Christie Comm

Growing up in a family that always included multiple pets, I can't remember a time when I did not want to be a veterinarian. I greatly admired our family’s vet, both for his seemingly endless animal knowledge as well as his calm and kind demeanor. I was so excited and proud when he agreed to help me with two different research projects in grade school (one on Siamese cats and the other on dolphins). In time, I realized more than anything that I wanted to pursue a profession where I could make a real difference in the lives of both animals and people. Combining this with my love for science and medicine led me down a path straight to veterinary medicine. I studied biology and Spanish at the University of Missouri-Columbia before attending veterinary school at the University of Illinois. After graduating, I returned to the Chicagoland area, where I have provided care for cats and dogs in a variety of settings, including two feline-only practices.

Throughout my career, I have most enjoyed building relationships with my clients and their furry family members and doing whatever I can to support the important bond they share. I am an empathetic listener and find great honor in helping people facing difficult situations, especially those deciding whether to set a beloved pet free to avoid needless suffering. A few years after graduating, I found myself on the other side of the table when my cat, Annie, suddenly became quite ill. Though I had no prior experience with it, I decided to help her gain her angel wings in the comfort of our home. I was somewhat surprised by how peaceful and stress-free the entire process was for both of us and quickly realized what a blessing it would be to help others experience the same.

When the opportunity arose a few years ago to provide in-home end-of-life care with Lap of Love, I immediately knew that this was the work I was called to do with my life. I was fortunate enough to be able to take some time away to stay home with my son, but as the saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder...and I found I couldn't stay away for too long. I'm honored to once again be giving the gift of a peaceful goodbye to families in Chicagoland. I strive to guide families through the end-of-life process in the most gentle and respectful way possible, just like it was for my Annie.

Outside of veterinary medicine, you will usually find me spending time with my young son and our two cats, Rudy and Gabby. My son has his heart set on adopting a dog (a small, white, fluffy one named Sprinkles, to be exact). I enjoy volunteering at my son’s school and in the community and also love reading and traveling.

Maura Lehmann

I grew up in Houston, Texas, as the oldest of 4 children. I can’t remember when it was that I decided I was going to become a veterinarian but it must have been sometime while my first memories were developing. Luckily, I was born into a family of animal lovers who were more than supportive of my dream. My childhood was spent surrounded by a menagerie of cats, dogs, birds, hamsters, fish, frogs, rabbits and everything in between. From a young age, I realized that the human-animal bond was special and unique from any other relationship. This is what drove my desire to become a veterinarian.

After graduating from Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, I worked in small animal general practice. During my years spent helping families, I had the privilege of witnessing the many stages and forms of the human-animal bond. While I thoroughly enjoy the science and detective work of managing medical and surgical patients, there is no greater honor than helping families and their pets foster the human-animal bond during end of life care. 

Being a life-long pet parent, I understand how difficult it can be to know when and how to say good-bye to a beloved pet. Through Lap of Love, I am blessed with the opportunity to help guide owners through the last chapter of life with their pets. It is my hope to help provide the gift of comfort and a peaceful passing in a way that honors the special bond of a pet.

Miranda Shaw

My suburban Indiana childhood was not filled with a multitude of pets like many of my veterinary colleagues.  My mother had a strict “no creepy crawly” rule, which meant if it was not a cat or a dog then the answer was “no”. Unfortunately, our family dogs passed when I was in grade school, and many years went by before there was another pet in our home.  During sophomore year of high school, I was gifted with my beloved Leopold (Siamese mix) and shortly after, Carlyle (orange tabby), who both continue to fill my life with love and joy today.  Despite the absence of a furry companion for many of my formative years, I have no memory of a time in my life when my love for animals failed to burn reverently in my heart. My parents spared no opportunity to support my passion. They not only exposed me to different aspects of the veterinary field, such as general practice, zoo medicine, and animal industry, they also instilled in me a strong work ethic and high standard of excellence. 

I am not sure if my parents ever knew how serious I was about becoming a veterinarian until I went to college, but unbeknownst to them, the support that they provided would be all that was needed to achieve my goal.   The beginning of my journey started at Florida A&M University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, Florida where I received a Bachelors of Agriculture with a pre-veterinary medicine focus.  During my tenure at FAMU, I actively participated in social and scholastic organizations, such as Mahogany Dance Theatre, Relay for Life, Executive Committee member of the Animal Science Club, and Volunteer with the local animal shelter. Upon graduation, my continued pursuit of career took me to the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, with my main focus as Small Animal Medicine; working in small animal surgery suite and participating in low cost community vaccine/spay/neuter clinics. 

Upon graduation, I began working in small animal general practice. I was thrilled to be able to work within a strong and thriving preventative care program, but I found myself wanting to do more for the families and patients that were dealing with difficult diagnoses.  I discovered that, while making the correct diagnosis is important, helping our clients understand what the diagnosis means, how to manage it, and helping them to carry the burden of impending difficult decisions is far more important.  In the general practice setting, I found the support I wanted to give to families and the time and resources I had at my disposal were always at odds. For this reason, I am humbled and honored to be working for a company such as Lap of Love. It is my intention and my blessing to not only provide the best quality of care I can for patients, but to also provide clarity, understanding, and support for clients in a way that is unique to their pet and their individual needs.

Tyler Johnston

I grew up in a small rural town in central Indiana and have always loved animals. There is just something so pure about having these little creatures live in our homes and become such integral parts of our families. I was not the person that always knew they wanted to be a veterinarian, though. I just knew I wanted to help people and animals in any way I could. I decided to focus my undergraduate studies in biology at Purdue University. During that time, I started to see how diverse veterinary medicine actually is.

My passion for end of life care first began when I started volunteering in the oncology department at the Purdue Veterinary Teaching Hospital. It was so amazing to see how compassionate and understanding people can be while discussing the more difficult sides of life. This passion grew even more during and after the passing of my best friend, my beloved Basset Hound, Scooter. He gets a lot of credit when I look back and see how I have grown as a person. We said our final goodbye in 2013 during veterinary school and I still think about him every single day. Scooter gave me so much in this life and knowing that I could help him have a peaceful transition was the best final gift I could give him.

After completing my DVM at the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, I moved north to the Chicago suburbs and began working in private practice. It did not take long for me to realize that, no matter what hospital I was at, I connected most to the geriatric and terminally ill patients and their families. These animals have stories to tell and their families care about them just as much as they did when they first met each other. Providing hospice care and euthanasia is a beautiful, kind gift for our furry family members and it’s an honor to be a part of that with each family as we give them a comfortable, dignified transition.