DUSHORE — It’s pretty safe to say most pet owners who live in Sullivan County know Dr. Tom Shoemaker. He is the only veterinarian in the county.
He is also the publisher of the only newspaper in Dushore and an avid photographer. And “Doc” Shoemaker just turned 92 years old.
It was a busy day at the office when we stopped by. The veterinarian in Dushore usually sees around 10 dogs or cats a day.
Doc is Sullivan County’s only veterinarian. He has been since he moved to Dushore in 1952.
“Well, we just moved here and went to work,” he said.
Went to work he did! Doc and his assistant Marty Denmon sometimes work seven days a week. Doc just turned 92.
“At 92 he’s been a big part of the community. He hasn’t stopped,” Denmon said.
In addition to being Sullivan County’s only veterinarian, Doc has been the publisher of Sullivan County’s only newspaper.
“Well, I was everything. I was the editor, publisher, janitor, salesman, bookkeeper,” Dr. Shoemaker said.
Doc and his wife bought The Sullivan Review in 1966. Their son runs the newspaper now, but Doc is still the publisher and one of the photographers.
Back in the early 1980s, Newswatch 16 featured Doc Shoemaker and his newspaper for an On the Pennsylvania Road segment.
Doc says the paper has grown since then. It now has more than 6,000 paid subscriptions, which is something he is proud of.
If you couldn’t already tell, Doc wears a lot of hats in Sullivan County. He is somewhat of a local celebrity.
He recently had a 92nd birthday party, which everyone in Dushore was invited to. Denmon explains why so many people wanted to honor Doc.
“His knowledge, his manners with people, and just his experience.”
His knowledge, manners, and experience are what pet owners say keeps them coming back. Doc has seen thousands of animals over the years and knows many by name.
“He does everything that he ever did and just as well as he ever did,” said Ray Lyon of Eagles Mere
“He knows exactly what he’s talking about. When he sees the animals, he says, it’s probably this and he’s always right,” said Ursula Naig of Laporte
Doc says his family, work, and love of photography keep him young.
His advice to the younger generation?
“Just keep going. That’s about all I can do,” he said. Yes, keep busy and get lots of rest.”
Doc Shoemaker spends his days doing what he loves with the people he cares about. He says he plans to do just that for as long as he is able.