One of my best memories is when I attended summer camp back in grade school. Camp Tekoa was scary, exhilarating, fun, and spiritually fulfilling. It was there that I became in tune with my spirituality and love for Christ. I knew at that point that I wanted to serve the Lord and serve others in some way. I began taking confirmation classes at my church and really studying religion. I was fascinated! I poured over my grandparent’s ancient books on Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Moving into middle school I was certain I wanted to go to divinity school and become a pastor. The only issue is that I was also starting to really enjoy science. My favorite classes were biology and environmental science. I loved dissecting earthworms and exploring nature. My best friend’s father taught hematology at Western Carolina University and allowed me to practice drawing blood on his human dummies. I just loved the human body and was intrigued by how it worked.
I came to a crossroads when I started applying to college. My heart was set on Emory or Duke for divinity school but I also wanted to explore science and stay close to home, so North Carolina State University and the University of Tennessee were also on my radar.
It was when I was a senior in high school that I began working at AHOW. My mom grew up in the same class as our founder, Dr. Hammett, and called her and asked if she would be interested in hiring me. Thankfully, she said “yes!”
From that point on, I loved working with pets and their owners. I remember the thrill I felt when I first drew blood on a cat and when I performed my first dental cleaning. However, I still felt incredibly torn between a pastoral career and a career in veterinary medicine. After much praying and discussion with pastors, family, and friends, I elected to study animal science at NCSU.
Throughout vet school, I remained active in the church, and explored many different churches in the Raleigh area. I became active in the praise and worship band at a local church and my husband and I joined the church there and remained in that ministry for over 5 years.
At that point, I became pregnant with our oldest son, Bradley. Just a few weeks later, Dr. Hammett contacted me to see if I had any interest in moving back to Waynesville. After many tears and prayers, we decided to uproot our lives in Raleigh, leaving our church, our jobs, and our friends, and move back home to the mountains.
I have never regretted that decision. I love working at AHOW and am so blessed to be able to raise our two boys around both sets of grandparents and wonderful, loving friends.
I look at this career as a blessing and an opportunity to encourage and educate others. As veterinarians, we not only provide medical services, but we are counselors, friends, leaders, and supporters.
I am proud to be a veterinarian and so thankful that God gave me a talent and has allowed me to use that here. I am fulfilled in serving my Lord, my staff, my patients, and my clients every day. AHOW really is my home.