Many people who find their way to this blog will (I assume) do so from the website (www.sandhillsvethospital.com), and many of them will either already know us (or at least Dr. Thomas) or have read his bio on the website. However, for those who don’t know him or haven’t read the bio, it probably makes sense for me to introduce him first. I have to admit that it’s still a bit awkward for me to call him “Dr. Thomas” in front of clients, as we’ve been married for 15 years and together for 18 years, so he’s really just “John” to me. Hearing myself say “Dr. Thomas” aloud always makes me want to add a little giggle or at least a slightly sarcastic smile, which would not only be unprofessional but probably make clients really wonder about me as well (but whenever you read a “Dr. Thomas” for the next few posts, you can imagine the giggle or smile if you want). We’re still trying to get a picture that we can agree on for the website, so I’ll have to add it here later as well. So, for the very abbreviated version of “his” life story…………..
Dr. Thomas grew up in Florence, South Carolina, where from what I hear he was pretty much your typical Southern boy (hunting, fishing, mudding, etc.). He went to Wofford College, where he met a lot of good friends who we are slowly re-connecting with since moving back (more on that in a minute). He attended veterinary school at the University of Georgia (sorry Gamecock fans), where he graduated with honors. He practiced for several years in a large veterinary hospital in Atlanta, focusing on dogs, cats and horses (although Sandhills Veterinary Hospital is not set up for equine patients). After our son was born, we decided to move back to South Carolina to raise our family, and we now have a daughter as well. Dr. Thomas was the civialian veterinarian at Ft. Jackson for 5 years, and he really enjoyed working with the active duty and retired military personnel as well as the military dogs and their handlers. He’s hoping to maintain many of those relationships at the new clinic, which is in part why we decided to locate Sandhills Veterinary Hospital in Northeast Columbia.
Dr. Thomas’ other interesting background is in law enforcement, as he was previously a U.S. Secret Service agent. He was in an investigative division but at times also worked protective details. He continues to use his law enforcement background as a certified state constable and volunteers regularly with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and the City of Columbia Police Department.
Dr. Thomas’ current interest is teaching our kids the finer points of college football while they teach him all about the ninjas from Ninjago and the Disney princesses!
After literally years of talking about it, debating it, considering it, weighing the pros and cons and generally just going around in circles about the whole idea, we will be opening our very own vet clinic on Wednesday – as in 5 days from now! We’re very excited (and, ok, a bit nervous) about Sandhills Veterinary Hospital becoming a reality, although it still seems a bit surreal at the moment.
We’ve had incredible support from our family and friends, and I can’t thank each of them enough (just keep it coming everyone!). Our amazing building is thanks to Doug Hurlbert, our talented architect, and his wife Sue Ann, a vet herself who provided invaluable insight as well as everyone at Cohn Construction, especially our great site supervisors Kenny and John. A huge thanks to Carole Van Hoffelen of Cool Illustrator for having immense patience with us on the logo design; the finished product is amazing!
I think that’s enough superlatives for one post (and my first one at that), but in later ones I’m going to tell everyone who doesn’t know us quite as well a bit about us and our four-legged family members. And try to come up with a good closing tag line……….
Sandhills Veterinary Hospital is a full-service veterinary hospital opening August 8th in Columbia, South Carolina.