My father was only five when he lost his own father, who died of a ruptured appendix, rattling along in a wagon bed in a futile
attempt to get him to a physician. Dad had only a few years of formal education. By the age of 14, his schooling had ended,
and he went to work as a full-time farm hand. If I remember correctly, he got $10 a month and his keep.
I always thought of myself as a person who worked hard for his income and managed his financial affairs with prudence and
conservatism. But suddenly, as I sat in the cab of the truck looking at my father, I felt affluent, ungrateful, rather spoiled,
and a little ashamed. But I also felt proud to have this kind of man for a father.
Robert M. Miller, DVM, is an author and a cartoonist, speaker, and Veterinary Medicine Practitioner Advisory Board member from Thousand Oaks, Calif. His thoughts in "Mind Over Miller" are drawn from 32 years
as a mixed-animal practitioner. Visit his Web site at