Remembering the Respected and Wonderful Dr. Sophia Yin

Mikkel Becker and Dr. Sophia Yin
Courtesy of Mikkel Becker
Mikkel Becker, left, and Dr. Sophia Yin, right, pose with Bob Walker at his famous cat house.

My heart aches deeply today at the news of the death of Dr. Sophia Yin, a dear family friend and respected professional mentor. Dr. Yin was the author of a number of books, most recently Low Stress Handling, Restraint and Behavior Modification of Dogs & Cats: Techniques for Developing Patients Who Love Their Visits, which has become a go-to text for veterinarians and trainers advocating for lower-stress, fear-free veterinary care.

Dr. Yin made a dramatic difference by bringing together scientific principles and pragmatic step-by-step practices for veterinary handling and animal training. She used her platform — in her books, as well as through her website, Facebook and YouTube — to teach interaction strategies that focused on a pet’s physical, mental and emotional well-being.

I am saddened, personally and professionally, by Dr. Yin’s death; she will be so missed. But as I reflect on her life, I am thankful for the incredible legacy she left for veterinarians, veterinary technicians, animal trainers and pet owners. We will be forever grateful and indebted to Dr. Yin for her teachings, on everything from socializing a puppy to helping a reactive dog to creating a fear-free atmosphere in veterinary clinics.

My family mourns Dr. Yin’s passing, but my father, Dr. Marty Becker, reminded me today that “the greatest gift we could give her is to honor her memory by working doggedly to make sure her vision and action plans become reality.” I will miss Dr. Yin’s wisdom and guidance, but I am inspired by her vision and legacy to do what I can in my time here on earth to step out into what is before me and fully live in my calling. Love, purpose and light prevail over fear and darkness every time.

We will miss you, Sophia, but we will not forget you and what you stood for.

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