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Amityville veterinarian’s ‘homey’ practice
Christmas cards and pictures of pets hang from the walls of Four Paws Animal Hospital in Amityville. A box, decorated in holiday wrapping paper, hold donations for nonprofit shelter Pets 4 Love in Massapequa.
Justin Marlow, 39, of Melville, has owned Four Paws, which used to be called Phelps Veterinary Clinic, for the past two years. Marlow is also a member of the village's chamber of commerce.
Tell me how superstorm Sandy affected business.
We only lost power for four days. We had the electricity back on that Thursday after the storm. Our building is on higher ground, so we didn't get flooding, but the whole village lost power and looked dead. I saw patients with flashlights because we wanted to make ourselves available to locals and those coming from other places nearby. We had a couple dogs come in with GI [gastrointestinal] problems after swimming to safety during the storm south of Merrick.
What do you like about working here?
I love having my own practice, running it the way I feel is best for my patients. It's nice that I get to work with my wife, too. Sharon is the veterinary technician here. I do the medicine, and Sharon takes care of the rest.
Have you always wanted to become a vet?
Most vets will say that it's just in us. From when I was a small child, there wasn't anything I wanted to do more than take care of animals. It was always my calling. I've always loved animals, and being a vet is one way to repay them for the constant love they've given me throughout my life. I grew up having horses, dogs, cats and a garden snake.
I see how you decorated the office to make pet owners more comfortable.
I don't like to put up medical posters. My style of practice is to make the office look homey. I think of my patients as also my babies. I will always be involved in caring for animals in one shape or form.
What keeps people from leaving Amityville, and what does the community have to offer?
Amityville is a throwback kind of community. It's a small, quaint community that makes most people feel right at home. The sense of community here is like no other. Generations tend to stay and raise their families here. Working or living here leaves you with a very nostalgic and warm feeling. Amityville is a little niche community where everybody knows everybody.