I grew up on a dairy farm near Plum City, Wisconsin, the oldest daughter of Jim and Verna Weiss. As a girl, I was always following my father down to the barn, and helping with small jobs, such as feeding the calves, scraping the aisle, putting cows in the barn. Always, the arrival of the veterinarian would find me right there beside him, observing if not helping. I was also active in Pepin County 4-H, showing dairy cattle every year, along with baking, photography, and, of course, participating in Veterinary Science. After I graduated Plum City High School, I decided to go to University of Wisconsin – Madison, and major in Dairy Science. It was a hard adjustment, moving away from home to the big city, but the Ag campus at Madison has a great small-town feel. Everyone knows you, and is very friendly. After three years, I applied to the Veterinary School, and was accepted! The next four years, I had a great time studying veterinary medicine. At that time, I planned to be a mixed animal practitioner, so I studied both large and small animal medicine and surgery.
In January 2000, I married my high school sweetheart, Brandon Clare. He graduated from UW-Stout with a degree in Business and Construction Management, and got a job in Brookfield, Wisconsin doing project management for a company doing commercial drywall. Now, there are not many cows in the Milwaukee area. So, instead of becoming a mixed animal practitioner, I changed my focus to small animals only. My first job was in Thiensville, Wisconsin, a small northern suburb of Milwaukee found within the city of Mequon. The Thiensville-Mequon Small Animal clinic is an AAHA-accredited clinic with 5 doctors on staff, doing small animal medicine and surgery. I worked at there for almost 5 years in a full-time position of Associate Veterinarian.
When my oldest son, Jordan, was born, I wanted to reduce my 45 hour work week, and my 40 minute commute, in order to spend more time with him. I moved to the Hartford Animal Clinic, another AAHA-affliated small animal clinic, located in the Kettle Moraine area north of Waukesha. I spent 5 years there, as well, as a part-time Associate Veterinarian, enjoying the extra time with Jordan, and, two years later, with his brother Mason.
As the boys grew, Brandon and I started thinking about moving back to the western Wisconsin area, to be closer to family, and have the boys grow up in the same friendly, caring, small-town environment that we both enjoyed growing up in. In January 2010, we moved back to the Plum City area. I found not one – but two jobs! I started teaching Veterinary Technology at Globe University-Eau Claire campus, and working part-time at the Eau Claire Animal Hospital. I was also very excited to be asked by Patrice to start up a mobile practice. It had always been a dream in the back of my mind to be able to work with animals in the place they are most comfortable – their home. It has been wonderful to plan and work with Patrice to build a practice that fulfills our vision of the best veterinary care for animals, and the people that care for them. I am working toward another dream this year – I will be attending a training course in the fall of 2012, to learn Veterinary Acupunture. It will great to offer an additional treatment for animals, that does not necessarily involve more medication or pills.
In my (limited) spare time – I still enjoy spending time with my boys, reading, organic gardening, and cooking. I have a Weimaraner (Sophie), who prevents us from getting any cats, and have hopes of getting a puppy soon, in order to wear her out!