In the early days of my veterinary career, I practiced out of my modest home on Willow Lane. Then, down the line, I finally opened an office for small-animal practice in a rented facility. No longer limited to house calls, the practice grew rapidly. Soon an associate joined me, Dr. Bob Kind, who became a partner a year later and remained a partner as well as a treasured friend until I retired from practice.
Together, we borrowed money from our families, purchased a lot on our town’s main street, and eventually built a hospital there. In 1967 it was awarded “Hospital of the Year” by Veterinary Economics magazine. We had come a long way from the little house on Willow Lane.
Forty-six years later, I found myself a client of my former practice, which had now grown to a staff of 14 veterinarians.
Then I learned that they had outgrown the previous facility, and in 2014 they would be in a new state-of-the-art hospital.
“Really?” I asked. “Where will it be?”
“On Willow Lane,” I was told.
The town of 1,250 people I had moved to in 1957 was now a city of 127,000. One hundred times larger! And the new hospital was going to be located on the same street I had lived on back in my house call days. Willow Lane! Remarkable! None of the original staff even knew that the practice had begun there.
The little house my wife, Debby, and I had lived in as newlyweds is still there. It is now unoccupied. But down the street is the new 17,000-square-foot Conejo Valley Veterinary Hospital!
Robert M. Miller, DVM, is an author and a cartoonist, speaker and Veterinary Medicine Practitioner Advisory Board member. His thoughts in "Mind Over Miller" are drawn from 32 years as a mixed-animal practitioner. Visit his website at robertmmiller.com.