Dr. Elton G. G. Vyfhuis’ veterinary career began with a promise from his parents, that he would get a puppy from a family friend. He begged and pleaded for this puppy, and even though his parents never gave in, his favorite aunt did. She asked him to dog-sit her Chow puppy for a few days, and he never let go! She surrendered the pup, but retained visiting rights.
Dr. Vyfhuis started accumulating pets, including a mischievous kitty, an unpredictable dog, a hamster, budgerigar (type of bird), 5 chickens, 2 rabbits, 2 more cats, 9 more dogs and 2 snakes.
Of course, it takes more than a love of animals to become a veterinarian. When faced with the decision of what degree to pursue as a senior at Banneker High School in Washington, D.C., his love of medicine, nature, and the art of science made it a “no-brainer”.
As an undergraduate at University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, in the honors program for animal science, it was the core pre-vet coursework in which he excelled. “Things come a lot easier when you enjoy doing them”. He graduated from from his college a “super senior” in 1997.
Dr. Vyfhuis went to vet school at Tuskegee University in Alabama in 1998. He is grateful that Tuskegee stressed hands-on experience as much as learning medical scientific advances in the veterinary field.