Archive for December, 2011

Counting to Ten – Guest Post by Russ

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

December is a month of counting.

Our daughters had a dry erase board up all month, erasing and writing how many days till Christmas. Counting.
I worked on our budget no less than four times this month to see how much money we could use for gifts. Counting.
We talked about whether or not we should exchange gifts for the adults or just the kids, how many gifts. Counting.
Retail stores report record sales. Counting.
Kids are going through the presents under the tree (yes, even if they are told not to) to see how many presents there are. Counting.
Now we are making bread and desserts and looking at the clock to see if we have time to do all the things. Counting.
We often hear people refer to counting their blessings this year. Counting.

So I have a bit of an obsession with counting. Not quite OCD, but I like to count things.

Every year we lead our preschool Sunday School class in making a craft called “Peanut Baby Jesus,” which is a styrofoam cup, decorated, with fake hay, a peanut with a happy face, and a felt blanket.

Two years ago, amidst concerns of peanut allergies, I attempted to shorten a wood dowel clothespin to peanut size. Using a steak knife.  In a hurry.  I came pretty close to shortening my thumb instead.


After some stitches that year, my favorite is just counting to ten on my fingers without taking my shoes off.


Ok, here is the super cheezy message: focus on what really “counts” this Christmas and going forward into the new year.

I spent some time reflecting over the last couple of days on whether or not we had good Christmas traditions and were making good Christmas memories at our house. It was hard this year to get out some of the decorations and hard to get into the spirit of things. This is partly because we both have new jobs and are working more hours and different schedules that we are not yet fully used to.  More, I think, because 2011 was a pretty hard year for us.


I decided though, not to focus on how hard some of the things we dealt with were and still are, and instead to focus on the things that are great. We do have good Christmas traditions. We have a purple Christmas tree. We make peanut baby Jesus every year. We spend Christmas Eve with the Finch Family and Christmas day with the Nelson Family. We make cookies with Nieces and Nephews. Christmas is super fun.

Now, look at your fingers.

Fingers are not necessarily pretty or perfect. There are usually scars or wrinkles, dirt or bandaids. Don’t focus on them, but use them now to count to ten.

With each number you count, focus on one great thing about your life right now.
Write them down. Tomorrow or next week, count to ten again.
Do this once a month and you have 120 things worth focusing on. Once a week and it is 520 things. Daily, 3650 things.

That is worth counting.

Follow @Finch93


Dixie Pix

Friday, December 16th, 2011

These are pictures of a gorgeous and very sweet dog who comes into Gentle Doctor.  I just love her.  Her name is Dixie.  Her Mom asked what this article would be about, so she could add any needed information, and I said “Um…that!”

Michelle, I will add any bio information about the beautiful and sweet Dixie that you would like!  Thank you for sharing your wonderful Dixie Dog with us…and now everyone :)

Isn’t she cute??  You can’t tell really well from my pictures here, but Dixie has gorgeous blue eyes too.  If you have a pet you would like featured on Riley and James, please let me know and I will post their picture and story.  As you know, I am a sucker for a cute face :)

Thanks Michelle!  And thanks Dixie…for being cute!

The Saturday Pet Blogger Hop


Merry Purple Christmas Tree!

Saturday, December 10th, 2011


Holiday Safety and Purple Trees

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

We have our second purple flocked Christmas tree up in our (much too small for such an obnoxiously large tree) living room.  Our first was in 2009.  Last year I told Russ “I never want to not have a purple tree again.”  So we went back to Cirian’s Garden Center in midtown Omaha this weekwhich is equally awesome for gardening stuff as it is for brightly flocked Christmas trees, and a really nice group of people – and got our tree.

The guy told us to get a Scotch Pine because it would look “more natural.”  I said, “We are kind of going for the opposite of natural.”  Ha!  But we did, and it is gorgeous.  Here is my first pic, more to come…

Max has NEVER cared about a tree, Christmas or otherwise!  He LOVES this year’s Christmas tree!

This week’s Life with Dog’s article is on Holiday Safety.  It has a picture of our three dogs by the 2009 purple tree and lots of other dog pictures that were fun to gather…

Holiday Safety

Thank you Amanda Jean for encouraging me to write that one!  You are right, holiday safety is NOT boring.  It is super important.

Here is a link to all of the other articles I have written so far on Life with Dogs…

Articles on Life with Dogs

Coming Soon…

More Purple Tree Pictures (I know, I know!  If it is not a healthy obsession, it is at the least a harmless one. :))

Preschool Sunday School Craft 2011 – Peanut Baby Jesus

Oh, and more pet stuff :)

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Post-Blogpocalypse Fallout

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

Blogathon 2011 was a success!

Because of you!  Thank you for supporting the animals.  *puppy kisses*  Aren’t you glad I didn’t send you tiger kisses?   You are welcome.   They say thank you too though.  Below are the grand totals from the 24 hours of blogging and donating on November 12 – November 13, 2011.  I am quite sure my family and I will be involved every year from here out.  I love it.  And you.  (((hugs)))

Lions, Tigers and Bears…..$1440 raised

Nebraska Humane Society…..$1160 raised, which was matched by an anonymous Pet Saver, making the grand total $2360! Woo!

Pawsitively Texas… available stats so we are assuming millions!

Eagle’s Den Rescue…..$531 raised

Okey’s Promise…..$650 raised

Lucky Dog Rescue…..$250 raised

Columbus Zoo… available stats, so we are assuming millions!

Bridey Boyle Liver Shunt Surgery…..$1480.10 raised so far – still accepting donations –  For more information on Bridey or to donate to her surgery, click HERE.  Thank you!!

Bridey is having surgery to correct her liver shunt on Monday, December 5, 2011!  Yay!   We are all thinking of you sweet puppy!  We will be anxious to hear you are well.


North Country SPCA… available stats, so we are assuming millions!

I had a really fun time with you all at Blogathon 2011!  I am excited to spend the day with you for Blogathon 2012!  Woo!

Today at Nebraska Humane Society…

Holiday Open House


I am switching to Real Life and heading to Nebraska Humane Society for the rest of the morning!  Hope to see you there!!


And one last thing!  A picture of Joy the Puppy from Right This Minute in the first good snow of the season…

Happy Heartworm-Free December

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Good News Wrap-Up for the Year

  • I have not personally diagnosed or treated any heartworm positive patients this year.
  • Most of my dog patients and an increasing number of cat and ferret patients are on monthly heartworm preventative year round.
  • As far as I know, the awful flooding in and around Nebraska this past spring has not caused the huge regional increase in heartworm cases that many, including me, feared.

Bad News Wrap-Up for the Year

  • Immiticide, the only approved canine heartworm preventative is still not available in the United States.  Melarsomine, the active ingredient in Immiticide, is being imported by Merial in very limited quantities with the blessing of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  Anyone hear anything more recent from Merial?
  • I missed the November dose of Wormshield for both dogs and the November dose of Revolution for Max the Cat.  If you have a perfect record of heartworm preventative dosing for every dog, cat and ferret you have ever owned ever from adoption forth, you may call me a slacker and throw a box of Heartgard at me.  *ouch*  You are right.  I deserved that.

Cool News Wrap-Up for the Year

  • Some veterinarians are offering surgical removal of adult heartworms as a treatment.  Most notably, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine has done quite a few of these surgeries since Immiticide became unavailable.

Noodle the Poodle – Wormshield tablet

Joy the Puppy – Wormshield tablet


Unrelated Cute Picture of My Dogs by the Purple Christmas Tree, 2009

Happy, Happy Holidays!

I hope this season is the best yet for you and your family.

If you miss a heartworm dose, do not be too hard on yourself.

Notice, as seen in this picture, that your pets think you are unconditionally awesome.  And they are very good judges of character.