Meeting a new veterinarian can be scary, which is why we want you to feel as if the Gentle Touch Animal Hospital veterinarians are part of your family. To help shed some light on our veterinarians’ lives and learn what led them down the path of caring for animals, they took part in a Q&A session. Let’s take a look.
Q: How did you decide you wanted to be a veterinarian?
Dr. Dunham: Unlike most veterinarians who wanted to be a vet all through their childhood, it didn’t hit me until a month prior to my undergraduate graduation. I had been studying pre-med for four years, and, while all my friends were working at hospitals, I was working at the local zoo. A friend suggested I become a vet instead, so I shadowed at a veterinary hospital close to my university, and after one day, I knew that’s what I wanted to be.
Q: How did you land at Gentle Touch Animal Hospital?
Dr. Tasky: I started the business from scratch in 2000.
Dr. Dunham: I wasn’t looking for a new job, but I stumbled across Gentle Touch’s job posting and realized the hospital is Fear Free, AAHA-accredited, and non-corporate, and practices the highest quality of medicine possible. I knew this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
Dr. Powers: I followed Dr. Dunham from a previous practice. She’s a fantastic veterinarian, mentor, and friend, so I knew that I’d love practicing alongside her. Along with her high accolades, I could tell that Gentle Touch Animal Hospital’s standards of care, culture, and medicine were top-notch, and it was the place for me.
Q: What’s your favorite part about being a veterinarian?
Dr. Tasky: I love providing the absolute best care for my patients so they can live long, happy lives.
Dr. Dunham: The best part about being a veterinarian is the variety that every day brings. In a single day, I can be a surgeon, dentist, pharmacist, and a phlebotomist, but then also address behavior concerns, consult about complicated diseases, interpret X-rays, and also play with new puppies and kittens. Every day is a new adventure.
Dr. Powers: Witnessing the human-animal connection is my favorite part of being a veterinarian. Although I only get a glimpse—and less so with curbside safety during COVID—I feel so privileged to be able to help fur babies live long, happy lives with their favorite humans.
Q: What’s your favorite food?
Dr. Powers: It’s a toss up between boiled crawfish and my mom’s rice and gravy.
Q: What’s your favorite movie genre?
Dr. Tasky: Historical fiction movies are my favorite.
Q: What’s your favorite hobby?
Dr. Dunham: Snowboarding in the winter, running in fair weather, rock climbing, and scrapbooking fill my free time.
Q: Do you prefer city life or wide open spaces?
Dr. Powers: Definitely city life, because I don’t want to have to drive more than five minutes to get a gallon of milk.
Q: What do you love best about living in the city?
Dr. Dunham: I’m a big foodie, so the overwhelming number of restaurants to choose from is a huge plus. I also love sporting events, especially hockey, and musical theater, which you certainly can’t find in wide open spaces.
Q: What would you like to accomplish in the next five years?
Dr. Tasky: Once COVID is behind us, I want to resume travel overseas and take on more scuba diving trips. I’d also like to take classes to become a sommelier.
Q: Tell us about your human family.
Dr. Powers: Although I was adopted at 3 months of age and raised as an only child, I’ve discovered I come from a large Cajun family. I recently found my biological father and three siblings who still reside in my hometown in Louisiana, and I hope to meet them when travel is safer.
Q: Tell us about your pets.
Dr. Tasky: Stella is a 10-year-old terrier mix who has never met a lap she doesn’t love. I also have three clinic cats—Hobbes, a rambunctious teenager; Rogue, the hospital boss; and Zip, a voracious eater of all foods.
Dr. Dunham: Penny is a 9-year-old tuxedo cat who was left in a box at a veterinary hospital I worked at, and Kira is a 3-year-old mixed-breed, brindle-colored dog. Penny is definitely the ruler of the house, and Kira follows all her commands.
Dr. Powers: I have two 9-year-old cats, Sushi and Sully. I found Sushi as a young kitten pitifully meowing in the parking lot of a sushi restaurant back home. Shortly after bringing her home, I adopted Sully to raise them as a pair. Sully is named after Jake Sully from the movie Avatar because he is so grey that he almost looks blue. I hope to adopt a pup at some point—if my cats allow it.
Q: What’s on your bucket list?
Dr. Dunham: I’d like to be free of student-loan debt in the next five years, and I also want to bring my adoptive parents to meet my birth parents.
Q: Do you have any unexpected talents?
Dr. Tasky: Photography is one of my favorite hobbies.
Dr. Dunham: I’m pretty awesome at always getting a good parking spot.
Dr. Powers: I can win against anyone in a thumb war.
After this sneak peek behind the white coats, scrubs, and stethoscopes of Gentle Touch Animal Hospital’s veterinarians, we hope you know our team better. The next time your furry pal comes in for an appointment, you can challenge Dr. Powers to a thumb war, discuss photography with Dr. Tasky, or chat about hockey with Dr. Dunham.