Local residents recalled memories Friday of longtime Palestine veterinarian Don Scarbrough, D.V.M., who was known for his compassionate heart for pets of all sizes, as well as rehabilitating wild animals and teaching children how to care for their own pets.
Scarbrough, 59, died Friday at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. He was admitted to the hospital in mid-June from complications from an infection.
He treated thousands of dogs, cats and other creatures of all shapes and sizes throughout the years of service, operating Brookhollow Vet Clinic in Palestine for more than 30 years.
Scarbrough graduated from Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.
In a Palestine Herald-Press story written in 2000 about rehabilitating wildlife, he recalled jokingly that he has been bitten many times of pelicans, hurt his knees numerous times working with cattle and horses, and received monkey bites on his hands. Monkey bites? (While in college, he worked at the variorum, which houses monkeys at the school.)
Recently, Scarbrough was voted “Best Vet” in the Palestine Herald-Press Readers’ Choice contest.
On the Palestine Herald-Press’ Facebook page, readers were asked to share their memories, including:
• “Our hearts are heavy tonight...we haven’t been able to walk past any of our cats without remembering all our many visits and his wonderful care and skill,” Linda Morris wrote. “We always left his office feeling better than when we arrived....”
• “Don helped me take care of my dog, Harley. I had her 16 years and she died in her sleep a couple of weeks ago. I know that she was waiting in heaven to greet Dr. Don,” Connie Flesner wrote.
• “Prayers for his family and his office staff. Dr. Don will be greatly missed. He was our vet since he first started practice here in ‘Ptown.’ Took care of all our animals with compassion. Made a house call to my grandmother when one of her’s had to be put down. He never failed to always ask about my husband, son, and grandson when I took one our critters to him. Rest in peace Don, you have crossed the Rainbow Bridge and I'm sure many of your old patients have been there to greet you,” Nancy Hart wrote.
• “Dr. Don took care of all my critters for the past 25 years. He was a very compassionate man and cared not only for the animals, but also their humans. What a tremendous loss. My prayers for him, his family, friends and a special prayer for his office staff....” Carol Moore wrote.
• He was such an awesome vet. (He) nursed my pregnant Pekingese through a difficult pregnancy, (and) cried with us when our pets died,” Carol Ann Emery Coker wrote. “We are just devastated. He set the bar for all of our vets after we left Palestine.”
• “We are shocked and heartbroken. We prayed for a miracle but I guess God needs a good vet up there. Rest in peace. God Bless Don’s family, may they find consolation knowing he was so well loved,” Kathryn Nicholson wrote.
• “Dr. Don, you were always so wonderful with our ‘fur babies’ and will be missed greatly. No words can express how upset we all are for losing such a great animal love....” Jamie Gibson wrote.
• “He was such a wonderful man and very skilled vet. He always had the best bedside manner, and you could really tell he cared and took pride in what he did. Heaven gained another angel,” Layton Shaun White said.
• “He will truly be missed and he had a special talent for treating all God’s creatures. He took such wonderful care of our pets and was a fellow Aggie! We will miss him!” Pam Churak wrote.
• “My heart and prayers go out to the family and employees of Dr. Dan Scarbrough. He served our community for a long time providing loving care to many of our animals. Don also gave back to the community in numerous ways. God bless this family with peace and comfort during this time,” Charmaine Gay Wilkinson wrote.
Services for Scarbrough are pending at Herrington / Land of Memory Funeral Home in Palestine.
Read more memories of Dr. Scarbrough online at www.facebook.com/palestineheraldpress (please note that there are two posts).