STORY BY ALICE BENAVIDES
HOUSE CALLS. A THING OF THE PAST? Not for Tulsa.
Serving the Tulsa area are a few dedicated professionals who make it their priority to bring their specialty to pet owners with mobility as an option.
SHARI WILDER is one such Tulsan.
She owns Posh Paws Mobile Dog Grooming. She travels to peoples’ homes and grooms their dogs in her van right outside the home.
Shari got her idea one day while searching the web. Soon after, she and her husband purchased a van and morphed it into a salon. That was in 2004, and ever since, she has operated her business-one dog at a time-from her mobile salon.
Every day is a new experience for Shari as she drives from home to home grooming her furry friends. She tries to schedule no more than seven dogs a day, taking about one hour to bathe, blow dry, and groom each animal.
Shari finds that her mobility reduces stress for pet owners, who do not like leaving their beloved pets at the groomers all day-and locked up in a cage for most of that time-not to mention all the driving to and fro. And she says there is less stress for the pets also. She can work one-on-one, without the chaotic barking of other dogs in the background.
And best of all, when Shari is done, she walks the dog back into the house freshly groomed and happy. “That is the best feeling I could ever ask for,” she says. Shari can be reached at 918-671-3899 or [email protected]. Her web site is www.tulsapaws.com.
Another professional dedicated to mobility is SCOTT HARTFELDER. Scott owns PetSquad, a home delivery system of allnatural dog and cat foods, treats, and supplies.
A casualty of layoff in 2003, Scott found his inspiration while researching businesses and franchises for purchase. And being a pet lover himself, he believed that this unique business would make a go in the Tulsa area.
A typical day for Scott is spent taking orders on the phone and internet, and then filling theorders and delivering them. Each day of the week is spent covering a certain zip code area. That way, his customers have the convenience of knowing when he will be in their neighborhood.
Scott says his business is truly familyowned. His wife fills in for him when necessary, and his father does most of the deliveries-and the customers just love him! “We are a family of pet lovers and truly enjoy and believe in what we do!” Scott says.
Many people hear about Scott’s business and think they are unable to afford it. He encourages these prospective customers to compare the price and ingredients in his product with something similar at the store, and they will see that PetSquad is not only affordable but convenient. And delivery is free! Scott can be reached at 918-369-9399 or [email protected] His web site is www.petsquadok.com.
HEATHER OWEN, DVM, owns Animal Acupuncture and is a mobile veterinary acupuncturist. She received her DVM from Oklahoma State University in 2001. After seeing many good animals being put down only because they were suffering with painful diseases, such as arthritis or hip dysplasia, Heather looked for an alternative. She attended Colorado State University and received her acupuncture certification in 2006. Now she enjoys helping these animals. Nothing she does hurts them. “Best of all,” she says, “no thermometers!” Acupuncture helps to alleviate pain in older animals that can no longer walk and animals for which surgery is not an option.
Some animals are up and wagging their tails after just one treatment while others may need several treatments. Acupuncture can also help the mother dog who is in labor, unable to continue. Heather inserts a few needles and puppies are born.
The treatments take twenty to thirty minutes, but Heather allows one hour per visit so she can include lots of TLC. She usually cares for about six animals a day, even though she sometimes finds herself still going at 2 a.m.
“Pain management in animals became a passion for me and I am so excited to get to live out my dream!” Heather says. She can be reached at 918-504-7502 or [email protected]
ANITA VREELAND owns Tulsa PAWSpice and Pet Care, a specialized skilled veterinary nursing and hospice service. Anita provides basic pet-sitting for healthy pets as well as pets with special needs. She nurses post-operative and post-illness pets, especially for owners who work out of the house or who are out of town.
And she will also step in and help families deal with their pets in the twilight of life.
The need for this very special kind of pet care became evident to Anita when Emmett, her loyal doggie companion and best buddy for thirteen years, became ill with arthritis and digestive problems. At the time she was working at a local hospital and she struggled with the stress of knowing her beloved furry friend was home alone with no one to check on him. His death became an incredible hurdle for her, and now, Emmett is her inspiration as she cares for other pets in need. His photo is on the logo of her business card.
Anita works forty hours a week at a local twenty-four-hour veterinary emergency room, and also tends to her own clients.
And sometimes she is called out in the wee hours of the morning.
Anita’s office is her cell phone and the back seat of her SUV, where she carries around all the necessary supplies she needs. It is a benefit, she says, to have everything at arm’s reach, but she also finds it a drawback as she has no front door on which to hang a “SORRY, WE’RE CLOSED” sign or an office staff to “take her calls.” But the sloppy dog kisses and the kitty head-butts are all she needs to keep her going. “The confidence and trust that people place in me by allowing me to come into their homes and care for their pets is immeasurable,” Anita says. She can be reached at 918-230-8695 or [email protected].
The Mobile Pet Vet is CAROLYNNE CASH. She and her assistant, April, run a full-service veterinary clinic that comes to your home. The clinic on wheels is a 2006 LaBoit customized truck that can offer many services from vaccinations to surgery.
After graduating from Oklahoma State College of Veterinary Medicine in 1996, Carolynne decided to open a clinic of her own, but soon realized the area she lived in could not support another small animal veterinarian. Instead, she and her husband made an investment in a mobile clinic, and now Carolynne finds that the flexibility in her schedule works well for her and her family.
A typical day finds Carolynne educating clients and giving preventative care-vaccinations and parasite control-examining, diagnosing, and treatment, as well as common surgical procedures like spaying, neutering, mass removals, and suturing lacerations, and hopefully, taking a lunch break.
Like our other professionals, Carolynne finds many benefits as well.
“Having a patient respond to treatment or receiving a thank you from a client-even when a case does not respond well-is always rewarding,” she says.
And sometimes, Carolynne finds humor along the way. She tells a story about Sally, a thirty-pound mixed breed, who was suffering with severe tick anemia and needed a blood transfusion. It was after hours and Carolynne had no one to assist her. She asked Sally’s owners to help her “collect the blood.” The two looked at each other and nodded hesitantly.
Finally the husband said, “Okay, I guess we can do that for her.” After Carolynne explained the procedure to the couple and gave them each a job to do, they each exhaled a sigh of relief. Puzzled, Carolynne asked, “Did you think it would be more complicated than that?” “No,” the wife responded with a giggle, “we thought you would need to collect the blood from us!” Sally made a full recovery and her owners were relieved in more ways than one. Carolynne can be reached at 918-346-0823 or [email protected]
These professionals have taken the extra mile to bring their services to the streets of Tulsa and the surrounding area. The hours may be long and the work hard, but it sounds like the rewards are countless. Whatever need your pet may have, there is someone who can come to your doorstep with the care and compassion you desire.