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Vet Dr. Johnston retires after decades of practice

After over 40 years of taking care of the Valley’s animals at his Ormstown practice, Dr. William Johnston is retiring. He says there are a few reasons why he came to this decision; he’s been a cardiac patient for the past 14 years and has had to slow down. But at the end of the day, Johnston says, “I’m 74 years old, and I think that’s a pretty good reason to retire.” He graduated from veterinarian school in 1978 and has been working since then.

Johnston says he wishes he could sell the business; however, he currently owns three buildings and doesn’t feel that he wants to be a landlord for them. For now, he is looking to sell the three properties, and will then put his veterinary clinic on the market as a business. One of his buildings has unique architecture: “The ‘auberge,’ by characteristics of the people today, is an antique. It doesn’t have what you would see today,” he shares.

He closed his practice in mid-February but stayed open long enough to offer prescriptions to his clients for a month after services had stopped. He says he hoped that this would also allow some time for clients to find a new vet in the region. “The people had dossiers sent to other veterinarians. I put out the word, because I didn’t want them to go cold turkey,” he says, adding he believes the Valley is lucky to have many competent vets in the region.

 

Veterinarian Dr William Johnston has closed his practice and is retiring after 40 years PHOTO Courtesy of Dr William Johnston

 

The response from his clients has been overwhelmingly kind. “The number of people who have blessed me with positiveness is unreal. I’m getting bottles, I’m getting notes, I’m getting cards in the mail. I was not expecting this. I had a good Yellow Pages rating, but I never took that too seriously,” he shares. For many clients, Dr Johnston was their long-term vet. Nowadays, he shares that it’s less common to have such a close and long-term relationship with one vet.

Johnston is looking forward to sleeping in during his retirement. Besides that, he says he “hasn’t got a clue” what’s next for him. He is incredibly proud of the career he’s had: “I was able to work for another 14 years after being a cardiac patient. It was the availability of the clientele and the availability of two amazing employees that made it possible,” he shares.

He is grateful to that clientele, and to the community that he was able to serve for so long.

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