When my former dog walker, Julie at Park Place Bark, introduced Kyle to Animal Medical Center I assumed she was just making up stories because I could never imagine a vet as warm and inviting as the one she described. But alas, as is always the case with Julie, she was not exaggerating one bit, she was simply telling the truth.
AMC is tucked away inside a charming building in Lincoln Park which has served as a home for nuns and later for a family with 10 children who shared 4 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. The house was actually built around 1920 in a different site and later moved to the present site. I don't quite understand that because Kyle and I simply move our belongings and leave the house behind, but this house relocation fiasco seems to be a common building history in Chicago. But I digress. Dr. Donna Solomon purchased the building in 1989, renovated it and opened the clinic May 12, 1990. Back then Animal Medical Center was on the "wrong" side of Ashland with several factories nearby, but today the area is full of gorgeous single-family homes, townhouses and neighborhood bars.
Since its humble beginning in 1990, Animal Medical Center has grown to become a clinic that serves approximately 2,200 humans and their 4.200 pets (give or take a few of course). Now if I was running AMC I'm sure I could take care of all 4,200 pets single-handedly, but Dr. Solomon has a team of 3 veterinarians, 5 certified veterinary technicians, 4 veterinary assistants, several receptionists and 1 full-time office manager. In addition to their living support staff, Kyle is also always talking about how much he loves their virtual employee. They utilize a Pet Portals online software application that they offer to clients free of charge. It helps Kyle keep Dr. Seuss' and my vet records organized since Kyle's not as talented as me when it comes to multi-tasking or remaining organized.
What always impresses me the most about AMC is how incredibly pet-friendly the whole place feels. I've been to other vet clinics where I felt like they might perform animal testing on me at any moment, but Dr. Solomon put a lot of thought into how the design would make everyone feel comfortable rather than stressed out. She told me, "the entrance and waiting room was intentionally designed to look like someone's home - so it makes the pets feel more at ease. We have snacks at the reception desk and in each room for the pets to eat. We also serve Gerber Baby Food - ususally chicken, beef or turkey flavored - to distract the pet's during their examination or procedures." She also made me aware of something I never before noticed in all my visits - there is also an elevator. Since the clinic is on multiple levels, it's a great benefit for the senior pets or even the humans who need some assistance getting around. If that's not enough, all the ground surfaces are pet friendly and tolerant as well. They will not absorb odors or urine and are easy to clean.
I always feel so at ease when I get out of the car to walk through the swinging picket fence and up the stairs through the front door, and I realize I'm very fortunate. Most of my buddies at the park have horror stories to share with me about their vet experiences like being dropped while attempting to be lifted onto the exam table, leaving with a headache from all the barking and fluorescent lighting or having to wait for literally hours to see a doctor. I suppose I am a super lucky pup to have been introduced to such a clean and relaxed environment where I am always welcomed with a smile and receive lots of treats and the special attention a rock star like me deserves.
In addition to treating me well, Animal Medical Center is also all about playing an active role in the community to help homeless dogs and cats find their forever homes. Nick Anderson, the office manager, works closely with Dr. Solomon to organize regular adoption events, and they are actually hosting an awesome adoption event on Saturday, May 5th from 2:30pm to 5:00pm. Now I realize that the AllRoverTown Scavenger Hunt at Bark in the Park is that morning, but it will be done by 1pm at the latest so you have plenty of time to stop by Animal Medical Center on your way home to help show your support for the the rescues taking part in the adoption event. Plus, it will give you a great opportunity to check out Animal Medical Center's successful blend of cozy home environment with state-of-the-art animal clinic so you can see for yourself all the reasons why I love visiting AMC so much.Animal Medical Center of Chicago 1618 W. Diversey Parkway, Chicago IL 60614