Dr. Schrader's Memories

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I would not take my dogs any where else! Dr. S is the God of dogs. He has been such a big part of keeping our chocolate lab Dugan alive and happy for 14 years now. His staff is awesome and make you feel like family when you come in. I have a dog daycare business and have referred all my clients to this Animal Hospital.

Suburban is awesome. With Very caring doctors and staff.the front desk girls are the best too especially Jen g. She always goes above and beyond to help with whatever you need.

Dr. Schrader has developed his team well modeled after his kind, open, practical boneside manner. Initially I made an appointment with him directly, but couldn't wait any longer so a few hours ago Grace saw Dr Boyd today and will be fine. She has arthritis (not a surprise) and came positive for Ehrlichia pretty significantly. Ehrlichia is a tick Bourne that causes sever sudden onset lameness and lethargy (aka depression in the eyes of her distraught momma). She just had her first dose of some medicine for the pain and will start the antibiotics for the ehrlichia on Saturday. She made many new friends including Ms. Darby another pibble momma, and as a result of their great care under Dr. Boyd's direction, this momma is now significantly relieved. Can not recommend suburban highly enough.

Dr. Schrader and the staff at Suburban are simply amazing. I cherish the trusting relationship we've developed over the last 25 years and wouldn't consider taking my babies elsewhere. The loving care they've shown each of my bullies over the years is exceptional and very much appreciated. Dr. S is the Dr. Doolittle of the canine world and appreciates the Bulldog's idiosyncrasies. I and On the Rebound Bulldog Rescue Foundation frequently recommend Suburban without hesitation.

I have been with Doc S for over 25 years, we are now on our 6th Beagle and I would not take them anywhere else. Great Place!

When our miniature dachshund was 6 months old, she fell & broke her leg! She not only broke it but broke it right on the growth plate (which was obviously still growing)! We were so scared with her being so tiny (less than 10 pounds) that she would be forever changed!! Not so! Abby was rushed to surgery & Dr. Schrader's experienced hands repaired the break & growth plate with a screw. Because of the expertise, skill, & caring of Dr. Schrader, after 6 month of physical therapy our Abby was fully healed! She can run, jump, & play just like any other pup (even better we think b/c she is a bionic pup!) Without Dr. Scrader, Abby may have never been able to enjoy her life as fully as she does. We will be forever grateful to Dr. Schrader & to the staff at Suburban Animal Hospital! All the best to Dr. Schrader, he deserves every good thing!!

With love and gratitude, Kevin, Alta, Jackson, & Abby Peltz

It's not so much what he did. And over the years, he did plenty. It's what he didn't do that I remember best. When our sweet hound dog suddenly fell ill, Dr. Schrader didn't wait. He got her to surgery immediately, and bought us precious time. When her life could only be lengthened by chemo, he didn't push. He let our family make the best decision for ourselves and for our girl. We had several wonderful months when medication kept her happy and comfortable. When she woke up one morning and wasn't herself, Dr. Schrader didn't hesitate to do the hardest thing any vet has to do. It was time to let her go. She left swiftly, peacefully, with me at her side. I will always be grateful.

Dr. Schrader also helped us welcome our newest family member, Pete. Pete will miss Dr. Schrader. I will too.

With best wishes for years of smooth sailing, our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Dr. Gary Schrader.

Sincerely,Leslie Mitchell and family

We have had many rescue animals and Dr Schrader has always supported us financially and therapeutically with their problems.On the 3 or 4 occasions when I have picked up an injured animal from the roadside and brought her/him to Suburban, Dr. Schrader always welcomed the creature with open arms and did what needed to be done to restore them to a peaceful existence.

Thank you for your service to the animals.

Margaretha Backers-Netherton,RN

My cat had a congenital defect that caused his passing. Dr. Schrader spoke with me personally to deliver the news; he explained everything in a kind, caring manner. He even took further time to talk when I visited the office next. We wish you the best!

When i first met Doc he shook his head and told my mom i would likely break her heart - i was already 9 years old when she adopted me and not in that great of shape. Apparently her last bullie, Sophie, died suddenly and she was loved by her owner, Stephanie, and adored by the suburban staff. Well Stephanie and Doc didn't give up on me and fixed my itchy belly, infected ears, hot spots, goopy eyes, occasional bad poops, and more serious things such as big tumors on my belly. A year and a half later, i never felt better or younger, my fur is thick and soft and most of my itchy things are at a minimum. I love Doc and visiting him is always fun, even when he and the techs poke at me a bit. Doc always spend extra time with me and tells me how beautiful i am, he explains everything thoroughly to my mom and provides her options with solid recommendations. Doc has built a wonderful animal hospital, and his caring and dedication is obvious in every aspect of Suburban. All the techs and staff are fabulous, they always great me with a smile and take me for nice walks and rub my belly when i get to stay overnight. i think i have finally charmed them and they have forgot about that silly Sophie. I am so sad to say good-bye to Doc, i will miss his smiling face, kind words, and kisses whenever i visited. However, i know he has worked really hard and helped so many other puppies and kitties - he certainly deserve some time off - hey, maybe he'll invite me for a boat ride. Best Wishes, Doc!!

It's the love, grace, honesty & concern he demonstrated when making life-end decisions that kept me coming back even after we moved. I trust him to tell me the right thing to do medically, humanely, & 'if it were his own dog.' I can't imagine having that rapport with anyone else, ever. We'll miss you so much.

Pets: Lapenka, Patches, Ringo, Sammy

Not a big story here. I just liked the way Dr. Schrader performed an annual exam on my dogs. It was largely by feel, with a minimal reliance on blood and other tests. His hands would work their way around each dog, from head to tail. He wouldn’t just look for problems, he’d report on what seemed right. He was fully engaged with the dog, it seemed to me, as those experienced hands probed and prodded, using them to communicate to him possible aches and pains that the dogs couldn’t. Any doctor can read and interpret the results of a blood or fecal test along clearly defined guidelines, but few can read and interpret an animal as Dr. Schrader.

Pets: Kacie & Austin

Dr. Schrader has been our vet since 2002. We brought our first puppy Rogue to see him. She was our first dog and as a result of some squirrel chasing she needed TPLO surgery. Dr. Schrader was kind, honest and truly exhibited love and respect for all animals. After that consult we knew we would never go anywhere else. Rogues surgery was a complete success. She continued to run and play and enjoy the water. Dr Schrader also diagnosed Rogue with cancer in that same leg 6 years later. He was compassionate and again so honest. That was very difficult day. One I think about alot. He did his best to make her comfortable and sent her to doggie heaven when it was time. Dr Schrader also met our next dog Lucky who decided to swallow a third of tennis ball at 6 months old. Again, Dr. Schrader performed surgery and actually saved Lucky's life. The piece of tennis ball was lodged between his large and small intestine. He was truly a lucky dog that day. Now we have Buster who has met Dr.Schrader several times and is a thriving pup. We adopted him from Lab Rescue and immediately brought him to see Dr. Schrader for his initial puppy visit. He passed with flying colors and again Dr. Schrader illustrated the same care, concern and love for animals that he when we first met him so many years ago. We are so grateful to have had such an amazing person care for our animals that are so loved. Thank you for being so fantastic and giving us so many great years. Congratulations on your well deserved retirement. We hope you enjoy every moment and that you how many people's and animals lives you have touched over the years. Bon voyage!!

Meredith and John Donnelly

There is a sense of loss and then one of warm regard when the bond between a trusted vet and devoted pet owner comes to an end. Dr Schrader has been caring for our rescue pets for over 27 years. His compassion and humor added to his informed knowledge and applied skills, have contributed to Dr Schrader's enduring popularity and his legacy to the field. We have referred countless friends and neighbors to the practice over the years with complete confidence as Dr Schrader's ability to treat animals, educate owners and attract talented associates and staff is exemplary.

As an equine specialist, I have enjoyed listening to Dr Schrader's tales of mishap and woe in his dealing with large animal medicine, as well as his family's proud history in caring for horses. I often threatened to bring one of my Percherons in for a visit but couldn't fit my rig in the parking lot!

Many, many thanks and best wishes for smooth sailing and safe harbors. Priscilla Blackburn and Bob Morin and, of course our small animal friends, Clyde, Shiloh, Lillian, Archie, Mel and Snickers.

It all started for me around 1982 or 3, on Annandale Rd. in his then home/clinic. I remember he had dogs he was using as blood doners I had taken my boyfriends two dogs there to be checked. He told me he was buying a practice from Dr, Wolf in Arlington. I knew exactly where that was so I followed him there. I had been adopted by a very sick stray cat that no one thought would live. However with Dr. Schraders care and a lot of Purina Mushroom rallied and became an incredibly beautiful cat. That was the start of a 30+ year relationship.

After I lost Mushroom my mother decided I needed another cat so we rescued Mystic. I almost lost him but Dr. Schrader diagnosed him correctly and undid his obstruction only to find my little guy now had megacolon. We battled to keep him going for the next 17 yrs. I had frequent visits and many phone calls that went "Hi, this is Gary Schrader, our friend is ...... and you can pick him up tomorrow." Through the years I took many feral cats to him that he would bring back from the dead. He was always reading up on the latest technologies. I had been working on him for sometime to investigate Ultrasound and finally convinced him to come to Georgetown University Hospital with me to check out the equipment and observe scanning. Ultrasound is a modality that is not easily interpreted, however it was no time before he had a machine, had attended courses and was using it as a tool to help diagnose his patients.

Dr. Scrader always had a sixth sense that would kick in when working up tough cases. This doesn't just happen, but is a gift. He is a healer and a great guy. I hold him in such esteem for his gift to the animal kingdom and how he has touched all of us in a special way. I wish he and Cindy the very best on there sailing adventure and the next chapter of their lives. He definitely will be missed.


Anita Sarcone

I scheduled an appointment to have my shih tzu Oonie evaluated for an ear infection last summer. As usual, Suburban was able to get us in to be seen in a matter of hours. Though Oonie had never been seen by Dr. Schrader before, I am so thankful that he able to see her that day. Not only did Dr. Schrader fully address our chief complaint, taking time to explain all his findings, providing answers to my questions about prevention and her treatment plan, he also made a very important discovery that hadn't been noticed on any of her past visits.

Though I'd imagined a visit like this, scheduled at the last minute for a focused complaint would leave Dr. Schrader limited to this issue, he took the time to do a comprehensive exam and detected that my beloved 8 year old 4 legged life partner now seemed to have a 3/6 heart murmur. Rather than run the risk of prematurely alarming with this finding, Dr. Schrader took the time to curbside another Dr., asking them to also auscultate Oonie's heart while she was in the back having her ears cleaned. After having confirmation from his colleague, Dr. Schrader shared the news with me with great tact, concern, and exceptional bedside manner.

Though I serve a somewhat less furry, 2 legged patient population, as a fellow clinician, I recognize a good provider when I see one. It goes without saying that Dr. Schrader is that and so much more. Because of Dr. Schrader's keen awareness and observation, I was able to get Oonie evaluated by a cardiologist who, after performing an echo, determined that Oonie would not need any medication at this time, but advised a regular schedule to continue monitoring the progression of her mitral valve prolapse and pulmonary hypertension. With news of his departure, I wanted to take this time to let Dr. Schrader know how much we appreciate his time, empathy, knowledge, and professionalism because for Oonie and I, it made all the difference. After over 30 years of service, I suspect that this "pick up" was just one of the many examples of his "strong work" and dedicated service.

With this, we want to congratulate Dr. Schrader on his retirement to the open waters and with our family's deepest thanks, wish him smooth sailing!

Erin Ozdogan Karas & Oonie Ozdogan Karas

Our dogs are: Captain and Bailey Jenkins

We have brought our two dogs to Dr. Schrader for over 10 years. He is honest, patient, and has a great sense of humor. One time, Dr. Schrader was unavailable so we took Captain to an emergency vet when his skin allergy was so bad that he was covered in irritated spots and had scratched himself to the point of having all sorts of ugly bald spots.The antihistamines weren't working any more. Among other recommendations, the emergency vet ordered some sort of internal organ test that was going to cost $300. Didn't even alert us to the cost. We had to ask why the bill was so high at the checkout counter. We chose to skip that test and when we eventually saw Dr. Schrader such a test was never even mentioned. Instead he switched Captain's meds and ta da . . . Captain got much better. Dr. Schrader's integrity and conscience have saved us probably more money than we'll ever know and have given us peace of mind.

Dr. Schrader has been a pleasure to have as our vet. We will miss him so much but understand the call of the sea :) Happy retirement to him!!

Our cat Bob went in for surgery to repair his knee ligament. The surgery went well and Dr. Schrader phoned us to give us the good news. No one was home when he called so he left a message on the answering machine. Halfway through Dr Schrader’s message Bob escaped from his cage and made a break for freedom. We listened to Dr. Schrader’s phone recording multiple times for the entertainment value: “Wild Cat! Wild Cat!”

Bob was, of course, recaptured and he recovered well. We have always valued Dr. Schrader’s advice and his compassion, particularly on difficult end-of-life matters.

"15+ years... so hard to say "good bye"... I always felt welcomed at Suburban. I saw nothing but warmth, human and professional caring and just simply nice people. Dr. Schrader and his staff were always here for me whether I was dealing with the loss or a new addition to my family. Dear Dr. Schrader, I cannot thank you enough for all you did for my precious little ones. From the bottom of my heart thank you so very much!"

Thank you very much, Mila Kopaeva

When I was a child living in Falls Church, Doc Schrader took care of our beagle, Charlie, who had numerous health problems. One evening Charlie went out side, flopped down in the grass and seemed unable to get up. We took him in to Suburban Animal Hospital where Doc Schrader checked Charlie out and said they would observe the dog overnight. The next morning he told us that he stayed with Charlie that night and ended up removing his infected spleen in the wee hours of the morning. If the dog had been left alone all night, he probably would have been dead in the morning.

When I moved out to live on my own, I got 2 cats, Barney and Cid. After 20 years Barney had cancer that was slowly killing him and his brother Cid had some health problems as well. At their last visit when we realized the cats needed to be put down, Doc Schrader talked to me frankly, but compassionately that keeping the cats alive any longer would not be the best for them and that I had given the cats 20 very good years. It really helped to hear that from him.

I'm on my second set of cats and he's been their vet as well. Doc Schrader has helped me understand my pets so I can been take care of them. I will sorely miss his compassion and knowledge!

Pet Names: Schubert, Nat, and Ana

Dr. Schrader has cared for all 3 of my cats, starting with Schubert. Schubert succumbed to a rare feline blood disease in 2008. The diagnosis was complicated, but Dr. Schrader figured it out and helped keep Schubert comfortable before he died. After losing Schubert, I then adopted two kittens, Nat and Ana, a brother and sister. Dr. Schrader cared for them starting with their spaying/neutering, and he told me he also had a brother/sister pair of cats and showed me their picture. He would tell Ana how smart she was, always looking for an escape route from the examination table. And he would complement the more laid back Nat on his perfect teeth and beautiful golden eyes. Dr. Schrader, we will miss you and your dedication to the wellbeing of your patients. Wishing you smooth sailing.

Connie Sorrentino

I am so glad I could bring my pets to Dr Schrader for care and could always trust him.

When my very first cat, Cara, was sixteen and a half I took her to Dr. Schrader. She was slowing down. Instead of giving her costly and exhausting exams to check out her condition he simply told me to take her home and love her and predicted that she would be leaving us in a few weeks. He could have done exploratory surgery on her which would have cost me a lot but recognized that she was just growing old and nearing the Rainbow Bridge. She died peacefully at home.

When my little guy Jasper (age 15 and a half) became ill and developed tumors Dr Schrader examined him but said he did not want to remove the tumors because they were on his vital organs. Once again he told me to take Jasper home and love him because within 6 months it would be time for the Rainbow Bridge. So when Jasper's condition worsened that summer they took very good care of him when he was hospitalized and sent him home to me where he lasted for 2 more weeks. Dr. Schrader could have once again operated on this older and sick boy but chose not to and let me love him at home till he passed. This is why I appreciate all he has done for my pets and for thousands of others. He truly loved his job and showed nothing but compassion for everyone's pets.

Another thing I will miss are all the Christmas and Holiday cards he sent out each year with stories and pictures of animals that were either abandoned, missing or disabled. Each story had a happy ending and showed how much Dr Schrader cared for all animals. It was a beacon of hope in a sometimes cruel world.

We will miss him but wish him the best in his well-deserved retirement. Happy sailing!

Sincerely, Amber (my feline daughter) and Angela Dinkle (her human)

When Quincy was a pup, he couldn't metabolize food. He was losing weight. Dr. Schrader put on his creative genius hat and gave him a medicated food designed for different purpose. It saved his little life. Thank you, Dr. Schrader.

From Moira Donohue

This is from Susan Ascher and the cats that Dr. Shrader has cared for are Bulldog, Bocuse, Robochon, Small Point and Maine

From caring for our cats Bulldog through Small Point & Maine, Dr. Shrader was always knowledgeable, kind and professional--his love of furry friends big and small was evident in each and every visit. And, inasmuch as he cared for our cats, he also cared for us. We will miss him, but wish him well on his next chapter.


Paul, Susan, Audrey, Smallpoint and Maine.

About 6 years ago, my then 4 year old daughter and I saw a proliferation of signs in our neighborhood announcing that a family had lost their beloved dog, Ekko. The signs said that Ekko was very skittish and was possibly injured. We saw these signs everywhere in our neighborhood as we walked our (equally beloved) dog, Sara.

My daughter was so upset thinking about how scared Ekko must be and how upset Ekko's family had to be. As we would walk our dog, my daughter would look behind trees and would beg me to ask everyone we came across on our walks if they had seen Ekko.

These signs were up for weeks (if not months) during the summer. My daughter would ask the lifeguards at Overlee pool if they had seen Ekko and if they hadn't she would ask them to keep their eye out for this sad, lost dog. As summer turned to fall, I had a harder time trying to maintain some optimism in my voice when I answered my daughter's daily questions about whether Ekko was going to be O.K.

As fall turned to winter, we gave up our search for Ekko and forgot about her and her sad family...

But then a miracle happened!!! We received Dr. Schrader / Suburban Animal Hospital's Holiday card which told the story of Ekko being found hiding underneath a bush after she had been hit by a car and how Dr. Schrader surgically repaired Ekko's leg and how the staff at Suburban Animal Hospital nursed him back to health and the best part was Ekko was reunited with his family. What a beautiful story!!

We read the card over and over that night and then we drove over to Suburban Animal Hospital the next day so my daughter could see the hero known as Dr. Schrader.

The story of Ekko still resonates with us and it reminds of the skill and loving care our dogs Sara and Nutmeg receive every time we visit Suburban Animal Hospital. Peace be with you, Dr. Schrader, you are a good man!

Pax vobiscum, Jim Dooley

Nulla salus sine mens sana in corpore sano.
(There can be no salvation without a sound mind in a healthy body.)

We will miss Dr. Schrader greatly as we have come to trust his care and advice for the last twelve years with our goldendoodle. Dr. Schrader is always very warm and personable with both people and animals. It is clear that he really loves animals and wants what is best for them. We have always appreciated that in an age of technology, Dr. Schrader has been reluctant to immediate prescribe a battery of tests and seems to take the least invasive course necessary to treat our dog. We understand that the sea awaits, but we will miss him terribly!

The Sperrys



Chocolate Napoleon Fox

Chocolate is the first dog I have ever owned. I knew nothing about dogs but I knew that I wanted to adopt a Chow Chow so I did when he was 18 months old and I was 53. I used to walk my neighbors' pure bred Chow, Napoleon, until he died. Chocolate reminded me so much of Napoleon which is why I adopted him. Chocolate is a Chow/Akita mix. My neighbors recommended Dr. Schrader. I remember the first time I took him in at the old place. Someone had put a muzzle on him. When Dr. Schrader came in he immediately started talking to the dog and rubbed his face and shoulders then he turned to the assistant in the room and asked why Chocolate had a muzzle on him. The person told him it was because he was partChow Chow. That's when Dr. Schrader turned to Chocolate, removed his muzzle and stated that he didn't need it because he is obviously a wonderful dog. Then he turned to me to ask about him. That's when I knew I had chosen the best vet for my new baby. I have never been disappointed. Not many people could handle Chocolate in the beginning, especially men, because he was a bit aggressive but Dr. Schrader never had any trouble with him. They connected at first sight. And the fact that he talked to Chocolate first made a huge, positive impact on me. I understood at that moment that Dr. Schrader would be just like me and would make my dog the priority. I retired in 2008 and highly recommend it. May your retirement years be full of blessings because you deserve them, and lots of animals because you are so good with them! Chocolate and I will both miss you A LOT! Dr. Schrader, what are we going to do without you?

Lorrie Fox


Family: Robson dogs Cressida (mastiff), Toby, Archie, Bertram (standard poodles)

Story: Dr. Schrader presided over our mastiff Cressida's health for several years. Soon after she died, we brought in our new dog Toby - a 13-week-old standard poodle who had no idea what he was doing there - for an initial visit. Schrader looked at Toby, then us, then said 'You know, don't you, that this is not a mastiff puppy?" Then addressing Toby, he said, 'You're a solid little pup, but your posture is terrible."

If anyone has wondered who the poodles were in the snapshot Schrader kept in his exam room, the one on the right was our Toby (whose posture improved as soon as we got him off the exam table), and the one on the left was Archie, the dog we got because Toby needed a dog. Enjoy your sailing, Dr. S, and thank you for your care of our cherished pets!

I found Dr Schrader when I moved to the area in 2001. I had an old rescued Springer Spaniel with multiple health issues who lived years past expectation. With kindness, sensibility, compassion, and extraordinary expertise, Dr Schrader cared for her, for the multiple other Springers I rescued, and for me. He embodies the sensibility of a country vet (I'm from NC) in his approach to testing and treatment, with incredible expertise, and always takes the time to explain his assessment. I will miss hearing him say, "how's our friend?" When I learned he was retiring, I cried. He is truly irreplaceable. But I am happy for him to set sail and wish him fair winds. God bless Dr Schrader, a rare breed.


Angela Barton Everitt

Dear Dr. Schrader, I have never met you but you are why I became a client at Suburban because of your wonderful reputation, I knew you to advise your staff when difficult issues occurred and I visited with confidence for my pet. Have a wonderful wonderful retirement. Wishing you the very best. My maltese (BeBe) says goodbye too.

Virginia Stehman (Ginnie)

I have been going to Suburban since 1975 when Dr Wolfe was still there. I can remember when Dr Schrader first joined the practice. Over the years he has taken care of my Irish Wolfhounds, numerous cats and other dogs I have owned over the years. No matter where I lived in the Northern Va area I traveled to Suburban because I knew my animals would be well taken care of. Dr Schrader is always professional and tells you what you need to know even if it wasn't what you wanted to hear. He is very caring to both the patient and the owner. Dr Schrader enjoy yourself in the future, you have certainly earned it. You will be missed.

Nancy King

Doctor Schrader game me the strength and comfort I needed to put my cat to sleep, when he gently (but firmly) said "You've got to do one last thing for our little friend, and let him go. It's time." He'll always have a special place in my heart for those words.

Anita Dosik (about "Digger")

Dr. Schrader did an incredible job diagnosing Chief's atypical Cushings. We would have lost Chief 3 years ago; now he is thriving. He was a Godsend, always kind and compassionate. Will be missed greatly! Best always!

Thank you!!!




Pet Names: Spud, Fred, Stormy, Tombstone, Riscal and Taser

I have been taking my cats to Suburban Animal Hospital when it was still owned by Dr. Wolf and Dr. Schraeder had just started. From the very beginning it was clear he had that right combination of smart and caring that makes him a wonderful veterinarian. He, along with the other doctors and staff, were always thorough and explained everything about a diagnosis and treatment. He helped care for several of many animals throughout their entire lives and for his service, I'm deeply grateful.

Dr. Schraeder, I wish you all the best in your well earned retirement and hope you enjoy every day of it.

I just switched to Suburban Animal Hospital for our dog just over a year and a half ago. I did that because I was getting frustrated with the visits to another veterinarian who was doing just super quick annual check-ups and not telling me anything about our beloved dog's current condition. Moreover, his office was nickeling and dimeing each time we took our dog to see him. In contrast, Dr. Shrader gave me a thorough analyses of my dog's health as he was checking every part of our dog's body. I really appreciated not only his conclusions, but his explanations on each issue. I am very sorry that he is leaving but he certainly deserves a wonderful entirement.

S. Peterson

Here is a story for Dr. Schrader’s memory book: Our first dog, Maggie, a black-and-white border collie mix , brought us to Dr. Schrader in about 1982. A rescue, she had been spayed at Suburban with metal staples closing her incision--I could feel them through her skin. I showed Dr. Schrader the staples and he immediately said her belly would be repaired at no cost to us. "But this was before you were here," I said. "It doesn't matter," he replied, "I don't want this kind of work associated with my practice." Fast forward 18 years when Maggie ended her rollicking, joyful run as a beloved dog. When he assisted her in taking her final breaths, he said to me, "You have given her a very good home. I see so many animals that have been badly treated, sick and hurt--she has had good life." (Maybe not exactly those words, but much like them.) I was feeling so sad, so bereft at losing her, but his kind observation gave me great comfort. Godspeed, Dr. Schroeder, may your sails bring you many fine new adventures!

Priscilla Linn

Pets names: Max, Tiki, Mighty, Boki, Kiko, Peach and Tabetha Sullivan

I first became acquainted with Dr. Schrader at the beginning of his career: when he operated the Abby Animal Clinic. I used to drop my cats off at his home when he lived in the big grey house on Annandale Rd. When he first opened Suburban Animal Hospital he still allowed me to drop my cats off and he transported them for me. He was then and is still the best vet ever --so caring and understanding. He has treated multi-generations of my felines. Thank you Gary Schrader for your service! I hope you enjoy your retirement as much as I do.

Jan Sullivan

Dr. Shrader was recommended to me by a satisfied customer so I switched vets when my dog was fairly young. She'll be 15 this year, and I am so appreciative of his gentle touch with animals and their owners. He never rushes his exams - which is remarkable for any service provider in the Metro area! And, he has diagnosed and discussed treatment options with me in the most diplomatic humanitarian way over the years never pressing me to do something that might stress my pet or my pocketbook. Thank you Dr. Shrader for providing veterinarian care that I honestly doubt will ever be replicated. Best wishes for fair sailing ahead.

Sincerely, Amy Coyle (Emma's "mom")

PS: I also think the entire supporting staff at Suburban is awesome!

Claude (Bucky) and Ruth Jenkins:

We have been clients of Dr. Schrader's since he was at Abby clinic on Annandale Road, Falls Church. He has taken care of all our cats and dogs since we moved to Falls Church in the late 60's. There have been 7 dogs: Skippy; Sheba (her puppies) and the one we kept, Fleur; Serenity (Bucky's very favorite); Boo; and now, Toddy 13 and Ginny going on 3. all living a long life from 14 to 18 years. Most were rescues. Also 6 cats: Princess; Muffin; Shoes (monster cat) ; Socks, and now Lost and Found 13 years old. They also all lived to ripe old ages..thanks to Dr. Schrader excellent care and caring. Dr. Schrader went over and above the normal vet's care. He is so special and we will miss him terribly but wish him and his wife the best of luck on the water and off. He will be a hard act to follow, but we will stay with Suburban Animal Hospital after he has gone sailing.

My little puppy Growlithe has always been somewhat of a trouble maker. Not that she is a bad dog but she gets herself into trouble, a lot. If she isnt getting into something, she is debating being a little butt to her sister or getting herself hurt adventuring where she shouldn't. During a play session while I was at work she injured herself and her leg never fully healed. She had a weak leg and hip troubles since then. We first went to Suburban Animal hospital when she decided she needed to fight the raccoon in the park despite her injury. Soon after her initial rabies check up, she was diagnosed with Heartworms. So not only did she have a 6 month quarantine, a scratch from a raccoon, heartworms, and a bum leg, but now here I am rushing home for lunch after getting a call that she is foaming at the mouth, and I am rushing her to the emergency room. When we got there the vet tech swooped her up while we were outside and Dr. Schrader calmly and confidently looked at her, instantly noting it didn't look like rabies, took a hand to his chin pondering, and then in one fell swoop, stuck his hand down Growlithe's mouth and pulled out a chicken bone. (mom!) Dr. Schrader was so poised and supportive, and this was only the first time we worked with him! After giving him some of Growlithe's history he told me to come back and we can check out Growlithe for just her leg. I had taken Growlithe to two other vets and had Xrays taken and neither vet could identify the issue nor give me suggestions for how to deal with it other than to keep an eye on it and maybe she will heal. When we got back to the clinic, Dr. Schrader was all smiles. His confidence and compassion quickly put me at ease as we began talking about something so grave as major surgery. He calmly went through his suspicions, techniques that some may take, and with each point I felt more informed and knowledgeable about my dog's condition. While many other doctors were unable to come to a conclusion nor able to offer a solution, Dr. Schrader quickly summarized that the leg issue was one of hip dysplasia and it would be a very invasive process that did not guarantee results. He ended, 'if she can run and play, get up to speed, and it doesn't bother her, I wouldn't go through such a serious surgery. Let her play", and with that my worries about my poor puppy were washed away. Being unsure if she would lead a normal life or if I could properly care for her simply washed away by a caring, direct, and understanding physician. "I can tell you take good care of her." *swoon* Could this doctor take away any more of my worries? "And I would just use the Heartguard and not the injections for the Heartworms. I've seen dogs die from the treatment and this method is much safer. Longer, but safer." Wow. I was floored. Everything answered. All of my worries: laid to rest in one meeting. I was deeply humbled and I, to this day, am thoroughly indebted to Dr.Schrader and Suburban Animal Hospital. Another doctor could have come to the same conclusion but the reassurance I felt and the peace that was communicated to me is why I felt I needed to share my story. I'm a grown man but I choked up a little when I read Dr.Schrader would be leaving as those two moments changed my life and the lives of my dogs forever. You can't put a price on piece of mind and peace in your heart and Dr. Schrader gave me a bit of both. We can look towards the future with confidence and peace because of your service and dedication to your patients.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Enjoy wherever the winds take you and godspeed!

Sincerely, Dorian Capers Growlithe Houndoom (and mom)

Dr. S. was my vet when I first moved to Arlington 25 years ago. When my Westie, Muffin, ingested some rotten chicken (that she unearthed from the back yard...terriers are infamous for their keen smell???) and was not expected to live, Dr. S. took her to his home overnight since he did not want to leave her unattended. Talk about taking the extra step!!! He also tended to my adopted Scottie, "Mister" Mac Duff. But on top of the dogs, he made it possible for me to tend to my sick koi. Don't know what I will do without him!


Margie Linn

Dear Dr. Schrader, We will miss you!! We're so happy for you to get out and enjoy the water and wind though. When we first brought Gracie to you 12 years ago as a 3 month old puppy, your love for labs was so gushing that we were new parents swelling with pride... I bet you make all the new parents feel that way though! :) When we came in after Gracie's health scare at the emergency vet when she was 6 years old, you always remarked about her interesting case and gave her some extra TLC for coming through it and being a little bit of a mystery. Now our girl has grey paws, grey beard, grey eyebrows, and grey belly - but she's still our baby - and we're so thankful you were our vet all along the way!


Gracie's Family (Kirsten, Eddie, Eamon & Tess Maloney)

Dr. Schrader has been taking care of our cats & dogs for over 25 years. Our oldy goldy Simba lived to be 19 under his care. Our dog Shadow had both ACLs sewn back up by him. Our sweet Dalmatian mix knew Dr Schrader all his life. And Binkers and Squirt had excellent care during their lives as well. Yes those dogs are gone now, but Dr Schrader helped us make the best decisions for whatever health problems they had, right up to the end when we had to say goodbye. His manner has always been thoughtful and kind and caring, giving so much useful information and many choices when possible.

We've now 4 cats who've all had good care through suburban and Dr Schrader as well as 2 dogs. All our flurries have been rescued from shelters or the street. We love them all and our lives would be much less full or fun without them.

Thank you Dr. Schrader for all your years with us, you'll be missed very much by all of your friends!

Wendy Daley

We have been clients of Dr. Schrader for over a decade. He has taken care of five cats and two dogs who shared our lives. His compassionate approach to animal companions is something we greatly appreciated; we will miss him!

In the fall of 2013, Dr. Schrader determined that our poodle, Corky, had a problem with his right rear knee that was causing him pain when walking. Apparently, it was a condition that Corky was born with. Dr. Schrader performed surgery on Corky to reshape his knee. Since that time, our beloved poodle has been pain-free and able to run on the beach to chase crabs, his favorite thing in the world.

While we’ve had our share of end-of-life appointments with Dr. Schrader, we look back on them and remember the tenderness and care he showed both toward us and our companions. He always was generous in helping us to understand when the “right time” had arrived and we sent our companions to a better place knowing they were well-looked after on this earth.

We wish Dr. Schrader many years of happy sailing as he moves to the next stage of his life. He’s earned it!


Thomas and Mary Claire Salander

It has been well over 30 years that Dr. Schrader has taken care of our 4 bulldogs. We have always appreciated his depth of knowledge and intelligence but more than that, his incredibly kind heart. He nurtures and empowers his staff and has mentored countless students who carry on his good work. When our dogs looked up at him adoringly we always said that they must be able to see his aura. I am so glad that he will have a well deserved 2nd career sailing but we will miss him greatly!

Chris and Helen Klepac

Dunne (Buddy and Smooch)

We’re forever grateful to Dr. Schrader for his interest in and steadfast support of our cat’s challenging bladder issues. Dr. Schrader performed emergency surgery when Buddy developed a urinary blockage; called daily with detailed updates; and discussed the case with colleagues around the country. He patiently re-closed the incision after Buddy pulled out his staples - four(!) times. He got Buddy onto a long-term course of medication and supplements that has significantly improved his bladder health. Throughout it all, Dr. Schrader helped us understand the condition and the factors in play. It’s such a comfort to have this kind of care for your pets. Dr. Schrader, we wish you a happy retirement!

It’s hard to find the words to express our appreciation for Dr. S. He has helped us with our many cats over the past 30 years. We started at Suburban in 1986 and never stopped. We remember the days of waiting for two hours or more (before appointments) just so we could see Dr. S. (The tapeworm video replaying for hours was not a highlight of the wait.) He has been with our many cats through the good and the bad. Many bads turned into goods because of his knowledge and expertise. We believe he has a telepathic connection with his patients. He stares in their eyes and they stare back and somehow he comes up with the right diagnoses. (He sometimes does tests and other stuff, too.) Our cats and we humans will miss him immensely.

We wish him well with a brisk wind at his back and clear weather ahead.

Bizzy and Fiona Salman, Diane and Dean Salman

Dear Dr. Schrader,

thank you for many fond memories over the past 28 years that I have known you. I will never forget the devotion and care you showed Princess, Luckie, Smokie and Debbie. I know that you had a special affection for Princess and she was always treated like a real princess. You took care of Smokey (now 15) from a small kitten when I brought him back from Korea and you took loving care of Luckie (now 13.5) when as a one month old puppy I brought her back from Afghanistan. You saved Debbie's life and she is now 17 and with my sister. You cared for Princess who left us at 18 and saved her life several times which I will always remember. How can I forget when you tracked me down in Kathmandu, Nepal through the US Embassy to give me an update on Princess' condition when she was ill and you saved her. Over the years I travelled much and Suburban was a second home to everyone with Princess having a luxury guest suite in the hospital area so you could keep an eye on her. You gave so much to others and now I hope you will enjoy the rest and fun in retirement that you richly deserve. Thank you for your devotion to and care and concern for our pets for which I will always be eternally grateful. I prepared a few photos for you of everyone that I will get to you and I wish you many blessings and good health you start a new chapter in your life.

God bless.

Ira Rothman

An early years cat story:

Kitty was 15 when I brought her into the hospital for treatment for a fever and lethargy. Over a few days she became worse and some at the hospital suggested that I should be prepared to put Kitty down. Then, unexpectedly, Kitty bounced back. When we came to pick Kitty up she was skinny and shaved. Dr. Schrader brought her out to us in his hands. Kitty (who loved only her owners all her life) was so focused on Dr. Schrader and gave him a big rub against his face before she saw us and almost leapt from his arms in delight at seeing us. It was a testament to his way with animals. Kitty lived on to be 21-1/2.

Another cat story:

Squeaky was lethargic when admitted. Dr. Schrader advised that she may not survive treatment because she was very weak. We decided to proceed with treatment with what Dr. Schrader recommended. In the end Squeaky recovered and lives a happy, healthy life today.

A third cat story (many years ago):

Chia was a gentle persian cat. Dr. Schrader determined that she had crystals in her bladder. Dr. Schrader was trying out a new machine (a sonogram I believe) to illustrate what the problem was. He decided to try it on Chia since she was somewhat calm. The vet tech held Chia’s front down while Dr. Schrader used the wand to examine Chia’s bladder area. Soon it became clear that Chia was asleep from all the gentle wand movement. Because Dr. Schrader had such a calm patient he decided to show his colleagues how the new machine worked.

Chia came in to the hospital another time for a regular exam and Dr. Schader and I discussed her behavior toward a new kitten in the house. I described how Chia, never one to start a fight, simply turned her back on the kitten when we tried to show her our newest pet. Dr. Schrader did his "Vulcan Mind Meld” on Chia and decided that she probably did not care to have a playmate and recommended that we get another kitten so that the first kitten would have a playmate. We got the second kitten. Chia went on ignoring the younger cats whenever they were around.

A final cat story:

In more recent years, when my Tiger was near death very early in the morning I called the hospital to see if euthanasia could be administered. Dr. Schrader happened to be at the hospital that morning but was not scheduled to stay. He agreed to wait for me to come in with Tiger so he could administer the euthanasia. Dr. Schrader took the time to calm me down before letting me say goodbye to Tiger. I will be forever grateful for his kindness.

Goodbye, Dr. Schrader, happy retirement, and "may the force be with you”.

Karen Elaine Smagala
A very long time client of Suburban Hospital


Our dogs have been coming to Dr. Schrader since 1995 (Wow!) when we first moved to Falls Church. Jo, a poodle mix, had injured her leg and Dr. Schrader performed surgery to put a pin in it. It came out. He did surgery again. It came out again. He called around until he found a vet at Virginia Tech who knew about a special screw he could use. He did surgery one more time (all repeat surgeries were at no or very little cost) and this time it stayed put. Several months later, he had to do the same on her other leg. Jo lived to age 18, thanks to Dr. Schrader's care. And when we had to decide to euthanize her, his kind but firm insistence that it was time was the greatest support I've had from any vet. We trusted him completely and if he said it was right, it was.

By this time, we had adopted a black lab with the fitting name of Beavis, and had moved to Fairfax. Since Beavis had very few health problems, we switched to a closer vet after Jo died, although it killed us to leave Suburban. Only a few months later, though, we were back, having not found anyone who could replace Dr. Schrader. We've been there ever since.

We now have Scamp (a terrier mix), who is 16. He has never seen a vet other than Dr. Schrader, and we're so thankful to have had him and his dedicated staff to look after our our dogs as long as we have.

Thank you, Dr. Schrader. We will miss your gentle manner, your funny stories, your tenacity, and your patience. Enjoy every day of your new adventures.

Best regards,

Cathy Cruise & Don Insley, Carter, Miranda, and Scamp

Congratulations! A well deserved time to go off and enjoy the wind in your face as you sail. Thank you so much for your years of care for the assorted animals that have enriched my family's life. You were ever patient, gave complete information and most of all were compassionate. From the first time I met you while you were still in the Army until now I have always felt that my animals were in the best of hands. While my children were young, I wished that you were a pediatrician! Following are a few of the vignette’s that exemplify the phenomenal care that my family of people and animals have received.

Years ago, I met you at Fort Myer when our lab all of a sudden cocked her head and it stayed that way. You told me that there were a couple of possibilities, including a brain tumor. Most importantly, you assured me that none of the possibilities would cause her to suddenly become aggressive since we had a toddler. After the military had moved us around for several years, we returned to the area. I remembered that you had mentioned staying in the area and I found you at Suburban. You cared for Cat (short for Catherine and named after both of our Mothers) for many years. When her hip issues became painful, you adjusted her medication. Three times, I brought her in afraid that it was the end. Then on the final trip, you kindly said that the only medication would leave her without knowing who we were and she would be in pain. So compassionate to both her and me.

Dogwood, another lab, was dumb. Your Dooley was not the brightest according to you. We had an ongoing argument as to whose dog was dumber – each of us thinking our dog the winner of that dubious contest. When Dogwood needed her shoulder rebuilt, post surgery she needed to be quieted by drugs. The toddler in the previous story was now a teen-ager. I brought him with me to help get her in the car to take her home. You had the tech and Brian take Dogwood to the car while you explained that the tranquilizers for the dog could kill a human. I was so impressed that you would make sure I had that information since you did not know that Brian would not touch it but did know the potential for disaster with experimenting prone teen-agers. Whenever, we would pass Suburban Animal Hospital when Dogwood was in the car, she would get so excited – violently wagged her tail and made all sorts of happy noises. Late in her life when she had peripheral neuropathy, you suggested that I try a dietary supplement that had helped your Dad who was suffering from the same disease. Your mind was always active and looking for helpful tips in all medical fields. When we got Fergie soon after Dogwood died, I almost chopped her in half with the door when we came into Suburban on her first visit. She smelled, stopped and tried to back-up. Though never as enthusiastic as Dogwood about her vet visits, you won her over to enter happily.

Your care of Pepper even included you taking her to your home in hopes that she would be able to heal long-term. I also remember that you were annoyed that her lung test was read by a human doctor and not a veterinarian. Twerp, the cat we inherited from a great Uncle, lost a leg to cancer. You thoroughly explained the surgery and why you took the entire leg off. She lived many more years.

Your expertise saved my grand-dog's canine tooth when you preformed oral surgery on Brian's lab, Tioga. We always felt reassured that you would provide a second opinion and care to family members who did not live here. My daughter's cats have been under your care since they were kittens. You were a major caretaker of my parents' lab, Jade, as she aged and ultimately she died gently under your care.

I am thrilled for you and your wife to finally have some carefree time. You will be greatly missed. I am sure that Shadow will continue to have great care, but she will miss out on your care which is truly exceptional.

Thank you and best to you. Dot Green

Three generations of our family has been bringing our dogs to Dr. Schrader and Suburban since the 1970's. We have always been thoroughly impressed with Dr. Shrader's vast knowledge, skill and wisdom. A visit was as much an educational experience for the owner as it was diagnosis and treatment for the animal. He's one of a kind, although in recent years I've also used some of the other Suburban veterinarians. I've found they excel at their profession and seem to share Dr. Shrader's general approach. I suspect they have benefitted from Dr. Shrader's experience and guidance and part of his legacy is leaving us in well trained hands. Thanks for everything over all the years Dr. Shrader. I can't begin to say how much it has meant to know the best possible care was always there for us. Fair winds and following seas!

Mark Sommerfield

Dear Dr. Schrader,

It is always hard to put into words how much someone means to you when they care for people and animals in this case. In all the years that I have known you, through cats and dogs you have always known what is wrong with them and can put you at ease that their care is in good hands. Please thank Cindy for all the pictures she has taken of Riley and that the two of you have a great time sailing away in the sunset.

Thank you again for all the great care.

Take care,

Barbara Ostrander & Riley


"You can judge the heart of a man by his love for animals." Immanuel Kant. What a BIG heart Dr. Schrader has. We will miss you. Happy Sailing!

The Allbrights, led by Lady





Dr. Schrader has cared for our ten year old lab, Scout, since she was a puppy, including two eye surgeries for a tumor and ACL surgery on her back knee in just the last few years (it’s tough getting old!). Not only were these surgeries successful, but we also were so very happy with the treatment and follow up Scout received – including phone calls to check in on us in between visits. At one follow up visit in particular, Dr. Schrader was truly delighted to see her recovery progress and commented that he had been thinking of her and losing a little sleep hoping the eye would get back to normal – which it did! His commitment and compassion really meant a lot to us. Our neighbors recommended Dr. Schrader and Suburban Animal Hospital to us years ago, and we all sing his praises when we see each other on the walking trail. And even with the unpleasantness that comes with some of her vet visits, Scout is always ecstatic to see Dr. Schrader and the hospital staff. Best of luck Dr. Schrader with your next adventure – and happy boating on the Bay!

The Rosenthals

I am submitting this on behalf of Jim Overdahl and Janis Johnson and our cats Scooter and Pixie (and Scamp too, who died in 2010).

While I can't say that any of our cats ever enjoyed visits to the vet, I always appreciated the visits with Dr. Schrader. I liked his common sense approach to care. He was always looking for the best option. I welcomed his direct, professional style, which always came with a hint of a friendly smile. I trusted his knowledge and experience and always felt I was getting expert advice on pet care. Our family always felt that our cats were in good hands with Dr. Schrader.

From the Szyszka Crew ( Molly, Gypsy, and Sadie)

What a blessing it has been to have Dr. Schrader in our lives. Dr. Schrader has the rare combination of brilliance and compassion. I knew that Dr. Schrader always had my pets best interest in mind and I trusted his opinion. The care that my dogs received was amazing and I appreciate all the knowledge that Dr. Schrader shared with me. We will miss very much, but wish you nothing but happiness in your next adventure!

Pets’ names: The Heinemeier Pets: Rika, Julius, Gus, Carla, Susie, Maggie, Betty, Jeannie, Fergus, and Tommy

Dr. Schrader has been our family vet for over 30 years, so we have many fond and poignant memories of him. One that stands out is the way he cared for our first little stray poodle, Susie. Susie became very ill with a disease which was difficult to diagnose. Dr. Schrader did not give up when the test results were inconclusive. He contacted a vet at Cornell University, who supported his theory that Susie was suffering from diabetes insipidus. We learned how to administer the twice-daily shots of vasopressin at home, and Susie regained her health. Then, one day, I went to refill her prescription and was told that vasopressin was not available and was no longer being manufactured. Susie would have suffered greatly and died, if Dr. Schrader had not again researched the issue. He found vasopressin in eye drop form (even better) from a different manufacturer. Once again, Dr. Schrader saved our pet by going the extra mile for her and for us. May God richly bless you, Dr. Schrader, for your service to His creatures, great and small. We will miss you.

Meredith Heinemeier and Family