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
Tags: Argus Institute, assistance dog, autism, Bergin Institute, Cancer Diagnosis in Dogs, Colorado State University School of Veterinary Medicine, dog health care, dogs, Dr. Nancy Kay, Medical Advocacy, Speaking for Spot, veterinarian