By Dr. Sally J Foote, DVM
I am not usually one to recognize the day of a person’s death – I like to focus more on birthdays, anniversaries, and other milestones of happiness; not grief. It has now been 2 years since Dr. Sophia Yin passed away. Recognizing this loss is important as a way to grieve and to progress along the path of life still before us. So, I will honor Sophia Yin’s memory at this time by telling you about her legacy and how her mission for this business continues to flourish everyday. If you don’t know me, my name is Sally J. Foote, DVM, and I am the Executive Director of CattleDog Publishing, Dr. Yin’s self-publishing company. In January 2016, I was asked to lead her company and to carry on her work. The company has grown and we are fulfilling many of the plans Dr. Yin had for her company. I knew Sophia personally and I share the same passion for changing veterinary medicine to help create the most comfortable and low stress care experience possible.
Most of you who attended a lecture by Dr. Yin or watched any of her many videos could see that she was a dynamic, creative, fun, and very intelligent woman. She self-published the Small Animal Veterinary Nerdbook when she was in her last year of veterinary school at the University of California at Davis. She wrote and updated the book herself and it is still one of the best books to use in preparation for the board exam – not to mention helping veterinarians trying to get through the day at work. Even though I have been in practice for 32 years, I still use is myself on a frequent basis. The Nerdbook is still available and presently we are reviewing a plan to update it while retaining the format and features that make this book unique. The most important book she wrote, Low Stress Handling™, Restraint and Behavior Modification of Dogs & Cats, is still available through many outlets including our website (drsophiayin.com), the AAHA bookstore, Amazon, and for our overseas customers, Taylor and Francis publishing. Sales of this product continue to increase monthly. This textbook is our most important product to have available for all veterinarians, technicians, shelter care workers, and anyone involved in small animal care. It is presently the only book on the market that shows the Low Stress Handling™ techniques through the use of text, photos, and videos (the DVD is not documents – it is live filming of the photo shoots in the book), allowing everyone to see the best ways to practice many of the techniques. It is also a great book for learning about the fundamentals of behavior to help your patients and owners. It is my hope, and Dr. Yin’s before me, for all veterinary colleges and technical schools to include this book in their curriculum. For those who are interested, we offer these and other titles for purchase with either bulk sale or wholesale options. If you want your alma mater to include Low Stress Handling™ education, tell them about this book and how to reach us (drsophiayin.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Lastly, the Low Stress Handling™ Certification course is still ongoing. We continue signing up hospitals and individuals daily. The plan for Gold and Instructor levels is still under development – we are still assessing what is needed in the user experience in order to enhance what Dr. Yin had originally planned for. Watch for announcements about this in 2017, as well as the development of an alumni membership and additional modules for Silver level certification.
Some people have communicated that they did not know what was happening with the availability of Dr Yin’s products – if the company was still around or what. There is much to go through when someone passes and I am so grateful to the crew of lawyers, trustees and past and present employees who chose to carry on this legacy and business. It would have been so easy to sell off all the intellectual properties and manuscripts to a third-party company. It is hard to say how much the programs would have been changed versus what Dr. Yin wanted. I can assure you that we here at CattleDog Publishing are following Dr. Yin’s mission and wishes for taking her legacy forward into the future of animal behavior training. The expansion of other programs to help animals be less anxious during care is a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with Low Stress Handling™ Certification and use the books and DVD resources available through CattleDog Publishing. I feel the spirit of Sophia smiling down when I talk to veterinary colleges who are considering adding Low Stress Handling™ education to their curriculum. In my position, I am working hard to further open up these networks and have them, and other speakers, know that her products and mission are still carrying on.
For me, I will not dwell long in sadness as I remember Sophia. I will celebrate her spirit by being joyful as I see veterinarians, technicians, assistants, and others involved in animal care showing understanding and kindness in every interaction. I hope you can feel this way too.
Sophia would love it.
Dr. Sally J Foote, DVM