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Profile of Jeffrey Levy, DVM
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Home visits also help me develop a relationship with the animals. Dogs especially like routine, so I try to keep my appointments consistent in terms of days and times. I also remain consistent with treatment location. A dog might have a special bed or blanket that we use just for acupuncture treatments. Pretty soon, when I walk in the door, the dog will walk over to that bed and lie down. Ultimately, I let the dogs choose their environment. If they want to get upside down on the couch to receive their acupuncture treatment, I’ll get upside down on the couch with them. They know what to do. Most of them fall asleep as soon as I put the needles in.

BK: I’ve witnessed that myself. My dog receives regular acupuncture treatments for arthritis and takes Chinese herbs to help heal an ACL injury. While I can’t say she loves the needles, she seems to know it’s good for her. She falls asleep within minutes.
JL: Acupuncture is really good for arthritis. A lot of my clients choose acupuncture because they don’t want to add medication to the mix, which can tax the kidneys and the liver. Acupuncture provides a non-invasive, non-chemical means to treat arthritis and manage pain.

BK: How do you suggest your clients prepare for a home visit?
JL: Preparing for a visit is easy. All you need to do is select a secure area where your pet will be comfortable and is less likely to play hide-and-seek under a bed or behind a couch. You also need to provide enough light for the exam.

BK: I understand that you’re involved with a band called Pet Rox, a familyfriendly musical group dedicated to animal welfare. Tell us about that.
JL: I founded the band about 15 years ago as a charity effort to help animals in need. All of our songs are about animal issues, and they’re meant to appeal to both children and adults. It started out as a joke, but now we’re playing at benefits such as the American Cancer Society’s “Bark for Life” celebration, the ASPCA’s 140th anniversary celebration, Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Zoo. Recently, we raised more than $1,000 for the Humane Society.

BK: Who else is in the band?
JL: It’s a rotating group, but everyone is from the animal-welfare community. We’ve had behaviorists, pet psychics, sea-lion trainers, dog walkers, cat rescuers—and vets, of course.

BK: You’re the force behind “Just Sniffing Around,” a Pet Rox CD. Do any animals sing on it?
JL: No, but the cover features a very special pooch. Rumor has it he’s an adoption success story.

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This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 75: Fall 2013
Lee Harrington is the author of the best-selling memoir, Rex and the City: A Woman, a Man, and a Dysfunctional Dog (Random House, 2006), and of the forthcoming novel, Nothing Keeps a Frenchman from His Lunch. emharrington.com

Photography by Steve Wewerka

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