See why we think Dr. Maureen McMichael is a Chambana Mom to Know.
Q: We are so happy to see that Bear is recovering and has been sent to his new forever home. How did Bear’s case affect you and your team at the hospital?
We always try to focus on the good that people are doing since cases like this can break our hearts so quickly. Our team tried to focus their energy on loving Bear (he truly had 24/7 TLC). It was so wonderful to see the incredible outpouring of support from the community (the world, actually). We had offers of financial help, food, treats, and one wonderful lady created a prayer blanket for him. It is always reassuring to see that so many people care deeply about animals.
Q: This unfortunate event shined a light on the amazing work the U of I Vet Med hospital does every day. What has the impact been thus far?
It is great for us and for other pet parents to know that there are funds (the GoFundMe for Bear brought in over $22,000) that they can apply to to help defray costs for care.
Q: What tips do you have for teaching kids about compassion for animals?
Exposure is the most important one. The earlier and the more frequent children can be lovingly exposed to animals the greater their compassion for animals will be. Dogs can be pretty high maintenance so if that is not feasible, cats are much more low maintenance and just as loving (cat lovers would say more …). There are a host of other options (fish, birds, etc.) including visiting our wonderful humane society to ask about walking the dogs or loving on the cats.
They love it, especially the great stories I get to tell them about tiger cubs, bearded dragons, and Turkey vultures … My husband is a math professor so his stories are not nearly as interesting.
Q: What do you love about your job that might not be as obvious to the rest of us?
One part of my job that I love is the outreach we do to teach K9 first aid to Search and Rescue dog owners, first responders, firefighters, etc.
Still learning to be present. Be present with the kids (and not trying to do work too) when I am with them, be present at work (and not worrying about kids) when I am working. But this is so tough. I have the illusion that I can multi-task but that doesn’t really exist. I don’t ever actually work on two things at once; I just switch focus. Then when I focus back in to where I am it takes several minutes to pick up again. So I end up losing time and more importantly, losing those precious moments.
The farmer’s market (Urbana’s Market at the Square) hands down! When I first moved to College Station, Texas, I was told there was a farmers market. I looked for it for months and finally one day got up the nerve to go into the local gas station where it was supposed to be. I asked if they had any idea where it was and they pointed me to a pickup truck in their parking lot. It was open in the back and the driver was selling one tomato plant and two ears of corn. I love our farmer’s market.
Four years ago my then-middle schooler did a science project on colony collapse disorder in honey bees. We were both so moved that we took a course on beekeeping and then bought a hive. My son drove home from Danville with 15,000 bees in a cage on his lap. The buzzing was loud and it has been a wild adventure. Each spring we put a sign on our lawn that says “Dandelions are bee food – Save the Bees.” In addition to loss of genetic diversity the bees are losing some of their most important food sources –dandelions, clover, what humans call “weeds.”
Do you know someone we should feature as a mom (or dad) to know? Nominate him or her here: https://www.chambanamoms.com/chambana-momdad-to-know-nomination-form/