The Kate Fund Backstory

This is Kate. Kate came into our lives between my freshman and sophomore year of veterinary school as a 7-week-old puppy. She was my inspiration for Veterinary Pharmacy Reference. As an adult, she has been the only dog I raised from a puppy. As my ‘vet school dog’, she was my living example of all the information I was learning in class. From the start she taught me about animal behavior and training – something I thought I knew, but quickly discovered I had a lot to learn.

She was a dominant puppy with a very strong will and my training style was creating an incompatible relationship that would never have worked. Out of frustration, I finally sought the help of a professional and witnessed the magic of positive reinforcement training. From that first lesson, it was as if someone flipped a switch, she just wanted to do anything she could to make me happy.

My husband and I do not have children, so Kate was our whole world. We lived our whole lives around her, from only vacationing in places that were dog friendly, to having a trailer made to pull behind our motorcycle when we got the riding bug. We knew very early on what a special soul she was.

We call her our ‘once in a blue moon’ dog. We treasured every day we had with her and when she was diagnosed with chondrosarcoma, a form of bone cancer at the age of 10, we were devastated. She lived seven months after the diagnosis with standard of care treatment. She made me the doctor that I am today and she is why I am so passionate about my practice life. I have always tried my best to practice and handle my patients like they were my client’s version of Kate. The development of VPR made me feel that I could help prevent errors and provide informed consent to pet owners who had a ‘Kate’ that they loved. I could have never dealt with a situation where something I did to help her, ended up hurting her.

We have loved other dogs since Kate and we will miss her for the rest of our lives. In Kate’s honor, I created a 501 3C nonprofit to raise money for bone cancer research in dogs after she passed away. We have donated $130,000.00 to research in the past 13 years we have lived without Kate.

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