Your Veterinarian in Schuylkill Haven, PA
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It was fall in Connecticut and the leaves were colorful and the air crisp. At the age of nine all I could see were the leaves because I couldn’t see over the dashboard of the car. Suddenly my mom slammed on the brakes. The car came to a stop and she put it in reverse. We slowly backed up and she brought car to a stop on the side of the road. I thought she had lost her mind. When we got out of the car, there on the side of the road sat a little black and white cat. She had dried blood staining the fur on her neck and chest.
Gently, my mom called to her and convinced her it was safe to be picked up. Back we went to the car with the injured cat and she sat between us on the front seat. Mom turned the car around and we headed to the veterinarians office. She had blood crusted in both nostrils. She was quiet at first. I started to pet her. Within seconds she started to purr through her plugged nose and started kneading.
We arrived at the vets office and he examined her. He determined that she had probably been hit by a car. He kept her for a few days for workup, treatment and monitoring. Then we got the call that she was ready to be released. We went in to pick her up and there she was, clean and healthy. In my eyes and heart that veterinarian was a hero. I held her in my arms and again, she was purring and kneading. I named her Baby.
We took her home and she lived with me for nineteen years. She saw me through my parent’s divorce which was a very lonely time for me. She saw me through elementary school, middle school, high school, college and veterinary school. She was with me through all my ups and downs. She comforted me, I cried with her and she made me laugh. I went with her to the vet many times. In the end, I was her vet.
When I received my acceptance letter for the veterinary program at Kansas State University and graduation from Penn State was drawing near my mom asked me what I wanted for a graduation present. I told her I wanted to have professional pictures of Baby. She hired a photographer and pictures were taken. She presented them to me on graduation day. I looked at them and my heart was filled with joy. Then I packed them back up in the box. My mother couldn’t understand. I told her, I will not take them out again until I own my own veterinary practice. I will dedicate my work to her and the pictures will hang on the wall of my office.
Sadly, in the fall of 1997, my first year as a veterinarian, I had to make the difficult decision to bring my dear friend freedom from pain and suffering. She had been diagnosed with liver cancer and there was nothing to be done. She was euthanized lying on my chest where she often slept during those many years.
When I purchased Vetcetera in April of 2008, I hung her picture in the reception area where you can still see it today. You can also see her painted above the door as you enter the practice. She is forever in my heart. I cannot thank her enough for all she did for me.
Not only did she inspire me to become a veterinarian but my experiences with her shaped my life. I have been on both sides of the examination table. I have been the anxious client, proud parent and the one devastated by bad news in the end. Veterinarians throughout that journey have helped me along the way. Now that I am a veterinarian that duty has been passed to me. I accept that duty with great humility always aware of the things Baby taught me along the way.
At Vetcetera Pet Healthcare Centre, we treat your pets like the valued family members they are.
Dr. Steven Gloates
Schuylkill Haven Veterinarian | Vetcetera Pet Healthcare Centre
35 Browns Road
Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972