I always wanted to have a career working with animals. I started my college education with a focus on wildlife management, and received and Associates degree and a Bachelors degree in that field. While finishing my Bachelors degree at Louisiana Tech University, I became friends with the wife of one of my Forestry professors who is a veterinarian. I shared with her that I never felt that I was 'smart enough' for veterinary school so never pursued veterinary medicine as a career option. She encouraged me to try as she saw how much I loved animals. I was realizing then that the profession of wildlife management was not what I thought it would be - very little hands-on with animals. I didn't have the prerequisite coursework needed to apply to Vet School so had to continue taking college courses for another two years - primarily chemistry, calculus, physics, ..... That was a fun two years (NOT). But I got it done and applied. I was accepted to the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine (my home state) and graduated in May 1994.
After graduation I worked in a mixed-animal practice in Jackson, Wyoming. Although I love horses, and have several of my own, I didn't enjoy the special challenges of working with horses in the Wyoming winters. I felt more confident with my skills as a small animal veterinarian and after three years, decided to narrow the focus of my career to small animal exclusive practice, and to move to a warmer climate. I admit it, I am a cold weather wimp. I moved to Arizona in June 1997, joining Kachina Animal Hospital as an Associate Veterinarian. In May, 2003, I became the official owner of Kachina Animal Hospital. It has been a challenging and rewarding career choice. I am passionate about providing excellent, state-of-the-art medicine and surgery for our patients. My goal has always been to offer the very best care for my patients. One of my pets, a Jack Russell Terrier named 'Scooter', has been a guiding force in the care I provide for my patients. I always keep in the back of my mind, as I discuss test and treatment options with the owners of my patients, 'What would I do if this were Scooter?'
Outside of Kachina Animal Hospital, my passion is the sport of endurance riding. Endurance involves riding horses on trails for long distances - 25, 50, or 100 miles in one day. I have been an avid endurance rider for over 15 years, accumulating over 15,000 miles of endurance competition. I am a Director for the southwest region in the governing organization called the American Endurance Ride Conference. I am also the Chair on the Welfare of the Horse Committee. My highest achievement in this sport has been the completion of what is known as the toughest endurance ride in the world, the Western States Trail Ride, also known as the Tevis, in 2012. If I am not at Kachina Animal Hospital treating patients, I am probably out on trail somewhere, riding my horse.