Pet Industry Woman of the Year 2014 Finalist
by Janet Herring-Sherman
Keeping the Rainbow Bridge at Bay
Equipped with a special ability to find silver linings, Dorla Salling, president of K9 Medicinals, founded her business after becoming a member of a club no one ever joins by choice: Pet parents whose dogs have a cancer diagnosis.
There’s nothing Pollyannaish about it when Dorla says with complete candor and sincerity, “Once you’ve been forced to join this dreaded club, it becomes a blessing to help others through the trauma of a canine cancer diagnosis.”
Because of all the heart involved in loving a dog, people she meets on this journey become fast friends. “We actually become a family,” says Dorla., who began K9 Medicinals seven years ago shortly after her basset hound, Rosie, was diagnosed and given two weeks to live.
Dorla recalls, “I found K9Immunity, an all-natural product made in the United States, and it that extended Rosie’s life by
two years. I was so passionate about the product I started to sell and promote it, so I could help other dogs and their families going through the trauma of canine cancer. Later we expanded into all-natural products to help with joint, stomach and skin issues.”
A Million and Counting
K9Immunity products have helped more than a million dogs with cancer, says Dorla, who started the family business after 30 years in law enforcement and government work.
“In my law enforcement career, I think my greatest accomplishment was mentoring others and changing the culture of the agency that I managed. As a result, it had a ripple effect into the community that was very positive. In my pet product business, my greatest accomplishment has been to help increase the longevity and health of over a million dogs while giving their human families love and support,” says Dorla.
Obviously a proponent of team playing and ultra-clear communication, she continues, “Without networking, I couldn’t begin to have had the success I have had. So many people have shared their knowledge and expertise with me and helped along the way. I have been able to develop a support team of webmasters, social media experts, photographers, order takers and fillers who all love animals as much as I do. Their love shines through in their work and has made our family business a labor of love.”
Hounds with Humor
Her best friend, Dorla believes, would describe her as compassionate, hard-working, loyal, stubborn and generous. “My Zodiac animal is Taurus, the bull,” offers Dorla. “I think that is pretty accurate. I am steadfast, and a bit stubborn but solid as a rock.” Generous yes: Dorla is devoted to making these cancer-fighting products available
to Service Dogs free of charge.
She’s fun, too. With a ready smile, it’s no surprise when Dorla’s sense of humor surfaces. Besides, she has basset hounds, guaranteed to make us smile, right? To that point, she says, “My pets have taught me to live in the present, take each day as it comes, play more, nap more, and never hold a grudge! My pups continually surprise me as to how they are able to play the ‘dumb basset hound’ but always get their way!”
Dorla is, quite literally, creating happier endings.