BSMOKEY POINT — Dr. Steve Gowen almost became a doctor of human medicine, but for the owner of the recently opened Arlington Companion Pet Clinic, it would have been his second choice, if veterinary medicine hadn’t been available.
“I like people, but I just like animals more,” said Gowen, a 1994 graduate of Washington State University who found ways to balance his interests in biology and zoology in a single profession. “There’s actually five times the number of medical schools as veterinary schools, though, so even if everyone’s going in with a 4.0 from school, you’ve got to be lucky to get in.”
Gowen has been practicing veterinary medicine in Snohomish County since 1998, and while his latest move to Suite 6 at 3131 Smokey Point Dr. in Arlington has been a bit of an adjustment, simply in terms of getting the facility ready, he expects to have his spaces fully remodeled by the end of March.
In the meantime, Gowen has been working with his office manager and brother Paul, as well as his two veterinary assistants, to serve 15 pet patients in his first 14 days.
“Usually, a practice like this would see 15 in one day, but we’re still building our clientele and growing through word of mouth,” Gowen said. “We can already handle 85 percent of our patients’ needs now, except for things like major surgery, which we’re still waiting for the proper vents to be installed, but I’ve already removed a minor tumor.”
Gowen’s two examination rooms intentionally leave a lot of space for larger animals, while a third examination room will soon be used to weigh animals. Work is well underway on a surgical area and a tub to clean wounds.
“We’ve got a kennel system set up so that patients who are contagious will be placed in isolation, away from the other animals,” Gowen said.
In addition to the office space, the backdoor of Gowen’s office leads out to a grassy area where pets can be walked.
“If I hadn’t gone into veterinary medicine, I probably would have gone into pediatrics or geriatric medicine,” Gowen said. “What I love about working with animals is that they’re so unconditional in their affections.”
The Arlington Companion Pet Clinic is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays. For more information, call 360-691-9371.