On Whidbey Island, we’re outnumbered; there are more domesticated animals than humans. That includes horses, cattle, goats, sheep, alpacas, and llamas as well as dogs, cats, parrots, parakeets, turkeys, and chickens. Given the island’s rural-agricultural heritage, and the passion of many new arrivals to live the “island dream” on a few acres with trees and a pasture, that should come as no surprise. Nobody keeps an exact tally, but that animal-to-people ratio is likely to grow—as will the need for healthcare for all those critters.
Whidbey has a dozen or so veterinarians who attend to our feline, canine, and feathered pets. But who takes care of the bigger ones? Only a small number of vets have that specialty, and they have some unusual stories to tell.