Forget the idea of the solitary researcher toiling away in his lab. At the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (CVMBS) at Colorado State University, they decided long ago that cooperation beats isolation, and that inspiration and innovation can come from many different places.
Indeed, what truly sets CSU’s veterinary college apart is its collaborative spirit, its mission to work with other scientists and practitioners to develop and deliver the best possible care to its animal patients.
For starters, we want you to have the brains of Einstein, the compassion of Mother Teresa and the patience of Job.
In terms of medical skills, we’d like you to possess the sleuthing abilities of television’s Dr. House, the empathy of Dr. Dolittle and the bedside manner of Marcus Welby, MD (but not be so ancient that you remember that kindly TV doctor).
Whether his correspondence comes via snail mail or email, Duncan, my father, closes it with love, and always includes the names of his dogs sending love my way. When I was younger, this sentimental touch made me laugh and sometimes embarrassed me. But over time, I came to appreciate this sign-off—an endearing reminder that a family is always the sum of its individual members, be they human or animal.
Dogs are great at bringing nature—bits of flora, fauna, dirt—into our homes. Now studies have shown that they also fetch a treasure of bacterial diversity “nesting” in their fur. This is not a bad thing. In fact, having a diverse microbiome environment can be very good for us.
North Carolina State University biologist Rob Dunn and colleagues are studying the microbes in home environments and found that the one variable that made the biggest difference in a home’s bacterial diversity was whether or not the family had a dog.