I believe I was destined to become a veterinarian. I was raised on a small family farm in northern Ohio, and some of my earliest memories involve our dogs, cats, cattle, ponies, and horses. I learned very early the love that dogs give to you freely and the affection that you must earn from cats. I also learned the heartbreak of losing a beloved pet far too early. I vividly remember watching our farm cats hunt their “big game” in our barn with no less intensity than their bigger cousins.
I fondly remember riding our ponies bareback when we were too small to saddle them and then riding our horses when we were older. I learned that though you become attached to the farm animals, they will eventually leave you to serve humans as food when they grow up. I have known for some time the blessing it was to have grown up on my parents’ farm. It taught me the value of hard work and the love of animals. It taught me very early that there were doctors just for animals, and that these talented doctors earned the grudging trust of the farmers.
When I left home, it was to attend the Ohio State University. (Go Bucks!). My mother would have preferred that I had studied human medicine, but it was veterinary medicine for me. Though high school was not difficult for me, I found that everyone who stood a chance to enter the highly competitive veterinary college was very bright. I had to study very hard to earn a spot in my veterinary class, and the people I attended class with are some of the smartest people I have ever met. I also met and married my wife, Pamela, at Ohio State. I would never have been where I am today without her unfailing support.
I have had the privilege of living with many wonderful pets over the years, including our current Dobermans, Rommel and Elke, and our Standard Poodle Moose. Rommie is the athletic boy – you can see him doing agility work on our Facebook page videos, Elke is just getting started.
My first job as a veterinarian was in a 5 doctor, AAHA accredited practice in Hammond, Indiana, where I began to learn the art of veterinary practice, under the mentoring of 2 excellent and patient veterinarians. I joined Dr. Snead at Twin Maples Veterinary Hospital in South Dayton in 1982, became a co-owner of the practice in 1984, and became the sole owner in 2011. Helping our hospital grow into the wonderful practice it is today has been my fulfilling life’s work. At Twin Maples, we have gathered some of the most dedicated, caring, talented staff that you will find anywhere. Their dedication to patient and client service is heartwarming.
Over the years, I have developed a special interest in veterinary surgery and particularly, orthopedic surgery. I have attended many continuing education courses in this area, and in 2003 became certified to perform TPLO surgery to repair knee injuries in our patients. I also have a special interest in veterinary endoscopy, laser surgery, and really just about anything high tech in veterinary medicine. It is amazing how our profession has progressed in my 35 plus years as a veterinarian!
All of us at Twin Maples will continue to strive to offer our clients the wonder that veterinary medicine has become, while never forgetting that attached to every leash and carrier is a caring owner that deserves our most compassionate service.