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    Important Announcement from Drs. Molly and Steve
    To all of our wonderful clients and friends:

    I am writing to inform you that Dr. Steve Barten and I will be retiring at the end of December.

    This is a bittersweet letter to write. We both have been practicing veterinary medicine for over four decades. Over these many years we have been a part of your lives by virtue of caring for your beloved pets. We’ve experienced your joy of having a new furry (or scaly!) family member, as well as your sorrow of loss. There’s a special bond that veterinarians have with their clients and their pets, and we have been honored to share that with you.

    The best part of veterinary medicine has been our patients. It’s such a pleasure to come to work every day and be able to help so many wonderful animals. We’ll miss the wagging tails from dogs and the head butts from cats, and we’ll also miss the ones that weren’t so crazy about seeing us! After these many years, we have our tricks, and it was always satisfying to be able to help put some of our more anxious patients at ease.

    We are leaving you in the caring and capable hands of Dr. Susan Sneed and Dr. Jeremy Caseltine. Most of you already know them, and I assure the rest of you that you will find them to be excellent veterinarians.

    We truly appreciate your trust and loyalty, and we’ll miss seeing you all.

    Canine Body Language

    If you need more information on body language and understanding your pet, check out our resources below.

    Dogs communicate using body postures, facial expressions, and vocalizations. These cues are often misunderstood by humans. Decoding a dog’s body language can not only help you or others avoid being bitten; it can help you understand your dog and therefore reduce his anxiety, facilitate training, and strengthen the family’s bond with the dog.

    This is a useful chart from the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. If you’re not sure what your or someone else’s dog is trying to say, refer to this chart. Learn to listen with your eyes!

    Body Part


    What It Can Mean

    Eyes Unwavering Challenge, Threat
    Eyes Fixed Stare Confident
    Eyes Casual Gaze Calm
    Eyes Averted Gaze Deferenced
    Eyes Pupils Dilated Fear
    Eyes Wide-Eyed (whites of eyes are visible) Fear
    Eyes Quick, Darting Eyes Fear
    Ears Relaxed, Neutral Position


    Ears Forward, Pricked

    Alert, Attentive, or Aggressive

    Ears Ears Pinned Back

    Fear, Defensive

    Mouth Panting

    Hot, Anxious, or Excited


    Lip Licking, Tongue Flicking


    Mouth Yawn

    Tired or Anxious


    Snarl (lip curled, showing teeth)



    Aggressive or Playful

    Mouth Bark

    Excited, Playful, Aggressive, or Anxious


    Up, Still



    Up With Fast Wag



    Neutral, Relaxed Position



    Down, Tucked

    Fear, Anxious, or Submissive


    Stiff-Wagging or Still and High

    Agitated, Excited, Perhaps Unfriendly


    Soft, Relaxed



    Tense, Stiff, or Hackles Up

    Alert or Aggressive


    Rolling Over