Nicole is part of our family. It’s hard to believe, but next to Kathy and I, she is our senior employee. It has been very rewarding to see Nicole not only develop into a great employee, but into a wonderful person.
— Dr. Mike

In September 2017, Nicole celebrated her 20th (!) anniversary at Smith Vet. We asked her a few questions about herself in honor of the occasion, and she was kind enough to play along. Have a look!

Where are you from originally?

I was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

How did you come to work at Smith Vet?

This is such a great memory for me and brings tears of joy to my eyes! There were a handful of times I would drive around with my mom, she worked for a delivery company. One of my mom's regular stops was Smith Veterinary Hospital. I had always dreamed of being a veterinarian. I wanted to get my foot in the door, so I would ask every time my mom delivered there, "Are you guys hiring?" I think I did that at least five or six times. One day I was able to meet Dr. Kathy Dobesh. She showed me around and talked to me. Dr. Kathy Dobesh hired me as a part-time kennel assistant. That was the day my life changed for the better! Mike and Kathy Dobesh have been so great to me! I was very young when I started working at Smith Vet Hospital. Mike and Kathy have inspired and supported me in so many ways. I have learned so much about veterinary medicine, and I have also learned a lot of other important things from
them. Not only do I love and have a wonderful job, but I've also developed a family at Smith Veterinary Hospital. I'm thankful every day for asking the receptionist at the front desk,"Are you guys hiring?"

Have you ever adopted a pet you met at work?

I have adopted a pet I met at work. His name is Little Man! Don't let the name fool you. My Little Man is over seventy pounds. [editor's note: I believe that is Little Man in the picture next to Nicole- he's far from little :)]

What's your favorite funny work story?

 My favorite story is when I scared MB in her car! I ran up to her window and scared her while she was on her phone. I ran away really fast when I did that.  I didn't want MB to catch me! She just recently paid me back the same way. I'm sure MB loved that. There has been a lot of laughs at Smith Vet Hospital. I will never forget the story of Dr. Mike's! Sometimes, we all have trouble pronouncing patients' names correctly. I'm pretty sure everyone has heard this story.*

Is there a strange fact about you that most people don't know?

This might sound silly, but I love McDonald's french fries with Big Mac sauce and ketchup. That's one of my big secrets. [editor's note: Nicole is a super healthy person, so yes, this is a big secret. I did not know this until just now.]

*The story Nicole is referring to is definitely a workplace favorite, and I'm happy to relate it here. Dr. Mike grew up in Nebraska, so when he first came to New Mexico, he hadn't been exposed to much in the way of Spanish names or pronunciation. As he tells the story, he went to grab a chart and see one of his very first patients, a dog named Pepe with an owner named Jesús. He opens the chart, looks around the lobby, and says, "Jee-zus? With Peepee? I'm looking for Jee-zus and Peepee."

He's come a long way since then. 

Nicole was born and raised in Santa Fe.  She started working with us in 1997 as a part-time kennel assistant after school.  As the years progressed, Nicole trained to become a veterinary assistant and is now our longest-term employee and part of the family.

“I feel very fortunate to be a part of the Smith Vet family,” Nicole says, “I have learned so much over the years, not only about veterinary medicine, but about life in general.  I feel like I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I never met Mike and Kathy.” In her free time, Nicole teaches Zumba class and loves to run.  She also enjoys spending time with her dogs Jemma and Little Man.