2015 marks the 50th year that Wilderness Animal Hospital has been in business. Before writing the article, I wanted to confirm my information was correct, so I consulted with two long-term Maple Valley residents, and both confirmed that Wilderness Animal Hospital (formerly Lake Wilderness Veterinary Clinic and Wilderness Veterinary Clinic) did exist in 1965.
Just for fun I also wanted to see what else has been around since 1965. The Who released their first album and are having a 50-year reunion tour this year. Some of my favorite TV shows of my childhood debuted: I Dream of Jeannie, F Troop and Get Smart. Joe Namath was signed to the New York Jets, Muhammad Ali became a Heavyweight boxing champion and Peggy Fleming won the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. The movie, Sound of Music, was released, a first-class stamp was 5 cents and Ralph Nadar published, “Unsafe At Any Speed” about the Chevy Corvair, a car I would later drive (I was only 2 in 1965)
Next, I looked into the history of Wilderness Animal Hospital. Dr. H. E. Johnson started treating animals out of a building that was located where the Bartell’s is currently located. In 1988 the business moved to its current location in Wilderness Village Shopping Center. Dr. Linda Reed started working for Dr. Howard Johnson in 1976 and purchased the practice in 1989. At that time, some of you may remember, Wilderness Veterinary Clinic accepted walk-in appointments. In 1991the clinic expanded from 1200 square feet to 2400 square feet. I purchased the business from Dr. Reed in 2006. I expanded hours of operations and services offered. I also hired a new team of veterinarians, Dr. s Tate, Shimoda and Goebel, who all still practice at Wilderness Animal Hospital. In 2009, when the sign for the business needed replacing, I decided to update our name to Wilderness Animal Hospital, reflecting the level of services we provide.
2015 is going to bring additional, exciting changes, as we plan to expand again into the space next to us, expanding from 2400 square feet to 3600 square feet. One of the biggest changes is the addition of two more examination rooms, making it possible for us to schedule more time for our technicians to perform their duties, including a new service we are adding; cold laser therapy. We are excited to add this treatment modality, as it has many uses to help decrease inflammation and encourage healing.
We will also be adding a cat-specific hospitalization ward and a cat only waiting area. This will make us able to advance our current American Association of Feline Practitioners “Feline Friendly” Certification from silver to gold level. The entire clinic is going to be updated keeping in consideration our clients and patients. With an emphasis on safety, comfort and best care possible. Of course, this will require some patience and understanding during the process, but the end product will be well worth it.
On a final note, we are well into Pet Dental Health Months. During the months of February and March we give $25 off any dental procedure (unless you are signed up for a wellness plan, which is an even better savings.) I’m excited about the changes in store and a great 2015. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at [email protected] or you can go to our website, www.wildernessvet.com or our Facebook page.