Today is October 1, 2015. Today marks a new chapter at Bear Creek. Today is the first day without Dr. Preston at the clinic. I regret to say that she is moving on to another chapter in her life as well. For family reasons, Dr. Preston is moving to another part of the state and is having to say good-bye to those of us here at Bear Creek.
I was in the clinic last night after closing when all was quiet and still and took a moment to stop and literally look back. I stood in the aisle way of the main floor and thought to myself, “my how we have changed.” I remember first hiring Dr. Preston and what the clinic looked like at that time and how is has been molded and shaped into the current facility. Prior to the finish of the initial remodel we were sharing spaces, no exam rooms, no official front lobby, the upstairs was not finished and we were definitely cramped. A lot of the changes that were made were put in place due to the necessity of merging into a mixed animal practice from a strictly large animal practice, but I can honestly say that Dr. Preston had a lot to do with the fine tuning of the changes that I viewed as insignificant or unnecessary. I am a pragmatist at heart as some may know. These changes were not in any way insignificant however. They were more important than I realized. I needed that push to achieve the goal I set out to accomplish but had no idea of what it would take to get there. She truly left her mark on this practice. Clients may not see it, but I see it. I can envision how this practice would have developed without her meddling and I like this practice better. Like a child whose parents forced them to eat their broccoli growing up because it was good for them, I signed off on purchases and changes that I may not have liked from a “large animal” view point but I now see the value in those changes.
I also know that from a practice owner point of view I had to learn how to be a different kind of boss. I have always had employees to manage but never another veterinarian. That is a whole different ball game. I had to grow in that respect as well. In case you were wondering, there is a lot of stress involved in handing over the reins to someone else and walking away, even for a brief time. I can honestly say that she did a darn good job of driving the bus when I was gone. Nobody is perfect, certainly not me, but it could have been a lot worse. I am very blessed to have the caliber of people around me that I have and I count myself supremely blessed to have been able to work with Dr. Preston over these past two years.
The clients, patients and staff here at Bear Creek will miss her greatly…..and so will I. We wish her the best of luck in her road ahead and hope that she will come back to visit often and keep us in touch so that we can share in her future successes of which I am sure there will be many.