When Lead Receptionist Elaine Mariani retired at the end of last year, she had been working at GWLAH for 14 years.
Retirement, she said, hasn't really kicked in yet.
"It still feels like vacation," she said. "It is nice not to have to get up in the morning at the crack of dawn!"
Working in a fast-paced, always changing environment, where multitasking was de rigueur, was just her speed Elaine said.
"I learned so much about the industry and pet care, and am so grateful for the friendships I made over the years," she said.
Being a part of the hospital family for so long, Elaine said she has seen kittens and puppies grow up, and has also been there when families crossed their beloved pets over the Rainbow Bridge.
These days, she said she's catching up on her reading, cooking, baking and just enjoying the view from her window.
Happy retirement Elaine!
A senior at University of Massachusetts - Amherst, Isabella Stefanides spent some time at GWLAH during her winter break, learning what it's really like to work in veterinary medicine.
Ever an enthusiastic intern, Isabella said her experience at the hospital was "excellent!"
"I learned so much in a short amount of time and all of the staff were welcoming and eager to teach me," she said. "I took a clinical case-based course this past fall semester and loved that I was able to relate some of the things I learned in a clinical setting."
When she finishes up this year, Isabella will receive a bachelor's degree in pre-veterinary medicine.
As for what's next for her, she said only time will tell.
"I applied this cycle to a few schools for veterinary medicine and am still awaiting responses of admissions," she said.
January marks the ninth annual National Train Your Dog Month, a campaign that focuses on bringing awareness to the importance of socialization and training.
Created by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), the event is designed to promote the importance and benefits of training dogs to become happy and healthy companions.
Too many dogs are surrendered at animal shelters each year for behavior problems that could easily be solved with proper socialization and positive, science-based methods of training.
This is especially true for all of the puppies that weren't able to attend puppy kindergarten during their critical socialization period at the height of COVID restrictions.
Pet parents looking for more information can go to https://trainyourdogmonth.com/ for pet training videos, as well as podcasts from the APDT on a variety of pet-related issues.
While keeping cats indoors throughout the winter months is a no brainer, it's important to remember that cold weather is not the only danger they face outdoors.
Hawks, coyotes and aggressive dogs can all cause your wayfaring feline to disappear, leaving you brokenhearted and wondering what happened to them.
In their travels outside, cats can also be exposed to toxic chemicals, such as those found in pest control products or antifreeze, as well as certain varieties of plants.
Despite their supposed nine lives, the trauma of being hit by a car could also cause your kitty to never make it home.
In considering what's best for your cat, just remember that keeping cats indoors keeps them safe.