• Michelle T. Brownstein DVM

A Veterinarian's Home aka 'the zoo'

A veterinarian's home is a most amusing place. And when it comes to animals, it is a home in constant flux.

Currently, the family dogs make up the smallest group in our house. My son has a Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Chester who was once the subject of a blog appropriately called "The Food Strategist." As a member of the Herding Group, by their very nature they are independent, energetic, and stubborn. Corgis, like Chester, are extremely food-motivated. One day on the way home from work I was lamenting to my son Isaac about Chester's garbage forays and his insatiable appetite. Isaac decried that Chester was not a "pig" in dogs clothing but a “food strategist.” Chester plots how he is going to obtain food...every minute of every day. And, he outsmarts us at every opportunity.

The antithesis to Chester is my dog Max, a retired racing Greyhound. Most people think of Greyhounds as very high-energy dogs. They are not. They take their retirement very seriously. Although they are the second fastest land animal on earth, surpassed only by the cheetah, they spend most of their time resting and conserving energy for their race. Thus, they got the nickname "45-mile-an hour couch potato." I acquired Max when he was eight years old. At 11, he shows no signs of age. At home, he can be found in one of two places, lounging on the couch or lounging on my bed. At work he can be found lounging behind the reception desk or lounging in my office. Both Chester and Max travel to work with me daily and are clinic mascots.


Cats are like potato chips; you can’t have just one. So, we have four family cats. All were strays abandoned at the clinic for a variety of medical or financial reasons. Buzz is our senior feline, and at 16 years of age still acts like a kitten. As King of “Pride Rock” he can be found basking in the sun surrounded by his harem of three female companions: Kittlins, Linus, and Boca.

Kittlins came to me as a kitten with irreparable eye trauma. She had the eye removed and has been impertinent ever since. She is now seven years old and the head feline.

Linus came to us as a very sick six-week-old kitten. After observing her seizures, it turned out that she has a liver shunt. As a result, toxins in her blood would bypass the liver and cause convulsions. She went to Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine and had a real C(at) Scan which confirmed the diagnosis. She has been on medical management for four years. Her tenacity constantly amazes me.

Finally there is Boca, another abandoned kitten who came to us in rough shape. We managed to treat all her problems but discovered she has Feline Leukemia, an incurable virus. Only time will tell if she can conquer this condition. She is almost a year old and views the house as the Indianapolis 500 Speedway.

So that’s a quick peek at the critters residing in my home ... for now. Check back with us from time to time to see what else we’re up to.

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Henrietta Animal Hospital

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