It’s amazing to think that our building has been a veterinary hospital, on and off, for almost 100 years. In between rounds as a clinic, it also served as a doctors office, complete with a surgical suite. I recently spoke with James Robertson, who said he had his tonsils removed in the office, prior to it’s return to veterinary medicine.

Imagine all of the history this old clinic has seen. The Great depression, the Second World War, droughts, low milk prices, rabid dogs, mean cats, and even the occasional bird have inhabited Todd County Animal Clinic. The more amazing part is that only two veterinarians owned the practice for a span between the 1930’s to the early 2000’s.

Dr Brown founded Todd County Animal Clinic, but if you visit our office, you will see supplies and tools held sacred to us from another generation. That generation was dominated by arguably Todd County’s first veterinarian, Dr. Rose.

No one knows much about Dr. Rose anymore; he is a man with few living relatives. All we have left are stories from our grandparents and those who remember him best. Dr Rose owned Rose Veterinary Service, which laid the foundation for Todd county animal. He was a good man by all accounts, and his wife, Mrs Dorothy, was known to be a jovial person, who always had candy for passing kids. Mrs Dorothy lived several years after Dr. Rose passed, and the people who still remember her, remark on how sweet and kind a person she was.

Dr. Rose himself was known for professionalism. He always wore freshly pressed, white overalls, and would take hay bales, with clean white blankets to make a clean environment for his instruments in field surgery. He had a state of the art large animal hospital, complete with an equine surgical suite. By 1930’s standards, he was a force to be reckoned with in medicine.

No one knows where Dr. Rose was from, but most agree that he moved here as a veterinarian in 1932. Imagine what elkton looked like then! I bet gas prices were a little cheaper.

There are references to Dr. Rose making house calls in a horse and buggy. We have also heard that Dr. Rose worked two men for most of his practice career, they were the Rogers brothers. Some of the older generation, including my grandmother, said that the Rogers brothers were as good at doctoring as the vet himself.

Once, when my grandfather aimed too low, in an attempt to teach his fence jumping cow a lesson, he had to call Dr. Rose to suture up her udder where the shotgun blast hit her. Dr. Rose teased him about his low aim for the remainder of his life. My grandfather would quietly remark that at least the cow stayed home for milking thereafter! ( she also lost half her milk capacity:))

Some of Dr . Rose’ medicine. Often vets would have pharmacists compound their own formulation of drugs and attach a label with the vet’s name to it. Above is an early vomiting remedy.
Some of Dr. Rose’ medicine. Often vets would have pharmacists compound their own formulation of drugs and attach a label with the vet’s name to it. Above is an early vomiting remedy.

Rumor even has it, that Dr. Rose would see human patients, in the early years, if a physician was unavailable. When my grandfather’s nose was kicked into his face by a mule, the vet was the nearest emergency hospital, via horse and buggy. The vet placed tubes in his nose, so he could breath over the long journey to the hospital in Hopkinsville.

Veterinary medicine continues to change. Our diagnostics are immense, our techniques more advanced than ever before, but I think we could learn a few items from Dr. Rose: 1. Professionalism is paramount. 2. Good team members should have long careers because you treat them right. 3. be willing to adapt( I don’t want to tube a kid’s nose, but if it’s life and death, who knows what we are capable of?4. At the end of the day it’s about the people too.

I recently heard a prospective vet student say he didn’t like people, I just laughed as I thought about our profession. Our business is 25% animal interaction and 75% human communication. We are a business committed to service, so without our clients, where would we be?

Our local community has a special bond, and we feel blessed at Todd County Animal Clinic to have some part in it. it’s always good to look at our beginnings, and check on our foundation. Thanks to the people who were here before us, I feel our foundation is strong.

Thanks for reading,

todd county animal clinic

Ps: please stay tuned to our e mail list and Facebook for a very special announcement in the coming week!

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