Friday, October 24, 2008

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine 

Posted by James at 8:00 AM ET

Amanda, Buffalo JillIn the past we've profiled Pro Cheerleaders who are military vets, but this is our first vet who takes care of animals. During the week Amanda K. is an associate veterinarian at a cats and dogs only veterinary clinic not far from Ralph Wilson Stadium. But on Sundays during the fall you can find her dancing on the sidelines as a member of the Buffalo Jills.

The road to Veterinarian/Pro Cheerleader starts in Buffalo where Amanda was born. She moved to Alabama at a young age and when she was about eight or nine years-old, Amanda's pet hamster, Mr. Simply, fell ill. She took him to the vet, and although there wasn't much the veterinarian could do, Amanda was impressed with the caring and concern that he showed.

The experience with her hamster, combined of Amanda's love of science since middle school, pointed her in the direction a scientific career working with animals. She investigated a few options, but eventually decided on studying veterinary medicine. She wanted a job she could anywhere and couldn't imagine herself sitting at a a desk all day long. For Amanda being a Veterinarian was the perfect choice.

She attended Mississippi State where she was on the Dance Team for 2 years. She then transferred to Auburn where she earned a BS in Zoology and then went on to get her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine.

Amanda, Buffalo JillIn early 2007 about the time of Jills auditions, Amanda was living in the Buffalo-area while interning at a local animal hospital. In the past her sister Jennifer had considered trying out for the Jills, but never had gone through with it. Amanda, despite the intimidating thoughts of competing against so many beautiful, talented and well-spoken young women, decided to give it a shot. She made the team her first time out. And now at Bills home games, no one is cheering louder for Amanda, than Jennifer.

Amanda received her DVM in May 2007 and has been working as an associate veterinarian for the past year.Someday down the road she might like to have her own practice, but she realizes she still has a lot to learn, especially on the business side.

Her work schedule includes two days a week of surgery and two days a week to see patients. She has Fridays off, which works out well, for making personal appearances as a Jill. And, of course, Sundays are free for cheering. Her boss is a big Bills fan, so it was easy for to Amanda arrange to leave a bit early on Tuesdays and Thursdays for those 4-hour practices sessions.

Cheering in Buffalo has its own unique challenges. Arguably Buffalo has the most inhospitable weather conditions for Pro Cheerleaders in the NFL. And it's even more of a challenge for Amanda since she was raised in a milder climate. Dealing with the cold requires multiple layers, the Jills insulated Reebok warm-up jackets and the Jills secret weapon: chemical hand warmers.

And when she's not working, practicing or cheering, Amanda likes to do spend her time cooking, especially baking. She enjoys taking a regular recipe and tweaking the ingredients to make it more healthful. Amanda's specialties are her apple pie and her low fat brownies. She says cooking is a popular hobby among many of the Jills.

Amanda, Buffalo Jill
Amanda (right) with teammate Lisa

So how long can we expect Amanda to keep cheering? She says she'd like to do it at least a couple of more years. It's been a great way to meet new people in a new town, but she says it really depends on how much her body endure: the four-hour practices, regular workouts, and the Buffalo weather can really take their toll.

One bit of advice for pet owners, Amanda would like to pass along: Make sure your pet gets plenty of exercise. She's amazed at the number of overweight patients she sees week in and week out. Dog owners should make sure their pets get plenty of activity when they go outside. She recommend cats stay inside, but suggests there are still plenty of chances for play around the house.

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