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Cyndi Arnold, office manager at Highland Veterinary Hospital, holds office cat Kristof.

An office manager at a Redmond veterinary clinic loves to brighten the day of customers, even when they are going through a tough time.

Cyndi Arnold, who started as a receptionist at Highland Veterinary Hospital 21 years ago, said she is just trying to be friendly.

“Everybody just says you’re so friendly,” Arnold said. “I feel like a lot of my clients are like my friends. They feel I’m more a friend than an employee to them.”

Margie Benz, a long-time customer of the veterinary clinic who told The Spokesman about Arnold, sings her praises.

“She is so exceptional, she makes everyone feel relaxed and calm,” Benz said. “She just goes beyond the call of duty for her role as a receptionist.”

Arnold, 59, tries to comfort clients when they are dealing with a sick pet.

“Sometimes I will go out and give ‘em a hug,” she said. “Especially if they’re putting their animal to sleep. I always go out and give them a hug and let them know I’m thinking about them.”

While she works more with the human owners than the pets, who are primarily handled by the vets and technicians, Arnold’s love of animals has also been an attraction to her job. She lives on a 40-acre farm in Culver with her husband, 15-year-old daughter, three horses, three dogs, a cat, a goat, a bird, a turtle and a flying possum called a sugar glider.

Arnold started working at Highland while a student at Central Oregon Community College, when she was looking for clerical or secretarial work. The office had an opening.

“It kind of fell into my plan, and it fit into my college schedule,” she said. “And the animals were a bonus.”

In fact, the clinic felt like family, Arnold said.

“I’m a people person and an animal person,” she said. “And the combination of the two worked well.”

Arnold started working at the veterinary clinic during her second time attending college. She said she didn’t take her education as seriously when she attended college in her 20s. While she was more dedicated to her studies the second time, she was going to school while raising her first daughter.

“It’s never too late to go back and get more education,” Arnold said.

Arnold even brightens people’s day when she works on Saturday, Benz said.

“She just makes you feel so at home and at ease,” she said. “She’s just the most loving person.”

Veterinarian Dr. Rachel Poet, the only staff member who has been there as long as Arnold, said the clinic appreciates Arnold’s ability to engage and be friendly with customers.

“She is so great at getting to know people,” Poet said. “We really appreciate the benefit of her growing up in Redmond, graduating high school here, the ties she has to the community.”

— Reporter: 541-548-2186, gfolsom@redmondspokesman.com

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