by Elisa Hawkes
Coastal Journal staff
WALDOBORO — Medomak Veterinary Services, located at 14 Atlantic Highway (Route 1) in Waldoboro, will host an open house to celebrate their 10th anniversary on Saturday, on Saturday, June 30, from 1 to 4 p.m. Proceeds from this event will benefit Lincoln County Animal Shelter – but in the first place, this promises to be quite a party.
The big red barn on Route 1 in Waldoboro has housed Dr. Laurie Howarth’s veterinary practice since 2002. The 10th anniversary celebration promises to be great fun, according to Howarth. The staff of Medomak Veterinary Services is planning activities for the whole family. Pet seminars on a variety of subjects will be presented. Games, face painting, and balloon animal demonstrations for the children will bring smiles to little faces, said Howarth. Pete Grant, the “Infamous Grill Master” as he is known at the barn, will be grilling free hot dogs. And Togus, Maine’s celebrity weather cat, will be on hand to welcome guests.
Howarth said Togus is one of her patients. According to Howarth, Togus is laid back and patient. She said fame has not gone to his head. He is the same Togus as he was before he became a celebrity.
The Lincoln County Animal Shelter will benefit from the celebration through a bake sale and raffle. Howarth said, “Many of our patients got their pets at Lincoln County [Animal Shelter]. I want to help the shelter do what they do so well: Find ‘forever homes’ for pets who don’t have people to love them.”
In addition to the raffle, Howarth grows catnip in her garden and sells dried bouquets to benefit the animal shelter.
The Maine Greyhound Placement Service, a nonprofit organization devoted to finding homes for retired racing Greyhounds, will be at the event with some potential pets. The Lincoln County Animal Shelter will bring a few friends along, as well.
Howarth said prior to building the red barn, she ran her practice from two rooms in her home. As the practice grew, she realized she needed more room, more staff and extended hours. The staff at Medomak Veterinary Services consists of Howarth, Dr. Julie Krasne, four full-time and three part-time employees.
According to Howarth, she knew she wanted to be a veterinarian from the time she was in seventh grade. A good student with an aptitude for science, Howarth’s love for animals kept her focused on one goal, and she has practiced veterinary medicine for 36 years. A native of the Midwest and a graduate of Iowa State University, Howarth moved to Maine in 1986. She began her own practice, Medomak Veterinary Services, in 1988.
Howarth said tours to see the practice “behind the scenes” will take place during the afternoon. The modern building contains examining rooms, a surgical suite, radiology room, dental area, laboratory, pharmacy, dog ward, cat ward, and a private cat boarding room. The large waiting area will soon have a separate cats only section.
Several incidents remain special to Howarth over the 30 plus years she has practiced.
“When I was practicing in Cape Cod,” Howarth said, “there was a little old lady who used to bring her pet to me. When she died, she left half of her estate to me. I used the money to remodel the practice rooms. I gave it back to the animals.”
Howarth said she learned the importance of communication through her work, especially asking the right questions. Howarth spoke with amusement of the time a panicked couple called about their dog, which had cut himself. When Howarth asked where the dog got cut, the couple answered, “In the front yard!” She said she couldn’t help but laugh at the miscommunication.
“We had an open house five years ago,” Howarth said. “It was great fun. I want to repeat what people liked and add new things to make it even more fun. I hope people will come and share the day with us.
Dr. Howarth and her staff are hoping everyone, old friends and new, two legged and four legged, will come and join the celebration.
The 10th Anniversary will be celebrated with an Open House for the community on Saturday, June 30 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Medomak Veterinary Services, 14 Atlantic Highway in Waldoboro. For more information, call 563-7786.