Dr. Jennifer Scott and Dr. Chris Boyle opened Black Dog Animal Hospital in February 2016. In three years, their business quickly grew in poplularity and earlier this year won Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce’s specialty service award.

When asked what made Black Dog special, Boyle stated, “We treat every animal like it’s our own. Everybody here cares about the animals.”

Scott added, “and I think our level of medicine, too.”

Black Dog offers a variety of services for pets -- from regular checkups to vaccines to surgery.

At the end of 2019, Dr. Emmy Hartman joined Scott and Boyle at Black Dog. While they all ended up at the veterinary hospital in Red Wing, the three women came from different places and took different paths to veterinary medicine.

Boyle grew up on a dairy farm in central Minnesota.

“I went to vet school thinking I was going to specialize in dairy medicine because it’s all I knew, and learned more about pets and learned that I really enjoyed working with them and their owners,” Boyle said.

Hartman is from Red Wing. She was raised on a farm outside of the city, surrounded by animals.

“So, I think I was just born with it in my blood,” she explained. “I was going to be an attorney, I got into law school; but the blood thing that was a strong pull.”

Scott didn’t always know that she would be a veterinarian.

“I knew I loved it and I knew I kind of wanted to do it, but at the same time I had a reluctance to do it because I worried about putting animals to sleep.”

Putting pets down is an aspect of the job with which all veterinarians work to become comfortable. For Scott, she found peace with it when a mentor explained to her that she never had to put an animal down, she always had the choice.

“It’s one of the hardest things that we do but it’s also one of the most important things we can do. And, if we can be good at that and be there for people on that last day and make it as easy on everybody as possible, I think that’s a gift,” Scott said.

Hartman added, “It’s the last gift that you can give to them so they don’t suffer.”

When asked about winning the chamber award, Scott stated, “I think it’s always an honor to get nominated. It's a compliment from the community.”

Hartman stressed about her two coworkers that “they didn’t expect to win because they are the most humble, compassionate people you will have ever met.”