James “Doc” Brester
“I’ll be around,” Brester said. “I’m not going on any vacations. I hate vacations.”
When he retired, he said he wanted people to know how much he appreciated all of his clients, his family and his staff from over the years.
“If it hadn’t been for them, I wouldn’t be able to do it. I enjoyed having worked many days in life, because I enjoyed doing what I have been doing. Some people can’t say that, but that’s thanks to the clients and my staff and my family,” he said.
Did he agree that he’s an “animal angel,” though?
“No. I’m just a man,” he said in 2017. “I just got lucky to do something for 50 years that I enjoyed.”
AD’s commenter ghostsniper expands on this man’s life in Something Wonderful: Eddy’s World
98 and still workin’. At something he enjoys and finds challenging. Take away a man’s livelihood and he starts to die.
I saw Jim back in June and was walking with a cane and had lost considerable weight. His speech was soft but clear and he had nothing but good words to say, as always. I have known Jim for 15 years.
In 1966 Jim Brester graduated from college and set up his own veterinarian office over here on 135 in Bean Blossom, about 1.5 miles from our house. We had 2 dogs and I met Jim shortly after we moved here. People came from hundreds of miles around for Jim’s vet service and the parking lot at his place was always slammed hard. There was always a several hour wait to get in. They didn’t take appointments.
I took both dogs to Brester’s to get full examinations and shots, total cost was $40. Both dogs. Once, one of our mutt’s had a problem, don’t remember what right now, but after I put her up on the table Jim stood in front of her, outstretched hand on top of her head and the other on her side and stroked her gently. Then he bent down to her level and looked in her eyes. Before my very eyes, I saw a Vulcan mind-meld occur. As he stared in Lady’s eyes his head turned slightly to the side, like he was reading an unheard message from her. Then he stood upright, grabbed a glass syringe from the cabinet and triple loaded it with some chemicals, bunched up the skin on her shoulders, and gave her the shot. I asked him what was wrong and he said she had an ear infection. Then he grabbed a cloth, applied a solution, and deeply cleaned her ears out which were full of brownish material. In a few days, Lady was her same ol’ self and Brester had charged $15 for that service.
5 years ago an out of state woman wasn’t happy with the primitive service she received at Jim Brester’s place and lodged a complaint with the state. In hours, through social media, hundreds of people jumped to Doctor Brester’s defense. The state dismissed the complaint. A year later someone else filed a complaint so the state inspected his place and decided it was not up to par with where it needed to be. They didn’t have a $500k x-ray machine, etc. To do all the things the state demanded meant Brester’s place would never again be his dream.
See, Jim Brester got up early every morning and made the rounds out through the many farms in the area, checking in on sick cows, pregnant horses, immunizing every kind of farm animal and people’s pets. He also supervised all the animals at the 4H clubs in the area as well as judged animals at the county fair for the past 40 years. The care of animals was the reason Jim Brester got up every morning.
Unwilling to “update” his made-from-scratch business to be something he didn’t want or understand, 78-year-old Jim shut it down. Within a month a chain vet company bought the place, filled it with airheads in white coats, and quadrupled the prices and everybody had to have an appointment. I took my mutt Shannon there last year and a basic exam and a rabies shot cost $80.
When I talked to Jim this past summer the shine was gone from his eyes. He still spoke kindly like always but I could tell things were different now. They took away his reason for living and when you stop living you start dying.
— ghostsniper December 24, 2020, 12:40 PM