It's a very good thing that Scott Tom, midday radio personality at Portland's Oldies 106.7, has a wife who is such an animal lover. Otherwise, she might get a little jealous of how her husband feels about their dogs Annie, Thunder, and Sprinkles.
"God as my witness, I would take out a second mortgage on my house if I had to come up with funds to pay for a surgery that would save one of those dogs," claims Scott. "Sometimes I love 'em so much it hurts!"
Scott is an ebullient guy. Talking to him about his family — which in addition to his three dogs and three cats also includes his wife Adele of 20 years and step-daughter Veronica — you can't help but smile. Here's a man who seems truly happy in life, and who grew up to be exactly what he wanted to be when he was a kid: a radio announcer.
"I was part of a radio play at KBPS called 'Spark Of The Pony Express,'" Scott recalls. "My horse was Spark and I was the Pony Express rider, and I literally had, like, two pages of dialogue that was me talking to my horse, riding across the barren desert, delivering the mail."
Scott was bitten by the radio bug that day he heard himself on the air at Benson High School's student radio station. He eventually attended Benson and auditioned to be a sportscaster, which he admits was not his strong suit. "They asked me not to re-audition," he laughs.
Since then, Scott has gone on to become one of the Portland area's most well-known voices, not in small part because of his stint at heritage oldies station 97.1 KISN-FM. "Once you're a KISN Good Guy, nobody can ever take that away from you," he says.
Radio has also given Scott the chance to become involved in his other passion: animal welfare. He donates his time to the Heartland Humane Society in Corvallis, Salem's Friends of Felines, and has for years served as a host for the Oregon Humane Society's Doggie Dash.
But it's not just dogs and cats that turn this man into a marshmallow. "If I see a spider in my house, I will make every effort to pick it up and put it on a napkin and run it outside," he says with all earnestness.
That love for animals is something his family shares. While Scott grew up with cats, he credits his wife Adele — who had two canines when they met — with showing him the amazing unconditional love of dogs. Once the original two dogs passed, Scott and Adele adopted Thunder, an Aussie/German Shepherd mix.
Having Thunder in the family turned Scott into an ardent dog fan. "I'm now sad my childhood went by without owning a dog," he says.
Veronica works at LexiDog in Portland — which also serves as the OHS Westside Adoption Center — and that's where two years ago Scott spotted the next addition to their family: 7-year-old Annie. Most recently, they welcomed Sprinkles, a deaf Aussie mix puppy.
Fitting then, that Scott's footwear of choice is what he wears when walking his dogs.
"I've got these ... weird looking tennis shoes and they are my favorite because every time I wear those shoes, it means that, oh boy, I am going for a walk with the dogs over to the park!"
The kick he gets from exercising dogs will come in handy if Scott ever manages to fulfill one of the dreams on his bucket list: to help his step-daughter run a small shelter on a piece of land in the country. "Veronica really wants to start her own rescue, and Adele and I are on board with her," he says.
There’re a couple of other items on that list as well. Scott worked with the Muscular Dystrophy Association for many years and, while he admits he's running out of time, he still hopes to meet Jerry Lewis in person. Beyond that?
"I would like to take my wife and go visit Europe," he says.
Of course, to do that he'd have to leave behind those dogs he loves so much for several weeks — which makes meeting Jerry Lewis a whole lot more likely.
About our Sponsor
Dignified Pet Services has served the Portland-area community for 13 years. In addition to their core business of cremation and memorial services, Dignified co-sponsors the beloved annual Service of Remembrance, this year Dec. 9th at The Old Church in downtown Portland, as well as serving as wonderful supporters and friends of pets and those working in animal welfare. Proprietors Michael, Randy and Avani live in Sherwood.
Michele Coppola is a Portland-based air personality for 99.5 The Wolf and copywriter for Entercom Radio. When she's not talking, writing, or pursuing quality couch time with husband Bryon and their dogs, Cindy and Lucy, she's also a proud volunteer for Fences for Fido and Family Dogs New Life Shelter.