I didn't want to believe it when I first heard that he was sick. I thought to myself, "He'll rally. He's a strong man. You should see the way he wrastles them goats."
Dr. Butler, an extraordinary vet and human being, passed away yesterday. I've blogged about him before. He treated anyone's animal who needed help regardless of the owner's ability to pay. It's been said that Dr. Butler's books showed half a million dollars in the red, but that never deterred his fair practice. His waiting room displayed social services for every walk of person and animal. His office has long been a clasdestine drop off and subsequent residence for strays of all sorts.
Upon my first visit, I mused over the ducks, dogs, and cats snoozing on the ratty chairs in the lobby as we waited our turn. I think back to the time he made every effort to save my son's dying gerbil. I consider the visit I forgot money and his nurses tried to give me the medicine for my goats for free. I think of how he straddled my skiddish Great Pyraneese to draw blood for testing. I grin at his laughter produced by him in response to my questions regarding castration for my goat.
I'll miss your looming stature, your gentle way with the very small to gigantic creatures, and your compassion to all. Knoxville has been a better place for having you in it.
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