Thomas Ponder developed his “sixth sense” about animals’ health when he was just a young boy. Thomas’ family always included dachshunds and cats, and he was very much in tune with his beloved pets’ health. In fact, Thomas could always sense when an animal didn’t feel well. Thomas often accompanied his mother to that pet’s veterinary appointment, and he was fascinated by how the doctor could diagnose his pet’s problem and put him on the road to recovery. Dr. Ponder feels his “sixth sense” still plays a part in his veterinary care, and he is grateful that he can help his furry patients and their pet parents enjoy healthier lives together!
Growing up in Englewood, Colorado with his younger brother and sister, Thomas enjoyed his Boy Scout troop’s activities. When Thomas grew older, he became an Eagle Scout and began spending his summers as a Boy Scouts camp counselor. He feels that his scouting experiences helped shape his core values, giving him the strong work ethic that was the foundation of a successful veterinary career.
Dr. Ponder came to his veterinary career rather unexpectedly, as he originally enrolled in a premed program at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Intrigued by microbiology, he transferred to Colorado State University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology. After further study at Washington State University, Thomas earned his Master of Science in Bacteriology and Public Health.
While Thomas appeared headed for a human medicine career, he happened to attend a Colorado State University Veterinary School Open House, and immediately knew he was meant for veterinary medicine. Thomas was quickly accepted into the CSU Veterinary School, receiving his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine four years later. After passing his state and national board exams, Dr. Ponder worked for six months at an Englewood, Colorado veterinary hospital. When Dr. Ponder’s family veterinarian approached him about buying his practice, Dr. Ponder jumped at the opportunity to become his own boss owning Cherry Knolls Veterinary Clinic in Littleton, CO.
After owning three successful veterinary practices, Dr. Ponder was working as a USDA Veterinary Medical Officer when he decided to follow his passion as a companion animal veterinarian. In December 2003, Dr. Ponder opened Eagle Spirit Veterinary Practice, deciding on a mobile treatment format featuring a fully equipped hospital unit. Greeley, Loveland, Windsor, Timnath, and Eaton, CO are serviced by the practice. By operating a mobile practice, Dr. Ponder can spend a minimum of an hour per visit with each family. These longer visits enable Dr. Ponder to gain valuable information about the pet’s health. He can also spend more time educating his clients and building long-lasting relationships with them.
When Dr. Ponder’s away from the hospital, he shares life with his wife Susie, who works as a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Dr. Ponder also enjoys a number of outdoor activities; including SCUBA diving, fly fishing, back-country camping, golf, and exploring Colorado ghost towns. Taking it up a notch, he also likes to fly his single-engine airplane and ride his Harley Davidson Soft Tail Deuce motorcycle.
Finally, the Ponder family also includes eight feline members, as Dr. Ponder and Susie are passionate about cats. The couple’s seven indoor cats include Sophie, Hanna, Annie, Sam, Char, Cindy, and Sweet Pea (aka Chirps). Bob, the sole indoor/outdoor feline family member, has adopted the heated garage as his cozy home while still indulging his need for outdoor exploration. In fact, you might say that Bob enjoys the best of both worlds.
Dr. Ponder is a member of the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, and the American Association of Feline Practitioners.
Rachel has always had a passion for animals. Growing up, she was constantly surrounded by a variety of pets, including cats, fish, horses, dogs, parakeets, chickens, and ducks. She was inspired to go into the veterinary field by her mother, who was a veterinarian for many years. From a young age, Rachel enjoyed helping others. One of her greatest joys of being a veterinary technician is helping people by helping their pets. As a pet parent herself, she has a deep understanding of the whirlwind of emotions a concerned client feels when bringing a pet in to see a veterinarian.
Animals play a big part in Rachel’s life, including family traditions. Every year for Halloween her family carves a cat pumpkin in honor of her cat Bogart, who passed away on Halloween when Rachel was four. The cat pumpkin goes on to memorialize every cat she has had since. Rachel has rescued a number of animals, including Newt, a blind duck that wandered into her yard in 2013. She was a longtime member of 4-H, showing horses and raising chickens.
Rachel, a fifth generation Colorado native, graduated from the Front Range Community College Veterinary Technician Program in May of 2015 and earned her certification through NAVTA that July. She may be out of school now, but she hopes to never stop learning. “They call it ‘practice’ because you keep learning as you go.” Her various experiences give her a unique perspective when it comes to reinforcing the human-animal bond.
In her free time, Rachel enjoys riding her horse Bonnie, napping with her cat Nigel, reading, writing, art, skiing, and performing with her equestrian vaulting team. She only stands at 5’5″, but Rachel can pull herself onto the back of a draft horse. She also enjoys exploring the forest trails and old mine paths around her mountain condo in Georgetown.