Dr. Jong enjoys a moment with her two long-standing assistants Susan Cummings and Krista Mielke at her retirement party.
SHAWVILLE – After 42 years of dedicated service to the people and pets of the Pontiac, veterinarian Alida Jong has decided to retire. “It’s time for me to get a life!” she joked. “It’s time I spent some quiet time in my garden, a hobby I’ve always wanted to develop, and as a bonus, plants agree with everything you say! I also want to spend more time with my grandkids,” she continued.
On August 27, Dr. Jong’s assistants Krista Mielke and Susan Cummings, who have both worked with her for almost twenty years, organized a retirement party. Throughout the day, people dropped into the office to wish Dr. Jong a good retirement, thank her for being there when they needed her and wish her all the best in her future endeavors, all while enjoying coffee and cake.
“I couldn’t have been more pleased with the service Dr. Jong provided my pets over the years,” said Marjorie Bain. “The care and compassion she and her staff showed will be greatly missed,” added Topp Tolson.
Dr. Jong grew up on a farm with her Danish parents in Plaisance, Québec where she gained a lot of experience looking after animals. “In those days,
a vet was someone the community looked up to. I had good marks in school, so I decided [to take that path],” she explained.
Dr. Jong began her veterinary practice in Montreal before moving to the Pontiac two years later. She practiced first as a large animal vet serving clients from Sheenboro to Breckenridge before transitioning to small animals in 1995. Working with large animals was very demanding, said Dr. Jong, as she needed to be fully available at all hours of the day and night for those 17 years.
Over the course of her career, Jong studied homeopathic care for animals, and learned how to treat them using acupuncture. “She has a definite way with animals, always showing compassion and great sympathy. She will be sorely missed in the community,” said Carol Valin, a client.
Dr. Jong has been planning her retirement for a few years and tried her best to attract another small animal vet to the region to fill her shoes, but with no success. For now, pet owners will have to travel to Aylmer or Ontario, and Dr. Jong encourages her clients to take their pet’s file to their new vet.