This week dogs and cats that find veterinary visits stressful lost an important ally and the rest of us who help them also lost a most valuable and unique worker in our field. On Monday October 6th Dr. Sophia Yin from Davis California suddenly passed away apparently much in the same way as the recently deceased Robin WilliamsL
Dr. Yin was an accomplished veterinarian who had turned her attention in recent years to helping dog trainers, other veterinarians and pet owners better communicate and work with their pets. Several years ago she invented a remote-control treat-dispensing unit she named the “Treat and Train” that was a substantial help for many food-responsible single dogs with behavioral issues. The machine was initially made by Sharper Image but when that company faded the unit was rebranded as the Manners Minder and made by Premier Pet Products and more recently again as the Treat and Train (came full circle). She has been publishing ever since she wrote “The Small Animal Veterinary Nerdbook” to help veterinary students throughout the USA and Canada survive and thrive in their teaching clinics. Some of her most recent efforts include a revolutionary book and program designed to help with Low Stress Handling, restraint and Behavior Modification of Dogs and Cats: Techniques for Developing Patients who love their visits along with 1,600 photos, a DVD with videos and extensive associated material on her website. She also lectured extensively, gave workshops and labs and was generous with sharing her material with other professionals in her effort to help. Additionally she wrote a remarkable book on training a young puppy (Perfect Puppy in 7 Days) and a book on working with dogs (How to Behave so Your Dog Behaves). Dr. Yin (Sophia) will be missed by more people that perhaps she knew and leaves immense shoes that may never be filled as she had a unique perspective, was amazingly prolific, courageous with her ideas and passionate to share them with those that needed it most. I was asked to try to fill in for some 10 hours of lectures she was scheduled to give at the upcoming Wild West Veterinary Conference (CVMA/NVMA annual CE meeting) in Reno Nevada but I know there is no way I can fully do justice to what she was going to present in the very few days before the meetings that start on 10/8/14. Grief of her loss has begun to spread throughout the world as well it should. She will be missed both by people that knew of her work and, unknowingly by those that unfortunately were unaware.