News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Beloved Sisters veterinarian is retiring

After more than two decades of practice at Broken Top Veterinary Clinic, Dr. Little Liedblad is transitioning (slowly) into retirement.

Liedblad is a 1985 graduate of Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine and has had patients from raptors to elephants and everything in between.

On January 1, 2000 Liedblad bought the building at 67293 W. Highway 20 in Bend and had it modified into a veterinary clinic.

Liedblad remembers when her husband, Craig, had seen an ad for a house for sale right off Highway 20 on the way into Bend.

She told The Nugget, “We went over to look at the house, and on the walk-through my daydreaming began to take form and I could envision how a simple manufactured home could be turned into a really great veterinary clinic.”

If you’ve ever been to Broken Top Veterinary Clinic, you’ve probably seen the animal footprints along the way going up the ramp to the entrance. Those footprints were made by a dog, cat, horse — and a dragon named Melvin B. Scorch.

Liedblad noted, “Years ago, before I decided to own a veterinary clinic, I was friends with women who really loved dragons. It was not uncommon for them to spend hours during the weekend talking about the mythical creatures.”

It wasn’t a surprise when Liedblad received a congratulatory card for being accepted to veterinary school in 1980 from one of her friends. It had a dragon on it.

“It had been modified from a get-well card and was the perfect card for a student of veterinary medicine,” she said. “It’s a picture of a waiting room for a veterinary clinic and in it were several animals which included a person with a birdcage, a person with a dog, a person with a cat, and then all you see are the feet underneath a very large body of a dragon that appears very under the weather.

“I felt it was important to secure that card into a nice frame and I have carried it with me forever. It hung up on every apartment and dorm room all along the way through veterinary school. It stayed in boxes while I had my first several jobs and was there whenever I had a wall to hang it on.”

When the clinic first opened, Liedblad put an ad in The Nugget announcing a “name the dragon mascot” contest. West of Broken Top Veterinary Clinic, toward the mountains, you can see Melvin Butte. That became important in the naming process.

“Several people responded to the name the mascot game and there were quite a few really cute names,” Liedblad recalled. “The name Scorch was on the top of my list until one of my friends said that I should name my mascot Melvin and reminded me that I named my veterinary clinic after a mountain so why not name the mascot after the butte.”

So, Melvin became the best name for the dragon with his middle initial as B., which stood for Butte or Broken Top. Either way it worked, and Melvin B. Scorch was born.

Liedblad said that having Melvin as a mascot over the years was loads of fun.

“I have a collection of dragon-type stuffed animals and figurines. So many wonderful clients that came along gave those to me as presents and I treasure them. Melvin B. Scorch is very dear to my heart and it is a fact that all of the community of Sisters and Bend helped to make my practice thrive and grow. Keeping our wonderful client-patient relationships was very important to me, and it’s a sad time to have to say goodbye to that relationship situation.”

Liedblad said, “I may be working part-time (one day a week) at the clinic for a while, but Melvin B. Scorch was set free and has flown away with his big, beautiful wings carrying his little body up and away.”


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