LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - If you've ever felt right at home when you take your pet to Southwood Drive Animal Clinic, it's probably because that's what it originally was meant to be, a home.
The owner of the clinic, Doctor Ashburn, is retiring after 35 years of service.
"You know we've been able to provide a great service over the years and I know Dr.Penn will continue that after I'm gone," Ashburn said.
Ashburn bought it back in 1988 and slowly but surely turned it into the animal clinic it is today.
"I didn't have the money to spend and buy a brand new clinic the way I wanted to, so I had to start out small," Ashburn said.
When the clinic was first being created it started out with just two exam rooms.
"We used the living room as a waiting area, and my dad and I put a partition wall in between the living room and bedroom and turned it into two exam rooms," Ashburn said.
Ashburn said he had to invest and believe in himself to make his business grow.
While transforming his old home into an animal clinic Ashburn wanted somethings to remain the same, so he kept a fire place in the middle of the clinics waiting room.
Six renovations later, and Ashburn is still amazed at how the clinic turned out.
"I never imagined it would grow to this size, and that we would go through all the different changes that we've gone through over the years," Ashburn said.
Now five operating rooms later, the Southwood drive clinic is a fully functional animal clinic.
"I've been very blessed to be here and people have been very, very good," Ashburn said. "I just thank God for the opportunity to be here."
"We are all going to miss him and we know he earned it," Tammy Carlton, the clinics office manager said.
Friday was technically Dr. Ashburn's last day, but he can't go just yet, he'll continue to help out at the clinic three days a week until his position is replaced.