Stockton Vet Hospital
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If life was easy, it wouldn't be difficult.....

If life was easy it wouldn't be difficult.

This was my mantra during vet school.  It has stuck with me ever since.  Maybe that is why I decided that opening my own vet hospital would be a dream come true.  And boy, what a rollercoaster!  So here I am, writing my first blog for Stockton Veterinary Hospital, and I couldn't be happier.

I should start at the very beginning.

35 years ago I decided I wanted to become a veterinarian.  I was 3 years old.  That makes me 38 (you were right).  I was told not to bother by my teachers, they said there was too much competition and I didn't have what it takes.  Well, I proved them wrong and then I told them so.  My Grandfather always said "you make your own luck", and he was absolutely right.  Fast forward to vet school (Liverpool, England, 1998-2003) and throw in an externship at Cornell School of Veterinary Medicine Companion Animal Hospital (Internal Medicine and Cardiology, 2003), where I reunited with my childhood friend and now husband Angus, and here I am.  I am a very lucky girl.

 July 2003, Liverpool, England.  Age 24.

July 2003, Liverpool, England.  Age 24.

I have been living in the United States since 2003, I became an American citizen several years ago, and yes I do miss my family and friends an awful lot but I love my life, my husband and my fur kids.  We have lived in Kingwood Township for 12.5 years and we love it here.

So, anyway, back to the vet hospital.  I have always wanted to own my own vet hospital.  I never believed it would happen.  And now it really is happening!!!  Angus has been my biggest believer that we could do it, and it is really happening!!  So what does it take?  

Firstly, lots of planning.  I didn't know how to write a business plan which we needed to take to the bank to ask for lots and lots of money, so I bought three books and learned how.  Then we went to lots of banks and one day one of them said yes.  Next we had to buy the building.  It is a beautiful building on Main Street (number 56) in Stockton, that was previously a human doctors office/medical arts facility.  We had to go in front of Stockton Borough and prove that veterinary medicine involved medical professionals and their patients and that we could move into the building.  They agreed (hoorah!) and off we went.  Next, we had to put all of our plans together..... buying a commercial building is a whole  new big deal compared with buying a house.  But we made it over the next hurdle and many hundreds of thousands of dollars later we are now in the process of making the building our own and perfect for a veterinary hospital.  

Making it perfect for a veterinary hospital means that we have to take down some walls, add a new epoxy floor, buy lots of state-of-the-art equipment, and so much more.  In fact, here are some pictures as a picture is worth a thousand words, and I know you would rather see it than read it.....

 Walls coming out.... opening up the waiting area so that pets can see everything to reduce stress.

Walls coming out.... opening up the waiting area so that pets can see everything to reduce stress.

 Delivery!  Plywood for the base under the epoxy floor.  90 sheets were cut to fit and screwed in with 12,000 screws.

Delivery!  Plywood for the base under the epoxy floor.  90 sheets were cut to fit and screwed in with 12,000 screws.

 Walls coming out, this will be the Dog Ward.  This part was pretty scary.  The ceiling looked irreparable, the electrical was in the way not to mention gas lines.  I couldn't imagine it coming back together.

Walls coming out, this will be the Dog Ward.  This part was pretty scary.  The ceiling looked irreparable, the electrical was in the way not to mention gas lines.  I couldn't imagine it coming back together.

So this is April 12th.  Every day is a barrage of emails, questions, forms to fill out, equipment to be organized, meetings to be had, and not a moment to lose!  I am missing all of my patients and can't wait to be "back in the game" and see them all again.  

But I can't believe that my dream is coming true.  This is where I must tell everyone that if you ever want to open a veterinary hospital I know this great guy.  His name is Angus Kydd, and I am lucky enough to be married to him.  His vision for this giant project and his dedication is unreal.  He was born to do this, to be this crazy cool guy and to make this happen.  It also helps having an amazing contractor called Nick Thygesen and his wonderfully sweet and lovely wife Rebecca.  With them they bring the Foreman, "Cousteau", a frenchie who technically runs the show, apart from when he is sleeping on the job....

 Cousteau, project foreman, after an exceptionally long day on the job.

Cousteau, project foreman, after an exceptionally long day on the job.

So here ends my first ever blog!  I am pretty proud of myself and have discovered that I really like blogging.  Watch out for more, with updates of how we are doing with the hospital build.  I will keep you posted and can't wait to see you all again, whether you have 2 legs or more.

I sign off with a thought for the day.....

"When I look into the eyes of an animal, I do not see an animal.  I see a living being.  I see a friend. I feel a soul."  

A.D. Williams.