DARIEN – While most college kids may go on a shopping spree at IKEA before moving away to school, April Finan had just one item on her checklist – a greyhound.
"I was determined to have one when I got older," Finan said. "I've had up to five greyhounds and greyhound rescue is something I'm very passionate about."
Although Finan's parents didn't share their daughter's enthusiasm for greyhounds, it wasn't merely a passing phase for the Westmont resident, as it not only fueled her love for animals, but also lead her to a career as a veterinarian.
"I was always really good at science," she said. "I was one of the nerdy kids and I was always very passionate about animals, so I thought that would be a really good combination to pursue animals and science."
After graduating from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2005, Finan practiced in emergency and critical care medicine for nine years. But she is now pursuing the new challenge of opening a full-service state of the art animal hospital in Darien – Finan Animal Hospital.
Finan said when she found the space located at 2415 75th St., the spot "jumped out" at her.
"I didn't pick Darien as much as Darien picked me," she said.
The hospital is equipped with digital radiography, ultrasound, dentistry services, surgical services an in-house laboratory and a pharmacy. Services offered at the animal hospital also include wellness education and care, immunizations, parasite control programs, heart worm education and prevention, new puppy/kitten care and senior pet care.
Aside from getting ready for the initial start-up, Finan said she's most looking forward to forming relationships with clients and keeping animals healthy.
But for some of those animals, going to the vet is just as scary as when the vacuum makes an appearance, but Finan said it doesn't have to be.
"One of the best things people can do is bring their dog to the vet when they're not sick, just for what we call a 'fun visit,'" she said. "They don't have anything scary happen, everyone is just happy to see them and then they think it's a really fun place."
And making the animal hospital in Darien a fun place is important to Finan, as she wants to put her own personal touch on the facility.
"When you walk in, it doesn't feel like you're in an animal hospital," she said. "The colors are very bright, there's a ton of natural light and I really put a lot of effort into the design aspect of it, so it's a nice mix of modern with a few little rustic touches."
Finan Animal Hospital began construction in March and will now host an open house from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday with events and activities such as raffles, lunch and a chance to meet the staff. There will also be complimentary nail trims for pets.
"My hope is that it will be a very fun and inviting place and it won't feel like 'Oh I'm in an animal hospital now,'" she said.
If you go:
What: Finan Animal Hospital open house event featuring a tour of the hospital, raffles, lunch and a chance to meet the staff.
Where: 2415 75th St., Darien
When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday
More information: Call 630-985-2777 or visit www.finananimalhospital.com.