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!
Dr. Stacy Radics, Veterinarian
My name is Stacy and I am one of the doctors at Happy Paws! How did I come to be at this wonderful little practice? Well, I grew up not too far north of Airdrie in Red Deer (won’t worry, I’m not an Oilers fan!). My family always had dogs growing up and my first volunteer experiences were in veterinary clinics. I continued to work in clinics through high school and balanced competitive hockey at the time as well. When the time came to hang up my skates, I ended up in Edmonton (still not an Oilers fan!). I earned a degree in Psychology from the University of Alberta then, as fate would have it, I returned to Red Deer to work full-time in a veterinary clinic. Here, I decided that I wanted to practice medicine and be a part of the special bond that forms between veterinarians, their patients, and pet parents. I returned to school in hopes of being accepted to UCVM after getting my pre-requisite courses. During this time, I worked in a swine barn (this will become important later).
Like Dr. Erin, I received the same exciting acceptance call for UCVM one sunny summer morning; I spent the next 4 years trying to embrace my inner sponge!
After graduating with a DVM, the mountains called. I was at a busy mixed practice in the Kootenays before returning to Alberta for a stint in production animal medicine in swine practice (pigs are wonderful!). I left because I missed patients and their people. I was in canine-only practice until I saw that Dr. Erin was looking to add to the team here at Happy Paws. I love the clinic culture and focus on communication, relationship-building, and shared decision making. I’m so excited to be a part of this group and to meet the pet parents and fur kids that we are lucky enough to work with each day!
My interests in practice are preventive medicine, dentistry, and dermatology. If I’m not around the clinic, you might find me mountain biking with my Lab X, Griffin, or cuddling with my considerably lazier Staffy, Sprocket.
I promise to do my very best for your pets and your family each visit. I’m looking forward to meeting you soon!
Natalie Marquette, Your Animal Loving Nurse!
Hi, I’m Natalie I grew up in the beautiful Ottawa Valley area of Ontario, I graduated from St. Lawrence College in Kingston in 2012 with an Advanced Diploma in Veterinary Technology. After working 2 years in Ontario, I decided to move out west to Alberta. After working for a few more years in small and mixed animal clinics around the Calgary area I joined Happy paws in Dec 2017.
I enjoy all aspects of being a veterinary technician, especially dentistry, surgery and anesthesia. I currently reside in Crossfield with my significant other (Scott) golden retriever Titan and 6 (yes six) cats: Jeffie, Spook, Turbo, Garry, Violet, and Rosie.
In my free time I enjoy wild game hunting, fishing, camping, travelling and collecting cats.
Kristine Kohut Your Other Animal Loving Nurse!
Hi, my name is Kristine, I am one of the registered veterinary technicians here at Happy Paws. I’ve always worked with animals spending years working both in a boarding facility and animal shelter where I discovered that I loved working with animals. I got my start in the veterinary industry after taking the Olds College “Veterinary Medical Reception” program in 2016 and did my industry practicum here at Happy Paws Veterinary Clinic. Immediately following my practicum I was accepted into the Animal Health Technology program at Olds College, graduating in July of 2018. I joined the team officially following my second practicum here at Happy Paws.
I absolutely love being a veterinary technician. I especially love spending mornings assisting our doctors in surgery and helping with diagnostics.
I currently reside in Carstairs with my husband Marc and our four furry rescues; our pups Clive, Theo, & Pete and our kitty Molly. We often also have a foster pup residing in our home.
In my free time I enjoy spending days in the mountains with our pups, travelling, and working out.
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.
Natasha Hilson, Your Client Care Coordinator!
My name is Natasha and I am one of the client care coordinators here at Happy Paws! I got my start in veterinary medicine in 2014 when I graduated from Bow Valley College with my Veterinary Office Assistant diploma. I spent my first 3+ years in an emergency and specialty hospital in Calgary, which was such an amazing experience! I learned a lot, and I’m so grateful to have gotten to work in that environment and meet some really amazing people in the industry!
Happy Paws has been such a wonderful change for me, the people are really what makes it a great place to work, amazing staff and clients! And of course seeing peoples fur babies all day is just icing on the cake! There’s such a great energy here and I’m so grateful to be a part of the team.
At home I have 2 fur babies of my own, a big goofy chocolate lab named Cash, and a sassy kitty named Zoe. Plus, a wonderful partner named Matt that rounds out the brood!
It is so important to me to help & educate pet owners in whatever capacity I can, and I’m so happy to be able to do that everyday! Our pets are our family and they deserve the best!
I can’t wait to meet you, and your furry family member. Lots of treats and snuggles await!
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!
Abbie Burns, Your Amazing Assistant!
My name is Abbie, and I’m one of the Veterinary Assistants here at Happy Paws Veterinary Clinic. I’m really everyone’s assistant though, I help wherever I’m needed, my favorite part being when it involves our furry friends!
Originally, I’m an East Coaster – More importantly, a Cape Bretoner (NS) – but I’ve lived in Alberta for just about 7 years now. I applied for “Veterinary Medical Assistant” at NAIT in Edmonton (Fantastic program in case anyone might be interested!) and graduated in 2014. My boyfriend and I learned quickly that we needed to be closer to the mountains, which prompted our move to Airdrie, where I have been with Happy Paws for just under 4 years – and loving it!
We spend as much of our spare time as we can in the mountains with our beloved 3.5-year-old pup, Penelope, who enjoys being in the woods as much as we do. Her best day includes running as fast as she can, cuddles and naps. She is our only fur baby – for now – and melts my heart daily!
I feel so lucky to have found a career in a place that has me excited to get up in the morning! Not only do I work with an incredible team of people, but I get to spend my day with all your fur babies too! Not sure it gets any better than that 😊
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.