Smith Ridge Client Stories

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Smith Ridge is a special, special place

Submitted By: Gina and Evan H

“We're so glad we found you”

Dear Smith Ridge,

Words cannot describe how grateful we are to have had you care for Quila these past four years. We are incredibly appreciative of your love, passion, thoughtfulness and creativity that you expressed in each and every one of our visits. We know in our hearts that Quila's life, and more importantly, its quality, was greatly improved and extended through your help and guidance.

We are also appreciative of your gentle coaching when it was time to let her go. She was an absolute joy and continues to be an inspiration.

Thank you for creating an organization where the positive energy of the entire staff generates a state of well-being within every person and animal that walks through your door. We want to thank each and every one of you for your hard work and genuine effort that you gave to Quila. We know she appreciated it as much as we do.

We're so glad we found you and so appreciative of the years you gave us with Quila.

She's not supposed to be alive, but she is!

Submitted By: Bette S

“People don't even know she's sick”

May 6, 2011

Dear Dr. Ruskin,

I wanted to write and thank you for the care you've given Cricket.

When I brought her to you in Sept. 2010, she'd already been diagnosed with a meningioma - a brain tumor sitting at the back of the brain. Based on an MRI the neurologist said it was inoperable. I was given the options of chemo and/or radiation, both with side effects and both with the warning that they'd only buy 2 or 3 months of time.

I came to Smith Ridge because I wasn't ready to give up. She was an 11 year old Golden with cancer, but she was still active and had a gleam in her eye. I didn't expect miracles at Smith Ridge, but felt if you could give her the same amount of time – and do it without the stress, anesthesia risk and discomfort that radiation and chemo would involve – that I'd be grateful and content.

Well, it's now been over 7 months! And Cricket is still going strong. In fact, next week she celebrates her 12th birthday. During these months she's still getting into the garbage and being sassy. She even went to a couple of fun field trials, got all the birds and earned a Judge's Award of Merit! All with a brain tumor that is not apparent to the people who meet her!

I can't thank you enough. You've given us time together, *quality* time. And you've done it with non-toxic therapies that haven't caused her any discomfort. I suspect many people write you after their animals have passed in order to say thank you. I wanted to write *now*, while Cricket is still happy and active, and thank you for the priceless gift of time and life you've given us.

My baby

Submitted By: Anne marie A, Forest Hills, NY

“The Miracle”

He was given 6 months tops... Because of Smith Ridge, he is in his third year and considered a miracle dog. He is loved beyond. = here with his brother Puffy!

15 years of great service

Submitted By: Susan and Rich T

“We couldn't ask for more”

We just want to express our apreciation for 15 years of outstanding service from everyone at Smith Ridge. The ladies in your order department are always so efficient and helpful. Your entire front desk staff are always incredibly kind, caring, and helpful. Your techs have guided several of our animals through some rough days and they always do so with skill and gentleness.

Your doctors - and we've seen them all - are excellent veterinarians who always exhibit caring, attentiveness, thoroughness and thoughtfulness. And they've helped keep our animals healthy. They are the best!

Six months ago we moved 35 minutes away from South Salem. But that 70 minutes of round trip driving will not interrupt the years of satisfaction we've had at Smith Ridge. The trip, no matter how often and how far, is well worth it for the quality of care you provide.

Thank you for everything you do. We couldn't ask for more.

It's not just about the type of medicine you practice

Submitted By: Pam and Jerry K

“Client service that is exceptional”

Everyone knows the expert care the Smith Ridge vets provide to companion animals. But we wonder if everyone knows the well-kept secret of the dedicated people who work the front desk.

They all do an outstanding job and should be commended for their kindness, attention and friendliness. They go above and beyond to give the best service possible. We are long time clients who have been coming to Smith Ridge since the mid-1990s. Much of our loyalty is due to the competency, efficiency and compassion of your front desk. They have our personal and heartfelt appreciation.

Beat osteosarcoma for NINE years

Submitted By: Ken and Lisa B

“Smith Ridge made it possible”

As you know, our dear little Pooks died last year in May. He became ill with an acute attack of pancreatitis. Though he was at an excellent specialty hospital here in PA and received superior care, he was simply too old and too ill to pull through.

At 19 years and 3 months, Pooks lived a very long life. Both he and we owe the last 9 years of that life to you. We have no doubt that had it not been for your skill and expertise in alternative cancer treatments plus your recommendation of a raw food diet, he never would have survived his osteosarcoma. The veterinary oncologist told us, that in his 20 plus years of practice, he had never heard of, seen, or even read of a cat who had lived more than a year past diagnosis with conventional treatment of osteosarcoma. Since the only difference in Pooks' picture was the addition of alternative medical treatments, we know he survived as a result of your therapies combined with the radiation he received.

Throughout his life, Pooks received abundant love from us as well as the best veterinary care we could find. We include your skill, expertise and dedication in that care. We cannot thank you enough for all you did for Pooks, which resulted in such a long extension of his life. Both Pooks and we were very fortunate to have found you.

Hope for the hopeless

Submitted By: Carol and Roger W

“Grateful for your help”

We've been meaning to write this letter to you since the very first time Carol, Brock and I visited Smith Ridge. You have an extraordinary place. It is exceptional and makes an impression from the moment you walk in. The entire staff are incredibly warm, compassionate and dedicated. The fine women in reception seem more like animal lovers working as receptionists than receptionists working in a place for animal lovers. The energy in the waiting room and exam rooms is relaxed and positive - amazing considering that most dogs visiting you are experiencing significant problems. I knew from the moment we walked into Smith Ridge that Brock was in good hands.

When we told one of our local vets that we had brought Brock to Smith Ridge, he said: "I don't know exactly what, or how, they do what they do. All I know is - we have sent, by conventional medicine standards, hopeless cases there and the dogs come back well. They perform miracles there." Carol and I didn't expect miracles. We just wanted someone to try, to give our dog a fighting chance, to not give up on him since he hadn't given up on himself. You did all that and more.

Your care was instrumental in helping Brock live, happily, for six months after conventional veterinarians offered no hope and insisted that we needed to "put him down" immediately. Those extra 6 months were priceless. We grew closer to Brock and we learned from him. he reminded us that each day was a gift to be cherished and thoroughly enjoyed. He was a loving dog with a big heart and a happy smile.

His journey was just what you had prepared us for: you told us we should expect to see a rebound in his strength and energy when treatment began and then a maintenance mode. When it was time, you expected it to come fast and be clear. That's exactly what happened. He was playful and strong right up until his last 36 hours. Then it became clear that he wasn't just having an "episode" and we released his ravaged body and let his spirit fly free. Brock truly made our family complete and we are deeply feeling his loss. But he was a blessing and we were fortunate to be able to share our lives with him. We wish we had more time with him, but really, a hundred years of Brock wouldn't be enough. We thank you for helping us have one last summer with him. It was a summer we'll never forget.

What you do at Smith Ridge is a gift to every animal and person fortunate enough to come through your doors. in a world that is often cold and clinical, Smith Ridge is a refreshing and welcome oasis of warm, caring people. You and your compassionate staff have restored our faith in an industry that had not been very kind to Brock, regardless of their inability to help him. For all the phone calls, faxes, emails and questions you answered, for the fears you alleviated and the nervous energy you accepted, for the time you took to explain what real healing is all about, and for the health you helped us to maintain in our beloved boy, Carol and I are forever grateful. We know Brock is also.

Amazing place!!!!!

Submitted By: Mia S, Shelton, CT

“Dr. Ruskin is our hero!!!!”

After being told by our regular vet that there was nothing anyone could do for our boy, Dr. Ruskin told me all she could and would do! And...long story short, after Vitamin C therapy for 3 days and lots of other good stuff...Mugs's tumor is GONE!!!!!! He is on some natural remedies for some other minor issues, he is eating on his own and slowly but surely, he is coming back around! This was a true test in patience, faith, perseverance, hope and lots and lots of love! I cannot say enough about the amazing staff at Smith Ridge...from my first phone call with Rachelle to now. Rachelle, Jamie, Wendy, Nikki, Victoria and Meg! Thank you! We are forever grateful and lifetime patients...all 5 of my babies will now be cared for by Dr. Ruskin! She never gave up for one second and gave me lots of great tips on how to help heal Mugs as well!

We Love Dr. Seo!

Submitted By: Lauren F, Califon, NJ

“Best Vet We've Ever Been To”

I have been to many vets over the years - searching for the right fit, and I always felt that something was lacking, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Then one day several years ago I started reading about integrative medicine and heard about Smith Ridge's excellent reputation. We decided to make the 2 hour trip from NJ. Dr. Seo is by far the kindest, most knowledgeable vet we have ever been to. I have very high expectations, and it is a relief that I can trust his judgement. After going for years I am confident that we are getting the best care out there. Thank you Dr. Seo. You are the best!

Bobby"s Story

Submitted By: Alexandra D, Centerville, MA

“Bobby came to Smith Ridge for knowledgeable care”

Bobby came to Smith Ridge for treatment we were not offered anywhere else, in the spring of 2011, three and a half months after his surgery to remove a liver tumor that reappeared in a mere couple of months versus the three years I had been told to expect. Feeling it now the most promising course of therapy, I turned to alternative medicine and through Dr. Goldstein and Dr. Seo learned how to support Bobby's immune system and treat him as a "whole" being, supportively. We are enjoying real quality time together, beyond what had been predicted for him had I not gone this route and, the wonderful experience of a tumor that is not growing, but shrinking! I love these doctors and what Smith Ridge represents, which is support and education. I'm eternally grateful,

pituitary tumor

Submitted By: Eleanor G, red lodge, MT

“completed cured of Cushing's Disease”

This dog of my father's was 7 years old when she was brought to Smith Ridge with Cushing's Disease after a local vet diagnosed her with a pituitary tumor and gave her less than six months to live. My dad had just died and we had adopted her.

Based on Smith Ridge's advice, we changed her diet to turkey, brown rice and vegetables, and gave her the recommended supplements.

I brought the dog out West after my father died. She lived a completely active, happy and healthy life until 15 years old at 8,000 feet, symptom free. After a month of illness, gradually fading, she died at home and was buried in the CO mountains.

Thank you Smith Ridge!

Since then in MT, I have two dogs raised totally on fresh turkey, vegetables and Vit. B.(no rice). One is a hound (photo: Maya at rest)

At 14 years old - no arthritis, great energy. We live at 6,600 feet and walk a mile daily if I can keep up with her! She is prone to some benign tumors-wonder if that's GMO corn fed to turkeys? Otherwise, very healthy, active, happy.

A Journey of Health and Knowledge

Submitted By: T R, briarcliff manor, NY

“My 6 Lucky Labs”

My 6 Black Labradors had the good fortune to meet Dr.Marty Goldstein some 20 yrs. ago. It has been a continuing extraordinary learning experience since. Each one of my canine companions has benefited from Dr.Marty's expanding wealth of knowledge and cutting edge research - focusing always on wellness and disease prevention; a comprehensive approach to supporting the body's immune system.

His timeless published manuscript,"The Nature of Animal Healing" has been an ever present guide for me; a common sense approach to understanding the magnificence of both the canine/feline body and the human body as well. Over the years I have given copies of his book to folks who can use it as a guide to help them keep their animal pals healthy and well.

Dr.Marty, a visionary, is a traditionally trained veterinarian from the prestigous Cornell University. He embraced Integrative Medicine so many years ago - utilizing alternative therapies such as acupuncture, qigong, metabolic nutritional analysis, the latest in nutrition, non-toxic cancer remedies, as well as conventional techniques like digital ultrasound and digital xray technologies, to keep animals healthy.

He helped me and others realize the many liabilities that result from over-vaccination of our animal companions.

My journey with Dr.Marty, and his team of 3 veterinarians and staff who carry on his work, make it possible for these options and curative techniques to be available to a greater number of companion animals.

People I know have traveled far and wide for the therapies dispensed by Dr.Marty and his collaborative team at Smith Ridge.

My journey with Dr.Marty and his team has been an invaluable, continuing education experience!


professor emerita
health science and human movement

Best experience with a vet in over 30 years

Submitted By: Kathleen C, Mahopac, NY

“Dakota was so loyal to us for so many years, how could we not do something for him in return that would not hurt him or cause him any distress!”

Few years ago, I was getting ready to start my day when my 11.5 year old dog, Dakota, came running into the dining room with a bloody nose. Never seeing a dog with a bloody nose or experiencing any medical issues with Dakota, I immediately transported him to his vet. Dakota was diagnosed with nasal tumors. Dakota’s vet told me that my pup had only a few months to live and to focus on making him comfortable because there is no cure for these tumors but expensive options like chemo and radiation. They sent us to an expensive center in another state where the reception felt cold and financially calculated.

Not willing to accept this devastating news or to put my dog through expensive, damaging and potentially painful radiation treatments, I began asking friends about holistic medicine and recommendations of places to go. A co-worker told me the story of his experience with Smith Ridge. I scheduled a visit with Dr. Ruskin and was concerned about hearing more about making my dog happy or comfortable, that there was nothing else to do. I wasn’t going to accept this again, Dakota was a therapy dog for so many and spent his life putting smiles and wet kisses on everyone’s face. Dakota lived his life to the fullest and then some. He acted more like a large cat as he was best known for sitting all 100 pounds of fur across our laps and expected the belly or backside scratches while on the couch. He was devoted to his family and waited patiently by the window watching for our cars to pull in the driveway every day. He was so loyal to us for so many years, how could we not do something for him in return that would not hurt him or cause him any distress. He always trusted that we would do the right thing for him so how could I let him down after all the years of unconditional love and trust he gave us!
I scheduled an appointment at Smith Ridge Vet. My husband, Dakota and I sat in a room and began talking to Dr. Ruskin about Dakota’s cancer diagnosis. Feeling emotional and somewhat defeated with what was told to me by the vet I went to and trusted, Dr. Ruskin began working magic not only with the state of mind I entered with, but on my dear dog, Dakota. She introduced us to animal nutrition and transformed our entire way of thinking in regards to nutrition and animals. I grew up believing that whatever said “dog food” was everything our four legged companions needed in regards to nutrition. Dr. Ruskin started Dakota on raw dog food, some basic nutritional vitamins, recommended IV Vitamin C and cryosurgery for Dakota. After starting the nutritional recommendations, we immediately saw overall improvements with his bloodwork within first few weeks. We had the cryosurgery performed on his nose which ended all the nose bleeds and obstructed nasal breathing sounds. Dakota was originally diagnosed with terminal cancer and after pursuing this nutritional approach and cryosurgery, Dakota looked more healthy and better than ever. His appearance and overall wellness wasn’t just obvious to us but everyone that would meet Dakota!

Dakota lived a few extra YEARS, not months as originally suggested. He lived a very happy, healthier 4 legged life and quality was never an issues or question. Unfortunately, the nasal tumor did return a couple years later. One week prior to passing, Dakota still walked close to mile and half per day with energy and vigor. Dakota did cross over the Rainbow Bridge on May 15th, 2015, but did so with so much more life thanks to Dr. Ruskin! I will always recommend Dr. Ruskin and Smith Ridge! Taking on the responsibility of pet ownership needs to begin with proper health and nutrition. Dr. Ruskin will forever be a part of our four legged family’s health and wellness!

This testimonial is long overdue! Thank you Smith Ridge for having the best Doctors, most knowledgeable staff on board and for being a part of our extended family during this emotional journey! Thank you for supporting us through the entire process and for being so kind and thoughtful during the most difficult time! Dakota loved coming to see each and every single one of you guys as it was evident every time we pulled into the parking lot and walked into the waiting room! He enjoyed choosing his acupuncture and magna wave treatment rooms every week. Thank you for giving him the best Golden Years and giving him quality care all the way up to when he crossed over the Bridge!

PO's Story

Submitted By: Rebecca R, Glen Dale, WV

“PO's Story”

PO was diagnosed with liver cancer on 6-8-11. She had a tumor half the size of her liver. My vet and the Specialists that did the examination and prognosis gave her 3-6 mos. with surgery and chemo. We decided at 12 1/2 yrs. old we did not want to put her through those treatments and added stress.
A friend mentioned Smith Ridge. You do not know how thankful we are that we made that phone call and that SR did long distance treatment!! We talked to Dr. Jacqueline Ruskin right away. She said I hope to be talking to you two years from now. Wow, was that uplifting or what?
It is now over 3 years and PO is still eating 3 times a day.. She has slowed up a bit, but has led a pain-free happy life to this day!
I tell everyone willing to listen about my miracle baby PO. ( that is what she is called at my vet's ) and how Dr. Ruskin at Smith Ridge Veterinary Center gave her extended time beyond what we ever expected. If PO makes it two more months she will be celebrating her 16th birthday!

a new man

Submitted By: Carroll M

“had a speedy recovery.....”

We are just thrilled to find Smith Ridge. Our dog was dying from the meds that were prescribed by a former doctor {not at SRV}. Some close friends recommended you to us, on a Friday. I called immediately. Dr. Ruskin saw him on Monday morning.
They did tests and prescribed supplements. Six weeks later.......George is a healthy, happy guy. His hair is growing in and his tail is wagging. He goes on long walks and swims a lot. George is 12 yrs. going on 8 yrs.. He love the sofa
in the office. The way SRV approaches the health of a dog is just right.

Thank you all

Dr. Seo saved my life!

Submitted By: Donna P, Shrub Oak, NY

“I didn't like going to the doc until I came to Smith Ridge Vet!”

My name is Sushi and I'm 3 years old. My human took me to the Dr all the time for a couple of years. I took medicine, felt better for a while and then always ended up back at the doc for another round. I woke up on a Saturday and had become deathly ill. Another visit to the doc, was given even more medicine and was sent on my way. By Sunday I wasn't moving. Smith Ridge was recommended to us and off I went. Dr. Seo saved my life. Another day or two and I wouldn't be here dictating this to my human to post. Now my sister and I both are patients at Smith Ridge. Big thanks to Dr. Seo!

Thank You!

Submitted By: Paul & Gerry K

“The greatest gift...”

In March 2011 our "boy", Onyx, turned 13. At the end of April we noticed something wrong inside his mouth. Our local veterinarian found a large tumor and did surgery to remove it. Unfortunately, the tumor grew back quickly and we were told that further surgery wasn't realistic and that we had a couple of months left at best.

We were so sad and upset. Onyx was one of the best dogs to ever share our lives. but then, in May, we were referred to Smith Ridge for an evaluation. We'd been told that they did "cryosurgery" - which freezes the tumor, causing it to die, and doesn't require any cutting.

Dr. Mike and Dr. Marty looked at the tumor. The tumor had grown all over the bottom of Onyx's mouth. But they felt that cryosurgery could be effective for him even though they said without surgery he probably had only a couple of weeks left to live.

Onyx was still so vital that we weren't ready to say goodbye yet. And he definitely didn't seem ready to say goodbye. When we asked how long the cryosurgery would give us, they told us we could probably expect another 3 to 6 months and that those months would be high quality months. We made the decision to move forward with the cryosurgery.

Onyx came through the surgery with flying colors. He barely seemed to know he'd even had surgery. He wasn't in pain and even the messy oozing we'd been told to expect for 5 to 10 days was not a problem. Dr. Mike recommended 2 cancer-fighting supplements for Onyx, along with a change of diet. We decided our "old man" deserved the best homecooked diet I could make for him. He loved it! And he began to look a lot better because of the real food he was getting.

After the surgery Onyx bounced right back. He resumed his long walks with us and was a happy dog who made many trips with us between our home here and our home down south. He continued to greet everyone he met and stopped daily during his walks to check in on his dog friends in the neighborhood. He slowed down a little as time went on, but that was to be expected.

In the late summer of 2012 we saw what looked like a growth in his mouth. The cancer did recur. But it didn't bother him for several months. At the end of Oct. 2012 we did know it was time and we helped him pass. He was a happy, vital dog right up until the last 2 days.

Onyx was 14 and 1/2 when he passed. Smith Ridge gave us an extra 16 months with the sweetest, kindest dog we've ever had. And they were 16 good months - months that Onyx was happy and active. Smith Ridge - thank you! You gave us the greatest gift - time to be together and time to be at peace. We miss him terribly, but we'll always be grateful for the skill and compassion you shared with us that allowed us to share 16 extra months with Onyx.

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