Community: Remembering Dr. Rick Wall
by Kaleb Lynch
March 7, 1953 – February 6, 2020
Early this year, our community lost a beloved friend to the animals. Dr. Wall spent his life taking care of furry family members at Sylva Animal Hospital, including thousands of ARF dogs and cats over the years. “Doc” would bend over backward to save every wayward pet.
Several years ago, I took in a foster beagle mix who had been beaten and whose leg was in bad shape. Doc took great care of her and helped make her more comfortable. She hated Dr. Wall (to be fair, she was scared of most men) but that only seemed to make him more fond of her! She would growl at him every time he approached her kennel, and he would just laugh, shake his head, and carry on. Her leg was trashed, but he still wanted to try and save it. He called his orthopedic vet friend at Junaluska Animal Hospital to arrange for us to have her seen there, took me to the side, slipped me $200, and said “Go on, get her some help.”
He would always go above and beyond for his furry patients, especially those more complicated medical cases that ARF always seems to have in abundance. His heart was made of pure gold, even though he was just as grouchy as possible!
Dr. Wall loved animals and liked people. He was an integral part of our organization and our community, and we will never forget him. May there be an endless flow of cold Corona at the Rainbow Bridge.