Our Veterinarians

Dr. Bob James

Practice Owner, Chief Medical Officer, Janitor, Handyman, and Repairman

Dr. Bob’s veterinary career has taken him on a fascinating journey, as he has come across some of the largest and smallest creatures in the animal kingdom. He has treated large animals such as horses, llamas, and cattle. Years ago, he even encountered a rhinoceros with a plant-hair ball obstruction. As a small-animal veterinarian, he see dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rabbits. Years ago, Dr. Bob successfully treated a chameleon with a fractured leg, and the little reptile recovered quite nicely. His tiny patient’s owner, a young boy who cherished his little pet, later went on to become a veterinarian. While Dr. Bob didn’t realize that he had positively impacted that boy’s life, he does take great joy in helping his clients bond with their pets!

Dr. Bob’s background prepared him well for a veterinary career. He grew up in a small Iowa farming town with two sisters and a brother. During his childhood, Dr. Bob developed a strong work ethic and an ability to quickly respond to different types of situations. By the time he was nine years old, young Bob knew he wanted to become a veterinarian. He accompanied the family’s large-animal veterinarian on calls whenever possible, and was impressed by the doctor’s ability to diagnose an animal’s ailment using only a physical exam and the doctor’s years of experience.

When Dr. Bob was 12 years old, he learned that he was allergic to many of the animals he often encountered. After five years of allergy injections, he was back on track with his allergies under control. Graduating high school early, Dr. Bob entered college at age 16, and graduated from Iowa State University with an undergraduate degree. He also earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University, and found himself ready to practice veterinary medicine at the ripe old age of 22.

Dr. Bob’s first large-animal veterinarian job took him to southern Minnesota, where he worked in a dairy and equine practice. After many long, demanding work weeks in brutally cold or hot and humid weather, Dr. Bob decided to reevaluate his options, and he became a small-animal veterinarian. Working for a small-animal practice, with some focus on emergency medicine, provided him with new challenges and a sense that he had found his veterinary calling.

Seeking to experience the great outdoors again, Dr. Bob moved to Colorado to find his own veterinary practice, and in 1983 purchased Aspen Commons Animal Hospital. The practice has grown over the years, and Dr. Bob has incorporated many new diagnostic tools into his work. Still, he uses his powers of observation, his detective skills, and his experience in resolving each patient’s case. He loves the variety, and in fact views his hospital work as an enjoyable hobby, rather than a job.

When Dr. Bob’s away from the practice, he enjoys life with his wife, Lila. The couple also has three grown children. In his spare time, he loves camping, skiing, hiking, flyfishing, riding his Harley, bicycling, and golfing. In fact, after his first golf lesson, Dr. Bob made a 205-yard hole in one. He also enjoys flying his own plane, which he uses for travel and for some aerobatic competition.

Finally, Dr. Bob and Lila have given wonderful homes to six dogs, three of whom have full-time jobs at the hospital. The dogs specialize in greeting clients and calming nervous pets. Bijoux and Walker, the couple’s Labrador retrievers, have been tagging along to the hospital since they were eight weeks old. Millie, the couple’s West Highland White Terrier, was a rescue dog who began her greeting work when she was four months old. Three Japanese Chins, Rosie, Katana, and Mitzie, round out the home’s canine complement. Cessna, Piper, and Chuck are the couple’s spoiled-rotten cats. Two birds and numerous fish also populate the house, making sure that Dr. Bob and Lila always have plenty of company.

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