Second Chance: Vetting The Vet, Dr. Michelle Dally

Dr. Michelle Dally, DVM, J.D. is Medical Director of Second Chance Humane Society. She also has a private practice, Dally Veterinary Medicine, 333 S. Elizabeth Street, Ridgway, Colorado. But Dr. Michelle makes house calls. (Yes, in Telluride.) Call 970-318-0897. Because Dr. Michelle generally stays under the radar, we thought this week’s column should be all about vetting the vet. And of course, per usual, we include profiles of two furry friends in need of forever homes.

Dr. Michelle Dally and Bobo

Dr. Michelle Dally and Bobo

Was the canine flu outbreak a cause for alarm?

To answer the question, Michelle Dally, DVM, pulled a “Sylvia.”

What’s a “Sylvia” you might ask?

“Sylvia” is a play by A.R. Gurney about a dog named, well, Sylvia, a stray poodle-Labrador mix who talks – but only to her master and mistress, Greg and Kate, both of whom are middle-aged. Being in the throws of male menopause, Greg falls, sorta kinda, for the dog.

No biggie you say: That’s everyday in Telluride.

Everyone knows Telluride has long since gone to the dogs (cats too). It’s pet heaven: we express undying love for our furry darlings everyday without triggering a five-alarm interspecies crisis.

But I digress…

Dr. Dally pulled a Sylvia, morphed into a talking dog named Munch, once upon a time, an adoptable pet at Second Chance Humane Society, to answer the flu question for readers of the Shelter’s weekly column. (The good news: the H3N2 virus had not migrated outside Iowa or Illinois.)

Dally (as herself) has also written about inappropriate urination; toxic substances that could hurt – or worse – your pet; how to keep pets healthy in the dog days of summer; zoonotic disease or what you can catch from your pet; bathing your animal; Easter dangers; what constitutes a real pet emergency; itching and scratching; whyfat is not good (even for the Sylvias of the world); and how bad hair days take on a whole new meaning when it is pets with that problem:

Humans have bad hair days. At least this one does. It is not, no matter what I tell myself, a life or death situation. It doesn’t hurt and it really is just a matter of vanity. Not so for dogs and cats…”

But Dally does a whole lot more than deliver pearls (or kibbles) of wisdom in support of the regional nonprofit. She is Second Chance’s Medical Director and primary vet, delivering tender love and care for the shelter animals in need.

Michelle and her family.

Michelle and her family.

And if that’s not enough, Dr. Michelle Dally also runs her own private practice – making house calls — an Rx for an instant mood boost for pet families with busy lives.

Yup, could say Dally is the Micaela Quinn (of CBS’s Dr. Quinn, “Medicine Woman” fame), treating patients with a potent combo of herbal remedies, acupuncture, and modern meds.

And if that is not awesome enough, Dally credentials include Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.

You heard me, also former radio talk show host; author of a novel, “A Highly Placed Source,” (2007), about a 12-year-old who finds himself caught between raging hormones, a voyeuristic bully – and God; film critic; speechwriter for U.S. Senator John H. Chafee; professor of journalism (University of Denver/Metropolitan State College of Denver.).

And she holds a law degree from Georgetown University.

How did Dally get here from there?

The Twitter version goes like this.

Michelle Dally was living the good life in Denver, where she worked as a political reporter at The Denver Post, while raising four kids, happy as a clam in a second marriage.

For volunteer work, she started lending a hand at the Denver Dumb Friends League, the unfortunate name of the humane society in the Mile High City. There she happily cleaned out kennels, shoveling shit – literally—and getting a nice dose of puppy breath (which she loved!).

Dr. Michelle and Wallowby

Dr. Michelle and Wallowby

Then Dally started fostering animals, eventually becoming the “expert” at whelping “mommy” dogs too pregnant to be safely spayed.

The gig went on for years…about 10, according to Dally, who guesses she whelped around 35-45 litters. Anyway a handful a year.

One day her husband said: “The only time I see you smile is when you’re with your mommy dogs. You need to go back to school.” 

Michelle Dally became Michelle Dally, DVM, veterinarian extraordinaire, after graduating Colorado State University in 2013.

She now lives happily every after with husband Brian Schupbach, their four sons (one biological; three steps, all of whom she helped raise) and the family’s three dogs, all rescues, natch.

It appears Dr. Michelle Dally, who is realistic, holistic, and compassionate, made her own second ( or was third, cause she also holds a law degree) chance.

Now everyone – two- and four-footed critters alike –  wins.

On to the pets of the week:

My name is Dusty. I am a beautiful long-haired female tortoiseshell. I am only two-years-old, very affectionate and laid back. I get along great with other cats and hang out in one of the Communial Rooms here at Second Chance. You might say I am like the feline version of my friend Quill.

Dusty

Dusty

Quill is a one-year-young Shepherd Aussie mix with a calm, easy-going demeanor. This handsome fellow enjoys slow walks through the park, sunbathing in the yard, and winning people over with his sweet personality. Quill arrived with a face full of, well, porcupine quills that had been in place on his face for several weeks. Dr. Dally was able to surgically remove the offense, so Quill is now is a much happier boy. Thanks Michelle, you are the best!

Quill

Quill

Editor’s note: It’s no secret. The Telluride region is dog heaven. Well, pet heaven. Unless you are one of our furry friends who gets caught in the maw of neglect and abuse. Then heaven is on hold until Second Chance Humane Society comes to the rescue. Second Chance is the region’s nonprofit dedicated to saving animals’ lives and promoting responsible pet parenting and human-animal bond. In her weekly blog, executive director Kelly Goodin profiles at least one, generally two of the many animals now living at the no-kill shelter, Angel Ridge Shelter, a dog and a cat, hoping to find them loving permanent homes. The column is sponsored by Ted Hoff of Cottonwood Ranch & Kennel, who from time to time exercises his skills as a dog whisperer, partnering with Kelly and her staff to help train a particularly challenging animal.

Ted Hoff & Mae

Ted Hoff &  Magnificent Mae

By the by, there is no better place to park your pup or get your pup (or adult dog) trained than Cottonwood whenever you head out of town (for locals) or are heading to town and staying somewhere that does not allow pets. Consider joining Ted’s Very Important Dog (VID) Club for added benies. (Details on Ted’s website.)

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shop are both located in Ridgway, but service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs. View the shelter pets and services online: www.adoptmountainpets.org

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Susan Viebrock

Susan Viebrock

Susan is Telluride Inside… and Out’s founder and editor-in-chief, the visionary on the team, in charge of content, concept and development. For 19+ years, Susan has covered Telluride’s cultural economy, which includes non-profits and special events. Much of her writing features high-profile individuals in the arts, entertainment, business, and politics. She is a former Citibank executive specializing in strategic planning and new business development, and a certified Viniyoga instructor.

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