School board member Tom Rose talks about his work as a veterinarian

Saturday, September 15, 2007 | 3:00 p.m. CDT; updated 7:28 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008
Tom Rose.

COLUMBIA — Tom Rose, owner of Rolling Hills Veterinary Clinic and a public schools mentor, chats about interesting odors, intrusive e-mail and his latest volunteer opportunity — the Columbia Board of Education.

Which are easier to deal with, pets or humans?

More about Rose

Five things people don’t know about Tom:

1. I only answer e-mail at home. 2. I saw the Rolling Stones in sold-out concert at Faurot Field in the ’80s. 3. I feel like if I have an open time slot, then I should have something to do. 4. Our pet cat, Nikki, shares the same name as our daughter (Nicole), but our daughter likes it. 5. I like eating. I don’t eat gourmet; I eat volume.

A Rosy Resume

Newman Center First Chance for Children board Community Nursery School board, treasurer Chamber of Commerce board, past Education Committee chair Metro Rotary board Columbia Public Schools in-school and Stand By Me mentor Active Partners In Education participant, Rotary and business Board of Health, current chair

Definitely pets. Most of the time, the most difficult part of my job is dealing with the owners.

(As a vet), you understand what you need to do for the animal, but sometimes it’s hard to explain that to the owners.

Most memorable moment at vet school?

I’ll always remember anatomy labs and always smelling of formaldehyde.

What is the most bizarre thing that’s happened at your animal hospital?

You get accustomed to dogs barking and howling incessantly. Then there are the odd things that dogs will eat. Animals also have amazing healing powers, even without our help. We don’t have to worry about humans chewing out their sutures after surgery, though. Things people think are bizarre are just part of the everyday for me.

Describe what it’s like to help a family let go of a pet at the end of its life.

You try to help them understand that they’ve had to make decisions for this animal in the course of its life, and this is the hardest decision they’ve had to make.

How has Mizzou changed since you graduated in 1988?

Certainly it’s more expansive; the buildings, new housing, more technology and research. Now, students can get through college without stepping a foot inside Jesse Hall.

What have you learned living in a house with four females (his wife and their three daughters)?

How to get along. People used to ask me, ‘Do you miss not having a son?’ I feel very fulfilled. This is an interesting challenge.

What is the best advice you’ve given to your daughters?

We are a very faith-oriented family. I always try to tell them to be wise with your time. You can’t make everybody happy. I keep finding that out.

Describe your perfect day.

A perfect day in the office would mean that nothing unexpected goes wrong, no one gets hurt ... and that I’m home by 7 p.m. In a perfect day outside the office, the weather would be perfect and I could do anything I wanted to do.

Favorite spots in Columbia?

I like eating at various places. I don’t eat gourmet; I eat volume. My family and I like the theater, plays and shows, whether in Columbia at Jesse Hall or downtown, or to Kansas City and St. Louis.

Favorite thing to do?

I run. I try to do it when I can. Two of my daughters are in cross-country; personally, I do shorter distances.

Any pets?

One cat, Nikki. We got her 12 years ago, and she’s still going strong. The reason we only have one is because she doesn’t like other animals. She and my daughter have the same name, but our daughter likes it.

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