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sfvs-2014-holiday-contest

Our hospital is in search of a special canine or feline patient to be our 2014 holiday card model! Want to see your animal companion(s) featured on the card?

Here’s how to enter, in three easy steps:

  1. Email a high-res photo (300 dpi) to prsfvs@vca.com by 11/3/14.
  2. Include pet name and age, why he/she visited VCA SFVS, and your VCA SFVS doctor and your primary veterinarian (if applicable).
  3. Also send a sentence or two about why you think your furry friend(s) should be this year’s card model.

A panel of our veterinarians and staff will choose the finalists, and then we will open up voting for the winner in an online public poll. The winner will receive copies of the holiday card and a special gift from our hospital.

We look forward to seeing your photos!

(We know it may be a *little* early to be thinking about the holidays, but we need some extra time to collect entries and votes, and then design/print/mail the cards. Thanks for understanding!)

Our staff spotlight series allows our clients and friends to learn a little more about the people at VCA SFVS. This week we feature Benjamin Rendernick, a registered veterinary technician at our hospital.

Name: Benjamin Rendernick

Your position: RVT, internal medicine lead technician and oncology technician

When did you join VCA SFVS? May 2010

Favorite part of your job? My favorite part of my job is working with oncology patients and their families. I really enjoy being a part of their care every week and getting to know them so well. Being able to earn a pet’s and owner’s trust is very important and rewarding to me. I also love providing the highest quality care for pets and families going through a tough time.

"holding one of my favorite patients from a few years ago during chemotherapy administration"

holding one of his favorite patients from a few years ago during chemotherapy administration

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I am originally from Monterey, California, and moved to the San Francisco area in 2010 when I started at SFVS. I have been working in the veterinary field for over 12 years with experience ranging from small-animal practices, exotics, wildlife and emergency care. I earned my associate’s in science, majoring in animal care in 2006 and shortly after took my examination to become a registered veterinary technician.

My love for animals began at a very young age when I would convince my parents to let me care for any hurt animals I came across. Luckily I had a very tolerant mom who would let me nurse garden lizards and birds back to health in her house (thanks, Mom).

Any animal companions of your own? I have two dogs, a 9-year-old pit bull mix named Apple, whom I rescued when she was left in a shopping cart at only a day old, and my partner’s dog, Inky, a 6-year-old terrier mix. We also have cat named Talulah, whom we recently adopted from a coworker and who is the boss of the dogs.

What do you enjoy doing outside work? I like to enjoy my days off by trail-running in the Bay Area, hiking with the dogs, gardening, reading and traveling.

Favorite pet-related activity in the Bay Area? Hiking with the dogs in Redwood Regional Park in Oakland. The area is beautiful and the hike up to the top of West Ridge Trail rewards you with views all the way to San Francisco.

hiking in redwood regional with apple and inky

hiking in redwood regional with apple and inky

What are you currently reading? I am re-reading the Hunger Games to get ready for the next movie coming out in November. (I’m a dork.)

Favorite TV show? Game of Thrones

Anything else you’d like to share? I am obsessed with succulents and have started a group at work of plant clipping trading. I love finding new fun containers to put plants in and giving them as gifts.

"one of my favorite mini succulent gardens with a ganesh that a friend brought back from india"

one of benjamin’s favorite mini succulent gardens with a ganesh that a friend brought back from india

Our staff spotlight series allows our clients and friends to learn a little more about the people at VCA SFVS. This week we feature Jennifer Craft, a referral coordinator at our hospital.

Name: Jennifer Craft

Your position: Referral coordinator, administrative team

When did you join VCA SFVS? January 2012

Favorite part of your job? Seeing how much our clients love their pets

jen with adam and andrew at an sfvs happy hour

jen with adam and andrew at an sfvs happy hour

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I had the best childhood growing up at the beach in Southern California, but as soon as I got to Berkeley for college, I knew I was a city girl. I spent a few years in Washington, DC, working for a Member of Congress, then moved back west to San Francisco. I tried out management consulting before joining a dot-com in the late 90s, then landed the job of a lifetime working in operations for a cryptography company. While there, my husband and I adopted a senior cat from the SF SPCA, and bam, I knew that animals were the vocation for which I’d been searching. After many years of volunteering and working at the SF SPCA, I joined SFVS because I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to learn more about veterinary medicine and share the amazing things we do here with the community.

What does your work day entail? They are always different, but every day is filled with marketing and PR emails, chatting with clients and referring veterinarians about what we’re doing right and what we could do better, planning events for the community, and spending time with my colleagues and our patients to better understand what makes us SFVS.

Favorite patient success story? A guardian brought her kitty in one night after she had ingested lilies, which are toxic to cats. It was a rough three days, but her kitty pulled through and that client now preaches the gospel of keeping deadly plants away from your pets.

Your work-related super power? Being able to talk to anyone about anything at anytime

Any animal companions of your own? Floyd, a 14-year-old DSH nicknamed Blue Velvet for his beautiful coat. Miller, a 10-year-old DSH who is the largest and most gentle brown tabby you could meet. OLC (Old Lady Cat), an approximately 150-year-old foster hospice for the SF SPCA who lives on our kitchen counter and rules the roost.

bart and jen

bart and jen. bart was one of jen’s first kitty loves, and he couldn’t get close enough to people, as this pictures illustrates. 

What do you enjoy doing outside work? Drinking wine, eating/cooking inventive vegan food, working out, studying French and traveling

howard and jen enjoying a cold winter’s day in london while taking in trafalgar square

howard and jen enjoying a cold winter’s day in london while taking in trafalgar square

Favorite pet-related activity in the Bay Area? Luring the neighborhood feral cats into a trap … mwa ha ha ha!

What are you currently reading? The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner and a Rick Steves travel book on Croatia

What’s in your music rotation right now? Go Go’s station on iTunes radio

Favorite TV show? The Honourable Woman

Staff Spotlight: Crystal Bicoll

Our staff spotlight series allows our clients and friends to learn a little more about the people at VCA SFVS. This week we feature Crystal Bicoll, cardiology service coordinator at our hospital.

Name: Crystal Bicoll

Your position: Cardiology service coordinator

When did you join VCA SFVS? November 2009

Favorite part of your job? Working alongside an amazing cardiologist (Dr. Justin Williams), who makes such a positive difference for our patients with heart disease. I also love the interaction with both clients and their pets.

Tell us a little about yourself: I’m a native San Franciscan who has worked in the veterinary field for eight years now, three at a general practice and five at VCA SFVS. I was drawn to the veterinary field because of my strong passion for helping animals in need. I even started doing regular pet-sitting for geriatric/special needs pets as a side job, simply for the continuous need for the interaction with animals who could use my help.

One pet-sitting client who is most dear to my heart is a cute French bulldog named Delilah. I met Delilah and her owner at VCA SFVS a few years ago, when she was looking for a pet-sitter. Delilah is paralyzed from the waist down, and lives life in a cart. However, she does not let her disability stop her. Every week we play fetch and/or spend time running up and down the beach.

delilah rose shea on a rainy day 

delilah rose shea on a rainy day

What do you enjoy doing outside work? As much as I love working with dogs and cats, my ultimate passion is with exotic animals. I have volunteered at the SF Zoo for 18 years to satisfy that passion, and that’s where I found my favorite animal … Magellanic penguins! When I’m not working or volunteering, you can usually find me spending time in Santa Cruz at the beach watching the waves.

hanging out with this year’s four baby magellanic penguins at the sf zoo

hanging out with this year’s four baby magellanic penguins at the sf zoo

Patient Story: Coco

Today on the blog, we feature Coco. We met Coco when he came in to VCA SFVS for an appointment with Dr. Margo Mehl, one of our veterinary surgeons.

Here, Coco shares a little bit about himself, via human companion Kevin, along with some great photos!

Hello! My name is Coco.

coco!

coco!

I was born on May 16, 2005, in Washington State. I don’t remember much about my first weeks but, evidently, I was adopted by my first human, Alison, at an early age. I was very popular in the retirement home and I loved her very much. However, her mobility difficulties caused me to miss my regular walks. We thus decided it was in my best interest to adopt Alison’s son as my new human and move to San Francisco with him. It has been a good move and I even got to see her a lot afterward.

My interests? I love long walks on the beach, sidewalk cafés, and a certain Maltipoo named Celeste. She more or less ignores me. Did I mention that they allow dogs in Parisian restaurants and the cheese is delicious? Très civilisé!

café chic

café chic

oui! oui!

oui! oui!

At home, my favorites are down-filled pillows and the crook in my dad’s arm. I take my status as a lap dog very, very seriously. I may be small but I have the heart of a lion and have kept my human safe with 100% effectiveness. I also stood down my two Mastiff cousins who used to like to chase me around.

In any case, I recently visited Dr. Mehl for consultation about my liver shunt and bladder stones. Surgery was the only option and, while I hated to leave my dad for TWO WHOLE NIGHTS, Dr. Mehl did a great job and the whole staff were so kind to me. I have bounced back and am back where I belong!

coco and kevin

coco and kevin

On behalf of my dad and me, thank you Dr. Mehl and all my friends at SF Veterinary Specialists! I’m looking forward to many more walks on the beach and maybe Celeste will finally notice me.

Thank you, Coco – it is our honor to be a part of your veterinary care team. (Good luck with Celeste!)

Our staff spotlight series allows our clients and friends to learn a little more about the people at VCA SFVS. This week we feature Dr. Justin Williams, a staff cardiologist at our hospital.

Name: Justin Williams

Your position: Staff cardiologist

When did you join VCA SFVS? August 2011

dr. justin williams with crystal, vca sfvs cardiology service coordinator

dr. justin williams with crystal, vca sfvs cardiology service coordinator, at a recent hockey game

Favorite part of your job? Working with a good group of people to help improve the quality of life of my cardiac patients.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Originally from Arizona, I decided to pursue veterinary medicine while attending UCLA. I then obtained my veterinary medical degree in 2007 from Colorado State University, completed an internship in small-animal medicine and surgery at Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital in west Denver, and finished a three-year cardiology residency at the MSPCA Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston in 2011.

Any animal companions of your own? Two cats (Luca and Nell)

What do you enjoy doing outside work? Ice hockey and photography on trips with my family

What’s in your music rotation right now? Muse, Lumineers, Matt and Kim

Favorite TV show? Lost, and Game of Thrones

Anything else you’d like to share? I have three kids (ages 5, 3 and 1).

Patient Story: Quint

Today on the blog, meet Quint! A 7-year-old German shepherd, the handsome Quint came to our hospital to meet with veterinary surgeon Dr. Margo Mehl, to have a lump checked out.

After a successful surgery, there was good news: The mass turned out to be a lipoma (a benign fatty mass). We are pleased to report that Quint recovered within a few days and is living a happy, healthy life.

Quint-family

quint and his family

Here’s a little more about Quint, as shared with us by his human companion Luda:

 

Quint has been in our family since he was 8 weeks old and has truly become a beloved family member. His favorite activity as a puppy was to walk with his dad, Paul, to a hot dog stand and get a plain hot dog (no ketchup or mustard, please!).

As Quint grew up, he developed into quite a lazy dog and his favorite “activity” was to lie on the couch. Quint also really likes to dress up in costumes, hence the “Doggula” picture below.

Quint-Costume

doggula!!

He is an incredibly smart and loyal pet. He loves to go to Tahoe and enjoys playing fetch in the lake. Even though he is an 85-lb. shepherd, he is absolutely terrified of our cat and begs his sister, Kaila (another beautiful shepherd), to rescue him.

Quint-beach

that’s the ticket!

To say that Quint is part of our family is an understatement. He brings so much laughter, joy and happiness to our family, and we are eternally grateful to the staff at VCA, and especially to Dr. Mehl, for saving our boy!

Thanks to Luda for sharing these photos and Quint’s story with us. We are honored to be on his veterinary care team and wish him many more Tahoe trips to come!

 

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