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A Senior Moment - Wordless Wednesday

Influence Positively Interview - Nancy Kay, DVM


DR. NANCY KAY wanted to become a veterinarian for just about as long as she can remember. Her veterinary degree is from Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine, and she completed her residency training in small animal internal medicine at the University of California—Davis Veterinary School.

Dr. Kay is a board certified specialist in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and published in several professional journals and textbooks. She lectures professionally to regional and national audiences, and one of her favorite lecture topics is communication between veterinarians and their clients. Since the release of her book, Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life, Dr. Kay has lectured extensively and written numerous magazine articles on the topic of medical advocacy.

Dr. Kay is a staff internist at VCA Animal Care Center, a 24-hour emergency/specialty care center in Rohnert Park, California. As a way of providing emotional support for people with sick four-legged family members, Dr. Kay founded and helps facilitate the VCA Animal Care Center Client Support Group. She also facilitates client communication rounds for VCA Animal Care Center employees.

Dr. Kay’s personal life revolves around her husband (also a veterinarian), her three children (none of whom aspire to be veterinarians) and their menagerie of four-legged family members. When she’s not writing, she spends her spare moments in the garden or riding along the beach atop her favorite horse. Dr. Kay and her family reside in Sebastopol, California.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? My mother always told me, “You’re only as happy as your least happy child.” As the mother of three grown children, I’ve come to believe this is true for me- although it’s a concept a good psychotherapist would likely want to talk me out of! So, when all three of my kids are happy and healthy, I’m a pretty darned happy camper!

If you could come back as a dog or a cat, which one would it be & why? During my career as a small animal veterinarian, I’ve met so many fabulous clients who provide the most incredible and loving homes for their pets. I often tell them, “If ever I am reincarnated as a dog or cat, I’d be delighted to come back as one of yours!” So, either way, dog or cat, is okay with me as long as I end up with one of these clients taking care of me!

What is your pets most treasured possession? Wow, this really depends on which species we are talking about. No doubt, I am my dogs’ most treasured possession. The cats favor the patch of catnip we have growing year round in our garden.

Your proudest achievement so far? It would be tough to name just one given the many facets of my life. Certainly, raising children and working hard (still!) to maintain a successful marriage have been a big source of pride. As a veterinarian, receiving the American Animal Hospital’s Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award was huge! As an author, appearing as a guest on NPR’s Fresh Air With Terry Gross was simply “over the top” for me.

Who are your heroes in real life? The people I most admire are those who are steadfast in their determination to make positive changes for causes other than themselves.