MEET OUR DOCTORS
ELEANOR DUNN, DVM
Medical Director & Owner
Dr. Eleanor Dunn has been committed to providing extraordinary veterinary care to patients and their families in Oakland for over 30 years. She is the founder of The Grand Lake Veterinary Hospital and is a skilled medical diagnostician as well as a general practice surgeon. Dr. Dunn strongly believes in a holistic approach to veterinary medicine, integrating all her years of training in medicine, surgery, and dentistry with acupuncture, herbal therapy, and nutritional therapy. Her passion for helping her patients live the happiest, healthiest lives they can through individualized care is evident in everything that she does. Her goal is to educate clients and make her patients and their families feel valued and taken care of. Her guiding philosophy is that life feels more full when you extend yourself to others.
Dr. Dunn started her journey to becoming a veterinarian as the youngest of seven children in Illinois. The household abounded with cats, dogs, mice, and rats. In high school, she gained experience with goats, sheep, pigs, and cows on her brother’s farm. She attended Middlebury College, graduating summa cum laude. She created her own major in biology and physics and worked in human medical research in neonatology and ultrasound. She went to the University of Illinois Veterinary School, graduating salutatorian in 1986. While she will always have a love of research, veterinary medicine combined her passion for science with her love of animals and sharing her knowledge with the families that own them.
Dr. Dunn has always been a knowledge seeker. She is not satisfied until she has answered the question, “why, or how can we do better?” She was a boarded diplomat of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners for 20 years. Later in her career, frustrated that western medicine alone did not have all the answers, she became certified in veterinary acupuncture. She also extensively studied nutrition therapy and Chinese herbal medicine. She brings her research background and evidence-based eye to everything. Don’t be surprised if she says “Well, the clinical research says…” during your visit.
When not at the hospital, she enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, cat Tigerlily, and dog Zephyr. She is a long-time supporter and board member of the Friends of Sausal Creek, which has worked for decades to restore Oakland’s prized Diamond Park and Canyon. She loves hiking, nature, gardening, studying local history, and genealogy.
ELIZABETH MACDONALD, DVM
Medical Director & Owner
Dr. Elizabeth MacDonald has almost two decades of experience providing state-of-the-art medicine and surgery for dogs and cats. She is thrilled to partner with Dr. Dunn and the family at Grand Lake Veterinary Hospital to help preserve private ownership of veterinary hospitals. In doing so, she seeks to continue their tradition of excellence through individualized care that comes from thoughtful, compassionate, knowledgeable medicine. She looks forward to meeting old and new patients and fostering the human-animal bonds that help us thrive.
Dr. MacDonald grew up in Piedmont and went to school in Oakland. She is excited to finally be practicing back home. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Davidson College, then went on to U.C. Davis Veterinary School, graduating with the Phi Zeta Honors in 2000. She continued her training at The Animal Medical Center (AMC) in New York City, where she completed an internship in internal medicine, surgery, and emergency medicine. AMC was, at the time, the only emergency and specialty veterinary hospital in Manhattan. This means she saw everything from the untouchable guard dog from the Bronx to diamond-studded poodles in Kate Spade handbags. She owned an Irish Wolfhound as a child, and New York taught her to adore all dogs LITTLE as well as all dogs GIANT–and a few sizes in between. Her first love and the driving force behind becoming a veterinarian was, of course, her childhood cat “Stripes.” She was known to arrive home from school as a child, claiming that dogs and cats had just “happened” to follow her home. (Admittedly, there might have been some encouragement on her part.)
Outside of work, she is kept busy with three human children, a labradoodle, two rats, and four chickens. She loves to get outdoors whenever possible, be it skiing or hiking, but, in reality, spends a lot of time on the sidelines of soccer fields cheering.
MELISSA PARTIN, DVM
Dr. Melissa Partin grew up in Florida and graduated from the University of Florida with a BS in Zoology. Despite being raised in a tropical climate, she decided to brave the cold in order to attend veterinary school in a city, earning her doctorate degree from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. In 2005, not long after graduating from Vet School, she decided to get away from weather extremes once and for all by fulfilling her years-long dream of moving to the Bay Area. She made the Bay Area her home and eventually found her way to Sweden and Germany to spend time with family in 2014. Upon returning to the Bay Area she was thrilled to have found a home at the newly reopened practice, The Grand Lake Veterinary Hospital.
We asked Dr. Partin what drove her to pursue veterinary medicine. “I loved the idea of combining science with helping animals and people. I was drawn to the fact that a veterinarian’s job is physical and hands-on, as well as intellectual and verbal. Also, the patients are adorable! Pets mean family. They are a connection to nature, something outside of the world of people, things, and technology. At every visit, I try my best to make my patient comfortable and have their parent feel listened to.”
Dr. Partin has strong interests in preventative medicine, behavior, and surgery. She has been to Guatemala, Easter Island, and American Indian reservations all over the country as a volunteer for Rural Area Veterinary Services. These days, she helps closer to home when she is able. She volunteers with VET SOS, which provides free veterinary care for the pets of people experiencing homelessness. She also tutors children through Reading Partners, a literacy non-profit. Outside of that, she enjoys camping, hiking, city biking, snowboarding, traveling, practicing her Swedish and learning Spanish. Except for one sad year in a college dorm room, she has never lived in a home without 4 legged companions (her cats even came to Europe when she lived there). Her current menagerie includes her human family made up of a husband and son; kitties Diego and Leon; and a pitbull-shaped mix breed named Ned (pictured above right)
LYDIA WOOD, DVM
Dr. Lydia Wood has been committed to helping animals for 25 years. She began volunteering at the Marine Mammal Center in 1993 while she was attending Mills College. This experience led her to a job as a vet tech working with dogs and cats. As time went on she realized that this was her calling and this work inspired her to go back to school to obtain her DVM at U.C. Davis in 2006.
Lydia grew up overseas in Milan, Johannesburg, Paris, and Brussels. Being an American who had never lived in the United States, she decided that she should go to college there! She chose Mills College in part for her appreciation of the Bay Area. She has lived in Oakland on and off since 1990 when she began attending Mills.
Lydia enjoys dealing with a variety of subjects throughout each day, from ophthalmology to dentistry to surgery and medicine. Diagnoses and treatment options for animals are becoming more and more complicated as science progresses. Lydia enjoys talking through all the possible options and outcomes to help people make the right choices for their pets and their families. She understands that often there is no one right answer but grey areas that need to be addressed to find the proper path forward.
Lydia spends her spare time with her partner, her son, her rescue dog, and her stray cat. She has a great passion for the outdoors and California and all the adventures that it has to offer.
DANE WHITAKER, DVM
Dr. Dane Whitaker has been practicing veterinary medicine in the San Francisco area for the last 23 years. He recently completed his Masters in Preventive Veterinary Medicine at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, training that makes him uniquely qualified to study the dynamics of disease in populations of animals. Although a Bay Area native, he grew up in Florida and graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 1994.
His veterinary interests include small animal medicine, clinical pathology, marine mammal medicine, and One Health. Through volunteer work at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, Dr. Whitaker solidified his desire to return to school to receive further training. His area of research focused on ocean health and marine conservation as it pertains to human health.
Dr. Whitaker is a Board Member of the LGVMA, and takes an active role in promoting the ideas of inclusion and acceptance for all members of the community in the veterinary profession. In his spare time, Dr. Whitaker volunteers with several non-profits which help people with HIV/Aids. He also enjoys traveling, hiking, surfing and is an avid swing dancer and drummer.
Dr. Whitaker works at The Grand Lake Veterinary Hospital on an as-needed basis.
EVELYN IVEY, DVM
While Dr. Ivey is no longer a regular relief doctor at our clinic, we include her bio here because we believe her work supports the mission of our hospital, to treat animals with love and compassion.
Dr. Ivey is the founder of Peace for Pets, a service that provides loving hospice and euthanasia services in the comfort of home. She provides consultations for pet owners who have questions about Quality of Life, Euthanasia, and other aspects of End of Life care. To learn more about Peace for Pets, or to contact Dr. Ivey, visit www.PeaceForPets.net.
Dr. Ivey graduated Magna cum Laude from Cornell University in 1991 and received her veterinary degree from the University of California at Davis in 1996. Following a one-year small animal medical and surgical internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York City, she completed an exotic pet residency and received her ABVP Board certification in Avian Medicine in 1999. She served as a staff veterinarian at the Veterinary School of The University of Pennsylvania where she taught veterinary students in the classroom and on clinical rotations. She has lectured across the country and authored several scientific and review papers.
LAUREN KNOBEL, DVM
Dr. Lauren L. Knobel came to California in 1980 and completed her B.A. with honors at Mills College in Oakland in 1984. She was one of 4 WICHE students from the state of Hawaii which sponsored her education at Colorado State University where she received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1990. She has practiced in Oakland since her return in 1990. Dr. Knobel has strong interests in client education, internal medicine, dentistry, behavior, and rehabilitative medicine. She is active in the Great Dane and German Shepherd Rescue Foundations.
Dr. Knobel enjoys spending her free time sailing the bay and beyond, traveling, spending time with family, cooking and playing with her 4 legged and feathered family of one dog (the wonderful whippet Bugsy), one cat (the best ratter around; Keiki Hula Girl), a 30 lb African Sulcata tortoise (Leon), and 7 chickens that grace her little zoo with eggs when they decide to (and yes, they all have names).
MEET OUR STAFF
Anya started working as a receptionist at a veterinary hospital in 2007. She had just moved back from New York City after leaving NYU, where she had been working part-time as a receptionist in a chiropractor’s office in Greenwich Village while going to school. When she arrived back home in the Bay Area she landed a job as a receptionist at a small veterinary practice in San Leandro. Since then, she’s come to learn how much she loves interacting with people, and how good it feels to make someone’s day better. She found it incredibly rewarding to be an important part of the client and patient experience. She also acquired her first cat, Oscar, while working at that first practice. “He has changed my life for the better. I fell in love with this field because I brought Oscar home, and realized that the people we help, love their pets the same way I love Oscar,” Anya says.
As the Hospital Manager at Grand Lake Vet, she tries to keep things as positive as possible. “My goal in every interaction is to leave each client feeling like they just had the best experience at GLVH possible. Even when I have to have difficult conversations, I try to actively listen and empathize. That goes for staff too! I try to treat people the way I want to be treated. I also try to frame every interaction from the perspective that everyone is doing the best they are capable of at that moment.”
For Anya, “Pets mean unconditional love. They are the epitome of what family is to me. They are companions, friends, and deserve our respect. Oscar, my cat, helped me survive some of the most difficult phases of my life. My pets mean the world to me, and I have never been without an animal friend in my life from the age of three. I cannot imagine walking this earth without them.” Her family is made up of her wife, Grover (who she knew was her soulmate when she showed her a picture of her cat two minutes into meeting each other), and their zoo. Oscar, Frida, and Spock, her three cats, guard the homestead. Little miss Johnny Cake, the friendliest Staffordshire Bull Terrier in East Oakland, comes to work with her every day. She’s the cutest little pit bull, with a huge personality. She also keeps alive planted freshwater aquarium and a jungle of houseplants.
Anya feels proud to work at Grand Lake Vet and to be a part of building the team here. “I love how gentle and compassionate everyone is at Grand Lake Vet, and that doesn’t just apply to how our clients and patients are treated, but also how we treat each other. The veterinary field is incredibly rewarding, but depression, compassion fatigue, and burnout are realities we all face, no matter what your position is in a practice. I’ve never worked somewhere where people take care of each other as we do at Grand Lake Vet. There’s no judgment, and we respect each other. We celebrate and grieve together. I feel like Grand Lake is a part of my family.”
Anya is working on becoming a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager. But in her spare time, she and her wife explore the Redwoods and East Bay trails with their staffy, Johnny Cake. “My dog Johnny Cake’s name is a nod to my Belizean heritage. She’s a sweet little Caribbean biscuit!”
Co-Head Registered Veterinary Technician
Lindsey completed her RVT classes at Western Career College in and became a licensed technician in December of 2009. Lindsey has always had a love for animals and originally wanted to be a veterinarian as a child. She had a career training horses, which she started doing in 1989. Eventually, she wanted a change. It was at that point she decided to become a veterinary technician. I have always loved animals, and had an interest in medicine, so becoming an RVT seemed like a perfect melding of the two.
Lindsey wants to build the trust of the client and the patient at every visit. For her, her pets are family. They are her constant companions who give her unconditional love. She recognizes that relationship exists for all of our clients and their pets, and treats them with the same level of respect and care she has for her clan of cats and dogs at home.
Lindsey chose to continue to work at Grand Lake Vet (she also worked at the former Lake Vet before its closure) because she loves, “her coworkers, the wonderful clients, and of course watching the animals over their lifetimes.”
When Lindsey isn’t helping to lead the crew at Grand Lake Vet you can find her instructing dressage. “I love teaching people how to improve communication with their horses.” We think Lindsey is a real gem (with staff, people, horses, and furry friends/patients).
Co-Head Registered Veterinary Technician
Barbara is one of our co-head registered veterinary technicians here at Grand Lake Vet. She was also a technician at Lake Vet years ago.
When asked why she chose veterinary medicine, Barb explains, “I love how animals are so direct with their feelings, and I’m fascinated by the science and art of medicine that our DVMs perform every day.”
Her career in veterinary medicine began in 2010 when she began working in a small practice after graduating from Portland Community College with a degree in Veterinary Technology and became a licensed technician in Oregon (which she maintains). Additionally, Barb has a Masters degree in Library Science and was a librarian and system administrator for some time prior to changing careers to work with animals – something she always wanted to do. She still loves public libraries and believes they are a critical institution in our democracy. But she is so very glad to be working with animals every day (and we are so glad she is too!!!).
We love Barbara because she approaches all of her patients with a calm demeanor and really uses a gentle touch. She is incredibly knowledgeable, caring, and a pleasure to be around. Her goal is to make everyone comfortable, welcome, and to be responsive to their reason for being here.
For Barb pets are a part of the family, they’re what makes a home warm. With that perspective, she aims to live by the golden rule, and this applies to interactions here at work with her patients and their people. To Barb, working at The Grand Lake Veterinary Hospital means that she is able to be, “grateful every day to work with wonderful teammates, colleagues, and doctors who share the same goal of providing the best possible care and kindness to our patients and clients.”
Barbara and her human partner live in Oakland with a rescue kitty named Troy and a cattle dog mix named Cisco.
Registered Veterinary Technician
Alex chose a career in veterinary medicine because she wanted to not only make a difference to animals but their humans as well. She began working with animals in 2010 when she was hired in her first year of schooling to become a registered veterinary technician. Alex says, “I did not know anything about the veterinary world, so it was a lot to take in. I admired the passionate and intelligent technicians I worked with, hoping to one day be as skilled as they were.” We definitely think Alex has succeeded!
Alex aims to ensure clients have a better understanding of their pets and veterinary medicine. With respect to her patients, her goal is to provide excellent care with the least amount of stress as possible.
When we asked Alex about what her pets (Ella, a lab mix; Domingo, a pit-bull; and Mr. Perry Poppins, her kitty) mean to her, she said, “My pets are like my kids. I enjoying adopting pets that are “undesirable” due to behavior issues. It is a challenge, but if you are will to put the time and effort, the reward exceeds the hassle.”
We love Alex’s philosophy that everything in life is temporary, and that there’s no need to stress over the little things, your hardship will be over soon. Alex enjoys working at The Grand Lake Veterinary Hospital because she loves that we go the extra mile for people and their pets. She feels that there is something new to learn every day and if you’re not learning, you’re not living!
We love Alex as much as she loves mangoes!
Registered Veterinary Technician
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When Melissa was 15, her mother signed her up to work at their family vet, and she’s never looked back! She’s been working in veterinary field since 1991, starting out as a kennel assistant and receptionist, and eventually working her way up to becoming an RVT/Nurse.
We love that Melissa expertise in the field that she’s acquired over the years has driven her to “try to understand what every client wants for their pet and to make certain they fully comprehend what treatment options they have.” Melissa says, “I want the patient to have the quickest, safest, and least stressful visit possible.” She is incredibly patient, something we all look to her for as an example.
Her family is made up of Loretta Lynn, a 4-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier with the most expressive face, and Violet Rae who is a 21-year-old Domestic Shorthair cat. “I love them dearly and they are the worst roommates I’ve ever had.”
Melissa chose to join us at Grand Lake Vet in early 2019 because she really enjoys the family vibe here and the way the team comes together to take great care of each patient.
When not working with animals, Melissa works as a tattoo artist (which she has done since 2005), and frequently holds art shows at local venues. In her spare time, she enjoys road trips, rock climbing, hiking, snowboarding, and rollerskating.
Registered Veterinary Technician
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Timothy is one of our Registered Veterinary Technicians. He graduated from Carrington College’s Central Sacramento Campus in 2016. He received his license after passing the Veterinary Technician National Certification Examination and the California Registered Veterinary Technician State Board Examination in 2017.
Timothy says, “I found my passion in the veterinary field in 2011 while working towards a degree in psychology/social services. Nine months of externship and employment at the SPCA of Northern Nevada in Sparks took me to the Florin-Perkins SPCA in Sacramento. With my experience, I was allowed to jump into the feline spay/neuter clinic, fortunately, to be nurtured by seasoned assistants and retired RVTs. I was working in wine sales and education at the time. I transferred the job from Reno to Sacramento to the Total Wine on Arden but soon began looking for full-time positions in the veterinary field. I began classes at Carrington college and started working at a Banfield hospital in the same week of 2014. I have worked closely with 10 doctors over four years at Banfield and two years at VCA Sacramento Veterinary Referral Center, including service under Six Board Certified Surgeons, MRI experience, and safety. During that time, I maintained a position under the meticulous Neurologist and Neurosurgeon Gregg Kortz, DACVIM Neurology of the Sacramento area and for the last 8 months, I have been in the Surgery department at VCA Bay Area Veterinary Specialists & Emergency under Kimberly Carlson, DACVS. Education, work experience, interpersonal relationships and challenging myself keeps me motivated during difficult and opportune times alike. That said, I wouldn’t call myself a veteran, because I know I have much to learn. I’m just thankful for those RVTs, technicians, and other exceptional people with whom I have had the privilege to work with and continue to work alongside. I’m so glad to be on staff at GLVH!”
Timothy’s family is made up of Linda his Fianceé, Carlito a 9-year-old mini Schnoodle, and, Bunreth, his soon to be mother-in-law. The rest of Linda’s family are in Oakland or Cambodia. Timothy’s parents are in California and he is an only child, but he definitely isn’t selfish! Timothy and Linda are excited to be welcoming their first child in the summer of 2019! Timothy is just like the rest of our crew and considers his pets family.
He’s excited to have joined us in March of 2019 because he has never worked at an independently owned non-corporate veterinary practice. He is eager to do his best and, “hopefully develop some depth of my own skill set.”
Angel worked with us here in the office for several years before moving to her home state in Texas to start her family with her husband. Now that she’s out of state, you may still talk to Angel, as she remotely assists us with calls and emails.
Because of her love of science, medicine, and animals, Angel has been working within the veterinary field since 2001 when she started out as a kennel assistant in a VCA in Houston. She was tired of doing work she didn’t enjoy and started working at a veterinary hospital. Soon after, she realized that she could help clients feel well cared for, and have confidence in her and the practice as a whole. She strives for the animals to have the most positive and comfortable experience possible when she is interacting with them in the practice.
For Angel, home is with her pets. They bring so much humor and warmth into her life. She shares her home with her husband, daughter, and her two pets, June Bug the terrier and Riley the cat.
Angel will always have a place in the Grand Lake Vet family, no matter how far she goes! She’s helped us by remotely assisting our staff because we practice at a high level of care, and the animals are treated with a lot of patience and compassion. We’re so grateful to still have her on the team.
Angel is also a licensed cosmetologist, and even as she moves forward in her new profession as a hair stylist, veterinary medicine will always have a piece of her heart. Thanks, Angel!
SJ has always had a love for animals and helping people, so the veterinary field naturally appealed to her. She started pet sitting when she was in high school, so she started her career in this field 23 years ago!
She grew up in Oakland and Berkeley, and from Berkeley high school in 2000. Before plunging into professional medicine, she was a dance teacher in Oakland and Alameda as a youth and young adult. She has traveled around the world with her dance company including trips to Japan, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand. She also graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in 2004. She then found herself back in the veterinary field. She still enjoys creating art in many forms such as drawing, painting, sewing, and crocheting. Her passion is animals, however, and she is very happy to be a part of the team here at Grand Lake.
SJ always tries to help clients in any way she can to make their interactions with her as clear and pleasant as possible. Her goals are to help the patient have the least stressful experience as possible.
She really loves and respects the values and philosophy at Grand Lake Vet, so we knew she’d be a great match for us the minute she walked through our doors! We love that SJ is always positive, and keeps moving forward!
SJ shares her home with her husband Ronnie and their chihuahua Margarita (Rita). Rita is SJ’s world and she’s like her child.
Veterinary Assistant & Inventory Manager
Alan began working in the veterinary field as a receptionist in about 2011 at Lake Vet, before it closed. He came back when Dr. Dunn opened Grand Lake Vet but decided he really wanted to focus on helping the patients in a more hands on way, and eventually became one of our veterinary assistants.
He chose this field because he loves animals, and he really wanted to help people and their pets feel comfortable. He specifically chose to stay with the Grand Lake Vet family because we ARE family. He appreciates the fact that the team treats each other like family, and almost as if our patients are our nieces and nephews. “We just want what’s best for them. Even the ones that are up to no good,” Alan says.
Alan’s home family consists of his two siblings, his parents, and their cat: a silver tabby short-hair named Elvis. His sister and her wife have three cats and a dog he shares his home with. His sister’s cat, Oscar, has been his nemesis since she brought him home in 2007 as a kitten. But now that they’re roommates, they have an understanding…
While Alan doesn’t personally have any pet’s he cares deeply for the animals in his life. Elvis, his parents’ cat, often accompanied him on neighborhood strolls, and he “once fought off a cartel to get Elvis his kibble…true story!”
On his days off, Alan enjoys reading graphic novels and comic books, drawing, and collecting sneakers.
As a child, I grew up in Ohio with the woods as my backyard. If I saw an injured squirrel or a baby bird that fell out of the nest, I always brought them into my home and tried to nurse them back to health. I’ve always had the drive to take care of our “fury friends.” Now as an adult, I still have that passion. I’m grateful that there is a field that allows me to work with animals every day.”
Cami’s words above about why she works with animals really show her core values and why we wanted her to join our team. She started her own pet sitting business in 2001. It first started by just watching her relatives pets and it slowly grew to watch a friend of a friend, to bumping into random people while on walks. She grew to know all of her clients on a personal level and treated them like family. Cami does her best to provide a warm, welcoming atmosphere for her patients and their parents with every visit because pets mean so much to her, “Even if they’re not my actual pets, I treat everyone with love, respect and a smidge of spoiling.” Cami joined our team because, “Everyone, and I mean everyone, is SO passionate about providing the best care possible to our patients.”
Cami is one of eight kids in her family and has always grown up with dogs. Even though she doesn’t currently have a pet of her own at home, she’s am getting her “fix” at work and pet sitting. When she’s not at work spoiling our patients, she’s always on the look out for new hiking and camping adventures. On the weekends you’ll find her pretty much any place where she can pitch up her hammock to read for a couple of hours, hosting a game night, or attempting a new recipe.
Client Service Representative
Amanda has always had a soft spot for all fur babies. She began working with us, the first veterinary clinic she’s joined in the Fall of 2018. She feels that has been, “very rewarding to help patients and their families.”
Amanda aims to make every client and patient feel warm, welcomed, and taken care of and tries to make each day better than the last!
Her kitty Miss Molly means the world to her and is her constant joy.
The Grand Lake Veterinary Hospital is Amanda’s professional home because, as she says, ” I love how compassionate everybody is towards all of the patients and the willingness to do everything we can for their health.” In her spare time, you can find Amanda reading, or looking for the next good book to dive into!
Client Service Representative
Cora loves working with pets and has been for eight years. She enjoys spending her days off with her family, cooking, shopping, and most importantly, making sure her daughter is enjoying every minute of being a toddler!
Since Cora joined our team in 2014, she has shown tremendous leadership skills and has become an asset to the front office (and the rest of the hospital!). We are so thankful for Cora’s dedication and service!
Client Service Representative
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Denise joined us in February of 2019, after having recently relocated from Miami to the SF Bay Area. Her first experience working with animals was working at an organic farm in Miami, Florida. “We had rabbits, goats, donkeys, chickens, and of course dogs and cats… My first experience in the medical field was at El Cerrito Pet Hospital. There I learned a lot about medical care and treatments for animals. I was able to do some one on one work with the technician doing simple things like vaccines and preparing pets for their appointment with the doctor.”
Denise loves animals and truly enjoys interacting with people, “especially if I can help in any way to make experiences better.” Her goal is to spread the love! “I am a woman just trying to make this world a better place filled with nurturing and love (with a hint of attitude!).” She loves the welcoming vibe we have at GLVH, and always tries to make every client’s experience in the office the best and most comforting it can be.
Denise’s family is made up of her husband and three sons (ages 15, 12, and 10 years old), and of course, her pitty mix Hazel who is about 9 years old. When we asked Denise about Hazel she said, “She is the balance my family needed. I can’t say who rescued who. She came into our lives during a difficult time, and she is the sister to my boys.”
Client Service Representative
Kelly started at Grand Lake Vet in April of 2017, with no prior veterinary experience. After pursing a degree in visual arts, she decided to work in this field because of her love and compassion for animals.
Kelly “feel[s] very lucky to have had the opportunity to meet and get to know the pets (and their humans, too) as well as [she has].” She cares for them all as if they were her own and she finds great pleasure in being able to help them get the care they need and deserve! With this in mind, she tries to be as helpful and compassionate as she possibly can be with every client and patient. She chooses to work at GLVH because of our dedication to providing both the client and patient with the best possible veterinary experience.
Kelly’s family is made up of her partner, and their two cats: Maple and Charge. Her pets mean everything to her, they are her children!
Her deep love of animals is on the opposite side of the spectrum from her disdain for foxtails. Ask her about!
In her spare time, Kelly collects videos for her VHS collection. And a fun fact she loves to share is that her second cousin was Robert Redford’s landscaper.
Client Service Representative
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Ronnie is working on becoming a veterinary assistant through Animal Behavior College. She loves animals and feels they need just as much love and care as humans do.
Her job at Grand Lake Vet is her first step in her career toward working with pets professionally, although she also started volunteering at the Humane Society in Milpitas in early 2019 before joining us. “I’ve always wanted to work with animals and seeing everyone at GLVH made that decision easy for me to join.”
Ronnie strives to treat others the way she wants to be treated. “My goal is to show clients that we appreciate them trusting us with their family member and that they will be in good hands with us at Grand Lake Vet.”
Ronnie’s family includes her parents, younger brother, and her cat Boo Boo (who she considers to be her second little brother – he means the world to her).
A fun fact about Ronnie is that she is a huge Disney fan! She has an annual pass to Disneyland and has even made 10 trips to the park in one year.
Client Service Representative
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Sarah joined our front office team as a receptionist in March of 2019. To Sarah, pets are family! She pursued a career in the veterinary field because she wanted to work in an environment with caring and compassionate people who share that same belief about pets.
She grew up surrounded by animals. She started actually working with them about a year ago when she found herself away at school separated from her own pets! “If I couldn’t spoil my own, I could at least spoil someone else’s!” says Sarah.
Sarah joined the GLVH team because she always wanted to work around people who love and care for animals just as much as she does! She wants to be part of a team that is doing its best to provide health care to some of the people’s most important family members.
Sarah approaches each person and four-legged friend with kindness and love, and an understanding of what it means to love your pet endlessly. Sarah feels that “My dogs are my comfort and happiness, they are a constant reminder to enjoy the little things. They are the best partners in life!” Her “best partners” are: “My little Pit bull, Ruby and Labrador, Gus. Oh, and my partner David!”
It’s very important to Sarah that you do things that fulfill you and truly make you happy. She has a BFA in painting, is a photographer, and also loves to cook. We’re so glad to have Sarah on the team!
Client Service Representative
Veronica is glad to be back at The Grand Lake Vet after a 10-year hiatus. She adores cats, dogs, and birds, and enjoys spending time in nature, walking her dogs, and frequently goes whale watching. She gives back to the community by educating people, young and old, about the importance of spaying and neutering. She loves to be wherever the animals are. Veronica has rescued a German Shepherd, 3 broken shelled turtles (they were hit by cars), a parrot named Eddie, and an umbrella cockatoo. Her animals keep her busy and she loves spending time with them. We love Veronica for her personable and sweet demeanor.
Client Service Representative & Kennel Assistant
Danielle joined us in the summer of 2018 as a cross trained receptionist and kennel assistant. Before becoming a part of the GLVH team, she completed an online veterinary support assistant course to get her feet wet.
She wanted to work in the veterinary field because she knew it would allow her to do what she is most passionate about, helping animals. Ever since she was little, she has always had a deep love and respect for all animals, and concern for their well-being. Danielle tells us, “While I grew up with all sorts of animals from the time I was a baby (ranging from fish to ferrets to horses), I worked with animals in a professional setting at Larimer Humane Society in 2011 as a kennel attendant and animal enrichment volunteer. I would spend the mornings cleaning kennels and doing laundry, and the afternoon walking dogs, playing with cats, or socializing rodents.”
Now that she is a member of our team here, she tries to be compassionate and empathetic, understanding that the clients and the veterinary staff have the same goal, to help the pet. She strives to be patient and kind, to both the parent and their pet. She lives by the mantra that the kindness one does for an animal may not change the world, but it will change the world for that one animal.
Danielle spends her time off with her boyfriend (they were high school sweethearts), and their rescue dog, Roxanne, and their domestic pet mouse, Olive. She found Olive running loose at school when she was only a few weeks old. Danielle loves building her toys out of cereal boxes. She is a very smart mouse, and comes when called!
Kennel Assistant & Client Service Representative
(Photo Coming Soon)
Sage’s first job out of high school was at a doggie day care in 2008. Since then, she’s focused on building a career where she can take care of animals and ensure their well-being. Sage graduated from Carrington College after pursuing her degree to pave the way to becoming a registered veterinary technician. She fell into working at another boarding facility after that and joined our team in January of 2019 with the goal of getting her feet wet in veterinary medicine and continuing on the road to becoming a licensed technician. She feels like this is where she is supposed to be!
We appreciate that Sage aims to always provide sincere and accurate care/information for our clients so they can take the best care possible of their furry family members. When we asked Sage why she chose to join us at Grand Lake Vet, she said, “There is a very warm, welcoming feel. I like the way that clients are spoken to and treatment is approached. It seems like a great place to grow and learn.”
We’re excited to have Sage with us, as we continue to grow and she blossoms into the technician she aims to be!
Sage is originally from San Diego, but much prefer the Bay Area. She enjoys hiking, archery, knife throwing, camping, LOVES reading, and prides herself in always being dressed for the apocalypse. She spends her off time with her family made up of her pitty, Capreese, her partner, Azael, and his pitty Maya. They mean everything to her!
Joan was one of the staff from Lake Vet who returned when Grand Lake Vet opened in 2013. She is a San Francisco Dog Walking Academy graduate, and completed four terms of school to become a Registered Veterinary Technician from 2010 to 2011.
She has been involved with dogs for many years, and when she needed to change careers before working at Lake Vet, she wanted to work with them professionally and sought out a career in veterinary medicine.
Joan wants every client and patient to have a wonderful experience and want to come back to us. She always tries to the best she can and lives by that. Her pets are everything to her, and she really enjoys learning about and working with the animals here at Grand Lake Vet.
Joan spends her days off with her husband John, Peet and Pebbles her Standard Poodles, and you’ll often see her walking her small poodle mix, Stretch (a rescue who was born right here in the clinic). She also does competitive obedience with her dogs and has earned various titles with them.
We’re glad to have Joan for her down to earth perspective and attention to detail!
Photo Coming Soon!
After almost four years of volunteering at the Berkeley Humane Society, Nicole knew she wanted to explore her interest in animal care further. In 2015, when she was a freshman in high school volunteering at the shelter, she fell in love with being able to take care of and help the animals on their way to getting adopted. She is currently a Senior in High School and pursued a position at Grand Lake Vet because she wanted to learn more about veterinary medicine before leaving for college.
She sees the goal as to taking care of the pets at Grand Lake Vet as if they were her own, “and I want everyone to leave GLVH having had a positive experience and wanting to return knowing that their pet is loved and well taken care of here.”
We love that Nicole I tries to put kindness and compassion at the center of everything she does. “I just want to live my life in a way that is helpful and kind to animals, people, and the earth.”
We asked Nicole why she chose to join us specifically, and she responded that “Everyone is so kind and welcoming. Coming into a new job with little to no experience in the field is pretty nerve-wracking, but from day one I was welcomed with open arms. It just makes your day so much better when everyone simply greets you warmly and asks you how your day is going. That’s the environment at GLVH – everyone genuinely cares about each other and what they’re doing and it creates such positive energy.”
We’re so glad to have Nicole here as a part of the Grand Lake Vet family! Nicole’s family is made up of her Mom and her cat Biffy. “Biffy means the world to me. We adopted him 11 years ago when I was 6 and he was barely a couple months old, so we’ve grown up together and he’s truly a third member of our family.”
When Nicole isn’t working or studying, you can find her horseback riding, cooking, and spend her free time outdoors exploring.
In 2017, after a long career in business, followed by several years at home raising her daughter and volunteering in her community, Susan went back to work as a “pack leader,” taking groups of dogs on off-leash hikes in the East Bay hills. It was an amazing experience for Susan and convinced her that she wanted to spend her working days focused on animal care. Specifically, Susan wanted to lessen pets’ stress and to let them know that they will be cared for as if they were her own. So, she applied as at Grand Lake Vet. She felt the interview process was detailed without feeling rigid, “which I think really sums up the working environment at GLVH. I’m so happy to be working alongside such smart, caring, down-to-earth people.”
Susan was born and raised on the East Coast and spent 14 years living in New York City. She moved to the Bay Area in 1995 and hopes to never leave! Her family is made up of her husband Michael; daughter Vivian; doggies Hermione and Heidi and crested geckos Albert and Victoria. “Pets make our family complete! We love them so much and still cry when we think of our dear Harry (the Sheltie) who died in 2017 at 14. Vivian and Harry grew up together. Such kismet that the wonderful Vet who came to our house on a Sunday night, during a torrential downpour, to help Harry to his next destination was Evelyn Ivey, a doctor who worked at Grand Lake Vet.”
Susan loves to cook, hike, read, play tennis and travel with her family. We’re so grateful to have Susan on the team!