The Vet2Pet Team: Spotlight on Mandy Billinger

Mandy Billinger

By Mr. Meowgy

Apparently the master ninjas at Vet2Pet were most satisfied with my previous writing attempt (you must read my spotlight on Antonio Parenti immediately), so they have asked me to interview another Vet2Pet team member. 

I am a most busy feline ninja, so I told them this task would have to wait until a future date. But, when they told me they might have a dog do the interviewing and writing instead, I immediately scoffed at that obviously subpar idea. Let the dog get back to his mindless chewing; Mr. Meowgy will make time for this most important task.

To complete this assignment, I had a most interesting conversation with Vet2Pet’s new Success Coach, Mandy Billinger.

An inside look at Vet2Pet’s Mandy Billinger

Mr. Meowgy (MM): Mandy Billinger, let us begin with the most important question of all: How many cats do you surround yourself with?

Mandy Billinger (MB): I don’t have any cats, but I do have two dogs. 

MM: I do question your judgement.

MB: My husband is really allergic to cats, Mr. Meowgy! My family had two Siamese cats when I was younger, and they were awesome. If I could have a cat, I would.

MM: Perhaps you should rethink your choice in husbands. 

MB: [silence]

MM: Well then, catless one, do tell me about your dogs so we may put this behind us.

MB: We have a shorkie named Onyx and a Siberian husky named Kenai. Kenai is named after the location of my family’s home in Alaska: the Kenai Peninsula. 

MM: That does sound most cold. I do not know what a shorkie is. Enlighten Mr. Meowgy.

MB: A shorkie is a shih tzu mixed with a Yorkshire terrier. Onyx is 12 years old. I got her in college. My roommate had a shih tzu and she took him to her parents’ house for holiday break. Her parents bred Yorkies, and my roommate’s shih tzu accidentally impregnated a Yorkie. At the time, the puppies were the reject litter, but now dogs like that are designer breeds and are in high demand.

Mandy Billinger

MM: I suppose the humans who happen to like dogs might like that mix, yes. Let us terminate this canine-heavy topic and instead discuss Alaska. I am most uncomfortable talking about dogs multiplying.

MB: I was born in Anchorage, Alaska. But we eventually moved to Salt Lake City, and I went to college at Southern Utah University. I moved to Colorado about 10 years ago.

MM: And why did you come to this most excellent place?

MB: I was moved out here by a marketing firm, but I always knew that I wanted to work with animals. I’ve been involved with rescues and humane societies for a long time—animals have always been a passion of mine. So, when I moved out here, there was a hospital that was looking for a practice manager and I just said, “This is my chance. I’m not going to take no for an answer.” And I’ve been working in the veterinary industry ever since.

MM: So a practice manager for many years you have been. Why have you joined Vet2Pet?

MB: I’ve seen veterinary medicine take such a huge shift in the past year and a half, and there have been so many opportunities that have arisen from the pandemic. It’s been eye-opening. And to work with a company that’s willing to listen to you and your experience is pretty rare. I love that Stacee will flat out ask me, “What do you think about this? You’re fresh off the boat…” Having a voice and being so involved in trying to help veterinary hospitals is great. Regardless of when we stop curbside and open back up, there is so much that we have learned during the pandemic. We’ve learned ways we can streamline and be more efficient throughout veterinary hospitals. Why would anyone ever go back to the old ways? And Vet2Pet is on the forefront of those changes and is making a real difference for veterinary hospitals and teams.

Mandy Billinger

MM: Yes, change can be a most wonderful thing. Where was your first place of employment?

MB: I worked at the snack bar of a roller skating rink when I was 14 or 15. I was paid under the table, and I had some pretty good moves.

MM: Paid under the table? That is a most odd expression… Now it is time for some fast questions and answers. What is your favorite hobby?

MB: [pause] Ummm… [pause] … Probably snowboarding or wakeboarding. I actually learned how to ski when I was 2 years old in Alaska.

MM: That answer was not very fast. What is your least favorite thing to do? 

MB: Washing and putting on duvet covers.

MM: Who is your favorite person?

MB: My brother.

MM: Will that make your cat-hating husband angry?

MB: No, he knows my brother and I are best friends. He lives in Las Vegas, and we love to go camping and boating together. We’re a really outdoorsy family.

Mandy Billinger

MM: What is your favorite food?

MB: Chicken fingers. I’ve been known to go to some pretty nice restaurants and say, “This is embarrassing, but do you have chicken fingers?” My friends make fun of me for it all the time.

MM: I do not blame them. You should most certainly always get the salmon at a fancy restaurant. Do you at least ask for a fancy dipping sauce for your fried chicken sticks?

MB: You mean chicken fingers? No, ranch is usually fine. 

MM: What is your favorite kind of music?

MB: Country.

MM: What is your favorite physical attribute about yourself? 

MB: Probably my blue eyes. My whole family has them, so it reminds me of them.

MM: Even your Siamese cats had them, I assume.

MB: Ummm… yes, I suppose they did.

MM: What is your favorite personality characteristic about yourself?

MB: Probably my loyalty and kindness.

Mandy Billinger

MM: What is one thing you would prefer to change about yourself?

MB: I guess I’ve never looked at it that way because I can’t change anything. I’ve learned to love everything because it’s gotten me to where I am.

MM: You are a most positive person, Mandy Billinger. What is your favorite saying or motto? 

MB: Nothing is impossible. The word itself says “I’m possible.” 

MM: Ahhh! Good one, young grasshopper. I do think we have covered many topics during our discussion today. I have learned that you are most interesting, but that you lack an essential component to a good life—a feline companion. I trust you will make the right decision soon.

Visit the Vet2Pet team page to learn more about Mandy and the rest of the team. Do not hesitate to read my future interviews—I am certain I will meet a cat lover soon.

Mr. Meowgy, Master App Ninja

Abandoned by his family, Mr. Meowgy was discovered in a filthy trash can by a kind-hearted veterinary technician. Taking pity on this poor orphan kitten, the vet tech bottle fed and raised Mr. Meowgy into becoming the most excellent master ninja he is today. Mr. Meowgy credits his determination, savvy street smarts, and desire to make humans better to his humble beginnings. He is a most talented ninja cat, who enjoys teaching humans how to use technology, lapping up warm milk, kneading bread, and catching the little red dot.

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