Town & Country Veterinary Clinic - October 2019

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OCTOBER 2019

Keeping the Faith How I Survived the Most Frightening Years of My Life

T own & Country Veterinary Clinic has been a staple of River Oaks since the 1950s. I’m the fourth veterinarian to run the clinic. For two years after I bought the practice, I was terrified I would also be the last vet to run the clinic. From the time I started veterinary school, I knew I wanted to run my own practice. I wanted to call the shots and give patients the best possible care. I purchased Town & Country on April 28, 2011. Almost as soon as I took over, the clinic took a nosedive, and I had no idea why. I’m a good veterinarian and a decent businessman, so why couldn’t I figure out the reason everything was going so poorly? To add insult to injury, I had other friends from veterinary school who bought their practices around the same time I did and they were instantly successful. I started to doubt my own abilities. Never one to sit around and mope about my problems, I hired a couple business consultants to help me get to the root of the trouble. After looking at it from all angles, they came back with good news and bad news. The good news was this: They agreed I was a good veterinarian and that my business decisions had all been sound. Here’s the bad news: Even they couldn’t figure out why the clinic was struggling. My eldest daughter, Savannah, was born a year after I bought the clinic, and my fear tripled. We had a goal for Tiffany to be a stay-at- home mom for our kids, but a year later, the practice was still in rough times. Could we survive on my income alone? We had to make a decision. I prayed a lot, and ultimately, I told Tiffany she should stay home with Savannah. I could make it work.

The year after my daughter’s birth was incredibly fearful. There were a lot of sleepless nights, and not just because we had a new baby at home. The clinic was still in a nosedive, and, on a weekly basis, I was worried about

how we would cover payroll and pay the bills. There were many weeks when I didn’t take a paycheck for myself so we could cover everything else. I had a lot of doubts in my mind and negative thoughts telling me I couldn’t do it — saying I was a failure who would lose everything. But I’m a Christian man of faith, and I knew deep down that it was going to be okay. My friends, family, and church helped me get through those years. God told me to hang in there, and I am so glad I did. In year three, things finally started to look up. It was like turning an ocean liner. It took some time, but once we were on the right path again, we’ve had smooth sailing. The clinic has tripled in size since 2012, thanks in no small part to our amazing clients. Those early days felt like a waking nightmare sometimes, but walking into the clinic today is a dream come true. When I look at Town & Country now, I’m relieved that I didn’t give up when times got tough. I’m proud of where we are today and where we’re going.

Thank you to all the clients who have supported us along the way. We wouldn’t be here without you.

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Treating Your Pets Like Family

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