I always knew that I wanted to be a veterinarian from the time that I was little, fostering orphaned wild rabbits and having a variety of pets in my house. I grew up with the tradition of European herbalism, with various teas and infusions regularly used by my mother to support our family’s health. My mother’s knowledge was passed down to her and then to me, by my grandmother, who was a pharmacist in the days that herbs and plant materials were the majority of the medicines used. My interest in all things Asian began in my early teens when I became a vegetarian, with cooking experiments that the rest of my family didn’t always appreciate!
I received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree with honours from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1991. I started my professional life practicing the conventional “western” veterinary medicine I had been trained in, but embraced more holistic health care for myself and my family, including nutrition, Tai Chi exercise, and Qi Gong meditation. After ten years in practice, the frustration of seeing so many chronic diseases in my patients led me to begin to integrate what I had been practicing in my own life into that of my patient care. I began studying Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) at the Chi Institute with Dr. Shen Xie and became a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist in 2005; I have continued my education with advanced training in Veterinary Tui-Na bodywork and Veterinary Herbal Medicine. I found the VBMA early in my exploration of herbal medicine and have been a member since 2004. I now lecture to both veterinarians and lay groups and frequently mentor veterinary students and veterinarians interning in veterinary acupuncture. Besides the VBMA, I am a member of the Association of Veterinary Acupuncturists of Canada, and the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. When I need a break I walk on uneven ground in close contact with the plant world, especially in interesting mountainous places.