Getting Personal…with Dr. Race Foster

Dr. Race Foster is a veterinarian and cofounder of the Rhinelander, WI-based pet supplies catalog Drs. Foster and Smith

Where did you grow up?

Allegan, MI — a small farm town.

What was your first job out of college?

A private veterinary practitioner in Rhinelander.

What is the most unusual medical case you have treated?

I once repaired a leg fracture on an albino white-tailed deer.

How did you get into the catalog business?

In 1983, my partners and I began the mail order business as a natural extension of our animal hospital.

Who or what has had the most influence on your career?

My brother, the late Dr. Rory Foster. He wasn’t afraid to be different, and he was the first in our entire lineage to become educated beyond high school.

Who in the catalog business do you most admire, and why?

The Cabela brothers, who founded Cabela’s. Somewhere in their business plan was a philosophy to grow by providing excellent customer service, one step at a time.

Other than your current job, what would your dream job be?

I think I would enjoy teaching at the university level.

Do you have any pets?

Yes, three cats and one dog — all spoiled.

Who is your favorite cartoon character?

Popeye the Sailor Man — he lost a few battles, but he always stayed focused, even if it was on Olive Oyl.

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would you be?

George W. Bush. I would immediately, with guidelines, push forward with stem cell research. It may be a blessing for families with inheritable diseases as well as others. And as a physiologist and veterinarian, I understand its medical significance.

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