By Rachele Baker, DVM – We all have our own journey to travel in life and our own paths to follow. My path of self-discovery has caused me to evolve and change many times over the years. The path that I have followed in my life has not been a straight path nor a well-traveled path. I feel as Robert Frost did when he said regarding his choice of paths: “I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
So here I am today: a veterinarian, pet lover, author, and blogger. I didn’t grow up knowing that I wanted to become a veterinarian or a writer. We didn’t have many pets when I was growing up. The only one I remember was a German shepherd that we had for only a short time. But I loved animals. I avidly watched “Lassie” on TV and devoured books like “The Black Stallion” and “Jenny Lind and Her Listening Cat.”
Flash forward to my career as co-owner and manager of a motel in Tahoe City, California. While I lived in Lake Tahoe, I was a volunteer for Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care for four years. As a volunteer for Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, I raised, rehabilitated, and released back into the wild hundreds of baby birds, and I loved it. I found so much satisfaction in helping those little birds. I knew that I had finally found my calling in life and it was to help animals.
My work for Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care was my inspiration for becoming a veterinarian. I went back to school at the age of 34 to reinvent myself and start a new career as a veterinarian. I got my B.S. in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology from the University of California Davis in 1997 and my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2001.
I have been fortunate to share my life with some wonderful dogs. In 1992, I got a rambunctious yellow Labrador retriever puppy that we named Chelsea. She was my best buddy for fifteen years before she passed. In 2008, I adopted a beautiful golden retriever puppy named Savanna. She was the love of my life until she passed away quite suddenly and unexpectedly in May of 2018. I still have a sassy Maine coon cat named Chessie that I adopted after finding her abandoned on my front doorstep when I arrived at work one morning. Here is a photo of me with Savanna.
In 2013, I created this website and began writing and publishing articles about issues in dogs and cats with the intent of helping, educating, and supporting pet parents.
I recently wrote and published a book titled Dog Health Care: 7 Simple Ways To Keep Your Dog Healthy. The motivation for me to write this book was to provide dog lovers with the information they need to keep their dogs healthy in a simple, brief, yet comprehensive, manner. Even people who have had dogs for years will be sure to learn something new in this book! You can get your copy on Amazon (e-book or paperback), iBooks, Barnes & Noble (e-book or paperback), or Kobo.
Now I am in the process of writing a cozy mystery set in Lake Tahoe. The working title of my book is Murder at Lake Tahoe. The main character is Rylie Sunderland, a 35-year-old veterinarian, with her loving apricot-colored golden retriever Bella. Stay tuned for updates!