Written By Michael Lappin
While all veterinarians have many memorable patients over the course of their careers, there are always four-legged friends that stand out and even help guide us down our professional pathways. Mr. Dickens and Chelsea were amazing and unique golden retrievers that were lifelong patients of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. I had the great pleasure of caring for these wonderful animals on most of their visits to Fort Collins. The bond between these dogs and their two-legged housemates was as strong as any I have ever seen. The relationships in this family were inspiring and my memories of Mr. Dickens and Chelsea continually remind me to be the best friend possible to my own companion animals as well as to be the best veterinarian I can be.
Mr. Dickens and Chelsea were part of the Colorado State University family during the formative times for the Center for Companion Animal Studies and their family was the first donor for this program. I consider them to be a cornerstone in the center's foundation and their contributions will help many animals in the years to come.
The Kenneth W. Smith Professorship at Colorado State University was created by the Smith family to honor the life and work of Dr. Kenneth Smith. Dr. Smith was a 1932 graduate of the Professional Veterinary Medical Program at CSU and a longtime professor and veterinarian at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Dr. Smith, who retired in 1976 and died in 2000, was highly respected and much beloved by colleagues, clients, staff, and students at the school and in the community.
The Kenneth W. Smith Professorship is awarded to a senior faculty member specializing in small animal care who is recognized for having clinical and teaching skills similar to those for which Dr. Smith was well known and respected. Dr. Michael R. Lappin is the first recipient of the professorship. Dr. Lappin has been with Colorado State University since 1988. His area of specialization is in feline infectious diseases and feline medicine. Dr. Lappin successfully petitioned Colorado State University to recognize the Center for Companion Animal Studies in 2007 and serves as its first director. The Smith family is directly involved with the Center for Companion Animal Studies.
Learn more about the beautiful golden retrievers and the Smith family, both important to the founding of the Center for Companion Animal Studies.
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