Dr. Dirk Dekens, DVM
My interests in veterinary medicine revolve around animal welfare, ethical issues in veterinary medicine and the importance of the human animal bond. My greatest pleasure has been and continues to be the interactions with my clients and their nonhuman companions as I travel from home to home. Maybe I do have a bit of a Dr. James Herriot inside of me.
Dr. Maureen Blessing, DVM
It was at an early age that I discovered my love of all animals, and an interest in sciences, discovery, and health care that ultimately led to my decision to become a veterinarian. I graduated from WCVM (Saskatoon) in 1995, and embarked on a 13 year position as a mixed animal practitioner (with a huge focus on small animals) at a wonderful clinic in Ponoka, Alberta. After a hiatus from practice for the birth of two amazing daughters, I have been back in practise in Calgary since 2010.
It is difficult to summarize the path that one has taken from one point to another, and the decisions that propel life in one direction over another. Perhaps it is the cumulative effect of too few answers, poor outcomes, or medical options that cause potentially unacceptable side effects in some of my patients that were diagnosed and properly prescribed the 'standard of care' that propelled my direction in medicine. Perhaps it was observing my eldest daughter's unexplained illnesses (by allopathic medicine) become understandable, and therefore naturally treatable (by naturopathic medicine), that clarified my path. Perhaps it was an awakening to the madness of chronic illness in my patients and my family, and the inspiration that I had to seek different answers to truly offer a different outcome. I committed to that path in 2011.
I completed my acupuncture training with IVAS in Oregon 2011-12, including my internship with Dr Marsden in Edmonton, AB. Also in 2012, I completed courses in cold laser treatment and Veterinary Neuronal Adjustment (VNA). I am a certified Chiropractitioner, which differs from an animal chiropractor in that I do adjustments only with an activator, or adjusting device similar to human chiropractors. It is a very safe and effective form of spinal adjustment. Currently, I am working towards my certification in Chinese Herbal Medicine. I also have a passion for therapeutic essential oils, and may diffuse oils during stressful procedures or times (such as at home euthanasia) to support patients and their people, or use topically during an Integrative care treatment.
I am passionate about dietary therapy, as I firmly support Hippocrates' ideology: 'Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food." We can accomplish so much so simply, when we provide species appropriate daily fuel that supports vitality. I also am a firm believer in minimal vaccination as appropriate by risk assessment and in discussion with pet owners. Blood antibody titer testing is readily available, and enables a better decision on when or even if a given vaccine may be necessary or recommended.
As an Integrative practitioner (integrating allopathic, or Western medicine, and Eastern medicine), my goal is to offer patients and their families more, and safer, options for health care support. Each patient and family is unique, so my approach is to listen to your needs and offer guidance based on those needs. My own pets are a Golden Retriever, Candy, and sweet old kitty, Winter. They have been my dearest friends over the years, and my best teachers.
Dr. Senka Petrec
I was born in Croatia, where I studied veterinary medicine in its capital city of Zagreb and graduated in 2008. All my life I had been surrounded by animals, so it seemed like a logical decision for me to become a veterinarian.
My first work experience was in a small animal practice in Kriz, Croatia caring for dogs and cats. After a few years I was ready to make a transition and accepted a position at a local emergency clinic where I enjoyed working as a mobile veterinarian.
In 2010, my son was born and as he grew up he started accompanying on my job. Very soon he developed a huge love for animals.
After lots of contemplation these past few years my husband and I decided to emigrate and to start a new life in Canada. We choose Calgary for our new home and we do not regret it. In these past few months I have met some great people in veterinary medicine and have learned so many new and exciting things.
I am thrilled to be part of Dekens Housecall Veterinary Services because it provides personalized care in the comfort of the pets’ homes.
In my spare time my family and I love exploring the magnificent beauty Canadian nature has to offer.
Many of my fondest memories have involved animals. The horse on my brother’s farm that I rode as a young girl, the cats and the first dog my children grew up with, and the many hamsters and guinea pigs we cared for over the years. I feel grateful to have shared my life with all these animals.
From an early age, I was saving earthworms from certain death on the sidewalks, rescuing critters and generally dragging anything home that would follow me (much to my mom’s chagrin!) and begging for anything furry or feathered. My early career took me into the oil and gas industry in Calgary after having graduated from SAIT’s Petroleum Engineering Program. During this 17 years or so, I filled my need for animal involvement with my own pets, including dogs, cats, turtles, snakes and fish!
The truth about what I wanted to “be” when I grew up, hit me when I stayed home to raise my two boys. My love of animals got me involved with a cat boarding kennel and we fostered puppies for ARF and I knew that I needed to be working with or for animals in some capacity. My career has taken me from a physical rehabilitation clinic for animals through to the team at Dekens Housecall Veterinary Services.
My life is full with a wonderful husband of 25 years, 2 sons, 2 dogs (Murphy and Bailey) and 3 cats (Charlie, Nacho and Stanley). I love being with my family, movies, reading, camping and mountains. I am very pleased to be a part of such a caring team and look forward to helping our human and furry clients alike!
Elaine Powell, KPA CPT
I’ve always had a love for animals, even when I didn’t have one of my own as a pet. I used to ask my sister all the time if I could take care of her dog whenever she was out of town. Our house has always been pet friendly and I encouraged my friends to bring their dogs over when they wanted to visit. My pets have consisted of a hamster, fish, birds and a dog.
My love of animals and need to see well-adjusted and behaved animals had me seeking out training courses and then I became a trainer myself! I fell in love with clicker training and positive reinforcement when I took my dog to classes many years ago. I started my training career by volunteering at a dog training school for many years and started teaching classes in 2015. I love seeing the “light bulb” moments handlers and their dogs experience. I have worked with dogs for over 7 years training, walking and boarding and have a passion for educating people on body language.
I am a graduate of the Karen Pryor Academy Puppy Start Right for Instructors Program and Dog Trainer Professional Program. I also hold membership in the CAPPDT (Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers).
I share my life with my wonderful husband of 21 years and in my spare time love camping, reading books on dog training, travelling and spending time with friends eating good food.