I: “Dr. Spinosa, you've been practicing since you graduated in 2005. What's your earliest memory of a pet in your life? "
Dr. Spinosa: "My family has always had dogs and cats, but my favorite early memory was when I got to choose one that was actually all mine. I was 5. As a present for graduating kindergarten, my parents let me pick out a kitten from a friend's cat that had just had a new litter. I picked out a little gray kitten that my little brother started calling Kiki because he couldn't say 'kitty cat' and the name stuck. Kiki was notorious for attacking covered feet when you were in bed...the least little movement and the attack was on. She lived a long life traveling across the country with my military family...from Massachusetts to Washington State and then finally,Florida. As the oldest of six kids, I didn't have much that I didn't have to share with my siblings, and although we had other cats and dogs, Kiki was always special because she was only mine. "
I: "Ah, so you are a first-born, AND a natural caretaker. That is a unique combination. Do you have a spiritual practice that helps keep you centered?":
Dr. Spinosa: "I don't really have a set spiritual practice but there are a couple way that I recharge and regroup. I run/walk almost daily--sometimes with friends, but mostly by myself. It gives me time by myself, which (as an introvert) I find essential, where I can really think or just check out and listen to music. With my kids and our busy life, it is often hard to carve out that time. There is always something to do or someone who needs me, but I make a point of taking that thirty or forty minutes of the day just for me. Separate from that, my trips to the beach are almost spiritual. It really is the place I feel most recharged and rejuvenated. There is something about that combination of sea/sand/sun that drops my blood pressure and takes away all my worries."
I: "That explains your calm demeanor that all the pets here love. So, how about telling me something that’s TRUE, that almost no one agrees with you on...":
Dr. Spinosa: " Florida summers are the perfect temperature. I love hot, humid Florida summer days. I'm naturally always cold and I dread the winter...even our normally mild winters. Even in the summer I constantly travel with a sweater to combat the frigid AC but at least I can go outside and warm up. I'm really am a true Florida Gator! "
I: Well, it's good to know that you are a true Gator. So, what would you do in the event of a zombie apocalypse?
Dr. Spinosa: "I've actually thought about this! I don't watch any of the zombie shows but I'm a fan of the book World War Z. I'm not a fighter...so I'll need someone to fight off the zombie hordes for me. If I can survive that part, then I have the rest covered. I already have a plan to tear up my yard to plant potatoes and vegetables and I'll raise goats for milk and meat. I have a lake in my back yard that I can fish in and collect water and I'm pretty good at suturing , so I can trade my medical skills for the rest of the essentials. "
I: "Thank you for the interview. It’s always good to hear from one of our local vets. We always end it with a favorite quote. What is yours?":
Dr. Spinosa: "It's from Calvin Coolidge. 'Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not, unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not, the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. '