Thursday, March 22, 2012

Peering at Devil's old medical record

This is Devil.

Or, to be more precise, this was Devil, a German Shepherd, in December 1972, at the age of eight months. Quite a handsome canine!

Devil's old medical record from Endwell Animal Hospital in Endwell, New York,1 was part of an auction lot of estate ephemera that we acquired a couple of years ago. In addition to the snapshot of Devil shown above, there are eight other pieces of paper inside the "Medical Record" envelope. There's also a metal dog tag issued in 1975 by New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

Here are some facts about Devil that can be gleaned from his records of four decades ago:
  • He was born in April 1972.2
  • He belonged to the O'Hora family of Endicott, New York.
  • Dr. H.W. Norris gave him his eight-month rabies vaccination on December 5, 1972. At that point, Devil's next official appointment wasn't until November 1976 -- nearly four years later.
  • Devil already weighed 70 pounds when he was eight months old.
  • The O'Hora family renewed his New York state dog license for 1973, 1974 and 1975. In each case the fee was $2.35.3
  • The 1973 license is stamped with the name of Union deputy town clerk Leone E. Silvernail, while the 1974 and 1975 licenses were handled by clerk Kathryn S. Bell. Dr. Norris is indicated as the veterinarian on all three licenses.
  • There is no record of Devil -- medical or otherwise -- past the 1975 license that was issued on December 31, 1974.
Also included inside the "Medical Record" envelope are a pair of brochures that would have been distributed to dog owners in the early 1970s.

There's an illustrated staplebound pamphlet, copyright 1970, from the women's auxiliary to the American Veterinary Medical Association titled "I Like children -- BUT."

The common-sense tips for interacting with dogs include:
  • Don't bother me at chowtime
  • Don't pet me if I don't know you
  • Never tease me! If you do I might bite you! If I do -- your parent must call your family's DOCTOR to look at YOU. Then call your family's VETERINARIAN to look at ME!

There's also a 1970 "Dog Owners Guide to Grooming" from the Gaines Dog Research Center.

Here are two photos from that 20-page pamphlet -- one cute and one silly.

1. A fun tidbit of history of the hamlet of Endwell, from Wikipedia:
"Endwell used to be known as 'Hooper,' but the name had to be changed in 1921 because of post office regulations. There were too many locations in the state with the name Hooper. The most likely story, shared by an elderly man who attended the meeting to change the name: Endicott Johnson Corporation was producing a line of shoes called the 'Endwell.' An advertisement for the shoes read, 'Wear the Endwell shoes and your day will end well.'"
2. These people were also born in April 1972: Jennie Garth, Jason Varitek, Jennifer Garner, Carmen Electra and Chipper Jones.
3. According to this article, New York's Department of Agriculture and Markets got fully out of the dog-licensing business in 2011.

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