Veterinarian's open house gets tails wagging

January 11, 1998

Veterinarian's open house gets tails wagging


Staff Writer

FUNKSTOWN - Hagerstown resident JoAnn Gruber would have liked to bring her dog, Lassie, along to the open house at Animal Health Clinic of Funkstown on Sunday.

The black Labrador retriever/rottweiler mix gets excited about going to see veterinarian Virginia Scrivener, who has been treating her since she was a puppy, Gruber said.

Scrivener invited her animal patients to join their human families at the open house, intended to show off the clinic's recent expansion.


"That's why we're here," said Scrivener, 34, who opened the clinic in a former people doctor's office at 26 E. Baltimore St. 41/2 years ago.

Many people took advantage of the invitation, leading their pets on leashes, toting them in carriers and cradling them in their arms.

Unfortunately, Lassie gets so excited about visiting Scrivener she urinates in the office, said Gruber, who decided to invite a "prospective client" instead.

Gruber's in-laws, Albert S. and Sue E. Gruber of Hagerstown, came with their schnauzer, Kasey, to check out the clinic.

Albert Gruber said he was impressed by the clinic and was considering switching from his present veterinarian's office.

Granddaughter Heather Gruber, 9, said she was glad to have Kasey along with her, since her own dog couldn't come, and liked seeing all the other animals.

But those weren't the best parts of the open house, she said.

"I like all the free stuff," Heather said.

The expansion project roughly doubled the clinic's size, enlarging the reception area and adding several examination rooms and an education room stocked with pamphlets, books and videos on pet health and care, Scrivener said.

Education is an important part of veterinarian medicine, she said.

For example, if a dog owner understands what heartworms can do to their dog, they'll be more likely to take preventative measures, Scrivener said.

Rather than just having her clients check out the new layout, she said, she decided to make the open house an educational experience.

The examination rooms were given different themes, like fleas, nutrition and dental care, addressed through informational displays and more graphic tools like decayed animal teeth and jars of worms.

Free pet goodies, including samples of flea shampoo, dog biscuits, pet food, vitamins and plastic pet food can covers, were spread throughout the clinic.

Business has blossomed since Scrivener, a Boonsboro High School graduate, opened the clinic with just herself and technician Pat Bloss, who "did a little bit of everything" back then, she said.

Now, the clinic has a staff of 12, including veterinarian Daniel Pare, Scrivener said.

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