South Mississippi's "Dr. Doolittle" Still Going After 55 Years

Over the past 55 years, Doctor Wynon Stewart has treated thousands of animals, most at Stewart's Animal Hospital in Picayune. For nearly 20 years, he was the only veterinarian in Pearl River County.

"Now there are seven. It takes seven veterinarians to do what I use to do by myself," Dr. Stewart says.

Doc Stewart served in World War II. He began his animal career treating live stock, making house calls to farms via airplane. He would land his small engine plane in pastures and on dirt roads.

"These gravel roads made wonderful landing strips all over Hancock, Pearl River and Stone Counties."

Today, his patients are smaller and come to see him and his wife who helps run the clinic. Neither are even thinking about retirement.

"Why retire? You have nothing to do when you retire, and he's a work alcoholic," Stewart's wife Dot said.

Wynon Stewart echoed her words.

"People have been asking me for about 15 years, 'Why don't you retire?' All I can tell them is if I ever found anything that I liked doing better than what I'm doing right now, I would have quit and started doing it years ago. I can't think of anything else that I could have gotten as much pleasure and satisfaction from than veterinarian medicine."

When Dr. Stewart isn't caring for animals, he enjoys writing. He's already had one novel published and says he has six other books, including an autobiography, waiting to go to press.

by Al Showers