Posted on May 23, 2009
Traveling with Spot
Speaking for Spot has taken me on quite a journey! My book has opened doors to many fabulous invitations and opportunities. Here are a couple of examples. Three weeks ago I was honored to give the keynote address at the Bergin University of Canine Studies commencement ceremony. Located in Santa Rosa, California, this organization’s stated mission is advancement of the human-canine partnership through research and education. Bergin University is the home of the Assistance Dog Institute in which dogs are trained for a variety of service jobs. At the graduation ceremony I attended, three dogs began a lifetime of assistance work and companionship for three individuals with physical disabilities. A fourth dog joined a family to assist with the needs of an autistic child. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house! In the course of my speech I discussed how my work and the work of Assistance Dog Institute both advance the human animal bond- we simply approach it from different angles. While they train dogs to become advocates for their humans, I train humans to become advocates for their dogs.
This past weekend, I paid a visit to the Argus Institute in Fort Collins, Colorado. This organization recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. The mission of the Argus Institute is to strengthen veterinarian-client-patient communication and support relationships between people and their companion animals. Not only do they provide a tremendous support system for people experiencing grief about the loss or illness of a beloved pet, they also provide a comprehensive curriculum on client communication for Colorado State University veterinary students. Believe it or not, most vet schools provide no formal training in client communication. I was tremendously impressed by what I saw and learned at the Argus Institute and was privileged to provide a lecture while there on the topic of “How Veterinary Clients’ Expectations Are Changing.”
Dr. Nancy Kay – Specialist, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. SPEAKING FOR SPOT is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, or your favorite online book seller.
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Listen to Dr. Kay’s interview – A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross – http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?story