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Starlight Ranch Animal Rescue. Podiatrist Dr. Stephanie Parks
Episode 17216th May 2022 • Your Positive Imprint • Catherine Praiswater
00:00:00 00:29:56

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Podiatrist Dr. Stephanie Parks, her husband and four children are involved in animal rescue. Stephanie believes that their children are not only rescuing animals from bad situations but through their actions they are learning about respect and relationships in the process. Animal interactions can mirror our relationships with humans. If we're able to look at their body language and respect what they're telling us, then that can translate into human connections like consent and establishing ground rules. There’s so much you can do with your actions and the way you live your life.  

Transcripts

stephanie Parks:

there's really a lot that you can do with, your actions

stephanie Parks:

and with the way you live your life

Catherine:

thank you so much for listening to all of these amazing

Catherine:

and exceptional, positive imprints.

Catherine:

I'm Catherine, your host for the podcast, Your Positive Imprint, the

Catherine:

variety show, featuring people all over the world whose positive actions

Catherine:

are inspiring positive achievements.

Catherine:

Exceptional people rise to the challenge.

Catherine:

Music by the talented Chris Nole., ChrisNole.com.

Catherine:

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram.

Catherine:

Your positive imprint.

Catherine:

Connect with me on LinkedIn,

Catherine:

You can listen to the show from my website, yourpositiveimprint.com or of

Catherine:

course listen from any podcast platform,

Catherine:

enjoy the show and get inspired to activate your own positive imprint.

Catherine:

Your positive imprint.

Catherine:

What's your PI.

Catherine:

Well, hello.

Catherine:

I am here with podiatrist, Dr.

Catherine:

Stephanie Parks.

Catherine:

She specializes in the treatment of complex foot and ankle conditions,

Catherine:

including reconstruction of the foot and ankle diabetic, limb

Catherine:

salvage, sports medicine, and other general podiatry treatments.

Catherine:

She's been married over 10 years and Stephanie and her husband have four

Catherine:

children and each family member is involved in animal rescue missions.

Catherine:

And I am so thrilled to be here on their ranch, Starlight

Catherine:

Ranch, Stephanie Parks hello.

stephanie Parks:

I know.

stephanie Parks:

Thanks for having me.

stephanie Parks:

I'm excited to do this.

stephanie Parks:

This is really fun.

stephanie Parks:

so,

Catherine:

Oh, you'll enjoy this.

Catherine:

The podcast is fun and, but it's also inspiring.

Catherine:

You know, you are, you are activating your positive imprints

Catherine:

and you're sharing them and

Catherine:

and obviously you're sharing them with your four kids and

Catherine:

they're getting involved as well.

Catherine:

So as the listeners know, you are Dr.

Catherine:

Stephanie Parks in podiatry.

Catherine:

You've kind of followed your dad's footsteps, no pun

stephanie Parks:

Yeah, absolutely.

stephanie Parks:

This is fun.

Catherine:

So

Catherine:

Growing up I know that you were interested in other opportunities and

Catherine:

you turned and went about with podiatry.

Catherine:

So what made the turn?

stephanie Parks:

Yeah, that's a good question.

stephanie Parks:

So as a child, I always, you know, I thought what he did was interesting.

stephanie Parks:

and I was always interested in science and medicine and different you

stephanie Parks:

know, kind of, kind of the sciences.

stephanie Parks:

But I was, you know, that typical kid that was like, well, I'm not ever going to be

stephanie Parks:

exactly like you guys, so I wanted to make sure that I did something different.

stephanie Parks:

And I'm a huge animal lover.

stephanie Parks:

So for a long time I wanted to be a veterinarian and I was actually a vet

stephanie Parks:

tech for probably six or seven years and, uh, worked at a couple of different

stephanie Parks:

clinics and I loved that, but I decided to you know, veterinary medicine probably

stephanie Parks:

wasn't ultimately what I wanted to do

stephanie Parks:

long-term.

stephanie Parks:

So then I started shadowing my dad and shadowing some of his

stephanie Parks:

colleagues that he works with.

stephanie Parks:

Through that, I got to experience a lot of different types of human

stephanie Parks:

medicine and physicians, you know, different careers that they have.

stephanie Parks:

I shadowed a radiologists and orthopedist and then my dad quite a bit.

stephanie Parks:

I really liked podiatry in that we do a lot of different things.

stephanie Parks:

,we treat a lot of different types of patients, so I can treat infants.

stephanie Parks:

I can treat,

stephanie Parks:

Geriatrics.

stephanie Parks:

Um, I can, do sports medicine, which I like to do.

stephanie Parks:

I do a lot of limb salvage, like you mentioned, which is trauma and infections.

stephanie Parks:

basically.

stephanie Parks:

And we do a lot of procedures, but you don't have to, so you can do surgery

stephanie Parks:

or you, you know, you can be totally clinical depending on what you like to do.

stephanie Parks:

So I thought that was really neat that you can really take it in a

stephanie Parks:

lot of different kind of directions.

stephanie Parks:

So probably not very many, pediatrists who have completely

stephanie Parks:

identical practices, which is cool.

stephanie Parks:

We do a lot of stuff in the office, so I do a lot of procedures in the

stephanie Parks:

office, which I think is interesting.

stephanie Parks:

And I like to work with my hands.

stephanie Parks:

So for me, it ended up actually being a really good

stephanie Parks:

fit.

stephanie Parks:

And I really.

stephanie Parks:

like it

Catherine:

Well, and I'm thrilled that you are practicing here in our community.

Catherine:

Because we certainly need doctors learning different surgical techniques.

Catherine:

And as you say, the limb salvage is, so that is something, obviously it

Catherine:

happens quite often in accidents but you also do diabetic limb salvage and

Catherine:

that's not trauma induced that's disease induced . Our population in New Mexico,

Catherine:

we do have a high diabetic population.

Catherine:

So how does that affect your practice?

Catherine:

Are you doing more of any one thing or is it pretty much varied?

stephanie Parks:

So limb salvage is probably the thing that I do the most.

stephanie Parks:

So I practice general, podiatry but my specialty is, is more

stephanie Parks:

along the lines of limb salvage.

stephanie Parks:

The majority of the patients who need limb salvage is not my trauma patients.

stephanie Parks:

It's usually the you know, diabetic or people with vascular disease, which

stephanie Parks:

isn't always diabetes, but often is.

stephanie Parks:

So I, that's probably 75% of my practice.

stephanie Parks:

And then 25% is kind of a mixed bag of, general podiatry, foot pain, different.

stephanie Parks:

kinds of things.

stephanie Parks:

We have quite a lot of it in New Mexico.

stephanie Parks:

So I think most podiatrists practicing here and, and across the country

stephanie Parks:

see a lot of it, but everyone has slightly varied interests.

stephanie Parks:

So in order to do a lot of limb salvage, you have to be comfortable

stephanie Parks:

doing wound care and you have to enjoy doing wound care.

stephanie Parks:

Um, but I really like that.

stephanie Parks:

I make a huge impact, which I really like.

stephanie Parks:

When you help someone, you really help them, I mean, you save their leg

stephanie Parks:

and often their life, which is great.

Catherine:

Absolutely, absolutely.

Catherine:

Yes.

stephanie Parks:

So, you know, I have patients that, have two legs Yeah,

stephanie Parks:

because we intervened early and we did something aggressive and, and it worked.

stephanie Parks:

So, which is excellent.

stephanie Parks:

So that's, that's really cool.

stephanie Parks:

But I think the thing I like most about it is I see these patients

stephanie Parks:

often and frequently, I get to know them very well and their families.

stephanie Parks:

So that's really cool that you'd really get to build a relationship with

stephanie Parks:

your community and you get to build a relationship with people that you, you

stephanie Parks:

don't just see them once for something, fix their problem, and then they go away.

stephanie Parks:

, you, really get to know them.

stephanie Parks:

And a lot of them you know, I know, their kids and their grandkids

stephanie Parks:

have come in with them before.

stephanie Parks:

That's, the feel good side of medicine that we don't always get to have

stephanie Parks:

a big, you know, as big a role as

stephanie Parks:

we would like.

Catherine:

Well, and I'm glad you mentioned that because doctors don't

Catherine:

have that time to build a relationship.

Catherine:

And I think any more, we need that relationship, especially if it's a

Catherine:

serious condition or something that might affect your well, your walking

Catherine:

or your independence in some way.

Catherine:

I just feel that the doctors, especially if they're in a large

Catherine:

clinic, I think that that is missing.

Catherine:

It's a fault for not being able to reach out.

Catherine:

As you said, You see a patient and they don't just leave and

Catherine:

walk away from your practice.

Catherine:

And I think that's commendable on your part

Catherine:

I think that there's a need for maybe walking a patient through some

Catherine:

of the mental hardships of things and they don't know where to turn.

stephanie Parks:

I mean, I think first and foremost, to have good healthcare,

stephanie Parks:

you know, we have to humanize medicine and that's how it always has been.

stephanie Parks:

But I think we have been increasingly reliant on technology and other things

stephanie Parks:

that just have, have made it harder.

stephanie Parks:

And I think doctors are having to get more creative to maintain

stephanie Parks:

those touches and stuff.

stephanie Parks:

So,

Catherine:

Yeah, I agree.

Catherine:

It doesn't need to be so stoic, you know?

Catherine:

And so thank you for that.

Catherine:

And so anything else about your practice that you'd like to share?

, stephanie Parks:

I think in general, podiatry is a really

, stephanie Parks:

cool, subset of medicine and it's not always super well-known.

, stephanie Parks:

So, um, yeah, I mean, if you're interested in a career in podiatry

, stephanie Parks:

or you need a podiatrist, certainly reach out and, I'm always willing

, stephanie Parks:

to take people who want to shadow.

, stephanie Parks:

I teach residents as well.

Catherine:

I'm just thrilled that you decided to remain here in New

Catherine:

Mexico and, and serve our community.

Catherine:

And you are not just serving the people here as a podiatrist.

Catherine:

You are also serving animals through an animal mission and rescue animal rescue

Catherine:

mission, your kids are involved.

Catherine:

I admire that you are being patient and bringing them on your journey

Catherine:

of this Goodwill towards the animal.

Catherine:

So let's talk about that.

Catherine:

Well, first let's talk about the ranch.

Catherine:

You have the ranch in order to help you with this animal rescue mission,

stephanie Parks:

love the ranch.

stephanie Parks:

Yeah.

Catherine:

starlight Ranch..

Catherine:

What made you decide to do animal rescue?

stephanie Parks:

So I've always been a huge animal lover.

stephanie Parks:

from my toddler years and on I've always had pets and I've always wanted

stephanie Parks:

all different types of animals.

stephanie Parks:

And I always did the zoo camps and I had all the zoo

stephanie Parks:

books I was that kid that was.

stephanie Parks:

you know, running around on the playground pretending to be an animal.

stephanie Parks:

Like I was always just really into animals.

stephanie Parks:

So I, I started volunteering when I was probably 15 or 16 at the

stephanie Parks:

humane society here in Albuquerque.

stephanie Parks:

And I ended up wanting all the dogs basically.

stephanie Parks:

And at that point we only had cats and my parents were like,

stephanie Parks:

oh gosh, okay, here she goes.

stephanie Parks:

, oh my gosh, all these dogs don't have a home.

stephanie Parks:

, what is going on?

stephanie Parks:

Why are all these dogs here?

stephanie Parks:

As a kid, I don't think I really understood much about what happens to

stephanie Parks:

animals when they don't have homes in different places, animals end up And

stephanie Parks:

how they all end up in those situations.

stephanie Parks:

So I think that kind of got me interested in, in rescuing animals and then through

stephanie Parks:

my work, as a veterinary technician, I would just see lots of different

stephanie Parks:

situations with lots of different animals.

stephanie Parks:

I maintained volunteering when I lived in Arizona.

stephanie Parks:

And in different places at different humane society.

stephanie Parks:

That's kinda what got me passionate about it.

stephanie Parks:

Once I started volunteering, I realized what a huge need there was for

stephanie Parks:

volunteers, for facilities, for funding.

stephanie Parks:

And then, homes, I think homes is the big one.

stephanie Parks:

We have to have homes for these animals.

stephanie Parks:

I have also been riding horses since I was about six.

stephanie Parks:

I used to show quarter horse and was involved in all sorts of different

stephanie Parks:

horse activities growing up and.

stephanie Parks:

Kind of the same thing.

stephanie Parks:

I didn't realize that horses sometimes don't have homes as, as

stephanie Parks:

a kid, I had my horse and that's kinda what I was exposed to was just

stephanie Parks:

my world of it, my corner of that.

stephanie Parks:

But when I started doing work with the humane societies, I realized oh my gosh,

stephanie Parks:

there's horses that also don't have homes.

stephanie Parks:

And once I got out of high school, I I didn't have the ability to have horses

stephanie Parks:

again for awhile because I was in college and I moved around and I studied abroad.

stephanie Parks:

But once I was able to get horses again, that got me into

stephanie Parks:

large animal and horse rescue.

stephanie Parks:

So my first horse back into the horse world was, from a rescue network.

stephanie Parks:

And so we have kind of carried that through.

stephanie Parks:

, not just with horses, but we have, rescue llamas and all kinds of different stuff.

stephanie Parks:

So that's what got me interested in it is I just, I realized there was a need.

stephanie Parks:

I, I think what drove me initially to volunteer when I was 15 is I

stephanie Parks:

wanted to play with the puppies.

stephanie Parks:

because My parents wouldn't let me have a dog I was like, well fine.

stephanie Parks:

I'll go play with all these dogs.

stephanie Parks:

And then That's kind of what, what started that.

stephanie Parks:

And once I got there, I realized what a need there was.

stephanie Parks:

So.

Catherine:

Yeah.

Catherine:

Wow.

Catherine:

So volunteerism inspired you.

stephanie Parks:

It did.

stephanie Parks:

Yeah.

stephanie Parks:

Yeah.

stephanie Parks:

And what time permitting as I go through different stages of life, I

stephanie Parks:

do more or less volunteering depending on that, but we always do something

stephanie Parks:

in some sense, either through donating or through giving time.

stephanie Parks:

For medicine.

stephanie Parks:

I went on medical missions.

Catherine:

I didn't know you went on medical

stephanie Parks:

Oh, They were so cool.

stephanie Parks:

Yeah.

stephanie Parks:

Some of the coolest stuff I've ever done, we went to,

stephanie Parks:

Antigua Guatemala, and that was really cool.

stephanie Parks:

And then we went to, , Sinaloa, Mexico.

Catherine:

Well, we're going to have to do a second podcast

Catherine:

because, if you're willing.

Catherine:

Oh, absolutely.

Catherine:

Oh, great.

stephanie Parks:

those were some really cool experiences.

Catherine:

And serving the people and that is, that's your worldwide imprint there.

Catherine:

Now with the animal mission, you mentioned llamas.

Catherine:

Yeah.

Catherine:

How on earth do you rescue llama and, why did it have to be rescued?

stephanie Parks:

I know the poor llamas.

stephanie Parks:

I did my residency in Denver and I was doing some work with dog rescue.

stephanie Parks:

out there.

stephanie Parks:

And the lady who owned the dog rescue lived in a little bit of

stephanie Parks:

a rural area outside of Denver.

stephanie Parks:

And so she had some acreage and someone dumped these two llamas on

stephanie Parks:

the streets of Denver, They literally

Catherine:

dumped

stephanie Parks:

Yeah.

stephanie Parks:

This is when hay prices were starting to go up back in

stephanie Parks:

maybe 2012 ish I mean, they've been going up steadily, I think people were having

stephanie Parks:

trouble feeding a lot of their livestock and that's, that's been a consistent

stephanie Parks:

thing over time, these big animals are just, they they eat a lot of things and

stephanie Parks:

, if they have vet bills, and they're not always cheap to house and to feed.

stephanie Parks:

So someone dumped these guys on the streets and there were two

stephanie Parks:

of them, a male and a female.

stephanie Parks:

I'm not sure if animal control called her or what, but she ended

stephanie Parks:

up with these two llamas and she had the acreage to take them, but

stephanie Parks:

she didn't really have livestock.

stephanie Parks:

She's a dog rescue.

stephanie Parks:

Hey, you, you know about livestock, you have, I had a horse at this time.

stephanie Parks:

Oh, you, have, you have a horse.

stephanie Parks:

Like, do you want some llamas?

stephanie Parks:

And of course me who loves all animals.

stephanie Parks:

I was like, absolutely.

stephanie Parks:

I want some llamas,

Catherine:

especially they've been dumped.

Catherine:

I can't believe that.

Catherine:

Wow.

stephanie Parks:

I know.

stephanie Parks:

So, and I think people just, just open fences when they

stephanie Parks:

can't take care of stuff.

stephanie Parks:

sometimes.

stephanie Parks:

We had them fixed and she, well, the male and she , she's probably pregnant.

stephanie Parks:

We can't tell because llamas, I guess if she was pregnant, she was too far

stephanie Parks:

along to ultrasound and get a good image and they didn't think that.

stephanie Parks:

Uh, they'd be able to palpate the fetus and stuff.

stephanie Parks:

So they will like probably pregnant, have no idea when that's going to happen.

stephanie Parks:

So I was like, oh, okay.

stephanie Parks:

So We got her home.

stephanie Parks:

And two weeks later she had a baby.

stephanie Parks:

Yes.

stephanie Parks:

We drove her From Denver to Albuquerque.

stephanie Parks:

because this was right when we were getting ready to move down here.

stephanie Parks:

And we drove her from Denver to Albuquerque.

stephanie Parks:

They moved down with us, the two llamas did.

stephanie Parks:

And, uh, yeah, the third Lama her name is princess Emily.

stephanie Parks:

the baby.

stephanie Parks:

So yeah, princess Emily was born here in New Mexico.

stephanie Parks:

And, uh, yeah, they've been really fun we've had them, I don't know, seven years.

stephanie Parks:

They are entertaining characters.

stephanie Parks:

We really enjoy having them.

stephanie Parks:

They're not overly friendly because of their history, but they're halter broken.

stephanie Parks:

You can handle them if you need to, but they just would rather you

stephanie Parks:

didn't, but they do want to find out what you're doing at all times.

stephanie Parks:

And they're very interested in the happenings of the farm and new

stephanie Parks:

truck or anything new comes on.

stephanie Parks:

They want to see what it is.

stephanie Parks:

So they, you know, they, they come over want to look at everything and be

stephanie Parks:

involved in, , peripherally, watching and seeing everything that's going on.

stephanie Parks:

They Do kind of a path around the property

Catherine:

Wow.

Catherine:

So the two llamas, caught up in an urban area, Petrifying, you know,

Catherine:

We see it more.

Catherine:

We do see horses getting out or being, let out, we see just all sorts of hardship

Catherine:

for animals and small family farms.

Catherine:

Are there subsidies for the small farmers or is that why they're closing?

Catherine:

Do you know?

stephanie Parks:

:

So, , there are financial.

stephanie Parks:

:

benefits, Like tax credits.

stephanie Parks:

:

And there are, , your property taxes substantially lower

stephanie Parks:

:

if you have a farm income that's verifiable.

stephanie Parks:

:

I don't know if there's different subsidies.

stephanie Parks:

:

We produce milk and honey, but not, um, crops or anything like that.

stephanie Parks:

:

So we haven't Done anything aside from the tax credits with ours, the

stephanie Parks:

:

tax, the property tax credit is pretty.

Catherine:

It is substantial.

stephanie Parks:

Yeah.

stephanie Parks:

And I think that's part of the issue that comes in with large animals and

stephanie Parks:

people not realizing that larger animals need rescue like small animals do,

stephanie Parks:

but also horses, for example, they're not necessarily a farm expense unless

stephanie Parks:

they are used, to plow a field, which is not the most common use

stephanie Parks:

for horses these days.

stephanie Parks:

So you can't really justify them as, a farm related expense in a lot of cases,

stephanie Parks:

and they need a lot of food and they need a lot of veterinary bills and

stephanie Parks:

they need a lot of, space and water.

stephanie Parks:

So you're running into an animal that has for a long time, been a pleasure

stephanie Parks:

animal that is treated more like a pet in the eyes of the government.

stephanie Parks:

And then it doesn't really qualify for income like cattle tend to

stephanie Parks:

be more easily verified, , as a farm expense for that.

stephanie Parks:

You end up with animals that, people have a hard time paying for

stephanie Parks:

and they're big and they have big continual needs and they need homes.

stephanie Parks:

So

Catherine:

Thank you for enlightening us on that.

Catherine:

So you have the two llamas and it started your actual hands on your own rescue

Catherine:

mission here on Starlight ranch with the two llamas now being three of course.

Catherine:

Yeah.

Catherine:

That's so you kept the third.

Catherine:

And how do the kids get involved?

stephanie Parks:

Yeah, so the kids really like all the animals.

stephanie Parks:

they don't do a whole lot with the llamas per se cause they're

stephanie Parks:

not super handleable, but the, um, the kids really like the horses.

stephanie Parks:

And then we have, pygmy goats as well.

stephanie Parks:

And those are, and pigs, those are all really fun.

stephanie Parks:

We just go out there as a family together and do the farm chores

stephanie Parks:

together and, barn cleaning.

Catherine:

What do you use pygmy goats for?

stephanie Parks:

You can milk them.

stephanie Parks:

We are not currently milking any of them.

stephanie Parks:

We kept them as pets.

Catherine:

So the kids play with them and learn from them and

Catherine:

take care of them and feed them.

stephanie Parks:

Yeah.

stephanie Parks:

And they're just, they're hilarious.

stephanie Parks:

They're pure entertainment and love,

Catherine:

and the kids obviously absolutely love their company.

stephanie Parks:

There's so many things I like about having kids

stephanie Parks:

in this situation but I think it's great for their upbringing overall.

stephanie Parks:

It teaches them so much responsibility.

stephanie Parks:

And then I think it teaches them where food comes from as well,

stephanie Parks:

because we do produce our own food.

stephanie Parks:

. I think for kids to have an understanding of , oh, this is where eggs come from.

stephanie Parks:

This is the process it takes to get eggs to my table or, oh, that's milk.

stephanie Parks:

This is cheese, this is butter.

stephanie Parks:

These all come from this and this is how it happened.

stephanie Parks:

Just that understanding, , it's good for kids to have an appreciation of that and,

stephanie Parks:

Really valuing where all that stuff comes from and not wasting it.

stephanie Parks:

We've rescued some chickens.

stephanie Parks:

, most of the ones we rescue are not the ones that currently lay eggs, just

stephanie Parks:

because, We hatch our own eggs for our egg stock and we added new bloodlines.

stephanie Parks:

And the milk cows are not rescues.

stephanie Parks:

We did have to purchase those, to get uh, a well-trained milk cow that

stephanie Parks:

has, good utters and is milkable.

stephanie Parks:

I have not seen those in the rescue situation, regularly not to say that

stephanie Parks:

it couldn't happen, but, , for our need, for that we ended up purchasing two.

Catherine:

And why pygmy goats?.

stephanie Parks:

So six of the 10 were rescues.

stephanie Parks:

Were available to do that.

stephanie Parks:

We, We are a home.

stephanie Parks:

so Yeah.

stephanie Parks:

So w we have, uh, we have 10 goats now we've kept our our we're husband says

stephanie Parks:

we're done we're captain goats right now.

stephanie Parks:

Uh, cause we have two youngster, young goats, and they are so mischievious and

Catherine:

What do they do?

Catherine:

What are some of the things they do?

stephanie Parks:

So they were bottled raised

stephanie Parks:

, the kids, love To bottle feed, the goats are so cute.

stephanie Parks:

And the pygmy goats are like the size of a Chihuahua when they're little.

stephanie Parks:

so they're.

stephanie Parks:

Oh, they're so cute.

stephanie Parks:

Yeah.

stephanie Parks:

They're, they're really.

stephanie Parks:

adorable.

stephanie Parks:

And their antics are hilarious, but because they're bottle raised, they're

stephanie Parks:

super friendly, like obnoxiously friendly.

stephanie Parks:

And so they jump on your back.

stephanie Parks:

And the the kids kind of spoiled them to that when they were like little, little,

stephanie Parks:

and they were like, look how cute.

stephanie Parks:

And I'm like, no, no, don't let them do that.

stephanie Parks:

No, not a good, a bad habit.

stephanie Parks:

bad but mostly they just, they, they want to be with you a hundred percent

stephanie Parks:

of the time, which is super cute, but , they walk between your legs and they've

stephanie Parks:

tried to push into doors and push into the barn and ahead of you, which you

stephanie Parks:

don't always want them in the barn.

stephanie Parks:

And so then chasing these goats around, and they're big enough now.

stephanie Parks:

30 pounds.

stephanie Parks:

It was not a big deal when they were little and you just hoist

stephanie Parks:

them up and pick them up and carry them back out of the barn.

stephanie Parks:

But now you're like, Okay.

stephanie Parks:

I have to go get the goats again, and it's just, , it's harder to go get them,

stephanie Parks:

but, um, they'll nibble on your, any kind of zipper or button on your pants.

stephanie Parks:

They try to eat it.

stephanie Parks:

So they're just kind of.

stephanie Parks:

like hilarity.

Catherine:

Did you have this planned.

Catherine:

Have a ranch and have the kids grow up in this lifestyle.

stephanie Parks:

I kind of always did.

stephanie Parks:

Yeah.

stephanie Parks:

, from my earliest kind of mutterings.

stephanie Parks:

So I was like, I'm going to have a ranch when I get older.

stephanie Parks:

Cause I was so into horses.

stephanie Parks:

Horses was the big thing as a kid.

stephanie Parks:

As soon as I could say the word horse, I was asking to ride and asking for horses

stephanie Parks:

so that I always said I wanted a ranch.

stephanie Parks:

I didn't know what to actually do, it, which is so it's, it's very cool

stephanie Parks:

that, we were able to, to realize that.

Catherine:

But,

stephanie Parks:

yeah, I didn't always know what that would look like, but I

stephanie Parks:

knew that I always wanted to have animals.

stephanie Parks:

And then I always wanted that to be a big part of my life.

stephanie Parks:

And luckily I met my husband who also loves animals.

stephanie Parks:

, it was always important to me that our kids knew, , understood The boundaries

stephanie Parks:

of animals and how to respect and how to care for them and, , to be

stephanie Parks:

respectful of them and understand the food process and everything.

Catherine:

Well, I think that's very important and they're learning quite a

Catherine:

bit because , it's not easy work, it's difficult work, but also, as you said,

Catherine:

earlier, responsibility and there.

Catherine:

Great wonderful responsibilities that they're learning here and, you know, they

Catherine:

don't get to sit and watch TV when the cow has to be milked and so on on a ranch

Catherine:

plus allowing that time for contemplating.

Catherine:

Yeah.

Catherine:

It's included in that, which is kind of a bonus.

stephanie Parks:

love it.

stephanie Parks:

Yeah.

stephanie Parks:

I mean, I sit on the hammock and I just watch the cows walk by, I've watched the

stephanie Parks:

goats follow the dogs through the pasture.

stephanie Parks:

mean, it's, It's just, it's so relaxing.

stephanie Parks:

It's fun

Catherine:

Oh, absolutely.

Catherine:

And Starlight is a beautiful ranch, very beautiful ranch.

stephanie Parks:

Thank you.

stephanie Parks:

We love it.

stephanie Parks:

Yeah.

stephanie Parks:

Yeah.

Catherine:

Now your horses, you had mentioned earlier

Catherine:

that you had a rescue horse.

Catherine:

And do you still have this rescue horse?

Catherine:

And what was the story behind that?

stephanie Parks:

So, Tucker.

stephanie Parks:

Yeah, so that was my first horse getting back into horses as an adult.

stephanie Parks:

, we don't still have Tucker, we did end up finding him a different home only because

stephanie Parks:

Tucker, it turns out, really wanted a job, like a fast paced everyday job.

stephanie Parks:

He had one of those minds that just, he wanted to work and that's great.

stephanie Parks:

We had to find him a home where he could do that because I

stephanie Parks:

ride max twice a week and during the winter I ride less than that.

stephanie Parks:

And so he was just getting bored basically.

stephanie Parks:

Um, some horses like to sit at pasture and just kind of hang out.

stephanie Parks:

Other horses really don't do well, just doing nothing.

stephanie Parks:

And they need to have something to put their mind at work.

stephanie Parks:

And so we found him a job where he had.

stephanie Parks:

a job.

Catherine:

And his rescue.

Catherine:

So you said Denver, he wasn't walking around Denver.

stephanie Parks:

No.

stephanie Parks:

Yeah, we don't really know.

stephanie Parks:

So I got him through contacts I know with the Colorado horse rescue network, which

stephanie Parks:

is a huge rescue network up in Colorado.

stephanie Parks:

And they're fantastic, it's a great organization.

stephanie Parks:

He was.

stephanie Parks:

Really, really underweight when he was given to her.

stephanie Parks:

His original story was not super well-known.

stephanie Parks:

He was taken out of a bad situation and there wasn't a lot more information on

stephanie Parks:

the specifics of it, but he was severely underweight when he went into the program.

stephanie Parks:

So he was rehabilitated.

stephanie Parks:

And then by the time we got him he was fat and and happy and, I had him

stephanie Parks:

probably two years and he was great.

stephanie Parks:

I loved him, so we are a home that fits their personality and vice versa.

stephanie Parks:

So, um, And that's, I think part of the thing with animal rescue is, you know, you

stephanie Parks:

can't always keep all of them a hundred, percent of the time and, you know,

stephanie Parks:

Feel bad about it, but yeah.

stephanie Parks:

um, he, he went into a nice home where they were able to give him a, a daily job.

Catherine:

What do you see in the future as far as animals go because you have

Catherine:

your practice, which the practice plus you have the ranch, plus you have the

Catherine:

animals that you're rescuing and you have the kids that you're raising.

Catherine:

You have a huge plate that is full, but you're able to do it all.

Catherine:

W which is quite inspiring.

Catherine:

And so what do you see as far as animal rescue or animals in the future for Dr.

Catherine:

Stephanie Parks?

stephanie Parks:

So I would always love to continue to do animal rescue, at least

stephanie Parks:

in the capacity that we can on this farm.

stephanie Parks:

And we'll have to see what that looks like in the future because we have

stephanie Parks:

enough space that if I can convince my husband we could probably get,

Catherine:

he just needs to listen to the podcast and hear

stephanie Parks:

more things here and there.

stephanie Parks:

, I think while the kids are this young, they're, middle school and under

stephanie Parks:

right now, we do, twofold things.

stephanie Parks:

We have our, rescue animals.

stephanie Parks:

And then, we have the food producing side of the farm.

stephanie Parks:

So we, um, we hope to always keep both sides of those going and

stephanie Parks:

hopefully have our pets and all of our personal animals be rescues

stephanie Parks:

or, something supportive of that.

Catherine:

And here's one of your kids.

stephanie Parks:

This is.

stephanie Parks:

AJ.

stephanie Parks:

He's.

stephanie Parks:

eight.

stephanie Parks:

Do you want to talk about some of the animals?

stephanie Parks:

We're talking about the goats and the farm.

stephanie Parks:

You want to tell, you been, talk about how you helped raise the pygmy goats?

Catherine:

What do you have to say about the pygmy goats?

Catherine:

They're fluffy and cute.

Catherine:

What did you think about raising them?

Catherine:

Did you bottle feed them?

Catherine:

Yes.

Catherine:

Oh, and can you tell us a little bit about the bottle feeding?

Son:

They would just chug it.

Catherine:

They would chug it.

Catherine:

Did you have to hold them and cuddle them?

Son:

Sweet vengeance.

Catherine:

What is that?

Son:

I don't

stephanie Parks:

know.

Catherine:

It's

stephanie Parks:

Alma

Catherine:

something

stephanie Parks:

and something

Catherine:

learned.

Son:

So we had baby pigs.

Son:

But one of them died.

Catherine:

Oh.

Catherine:

One of them died.

Son:

sickness,

Catherine:

Sickness.

Catherine:

And that's something else that they're learning is that you lose,

stephanie Parks:

Yeah.

stephanie Parks:

We lost three dogs.

Catherine:

three dogs,

:

When you're talking about some of the things

:

that your kids learn, what is one that you feel is very important

:

on their education with regard to.

:

the animals?

:

So I think animals, a lot of animal relationships mirror

:

our relationships with humans.

:

So if, if we're able to respect an animal and look at their body language

:

and respect what they're telling us, then that really translates for children

:

and for all, all adults, into how

:

how you can

:

Move that into your human relationships.

:

Things like consent, for example, teaching young children about, with our

:

new cat that we have, for example, when he likes to be touched where he likes

:

to be touched, where is okay to touch him where he doesn't like to be touched?

:

Just kind of establishing those ground rules of look, look

:

how he's acting right now.

:

He doesn't like that.

:

He's telling, you no.

:

And starting at a young age and, and letting kids understand that oh,

:

okay, the cat doesn't like that.

:

Cool.

:

Let's not do that.

:

And.

:

Especially when you're working with the bigger animals, like horses,

:

body language is huge and learning to, calm yourself and take a step

:

back and read that body language.

:

With the horses, especially cause we have multiple horses and they live in a herd.

:

So, um, teaching the kids okay, watch her ears, watch her tail.

:

What's she doing?

:

Is it safe to go near her right now?

:

And obviously we don't let them out without us, but.

:

You know, kind of teaching them to watch that body language and look

:

at her face, look at her eyes.

:

Is she happy right now?

:

And those things you have to do to work with horses, it's just horse 101..

:

People who've been working with horses for a long time, kind of just understand that.

:

But if you can spell that out for people that I think goes a long way

:

in, in helping kids to understand, Body language and facial cues.

:

Yeah.

:

If you learn to look for that stuff and you learn like, oh, you see, when her face

:

was wrinkled like that, she's not happy.

:

Then they're like, oh, and that really translates.

:

And then being able to quiet yourself enough to have that interaction with

:

that animal, I think it's really, an important skill for kids to learn.

Catherine:

As they get older, they can become better listeners with humans, also

Catherine:

because they're listening and reading that body language and the tone of voice.

Catherine:

So that, that definitely helps to inform them about the situation they

Catherine:

might be in or to avoid situations.

:

Yeah, absolutely.

Catherine:

Well, Stephanie, the last part of the show is

Catherine:

always your last inspiring words

Catherine:

. stephanie Parks: Ooh.

Catherine:

Last inspiring words.

Catherine:

I think.

Catherine:

The thing that inspires me and my animal rescue stuff is just to always look

Catherine:

at each thing you're going to do like, oh, I think I'm ready for a new dog.

Catherine:

Or I think I'm thinking about getting X, Y, or Z, or how can I help whatever

Catherine:

cause, and try to look at what's the best possible way that I can do this?

Catherine:

How can I help the most people and things by doing this And, you know, how

Catherine:

can I maximize the benefit that that's going to be, because there's really a

Catherine:

lot that you can do with, your actions and with the way you live your life.

Catherine:

So even if you aren't able to, have a big ranch full of rescue animals,

Catherine:

there's a ton of different stuff that you can do that you can, you

Catherine:

know, kind of make those choices.

Catherine:

Just more impactful.

Catherine:

So we always try to make sure, especially when a rescuing dogs, how can I

Catherine:

make this adoption you know, what dog is at the most at risk right now

Catherine:

how can we, kind of get the most impact with our action there.

Catherine:

we choose typically kind of at risk breeds or, you know, like black dogs

Catherine:

tend to be a little more at risk.

Catherine:

So we try to , just make every choice as impactful as we can.

Catherine:

There's a lot of little things that you can do and, even if you

Catherine:

can't even take any animals at all, which is completely fine, I mean,

Catherine:

everybody's situation is different.

Catherine:

You can donate your time.

Catherine:

You can donate supplies, things like blankets or, old cat kennels or different

Catherine:

things that a lot of rescues need.

Catherine:

The horse rescues are always in need of hay, old tack.

Catherine:

There's a lot of things you can do to just make every action that, you

Catherine:

do have as much impact as possible.

Catherine:

Yes.

Catherine:

And you are so right about that.

Catherine:

Stephanie Dr.

Catherine:

Parks, this has been absolutely wonderful.

Catherine:

And your world completely opened up with your own volunteerism as a child.

Catherine:

And that in itself is inspiring and you've kept at it for all of these years.

Catherine:

And now you are modeling that for your children.

stephanie Parks:

I hope so.

stephanie Parks:

Yeah, it's been, it's been great for me, so hopefully we can pass that along.

Catherine:

Thank you so much for sharing your positive imprints here on the show.

stephanie Parks:

You're welcome.

stephanie Parks:

Thank you for having me.

stephanie Parks:

This has been fun.

Catherine:

Yes.

Catherine:

Your positive imprint.