Dr. Geoff Beck


My father was a marine biologist and expert naturalist and everything for me started with him. Right from the beginning, he made sure I understood that the sticky milk in milkweed wasn’t actually milk and that no self-respecting rabbit would have anything to do with chocolate delivery.

One spring early on, he placed a glistening, crimson salamander in the palm of my hand and watched my face light up. I was lucky; there were no cell phones at the time so I got to see the real thing.

The denouement of my professional life had been written by age four and we would work together on and off for the next three decades on whales, seals and fish in the Canadian Arctic, Gulf of St. Lawrence, Caribbean, and on Sable Island. So I went to McGill and worked as a marine biologist for two years before graduating from OVC in 1995, joining Abbey Animal Hospital in 1996.

“The origin of the word doctor comes from the latin docere ‘teach’ and I believe this is one of the most fundamental and necessary qualities of a veterinarian. It is my hope that clients will leave the exam room with the answers to all their questions and a few they haven’t thought of yet.”

I live with my wife in Oakville and sometimes think she invented the smile. After twenty-five years of owning dogs, we find ourselves without one now having lost Sadie recently.

I got our cat, Boots from a very kind family that wanted the best for a little cat with rickets. This valorous little kitten who could break a rib by sneezing, endured 6 months of uncertainty before emerging on the other side. Despite having the body and look of a six-month-old feline, she is fearless and regards us as inferior beings. She has a tight grip on our hearts nonetheless, I worry for the physical and mental health of whatever dog arrives next to join us in our house.

Not long ago, my father and I stood together fly fishing in a beautiful freestone river in SW Alberta. He heard my phone ring over the rushing water and I knew he would disapprove of the sound interrupting the majesty of the place as I quickly glanced at the message. “You could have missed the fish of a lifetime to open a picture of the salad someone just had for lunch,” he said. “Look up son!” and that is advice I would recommend to anyone.