In Los Angeles, three veterinarians from Mexico, Guatemala and Puerto Rico were brought together to solve complex cases, educate the public on animal safety, and demonstrate the value of human-animal relationships. "Doctor Vet: Los Angeles," which airs on the Spanish-language channel Nat Geo Mundo, broadcasts the challenges of caring for dogs, cats and more exotic animals, such as lions and snakes, and the emotion, skill, creativity and sensitivity involved when operating on animals.

Mexican-born Dr. Georgina Marquez, one of the expert veterinarians on the series, chatted with Latin Post about her life, her career, the growing value of animal companions in Latino households, and the educational series that documents the lives of her and her colleagues as they attempt to save the lives of animals.

Scheduled to speak with Latin Post at noon, Marquez had to postpone the interview, delayed because she had to assist a dog with a tumor in his nose. In addition to the tumor, the aging dog suffered from pain in his joints, and was unhappy to be with Marquez as she gave him a biopsy. Sympathetic, she gave the dog a strong pain medicine, similar to morphine, to make him comfortable and "happy."

Now a vet at the prestigious Animal Medical Center of Southern California and a member of the hit cross-border series, Marquez is originally from Mexico City. Ever since she was child, she loved animals. Her first pet was guinea pig, and her love for him sparked a desire bring home every animal that she found, snails and worms included. Her parents allowed this, just as long as it wasn't a mammal.

Hailing from a traditional home, Marquez was meant to knit, sew, cross-stitch and do oil paintings; but, she didn't learn any of that. Instead, she played with her dog, a poodle that was gifted to her from her parents; time spent with her dog, and her dog's veterinarian urged her to want to work with animals later in life.

"When I would take my dog in to [the veterinarian], he would always let me stay with him... explaining and actually allowing me to be hands on," Marquez said about the vet who would become her mentor and eventual colleague. "He allowed me to do things...well, not that he would ever allow me to do things to any of his patients... but, he'd allow me to hold instruments. I was fascinated by the science of it. He was my inspiration. Not once did I ever wonder if I would do it. It was just a done deal."

Encouraged by her father, and discouraged by female family members, she found the veterinarian field was flooded by males. It was 90 percent male, according to Marquez, but she didn't care.

Marquez went to school, and worked with a variety of animals throughout her veterinarian school career, including horses, snakes, lions, zebras and just everything else, but found that she most wanted to work with dogs and cats, like her mentor. In conversation, she identified cats and dogs as integral parts of the Latino household, and more so than ever before, animals have been taken in as part of the family -- as both pets and as service animals.

"Last season on the show, there was this girl who had a service dog, Laura. And, this girl has a severe disability... and this dog gave her the joy to live on, and the girl's mom understood the importance of that dog's health," explained Marquez. "So, they brought the dog in to make sure the dog had tip-top health. That dog represents a reason for living."

The acclaimed vet also shared a story about a woman and her dog, Peaches. Peaches, a treasured part of the woman's life, was struck by a car. The woman was fearless of the loss because she depended heavily on it for emotional support. The woman disclosed to Marquez, "I can't lose my dog because she's the only one who's there for me. My friends come and go, and my family comes and goes, but my dog is always there."

Fifty years ago, people weren't as dependent on animals; they weren't taking their dogs to get acupuncture, physical therapy, chemotherapy or major surgery, but now they are. They're doing this because they're realizing what scientists have already proven, that being involved with a domesticated animal improves blood pressure and improves the desire to live, according to Marquez. Pets make owners happier, and service animals create comfort for cancer patients and the mentally disabled.

"Doctor Vet: Los Angeles" promotes that knowledge, and works to educate the Latino community and show how technology has impacted the lives of animals in a positive way, both medically and informatively.

"The aim of the show is to educate the Latino community about what we can do...and do it in our own the same time exposing what it is veterinarians go through, hopefully providing the community with a very good role model...and inspiration, to help them decided if this is something that they may want to do, or at the very least...will help them to help their animal," said Marquez.

In the second season, unlike the first season of "Doctor Vet: Los Angeles," the veterinarians travel back to their home countries to visit, and work with animals there. Marquez returns and works with her mentor.

Marquez confessed that she was a little worried about working alongside her mentor, because the last time she'd scrubbed in with him, she'd fainted. She confirmed that she didn't again; this time she was able to operate and saved an animal's life -- though she was forced to do with it with antiquated equipment.

The series, which premiered on Sunday, April 6 at 9 p.m. EDT, is on Nat Geo Mundo, and is about improving the quality of life for owners and pets, and inspiring young people to pursue their dreams, even if those dreams aren't to be a veterinarian.

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