Mr. Beebs was the kind of friend that comes around once in a lifetime. He stood by me when no one else could or would. I brought him to my music gigs, and while I played the piano, he gave his measure of affection to the elderly, the lonely, the infirmed, and the dying. He was an angel with fur. On June 6, 2006, Mr. Beebs went to the hospital to have a torn ligament fixed, but the surgery and its resistant infection would cost him his leg. I promised him, that his pain would not be in vain.

So, I abandoned a thirty-year career as a musician and went back to college at the age of forty-nine. I studied political science, law, and policy because music skills alone would not be enough to fix the problem as I saw it. The problem was a silo effect caused by the absence of sharable veterinary data. Mr. Beebs was in the fight of his life because his doctors couldn’t access the most current data around.

In honor of Mr. Beebs, I founded a non-profit called Bark To Be Heard, which lobbies for the rights of pets and their owners. I have reached out and connected to some of the most brilliant veterinary epidemiologist in the world. People who are equally dedicated to bringing 21st century technology to veterinary medicine and improving the health and well-being of our pets. To learn more: