Animal Planet’s new show stars Singing Veterinarian and Lakewood’s favorite family clinic

Dr.'s Tony, Ross and Ryan Henderson as seen on Season 1 of Hanging with the Henderson's. Courtesy of Animal Planet
Dr.'s Tony, Ross and Ryan Henderson as seen on Season 1 of Hanging with the Henderson's. Courtesy of Animal Planet /

In an exclusive interview, Hidden Remote talks with doctors Ross, Ryan and Tony Henderson about serenading dogs, trimming pig tusks and landing their own Animal Planet show: Hanging With The Hendersons.

The world’s journey with the Henderson family began two years ago, when a video of Dr. Ross Henderson serenading a golden retriever before its surgery went viral. Dr. Ross strummed his guitar as he sang his own rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love” to a dog that just couldn’t help falling asleep on his lap. But the story of the Hendersons and their family-run Fox Hollow Animal Hospital started long before Dr. Ross became “The Singing Veterinarian,” and their story continues with Animal Planet’s new show, Hanging With The Hendersons.

“When the cameras arrived, it was very interesting just to watch how the flow through the hospital worked,” said Dr. Tony Henderson, who runs the clinic with his sons Dr. Ross and Dr. Ryan. “It’s the most amazing thing to watch a camera guy walking backward with a very fine camera on his shoulders and not hit anything.”

“While also bending over Lord Barrington,” added Ross, referring to his father’s long-time furry friend who appears to be part golden retriever and part bear.

“Right,” said Tony. “But they all have a great passion for animals which really helps. Actually, with the cameras there, I think it cleaned up our professionalism. We all definitely dress better.”

Dr. Tony started Fox Hollow Animal Hospital in Lakewood, Colorado in 1996 after moving from Ireland to the United States at the age of 27. At first, it was just Tony and his wife Debbie keeping the business up and running. Now 22 years later, Ross and Ryan are also doctors at Fox Hollow, working alongside their dad and third brother Cole, who serves as a lab technician for the practice. Debbie also still works with Tony as a receptionist.

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“Growing up with my dad as a vet was a huge part of our lives,” said Ross, who is one of four Henderson brothers. “Going with him to the office and seeing what he did for a living set my trajectory early on. Now that I’m working alongside him, it’s a dream come true.”

“I got to witness my dad being a pillar in the community and that popularity stuck with me,” added Ryan. “All of us brothers worked as janitors for the hospital when we were in high school and I remember watching my dad work and thinking, ‘He’s a hero.'”

Tony had, as he says, “no expectations” that his sons would become vets and join him in the practice. He encouraged his sons to follow their own paths in life but, as Irish luck would have it, the whole family made roots in Denver, three of the four sons joining their father in his passion to help animals.

“How and why it’s all worked out I’m not sure,” said Tony. “But It’s been a blessing ever since. It’s been great fun mentoring them, and they teach me a lot in return.”

Dr.’s Tony, Ross and Ryan Henderson as seen on Season 1 of Hanging with the Henderson’s. Courtest of Animal Planet
Dr.’s Tony, Ross and Ryan Henderson as seen on Season 1 of Hanging with the Henderson’s. Courtest of Animal Planet /

Hanging With The Hendersons spotlights the family’s lives at both the clinic and on their days off. From volunteering at cat care sanctuaries to trying goat yoga, the show is all about Ross, Ryan, Tony and the rest of the gang getting outside their comfort zones and becoming more connected with the community as well as animals, both exotic and domestic.

“Being a veterinarian, the canvas of what we’re able to enter into and become experts in is nearly unlimited,” said Ross. “This show has given us a platform to enter into those different worlds.”

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In addition to helping wild wolves, baby goslings, and family chickens, there’s also an episode where Ross and Tony pay a house call to Hog Haven Farm, a rescue for 200-pound potbelly pigs.

“Pigs are very intelligent and very social until you have to flip them on their back and trim their tusks,” said Tony with a laugh. “I hadn’t done that in 40 years since I worked in Ireland…but we got it done.”

“My dad has this calm about him and definitely makes the job look a lot easier than it is,” said Ryan, who has been working at Fox Hollow for four years now. “We have a lot of fun but this job can get intense and there’s  of a lot of serious moments involved.”

Dr.’s Ross, Tony and Ryan Henderson as seen on Season 1 of Hanging with the Henderson’s. Courtesy of Animal Planet
Dr.’s Ross, Tony and Ryan Henderson as seen on Season 1 of Hanging with the Henderson’s. Courtesy of Animal Planet /

One of those serious moments occurred just last week for Ross. While the moment was not caught on camera so won’t be in Hanging with the Hendersons, it’s a story Ryan felt was well-worth sharing about his brother and how the family feels about their clients.

“Ross actually played guitar for a woman’s dog who was euthanized,” said Ryan.

“In that case, it was more for the owner than the pet,” added Ross, a long-time musician who regularly serenades Fox Hollow’s animal attendants.

When the owner walked into Fox Hollow, she introduced Ross to her son and daughter as “The vet who is compassionate and sings to animals.” The client told Ross how much his musical work with the hospital’s animals warmed her heart, so Ross offered to sing to her dog, who was named Daphne.

“I sang to Daphne during the process and it was a very special moment,” said Ross. “Music is amazing and it’s part of the average family’s life so it’s often familiar to their animals. Coming into a vet hospital that’s foreign with different lights, different smells, different people…trying to establish one familiar thing is so helpful. And that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to make Fox Hollow an extension of a person’s home. It’s a little outside the box, but really shows the power of defining the things that are so important in our lives.”

While Hanging with the Hendersons hasn’t premiered yet, Ross, Ryan, and Tony are certain it will not only pay tribute to their family’s work but also to their clients and the dedication each owner expresses to their beloved pets. And that is something the Hendersons are most excited for.

“I think it will be really encouraging for them because they get to be excited about their vet hospital,” said Ross. “Our clients are like family and some of them will drive hours because they feel that family vibe here at Fox Hollow. With this show, we get to share those relationships with the world and it’s pretty magical when you think about it.”

“You’ll get to see some tears and how we put our hearts and souls into this profession and I’m excited for people to see that and realize this isn’t just a job, it’s our lives,” added Ryan. “But you’ll also get to see a lot of good times with us just goofing off in the office. We’re one of the craziest families you’ll ever see on TV, that’s for sure.”

To see Ryan and Ross launch a drone army in the offices, Lord Barrington steal hospital merchandise, and animals’ lives saved by a family that has devoted their lives to furry, feathered and scaled friends, tune in to Animal Planet on Friday, Jan. 11 at 9 p.m.

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What are you most excited to see in Animal Planet’s new series Hanging With The Hendersons? Are there other shows you’re looking forward to in the new year? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Hanging with the Hendersons premieres tonight at 9/8c on Animal Planet.