We sat down and asked Leslie some questions about her work as a client liaison. As a client liaison, Leslie triages calls, fields inquiries from pet owners and referring veterinarians, schedules appointments and keeps the lines of communication open with all involved in the care of the pets and pet owners she serves. She also provides clinical support for the Orthopedic and Chief surgery service.
1: What inspires you most about your job? Like most pet owners, I love animals and have an undeniable bond with my pets. They are family and to be able to come to work every day and surround myself with animals and the people that love them is amazing.
2: Tell us a little about your pets. I have three pets ranging in size from a small rabbit to a very large horse. Stella, an eight-year-old black lab is the love of our life and she has us perfectly trained. I absolutely love Labrador retrievers and she is perfect! I also own “Sweetie,” a 22-year-old buckskin appaloosa mare, who I’ve had the pleasure of knowing 12 years. We do trail rides and belong to Bay State Trail Riding Association and New England Horse and Trail. We are currently building a barn/paddock in my backyard so that she can move “home,” and it can’t be soon enough. My smallest pet is a five-year-old black lion head house rabbit we call “Daphne.” Daphne lives in the house with us, is litter trained, and if you know anything about rabbits, is quite amusing.
3: Your profession is all about helping others. Tell us your most memorable story of helping a companion pet at Foster Hospital for Small Animals. “Andre” Norris, a two-year-old Chihuahua cross had been hit by a car, which resulted in a right shoulder dislocation and a nerve injury to his left front leg. The poor little guy had no legs to stand on. Dr. McCarthy performed surgery to fuse his right shoulder and when Andre returned 4 months later it was amazing to see how well he had done; he had normal weight bearing on his right front and good progressive use of his left front. His mom/owner has continued to keep us informed on his progress and shared this photo. It’s so rewarding to be a part of a team that is delivering positive outcomes for the pets that we care for each and every day.
4: What aspect of your role do you enjoy most? I love being able to work alongside the veterinarians in the clinics; I am able to absorb and learn so much by being a part of this process. It is also gratifying to follow the clients through the entire care experience, from meeting with them during their first visit and remaining in contact with them through the recovery, discharge and follow up visits. I have gotten to know so many wonderful people through my many years at Foster Hospital.
5: What advice do you have for young veterinary students? Treat every pet as if it were your own.
6. What led you to the field of animal medicine? Pure Luck. My husband and I moved to Grafton 18 years ago. I was working in Franklin and was looking for something closer to home and found the perfect job at Foster Hospital for Small Animals. Great hours, close to home, being around animal’s….what’s not to love? Since joining Foster Hospital I have had the opportunity to hold a variety of positions. I started as the operator, moved on to Liaison and am currently working as a clinical assistant/liaison; all of these positions have always kept me challenged and loving my life at Foster Hospital.
7: What surprised you most when you started working in this field? Technological advancements have led to so many new treatment options that are now available to animals. When I was a child, the only treatment I recall giving our pets were vaccines and heartworm preventative. There is so much more that we can provide now to keep our animals healthy and help them when they begin to fail.
8: Do you have a favorite quote, motto or personal mantra?
Dogs in our lives.
We aren’t house-proud. If we were, we wouldn’t abide the scratches on the doorframe, the holes in the screen, the darkened shine of worn spots on the chair. We would wince at the mottled carpet and fret at the hair clinging to our clothes.
We don’t. If anything, we lovers of dogs are a tolerant lot, finding greater value in the unabashed affection of our friends than in immaculate sofas. Shoes can be replaced, but heroic retrievers are timeless.
Without dogs, our houses are cold receptacles for things. Dogs make a fire warmer with their curled presence. They wake us, greet us, protect us, and ultimately carve a place in our hearts and our history. On reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.
– Paul Fersen