Monday, June 22, 2020

Milliron Monday: Tree Rats 6 22 2020


Abbott "Pete" Smith, D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010

If we had a keen vision of all that is ordinary in human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow or the squirrel's heartbeat, and we should die of that roar which is the other side of silence. 

– George Eliot


Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017). A graduate of Colorado State University and a well-known veterinarian in southeast Ohio, Dr. Smith continues to motivate and inspire. 

Living in rural southeastern Ohio provides opportunity to see native fauna, including squirrels, deer, turkeys, raccoons, possums, bobcats, coyote, and more. Milliron Farm, nestled in the Ohio valley where trees tower and the underbrush is thick, is alive with many creatures, especially squirrels.

Hunting squirrel takes finesse. A fast-moving target, squirrels run to the treetops, out of sight, a challenge for most hunters. The meat is usually lean and has a wild game flavor. 

Dr. Smith referred to squirrels as “tree rats” – an ever-scampering, tree-running bundle of life. Jody doesn’t remember Dr. Smith hunting squirrel; however, he was an avid deer hunter. Milliron Farm has a large deer population, which provided lean table meat for the Smith family.

Several times, a Milliron Clinic client brought a dressed squirrel (ready to cook) to Dr. Smith during squirrel season (Ohio has specific times when you can hunt squirrel). The dressed squirrel would be given to Jody to prepare for the evening meal.  Dr. Smith, saying in his Dr. Smith voice, “Jody, we’re having tree rat for supper!”

Have a great week ahead.


Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

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