Veterinarian Kyle Adkins poses with his wife, Lori, left, and his mother, Kathy, right. Kyle and Loris children, Nate, Brianna and Olivia are also pictured. Together the family operates Country Doc Veterinary Clinic, east of Pine River on County Road 1.
With a new clinic name, Veterinarian Kyle Adkins will continue his father's legacy of providing animal care on Highway 1, east of Pine River.
Kyle, son of longtime "Ye Olde Country Doc" Galen Adkins, is carrying on the tradition of veterinary care with the help of his family and his mother, Kathy.
Dropping "Ye Olde," from the clinic name, Kyle will run his veterinary practice with the same care of animals as his father did before Galen passed away in October of 2009.
Kyle, his wife, Lori (Howe) Adkins, and their three children Nate, Brianna and Olivia, moved this summer to the home clinic where his parents lived and worked for many years.
Although he initially got a degree in chemical engineering and worked for years as an engineer, Kyle's long-term plan was always to be a vet.
His fondness for animals and birds began as a child. "Whatever I could get my hands on, I raised," he recalls.
The family lived in Boise, Idaho, and Fergus Falls, before moving to St. Paul so Kyle could attend the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.
In the four-year program he learned the science, clinical and professional skills to become a veterinarian.
"Lori definitely encouraged me to do that," he said of returning to school to study veterinary medicine.
The summer after his freshman year in veterinary school, Adkins returned home to work with his father.
"He was a meticulous person; I think he loved to teach," Kyle said of working alongside his father. Galen emphasized attention to detail and the importance of organization to his son, Kyle recalls.
Kyle also interned at Walker Animal Hospital between his second and third years of school. "Steve was a great mentor," Kyle said of Dr. Steve Ekholm.
Between his third and fourth years of vet school Kyle did a surgical rotation at Staples Veterinary Clinic.
Aside from those clinics he also gained experience from Waseca and Mankato clinics.
Even though it had been 17 years since Kyle and Lori had lived close to home, they're thrilled to return to the Pine River area.
"We're excited to be here," Lori said.
The kids will be attending Pine River-Backus school this fall - Nate in seventh grade; Brianna in fifth; and Olivia in second grade.
This summer they'll be helping in the family business.
Nate helps with grounds keeping; Brianna and Olivia help clean kennels and stock shelves. And, all three kids are happy to volunteer for "puppy holding" when a litter of puppies comes in.
All three kids profess an interest in being veterinarians - and if they follow in the same steps as Grandpa and Dad, they may get their wish.
Galen and Kathy worked well as a husband-wife team, and Kathy is sure that Kyle and Lori will enjoy it as well.
"Being able to make it a family business is just awesome," Kyle said. "It's a gift from God to be able to do it."
Lori, a registered nurse, will be working with Kyle, assisting him in the clinic and handling bookkeeping. "It's been great watching Kyle and how much he's learned," Lori said.
Kathy will continue to help with scheduling and assisting as well.
"Dad left us a great start," Kyle said of the already established clinic and clientele.
The Country Doc Veterinary Clinic will be open Monday through Fridays by appointment only. Kyle will be providing small animal surgery as well as clinical care. Aside from dogs and cats, he hopes to treat exotics, like parrots and cockatiels, chinchillas, guinea pigs, ferrets and reptiles, as well.
"I just love working with animals," Kyle said. "I get to do interesting stuff everyday."
To contact the veterinary clinic, call 218-587-4196.
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