Vet give animals the Royal treatment
Updated: December 31, 2012 9:32AM
Wilmette, a family friendly town that welcomes pets to its great outdoors, also welcomes pups (on leashes) to certain pet stores, like Kriser’s on Skokie Boulevard. It was there on Dec. 15 that celebrity author and veterinarian Dr. Barbara Royal, of Wilmette, signed her new book, “The Royal Treatment, a Natural Approach to Wildly Healthy Pets.” Royal, who grew up in Wilmette, talked with pet owners who brought plenty of questions. Royal is founder of The Royal Treatment Veterinary Center in Chicago. She has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and was a featured veterinarian on the Smithsonian Channel. She and her husband Matthew Gies, a wildlife biologist and registrar at the Shedd Aquarium, have two children, Sean, 16, a New Trier High School junior, and Sophie, 7, who attends McKenzie Elementary School. They have two dogs, Henry, 13, a mutt, and their adolescent pup Darwin, a Black Labrador. View the webisode at www.wilmette.suntimes.com.
Q. Explain please what you do.
A. I do an integrative practice where I involve basically everything that works. It could be acupuncture, regular medicine, traditional medicines. I will recommend all kinds of different treatments for animals depending on what their needs are.
Q. Is Wilmette a warm and fuzzy place for furry friends?
A. This is where I grew up. It’s my hometown. It’s a complete dog town, as far as I know. I go to the beach with my dogs and I know all dogs’ names at the beach. Because we’ve got all of the beaches and the parks, there are a ton of dogs in Wilmette. People like to have dogs when they have families.
Q. Is a dog a man’s best friend?
A. Yeah, I think a dog is a man’s best friend. I think a dog is a woman’s best friend too. I think the idea of having a best friend is someone who’s going to love you unconditionally and also just connect you back to the earth. It makes such a difference to have an animal where they’re going to let you get outside and meet people and it starts conversation. It makes you a little bit more involved with your surroundings just by having to have a dog out with you.
Q. How do you feel about Wilmette?
A. Wilmette is a place where I feel like I know a lot of people, and it’s big enough where we have really interesting restaurants; we’ve got a great movie theater. We’ve got the beach. It’s been a wonderful place to live.
Q. What is your New Year’s wish?
A. It’s one of those things that I think that people are thinking about a lot is trying to make decisions for their pets, to keep their pets really healthy and happy, and my New Year’s resolution that I think most pet owners should maybe take on is to really pay attention to everything that goes in, on and around their pets.