Longtime East County veterinarian Reilly Glore, founder of the Brady Veterinary Hospital, is retiring after 42 years on the job.
Glore’s last day on the job will be May 28.
“The goal is to wake up in the morning first. Then I’ll do whatever I decide to do that day,” Glore said of his impending retirement.
Glore began his veterinary career on the Twin Harbors in 1972, soon after graduating with his degree from Washington State University. His original plan was to practice on horses and cows near where he grew up — Missoula, Montana. But he didn’t have any luck finding a job.
His college roommate was from the Raymond area and had a friend over who was also from the Willapa Harbor. The friend suggested that Glore apply for a job with his father’s veterinary practice — Vetters Animal Hosptal in Raymond — run by Dr. Richard Vetter.
Glore practiced there for several years before opening his own practice out of a mobile home.
“We were completely mobile then,” said Glore.
He then opened a practice in a converted barn on a property outside Montesano on what is now Minkler Road.
In 1980, he opened the Brady Veterinary Hospital on its current site at 450 Monte-Brady Road. It is still going strong with Glore practicing alongside three other veterinarians and about 15 other staff members. The clinic has more than 7,500 active clients today from throughout Western Washington.
Glore has sold the facility to National Veterinary Associates, a company that operates more than 220 veterinary clinics nationwide.
“This was just too big for an individual person to come in and buy it,” said Glore. “But everybody will be the same here — except for me,” he said with a grin.
In 42 years, Glore’s work days have run the gamut from the routine to bizarre.
He’s treated animals as small as song birds to as large as they come on solid ground.
“We did have an elephant call once when the circus was in town,” said Glore. “We had to look at an elephant with a sore foot. He had stepped on something.”
How do you treat an elephant?
“Tell him to take 200 aspirin and call me in the morning,” quipped Glore.
He said one of the most bizarre cases was that of a pet dog who had swallowed a number of large lead fishing weights, each about the size of a small egg.
“He has 10 or 12 of them in his stomach,” Glore recalled. “He weighed like 4 pounds less after surgery. But we were worried about the potential for lead poisoning so we had to act fast.”
He also recalls a local female client with a 7-foot boa constrictor with an infection that had to be treated with antibiotics and was coming into the hospital for weekly visits.
“He was a big boy … He’d be wrapped around her body four times when she came in and all the ladies in the waiting room would pull their little dogs close to them every time he came in,” Glore said. “But he was a pretty nice snake. He didn’t cause any trouble.”
As interesting as all that sounds, Glore said the idea of retirement and leaving the everyday grind is intriguing to him.
“It will be interesting to see what it’s like thinking about something different after doing all this for 42 years,” he said.
One thing he will be thinking about more is his upcoming wedding to his fiancee Brenda Amburgy. They’ve been together for about 12 years and will be married in October in Olympia, where she teaches drama at Timberline High School.
Glore also hopes to see more of his two grown children, Megan, 34, an ethno-biologist now working in Oaxaca, Mexico, and
his 36-year-old son, Gavin, who is a civil engineer working on salmon habitat restoration projects near Shelton.
He also will spend time on his several hobbies that include skiing, woodworking and flying his Cessna 182, which he also uses flying search and rescue missions for the state Dept. of Transportation.
“It’s great fun,” he said of flying the craft, “except when you stop in for gas now,” noting that aircraft fuel is going between $7 and $8 per gallon these days.
Glore has logged more than 3,500 hours in the cockpit, having flown his Cessna on flights ranging from “the Pacific to New Jersey and the tip of Baja to the Arctic Circle.”
Glore has seen a lot of changes in the veterinary field over more than four decades, noting that his clinic’s first computer — purchased for $25,000 in 1984, had a 20-megabyte hard drive, 8 kilobytes of RAM and used 8.5-inch floppy disks for storage.
He says one of the biggest changes he’s seen is in the economy of Grays Harbor, especially when it comes to his field.
“I used to serve dozens and dozens of dairies,” he said. “There used to be 40 or 45 around here and now there may only be three or four left.”