I am originally from Holly Hill, SC, a very small and rural town. I moved around a lot as a kid around South Carolina and down to Mobile, AL before settling down in Augusta, GA in high school.
I have wanted to be a veterinarian from an early age. I have always had pets for as long as I can remember, from dogs and barn cats to turtles and hamsters. My family was also a foster home for a regional boxer rescue, so our home always had a new rescue dog around. Unfortunately, after a visit to a county fair with a petting zoo in middle school, I severely broke out into hives. I also was getting more and more sensitive to cats, and could not touch one without sneezing and my eyes swelling up. I figured my dream job was not in the cards, so at that point I decided if I couldn’t be an animal doctor, I’d be a people doctor instead.
I remained pre-med throughout high school and through my first few years at Davidson College in North Carolina, but I was always spending my free time looking up different dog breeds and dog training. The number of dog breeds has always been an interest of me, how there are breeds and training styles to fit any kind of person for any kind of lifestyle.
I couldn’t wait to get a dog of my own, but the apartments I was living in during school didn’t allow dogs. My roommates and I decided instead to get a cat, despite my allergies. To my surprise, I tolerated having an indoor cat very well, and my allergies were nowhere near as severe as they had been while growing up. I seemed to have largely grown out of them. In addition to quickly reestablishing myself as a cat-lover, I thought again about being a veterinarian, and listed out pros and cons of being a medical doctor versus being a vet. My list had nothing but reasons I’d rather be a veterinarian.
I couldn’t sleep that night; I was so excited I called my wife (then girlfriend) at 2 AM to wake her up and tell her I was going to be pre-vet instead of pre-med, changed my advisor the next day, and haven’t looked back since.
After achieving my dream of becoming a veterinarian, I wanted to find a community with a small-town feel that I could really get to know and set down roots. My wife and I hoped to eventually buy some land and have a hobby farm. I went on several job interviews throughout the southeastern US, but immediately fell in love with the beautiful Powhatan area. I knew I wanted a position at PAH before my job interview was even completed; my wife and I both agree its a perfect place for us to build our lives.
I am very thankful to Dr. Pinkleton for the opportunity; it’s been exciting to come on board at a time when the hospital is growing and so many positive changes are happening. I enjoy being a part of this growth and being able to put my own mark on a practice so early in my career. Though I have not yet had the opportunity to meet Dr. Larrick, I am also thankful to him for having fostered such great relationships with clients and other members of the community. Both clients and coworkers at the practice have been very welcoming and made me feel right at home. I look forward to becoming more familiar with the area and the chance to contribute to the Powhatan community. I am meeting more people everyday and doing what I love to do: talking with people about their pets and helping to improve both their and their pets’ lives!