By Marly Fuller
Have you ever been to a Flying Squirrel’s baseball game and wondered where Parker the Rally Pig lives? He shares a home with another pot-bellied pig, 10 rescue dogs and a veterinarian named Dr. Deirdre Mason. She is the creator and owner of Chester’s newest veterinary clinic: Whiskers and Wags Animal Hospital t 4640 Chester Square Road.
The sign is not hard to miss with its hot pink letters, welcoming visitors into the West Hundred Road shopping center that also houses Wild Rose Cafe.
“My vision was to have a clean and comfortable, bright and happy place for people to bring their animals that felt like home,” said Mason.
You can see for yourself how spunky and fun the place is by joining Mason and team at their grand opening this Sunday from 1 to-3 p.m.
Visitors will be able to enjoy food and raffle prizes such as free blood panels, exams, grooming, a year of heartworm/flea/tick prevention, and more. Dogs are welcome, and they will get to indulge in complementary treats from the Good Doggie food truck.
Mason’s team followed her from their former post at Locke A. Taylor vets in Richmond. One of her techs, Emily Madison, came up with the name of the animal hospital during a brainstorm.
“We love Dr. Mason and followed her here because we’ve never met any vet who is more thorough,” Emily said. “She won’t just throw a cookie-cutter plan at your animal…we’re anti-corporate in that way.”
Mason has been a veterinarian for eight years, having studied in the Cayman Islands. While in school, she did her rotations at the Cayman Turtle Centre as well as places like the North Carolina and Memphis zoos.
It was on the island that she met and fell in love with her “coconut retriever” Ferguson. There was also a pit bull there who made the trip back to the States with her as well. Her other dogs range from two-pound chihuahuas to a 140-pound Great Dane. Among the staff of three, they have 22 animals, so this clinic is not short of animal lovers.
Mason’s husband is from Chester, which is how she found her way to the community. To her, it’s a big city compared to where she grew up in Berkshire County, Mass. Her early days of being a vet were spent in rural areas, so she’s fond of farm animals., She has treated a broad spectrum of four-legged friends.
Her passion, whether you have an exotic animal or a household pet, is preventative care. She is well-versed in how and why an annual dental cleaning can save an animal’s life. The new clinic offers in-house services for this care, like dental X-rays, blood screenings, and grooming.
The current location previously housed Old Dominion Animal Clinic, which is not associated with this new business. Come check out the upgrades: it’s cheery, pristine, and welcoming.
For more information about Whiskers and Wags, visit whiskersandwagsanimalhospital.com. The hours are 8-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, and the office is open until 8 p.m. by request on Mondays and Wednesdays.