Dr. Lori White wears a lot of hats. She’s a doc to dogs, cats and other small animals, a mom, wife, an Auburn grad, and most recently, she ventured out and opened up her own animal veterinary practice in Athens. Village Veterinary Clinic is located right across from East Limestone High School, and if I had a pet, I would want Dr. Lori to be the vet.
Dr. Lori was born and raised in Athens, graduated from Athens High School, and got her degree in Veterinary Medicine from Auburn in 1993. Her husband, Dr. Tavis White, is also a vet and practices in Toney. She considered being a veterinarian briefly as a kid, but it was the summer of her freshman year in college, when she worked in a vet’s office, that, in her words, “clinched it” as far as attending vet med school was concerned. She encountered the first squeamishness that many people experience around surgeries, “got through it,” as she says, and of her work, she says with enthusiasm, “It is so fulfilling to watch an animal come back from nearly dying and then get healthy.” She worked for two well established small animal practices in the area, one for eight years when she was right out of school, another part time for eleven years. Her kids are ten and eleven years old, and are named Natalie and Tommy. The White family has two dogs, two cats, and two guinea pigs. I would say this is one set of lucky pets, to have not one, but two docs as their owners!
I have often said that one of the things I so enjoy about my job is getting the chance to hear interesting stories and learn new things, and my time with Dr. Lori was both educational and enjoyable. I learned, for example, that Great Danes generally only live eight years, on the average. They also have health issues that are more specific to their breed. Danes have more of a tendency to have bone and joint problems, heart and thyroid trouble, and a seeming predisposition toward cancer. By contrast, Chihuahuas have trouble with their teeth, knees, heart valves, have a tougher time giving birth, and often have struggles with glaucoma.
I also learned about an interesting problem occurring in the Northeast and out in California, and that is, there is an actual shortage of dogs. By contrast, Alabama’s canine population is quite high, and there is a concerted effort on to remedy the regional dog shortage. Dr Lori explained, “Humane organizations, vets, animal shelters and countless volunteers are working together to get prospective pets transported to the places they are needed.” They must be in excellent health, have all their shots, be spayed or neutered, and every effort will be made to insure their safe transport and placement. Dr. Lori showed me a litter of six pups that had been brought in just a few days ago, and they were adorable. A litter can be the product of more than one dad, and these guys looked like they were “part blue heeler, part Rottweiler,” she said. Dr. Lori most definitely has a soft spot in her heart for mutts, and her own two dogs are just that.
Speaking of soft spots, she told me that often someone who might seem to be hard on the outside will have a tender place for dogs, and some people do better relating to their dogs than they do other humans. “We need to look out for both the pets and their owners,” she said. “Lives are enriched by relationships with pets. People who are empty nesters, have been widowed, or are elderly are all helped by owning a pet.” She also mentioned that a good deal of her job is to listen. “We give emotional care to the owners, and want to stay that way because it is so important.”
I asked her, as I always do, why I should come to her. “We give an individual approach to our patients, not a “cookie cutter” one, especially when it comes to dogs.” She also mentioned, “We are a full service practice. We do laser surgery, dental X rays, ultra sound, and have our CT scans done in Decatur. We network with other doctors, and are able to give excellent, personal care.”
The clinic is pleasant, modern, and as nice as any doctor’s office frequented by humans. I have confidence that Village Veterinarian Clinic is a wonderful place to take your pet, and I hope you’ll give Dr. Lori and her staff a call for an appointment.
Village Veterinarian Clinic
15722 East Limestone Rd, Athens, AL 35613
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner