What do you do?
Dr. Merrilee Laas

Where do you work and what is your title?
       I am a doctor of veterinary medicine and the owner of Aspenwood Animal Hospital.
What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
       I am responsible for almost everything, from managing the business and employees to seeing patients and performing surgery, even cleaning.
How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
       I’ve been a veterinarian for 30 years total, with 18 months here on the Westside.
What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
       I love helping people and animals. I enjoy the challenge of difficult cases. I like being my own boss and having my own place.
If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
       I wish I had more time for family, friends, music, art, theater, working out, riding horses, traveling. I don’t regret a moment I spend with people and their pets, but I miss out on a lot. Fortunately, I perform well under pressure because I wind up procrastinating until the last minute.
What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
       Dealing with people, finances and storybook expectations. The animals are easy and the best part.
What makes working on the Westside special?
       The small town atmosphere, friendly people, beautiful scenery and weather. The small businesses and traditional values lend an “old fashioned,” comfortable feeling.

“What do you do?” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you know someone who has an interesting job on the Westside (but doesn’t live here), he/she might be a candidate for this column! If you know someone who might qualify, give us a call at 471-6776.