Happy Retirement, Dr. Martin!

My 20-year-old son is working with me this summer at the vet clinic that my team and I built from scratch! As I introduced him to clients, I was amazed at how many clients I still see that I knew from BEFORE he was born- they knew me as a baby vet- even my first real client is still with me! I have many folks that are more like family than a client.I have always wanted to be a family doctor and I have worked hard in this field with that goal in mind. My clients have watched my family grow in number, they have watched the laugh line wrinkles form on my face and I have watched their human children grow. I have mourned with families as they lost people in their families, their parents, their children, and their pets. Their pet family has grown and then shrinks and then grows again… it is a cradle-to-grave industry so transitions are inevitable.

Along the way— the vet industry has also changed. When I started, we were on call 7 days on and 7 days off. The closest referral facility was in Seattle. So, I did in-house chemotherapy, orthopedic surgery, and sheep and llamas and I was the surgeon of choice for things like ferret adrenalectomies and for separating out the parathyroid to keep while removing the thyroid gland in old cats. Now —of course, we don’t do adrenalectomies or thyroidectomies, or in-hospital chemotherapy anymore. We have specialists all around us. In general, we have a much healthier degree of attention to the balance of life and we don’t do on-call anymore.

PLUS— On August 16, 2003, I made a very silly mistake and stood on a plastic chair to try to super quickly hook up a baby swing— Maybe I had too many Disney princesses in my head and thought I was Tinkerbell for a minute but alas—- I crashed down and high sided over landscaping brick border and broke my L4 vertebra! So big lesson— little choices like a bad chair choice —- can have big impacts on the rest of your life! I am always in pain and there are days I can’t stand for more than a few minutes at a time. Mind you… I am 54 years old.

So —-it is time for my next transition— I will be leaving General Practice at the end of October.……. This is the hardest decision ever. BUT I am too young to be this broken! So. I will be focusing on strengthening my body. I will also be working two days a week at 4 Paws Wellness and Rehabilitation for dogs (and some kitties!) It is the local wonderful animal rehabilitation facility with an underwater treadmill, massage, and physical bodywork. I will be doing acupuncture and herbal support and general holistic medicine. The sticky part is that I won’t be doing any general veterinary medicine or surgery-type stuff. So, my patients will need to have their own general practice veterinarian. I am looking forward to complementing the primary veterinarian with my focus on reducing pain and easing aging and healing injury.

I will be at Hawks Prairie Veterinary Hospital along with my amazing colleagues and team members continuing to serve our furry friends until October 28. The team at Hawks will continue to do their usual wonderful awesome job of caring for your pets like it is their own!