Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Today I learned that I lost one of my closest and dearest friends, Dr. Steve Haskins. Steve’s most recent love was aviation; he became a pilot and bought himself a small, two-man plane. I hated that plane and often told him, “sell that thing, I don’t like you getting it to it, it’s unsafe”. He would chuckle and remind me that he used to say the same to me during my years of sailing, when I sailed in angry seas.

I’m sorry to share with you that my dear friend passed Saturday night while in flight.

Steve and I first met in 1969 on a lecture circuit; him a young anesthesiologist, me, trying to complete a surgery program. The stories of our times together, filled with laughter and friendship are often my most favorite to tell.

We both had a passion for critical care medicine and together, in our youth, bold as we were back then, formed the Veterinary Critical Care Society, which today is known as VECCS. Steve was here (at LVS) just two weeks ago. We had a great time during his visit. We had dinner before he headed for home and laughed at memories of the early 1970’s when we would hold a Critical Care Medicine meeting with no more than six people in the audience; five of us were speakers. Today the organization boasts a membership of over 3500, much to Steve’s credit.

As mentioned, Steve was recently here, at LVS. We made plans for him to visit the practice on a regular basis and to join the faculty. Since retiring from UC Davis, he became bored. His passion for patient care and teaching was so great, he needed to come out of retirement and together we agreed that LVS was the perfect fit. And so, we were working on making that happen. He remarked to me that he was so happy when he was here, with the LVS team and for the two of us, (he and I) it was always F.U.N. – FUN!

I could write endlessly about Steve. And those who know him will no doubt feel lucky that their lives had been touched by him. For me personally, I feel a deep sense of loss. I always said, “he was the brains of the group, I was just the brawn”.

Steve had an insatiable appetite for being on the cutting-edge of learning and teaching. He was undefeatable. He devoted long hours on his research projects. The profession and I have lost a great friend; a pioneer in Critical Care Medicine, and a truly wonderful human being.

With Respect and Sadness –
Ira M. Zaslow, Charter Diplomate, ACVECC

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