HI, MY NAME IS… Claudia Comeaux
I’VE LIVED IN SCOTTSDALE FOR 12 YEARS AND I LOVE IT BECAUSE… of the weather, the people, the food, the shopping, the outdoor activities, the ability to have a horse close to home, and the location. I love hot weather and the sunshine. There are so many diverse, dynamic, and kind people who live here and a huge variety of restaurants abound.
My husband Michael and I love to shop, sometimes we explore the second-hand stores for unusual books, furniture, clothes, or paintings. We also enjoy visiting the high fashion shopping malls and often stroll through Kierland, Old Town, or the Biltmore. For outdoor activities, we ride our bicycles through the neighborhoods and extensive bike paths. We love to hike in the Sonoran Preserve or visit the Phoenix Botanical Gardens. I am an avid equestrian and enjoy riding my horse on the Greenbelt, at Brown’s Ranch, and train for show jumping at a training barn with a former Olympic silver medalist.
A TYPICAL DAY IN MY LIFE INCLUDES… waking up early! The bed is made every day, first thing. Next, I’m off to work at DC Ranch Animal Hospital. I’m a veterinarian, and I have a passion for taking care of people and their pets. The boutique practice is small but mighty! In a day I might see a new puppy or kitten for a first exam, update vaccines, provide a health certificate for a pet who needs to travel, manage an emergent, unexpected tussle between a dog and a cactus on a morning walk, or check in with an older pet who was recently diagnosed with diabetes.
My husband is a fabulous cook and always has something special prepared for dinner when I get home––usually late! On my days off, I’m up early, training at the gym, and riding my horse. I’m also an avid reader and am studying French, so I may be found at a used bookstore, listening to music by Serge Gainsbourg/Juliette Greco, or watching “Call My Agent” on Netflix.
MY FAMILY IS… not from Arizona. My husband was born in New Orleans; I was born in San Francisco. My husband’s family lives in Texas, and my brother, his wife, and my two nephews live in California. It is fortuitous that my husband and I love to travel, as we spend many holidays out of state. I love to write postcards, so I make sure that we stay in touch with our families the old-fashioned way!
ONE THING I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT IS… skin moisturizer!
WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, I WANTED TO BE… an architect, a racecar driver, a fashion designer, a writer, a pilot, an accountant, a musician, a ballerina. It’s so ironic, because the one thing I was not going to be was a veterinarian. I worked with my father, who was a veterinarian. His clients used to ask me if I planned to follow in his footsteps. I was a bit of a rebel and always said, “No,” but in the end, we shared the same passion for helping animals.
THE ONE PERSON WHO MOTIVATES ME IS… my husband. He is dedicated, motivated, and a man with determination and a huge heart. Six years ago, he decided that he wanted to become a police officer, and although he was in his late 50s, he went through the police academy. He did this in addition to his full-time job with a start-up biotech company. Today he is a night detective with the Phoenix Police. He is up every day before dawn, works out for an hour, cleans the house, works two jobs, and has time to cook dinner and spend quality time every evening with me.
THE LAST THING THAT MADE ME LAUGH OUT LOUD WAS… when I thought I lost my wedding ring down the airplane toilet on a nine-hour flight back from Europe with my husband. There is that fine line between tragedy and comedy! I had squished a banana on my shirt sleeve and went into the toilet to wash my blouse. As I shook the water out of my sleeve, my ring flew off. I couldn’t find it anywhere in the small space. It turned out that the ring was behind the toilet seat cover, but before finding it, several flight attendants had helped to try and fish it out of the trap, and the captain had advised that it would be necessary for a mechanic to flush the tank once we landed at our destination! Thank goodness one of the flight attendants checked behind the seat cover. We had champagne, and at that point, my husband started to laugh!
THE PERFECT DAY IS… with my husband in Venice, Italy, wandering through the ancient cobblestone streets, discovering beauty and history.
MY FAVORITE LOCAL NONPROFITS ARE… Arizona Pug Adoption and Rescue Network (APARN) and Arizona Friends of Animal Care and Control (FACC). When I was 4 years old, my first dog was a pug, so I have always had a soft spot for the breed, but I am a huge supporter of helping all animals in need. Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC) is the largest public animal shelter in the state; you may be surprised to know that only 4% of MCACC’s operating budget comes from taxpayer money. For any programs beyond basic care and control functions, it must rely on public donations. As a “friends of” group, FACC helps to raise money to support MCACC’s Spay/Neuter Assist Program that provides no cost medical treatment to low-income residents in Maricopa County.
MY LIFE IS…always an adventure. I look forward to challenges, learning opportunities, and developing lifelong friendships with vibrant and diverse people. I am so fortunate to have such a dynamic and energetic husband, a stimulating and rewarding job, and an ambitious hobby. I have a curious nature, and there are so many interesting people to meet, places to go, and things to do.
THE BEST GIFT I’VE EVER RECEIVED WAS… a Porsche 911. I had only known Michael for about a month, and he surprised me one Saturday by telling me to meet him at the dealership in Scottsdale. It was the best gift because it was a sign of how much our relationship meant to him (we were married a year and a half later), and because I just wanna go fast!
MY DREAM VACATION WOULD BE… chartering a 747, loading all our family, friends, and animals (horses included) aboard, flying to Paris or Venice and everyone staying at a huge villa with stables and gardens in the middle of the city for a month. You did say “dream.”
THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I’VE EVER RECEIVED… “Good decisions are the result of experience, and experience is the result of bad decisions,” a Mark Twain quote. This has been true for me in relationships, financial decisions, travel–even in my horse training. It is important to recognize, understand and take responsibility when poor decisions happen, but then you can learn so much and teach others as well. I was fortunate to attend a riding clinic with former Olympian Equestrian Coach, Daniel Stewart, and he advised that when you make mistakes, it actually really helps your teammates because they can learn from you––so don’t feel badly about yourself when you are the first person to fail at a difficult exercise––others will thank you because, after watching your mistakes, they won’t make the same decisions!