Monday, September 6, 2021

Milliron Monday: Shawnee

Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
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), including his wife Jody (1938-2021). 

This week we welcome Milliron Clinic client, Peggy Jo Clark. Peggy Jo share’s her story…

Opal was a one-eyed mare. She lost one eye due to a hay bale wire. Someone cut the wire, but didn't take it off the bale of hay and the wire poked Opal right in the eye. Over time, the eye turned cancerous. We took her to Dr. Smith. He removed Opal's eyeball and sewed her up. 

After Opal healed from her surgery, we bred her to a buckskin Tennessee Walking horse named Hobo. On St. Patrick’s Day in 1991, I went to the barn before I went to work to check on Opal. There I found a beautiful foal. I called him a Palominto because he was Palomino and white Pinto. He was a huge baby. Opal was cleaning him when I came into the barn. She was a wonderful mother. As I approached her stall, the foal jumped up. He didn’t stagger, he jumped right to his feet, strong and spry as could be, and started nursing.

When I got home from work that day, I imprinted the foal all over. I named him Shawnee (Shawn, because he was born on St. Patrick's Day and I have always admired the Shawnee Indians). I raised him, broke him to ride and drive. He turned out to be a wonderful, gaited horse.

Unfortunately, Opal’s cancer returned and moved down to her nasal cavity, into the bone, leaving a large open sore that wouldn't heal. Dr. Smith put her down. Opal had a good life and we loved her dearly.

Shawnee and I went on great adventures. In 2004 I gave Shawnee to my dear friend Fern in Bainbridge. Shawnee is over 30 years old. Fern still has Shawnee. He is retired, but Fern's grandchildren love to ride him around the pasture. Shawnee has been loved and adored by several generations. Opal would have been proud. 

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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