Dr. Brett Finkelstein's mom, an elementary school teacher, knew that if her son was not in the house, and not outside playing stick ball, home run derby, or ring-a-levio in the street, she needed to walk up the single flight of stairs to the fifth floor of their apartment building and knock on Mrs. Katz, the neighborhood cat ladys' door. For as sure as the sun sets in the west, her twelve year old son was ministering to one of the fourteen cats residing there. "He was always reading First Aid Books and trying to apply them to his patients, although not always successfully in those early days. It always looked like a MASH Unit," she said.
When Dr. Brett was fifteen, he got his first veterinary job at a small hospital in Queens, NY owned by Dr. Walter Relken, whose intelligence humor, patience, and ever smiling pipe smoking persona sealed the deal. As mentors go, Dr Relken and Mary Murphy, his "do everything assistant," fostered a caring compassionate attitude and ideal that remains a cornerstone of our practice philosophy to this day. " I rode my Schwinn Continental Bicycle, a hand me down from my cousin, the five miles up the hill on Parsons Blvd and back every day. I made twenty dollars a week, a ton of money for me. The Hospital was right across from a White Castle, a fringe benefit for any fifteen year old boy, as hamburgers were 15 cents and a cheeseburger only twenty four! Usually I ate six or eight of them."
He now has been practicing Veterinary Medicine happily for 30 years. A graduate of both Washington University in St Louis, and The University of Missouri Columbia, he holds both Bachelors and Doctorate degrees. He is currently the owner of our sister clinic, Highland Animal Hospital, in Dunedin, and Animal Associates in Safety Harbor.
Dr Brett enjoys playing Sherlock Holmes, analyzing the tough stuff in internal medicine, and also has a special interest in behavioral problems in pets, where he partners with our certified and wonderful trainer Gina Kaiser, to provide a multimodal approach for the behavioral issues your pet is experiencing. Too many pets lose their happy homes, we just can't let that happen, we just have to find the right way! And he does!
Pain management is another area of special interest for Dr Brett. He believes in an integrated approach to identifying pain at it's root cause and managing it or preventing it's recurrence. He often employs laser treatments, medical therapy, massage and exercise therapy in his approach, and has recently partnered with a local Chiropractic Physician to offer a comprehensive game plan to managing pain in pets. No pet should ever suffer silently, it's our responsibility and obligation to come to their aid.
An accomplished writer, amateur musician, (yes you hear banjo music at the clinic so paddle faster!) and full time hubby and Dad. Dr Brett, his wife Sharon, and his daughter share the house with "Molly," our new addition chocolate Labrador retriever puppy and her big brother "Moose," the Chocolate Lab, (pictured above!) and finding a place on the couch is always a challenge! "Moose is my one great failure," Dr Brett often says, "I just can't break his addiction! TO HIS TENNIS BALLS! Molly is quickly learning the ropes, and soon there will be the devil to pay!."
His son is a Sophomore this year at Florida State University, to the utter chagrin of his wife who is, and always will be now and forever a FLORIDA GATOR! Yes, he lives in a house divided. There is hope however. His daughter Hilary, a Junior this year at Countryside H.S. has dreams and aspirations of following in her mother's footsteps and attending The University of Florida. Balance will soon be restored. In so many ways Dr Brett's plate is always full, but his door is always open. Stop in and say hello!