I was raised in the San Francisco bay area and currently live in Grass Valley, Calif., north of Sacramento. My father was a hunter and fisherman. During my childhood, he inspired my love of animals.
While living in Iceland with my husband and two children for a couple of years, I got to be known as the Cat Lady. All the hurt cats ended up at our house. I started medical training as a veterinary assistant in 1980 in Iceland, and continued when I got back to the States. In 1987 I passed the State test to be a nurse (RVT) for animals.
Also in 1987, I got introduced to herbs for animals. At that time I was able to see how well herbs worked but at the time I didn't believe in herbs. I think the reason I started to believe in herbs because animals can't think, "This will make me feel better" -- they just respond to the herbs. (But for humans, yes, it is very important to have a good mental attitude for getting better.)
In 1989 my mother was told she had cancer so I started studying herbs for humans as well. Those herbs did help my mom. In 2000 I was told I had cancer. I started looking up herbs again for cancer and learned what I could use during radiation and chemo. I was surprised that those herbs were able to help my body fight the disease.
In 2005 I started a class in acupressure and massage for animals. This is when I started to learn about Traditional Chinese Medicine and the five elements. That same year, my mother was told she had cancer again, and in 2006 she passed away. Besides of the normal feelings of her passing I felt bad because I didn't help her with the herbs this time and I decided I need to learn more.
I'm also a coordinator for the Disaster Response team for animals. What that means in short is we are the Red Cross for animals. I work mostly during fire season, but we have also worked floods.
I teach CPR for animals, anatomy, zoonotic diseases, and many other topics about animal health.
I am hoping to work more with people and some of the doctors in my area.