DUBLIN − Having exhibited a fondness for animals early in life, it’s no surprise that Susan O’Reilly went on to make a career of caring for other people’s pets. “From a young age, I knew I wanted to work with animals,” she says. “My first job after high school was at a local kennel, and from there I started working for a veterinarian and became a vet tech. Later, I managed a large boarding kennel for 10 years, so when the opportunity arose to purchase one, I was more than ready.”
Today, as owner of Dublin Creek Kennels, Inc., Susan says she enjoys interacting with both her human and animal clients. “I love working with and getting to know our clients and their pets. I’m also very interested in dog behavior, so I like helping people manage behavioral issues with their dogs.”
Originally from Ontario, Canada, Susan resides today in Dublin, where she appreciates all that the Bay Area has to offer. “In addition to being a short drive from all the stores and businesses you could need, you’re within a few hours of all the nature you could want, whether the mountains or the ocean. There’s just an unlimited amount of things to do here, and it’s so beautiful.”
Outside of work, Susan further exhibits her interest in animals, only on a more competitive level. “I have five standard Dachshunds, one of whom competes nationally as a show dog,” she explains. “His show name is ‘Grand Champion Dublin’s Black Ice,’ but at home, I just call him Slick. He’s been the number one male Dachshund in the United States for two years running.” Susan also retains an active involvement in her local business community. “I’m on the board of directors for the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, and I really enjoy getting to know other local business owners, networking and putting on events.” Additionally, Susan likes to travel, follow the San Francisco Giants (“I never miss a game.”) and spend quality time with her adult son, David.
Susan’s professional philosophy is simple: Make sure you have a passion for your livelihood. “If you’re not passionate about what you do, it’s pretty unlikely that you’re going to do it well,” she says. “After all, it’s hard to do something for your whole life if you don’t love it, whether in your career or personal life.” Susan also believes that one of a business owner’s most vital tools is a listening ear. “Listening is huge, particularly when someone has a complaint or is unhappy about something,” she explains. “In those situations, you have to leave your ego out of the equation and try to see things from the customer’s perspective.”
When asked the first thing she’d do if she could retire tomorrow, Susan says she would devote more time toward animal rescue. “We have a rescue here called Dublin Creek Animal Foundation—we go to the local animal shelters and pick up unwanted dogs and cats on the day they’re scheduled to be put down,” she explains. “We bring the animals to our facility, train them, bring them back to health and get them adopted. Animal rescue is a big passion of mine, so if I were to retire, I’d definitely focus more on that.” In addition to her altruistic endeavors, Susan says she’d like to do some more traveling. “One of my dreams is to visit every baseball park in the U.S., as well as the Baseball Hall of Fame, so hopefully I can make that happen one day.”