Finding a career and a path in life is not always easy, but sometimes it's closer than you think.

Dr. Samuel Wilkinson is a native of Premont. He recently opened a new veterinary clinic in Alice located on 1059 South Flournoy Road.

"I got into college with an accounting degree, but it didn't really sit well with me. I switched to an engineering degree where I learned I was better at breaking electronics than fixing them," Wilkinson said. "I always felt like I was being reminded when someone was talking about life sciences like chemistry or biology. They were reminding me of what I already knew as opposed to learning something knew."

When it was time to really consider what he wanted to do with his life he went back to what he already knew.

As a child Wilkinson and his siblings helped his father at his veterinary clinic in Premont. Wilkinson's father has 35 years of experience in veterinary medicine.

"I had been exposed to veterinarian medicine through my dad. All five of us kids worked at the clinic growing up. We also did 4-H which exposed us to the field early on," he said. "I knew what that was and I felt comfortable with that. I was good at it."

Because he was familiar with veterinarian medicine and he got along with people, he knew exactly what he wanted.

Wilkinson and his wife had traveled to other parts of the United States and never felt more comfortable with the idea of opening up a practice near his hometown.

Wilkinson treats all kinds of animals from cats, dogs, cows/bulls and horses to black rhinos, giraffes and other African game.

"You'd be surprised at how many exotic game there is in the region," he said.

He makes house calls to treat the large and exotic animals. He is currently working with people who have black rhinos who are trying to keep them off the endangered list.

Wilkinson loves to treat his patients and believes that every animal should be cared for. Each animal patient has a different story, he said.

Whether it's administering vaccines or getting medical attention, he is ready to continue his work in the place it all began.