Jerry Den Herder – One Year Later

“Hello! This is Jerry Den Herder calling, just checking in on Sam.”

“How’s our puppy doin’?”

“I’m tickled pink to hear that. You keep me posted!”

“Super. Excellent. Wonderful.”

It’s been one year since we’ve heard those words. Words spoken at lightning speed. Words spoken with passion, wisdom, and gentleness.

On December 8, 2016, Jerry Den Herder suffered an ischemic stroke while here at work. (You can read more about it here if you haven’t heard the story.) He went from our office to Allen Hospital and then was flown to Mayo. He spent the next 4 months in rehabilitation facilities in the Rochester area.

After a long year of recovery, Jerry is doing wonderfully. He is walking, has good use of his right arm, and is blessed to have full cognitive function. Yes, he still talks as fast as ever.

His most recent victory? Getting his driver’s license back! Talk about feeling like a 16 year old all over again.

During this year, the physical rehabilitation wasn’t the only thing on his mind. Before the stroke, he had cut back a bit on work. He had toyed with the idea of retiring. But that would be some day. Down the road.

After much thought and prayer, he has decided that day is here.

Jerry and RondaHe has worked so hard to regain his mobility and a good quality of life. He has rejoined his Bible study groups and has coffee with friends. Hopefully he and Ronda will be able to travel a bit again.

As to what the future holds outside of DHVH, he isn’t sure. Likely something where he is able to share his faith and minister to others.

But that is what he has always done. His caring for clients and their pets is the foundation of the veterinary practice he started over 40 years ago.

He drilled into his staff through his words and his actions that, “Our mission is to love and care for our clients and patients.”

to love and care for our clients and patients

painting by Rachel Shadle

This simple principle built a business. It’s what he taught us to do.

It’s an honor for us to continue it today.

Jerry talking to his dogsJerry, even without you in the office each day, you continue to teach us important lessons. Lessons about faith, perseverance, and that nothing is too difficult to overcome.

Most of all, we’ve learned the importance of living a good life while making a difference to others.