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We have created an atmosphere of personalized, compassionate care dedicated to helping animals and people. We develop long lasting relationships by putting you and your pet first.
Dr. Brenda Godlewski (Dr. G) was six years old when she declared that she was going to be an animal doctor. Growing up on Long Island, New York, her first pets: Cindy, an ever-tolerant white cat, and Goldie, a Golden Retriever, were her main sources of inspiration. They both had an intuitiveness about them – as many animals do – knowing just when to nuzzle up and give love. They communicated so much without any words. To see them, or any animal, in pain was intolerable. Today, Dr. Godlewski still watches her furry patients communicate without words, giving her valuable clues that help her care for them.
While growing up, there were people who tried to persuade her to consider an alternative career as veterinary school was quite competitive. However, the bond she shared with her pets and her determination, along with her aptitude in the sciences, cemented her desire to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.
Following her graduation from high school, Dr. Godlewski attended SUNY Binghamton, receiving bachelor’s degrees in two completely different fields. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Biology, she planned to focus on medical illustrating if she didn’t get into veterinary school. Fortunately, she was accepted into Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine.
After graduation she moved to Loudoun County and her first job was as a mixed animal practitioner working with dairy cattle and horses as well as cats and dogs. As the county grew, the number of dairy farms shrunk and her next job was at a busy small animal clinic in Arlington, Virginia. She worked there for a number of years and had the opportunity to work closely with specialists and hone her surgery skills, as that practice did spays and neuters with a couple of the Animal Welfare Leagues. When the Northern Virginia traffic made it too difficult to continue the daily commute, Dr. Godlewski began doing relief (or locum tenens) work – filling in at different clinics.
For the next six years, Dr. Godlewski worked in more than 30 different northern Virginia hospitals, gaining inspiration for a practice of her own. In July 2007, she was pleased to open Lansdowne Animal Hospital, creating a community-based practice where each client and pet are treated as individuals.
Two aspects of practice that Dr. Godlewski particularly enjoys are surgery and educating clients. Her art background and fascination with anatomy has helped her become a skilled surgeon. Educating clients and children in preventing animal disease is her main goal as a veterinarian. Inquisitive kids are always welcome at LAH! But she also especially likes helping clients decide which pet would be best for their lifestyle.
Away from the hospital, Dr. Godlewski enjoys life with her three children in the Leesburg, Virginia area. She enjoys travelling, and had the opportunity to live in Australia for a six month study abroad. Through an awarded grant she also lived and did research on brucellosis in goats for three months in Uganda. A certified SCUBA diver, she has dived the Great Barrier Reef, the Hawaiian Islands and many of the Caribbean islands.
Of course, this animal-loving family includes an active canine family member. Josie, their sweet English Cream Golden Retriever, provides loyal, loving companionship to this busy family.
Dr. Surman is a DMV area native. She attended University of Maryland for her undergraduate degree and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine with her VMD in 2015. Since then, she has worked at small animal clinics in Northern Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Indianapolis before settling down in Leesburg.
She and her husband have 3 kids who are all young animal lovers. They live in a home full of pets including cats, dogs, chickens, and a bearded dragon. In her spare time, she can be found shuttling her kids to different sporting events, watching Steelers football games, relaxing on the Delaware beaches, camping with her kids, and visiting local vineyards with her husband.
Dr. Surman is looking forward to making long lasting relationships with pets and clients in her new hometown of Leesburg! She is available for appointments Monday through Thursday.
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Also serving Ashburn, VA