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Laura D., Veterinary Assistant

Where did you grow up?
In a barn...ok, maybe not. I grew up just outside of Westerville, Ohio. I spent most of my time outside in nature, building forts, riding bikes through the corn fields, running around barefoot, and goofing off with my two brothers. At 10-years-old I fell in love with being at the barn spending time with horses. Most of my middle school and high school study time was in a field with horses grazing all around, when I wasn't riding or helping with barn chores. This started my long-time love and respect of our four-legged friends.

Do you have any pets of your own?
Yes, I currently have 4 cats that rule the house, all of which I have raised since youngsters or infants. Fernando came to me as a 5-week-old after evading traps for 2 weeks. He is very intelligent and knows how to get his way. Ray is a special needs boy I raised from 3-days-old. Taz was a rescue from animal services. He got his name for his behavior. And Parker was brought in as a newborn found in a parking lot. I hand raised him, so he stayed. All 4 traveled the 2,000 plus miles from Florida to Prescott with us.

Dogs, you ask. Yep, those too. Spike joined our family from YHS. He is a German Shepherd mix that enjoys chasing rabbits and deer, hiking, car rides and playing with his brother Outlaw. Outlaw is a 3-year-old, 120-pound Pyrenees/Anatolian Shepherd Cross. His favorite hobbies include, hiking, running fast, watching sunrises, and playing with his canine friends (and a bull).

What do you think are the best skills you bring to your job?

I speak cat. Well, not exactly. Immersing myself in an all-cat hospital for 10 years, I have really honed my cat language. I have a knack for reasoning with our opinionated and grumpy furry friends. Also, calming and settling our worried and high-strung cats, as well.

What made me join the veterinary medical field?
Genes. My Aunt Monica is a veterinary technician and started me young by bringing home animals for my birthday (without asking my parents). That snowballed into my passion for horses and continued into small animals as well. I spent a lot of time in the animal hospital that my aunt worked for when I was a teenager, and no other career surfaced as I grew up. I knew this career was going to be my passion. It has become not just a career. It is my life.

What do you like to do for fun when you're not working?
You can find me in the saddle, riding for miles with friends or by myself. I also dabble in painting, drawing and photography.
Laura

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