Employees of The Watering Bowl are as unique as the pups they entertain each day. But they all have one thing in common—they truly love dogs.
Helen Clawitter is no exception. But she is quite exceptional, which is why we feature her in this installment of our Employee Spotlight.
Helen comes to us after graduating from Washington University with a degree in biology. And her experience has already helped at least one of her pals from The Watering Bowl, Grover. (Helen is too modest to brag about herself, so we’ll do it for her.)
Grover is an 8-year-old black Golden Doodle. He’d only been to our Hanley location twice when Helen noticed that Grover was lethargic and trying to vomit with no results.
It was the end of Helen’s shift, and she could have gone home to let the next employee monitor the situation. Instead, Helen reported her observations and suggested that he may be suffering from bloat—an all-too-common condition in older, large, deep-chested dogs. Bloat inverts the stomach, cuts off air and, untreated, can be fatal within hours.
Thanks to Helen, this would not be the case with Grover.
Within minutes, Grover was hooked up to an IV and transported to Veterinary Specialty Services for surgery. Two hours later, he was released from the operating room without removing his spleen (as often occurs with bloat) and on his way to a full recovery.
Helen’s commitment, experience and quick thinking saved Grover’s life, and we couldn’t be more proud to have her as our newest manager at the South County Watering Bowl location.
So, the next time you see Helen, say hello, and congratulations. Grover certainly seems a little more excited when he sees his personal hero.
Aside from saving animals, there’s a lot more to know about Helen. So we sat down with her to get more of her story.
What was the name of your first dog, and what kind of dog was he/she?
My first dog was actually my grandparents’ dog, a yellow lab named Barney. When I was very young, my grandparents would take care of me while my parents worked, so I spent 3 to 5 days a week at their home. Pretty soon, at three years old, I was wanting to spend all my time with Barney. He was a calm, sweet dog, and was the perfect playmate for three-year old me. My parents said they knew from the time I was a toddler that I would be drawn to animals.
What is your background working with animals?
I’ve been working with dogs for the past 5 years. I started a mini dog walking and pet sitting business while in college, and I got to learn about dog first aid and dog medications because of it. After a few years, I wanted to start volunteering with dog rescues and animal shelters as well. I have volunteered and gotten to adore the dogs at Stray Rescue of St. Louis and the APA of Missouri. I also have animal experience outside of dog experience. After I got my Bachelor’s in Biology from Washington University, I was accepted into the Animal Behavior Research intern program at the St. Louis Zoo. Though there is no dog behavior research program at the zoo, there are Equid and Antelope research projects, both of which I have been a part of. If you want to know the names of the zoo’s Grevy’s Zebras, I have them memorized!
What brought you to The Watering Bowl?
I was drawn to The Watering Bowl because of the cage-free dog daycare. It is a great idea for both human and dog, and I’m not just talking about the dog owners. I have a blast working at The Watering Bowl and getting to know all the different dogs, the dog breeds, and figuring out each dog’s personality. I had interviewed at another dog daycare facility before, but decided not to work there given the work environment just wasn’t a good fit for me. This is another reason I decided to work for The Watering Bowl! The staff is all friendly and helpful, and because of this I look forward to work.
What is your role at The Watering Bowl?
I am the evening and weekend manager at the South County location. I was the evening floor leader at Hanley prior to becoming manager.
What do you enjoy most about working at The Watering Bowl?
Like I mentioned earlier, I enjoy getting to work with the staff at The Watering Bowl, but who can deny that working with dogs all day is really the best part?!
Thank you, Helen. We are thrilled to have you!