"I didn't realize that not all three-year-olds were walking Doberman's alone on the street," recalls Kyra Blumberg.
Her training in the veterinary world began early in life because Kyra's grandpa was the original owner of Santa Rosa Veterinary Hospital. She lived above the hospital until she was three years old and now she's returned to join the team as a skilled veterinary assistant.
Both her grandparents taught her how to care for animals. "I had a behind the scenes experience," says Kyra about growing up in the veterinary hospital world. They taught her how to take care of birds and how to give medicine. With her newfound knowledge, she was ready to have her own pet. Chauncy the Pekingese was her first pup. "He was awesome. He was the typical Pekingnese, he loved himself," laughs Kyra. At her mom's house, she helped care for their cat Spiro who is 19 years old.
Kyra's love for animals continued to grow throughout her childhood. In high school, she volunteered at the humane society. After her grandpa retired, Kyra joined him in volunteering for a traveling vet non-profit that gave care to homeless people's pets. "We went to the homeless people's communities so they didn't have to worry about finding transport," she explains. Kyra made sure the pet parents had the info they needed and helped the vet techs and other volunteers. "If a more complicated surgery was required, Dr. Krome would let my grandpa use the Santa Rosa Veterinary Hospital facilities."
Now Kyra is working towards her dream of becoming a veterinarian. She works part-time at the hospital and is a full-time student at the Santa Rosa Junior College. "I'd love to work with rescue dogs, maybe in a shelter or for an organization." She has a special place in her heart for rescues. Her pup Greeah is a rescue dog. "We love to go hiking together, and Greeah loves to hunt things, especially possums and skunks!" A successful skunk hunt for Greeah unfortunately means the pup needs to spend a few days in the garage.
Now Kyra is working towards her dream of becoming a veterinarian. She works part-time at the hospital and is a full-time student at the Santa Rosa Junior College. "I'd love to work with rescue dogs, maybe in a shelter or for an organization." She has a special place in her heart for rescues. Her pup Greeah is a rescue dog. "We love to go hiking together, and Greeah loves to hunt things, especially possums and skunks!" A successful skunk kill for Greeah unfortunately means the pup needs to spend a few days in the garage.
Kyra is no stranger to exotic animals-leopard geckos rounded out her childhood menagerie.
One of her all-time favorite pets was a ferret named Bandit. "He was really hyper yet a great companion to have." She didn't blink when her first hospital training day presented her with a lemur from Safari West. Kyra got to hold the gentle lemur and helped take blood samples.
As a vet assistant, Kyra helps the hospital stay humming. During Covid times, she meets patients outside and guides them into their rooms. Kyra asks questions about why the pet is visiting to give the vet necessary background information. Then she gathers the right tools and prep for whatever procedure is on the horizon. "A large part of the work is knowing how to properly restrain each pet," she explains "you need to be able to read their body language and help them calm down so they don't accidentally injure the vet." She wants pet parents to know that the hospital staff is always trying to give their pets proper care, so please be patient.
It helps to have cuddly Dobi and Noodle around when the workday feels hectic. "They make these cute wheezing noises so I always know Noodle is coming." Kyra gives Noodle a fun pat on the head each time she walks by the front desk. "Dobi is always trying to get on my shoulders, even though he is too big!" Emotional support cats, thanks for keeping it silly and feisty.
Thank you Kyra for contributing your extensive animal care knowledge and dedication to pet health.
Let Kyra know your rescue dog story the next time you come in for a visit!
Written by Roxanne Darrow - 4/7/21