I was deeply saddened to get the news that my dear friend Dr. John Petersen passed away a few weeks ago.
When I was the Executive Director at Mission Valley Animal Shelter Dr. John was such a mentor to me. He expanded my knowledge in the proper healthcare and nutrition of dogs and cats. I grew as a person while working with him.
Due to the limited funding within the shelter it wasn’t always prudent to treat the animals for certain illness as there were many more healthy ones waiting out there. This sounds cruel, but it is a fact of life in small town animal shelters and Dr. John knew and understood this.
There were many times I would discuss a case over the phone with him and he advised me as to the proper treatment. He was always available to me. Dr. John was a constant source of reassurance whenever I had to make a difficult decision. He understood my compassion for the animals and the shelter. He quenched my thirst for knowledge.
Dr. John had a heart as big as Mt. Everest. He was a very kind, respected, compassionate man. He truly made a difference in the lives of many animals and their guardians.I recall a Friday evening at 9:30 at night I called him because Nemo was vomiting blood and seemed to be distressed. He told me to meet him at the clinic and basically, he saved Nemo’s life.
Dr. John was Becky’s primary vet when we lived in Ronan. He removed several cancerous tumors at different times. Her last operation was after we moved and we drove six hours round trip because I wanted her to see “her” doctor. Thank you Dr. John for helping my dear sweet “granny face” as you liked to call her.
I will never forget the day when I took a shelter dog down to be examined (which he usually never charged us for), I told he and his wife that I would be moving as my husband accepted a job in a different county. I was focused on the dog. I didn’t want to look into their eyes and sure enough I looked up at them to see them both in tears. We all cried, hugged and told each other how happy we were our paths had crossed.
I will be forever in your debt Dr. John. I truly loved and respected you. You were someone to look up to and admire.