Glenwood Springs vet tech student knows animal care is not all fun and games |

Glenwood Springs vet tech student knows animal care is not all fun and games

Phillip YatesGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Chad Spangler Post Independent

SPRING VALLEY, Colorado – Stitches stretched across almost all of Ledeux’s chest.But they weren’t going to hold. There was too much tension on the dog’s skin.That unfortunate development came just days after the border collie mix had a complete mastectomy surgery because of an infected mammary gland. The dog was going through a painful recovery. The staff at Colorado Animal Rescue (CARE) could see it.”You could tell she was in pain,” said Lindsay Teaze, one of the CARE workers who looked after Ledeux.Taking care of the dog in the wake of its painful surgery until its eventual adoption a short time later led Teaze to do something she never wanted to do as a worker at CARE: She picked a favorite.”You work with animals every day, but sometimes you have to detach yourself from them,” said Teaze, 26.But that couldn’t stop Teaze from establishing a strong bond with Ledeux, a dog who went through so much.”She is one of the nicest dogs I’ve ever met,” said Teaze said. “She is sweet, sweet, sweet.”

Teaze recalled the dog’s journey through the shelter – which she called an “amazing success story” – as she walked along CARE’s halls and by dogs like Maynard, a miniature pinscher-Lab mix, and Lucinda, a yellow Lab, who are both awaiting adoption. “It looks like you two guys are back together,” she said to the two dogs.As Teaze walked around the shelter, she spoke warmly of the work CARE workers do to help stray and abandoned pets find new homes and to help educate area residents about the need to spay and neuter their pets. The shelter currently has a $75,000 contract to spay and neuter county pets. In May alone, CARE spent $13,000 of that money and spayed 121 pets.The shelter is the main facility that the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office uses when its deputies find stray and abandoned pets, and it is full almost every day because of that. “It is really challenging,” Teaze said of working at the shelter. “But is a good challenge, and I am doing my part for the animals in the community.”Teaze mostly works at CARE’s front desk, answering incoming phone calls and helping customers, but she said she does many more things than just that.”Here you have to be a jack of all trades and help out with everything,” she said.Leslie Rockey, the executive director of CARE, said Teaze is one of the first faces people see when they come in and that she is a great asset at the shelter.”She is happy and friendly,” Rockey said.

As Ledeux recovered and waited for her eventual adoption, Teaze took the animal home with her. The time the two spent together was the beginning of a strong, connection that lasts even today.”Teaze was a phenomenal foster home for Ledeux,” Rockey said.But eventually the animal had to be adopted. She was just so good and nice, so finding a new home for the dog wasn’t going to be much of a problem, Teaze said.”It was hard to let her go after we established this relationship with each other,” Teaze said. “It was nice to know she was going to have an awesome home and have an amazing life after everything she went through.”A desire to work with animalsTeaze, who is originally from Massachusetts, knew she wanted to work with animals when she was in high school.But it wasn’t until 2004 when Teaze took a cat that had fleas to an animal clinic did she decide to make a career out of helping animals.During that visit to the animal clinic, she encountered a very “knowledgeable” veterinary technician. That led Teaze to consider a new career option in her life.”I really never considered the option of becoming a vet tech,” she recalled. “The more I thought about it, I realized that is what I wanted to be.”A short stint at an animal hospital in Albany, Ore., where Teaze worked with veterinary technicians, soon followed. She then moved to Colorado in August 2006 to become a student of Colorado Mountain College’s veterinary technology program. CARE is just across the road from CMC’s Spring Valley campus.Teaze’s vet tech background allows her to do much more at the shelter, Rockey said.”She can do more than answer phones,” she said. “She can handle the dogs and the cats. She is very knowledgeable about the animals. She is always willing to step to the plate and do anything that needs to be done.”With three semesters left to go in her veterinary technology program, Teaze said she is on the right path for her life.”I love it,” she said. “It is definitely what I want to be doing.”And so far her experience at CARE has been especially rewarding, too.”I look at working here as a huge blessing to experience this part of the animal world,” Teaze said.

Ledeux had been gone from CARE and away from Teaze for some time until her new owners had to bring her back to the shelter. They needed to finalize Ledeux’s adoption.That was a bittersweet moment for Teaze. She could tell the dog was happy because she was so “stinky” from running around and playing on the new owner’s property.”She was just the happiest dog ever,” Teaze said.For more information about CARE, go to its website at or call the shelter directly at 947-9173.Contact Phillip Yates: 384-9117pyates@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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