Animal lovers in Central Georgia know the name Ivey Dennard.
With his practical medicine and reasonable costs, he's something of a legend when it comes to caring for animals.
As the sun comes up every morning, Dennard makes the short trek from his house to work.
"[I’ve] been here 43 years," he said.
His clients usually beat him in sitting in their cars waiting till the clinic opens; folks like Mandy Hudson.
"You get here early and put your name on a list because it's first come, first serve," said Hudson.
Dr. Dennard had to wait a long time until he got old enough to do what came naturally. Along the way, his father showed him the ropes.
"He would go out and help deliver calves…he was not a veterinarian, he was just a good Samaritan and was helping out and that's how I got started," Dennard said.
He has a partner -- veterinarian Valerie Reynolds -- who also used to sit in this waiting room as a young child.
"We had a little cat named Jake and started coming here and [he] hasn't been able to run me off since," Reynolds said.
Dennard's ‘old school’ and Valerie is soaking it all in.
"Some of the things from the James Harriet books like how to fix things like prolapses and crazy things you wouldn't even think of," Reynolds said.
At 77-years-old, Dennard says he's slowing down a bit, but he just can't bring himself to retire and that's because he has so much loyalty to his clients. They're loyal to him too.
"He's like everybody’s grandpa," Reynolds said.
But Dennard caters to, as he calls them, ‘country folks’ and that means keeping prices down.
Melissa Harrison brought in her little puppy for shots.
"Pets [are] like part of the family, but when you go somewhere and they charge you two to three times more than other places, there’s something wrong with that," she said.
Animal lovers recognize his big heart.
"If you don't have empathy and feeling when you have a 75 to 80-year-old man crying because his little dog is dying, well if you don't feel that, you're in the wrong business,” Dennard said.
Dennard's clinic is the Gordon Animal Clinic on Dennard Hardy Road in Gordon.
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