The saying goes, “It takes a village.” Well, the little village that is the Metropolitan Community College-Maple Woods Veterinary Technology program is working hard to make sure two canine residents will be more than ready to make their new homes with a nationally known veterinarian’s family.
Dr. Marty Becker and his wife Teresa are about to grow their animal clan with the addition of Quin’C and Quill’N later this fall. The doggie duo currently resides at the MCC-Maple Woods campus and is in the care of college faculty, staff and students, but they soon will be home with the Beckers at their Almost Heaven Ranch in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. You might recognize Dr. Becker, because you’ve seen him on “Good Morning America” and “The Dr. Oz Show.” He’s also the author of 22 books that have sold more than 7 million copies combined, including three New York Times best-sellers.
So how did this adoption in progress transpire?
Every semester, the vet tech students work with several animals as part of their curriculum. Just after the start of classes in August, Teresa Becker was with daughter Mikkel Becker Johnson as support for a lab on the MCC-Maple Woods campus during the annual Central Veterinary Conference. Mikkel and Teresa were demonstrating Fear Free, an initiative to “take the ‘pet’ out of ‘petrified,” founded by Dr. Becker. It was a routine event, until Teresa spotted the dog, first in line.
“He was so homely, he was cute,” recalls Teresa. Quin’C, a Dalmatian mix, was a little rough looking. Teresa says, “He had a big knot on his head and scars on his legs. He was just beat up and I just felt so sorry him.”
MCC had acquired Quin’C from a local shelter on Aug. 22. It’s not clear why he was so tattered, but MCC Vet Tech Lab Specialist Joan Gorman, who is a registered veterinary technician, says Quin’C had some lesions, wounds on his legs and she speculates he may have been hit by a car or taken a tumble.
Gorman describes the meeting of Teresa and Quin’C as an instant attraction. “During the demonstration, she was drawn to him over and over again,” says Gorman.
What’s not to love? A 7-8-year old “doll,” who from all accounts is a food-motivated, people-motivated, well-rounded dog.
“I just fell in love with him because he was so sweet,” says Teresa.
So the Becker family adopted Quin’C and the plan was for him to stay on the campus through the semester’s course work and then be delivered to Idaho.
The vet tech students sent a video to the Beckers and Dr. Becker posted it on his Facebook page on September 8th.
Dr. Becker wrote “The Becker Family is growing! Here’s our soon-to-be dog, Quin’C, getting the announcement that he’s been adopted by our family! Thank you to the students in the Maple Woods Veterinary Technology program in Kansas City, MO, for pulling him from the shelter and into their adoption program, and getting him healthy and ready to charm Teresa when she was visiting.”
Time progressed, with updates from Gorman to Teresa about Quin’C’s developments and this is when the second dog took the stage. Gorman sent a picture of Quin’C, with a pooch named Eclair.
“I’m not sure what’s gotten into Teresa, but when she heard our soon-to-be dog Quin’C was the only thing that has given another dog in the adoption program any sense of security and confidence, she immediately said, “Let’s take them both.”
Her name currently is Éclair, although we’ll be changing that to Quill’N, to match our “Q” theme.
She came into the shelter as part of a cruelty case, and they’re getting more information for us.
She’s timid and sad apart from Quin’C, and we just couldn’t bear to separate them or pass up the chance to show her what love and security feel like.
Here they are together, sitting pretty! They’ll be here just before Thanksgiving – and are safe in the care of the wonderful veterinary nursing students at Maple Woods Veterinary Technology in Kansas City, Missouri, until then. We can’t wait to welcome them home!”
So about that “village” at MCC-Maple Woods.
MCC’s Dr. Chris Morrow has oversight of the vet tech program. He explains the team strategy that happens during the semester with the campus’ Adopt A Pet effort as an excellent collaboration between program faculty, staff technicians like Gorman, as well as student advocates.
Morrow likes the message these adoptions send to students. “For the students, it’s really eye-opening,” he says, adding, “I like the fact that even though they are known across the entire country that they are still reaching out and adopting animals. Nice, that it shows the students that no matter who you are, you can make a difference.”
Animals are assigned both a first-year and second-year student advocate.
Nicole O’Connor, a second-year student graduating in May, is one of Quin’C’s advocates.
“When I first met him, he was not the mostly aesthetically pleasing,” says O’Connor.
O’Connor’s assignment was to look for something Quin’C could improve on and she simply has a hard time finding anything to correct. “Every person he meets is his new best friend. We don’t get to go on runs, we go on moseys,” she says.
”My hope was that someone would see him and love a somewhat goofy looking dog.”
Hope was answered in the form of Teresa and then it doubled.
So how are Quin’C and Quill’N doing?
Gorman put it politely for the food-motivated pair. The dogs are “getting some groceries.” Over the course of the semester, Quill”N has gained 12 pounds. They are getting healthy, plus receiving socialization and training before they are delivered to the Becker family. Vaccinations and neutering are included in the overall program.
“If they are willing to undertake the necessary logistics to get the dogs to them, there has to be something special there. What a fantastic new home,” says Gorman.
Getting to the Beckers:
Exact logistics are being worked out to transport the dogs. The Beckers say their Almost Heaven Ranch is a sanctuary for them. Quin’C and Quill’N will bring the family dog count to six. The dogs are part of a menagerie of three cats, two horses and some aquarium fish, not to mention the surrounding wild critters on the property, including deer, turkeys and coyotes.
Meantime, Teresa says they are getting the dogs some clothes for winter. It’s a little colder in Idaho than at MCC.
“I just can’t wait to get them.”
More about the MCC-Adopt A Pet program:
This is a free adoption service. All animals are spayed, neutered, vaccinated, dewormed and socialized. Click here to see all the animals currently up for adoption.
More about Dr. Marty Becker:
“America’s Veterinarian” has spent his life working toward better health for pets and the people who love them.
Dr. Becker was the resident veterinary contributor on “Good Morning America” for 17 years. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the American Humane Association as well as its Chief Veterinary Correspondent, a founding member of Core Team Oz for “The Dr. Oz Show,” and a member of the Dr. Oz Medical Advisory Panel.
He has written 22 books that have sold more than 7 million copies, including three New York Times best-sellers.
Dr. Becker is an adjunct professor at his alma mater, the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and also at the Colleges of Veterinary Medicine at both Colorado State University and the University of Missouri.