Monday, January 10, 2022

Milliron Monday: Remembering Dr. James Bratton, D.V.M.



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). 

"No matter how many dogs a client had
they followed the same pattern - if the client
was aggressive, the pet was the same." 
Dr. James Bratton, D.V.M.
1920-2016

Dr. James Bratton served the Athens County area for many years. In 1937 he received his Bachelor's degree in Agriculture and Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from The Ohio State University. He and his brother-in-law, Dr. Marvin Phillips, operated the Athens Veterinary Hospital from 1952 to 1992, the hospital where Pete began his Ohio career. I remember talking with Dr. Bratton about his relationship with Pete, and used our conversation for the back of Pete's biography:

"Pete had many interests, was fascinated by large mowers, bulldozers, and sawmills. He had a nut and bolt collection. He liked the out of doors. He was a casual dresser, always pleasant, a nice smile, and proud of his family, Jody, Jessica, Pat. When Pete came to Ohio, he joined Dr. Sam Theiss, Dr. Marvin Phillips, and me at Athens Veterinary Hospital. Later he moved to his own Milliron Clinic on State Route 550, just out of Amesville, Ohio, a nice country setting. He liked animals and had several of his own, including a flock of sheep and would take them to the Episcopal Church at Easter to show the children. He was a good equine veterinarian and worked long hours." 

Dr. Bratton, like Dr. Phillips, has a booklet of life stories. Seems most veterinarians have the same experience with clients (see above quote), a humble beginning, love of animals, and commitment to community. Here are a few excerpts from Dr. Bratton's booklet:

"When I went to college, I got a job at Kroger's on N. High Street. I worked weekends. When a customer was considered a shoplifter, we were to watch him carefully. Big Bear was one of the first supermarkets that went into Columbus - near Ohio State University."

"When I went to Ohio State, I first lived at 31 Chittenden Avenue, then moved to 33 Chittenden. (The landlady had a boyfriend). Art Matter was my roommate, so we went to the drugstore and bought some tobacco. When we went back to the house, the boyfriend bought it from us. During my junior and senior years, I lived at the AZ house at 13th and Indianola. I went through initiation with Dale Strong, Vern Cahill, and Roy Zimmerman. When Art was president of AZ, two kids were pillow fighting on the screened-in sleeping porch when one went through the screen to his death. Art had to call the parents; the hardest thing he ever had to do. AZ brother Jack Mount was the vice-president of OSU at the time."

"Jay was born in January - my freshman year in vet school. I worked part-time for the Farm Bureau. We built our house in Athens in 1952. I graduated in June; Larry was born in December. A BIG YEAR! I started practice with Marvin [Phillips]. The third week of practice, Marvin decided to take a much-needed vacation. I went to Amesville to see a lame calf. I pushed my hand on the shoulder and I could hear a crackling sound so I knew it was blackleg. The next day, I had to vaccinate all of the other calves under 2 years. All the neighbors heard about it, so they wanted theirs vaccinated as well. Office hours were 8-9 am, 1-2 and 6-7 pm, so I worked the vaccinations in between those hours. We charged $6-$8 for country calls. Office calls were $3-$5."

"Gil Schneider, a missionary in Africa and an Ohio University linguistics professor, asked if he could go to the rabies clinic with me to see why owners named their pets what they did - he recorded these and then published a pamphlet."

"I treated dogs, cats, monkeys, a baby wolf, cows, horses, sheep, hogs, chickens, rabbits, birds, and ponies. A mining pony (used to pull cars of coal out of the mines) was hit by a door that came out of the mine - the door dropped shut hitting the pony's ear above the nostrils - this required putting the pony to sleep and suturing the skin back - he healed well."

"One cat surgery required a removal of part of the intestine as he had swallowed a large quantity of yarn - diagnosed due to the fact that a piece of yarn was hanging from his mouth."

  
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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