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Erdoes helps school that helped his beloved pet

K

ovu is described as a “chronic counter surfer” by his owner. Kovu (Swahili for scar) is a 4-year-old ridgeback standing almost 3 feet high. Bred to serve as a protective guard dog, the hair on his back permanently stands on end forming a ridge. According to his master, Peter Erdoes of Edmond, Okla., the dog will eat anything and everything. So it was no surprise when Erdoes had to take Kovu to Dr. Margret King’s veterinary clinic in Dec. 2007. “We thought Kovu had chewed the orange extension cord to the Christmas lights,” recalls Erdoes. “He had an obstruction in his digestive tract. Dr. King (OSU ’93) gave us two options — take him to a veterinary hospital in Oklahoma City or the OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences.” An OSU graduate himself, with a major in marketing and minor in German, Erdoes chose OSU. “I expected them to recommend exploratory surgery,” Erdoes says. “Refreshingly, they kept him under observation for a couple of days. The veterinary hospital had a three-dimensional X-ray so they

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could get a good look at what was going on inside Kovu. Treatment was not profitdriven but purely based on what was medically necessary and what was in the best interest of the dog and the dog’s owner.” A fourth-year student is assigned to each case at the veterinary hospital in addition to attending faculty, residents or interns. “The veterinary student would call me every day after Kovu’s walk and tell me how he was doing,” Erdoes says. “It was top-notch care! Everything was done out of concern for the animals, the love of veterinary medicine and teaching the students.” It was that exceptional care Kovu received that inspired not one but two gifts to OSU’s veterinary center. The first gift of $10,000 was made through the Cowboy Calling Program. “When I attended OSU, I was a Cowboy Caller,” Erdoes says. “We would get excited when someone called in and gave $200 or $300. I know these callers are OSU students — not some marketing firm. I have given to the Spears School of Business and to the German section of the Foreign Language Department for several years running. I always give through the Cowboy Callers; I remember those days. “The first time I donated to the veterinary college, I said 10 and the caller said $10? And I said no, $10,000. The Cowboy Caller said oh — oh, I’ll have to get my supervisor.” That generous gift helped renovate the veterinary hospital’s Kirkpatrick Foundation Small Animal Critical Care Unit. The entire project was accomplished with private donations. The main treatment room was enlarged, four large runs for giant/large breed dogs was built, a separate feline ward and a “quiet room” for patients recovering from anesthesia were also added. The second gift through the Cowboy Callers was another $10,000, which allowed the purchase of two oxygen cages in the Kirkpatrick Foundation unit. “One of the reasons I will continue to give is the fact that a veterinary student today faces debt of $120,000-plus,” Erdoes says. “A young veterinarian will have a long hard road to pay off their

STATE Magazine, Spring 2010  
STATE Magazine, Spring 2010  

STATE Magazine is the official magazine of Oklahoma State University.