I always knew I wanted to be a vet! It never varied or changed for me! I LOVED animals from a young age and actually started to volunteer at a local vet clinic two afternoons a week when I was ten years old because I knew that, “You have to have experience to get into vet school!!” I diligently road my bike three miles from my elementary school to the vet clinic twice a week for three hours each day. I would walk dogs and clean cages. It was a wonderful experience for me! I even remember seeing (and wanting!) such great things as a baby boa constrictor and a batch of baby raccoons rescued from a lawn mower! I continue to volunteer at the zoo and local vet clinics until I was half way through high school and could actually start earning a few bucks! In high school, I went on a student exchange to Argentina for a year. I even took a stray kitten home to my host family and convinced them that they HAD to keep it!
I was dedicated and driven all through school, achieving high grades and getting accepted to vet school only half way through my undergraduate training at NMSU. I accepted the offer and headed up to Washington State University with my two cats, two birds, and two water turtles! In undergrad at NMSU, I continue to work hard at a great mixed animal vet clinic. I learned an immense amount, and still use that knowledge today! I also had some fun, and would travel to rodeos in southern NM and into Mexico, where I met my husband. Once in Vet School at Washington State University, I continued to study hard, but also talked follow classmates into activities like dance class and weekend barbecues.
After graduating from vet school in 2000, I backpacked around Europe for six months, sleeping on trains and in city parks to make my money stretch! Once I returned, I obtained a job in Pine Bluffs, WY, a place a yearn for daily! It was a wonderful life and learning experience where I met many wonderful people and improved my skills in medicine and surgery. My overall goal, though was to use my profession to improve people’s lives and in some way their economy. At that point, I joined the military, hoping to perform Civil Affairs activities, like traveling to developing countries and vaccinating their livestock and sterilizing their stray pets. Although, the military gave me a great experience, and again, I met many wonderful people, I left after three years, because I was not able to fulfill my dreams of helping people. While I was at Fort Bliss, though, I was able to see how the lower cost of services and supplies offered by Fort Bliss VTF allowed people to care better for their pets, because they could do services that were recommended, since prices were more affordable. I wanted to take this model to a larger scale.
In 2008, my technician, Martin and I opened Paws N’ Hooves Mobile Veterinary Services, PLLC! We actually parked on Fort Bliss (a request of theirs)! We offered low prices, client education, and good service and caring and quickly grew. We eventually got busy enough (I was seven days a week and taking emergency calls at night at my home), that a client recommended I open a stationary clinic on the West side. In 2010, I purchased Mesa Veterinary Clinic. Since then, we have constantly striven to improve and offer better services and care to our client and patient family. In the summer of 2014, we purchased a second mobile clinic which we now use at our regular locations.
We continue to use our smaller, original mobile to provide free and low cost spays and neuters to non-profit organizations in NM and TX. I also have taught a Certified Veterinary Assistant Course since 2007, through UTEP, DACC, and now in our clinic.
I still love what I do! I love each and every day! I love caring for the patients and educating the clients. I love building those life-long relationships with my clients. I love teaching. I love helping the community in every way I can. And I LOVE being a vet!