For over twenty years, Carlyn Montes De Oca worked in the film industry on movies such as Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and Three Men and a Little Lady. When the high stress and demanding hours combined with poor nutritional habits began to have a negative effect on her health, Carlyn made a change. Working days and going to school at night, Carlyn pursued a master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and graduated Summa Cum Laude.  

As an acupuncturist, plant-based nutritional consultant, and wellness coach, Carlyn found it rewarding to educate and treat her clients with holistic medicine; but as a long time animal advocate, Carlyn also longed to help animals. It was only after one of her clients suffering from depression began to smile and laugh while talking about his dog that Carlyn realized the positive impact animals have on our mind, body, and spirit. After years of researching and collecting stories of how animals have helped individuals become healthier and happier, Carlyn penned her award-winning book, Dog as My Doctor, Cat as My Nurse: an animal lover’s guide to a healthy, happy & extraordinary life. 

Montes De Oca was voted PETA’s Sexiest Vegetarian Over 50 and has been a spokesperson for the Guardian Campaign at In Defense of Animals. She also the founder of The Animal-Human Health Connection and regularly speaks to audiences about holistic health, plant-based nutrition, and the benefits of having pets as health and wellness allies. Her follow-up book, Paws for the Good Stuff: a dog lover’s journal for living a happier and more pawsitive life, is due for release in the fall. 

A longtime resident of Marin County, California, Carlyn now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband, Ken Fischer, an award-winning sound editor, and her beloved rescue animals. Her mission is to have the greatest pawsitive effect on the lives of animals and the humans who love them.