Dirk – Clinic Dog
Dirk is the clinic dog and Dr. Sara’s pal. He is a mixed breed stray that jumped into Dr. Sara’s car one day and refused to get out. She finally gave in and Dirk has lived with her happily for the last 4 years, never more than 6 inches away from Dr. Sara. He loves people, especially kids. His flat head is a perfect step stool for little feet and he’s always happy to oblige when kids need to reach something. Dirk works most days at the clinic and is always happy to say hello to a new friend.
Laurie – Receptionist
Laurie is the friendly voice on the phone and the smiling face at the desk. She has a gift for connecting with people and never forgets a face or a name. She is a native Minnesotan and takes “Minnesota Nice” very seriously. Laurie has worked in the veterinary field for more than a decade. She contemplated pursuing a career as a veterinary technician, but decided that she preferred working in the office forming relationships with people and their pets. This is Laurie’s true love and her passion for people shows through in every conversation.
Laurie lives in Golden Valley with her husband and 2 children. Her kids attend a Spanish immersion school and participate in numerous other activities. Most of her time outside of work is spent getting the kids to and from activities. Her house is in constant motion. After losing her 14-year-old Border Collie Cosmo, Laurie and her family adopted an outgoing little blondie named Maizy. Maisy is a sweet little mixed breed dog with absolutely crazy hair. Despite her frequent bad hair days, Maizy is fitting in well at Laurie’s house. When Laurie does find time to relax, she likes to travel to her family lake cabin and water ski or fish. She packs up the car and goes up north all year round, spending time with her family and friends any time she can.
Molly – Certified Veterinary Technician, Practice Manager
Molly is a Certified Veterinary Technician but she wears many hats at Northwest Animal Hospital. She is also the Practice Manager and the resident computer whiz. Molly is behind all of the technology that the hospital uses to communicate with clients.
Molly is a native Minnesotan and loves it here. She grew up in the metro area with lots of pets. She has always had an interest in caring for and diagnosing her family pets. It was her love of animals and science that led her to the veterinary profession. Initially, she studied accounting and computers before starting school for Veterinary Technology. She attended MSB in Plymouth, just a few blocks from Northwest Animal Hospital, where she graduated with high honors in 2005 with an AAS degree.
At Northwest Animal Hospital, Molly is able to put all of her skills to good use. In addition to managing many of the business aspects, she is an expert technician, as all of her colleagues and interns can attest to. Molly has a warm, welcoming smile that instantly puts pets and people at ease. In addition to her talents working with animals, Molly is also great with kids. She coordinates all of Northwest Animal Hospitals visits with schools, Boy and Girl Scout tours and she has even planned birthday parties at the clinic as donations for community groups.
Molly also answers to the title “Mom”. She has a very active 6-year-old boy at home. He keeps her busy playing trucks, crawling on things and chasing the dog around the house. Her house is also home to a crazy pup named Charlie. When Molly isn’t chasing her son or the dog around, she enjoys spending time with her family up north. She hopes to be able to travel more someday when her life slows down and she is able to catch her breath.
April – Certified Veterinary Technician
April has been a Certified Veterinary Technician for more than a decade. She grew up in rural Minnesota and attended Ridgewater College. In 2000, she graduated with an A.A.S degree in Veterinary Technology. April completed an internship at the University of Minnesota and stayed in the twin cities metro area to continue working in a busy small animal hospital. A few years later, April met and married an airline pilot.
April’s furry family members include 2 spoiled cats, Pita and Baba. Pita was a rescued cat that had a long-term injury that required special nursing care by a veterinary professional. April nursed her back to health and now Pita runs the household. Baba was also rescued from Leech Lake Legacy. She was fostered at Northwest Animal Hospital for a very short period of time before she found her way into April’s heart and home. She now spends her day collecting small objects and stashing them under the bed.
In her free time, April enjoys creative projects like scrapbooking and quilting. She has amazing artistic ability and is considered our resident clinic artist. April is not only artistically talented but also incredibly smart, caring and helpful. If you have a question about your pet, April is always more than willing to answer it! She has an enormous amount of knowledge and experience in the veterinary field.
Sarah – Veterinary Assistant
Sarah’s official title at Northwest Animal Hospital is “Veterinary Assistant” but we like to call her our resident millennial. Sarah graduated from Drake University in Iowa with a degree in Biology. She plans to apply for veterinary school and joined the Northwest team to get more experience in veterinary medicine.
Sarah is a native Minnesotan but she loves to travel. She worked on a wildlife reservation as a biology conservationist in South Africa which sparked her interest in veterinary medicine. Sarah has collected 8 stamps in her passport and she has plans for more. She also enjoys baking and spending time with her family and black lab Sami (a lab/cattledog/weimaraner/golden mix). Sarah is bubbly and outgoing and if you hear singing in the clinic, it’s likely to be Sarah singing her favorite country song.
The next step in her veterinary career is a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) with a specialty in Infectious Disease. With her MPH degree, Sarah will be able to study diseases that affect both people and animals and the interface between species and contagious diseases. She is working part-time with Northwest as she completes her Master’s Program.
Leiah – Veterinary Assistant
Leiah joined the Northwest Team as a Veterinary Assistant after graduating from North Dakota State University with a degree in Microbiology. She is learning about all aspects of the clinic in preparation for attending veterinary school. Leiah is bursting with optimistic energy and brings joy to everyone she meets. You can hear the smile in her voice when you call to schedule an appointment. Leiah grew up on a farm in rural Minnesota just across the corn field from Dr. Sara. With three older sisters in the house, Leiah often spent quiet time in the barn caring for her quarter horse, Sisco and her Shetland Pony, Rebel. For most of her childhood, Leiah was involved in showing horses through 4-H and Future Farmers of America. She became serious about pursuing a career in veterinary medicine when her horse, Sisco, colicked and required extensive veterinary treatment. Leiah nursed her back to health after she was given an extremely poor chance of survival. She plans to one day return to a rural area to practice veterinary medicine even though the Northwest team will never let her leave without a fight.Leiah enjoys spending time with her family including her sisters and several nieces. Leiah says her family suffers from “FOMO”, the fear of missing out. Her family events usually involve the entire family and lots of laughter. Being the youngest employee in a small business run entirely by women suits Leiah well since she is used to so many older sisters.
Erika – Veterinary Assistant
Erika is a Veterinary Assistant who joined the Northwest Team in 2014. She started out observing at the clinic as a Pre-vet student before applying to veterinary school. When Erika graduated from North Dakota State University and adopted her first dog, she began working at the clinic part-time.Erika is a native to Plymouth and lives very close to the clinic. She is so close that she can ride her bike to work when the weather is cooperative. Even if the weather isn’t nice, Erika and her dog Odin, a very large German Shepard, walk at least 5 miles every day. Erika is learning firsthand the challenges of raising a new puppy. It’s a good thing she is interested in veterinary medicine since Odin has had more than his share of illness as a puppy. Now that he is a healthy and happy dog, Odin is enjoying his obedience and agility training classes.After graduating with a degree in Microbiology, Erika started working in a corporate laboratory facility doing microbiology testing while she is finishing her veterinary school application. She hopes to one day combine her love of science and animals in a veterinary career. Erika knew she wanted to be a veterinarian in 3rd grade when she attended a career day session hosted by a veterinarian at Gleason Lake Elementary School. In her free time, Erika enjoys baking, reading and spending time with her family. They enjoy spending time outside hiking, biking and camping. Erika has been known to make a complete mess of the kitchen in the pursuit of the perfect home-cooked meal.