Navy Veteran Tom Plaska & Spencer

Tom Plaska is still cooking, much to the delight of his wife, and those who know him. He jokes that he is twice the man he used to be.

A retired Navy man, Tom spent six years as a cook where he quickly learned his way around the kitchen. Several tours took him cruising through the frigid waters of the Arctic Circle. When he was on base he divided his time between Norfolk, VA., and the West Coast.

Tom says the time he spent in the Navy was a great experience. If given the chance, he would do it all again. After returning to civilian life, Tom worked for a local school district and retired after 27 years. He describes himself as a workaholic and still finds the unique job to keep him busy. Currently, he divides his time by the seasons. In the spring and summer, he drives the tour bus for a regional Northern baseball team and for the Grand Rapids Griffins hockey team in the winter months, getting paid to watch his favorite sports.

Tom, and his wife Karen, always had dogs as they were raising their children. After their last dog passed away, they realized the house was so quiet. Tom was asked to foster a dog until the pet could be placed in his forever home, which eventually was Tom and Karen’s home. Spencer quickly became Tom’s dog. They go everywhere they possibly can together. Tom loves the constant companionship and the vitality Spencer adds to the home.

Spencer is happy, too.

Article by L.G. Nixon

It’s who you have by your side that matters.

Spencer, a miniature Australian Shepherd, spent the first three years of his life in a cage as a puppy mill dog. After he was rescued, his health nourished and some basic training, he was adopted but was eventually returned when the individual couldn’t care properly for the young dog.

Spencer has been with Tom for a number of years now, but is still learning to cope with new situations, being a little skittish around crowds, but he is learning. He prefers a quiet environment, and depends on his constant buddy for direction, which is just fine by Tom.


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Tom plaska

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Navy Veteran

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Miniature Australian Shepherd

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Best Friend

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