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Quarter century of care at Clarkston Veterinary Clinic

From left are Clarkston Veterinary Clinic technician Andrew Coalson with Higgy the cat, Dr. Howard J. Schwartz with Schlitzie, and office manager Mekyla Hart, with Mya. Photo by Phil Custodio (click for larger version)
May 12, 2010 - As owner and practitioner at Clarkston Veterinary Clinic for the past 25 years, Dr. Howard J. Schwartz personally cares for people's pets.

"I see each patient, and clients know they'll see the same doctor," Schwartz said. "I like to offer personalized care, and spend time with patients."

Growing up in Oak Park, he worked as a vet for 10 years in Royal Oak before moving to Independence Township in 1985.

"I took over for Dr. Earle Davis when he retired," Schwartz said.

His location at 6687 Dixie Highway has been a vet's office since 1976, and Clarkston Veterinary Clinic was established in 1960, he said.

"This is the original Clarkston Veterinary Clinic," he said. "Many clients are on their third generation of pets. This is my practice. It's my baby."

Dogs and cats make up 95 percent of his patients. The other five percent can get more exotic.

"Reptiles I've always been interested in them, ever since I was young," said Schwartz, who decided to become a vet when he was 6 years old.

"My dad brought me a garter snake when I was little and I found it so fascinating," he said. "Doing book reports in school, when others would write about Winnie the Pooh, I would report on snakes of North America."

He treats nonvenomous snakes, lizards, turtles, and one time an injured alligator from a circus.

"That was fun," he said.

With the difficult economy, he offers more discounts for prescreening and wellness services.

"We realize what's going on," he said. "We don't want to deny wellness services. We want to keep pets healthy."

He and his wife, Denise, a graduate of Clarkston High School, like to travel, but he has no plans to retire yet.

"We love it here there's no reason to go somewhere else," he said. "If the weather were better, that would be nice."

Office staff includes office manager Mekyla Hart, technician Andrew Coalson, and cats Higgy, Schlitzie, and Mya.

"This is the best staff I've ever had," Schwatz said. "They take care of patients and clients."

The cats, three of the Schwatz' five, are all rescued animals.

"They all have their own stories," he said.

Hours are 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; and 8 a.m.-12 p.m., Wednesday and Saturday.

For more information, call 248-625-1821.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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