December 22, 2014

Medina
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Dogs, owners honor the passing of a friend

MEDINA — Clients of William Sternecker kept a special vigil Thursday for the man they called “Doc,” a vigil that included their furry friends.

Sternecker, who owned Medina Veterinary Clinic for more than 40 years, died Saturday at age 66 from cancer.

Dozens of the veterinarian’s clients and their canine companions waited outside Medina Veterinary Clinic on West Smith Road late in the morning, and all were silent as his funeral procession passed by.

Don Chyla bows his head as his dogs Lucy and Casey watch the funeral procession of their vet William Sternecker pass Thursday. Dozens of the vet's clients gathered at his clinic to pay their last respects. (Maria Kacik Kula / Gazette)

Don Chyla bows his head as his dogs Lucy and Casey watch the funeral procession of their vet William Sternecker pass Thursday. Dozens of the vet's clients gathered at his clinic to pay their last respects. (Maria Kacik Kula / Gazette)

“His favorite buddies are here so they can see him one last time,” said Mike Pace, who brought his dog, Apollo. Sternecker “loved every animal that came to him.”

Many of the clients said their animals had a special connection with “Doc.”

“Somehow they knew he loved them,” Mary-Marg Marquis said. “He just understood animals.”

“He used to get down on the floors with my golden retrievers,” Marie Beck said. “They never minded coming to the vet.”

It was the vet’s bedside manner that made the difference, many said.

“Brady’s here today because of Dr. Sternecker,” said Don Cartier of his bearded collie.

The dog’s kidneys were failing and Sternecker spent the whole of one weekend at the clinic stabilizing him.

“He bought Brady time,” Cartier said.

John Chyla said Sternecker supported his family when their beagle died.

“He was heartbroken like we were. He was just an outstanding human being,” Chyla said. “He treated every dog like it was his own. He is going to be missed.”

The clinic will remain open in Sternecker’s absence.

“He’s still here,” said Cathee Arthur, a veterinary assistant at the clinic. “It’s going to be different without him walking around with that smile of his, but this place will always be his place. It’s Doc’s place forever.”

Contact Maria Kacik Kula at (330) 721-4049 or
mkacik@medina-gazette.com
.