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March 22, 2022

Remembering Dr. Grossman

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Written by: Zach

By Zach M. Skow

I just finished a five-mile run during which, by some sweet stroke of serendipity my iPod went dead, leaving me undistracted to ponder the life and influence of Dr. A Richard Grossman. While he was not generally a practicing veterinarian, but rather a doctor for humans, Dr. Grossman handled one of the worst dog injury cases Marley’s Mutts has ever seen. Not only did he save the lives of two special puppies, he greatly influenced my life as well, and I am a better man for having known him.

Phoenix and Natalia were two month-old pups that had sustained more serious burns than any other dogs operated on up to that point. I felt helpless to save these dogs that needed my help if they were to live. I did my best but it simply wasn’t enough. Just when I thought I had failed them, Dr. Grossman came to the rescue, along with a team of other doctors, including Bonnie Werner and Dr. Grossman’s son, Peter.

Dr. Grossman worked on Natty and Phe Phe three or more days per week, throughout their entire, touch-and-go recovery, for almost three months. That is an unbelievable amount of dedication considering how busy this man was! Dr. Grossman once proclaimed, “I do it because I can”. He could help and knew he could, so that is exactly what he did. The work Dr. G. and his team performed in order to save these puppies was miraculous. Now, at two and a half years old, they both work in a therapeutic capacity, helping to cheer up and inspire children who have been burned, and who attend the Burn Survivor Camps held at the Grossmans’ own home.

Dr. Richard Grossman passed away today, but not without leaving a wake of wonderment behind him that positively affected millions. Aside from pioneering burn care for all creatures, he left me with some of the best and most moving memories of my life. I cherish my time with him and appreciate his introducing me to the ‘Grossman Burn Center family. Few people on this planet have made me feel as loved as his assistant and go-to-gal, Cathy Butter. She has always helped me to understand my worth and truly accept who I am. She is no doubt mourning him and I look forward to our next hug. Dr. G’s wife, Elizabeth has become a wonderful confidant and rescue-helper as well, most recently with our big Dane, Mr. Cool. She’s a heck of woman as well. What’s that they say about surrounding yourself with strong women? Well, I’d say he knocked it out of the park in that regard. Once you are accepted into the Grossman family, you are just that, family; I feel very lucky to be an honorary Grossman.

The World has lost a pioneer, a lifesaver and gentleman. But while the man himself is gone, the lives and legacies of thousands of two- and four-legged beings will live on with glory because of Dr. Grossman, including his own.
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