It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of Dr. Tana Hetrick. Her contributions to the Evergreen community of animals, certainly, but their humans as well, are worthy of richly deserved accolades.
I was new to Colorado in the 80’s and found in Dr. Hetrick a vet who was willing to go out of her way to help a new dog owner who also found herself caring for many other animals on the ranch, for which I had no experience. In those early days, Dr. Hetrick would drive to us to provide “herd checkups.” I think she very much enjoyed getting outdoors to do her work, but she always kept in the back of her mind the environment in which our animals lived, and treated them with that in mind.
When I lost that first dog, Tana gently suggested things I might want to consider to memorialize her. Her guidance was kind and respectful of the almost 20-year relationship with that dog. When our house burned down in 2003, she came to the rescue when we found ourselves greeted with mandates to “groom” a wolf dog that had adopted us. She had a commanding authority that was respected. As we grew old together, we shared strategies for staying healthy, in spite of increasing physical limitations. It was always a treat to wait in the exam room and survey the countless photos of animals her many clients had shared with her. She greeted each animal with joy and skill, no matter how difficult the circumstances.
We remember feeling such disappointment when she informed us of her retirement, but also had to acknowledge that it was long overdue for Hetrick to make time for herself. Though closed, the Animal Health Clinic was her home for months, where she meticulously completed her reports on every animal she had been treating and met with clients to review those records. She was the ultimate professional: caring and proficient in her work with animals; sensitive in her interactions with their humans.
We only hope Tana was able to enjoy her retirement close to family, gardening as much as she enjoyed, relishing the moments she could share with her own animals, and those who came to visit for fun!
Dr. Tana Hetrick was truly a treasure in our midst. We know we are not alone in asserting that she has been, and will always be, hugely missed.
Chris Nichols, Roger Felch
C Bar T Trail Ranch, Idledale