back. Whether true or not, exercising regularly again is one of the best decisions I have made for myself in the past few years.

In the fall the girls started school again, and that was a big adjustment as well with my oldest starting her first year of high school and all the drama that brings. She also got her first job and I am very proud of her for that. Many of the frustrations from the previous pandemic school years seem to be finally behind us. I also started taking a few dressage lessons with my younger daughter so that I could continue to improve my riding skills and be a better partner and teacher for little Cesar.

Woman on Horse Backriding

On another personal note, a friend of mine, a local animal rights attorney, found herself in a serious legal situation brought on through an ugly divorce like mine. I tell-visited her in jail and attended her sentencing. I pray for her every day for justice as someone who experienced something similar. I do not believe she deserves what was inflicted upon her. Bad things can happen to good people which is a very scary reality for all of us.

On a more cheerful note, about 3 weeks before we lost Sushi, an animal rescuer came into the hospital with a litter of 11 odd-looking lab-mixed breed puppies from Texas, stating that she was frustrated by the lack of interest in people in her network for finding them all homes. It seems everyone who wanted a new pet, got one during the pandemic, and as such, people this year were just not adopting puppies as readily anymore. I heard this phenomenon from others as well, even those with purebred dogs, who were having difficulty finding homes for puppies. So I thought what the heck and decided to foster one, and named him Mochi. At the time I had no idea how close we were to losing Sushi so the timing was really a gift from the universe.

Colorado State University

I was invited to Colorado State University to come and speak to the Pre-Vet club about my career as an aquatic vet. It felt like quite an honor, although I hope I was not too discouraging to them about how difficult a job it really is at times. They tell you “if you love animals, be a vet!” What they don’t say is how heartbreaking it often is, and how much you have to hurt animals in order to help them. Animals don’t understand why, for example, you are holding them down to draw their blood, and often as the vet team you are the enemy. It is very important to all of us to mitigate this as much as possible with lots of positive reinforcement, treats, and kindness. We were ‘free-free’ before that was a thing in our industry. We want our patients to love us and be happy to come back! Fortunately, I think most of the time that is the case and I am very grateful for that.

Back to business, we hired an HR professional, Jessica, for a short time to help us see how our business compares to other vet hospitals around the US and look for areas of improvement. It was worth it, although we lost Sushi the same weekend I flew her in from the east coast to meet the team. Why does life have to be so unkind sometimes?

I also hired a YouTube coach, Lou Bortone, to revamp and update my YouTube channel. We are still in the process and I am very excited about the progress we are making there in order to help others understand more clearly what sets us apart and to prepare for greatness.

We went from curb-side to allowing people back in the building after over a year of not having people inside (after several weeks of cleaning since every corner of the hospital had turned into extra storage, it seems). We are so glad to be back with people face to face! It was a real struggle trying to figure out when to make the change but as covid cases and variants still go up and down all the time, it does not seem there really was a right answer on how to figure that out.

We also decided to have Pet pictures with Santa again since we skipped it last year during the pandemic. This year I had much more help putting it all together, thanks to Rachel, and I felt it was a much more successful event. Hopefully, we will continue to be able to have this event yearly as people really do seem to love being able to get holiday photos taken with their pets.

Pet Pictures with Santa Claus

This year we had our own holiday party at the Downtown Denver Aquarium which seemed fitting and who knows may open the door for some future collaboration. I think we all had a great time!

Due to the pandemic continuing, we are grateful that despite the problems with the supply chain, and lack of workers, Aspen Park Vet Hospital continued to grow this year. This is what brings me next to share the biggest news of the year is that 2021 was the first year that, under my ownership and management starting in 2017, Aspen Park Vet Hospital made more than 1 million dollars! That is because of all of the hard work of the best support team ever! We grew beyond industry standards and our expenses are down from the year before. This is what will enable us to realize our vision of moving to a building we own, where we can see more large animals easily, and have the staff to offer extended hours, a service of desperate need in our mountain community.

I am grateful for the health of us all, mostly, and that none of us died of COVID, and that we still have a good business where we can help people and their beloved pets. Looking forward to the next year where the ResqRanch will move to a permanent facility, add more awesome team members, and continue to search for the new location of AspenPark Vet Hospital.
Thank you, to each of you, who helped make it possible. I appreciate you more than you know.

Warmest wishes,

DrQ, DrTam, and the Crew of Aspen Park Vet and the ResqRanch.

2021 Staff Christmas Photo

A Miracle or Two and We are Hiring

Hello again, all you animal-loving angels of the world; thank you for reading this and doing your part, every day, to make the world just a little better place than the day before. Lately, at the hospital, we have been seeing some very special patients with some pretty miraculous outcomes, and my staff wanted me to be sure to share some of those with you. The first is a 12-year-old male lab (for anonymity’s sake, let’s call him Jake). Jake is still an active boy, running up and down the stairs all the time chasing after his German Shepherd brother. So the day that poor Jake was suddenly in so much pain, he cried out and could hardly move; his pet parents were, of course, extremely concerned about whether it might be something serious or just the signal for the beginning of the end for their beloved dog. He was already on a joint support supplement, so we added in some Chinese Herbs for mobility and did acupuncture and VNA (a type of chiropractic treatment), and infrared laser treatment on his sore body, after a good physical exam to make sure nothing was seriously injured or torn. Jake seemed to improve, but then a few days later, he again woke up in the morning in extreme pain and distress. We repeated the acupuncture, VNA, and laser. He improved again, and this time, he has stayed improved and running just fine for the last several weeks! Luckily for Jake and his caregivers, we were able to resolve his pain and improve his mobility without resorting to any harsh drugs. Jake is now back to running up and down the stairs like the young man he is, and his pet parents are relieved that it looks like they will be able to enjoy a few more years with their sweet boy.

There are two other very interesting cases that we have been having really great success with the past few weeks. One is an Irish Wolfhound who weighs over 200 pounds! This poor dog was starting to have trouble getting up and tripping. It also only took two acupuncture and VNA treatments, along with some Chinese Herbs, to get this big dog moving great again; his family was so impressed with the results Dr. Tamara was able to achieve in such a short time! And our final mobility case is a boxer with DM or degenerative myelitis. If you are not familiar with this debilitating nerve destroying disease (be grateful), know that it’s one of the worst diseases for slowing so slowing robbing the life, mobility, and dignity of these animals away one day at a time while the caregivers all look on helplessly to try and stop the process of nerve and muscles wasting away. What makes it so bad is the animals are happy, eager, hopeful; they just are losing the ability to use their back legs a little more each day. However, again through the help of acupuncture, VNA, laser, Chinese Herbs, and other nutritional supplements, Dr. Tam has been able to keep this dog from losing further function. The ongoing treatments every two weeks are so far proving to be the miracle we know can happen because, despite the odds, this dog is holding quite well and has been for months now, with no further deterioration in nerve function. When dealing with a disease as devastating as DM, this is nothing short of a miracle.

If helping animals like these sounds like something you would love to be a part of, we are hiring! Are you professional, kind, conscientious, a good team player, and looking for work that fulfills you more than a huge payout? Then please check out our application process on our website DrQandU.org, Join Our Team (best from a computer, the link often does not appear on a mobile device). We are seeking to add members to our team, not to fill certain positions. Our ideal candidates can successfully navigate the corporate world but are ready for a change, to have fulfilling work with a higher purpose. For the right people, this is a chance to live in and serve the animal-loving people of our beautiful community while living a life of meaning. If this piques your interest, then don’t delay; send us your letter of intent. Don’t have experience? We are hiring for gratitude and willingness first, all the other skills we can teach. If you sound like a good fit for you to work hard in a challenging high customer satisfaction business, with the most amazing support team of your life doing something you love, then please don’t hesitate and apply today.

And finally, an update on the ResqRanch, we are currently in the process of a 30 Day Hoof Lift Challenge for any of you that know what a challenge it can be to effectively and easily pick up and clean out your horse’s feet every day. We are also in the process of saddle training Cesar the wild Mustang. Check our videos on the YouTube channel The 1DrQ and training updates on our blog at ResqRanch.org. We are still in need of monthly donors; we currently have three horses we are trying to find homes for (details are in the blog) that we do not have space for and cannot afford to take on at this time. Do you have our ideal horse property? Please help us give our animals what they deserve today! Until next time, stay safe out there! Dr. Q, Dr. Tam, and the Crew of Aspen Park Vet Hospital and the ResqRanch

The One-Eyed Buffalo

Farewell 2020, hello 2021!

I hope this message finds you having experienced a wonderful holiday season, and looking forward to a prosperous New Year! We are very grateful we have been able to continue to provide great medical care, and facilitate some miracles along the way, because all we want to do is be of service to animals and their people, like you. We are working hard, every day, as usual, to hone our skills and offerings. That means we are looking into purchasing new equipment, interviewing new staff, adding different types of massage as treatment options, building client educational handouts, and generally preparing for another busy year.

One very exciting piece of news that will mean much to all you Doc fans is that his long-awaited book has finally been published! Doc Gurney’s book, The One-Eyed Buffalo, is now available in paperback and e-book versions for you to order from Amazon. Immerse yourself in 32 stories that are a tribute to Doc’s ingenuity and dedication to animals. This is a book for all ages for your friends, your family, and yourself. Get ready to sit back and put your feet up and enjoy the incredible tales of Doc Gurney’s days as a veterinarian in Wyoming and Colorado. And as always, please continue to share with us YOUR miracle healing experiences with Doc! We are compiling many of the most intriguing and astounding cases of his (and ours) that we can one day share. For example, just yesterday I spoke to a gentleman who has had airedale terriers for 47 years. During that time not one but two of his dogs were miraculously cured.

One went blind, and after treatment by Doc regained her vision for the rest of her life. And the other dog of his was completely paralyzed who had to be carried into the hospital, and after one acupuncture treatment by Doc, walked out the door! These stories continue to amaze Dr. Tam and me every day. So just know you are never bothering us, we always want to hear about the amazing miracles and just plain funny stories about Doc. We wish him well and hope he writes many more books (this one about medical cases, hint-hint) while enjoying a peaceful retirement. We miss having you around Doc and are grateful for all you taught us, from me, Dr. Tamara, and the staff.

More amazing news for an exciting year, we are currently working with a production studio to have our own pet reality show, right here in Conifer! Of course, filming all the episodes will take some time so you are not likely to see them on television until next year, but, it’s good for our clients to know to not be surprised if you are asked to sign a release for the film crew, especially on the house and ranch calls. And if something like this sounds fun and exciting to you, please don’t hesitate to give us a call, as filming already started at the beginning of January. We want to showcase to you and your interesting and/or unusual animals that we can help with either conventional and/or holistic medical care. If you have been thinking of getting acupuncture or herbs for your llama, horse, pig, or just any animals, and you always wanted to be on TV, now is your chance! In the meantime, we will continue to answer your questions via a YouTube video on our channel, The1DrQ.

Therefore, don’t hesitate to ask if we can make a custom video for you, at no charge of course, because if you want to know, so do 100 other people. Whether it’s about why we recommend the diets we do, how to home cook for your pet, give injections, or how acupuncture works, if you want to know, we would like to help you to understand. We truly enjoy interacting with you, animal people like us, so that together we can make life better for more animals. And then of course that fits in nicely with the mission of the ResqRanch, that through education, ending the need for shelters and rescues, in the first place. Follow us and the ResqRanch on Facebook so you will be the first to know when we offer FREE classes this year. May 2021 be a year of new beginnings and new possibilities. Our hearts go out to all those who lost loved ones last year until we meet them again.

With much hope and blessings for a new year to you all! Dr. Q, Dr.Tam, and the Crew of Aspen Park Vet and the ResqRanch.org.

California Chrome Racehorse

DrQ on the #KYDerby DQ

It’s been one week since the Kentucky Derby debacle, which showcased the first time in the 145 year history of the running of the Derby, that the winning horse was disqualified for interference.  Poor Maximum Security who certainly cannot understand why, since he crossed the line first, everyone in his barn is not as ecstatic as he is. And then Country House must be a little bewildered at all the attention, being a 65-1 long shot who came in second despite the mud, and is now officially considered this year’s winner.

I was with hundreds of race fans, last Saturday, practically holding our breaths for the 20 minutes while the stewards made their decision. Then, the choice was made, groans were heard all around, and people began to scramble for their Country House tickets they had thrown away.

Now I don’t really wager on horse racing, but I do thoroughly enjoy the sport, the horses, the camaraderie, the party, and the excitement.  However, this year’s results were certainly a disappointment.

So just why did this decision get made? And since when is disqualification abbreviated to “DQ”?

As someone who often goes by the initials “DQ”, I thought it might be fitting that I ponder this cosmic all.

As far as why the stewards made this historic judgement, I can only postulate, based on what I know of horse racing, and what is happening in the entire industry.

Animal rights activists have managed to make dog racing disappear here in Colorado, and now in Florida. They have also managed to stop the breeding of killer whales in captivity in California, and have their sights set on eliminating marine mammals in captivity, period.

I just may be the only vegan in the world, that strongly supports both horse racing, and marine mammals in captivity. I have a different perspective than most.

I have a degree in Horse Racing Management, and, as the 21st in the world certified Aquatic Animal Veterinarian, I have had the unique privilege of being with the behind the scenes people from almost every marine mammal park in North America.  But I will leave the latter topic for another day. Today we are talking about horse racing, my beloved sport that is in the center of a Bulls-eye target  somewhere in the biggest animal right’s groups corporate offices.

As I enjoyed last Saturday afternoon with many wonderful people, I had time to contemplate both sides of the issue. At the table next to me, was a wife and all her sister’s, in their fancy Derby hats, with her deceased husband’s racing helmet gently placed in the center of their table. Their family was there to celebrate not only the Derby, but the life of this woman’s late husband, a trainer, and a jockey.  The whole family was there, young kids, millennial, cousins, etc. all laughing, reminiscing, and generally enjoying the day. They were wonderfully kind to me, and I gave them some brochures on my racehorse rescue and nonprofit the http://www.Resqranch.org

Prince of Flame first morning at ResQRanch

Prince of Flame one of our rescue horses

I also met Dennis and his son, also there to just enjoy a fun afternoon. And then another entire group of friendly men and women, placing some bets, having a few drinks, enjoying the Derby Hat Contest, (I am sorry I have forgotten their names), yet they let me join them at their premium reserved table because it had the best view of the TV screens showing the Derby, and the speakers where you could hear the announcements.  Afterwards, they invited me, a total stranger only 3 hours earlier, to join them for dinner (they had bet on County House and were feeling very joyful).

As I drifted around the place, speaking to various people about horse racing, passing out my flyers, and just generally enjoying the good hearted revelry all centered around my favorite animal, the horse, a lot of different thoughts came to mind.

As a vegan, I am told, in theory, every single one of these people is ‘the enemy’. Capitalizing at the expense of horses they will never know.  It probably never occurred to one person in the place that this was any form of animal cruelty going on. Just a bunch of happy folks who maybe like to drink a little too much, gamble a little too much, party a little too much, and sure enjoy beautiful horses, tradition, and a grand excuse to spend an afternoon with family and friends. I felt a little out of place with them. Like I knew something, that they did not know. And by being there, celebrating with them, I felt a bit like an informant behind enemy lines.  Yet, it was the most fun I have had in a long time, and I thoroughly enjoyed deep in my heart, being able to fully express my ‘horse nerdness’ in all it’s glory, and practically have goose bumps and heart palpitations at the TV admiring all the breathtaking horses on the screen.

What can possibly be so wrong with this?

I KNOW the horses are mostly well cared for, otherwise they would not perform as well as they do. I know how much racehorses are spoiled, and pampered, and loved, and admired. I know, because I took care of them, first hand, for many years before becoming a veterinarian. And I still take good care of them today.  Of course there are a few bad people that spoil the image of the entire sport, who are in it just for the money, and horses do break down, and end up sometimes in the slaughter house. I know this. Yet I can’t help but feel it’s NOT an all or nothing situation. No way. We can’t let the beauty and majesty that horse racing CAN be, be eliminated, because a few people do it badly. To me, the answer lies in reform. And if you agree, please check out and sign my petition, here http://chng.it/6XtZ8sFMr5

As for the stewards decision, well I believe it has a lot to do with 23 horses breaking down and having to be euthanized at Santa Anita Racetrack in the past few months. An unprecedented tragedy, for sure. And one that has the entire industry rattled to the core about how something like this could happen, the public’s image of racing, and what it means with the animal rights activists nipping at their heels.

I am devastated by the loss of those horses. So is everyone who loves horses. Any horses. Racing and otherwise.  But horse racing has been an established part of human society and culture for literally hundreds of years. It’s in our blood. And this kind of string of tragedies just does not happen. Except that it did, and the answer for why, seems to be primarily rooted in climate change affecting the footing of the track, which is affecting us humans (and animals) on planet earth in many ways that are unprecedented. With 23 dead horses, theories about climate and footing seem possibly far fetched and with no solutions. However, what did come of it, is racing interests for once, being on the forefront of the controversy, with an offense stance for their defense, bringing sweeping changes and reform to the sport of racing. Including addressing the issue of using whips, more transparency of medical records for the horses to ensure none are being over worked, and banning the use of some race day drugs. For more information about that, read this https://www.santaanita.com/press-releases/an-open-letter-about-the-future-of-thoroughbred-racing-in-california/#.XNdYnuhKjD5 Now, horse people know and agree that those reforms were highly unlikely to have saved the 23 horses at Santa Anita. But, it makes for good news about racing, and helps the industry put a little makeup on it’s black eye. And that’s a good thing. In fact, it’s a very good thing for racing, and the horses, and we need more action like that. That is, if we want a middle ground, reform, and not witness racing suffer the same fate as the dogs.

Personally I feel, that the track stewards, raw from worry over the recent negative image of their beloved sport, felt they had to make this unprecedented decision, as a way to ‘save face’ and ‘prove’ that the safety of the animals is of paramount concern. To show that safe riding practices will be strictly enforced, as a lesson to all involved.

Although they didn’t have any concerns over rough riding, until two losing jockey’s complained… I was not on a horse on that track at that time, so I really can’t say if it was the right call or not. All I do know is that Maximum Security’s jockey, pleaded for leniency for the horse, stated that he is “just a baby”. You can clearly see the horse spook on the video, and then quickly got corrected by the professional jockey. It did not look like anything terribly outlandish to me. But if the decision was made for the benefit and safety for the horses and riders involved, then I support their decision, no matter how sad it makes me see Maximum Security not get what it seems he deserved.

So as I sat, wondering if I should feel guilty for enjoying racing and my veggie burger, surrounded by so many blissfully unaware racing fans.Blissfully Unaware Racing Fans

All I know, is that, all I can do is what I think is right, and for me that means, loving animals enough to not eat them. And loving horses enough to continue to enjoy watching them perform a task most of them truly love, surrounded by humble, country people, who work their fingers to the bone 18 hours a day 7 days a week to tend to every whim and fancy these elite athletes may require. Most of us can not image what it would be like to be so lovingly pampered, spoiled and cared for.

I look deep in my heart, and think to myself, surely the world would be a little joyful, less happy, less fun, without beautiful race horses  for us to marvel at and enjoy.  City kids (and adults) would miss the chance to experience horses up close, families would lose their livelihoods, meticulously kept records books for generations would be useless, and little kids would no longer have the dream to be able to imagine a career one day with horses, as a jockey, a trainer, or a veterinarian.  Most importantly, the horses would be denied the chance to fulfill their destinies. The Thoroughbred horse, would suffer a great loss. To have the chance to “run his race”, as so eloquently stated in the movie Secretariat. Is this important to a horse? Can they even think like that? You bet your bottom dollar they can, and they do. Horses that love to run, love to race more than anything else in the world. Not only would we be robbing the world of the joy of racing, but we would also be robbing the horses.

I imagine all of us at times feel a little out of place, a little unsure. The world is a vibrant place, with a dizzying amount of information to consider, ponder, and literally thousands of decisions to make every single day about what to do, and how to do it. All we can do, is the best we can do, every day, with the information we have, today.  My wish is that today, if you are a true horse lover like me, you follow your heart, and be free to enjoy and/or take excellent care of horses, in all their glory, without a tinge of guilt or remorse, for anything.

And why did the media decide to abbreviate disqualification to ‘DQ’? This DQ must defer that question to someone else who knows more about the media, than me. And don’t get even more confused because we are not talking about ice cream here.  🙂

Until next time, I am DrQ, here to help you, and your animals experience the most amazing, healthy, loving,  relationship that you every thought possible! Thanks for reading!

 

 

Puppy’s!!! And How To Introduce Them to You Kitty Cat!

This week we went to a performance in my daughter’s school, and one of the students was walking around holding her brand new puppy!  Then in the same week, I received a desperate email from another person who had gotten a new puppy, and the cats absolutely HATE the new family member and are causing all kinds of anxiety in that household.

So is it because WE got a new puppy that all of a sudden it seems I am seeing new puppy’s everywhere? Well no matter, there is nothing much cuter than a soft, wiggly, snuggly, ball of fur with the sweet smell of puppy breath!

However, as you may be figuring out, there is a lot more to a new puppy than just figuring out what color, size, or breed you might crave. Actually properly caring for a new puppy is nearly as much work as caring for a newborn child! (Well, almost!)

Please forward to friends with new puppy’s, or anyone having trouble with the interactions between their cats and dogs.

If you please, subscribe to my YouTube channel the 1DRQ for more helpful videos. Hope you enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=fyDsGn0Q–g

https://www.youtube.com/edit?video_id=0EAOX1kDrw8

 

Questions about Vaccines? We have Answers!

This week on Facebook, someone posted pictures of their new kitten! Yeah! Soft fuzzy kitties! They had questions about where to go to find a veterinarian that shared their concerns about over vaccinating their beautiful new little baby.  Vaccines can be very confusing and down right scary depending on what you might read on the internet.

This week on our YouTube show the Treat Fairy, service dog trainer Neil Hutchins-Resto and I discuss some of the pros and cons of vaccines, vaccines schedules, and Cat Nip!

Hope you enjoy! If you find these videos helpful please subscribe to my YouTube channel The1DrQ.

Thanks so much, have a wonderful day!

 

“Thinking Outside the Box” on Pet Teeth Care and Naughty Kitties

Recently in the clinic, we had someone drop off a perfectly beautiful cat to be put to sleep for being “old” and urinating all over the house. I had serious reservations about performing the procedure without at least giving the kitty a good check up.  After performing a thorough physical exam  (and checking a quick urine sample), the owners of the clinic and I both decided to offer to treat the kitty (at our expense) for a urinary tract infection if the clients would be willing to let us try to save her.  Luckily, they agreed! And after a close call she is back at home with the rest of her family.

This week this same question came up in the Facebook group Positive Pet Advice.  Today we discuss what to do if your kitty is going to the bathroom outside of the litter box.

Additionally, a question was asked about what types of tooth care products are best to use on your animals. I let you know my favorites so you don’t waste your money on ineffective products.

Hope you enjoy this week’s edition of Hot and Health Topics with DrQ! Please subscribe to my YouTube channel if you do!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKvFUz-YLiQ&feature=youtu.be

Vomiting Cats and Pooping Dogs This Week Jan. 26, 2017


This week in the clinic we performed 3 ultrasounds on cats that were vomiting or losing weight, and unfortunately, the youngest one ended up having a tumor which will need surgery.  Poor kitty! Since in the Facebook group Positive Pet Advice a question was asked about vomiting in cats, we thought it would make a good topic for this week’s video blog.

In the dog segment, my pal, the service dog trainer Neil Hutchins-Resto (aka #thetreatfairy), also discuss another important topic which created a lot of stir in the group this week, and that is the adult dog who is still soiling in the house.

If you find the videos valuable, please like my YouTube channel The1DrQ. And if you have burning questions, ask them in the Facebook group Positive Pet Advice. If enough people comment it will make into our weekly video blog!

Thanks for checking it out, please like and share with your friends! See you next week!

 

Declawing Cats, & Are Those Dogs Playing?

This week 1/19/2017, my pal Neil-Hustchins Resto, an excellent service dog trainer, work together to discuss two hot topics creating a lot of controversy in the Facebook group Positive Pet Advice the past few days.

We discuss how could anyone ever have a declawed cat, and

How to tell the difference between play and aggression in dogs.

If you like it please share and subscribe to my You Tube channel!

Thank you have a wonderful day!