Since Countryside Veterinary Clinic opened its doors 35 years ago, many dogs, cats, horses and other animals have come in with a variety of problems and been taken care of by the caring staff.
To commemorate the clinic’s years of service to the New Richmond community, Dr. John Swingle and his staff decided to hold a 35th anniversary party from 1-3 p.m. on Dec. 7, at the new New Richmond Dog Park at 2202 185th Avenue.
“We just think that the new dog park is such a great thing for the community and we have been an instrumental supporter of that since its inception,” Swingle said. “So, we thought it would be fun to go out there and give some hot chocolate and cookies and biscuits. It will be a low-key, fun kind of event and just kind of a way to celebrate the dog park and our years of service to the community.”
In the beginning, the clinic worked almost exclusively on farm animals for farmers in the surrounding areas. But these days, the clientele of Countryside rarely sees any large farm animals come through its doors.
“When the clinic started 35 years ago, 80 percent of our business was farm animals,” Swingle said. “But over the years there has been a gradual progression to where our business has become about 98 percent small animal now.”
Even though Swingle join the Countryside staff a few years after the clinic opened, he has since become a part of the New Richmond community and he can’t believe the changes that have come about since 1985.
“The thing that makes me excited about working here is the ability to provide high-quality veterinary care for small animal patients,” Swingle said. “Veterinary medicine has advanced like human medicine in the last 35 years and I would not have dreamt 35 years ago that we would be doing surgery with a laser or using an ultrasound to evaluate heart problems.”
Working alongside Swingle at the clinic are Dr. Erica Dolven-Kolle, Dr. Meredith Smith and Dr. Brian Keller.
“I am working with three other veterinarians who are all committed to quality service and cutting-edge medicine,” Swingle said. “It isn’t like you are on an island because you have other people here to assist you and take a team approach. That is very rewarding too.”
One of the most rewarding parts of being a veterinarian for Swingle is being able to save the life of an animal and see the smile on its owners face when he is able to give them back their pet.
“We had a little dog come in here a couple months ago that had been attacked by the neighbors’ doberman and was in extreme pain and seriously injured,” Swingle said. “But, over a seven-day period, which involved major surgery, we were able to save that dog. It was touch and go for a while, but we were able to give that dog back to its owners and they were so happy. That is really rewarding and really exciting.”
Another thing that really excites Swingle about his job at the clinic is the new technologies that have allowed the Countryside staff to take better care of their clients.
“That’s the exciting part, is being able to do more for our clients’ pets and that is the rewarding part, too,” Swingle said. “There are some things that we couldn’t fix 10-15 years ago, but we can now.”
For more information on the anniversary party, contact the clinic at 715-246-5606 or check out the New Richmond WI Area Off Leash Dog Park Facebook page.