Archive for September, 2011

I Got a Job…

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

With all that has happened this month career-wise, I figured I would be a blog post writing fool. So many stories! I think I know a big part of the reason why I am not…

I am so overwhelmed! And when I am overwhelmed, I stand in the corner of the room and drink Diet Coke and process. When I am less overwhelmed, I write. And when I am totally comfortable, I interact in Real Life almost like a Normal Person.

So, as I start to regroup and write about things other than and Stuff Before September, I will fill you in a little now and later.

I am happy, excited, nervous, and still a bit overwhelmed. Everyone at Gentle Doctor has been really kind and really patient. Friends and Family, including Former Teammates I Love and Friends at Nebraska Humane Society have been super supportive. I can hardly believe I get to be a part of the Gentle Doctor team, but I know it is going to be great.

Wow, when I leave the drama out, it makes for a short post! I will go draw you a cartoon with my Sharpies to try to sum up my emotions and add it here at the end.

I hope to be back to Interacting in Real Life Almost like a Normal Person by sometime next week and will probably be taking appointments then! You can call Gentle Doctor and ask…they are super nice! :)

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Do you want a post about the logistics of switching veterinary hospitals? I really appreciate you and your family and your pets supporting me over all these years and changes and if you would like to come with me, I do not want it to be any more of a pain in the neck than needed! Mom said I should add a specific post about switching veterinary hospitals, and except for a short period in early adolescence, I have always done what Mom says to do, which has always turned out to be very wise.


Unconditional Love?

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Please welcome one of my very favorite people and pet bloggers, Jana Rade!  Jana has a great blog, Dawg Business, inspired by her gorgeous Rottweiler, Jasmine.  Those of you who know Jana need no introduction, and those of you who do not NEED to visit her blog!  It is full of great stories and information.

This is a response to a post by another of my Favorite People, Edie Jarolim, who wrote on her also excellent blog, Will My Dog Hate Me? about Frankie and his unconditional love.

What do you say?  Does your dog love you unconditionally?  Is it crucial that he or she does?  Is anyone going to put in a good word for the cats? Would they care if we did or not??

Thank you so much Jana!  Great post!  And I will never, ever get tired of the gorgeous pictures of Jasmine!

Unconditional Love or Not?

Do dogs truly care about us or is it just a myth?  Does their meal take priority over our immediate needs?

In her article What’s Unconditional Love Got To Do With It? Edie Jarolim wrote, “While Frankie is eating, for example, I could be lying on the floor bleeding and not get any attention until he’s done.”

OK, I agree with Edie that nothing in this world is unconditional. I think that the question really is how much we really matter to our dogs.  Do they care about us more than about themselves?

Unlike cats, dogs are social animals and are programmed to care about the members of their social group.  They are genetically predisposed to care.  Is it just a question of survival or does it go deeper?

I believe, that like humans, each dog is an individual and any generalization will take us only so far.  The first time we met Jasmine, she immediately stole our hearts, and not just because she was unbearably cute.  The puppies were on a porch, contained in a kiddy pool.  The walls of the pool however weren’t high enough to prevent them from climbing over in order to come and check us out. All except one, the runt of the litter, who was too small to conquer the giant wall.  As the other puppies noticed that their little brother could not make it on his own, they returned to his rescue…some pushing, some pulling, until they got their little buddy out of there.  They cared.

Jasmine is eight years old now and she never stopped caring.  Every time somebody is in trouble, she’s in there like a dirty shirt.  Be that a member of her human family, her house mate, her friend or a complete stranger.

She’s there every time hubby hurts himself doing one silly thing or another, and it happens often enough.  She’s there every time we pull out the nail clippers and her house mate JD runs hiding under the desk.  She’s there every time somebody is really sad.  She’s there every time I sneeze—OK, that one I can’t figure out because nobody else’s sneezing means anything but mine does.

One time we were out swimming and throwing a tennis ball for Jasmine to fetch.  There were other dogs and other tennis balls there also.  Jasmine was swimming to get her ball when one of the other dogs breathed in some water and started coughing.  Jasmine immediately turned around and started swimming towards him.  OK, I have no idea whether she had a plan what she was going to do when she got there, but she was on her way.  Luckily the dog recovered.  Only when she saw he was going to be fine, she turned back after her ball.

When we were on a walk with one of her occasional buddies, we met a lab who started picking on him.  Jasmine was right there to defend him, even though they met each other only from time to time.

When hubby’s colleague got fired and was all distraught, she came and sat beside her until she calmed down.

Hubby used to like tickling me but he cannot do that any more.  Because all it takes is one yelp from me and Jasmine is right there, “whatcha doing?”

The signs of distress might be obvious or subtle, she will pick up on them and she will be there.  And yes, she’ll be there even if she was eating, digging or doing anything else of importance.  If I’m taking a shower and stay in the bathroom longer than usual after the water stops running, she’ll be there.

One thing I know for sure, she cares. And I know that she cares more about others than her meal, treat, dig or interesting smell. I know, because she shows it all the time.

I know that we mean more to her than food or fun.

I know that if I was lying on the floor bleeding, she’d be there.

A New Adventure

Friday, September 16th, 2011


I would miss you, Team. But I will still be in Omaha with you. And you are not only my Fellow Lovers of Animals, you are my Friends. I would miss you Clients and Patients, but you are Awesomeness, and I know I will see you soon.

I love you Family and Friends. You are the best. Mom and Dad and Russ you have walked me through this, and Karen you have prayed me through this, and Siblings-I-Love, you have cheered me through this, and it’s gonna be fun here on the other side of there. I would not set out on a New Adventure without you.

Max the Cat Teaches Sunday School

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Where Were You on September 11, 2001?

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

The family was in Salt Lake City for Bob Nelson’s inauguration as the new president of NAIFA – National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.  Bob Nelson is my Dad.

And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?  -Esther 4:14b

Dad was not stepping into a royal position, but it sure was an important one, in every sense.  He took a breath and stepped up to the stage – not to accept the presidency, that would be the next day, but to address a very full, very anxious, even borderline terrified, room of his family and the best of the best of his profession.  I have never seen anyone do something so difficult, and I have never seen something so difficult done so well.

Many NAIFA members had called for the remainder of the meeting to be cancelled.  We were blessed to have all of the Nelsons together, but the Finches were all back in Nebraska, and most of the NAIFA members had left their entire families home to attend this week-long annual meeting.

I was as shocky as everyone and only remember bits and pieces of that day.  If I find a video or text of Dad’s speech, I will add it here.  Dad was wearing a dark navy suit and a red tie.  Dad said calming, profound things.  Dad almost cried but did not.  Dad frowned in a way that I knew as a kid meant business, and did again today, but this time was so very comforting.

I do remember the end of what Dad said.  He said, “Call home.  Make sure everyone is safe.  Turn off the TV for now if you can. If we do not go on, they win.  We have our families, we have each other. We will persevere.  We will carry on.  And…God Bless America.”

It was the longest standing ovation I have ever experienced.  We had needed order and stability in a time of chaos.  Leadership when we wanted to panic.  Hope in the midst of despair.  Later, a deep sadness would set in, that has been ingrained into the psyche of all Americans old enough to remember, I suppose.

Dad is in DC now at the annual NAIFA meeting, addressing the same industry leaders, and the same deep hurts, only now ten years later.  I am so proud of our country.  I am so proud of my Dad.

God Bless America.

Where were you?  How has 9/11 affected you?


Oh Yeah! This is a Pet Blog…

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

Yesterday (Friday) was a REALLY good day!  So is today.  Here are a few pictures from today of my Saturday friends :)

I had to wait for Noodle to take his head out of Russ’ boot to take this picture. In hindsight, that picture would have been equally cute.

Max enjoying his Caturday…

The other Betta is taking a much needed rest after a bowl switching-Lego castle arrainging-counter flopping incident. All involved parties are fine.

“Do you have more pizza crust or are you just saying you have more pizza crust?”

Abby and Joy the Puppy :)

Abby and Noodle the Poodle. They will sit for Abby for “free” – all others must pay pizza crust…or something.

Happy Saturday!

Tomorrow…Back to “WITW Does This Have to do with Pets?”

Then…Back to pets! Though, I will of course wander off on many more tangents in the future. Fun. :)

Update on Max the Cat’s day! —>


New York in Pictures

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011


Beautiful Brooklyn Architecture

Empty Pre-Irene Brooklyn-Eerie!

I Just Liked This Poster :)



Erika sent me pix from CVC and I sent her pix from NYC :) This was on a wall we passed on the way to the wedding.


The Beautiful 19th Century Church Where Chuck and Debbie Were Married

Hey, Didn't I Meet You in College?

Dogs Just Always Love Russ! #GoodGuy :)

"Hi, can Russ come back outside and play?"

Brooklyn Bridge



Washington Park where part of one of our favorite movies, August Rush, was filmed

New York's PetSmart is in a beautiful building!

And now a reminder, courtesy of NYC :)

Hi Truck! Go Big Red!

And They Lived Happily Ever After...

New York in a Hurricaine

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Russ and I were planning a trip to New York City for our friends’ wedding the week before last.  A big, scary city is big and scary enough without a big, scary hurricaine coming too.  Right after New York, we were heading to Central Veterinary Conference in Kansas City.


Russ called me at work.  “We can’t go!  Irene is coming!” he said.

“I will see you when I get home from the trip!” I said.  I can be a jerk like that.

When I got home from work that night, we agreed that we could not miss Debbie and Chuck’s wedding.  We had been looking forward to this NYC/KC trip for months.  We called the bride and groom and told them we would be there.  I completely wore out my Central Veterinary Conference (CVC) itinerary choosing and rechoosing classes for CVC.

At one point, I had five classes planned for one hour.

One of the two aspects of CVC I was most excited about was spending time with my vet tech friend, Erika.  We were going to happy hour at the Melting Pot on Sunday night.  Also, Erika had checked with the CVC bosses, and they would let us go to tech or vet sessions together on Monday.  Yay.

The other aspect of CVC I was most excited about was meeting three of the editors of dvm360 – Jessica (dvm360), Kristi (Veterinary Economics) and Kerry (Firstline), also on  Sunday evening.  We were going to talk about the new dvm360 iPad app.  I really just wanted to be where they were for an hour, and if we talked about the iPad app (which is GREAT, btw), that was fine with me.

If you knew how much I love Erika (and the Melting Pot) I could better explain how equally awesome meeting the dvm360 editors was going to be.  I had been looking forward to meeting these women someday since I first started corresponding with them online and writing articles for dvm360 over a year ago.  These women are smart, successful leaders in the veterinary writing profession, and I was finally going to meet them  in person!


We drove to KC.  We had to take the pretty route because of all the recent flooding.

Iowa Wind Farm on the drive to KC

Russ and I sat in the KC airport waiting for our flight to New York.  To our left were flashing “Welcome to KC CVC Veterinary Teams!” signs.  To our right were televisions showing the worst of Hurricaine Irene and predicting doom for NYC and other eastern US cities.  I looked at Russ.  “We could just stay…” I said.  “No, you were right,” he said, “and…our plane is boarding!”  We flew off to meet our friends and Irene.


Both airports, the entire NYC subway, most NYC cabs and most businesses announced they would be closed on Sunday.  Mandatory evacuation was scheduled by noon on Sunday for low-lying areas of NYC.  We were in Brooklyn, so we were (probably) in a safe part of town.

Our Sunday morning flight out of town was rescheduled for Monday night (Thank you Delta!)  We called parents and (sadly) e-mailed editors and Erika-Friend.  We secured our hotel room for another night.  They even charged us the much lower than normal wedding rate they had charged us for the first two nights after a (nice) request from Russ.  (Thank you Sheraton Hotel in Brooklyn!)  We called our KC hotel and told them we would be a day and several hours late, and they said “Don’t worry about it.  Stay safe.”  (Thank you Downtown Kansas City Marriott!)

We went to a convenience store to buy storm snacks.  I took a picture of The Statue of Liberty on the wall of the store.

My First View of the Statue of Liberty

Fellow line dwellers giggled.  “It’s our first time here.” I said.  “I really wanted to see it.”  I do not often generalize, but I will say that even in emergency preparation mode, with a hurricaine coming, which is as unknown to a New Yorker as it is to an Omahan, New Yorkers are kind.

We went to the wedding at Debbie and Chuck’s church.  Everything about the wedding was beautiful.

Sunday’s church service is cancelled. Saturday’s wedding is not!


I woke up at 4:00 am to what sounded like a really bad Nebraska thunderstorm.  It came and went pretty quickly.

Russ and I walked around Brooklyn.  “NYC is not crowded.  It’s empty!”  I said.  “Ha!” Russ said.  We spent time with Chuck and Debbie’s families and their other friends, which we would not have otherwise been able to do.  Twice we had paused, and twice we had decided to move ahead.  When all is said and done, I am so grateful we were able to be with Chuck and Debbie for their wedding.  It will always be one of my very best memories.


Chuck, Debbie, me, Russ


Russ and I walked around some more.  Chuck and Debbie flew off to their honeymoon.  We flew to KC.  We checked into our hotel super late at night and fell right asleep.


I went to a series of four morning cat lectures by Andrew Specht, DVM, DACVIM.  They were so good.  We left before they could start taking down the CVC banners and balloons.

Balloons at CVC

We drove the three hours to Omaha and picked the girls up from Grandma and Papa’s.  They had all had a good time.  They loved the NYC keychains and snowglobes we brought, though they had actually asked for keychain snowglobes.  (“Do those exist?” I had asked.  “I don’t know,” they had said.)

I opened my email Tuesday right before we crashed for the night and saw this note from Jessica from Tuesday morning…”Are you still in KC?  Kerry and I are back at work but Kristi is still there and might be able to meet you!”

I cried.

I still have not unpacked everything.  I hate that figure of speech, but I suppose it fits.


I will post wedding pictures and more NYC pictures tomorrow.

Debbie and Chuck, we love you.  We would fly into a hurricaine for you all over again.  Thank you for including us in your beautiful wedding day.

Karen and Phill, thank you for keeping our babies safe.  We would have been complete wrecks if they had been in New York city with us.

Jeff and Lu, thank you for keeping our fur babies safe.

Erika-Friend, what are you doing this time next year?

Awesome Editors, I still am looking forward to meeting you.  I hear there is no more weather drama scheduled ever, are you busy? :)


Happy Heartworm Free September!

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

If you give your pets their heartworm preventative medication on the first, it’s the first!  And, as a friend pointed out, if you do not…it is still the first. :)

Happy September!

Recent Heartworm Related News:

Immiticide, the ONLY approved heartworm disease treatment, is once again unavailable, and Merial does not know when it will be available again.

Read more here:

Treating Heartworm Disease – Another Immiticide Shortage

In response to the Immiticide unavailability, American Heartworm Society published recommendations for veterinarians who have heartworm positive patients waiting for treatment.

Read more here:

Guidance for Heartworm Disease Management During the Adulticide Unavailability

Pfizer modified their recommendations for ProHeart use.  Included in the updates is provision for dogs with allergic dermatitis to receive ProHeart injections.  The recommendation has been changed to “Use with caution in dogs with allergic disease.”

Read more here:

ProHeart 6

We are waiting on confirmation that Revolution for Kittens and Puppies (and they should add, dogs) under five pounds pleases Ernie Dog.

Read more here:

A Story of Ernie Dog

In Finch Family news…

We have decided to switch Joy the Puppy back to Wormshield (oral monthly ivermectin) from ProHeart (injectable twice a year moxidectin) because of her allergic dermatitis (food allergies, recently diagnosed).  I do not think ProHeart made her worse by any means, but I would rather have her on a medication without the known risk of complicating allergic dermatitis!

We have switched Max the Cat’s Revolution application to the 15th, which coincides with Joy and Noodle’s flea and tick topical medication application.  That is neither here nor there, but I did not want you to think poor Max is off of the heartworm preventative checklist.  May it never be!

Today’s Checklist:

Noodle the Poodle – Wormshield tablet

Joy the Puppy – Wormshield tablet

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