Dr. Erin Heck, Veterinarian
Hello! Thanks for checking out who I am. I love to share my story and how I came to founding Happy Paws Veterinary Clinic.
I grew up in the agricultural town of Olds, Alberta with three sisters and an older brother. My two amazing parents allowed me to have many opportunities to interact with animals and even have a multitude of pets. This of course brought trips to the local veterinary clinic, which I ended up volunteering at when I was 14. After high school I decided to become an Animal Health Technologist (the equivalent of an animal nurse). I worked in an emergency practice for two years before deciding to go back to school to become a vet. This decision was fuelled by the desire to work more closely with pet guardians, focusing on communication and shared-decision making. After two years of undergraduate studies I got my acceptance phone call to go to the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine! This set me up for the next four years of learning and adventure, leading to graduating with my DVM degree.
My next steps were into a fast-paced emergency and primary care clinic in Calgary. I honed my technical skills and relied heavily on my communication skills to help clients through difficult emergency situations with their pets. I moved next into a mobile practice, travelling to people’s homes and building relationships. It taught me more about what amazing bonds you as a pet parent have with your fur child.
I finally felt ready to create a veterinary clinic that captured the veterinary experience that I felt that I would want for my pets. That was when Happy Paws Veterinary Clinic was created.
I am blessed with two happy, silly, golden retrievers (Sam and Sherman) who have been an inspiration for the veterinarian I want to become. My animals have comforted me in difficult times and taught me new things about living for the moment. I also have a cat named Dizzy, adopted from the Calgary Humane Society, and I love her quirks. I have an amazing human family in my life, too, who you may see around the clinic as the clinic manager (Jeff’s bio below). His support has been unmeasurable as I have pursued my dreams. We have an amazing daughter named Fiona who at the time of editing is 23 months and an energetic son named Ethan who is now 11 months. You don’t really see the world until you see it through the eyes of developing kids. They have already taught me so much.
My passion is making a stress-free experience at the vet clinic for both you and your pet. As your veterinarian you can expect an open, judgement free zone where you can ask all the questions you want. I believe in offering you options and choice in care as nobody knows your pet better than you do.
It is always an honour when someone selects me to be their veterinarian. I hope to meet you soon!
Danielle Coombs, Your Amazing Assistant!
My name is Danielle and I am the newest Veterinary Assistant to join the Happy Paws team. I grew up here in Alberta and always had animals in my life and have always had a passion for them. I spent a couple years at the University of Lethbridge before I realized that something was missing from my life, so I left and traveled to Australia where I volunteered at a wildlife rehabilitation centre. That is where I decided that I wanted to spend my life working with animals. I graduated from the “Veterinary Technical Assistant” program at Olds College in 2017. From there I worked as a dog walker and in a few small clinics before I started at Happy Paws.
I really enjoy being a Vet Assistant and love being able to not only help animals but also help the amazing people who are part of this great team.
I currently live in Calgary with my husband Ryan and our dog Newt. If we aren’t at home you can find us out camping, hiking, or off roading with Newt by our side.
Hello! I’m Deanna, I am the part time Client Care Coordinator at Happy Paws, so you’ll likely see me working in the evenings and on weekends. I was introduced to the Veterinary Industry in 2009 when I started as a Client Care Coordinator at a 24 hour Emergency and Specialty hospital where I worked for the next 9 years. I currently reside in Crossfield with my boyfriend, 3 dogs and our cat. My dog’s names are Bella, Murphy and Ruby. They are all small white-ish (Ruby is a little more tan than white) fluffy dogs. Apparently small, white and fluffy is my dog type! My cat’s name is Lexi and she is a DSH brown tabby. In wintertime I love to get out snowmobiling or hibernating inside with my furry children (they aren’t fans of winter). In the summertime we all love to head out to the river to hang out or take off on a camping adventure. I am a big animal lover and if you were to ask anyone I know they would tell you that, if I could, I would probably adopt every dog possible. It’s a good thing I have people in my life to reign me in, instead I get my fulfillment by meeting, playing and cuddling with your pets instead. I am lucky to work with this amazing team of people who are incredibly supportive, and who I can laugh and have fun with at work (although it really doesn’t feel like work). I look forward to meeting you, and your families (4 legged and 2 legged members) and getting to know you!
Jeff Boucher, Clinic Manager Extraordinaire!
Hello, you may see me around the clinic from time to time. My role is behind the scenes administration, such as payroll, HR and management. You will see me helping out up front when needed and potentially loving, petting and snuggling your pets. I worked at Scotiabank for seven years predominantly as a Small Business Advisor. My background in business banking helped transform this clinic from an idea to a reality.
Dr. Erin is my spouse and we recently started our family. We have two beautiful children at home, Fiona my daughter and Ethan my son. They were born one year apart so we have our hands full with two kids and managing our business. However, we have an amazing team at the clinic and they have really helped us while we started our family. I truly believe that a great business starts with great staff and I know when have amazing staff.
When I met Erin she introduced me to the joy animals can bring. The day we got our first golden retriever Oakley, I fell in love with that little ball of orange fur from the first day. He is my best pal and companion and I could not imagine my life without animals. This relationship allowed me to truly understand how important your animal is to you. I appreciate everyone that trusts their family member in our care and believe me we do not take that trust lightly. I have the passion for caring for your pets like I would want someone to care for my Oakley. There is no one I would rather start this journey with than my spouse and best friend Dr. Erin.