George Timmins celebrated 40 years working as a veterinarian in the region last Friday night.
Colleagues, friends and family gathered for a surprise dinner to mark the occasion.
Dr Timmins said the best thing about the job is the animals and the people.
"You've got to realise there is a huge human - animal bond," Dr Timmins said.
"And we appreciate that, and all of our staff are excellent, dedicated and compassionate.
"The money's not good, but they're here every day, working their butts [off], and you can guarrantee any animal that comes into this surgery will be looked after with tender loving care, with compassion, as our clients are as well. And that's what I'm proud of.
"When I come to work, I don't have to worry about staff, because they are on the ball. We spend a fortune training them, but it's all worth it."
Dr Timmins started his career working as a vet in Canberra in 1973.
In February 1975 he was the district veterinarian with the Cooma and Bombala Pastoral Protection Board (PP board, now the Livestock Health and Pest Authority-LHPA).
After 14 years in that role he made the move to private practice, joining Peter Wolfe's veterinary practice in Cooma.
When Mr Wolfe retired Dr Timmins took over the practice which has expanded over the years.
Snowy Mountains Veterinary Group, as it is now called, operates out of Cooma and Jindabyne.
Dr Timmins is very excited about the next phase of his career with a further expansion, a state of the art animal hospital just out of town.
"There will be three consulting rooms, three treatment rooms, a dedicated euthanasia room and a pharmacy.
"We have seven qualified vet nurses and three vets (in addition to Dr Timmins).
"We'll be providing the district with a comprehensive professional veterinary service," Dr Timmins said.
"What have I found? These days, more people are aware of their pets and their problems and are more inclined to want to have them fixed, and expect a certain level of professionalism."