Dr. Bianca Buffa, new Associate Veterinarian at Cascade Hospital, treats pets as members of her family.

It was only natural that the flower girl at the wedding of Dr. Bianca Buffa should present the nuptial wreath to the bride and groom on four legs and with a wagging tail.

Bianca and her husband Nicholas -- both veterinarians who graduated from the Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine -- chose their French bulldog named Gaia to be part of their ceremony in December and play center stage in one of the wedding photos. Gaia was the first dog that the couple got when they were engaged “and now she is a cherished part of our lives,” said Bianca, who recently joined the Cascade Hospital for Animals as an Associate Veterinarian.

The love of animals runs deep for Bianca and her husband, who both enjoyed childhood pets as they were growing up. Bianca gained some experience with large animals riding horses but her focus turned to small animals as she continued her studies at MSU.

Before joining Cascade Hospital, Bianca worked for 3 years at an emergency veterinary practice in metro Grand Rapids where she tended to pets that experienced trauma requiring immediate critical care. She enjoyed the challenge of stabilizing patients that needed emergency care, but also relished the response from owners once they were reunited.

“My absolute favorite part of the job was bringing pets up to their owners -- who often hadn’t seen them for several days -- and seeing the relief and gratitude in the owners’ faces as they were reunited,” she said.

At Cascade Hospital, Bianca will practice general veterinary medicine for dogs and cats, with particular expertise in internal medicine and trauma cases. Outside of work, she enjoys riding horses, road biking and learning the art of Italian cooking, especially an authentic Italian dish called “arancini” at Christmas time with all of her cousins. “My mother said that ‘It's what's on the inside that counts,’ and that goes for good food and good people,” Bianca said.

So next time you are visiting Cascade Hospital, feel free to say Ciao if you happen to see Bianca to welcome her to our team!