After nearly 30 years of caring for the health needs of local pets, Nakusp’s veterinarians are calling it quits.
Dr. Laurie Page and Dr. Bill Sones, the owners of the Nakusp Veterinary Clinic, announced recently they are retiring.
“It’s time for a new adventure,” Page told the Arrow Lakes News. “We want to do a bit more hiking, camping and cycling.”
Page says the veterinary clinic has been sold, and they’re moving to Salmon Arm, to be closer to family. She’s got mixed emotions on leaving.
“The end of career is not bittersweet,” she says. “We’ve been doing this a long time, and we’ve been on call all that time.
“So it will be nice to take a break and do something different. But leaving this piece of land, and this town, that’s the bittersweet part.”
The couple moved to Nakusp in 1990, and raised a family here. Having their veterinary practice in their home, on a property just out of town, allowed them to live a “holistic life”, says Page — which is why they came here in the first place.
“We wanted our work and family life and recreational things, everything, to be part of the same life, so that our lives weren’t compartmentalized as many people’s are,” she says. “Bill would be in the garden, or I’d be out weeding, one of us could be outside, the other inside.
“Plus both of us have been involved in the community too, and see it as important to give back.”
The president of Nakusp’s animal care society, Linda Kendall, says the couple will be missed.
“Our animals were always given loving care along with the best possible medical attention,” Kendall said in a written statement. “Our volunteers have been treated with the utmost respect, integrity and compassion. ”
The couple have already recruited their replacement. Dr. Amber Robinson will take over the Nakusp Veterinary Clinic in April.
“They came here in January during some of the worst driving weather we had, and they were still excited about being here,” says Page. “They’ve met some people here and love the idea of a small town, of having some room to garden and do fun stuff and contribute through the small-community-kind-of-way of practicing medicine.”
With their move only a month away, Page says they’ve been overwhelmed by the experience of living in Nakusp.
“People have opened their hearts to us in a way I would never have imagined, and it’s been an absolute honour and privilege to be part of people’s lives,” she says. “It’s been a very profound… and the beautiful community life we’ve had here… I’d like to say thank you for people for letting us into their lives the way they have. It’s been a wonderful thing.”
“And we’re not going to be that far away,” she concludes. “We’ll be closer to family but not that far from Nakusp, so I would suspect people will see us around.”