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Open Mon-Fri: 7AM to 7PM, Sat: 9AM to 5PM, Sun: Closed

Mercer Street Veterinary Hospital Make an Appointment 206-285-0395

International Women’s Day 2022 – Interview With Adrienne L. Dahlstrom

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. IWD is a useful opportunity to reinforce the fact that everyone has a role to play in forging a more gender-balanced world.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, Cara Veterinary wants to celebrate the achievements of women in leadership, to help break the bias that leadership traits are stereotypically masculine. We caught up with Adrienne L. Dahlstrom, Hospital Director at our Mercer Street Veterinary Hospital location.

Always with the confidence to champion women to rise above any challenges we face, she will inspire you to stay positive, work hard, and accomplish anything you set your mind to. Read how today she chooses to keep an open mind and enjoy living up whatever life brings her way. 

Why do you think it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day?

I think it is critical to recognize the achievements of women and women’s equality. Women and girls are effective and powerful leaders and change-makers. There male-dominate companies and careers that don’t allow for women to move up still exist. This needs to change.

Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If so, how did you overcome them?

In the past I generally worked in retail, salon services, and now the veterinary field, which is primarily a female-dominated field. I have never had to face any barriers due to being a woman, but I know a lot of my peers pursuing careers in male-dominated industries have. I’ve heard that in larger corporations that are predominantly led by men, the women I know are never able to move up like a man would be able to.

What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?

Ever since I was a little girl, my parents told me that the sky was the limit. They always told me that I could do anything I wanted to, to follow my passion and the money will follow. My dad would say “fake it until you make it,” knowing that every goal we set out to achieve involves a learning curve.

How can we encourage more women to pursue leadership roles in their career?

Encourage women to know their worth and put their best food forward. Don’t let fear or worries get in the way of taking steps forward. Trust your instincts, trust your dreams, and just go for it. The sky’s the limit!

What is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?

Always believe in yourself, put one foot in front of the other and never give up. There are endless possibilities to what you can set your mind to achieve or do in your life. Sometimes you have to start from the bottom and work your way up, but stay motivated and don’t give up. Learn as you go. Do your best to excel in grade school and college. Go as far as you can in school  and put all you have into your education, that’s something that can never be taken from you.

Is there anyone that inspires you in your career?

My parents have had a huge part in inspiring me to continue pursuing management in the veterinary field, as well as continuing to move up in any previous job I had. They both run their own businesses, are very successful, and love what they do.

Why do you think diversity in the workplace is so important?

Diverse cultural perspectives can inspire creativity and drive innovation, allowing for more ideas and processes. A diversity of talent means a broader range of skills among employees, as well as a diversity of experiences and perspectives which increases the potential for increased productivity.

If you could have dinner with three inspirational women, dead or alive, who would they be and why?

Betty White

Betty made her television debut in 1939. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, she has had the longest television career of any female in history and continued to work through her 90s. Who better than Betty White, who lived through some of America’s most challenging times, to give advice on how to live a happy life by thinking positively?

My goal this year is to do my best in my little circle by sending out love, peace, compassion and positivity, and to let go of all the negativity, fear and judgment. We truly can change the world one person at a time. Will you be the inspiration for your little circle? You can. I have faith in you!

Michelle Obama

As first lady, Obama served as a role model for women and worked as an advocate for poverty awareness, education, nutrition, physical activity, and healthy eating. She supported American designers and was considered a fashion icon. Even after her husband’s presidency, Michelle Obama’s influence has remained high.

It can be easy to forget to respect others, especially in our current political landscape. But without recognizing and respecting the opinions of others, a leader isn’t leading; they’re dictating. Similarly, without self-respect, giving respect to others is quite difficult. In everything Michelle Obama has done, she has always held a high level of self-respect and respect for others, and that’s something all leaders should uphold.

Princess Diana

After marrying into the royal family, Princess Diana could simply have sat back and enjoyed a life of relaxation and luxury without a care in the world. But she took it upon herself to use her celebrity status to help as many people as possible, becoming the figurehead for charity campaigns around the world. Someone who had everything and was eager to share it with as many people as possible, Diana was an inspiration to people in all walks of life, and her death was met with worldwide mourning. Diana’s selfless attitude is summed up by one of her most famous quotes; “Anywhere I see suffering, that is where I want to be, doing what I can.” I admire that she put herself out into the world and made a difference. She showed no fear and inspired both women and men across the globe.

How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?

I believe women need to know that they are powerful and capable of doing anything they set their minds to, specifically the workforce. It is not a weakness to ask for help and it is important to put yourself first sometimes. Age, marital status, or having children should not be a factor for a woman to pursue their dreams or career. Anything is possible.

Do you have pets? What do you love most about them?


I have a sweet bulldog named Hermione who I rescued from the NW Bulldog Rescue. Her previous owner had lost their job and had no place to live, and she was surrendered to the previous hospital I managed. I knew the minute she came into the hospital that her and I were a perfect match. I had just had to say goodbye to my sweet 13 year old boxer when she came into my life.

She is the most loving, best furry friend I could ever ask for. She is very independent and loves to cuddle and sleep. We do everything together, and she loves to come to work with me every day. She enjoys interacting with the Mercer team and getting love from our clients in the waiting room. I love that we can do everything together and she has just as much fun as I do. She even watches TV shows with me!

Adrienne Dahlstrom, Hospital Director

Hospital Director Adrienne joined our practice in September of 2021 and comes to us with over 5 years in the veterinary industry. Before she started her career in animal care, Adrienne received her degree in Psychology from CWU! In her free time, she is often with her doggos Hermione, Laela, and Bentley.  Hermione loves to join her mama going shopping with Adrienne at Nordstrom and other dog-friendly stores in the neighborhood, while Laela & Bentley enjoy car rides and trips to the lake to play fetch and swim! Adrienne is an avid outdoors adventurer who thrives when she can hike, explore and travel.  When the winter weather becomes too much, she typically escapes the rain with visits to Palm Springs or Austin, TX, where she can soak up the sun.