Started at Den Herder Vet: 2006
Where I’m From: Waterloo, Iowa
Family: I married my high school sweetheart, Mark Brandes in 2008. have 3 wonderful kids, Blake born in 09’, Brock born in 2014, and Brook born in 2016

Past Pets: Yankee-a husky/lab mix, Keno-a poodle mix, Dyson- he is my labradoodle I acquired through work
Current Pets: Scrubs- I’m thinking he’s a poodle/terrier cross. I adopted him in 2005 during my tech schooling.  Midget- she is my white cat I also acquired through work in 2006. Bella- she is my gray tabby cat that we found as a kitten at my dads house in 2007. Pig and Spinner- these two orange tabbies I just got from my dads house in the fall of 2017. And Siri, my big fluffy Doodle!
One piece of pet advice: I would just say gentle leaders are great if your dog pulls a lot while on leash. They put pressure on certain areas on the dogs head to calm them down. They work very nice!
Afraid of any animals?  Only thing I’m always kinda of scared of is a snake biting me. I can handle the smaller ones but the bigger ones are scary. Probably just from all the animal shows you see on TV and people getting bit by snakes. So, I just proceed with caution =+)
What’s the farthest away from Waterloo you’ve ever been? Mexico and Florida.

What do you do for the DHVH team?
I am a Registered Veterinary Technician. That means you do a special 2 year program in college and take boards and become certified. I do anything from cleaning a kennel to putting your pet under anesthesia. We have a wide range of duties. Techs can do anything but prescribe, diagnose, and do surgery.

Any pet challenges at home?
Scrubs is my senior dog. He has Cushing’s disease. His body can’t regulate his cortisol levels so he takes medicine for that. A few symptoms you see from Cushing’s disease is they drink and pee a lot. He has some accidents in the house and wants outside a lot. He also has some seizures randomly. I do not have him on any anti seizure medication because he doesn’t have them regularly. I’ll mention my mad cat also. Midget, my oldest cat, doesn’t really care for the other cats in the house. She likes being left alone and she will try beating up the two newest cats if they come to close!

Craziest or most unusual thing you’ve seen on the job?
I’ll never forget helping Dr. Cherney with removing a lump on a wallaby. That’s an animal that looks like a kangaroo. That was a pretty cool animal!

What’s something about yourself that might surprise others?
I went to Las Vegas to get my vet tech degree. I lived out there with family for a couple of years. Also, I don’t sit still very long. I am always cleaning something up or re-arranging things. I love to be outside when it’s warm. I don’t handle the cold very well!

What’s something new you have learned recently?
For being a Registered Vet Tech, you have to continuously get new training to keep your license. I’m always learning new ideas and technology from lectures and labs. Something I learned recently was that pelicans have air pockets under their skin and almost feels like your popping bubble wrap when you touch them. It feels pretty cool.