Opening a veterinary clinic for small animals in Dresden is an exciting enterprise for Dr. Susan “Sue” Bailey, who dreamed of becoming a veterinarian from the time she was 4 years old.
Not unlike the British veterinary surgeon Al Wight, who wrote “All Creatures Great and Small” under the pseudonym James Herriot, she appreciates the rural setting for Porchside Veterinary Care at 514 Gardiner Road (Route 27) in the village of Dresden Mills.
The public will have an opportunity to meet Bailey during the new clinic’s open house from 1-4 p.m., Saturday, April 21.
Bailey, of Pittston, is no stranger to the area. She has been caring for animals in clinics in the Boothbay-Wiscasset region for six years or so.
“I can’t picture myself doing anything else,” Bailey said. “It’s not an easy job by any means.”
Bailey began to fulfill her childhood dream with a Bachelor of Science degree in medical biology from the University of New England. She completed her studies at the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. Now she has her own clinic in a new building that fits well with its countryside surroundings.
“I like the job because every day is different,” she said. In other words, a “typical” day just does not happen in her field.
“You never know who is going to come through the front door,” Bailey said.
“The most challenging thing about the profession is to try to help patients through emotional decisions,” she said.
Bailey finds her life’s work fun as well.
“The most fun I have is, I get to see every day how important animals are to my clients,” she said. “I think that’s why I do what I do. That’s the biggest part of it.”
“I like preventative care,” she said. “I put a lot of focus on client communication, and I enjoy behavior cases.”
As Bailey sought potential sites for the clinic, she found the property in Dresden ideal. She felt there was a need for service locally, and yet not too distant from some of her previous clients.
“I like this community,” she said. “It’s a diverse community, and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
The brand-new facility, by design, does not look like a typical veterinary clinic. The building looks like a country home with a porch, hence the name Porchside.
Bailey designed the building to look different than academic laboratories or some other veterinary clinics. When people drive by, they see a farmhouse-like structure.
In the construction, she recycled wood from a previous home on the site, including part of an antique door track for a barn with the name Porchside printed on it.
She wanted to retain the rural atmosphere of the location and allow clients to “feel at home,” she said.
Porchside Veterinary Care will open Monday, April 23. The hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday.
“We’re here, and we look forward to serving former clients as well as new clients and providing quality veterinary care,” Bailey said.