A visit to cattle dog publishing- the legacy of Dr Sophia Yin 12/4/2015

I had a wonderful opportunity to travel to Davis, California this November and visit the offices and staff of Cattle Dog Publishing founded by Dr Sophia Yin. Dr Yin and I knew each other fairly well and
developed a friendship through our committee work for the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior. Dr Yin was on the Fear Free board, as I am, and we often discussed how to get more practices using low stress handling. Sophia lead change in our profession with certification programs, book and DVD publications devoted to science based training and low stress handling techniques.

During the year since her death, I have corresponded with her family and staff at Cattle Dog, promoting the books and other resources at veterinary presentations I spoke at. I also kept in touch with the operations manager about what was developing in veterinary medicine for reducing fear and anxiety during veterinary care to keep them up to date on the profession. These people, Georgia, Lauren and Qi were keeping the legacy of Dr Sophia Yin alive. Knowing I shared a passion for behavior and low stress handling, they asked me to write a blog post for Cattle Dog Publishing which was well received. Writing that blog post was an honor and meant so much to me.

Off to California I flew, before the snows of Illinois came down. I spent a day in San Francisco and met Sophia’s mother. We had coffee and dessert at the Ferry building looking over the bay on a lovely fall day. Jackie Yin is a wonderful, sweet woman. She and I have kept up a correspondence since Sophia’s death and it meant a lot to me to meet her. I traveled on to Davis. Davis is a nice, medium sized college town, home of UCDavis. I could easily see why Sophia called this town home. There are lots of parks , a lovely downtown with shops, resturaunts and the veterinary school is nearby, supplying plenty of animal science and veterinary college interns.

I met with the staff of Cattle Dog publishing at Sophia’s home. Jonesy greeted me at the door, and led me around with Lauren. Sophia used many areas of her home as the backdrops and studio for her videos and photos. The home is filled with a positive spirit, as Qi manages the IT for the certification program, Georgia works on writing and promotions, and Lauren managing sales and bookkeeping. As I visited, the staff and I talked about many things including ideas for promoting Cattle Dog to the veterinary profession. Cattle dog publishing is going strong and will continue to be a leader of innovative products in low stress handling. I also want to say how impressed I am with the professionalism and loyalty of Lauren, Qi, and Georgia . They worked for Dr Yin prior to her death, and have stayed throughout, keeping her products and company alive.

When I was at the AVMA convention this summer, another veterinarian asked me if Cattle Dog was still around. They had heard it was dissolved. I assured them that all of Dr Yin’s publications are still available and her website still has the resources of the blog, video, books, dvd’s and a flourishing certification program. Dr Yin was one of the most generous and prolific writers of animal behavior, focusing on reducing stress during care. She had a way of reaching out to veterinarians of all levels, technicians and shelter care workers to understand behavior and how to use that knowledge to adjust care to reduce stress and improve health care. While she is no longer here in person, her spirit and mission live on through her dedicated staff. The future of Cattle dog is certain, and will continue. The profession is finally changing as many clinics are following low stress handling techniques.

Thanks Sophia.

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