Dr. Victoria Lyon Lane: Scientist, surgeon and Viking mom

P. E. McIntosh
Destin Veterinarian Dr. Victoria Lyon Lane, left, with surgical assistant Lori Flammger, comfort Dori (short for Dorito) at the Airport Veterinary Clinic where “Vickie the Vet” performs surgery and health management for Emerald Coast residents’ companions including dogs, cats, birds and reptiles.

A bright smile lights her Viking eyes that beckon the next challenge.

Since the age of 4, she’s always wanted to be a veterinarian. “Never wanted to be anything else,” Lane recalls in a brief pause before returning to her relentless maze of moments from performing surgery in the morning to being a mom at night.

Wife of retired all around cowboy Wade Lane and mother of two active boys, “Vicki the Vet” worked without pay for more than a year in high school as an intern for a local Georgia veterinarian, skipped her senior year going straight into Berry College for her Bachelor of Science, then on to University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.

“Mind set of most in the 1970s was a woman couldn’t be a Veterinarian, or so I was told by a guidance counsel and several college professions,” said the animal doctor who has learned never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from any direction.

Her goal was to be a small animal doctor, but a cowboy with a big bright belt buckle shifted that focus nearly 30 years ago when he entered the clinic she was staffing and challenged her to come take care of his herd of cows.

“Courage is fear that has said its prayers,” said Lane. “I never intended to doctor cows. Back then, I was only 98 pounds but full of pride when the cowboy came in the clinic and challenged my ability to handle big animals so he could ship cattle out of state.”

Quick as a wink and clever as ever, Lyon, who later added the last name Lane when she married the cowboy, accepted the challenge and the small doctor commenced a big animal practice taking her from Georgia ranches onto Missouri then Alabama where her reputation for fertility work in artificial insemination and embryo transfer filled life from day light to dark.

With a Florida license to practice, vacation home in South Walton and Alabama ranch closing as tax laws on cows shifted, the Lane family relocated to Destin in 1990.

Today, the pet-vet practices small animal health management at Airport Veterinary Clinic providing care for companions including dogs, cats, birds, and reptiles attending needs from simple surgery to acting as a healer in emergencies.

Her personal agenda is as busy as her professional schedule contributing time to First Baptist Church Destin as a member of the school board, personnel committee, children’s ministry, nursery volunteer, substitute Sunday school teacher, and soprano of the church choir.

Time off is spent on the road, hauling son Casey, successor in the ring to older brother Chris, and his Fort Walton Beach High School wrestling team to tournaments throughout the south.

Through it all, Lane shrugs off any credit and stands ready in pursuit of greater goals.