Granville’s Morris took winding path to veterinarian

Drew Bracken
| correspondent

GRANVILLE – She was an animal lover growing up, and she turned that into a profession – gradually.

“I grew up in the suburbs of Columbus.” said Laurinda Morris, “a city kid who, for some reason, was very attracted to animals, especially horses. In fact, my parents claimed ‘horse’ was my first word after ‘Mommy’ and ‘Daddy.’”

“Our family,” she continued, “moved ‘to the country’ when I started my freshman year in high school for the sole purpose of acquiring a horse for me. They had tried riding lessons and horse camp but I never waivered in the dream of having a horse of my own.”

Morris went on to graduate from Watkins Memorial High School in Pataskala in 1973, then Ohio State College of Dentistry, Division of Dental Hygiene in 1977, with dual degrees as a graduate dental hygienist and a BA in sociology.

“In an era where women typically entered career paths in nursing and teaching, I wanted to be an artist,” she said. “But I decided, at the suggestion of my cousin, a Columbus dentist, to pursue a career in dental hygiene and practice my art on the side. At the time, veterinary medicine was a male dominated field, and that vocation never crossed my mind.”

“I spent nearly 25 years as a full-time dental hygienist,” she added. “When I considered applying to vet school, I had nine prerequisite courses I needed to complete in order to apply. I took classes at Columbus State in the evening, Ohio State in the morning before my first dental patient and a six-week organic chemistry class at Capital University one summer in order to complete the requirements to apply to The Ohio State University, College of Veterinary Medicine. I was accepted and began my studies in 1997, was elected class president and held that office all four years and graduated in June 2001.”

All the while, her love of animals continued to flourish.

“In addition to showing horses in my teens and early twenties,” she said, “I progressed to showing dogs in obedience, tracking, agility and retrieving. I became a certified dog trainer and formed a group known as ‘Friends for Life Companion Animal Program.’ A group of like-minded attorneys, accountants, veterinarians and dog trainers would take on smaller rescue dogs, provide their medical and basic obedience training, and place them with appropriate applicants 50 years and older to be indoor companion animals. I became involved in Labrador Retriever rescue, and finally decided in my early forties that perhaps I could make a difference in helping pets and their owners as a veterinarian.”

Today, Dr. Laurinda Morris is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine who owns and operates The Animal Care Center at Granville.

“Dr. Morris is the best veterinarian,” assessed co-worker Margaret Merry, “and in my 63 years, I’ve known quite a few. Dr. Morris is very knowledgeable and goes the extra mile to know your pets and their needs .She’s compassionate and caring, and truly loves her work and her patients.”

“Veterinary medicine is a difficult but extremely rewarding profession,” Morris responded. “My life is very full and very busy. But I still find a bit of time to devote to my original passion – horses. I participate in dressage events when time allows.