Posts Tagged ‘boring’

Articles Originally Written for Veterinarians – Table of Contents

Monday, February 28th, 2011

1

Overcoming Team Conflict

2

Building a Best of the Best Clientele

3

A Dramatic Wellness Exam

4

Recommending a High Level Standard of Care

5

Effective Communication Stratagies

6

Self Evaluation

7

Changing Times

8

Twitter for Veterinarians

9

Year in Review:  2010 in Veterinary Medicine

10

Conflict Resolution

Click on the article title to get to the article itself.  I know it would be cooler if I did not actually mention this and just let people find this out for themselves, but I never claimed to be cool (quite the opposite)…

Every one of the ten articles has a Scrubs link in it that pertains to the article.

Awesome.

I (Still) Love to be Boring

Friday, January 7th, 2011

My first Riley and James post was entitled I Love to be Boring.  (I realize what a dork I am, but I still think that is hilarious.)  My point then (and now) is that I love my pets and my patients and would love nothing more than boring, nothing-to-report wellness exams time after time.

Truth-be-told, I love your pets too, and the pets I read about and the pets I hear about…I even love the pets in medical journal case studies:  ”The cat presented with this super awesome disgusting lesion and the following history…”  ”Oh no!” I yell and flip to the conclusion.  My family no longer jumps when I yell at my journals, and pats me sympathetically on the shoulder when I cry over them.

I LOVE treating very cool cases.  But do you know what would be even cooler than treating very cool cases?  If horrendous medical issues were so rare, we only read about them in journals!  And do you know what would be even cooler than that??  If horrendous medical issues were so super rare, that we only read about them in history books!

You laugh, but have you ever seen a dog accidently given “blue eye” by a vaccination?  Me neither!  Have you ever seen a dog with distemper?  Me neither!  A cat with rabies or plague?  Me neither!  Ok, those cases are still out there, but they are far less common than they used to be.  With continually advancing medical and surgical care, increased awareness of pet welfare, husbandry and behavior issues, we are approaching boring, and I love it.

Can we fix everything with appropriate husbandry and medical care?  Of course not!  Accidents and illnesses and aging will always be with us.  Life can be unfairly random, and sadly, every pet’s story ultimately ends the same way.  Still, we have to work with what we’ve got, and start from where we are.

I have decided to dedicate this year on Riley and James to The Pursuit of Boring.  Of course it will take more than a year, and of course we can only approach Boring, we can never actually reach it, but maybe, just maybe, someday we can say to our friends:

“Your cat is thirty and healthy?  That’s nice.  *yawn*  Well, I’m heading down to take my dog in for his wellness exam.  They never find anything!  Then I have to stop by the shelter.  They have a dog in that needs help, first one of the decade.” 

It could happen.

What I am Doing This Week: Resolving…Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

This week I am regrouping for the New Year!  I love the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.  I love having the kids home on break.  I tend to obsess about goals, which has always been a kind of big thing for me.  I look back and look forward.  2009 was one of the best, most emotional, most difficult, most rewarding years of my career.  I must have forgotten to tell 2009 that I like boring.

Here you go, 2010.  This is an example of what I like.  Angela’s new Shaggy Puppy needs a routine exam.  Your next patient is the same.  So is the next.  So is the next.  I don’t need drama!  I don’t need excitement!  I have my veterinary friends and journals for that.  My own life, I want it boring.  Always.  K, thanks.

This week the veterinary team has kicked…they have been EXTRAORDINARY!!  haha  That’s more professional, huh?  They always are great, but in a difficult/busy/challenging week, I notice it more, I guess.  Our team is amazing.  Their love for pets, even when they KNOW they will get their hearts broken, their dedication and their amazing skill is really awesome to be around.  You guys rock.  Here’s to an amazing, but hopefully less eventful 2010!!

I got the book “Am I Boring My Dog?” by Dr. Edie Jarolim for Mom for Christmas.  I am going to have to get my own copy (to me, from me, Happy Valentine’s Day!) because Mom is hogging hers!  It is geared toward new pet owners, but you need it too!  And also, you will love her website and blog, Will My Dog Hate Me?

This is a sort of random place to put such awesome links, don’t you think?  I think my site needs a central location for cool links.  Coming soon…

What I am Doing This Week: Realizing That This Post Would Have Been Nice as Several Shorter Posts

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

What I am Doing This Week: Realizing That This Post Would Have Been Nice as Several Shorter Posts…I still love it though!  Fun pictures of very, very cute pets (and one super cute nephew)!  From here on, instead of adding to this single post every time, I will post “What I am Doing This Week” posts more, well, you know, weekly.

December 23, 2009

This week’s theme is “Rats and the People Who Love Them.”  How fun!  And today, I got to spend my first day officially working with Morgan Snapp, who is awesome.  Stop by and welcome her to Banfield!  And here is her gorgeous kitten, Nala…

Nala Awake…

…and Nala Asleep!

December 17, 2009

This week I am back to work after last week’s crazy weather.  I prefer a nice 82 degree day as much as anyone, but the crummy weather seemed to bring out the best in everyone in the community last week.  Life slowed down, and it was good to have some family time together.

And now it is good to be back to regular life!  Two months ago, I was so excited to have my first veterinary article printed in Banfield Journal that I counted the days till I thought it would come out.  And then a couple days ago, I was looking through the mail and saw the current issue of Banfield Journal.  I flipped to the leadership section and saw another article that I wrote!  Haha, what a dork!  I should know better what is going on in my own life!  Still, it was a fun surprise!

This one is “Seeing Our Favorite Clients.”  It is on pages 8-9 of the November/December issue of Banfield Journal.

My knack for seeing almost exclusively awesome clients is a strange phenomenon that many, including team members, have commented on.  It is true that there are very few people I truly dislike.  In fact, I cannot think of any in my life right now!  But I do have extraordinary taste, and my clients (you!) really are my very favorite people.  Russ thought I should try to explain why that happens.  So I tried.  And Banfield published it.  Fun.

In the article, I group clients into “Satisfied Clients,” “Meanies” and the “Best of the Best” (again, you).  The “Meanies” category was inspired by a client who had been really agitated because he was scared about his sick dog.  Over the weeks we got to know each other, he became one of my very favorite clients.

And remember when we were kids and the worst word you could think of to call someone out loud was “meanie”?  I don’t know what we thought would happen if we said worse, but we knew it couldn’t be good!

So I hope you like the article.  I hope if you have a client-based business, it helps you think through what kind of clientele you have and would like to have.  Some people have a tougher skin than me and can tolerate meanies better, or maybe we all have our own definitions of what behavior really earns someone a meanie title.  And when it comes down to it, we will all tolerate somestuff for the sake of the greater good…in my case, the welfare of the cute little fuzz head sitting between my client and me.

Have a great week!

December 8, 2009

…discussing medicinal marijuana on twitter (join the discussion!  I am Finch93)…enjoying TWO snow days, today and tomorrow, with my family…decorating for Christmas–my favorite decoration this year is our purple tree!!  Yup, it’s a real tree.  And yup, the purple flocking comes off when the three black dogs walk under it. Genius.

We three dorks of Omaha are Getting purple all over our paws

Our Three Previously Black Dogs

Noodle (renamed Loodle because he now has beautiful purple hair like @luhug)

Noodle the Poodle and the Purple Tree

 

If you have a pet emergency, I am still available…call Papillion Banfield at 402-331-1108.  And if you have a non-emergency or a question about ANYTHING, find me here, on facebook or on twitter!

I am always checking veterinary websites, in Omaha and beyond, to see what other veterinarians have come up with.  And I always come back to this one even more in love with the site my brother Dave made for me.  They are all ok, but mostly they have a few photos and the veterinary hospital hours.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  But as a vet, I like to learn MORE.  And I’ll bet clients do too.  Anyways, this week, I have found one I love just as much as rileyandjames.  So fun!  I will ask the doctor who put it together if I can share it, and if so, post a link here.

Hey, thanks Dr. V!  Take a look guys.  Isn’t it great?  Good info, good stuff to think about and fun to read.  I have never liked Barbie, till now!

Pawcurious Vet Blog

Have a great week everyone!!  If you are in Omaha, don’t go out unless you have to!

December 1, 2009

This week I am working a little more than usual.  I saw a super cute Zebra Finch and one of my favorite guinea pig patients.  Her owner is making a CD of songs his guinea pig likes for our guinea pig, Piggy!  How great is that?

My response to Kristi Reimer’s excellent article in Veterinary Economics,  Affordability vs. Excellence, Do Veterinarians Have to Choose? was published in The Wagging Tail, Banfield’s veterinary blog.  I wanted to call it “Dear Veterinarians, Keep Being Awesome.” Instead, it is…

“Recommending a High Level Standard of Care is Still The Best Idea”

It was so difficult to write, because it seems that the vets who would read it already KNOW to practice with integrity!  It’s not like they would read it and say, “Why that’s a great little tip!  I am going to start being honest and medically excellent!” Still, when I got over myself and just wrote it, it was a fun piece to write!

About all I have thought about this week and last is this…I thought I would include this picture so you would know why he is all I have thought about.  His name is Charles Micheels Nelson, and he is my brother Bill and his beautiful wife Cara’s new baby boy.  Sigh…isn’t he perfect?

November 24, 2009

…finishing my second Banfield blog post, it should be out December 1, I will link it to here…finishing my “what I am thankful for today” stream on twitter and facebook…being SUPER-thankful for my new nephew (Bill and Cara’s new baby) Charles Micheels Nelson and my oldest daughter, whose birthday is TODAY.   Happy Birthday Amanda Jean!…putting another fun day in tomorrow, I will let you know what cool pets I see…resolving to learn how to use my new camera more proficiently so I can post more great pictures for you!

…wishing you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving!!

 

November 17, 2009

Last week I actually WORKED all week, so I didn’t have much computer time!  This week, I am helping gather Operation Christmas Child boxes at Westwood Church to send out to Mexico.  Not pet related, I suppose, but it is also cutting into my computer time (but SO fun!)
Also, I have decided to put all of the “What I am Doing This Week” posts back up here in case you want to look back at anything.  I just didn’t want this to be an overwhelming section.  It is more casual than the bimonthly newsletters, so if you want actual information, it might be in those.  Soon I will have Dave Nelson help me reorganize this so you can look stuff up and find things, since there is getting to be quite a bit of stuff on here.
Here are more pictures of Thaddeus the baby Angora, and his sister Sophia…aaahhh!  They are too cute!
Have a great week!!
October 29, 2009
hanging out with this adorable bunny!
His name is Thaddeus Alexander.  He is owned by the awesome and beautiful Stephanie Voss.  Thaddeus is an eleven week old lilac English Angora Rabbit.  He has a clean bill of health!  And he likes parsley.  Or carrot tops maybe.  I am not sure which that is.  Would you like to see more pictures of him and his equally gorgeous sister, Sophia Ruth?
October 22, 2009
Just for this week, I am going to change the title of this post from “What I am Doing This Week” to “What I am SEEING This Week” because I have seen even more of a range than usual of very fun pets!  Here is what I have seen…
a bearded dragon…a big gorgeous Rottie and her family I love…an anole with a hurt arm that needed to be amputated; he will do awesome three-legged…a budgie with feather loss…a recheck of a guinea pig with a hurt back and secondary neurological signs-he is completely healed, yay!…a huge gorgeous Great Danea Bernese Mountain Puppy…a baby Schnauzer…an African Pygmy Hedgehog (He was not in for his first visit at three years old with debilitating mites/cancer/nutritional deficiencies…He was in for his NEW BABY HEDGEHOG exam!!!  YAY!  Totally healthy and scheduled for a visit in 6 months…That is how I like my exotic pet exams to go, people!  Nice and boring!  SO CUTE…very cute Puggle Pup…baby ferret (again with the boring wellness care!  I LOVE this!)…lots of guinea pigs…”Dumpster Milkface” a 10 day old kitten who was found in a dumpster, but now he is in a safe and loving situation, life can only get better from here, right?…lots of gorgeous long- and short-haired cats…some Canarlies, my favorite (My friend calls mutts Canarlies…”You can ‘arlie tell what they are!  haha!)
And here are some fun pictures from this month…
Papillion Banfield’s Office Manager Cody and I took my family rats, Fuzzy and Wuzzy to visit a daycare.  They love kids!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009 was Papillion Petsmart’s Howl-O-Ween Costume party.  We brought Joy Panda, Ebony Panda, and Noodle Panda.  Janet and Jason Shulenberger brought Petey and Ike, the Scary, Scary Ghosts.  So cute!!

Watching this cute video
that Dave made of the REAL Riley (Great Dane) teasing the REAL James (English Mastiff).  Riley and James belong to the awesome and beautiful Sara and Dave Nelson.
http://twitvid.com/0AF96

WISHING MY LITTLE BROTHER A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Dave (Secret Penguin) made this website and helped me figure out how to work with it, which has not been a simple task for Dave I am sure, as nothing to do with computers comes easily to me.  He even drew the awesome pictures of his own dogs for the logo and let me use Riley and James for the website name.  He has helped me immeasurably as I have developed a client-centered practice over the last several years.  I have learned so much from Dave, not just computer stuff and career-building stuff, but Big Important Life Stuff.  I never would have thought that was possible thirty-one years ago when Mom and Dad brought home this tiny little bundled up baby, and Bill (2) and I (6) thought “What in the world do we need one of those for??”  Oh!  Now I get it!  We DO need one of those, Bill!  Dave is a great person and a wonderful brother and friend.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAVE NELSON!

Dave, Sara and Baby Riley (over 100 pounds ago!)

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BEING THANKFUL!!!

Sadie Dog is home!  THANK YOU for praying and searching and wishing Sadie home.  She showed up on the Bruner family porch this morning before church.  She is safe and happy, but not saying what she has been up to for nine days.  I am so glad she is home!  Yay.

Picture of Sadie:

 

 

More pictures of Beautiful Sadie at: album.php

Thursday, October 8, 2009, which is actually tomorrow…I will be at String Thing from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Will you stop by and say “hi”? I will bring snacks for us. It is at 13th and Webster. If you are facing Film Streams…What Cheer…Secret Penguin…BBB…just to the right of those businesses, before you get to 22 Floors, go straight through that little passageway and Empty Room is on the other side of 22 Floors. 

October 2, 2009 

DRIVING AROUND MILLARD WITH A LEASH AND A BOX OF MILKBONES

Ebony has taken off before, and it is the worst feeling hoping she comes home.  She has never been missing for days though!  Please pray for my friend Lori, who has been waiting for her dog Sadie to come home since Friday, September 25, 2009.  And please keep an eye out for Sadie.  She is a small (50 pound) three year old spayed female Black Lab mix with black spots on her tongue.  She has a red collar with all of her tags.  She is pretty shy, so she might not come up to you.  She could be anywhere in the Millard area, but lives near 128th and Center, and was possibly seen in the Millard North Middle School, Montclair and Oakview areas.  Keep your eye out, and let Lori or me know if you find her, and I will let you know when she is home safely!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every week

WISHING YOU A GREAT WEEK!

Until next week…here is a fun little half minute video of my beautiful rats.  Wuzzy is the one eating the peanut.  Fuzzy is the one who comes up behind her at the end.  Aren’t they awesome??

Fuzzy and Wuzzy

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VISITING EMPTY ROOM TO SEE STRING THING

Jeff Hug has started a project at Empty Room (13th and Webster) called “String Thing.”  String Thing is a visual representation of what a social network would look like in “real life.”  Photos of each visitor are taped to the wall next to a hook.  Everyone ties a piece of yarn from their own hook to the hook above the picture of each person they know.  Even on the first day, the strings were getting criss-crossed and the room was fun and full of connections.

Could it be that we need each other?  Is it true that it takes an average of seven minutes of conversation between any two Omahans to discover a person they both know?  How many degrees of separation are there really between people?  Is it easier to read discussions of all of these things on the wall or in a packet hanging by a string from the ceiling?

Everyone is invited to participate for the entire month of October.  All that extra yarn is going to a great group of knitters who will turn it into mittens and scarves and hats for Omaha folks who need them.  Let me know if you would like to be a part of that group!

String Thing will be open every day in October from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, and weekends 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Stop by when you can.  Bring friends.  Bring a photo of yourself.  Bring yarn if you have some.  Bring a camera, because it is only going to get crazier, and you will want a picture.

http://emptyroomstringthing.com/

October 1, 2009

Tonight (Thursday, October 1 at 6:00 pm)

is the opening of Jeff Hug’s String Thing at Empty Room.

Everyone is invited.

(This is pet related.  Jeff has pets.)

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SMILING…

 

 

Banfield Journal published an article I wrote on team conflict…

Overcoming team conflict

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOPING…

I have seen about an entire herd of guinea pigs this week!  I LOVE guinea pigs, but I am sad they are all sick.  One especially heart-breaking case was a guinea pig with respiratory disease who died the same day I saw him, leaving behind a very sad little girl.  I believe that every single piggy I saw this week has an underlying Vitamin C deficiency.  Piggies and primates are UNABLE to manufacture Vitamin C.  PLEASE PLEASE give your guinea pigs 25 mg of Vitamin C every day!!  Then I will just see all of you every six months for your BORING WONDERFUL wellness exams!

Read here for more guinea pig care information…

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WAITING BY THE MAILBOX

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am pretty sure an article I wrote about Great Clients (you know, you) is going to be in this month’s Banfield Journal. This is kind of a big deal for me. You would think I would know for sure if it were true.

Friday, September 25, 2009…visiting a very fun 4H group…skipping puppy class…seeing just how efficient my veterinary team is–they are scary-good…mourning my friend and doggy nephew, Buddy Rasmussen, the very sweet, very cute, very goofy Rat Terrier…praying for Buddy’s family……getting Noodle groomed by Alicia Weiland at Maple Petsmart–He looks ADORABLE!! That whole grooming team is awesome…saying HI to Marty Weverka at Maple Petsmart.  If you see him, don’t tell him how very much I miss working with him.  You can tell him that I said his baby boy is very cute!  Congratulations Marty and Jayme!…cheering for Cancer Hamster…waiting to hear how his tumor removal went…already getting defensive about the just-a-hamster comments that probably will not come because my friends seem to get it…appreciating how very blessed I am to have such a rich network of support at the six area Petsmarts–you guys are great….appreciating how very blessed I am to have the even broader general network of friends and family that I have–you guys are encouraging–I don’t even know if you know all of the stuff you have walked me through just by being kind and standing by me…THANK YOU……enjoying time with Mom and her high school friends and my daughters–I love the women in my life…enjoying a night out with my family at the  Westroads RAVE theater–THANK YOU for the tickets Paul Hughs!  That was so nice of you!  Hello to your kitty…already fighting a weekly panic attack about going to church–this has been going on since April, something needs to change…Maybe I need to get over it…admitting a little more each day that I am in a safe situation with a boss who is an ideal medical partner and a kind person……enjoying seeing my friends and family and their pets…Janie and the piggies…Amanda and Jayden and her cousins…MY cousin Kris Massengale, who I had not seen for YEARS…Hi…Good to see you……planning a Christmas trip to see my brother Bill and Cara and their new baby who is negative two months old…Looking forward to October First because:  It will have been three months that I will have been an “official” member of the Papillion Banfield team, though I have been hanging around for over two years, my article on “Best of the Best” clients (you) comes out in the Banfield Journal AND a good friend Jeff Hug starts his October project, String Thing, at Empty Room……hoping that if you do not yet know how special you are, you will after you see this article coming out next week…wishing you an incredible week…

We would not choose to love less so that this would hurt less

(You know, if we could choose.)

Goodbye Good Dog.  You will be missed.

Buddy Rasmussen

1998-2009

 

 

This just in from Riley (Great Dane) and James’ (Mastiff) owner:

“Anyone want two %$#& dogs that steal your food, rub their poopy paws on your clothes, dance on your dining room table and drool all over everything?  Why do we feel compelled to live with and provide for these wild animals? They are of no value to society as a whole! They seem to torture me more than anything. Yet I love them! Madness!”

 

 

 

Then someone took her up on her offer…but it was her husband.  :D
Friday, September 18, 2009This just posted by Nebraska Humane Society on facebook: 

Nebraska Humane Society ‘s Food Pantry shelves are currently empty. The NHS Food Pantry allows pet owners who can’t afford dog or cat food a chance to feed their beloved pets. Donate dog or cat food today by dropping it off at the Customer Service counter at NHS!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
This has been a very rewarding week at work!  I have seen two of the cutest kittens, a sweet little black Lab mix, a great little Sheltie, a wonderful Bull Terrier…I can’t help just petting those guys on the forehead.  I get so mesmerized by their interesting faces, I tend to ignore the client and they have to repeat themselves.  Bull Terrier owners don’t seem to mind though.  They know how cool their dogs are!Aahh!  I got sidetracked by him again, and he is not even here!  What I meant to say here is that this week, I am working on putting together a newsletter for Petsmart employees that outlines all of the discounts they get at Banfield Pet Hospital.  New team members have been asking, and I knew we offered great stuff, but didn’t know what exactly.  Petsmart gives Banfield team members 15% off at Petsmart, Petshotel, and the Grooming Salon, which has literally saved me hundreds over the years!  THANK YOU PETSMART!Turns out Banfield offers the same to Petsmart, and more.  You will want to work at Petsmart when you see this!  It is some good stuff.  I will quit rambling and start writing the newsletter!  Ok fine people, here it is!Also, I will be at Papillion Petsmart’s team meeting Monday, September 21, 2009 to tell you guys about it and give you hard copies of the discount information.  I would love to take credit, but it is national policies on the parts of both Petsmart and Banfield.  So if you work at a different Petsmart or Banfield, I hope the information is helpful to you too.Hey! Who else needs a printed copy of these benefits? I can bring copies to you this week, or send them to you if you are outside of Omaha/Council Bluffs. Let me know!Monday, September 14, 2009Things I love to hear…especially when I need to send a friend in with a poor sick dog on a day I am not at work…“Wow, I just love Dr. Wittler!  And your nurses are incredible!  It is good to have a good veterinary team when you need one.  I have never had that before.”
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Free Nail Trim Weekend at Papillion Banfield was a great success!  That was very fun, and good to see all of you and your awesome pets!  Smallest was a finch at 13 grams.  (Don’t you just LOVE finches?!)  Largest was a Mastiff at 130 lbs.  ALL were incredibly cute.  Let us meet again for a similar event soon!  Here is hoping all the beautiful kitties and “Little White Dogs” and Bostons found wonderful forever homes.Sunday, September 13, 2009 

FREE NAIL TRIMS!

Papillion Banfield is partnering with Papillion Petsmart (and all Petsmarts across the country) to celebrate “Fall National Adoption Weekend-Second Chance to Love.Today (Sunday) BOSTON TERRIER RESCUE and LITTLE WHITE DOG RESCUE will be at Petsmart.  Come see their cute adoption candidates.Banfield will be providing free nail trims to ALL pets who need them!  NO LIMIT!  Bring as many pets as you can handle!  If you bring your exotic pets, I will mention them here next week, and even post pictures if you would like me to.  Bring your dogs and cats too.  It should be a fun weekend!There will also be cookies, frisbees and “free exam” coupons for your next visit.  Come on over to Banfield (inside Petsmart and all the way at the back, next to Grooming) during these hours this weekend:

Sunday 2 pm – 4 pm

I have included links to other major fun events going on at Shadow Lake Towne Center this weekend, Nebraska Beer Fest and Arts Alive! With all that and the Husker game, it should be a great weekend!

Information on

Nebraska Beer Fest

provided by Paul Kavulak of Nebraska Brewing Company

Information on

Arts Alive!

provided by Sarpy Arts

AND I JUST FOUND OUT…Papio Bay Aquatic Park is having “Dog Day”

(swim with your dog)

from 1-4 TODAY (SUNDAY)

to raise money for a Papillion Dog Park. Thanks for the info Jody!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009
THERE IS A RECALL ON TWO LOTS OF WORMSHIELD. Wormshield is the Banfield brand of monthly heartworm prevention medication.  The lot numbers are #090073 and #090095.  If you have either of these, call the Banfield from which you purchased it, and you can trade the entire package in for a new one.  The affected lots are NOT dangerous, but the levels of ivermectin (the medication that prevents heartworm disease) in them will decrease to possibly lower than effective doses before the expiration date.  You should have gotten a phone or e-mail message about the medication if you purchased it.  Fortunately, not much was sold before the problem was discovered!My big project today is to get the September Riley and James newsletter out to you.  It is going to be BORING.  Woohoo!  I love well pets.This week I am doing mostly preventative care.  (How cool that I could copy and paste that most every week!)  Don’t get me wrong, I love sickies too!  There have been some of those guys this week also, among them a gorgeous Ball Python who will not eat.  I am anxious to get in tomorrow and see if he has gained weight.Jack the Rat, who had suffered a serious back injury resulting in partial hind end paresis, is WALKING.  Yay Jack!Bella, the Rat Terrier who has been struggling with a long term neurological condition, is almost back to 100% healthy.  About six weeks ago, she came in with severe tremors that she could not control, a very unsteady gait, a heart arrhythmia and vomiting and diarrhea.  We had suspected she had eaten chocolate, but still do not know how she could have gotten into any.  She may have gotten into a different toxin, though she is very well supervised.  We treated her with supportive care and she is still on some medication.  My working diagnosis now is idiopathic neurological disorder.  Ha!  In vet school, they taught us to remember the word “idiopathic” (which means “unknown cause”) because it has the same base as “idiot.”  I don’t care about the fifteen-year-old insult, I am just so happy she is well!haha  I just realized I put poor Jack between a snake and a Rat Terrier.  Sorry Jack!  <:8Tonight will be week two of Joy the Puppy’s Intermediate Puppy Class with Jeanie at Papillion Petsmart.  Very fun so far.My friend from Oakview Petsmart, Tammy Hall, started in the grooming salon at Papillion Petsmart this week.  Yay Tammy!  Come tell her hi.  (She is the one whose nametag says “Tammy.”)  Another friend from Oakview Banfield was sad that everyone seems to be leaving Oakview.  I said “Papillion is like a giant vortex, sucking you in.” ha!  I only hope I end up working with all the same friends!  Until then, I will shop at all six Petsmarts in the area so I can still see everyone!September 4, 2009Good news on the Ernie Dog treats!  (Science Diet Jerky)  They UPSIZED their packages and made them black, but they are the same treats!  YAY Science Diet!  And Thank You PetCo guy for helping me find them and confirming that they were indeed the same treats Ernie loves.  Phew! 

(Ernie Dog Looking Happy)

I am working with Dr. Wittler and Cody to prepare for an Open House Saturday, September 12 and Sunday, September 13.  You are invited!  There are free nail trims for your pets!  And I will see what I can do…no promises, because we have not gotten far in the planning, but…there might be cookies.Papillion Banfield is holding the Open House in conjunction with Papillion Petsmart’s Adoption Weekend.  There will be cats from Nebraska Humane Society, same as always, but maybe more than usual, and dogs from rescue groups.  I am finally to a point in life that I can go to these fun events and WALK OUT, having merely pet pets, not adopted any.  You may find me more credible when it has been more than a year since I have said “Oh, look at the puppy!”…and then brought her home!  But really, I am better than I used to be!  And I think I can safely spend the entire weekend at this fun thing, and keep our pet number at a barely insane eight.If you are afraid to even come close to an “Adoption Weekend” for the same reason that I should be, know that all of these pets will end up in great homes.  And also, Shadow Lake Towne Center is having an art fair the same weekend WITH BEER (from Nebraska Brewing Company plus other local beers).  So make a wide circle around Petsmart and Banfield and check out all the great local artists.  At least then the worst case could be that you come home with an adorable picture of a dog that you didn’t mean to get!(on Ernie’s First and Hopefully Only Hardship in Life)…While I am making the Petsmart rounds, I am hoping I can find Science Diet Jerky treats for Mom and Dad’s Ernie Dog.  They discontinued them and they are Ernie’s favorite treats!  grr.  If anyone knows where they can still be found, would you let me know?  And please join me in asking Science Diet to bring them back.  Those of you who know Ernie Dog know that he is worth keeping them in production.  He is an awesome dog!!  I’ll bet if we sent them pictures of Ernie looking sad, they would make them again:

(Ernie Dog Looking Sad)

Thursday, August 20, 2009This week was a fun week at work.  I saw another Yellow Sided Green Cheek Conure-so gorgeous!  And such a sweet bird.  Now I know two Yellow Sided Green Cheek Conures.  If the number of those I personally knew actually did double every week, I would know over a million within the year.  How cool would that be?I saw the Petsmart Bearded Dragon who is on the tail end (haha) of a long illness.  I saw alot of pets for wellness stuff.  If I went into the detail I would like to, you would fall asleep!  But I LOVE wellness stuff!  Cats with no bloodwork abnormalities!  Dogs with ear swabs with NO signs of infection!  Pets with nothing to report on their pet health report.  Woo!And my personal favorite…My own eight year old Lab mix Ebony is HEARTWORM NEGATIVE!!  No, she is not high risk…I am neurotic about her monthly preventative pill.  No, it was not more than her yearly test.  But WOOHOO!  If we can’t celebrate that awesome boring news in this profession, we are going to get dragged down quickly.  So YAY for boring preventative medicine!  And YAY for Ebony!I saw one of my favorite dogs for more allergy-related misery.  She and the other allergic dogs I love, along with my developing pet allergies this year, have kicked me into an obsession about allergy prevention and cure.  Just because we do not live in a world without allergies, doesn’t mean it couldn’t exist!  I have been reading everything I can find, mostly veterinary research, but also articles on what is available now, and articles and books in the human medical field.  If she does not itch, and I can hug a kitty and breathe at the same time, that is good enough for me!More on “What in the world does this have to do with veterinary medicine?”In January I started a project of attempting to walk down every street of Omaha before the end of the year - It was the subject of my January 2009 newsletter, Walking Around Omaha.  If I had made it a decade-long project, I would just be making amazing progress!  We did add a squirrelly puppy to the project (and family) in January, and that has made it both more fun and more difficult.  (See the story of the day I met Joy.)  Now that the school year has started, I am able to take off with the dogs much more easily, and am back on track, if not to finish, to at least cover quite a bit of Omaha.I thought I would let you know how you have been swept into this whole crazy, fun project.  When I walk, I deliberately pray for the families in the homes I am passing.  As I have developed that habit, it is something I find I have been unable to turn off.  So when your pet comes in sick, I pray he would get well and that you would not be too stressed through the healing process.  When he comes in well, I pray that he would stay well and that your family would be well too.And if I have not met you?  Yeah, you too.  And if I do not know your name?  Today I prayed for Cat Lady, Nice Power-Walking Person, Person Walking the Cute Dog (and Cute Dog) and all the dogs I saw in backyards.  I will assume they all three were named “Dog” until I know otherwise.  Last night, I prayed for Poodle Lady (No, not you!  Your name is Janet, silly!  I prayed for you too…and Jeni.) and Poodle One and Poodle Two, whom we met outside of Scooter’s.  Then we actually learned all of their names, so I can pray for them by name.  For several months, I prayed for our next door neighbors Doctor Boy and Mrs. Doctor Boy.  Turns out they have real names…Andy and Desi Palmer (Mrs. Palmer when we are at school, she was a kindergarten teacher at Beals Elementary!)  And our mailman of several years, Tall Mailman, who, it turns out, actually has a real name too.  Wouldn’t that be an awesome coincidence if his name were actually Tall Mailman?  (It is not.)  I call the Sun Conures Guys and the other one Bird.  Which reminds me, I need to ask Ashley what their real names are.  She gives them good names that they can actually keep for thirty years.Didn’t mean to let you in on so much crazy!  I meant to just encourage you that I am praying for you and wishing the best for you.  But sometimes that gets said a lot…I didn’t want you to miss it.  So be encouraged.  Or back away slowly and block me from your facebook and twitter accounts.  But I will still pray for you, Blog Reading Stranger Guy.(on “If all of my clients were people you personally think are awesome, that would be…awesome.”) If you have friends who need a vet, please let them know I am here.  Thank you so much!  I will keep telling you this so you do not forget it…I LOVE your pets, and my career is awesome because of you!(on twitter) Still trying to figure this out.  My name doo-dah is “Finch93″ because 93 is my favorite number.  I don’t know why!  It always has been.  Twitter is fun, but I don’t quite get it yet!  Till then, meet me here!  Or on facebook, or at finch@rileyandjames.com.  Have a great week!

Thursday, August 13, 2009
The three Conures are out of quarantine and on display at Papillion Petsmart!  Gorgeous!  I have been getting to know the two Sun Conures.  I think we will be good friends.  The other (around the corner to the left of the Sun Conures) is a Yellow Sided Green Cheek Conure (I wrote it down so I wouldn’t forget.)  Also gorgeous, but he was sleeping so I didn’t start up a conversation.  I will catch up with him next week if he is still there.One guinea pig left from the herd!  Very cute.  Also, see if you can find the Chameleon.  He is hiding.  (haha)  I met Mary from Nebraska Humane Society.  She brought a bunch of new cats and kittens into Luv-A-Pet.  Don’t worry.  The Banfield staff did a Cat Intervention before I could adopt my four favorites!  Angela and I helped Mary match up the kitties with their descriptions.  The papers had gotten shuffled on the way to Papillion!I met some pre-veterinary Iowa State students who stopped by.  I felt bad I didn’t have more going on to show them, but on the other hand, I am glad I didn’t have more going on to show them…that is a good sign pets are home and well!  I met some more of the business people at Shadow Lake Towne Center.
Saturday, August 8. 2009
So when I went to write you an updated newsletter yesterday, I got called in to work to see what became a very sad case!  This week is hard!  But you are awesome!  Thank you for your encouraging words!  I would rather have this week than miss an opportunity to stand by a sad friend or help a hurt or sick pet.
And there were happy experiences too…some of my favorite ratties and ratty owners came in…my awesome family and friends brought their awesome dogs (from Ernie Nelson at four pounds to James Nelson at 132 pounds!  That’s James, in the top right corner of the website.)  Mom took us all out to lunch Wednesday…We started to get the word out to business owners in the area that Banfield is close to them…well, from the perspective of an extreme introvert, that I showed up at Bull Feathers and gave them some free exam coupons and said I was glad they were neighbors…phew, that sort of thing usually makes me have to sleep for a week!  Worth meeting great people but completely out of my comfort zone!  So that’s all I’ve got for now.  The work week was awesome, and I had planned to tell you more about it, but I am emotionally spent (No, not from being an extrovert for five minutes!  From all of the sad pet events this week!)
Last night we went with friends to the art show at Secret Penguin, which is a graphic design company started by my brother, Dave Nelson.  It was a great show and such good art.  All of it was done by skateboarders in Nebraska.  Great talent and great variety.
Also, Dave has some of his cutout art on display at Urban Outfitters and it will be for sale there during the month of August.  If I had a favorite (which I don’t!) it would be the little blue guy with the comb in his back pocket!  haha  He is awesome!
So now you are caught up to today!  Today I am writing you this newsletter, which I am able to do because it is in the middle of a fun weekend, and because of the friends and family rallying around me thing and because the girls are still sleeping.
The rest of the fun weekend consists of going to the Farmer’s Market and to a “Welcome Back to Omaha” open house for Shorty and Heldred Brown, friends who have been gone for a year.  I am happy they are back, and THAT is all I have to report.  Have a great week.  I will come back next week less scattered and ready to write you more stories that deal more directly with pets!

Thursday, August 6, 2009 – Read quickly!  It’s getting archived…Having had three special pets pass away this week, all suddenly, I am in a bit of a dark mood.  I will tell you this may be a “What I am doing this afternoon” post, and I will change it this evening to tell you about my actual work week.  Because that has been awesome.  And that will be fun to read about, I think.  But in my sadness now, I will tell you what I am struggling with, and get back to the other as soon as possible.  Because this is not necessarily your grief to process, or even mine.  But I am trying to process everything anyways.First of all, two of the pets who have died this week were very old cats, and while logic would tell us…well you know what logic would tell us…you have probably heard it all if you have had an especially elderly pet pass away.  But after 18 or 20 years of age, I assume cats are immortal.  I know that is not logical, but I don’t spend much time on logic.  I am mostly wrapped up in heart issues.  And I will never, never, ever get used to friends losing pets, or tell you it is a natural process or bound to happen.  Max the Cat is thirteen.  Because I am so close to him, and probably alittle because he has had a relatively healthy life so far, I have already assumed immortality for him.  I would rather live here than in the inevitable reality, but it hurts so much when (every time, of course) I am wrong again.I am going to turn our garden veggies into runzas and soup and pickles and expect to meet you back here soon refreshed and healed enough to not drag you down into any vortexes.Thank you for stopping here.  I think today I will mostly wander outside, and hang out with my daughters, and cook, and stand next to the friends who have lost their three friends.  Please know that just being here to listen has helped so very much.Sunday. August 2, 2009Yesterday Dad and I met at Petrow’s for a “business” meeting.  If you know my Dad, you know that even if you spent several decades learning by example about business and ethics and how to treat people kindly, you would still absolutely jump at the chance to spend an hour over breakfast with him, trying to learn more.  And I did.  GREAT start to the day.  Thank you Dad!!Every once in a while, I have the chance to work on a Saturday, and yesterday was one of those days.  Here are some of my favorite things about working on the weekend…The store (Petsmart) is super busy, and even though I am a complete introvert, I like to see so many families and dogs who are there just for fun.  So I came out whenever I had time, just to see everyone, but especially the Petsmart team, which I love.  Still, being super shy, I would then “retreat” to the treatment room of Banfield, and work on stuff there.There is an incredibly cute “herd” of guinea pigs at Papillion Petsmart now, so while I wait for the three Conures to come out of quarantine (They keep new pets in a safe room while they make sure they are healthy) I have been hanging out with the piggies.  If you talk to them, they come to the edge of their habitat to see what you are doing…they are so fun!And yes, I actually worked!  I saw one of my favorite cats EVER, who is a quarter of a century old!!  I love her!  And two of my favorite ratties ever.  I get a kick out of “downsizing” medication for very small patients.  In the late afternoon on Saturdays, most veterinary hospitals are closing, so we see quite a few urgent and emergency visits, which, though I prefer seeing healthy, happy pets, is also very rewarding.  I am happy to report that everyone left yesterday in better shape than they came in!You’ll notice I am careful about not putting your pet stories on the website here unless you give me the ok!  So that is why no details…except when I have permission…or stories and pictures of my own pets…or stray kittens…But I love telling you about the awesome people and pets I know, so if you would not mind me sharing your stories, please let me know!Dad and I talked some about expanding my practice.  I would like to eventually see more clients and pets and add a couple of days to my “official” schedule now that the girls are older and I have found a practice I love so much.  So if you have friends who need a vet, please let them know I am here.  Thank you so much!  I will keep telling you this so you do not forget…

I LOVE your pets, and my career is awesome because of you!

This coming week, I will be working Wednesday, August 5 from 9-7.  Have a great week!Wednesday, July 29, 2009This week I am working Saturday, August 1 from 9 am till 5 pm.  Saturdays at Papillion Banfield are fun because there is alot going on, sometimes Petsmart has dog rescues visit, there are lots of kids in the store…it is just a different feel than the rest of the week.  So come say hi if you are out shopping or have time.And Wednesdays are pretty constant.  I will almost always be there 9-7 Wednesdays.  Call first if you aren’t sure.  Sometimes I will switch schedules so Dr. Wittler can travel.Petsmart and Banfield worked together on a doggy gift basket for “Golf Fore Hope” this week.  All of the proceeds go to orphanages in Guatemala and Sri Lanka.  Jordan, the Papillion Petsmart manager, said he would like to work on things like that together more often.  Ha!  He may come to regret saying that!  Not really!  That will be fun.I have been seeing a large number of patients for “wellness” issues…health exams, vaccinations, heartworm tests…that is my very favorite.  And many have been friends and family and new clients who are very fun to get to know.

I have been driving around Papillion, trying to get a feel of the town, and walking around Shadow Lake Towne Center.  I love the area.  I have a natural inclination towards older, “family” type businesses, so it was fun to ”rediscover” downtown Papillion.  Shadow Lake Towne Center is awesome and shiny and new, but alittle overwhelming…not like an old dark bookstore you can sit in the corner of and read.  But who am I to state preferences?  I work in Banfield in Petsmart for Pete’s sake!  And I love it.  I come home to Midtown Omaha and my world balances again.  I guess I wouldn’t trade one for the other.

I Love To Be Boring

Friday, September 1st, 2006

Dave Nelson, Riley’s owner, and my little brother, asked me to write a bi-monthly newsletter for the members of Riley’s Fan Club.  I am so excited!  I have enjoyed meeting some of you and you are AWESOME pet owners.

Every veterinarian has a favorite thing… a soapbox they never get tired of standing on… a topic they love to discuss… the best part of their day. Mine is health.

Sounds like a cop-out doesn’t it?  Like I couldn’t pick one topic, so I swept them all into one? It’s not. I love to educate pet owners on disease prevention…how to help their pet be the very healthiest he or she can be for a very, very long life.

Does it seem like I might work myself out of a job?  If no one is sick, no one needs the vet, right?   In fact, I have found quite the opposite to be true.

My clients let me help them plan their pets’ diets, their exercise schedules, their wellness exams, their vaccinations, even their dental care.    So time after time I see happy, healthy pets who either have wonderful boring health reports or the tiniest of beginning problems… a bit of dental disease, a few extra pounds, the very beginning of an ear infection… I will NEVER get tired of saying, “Riley is very healthy and fit, just like she was six months ago.”

Of course I see the pets who are very sick, or have chronic conditions, even emergencies. And it is wonderful to be there for people then too, but it is not my passion.   Health is my passion.

You’d think it would get boring, wouldn’t you?  Even other vets raise their eyebrows at me.  ”Don’t you love orthopedics, internal medicine, emergencies?  Much more drama, swooping in and saving a life and all.”   And of course I do.

I love the whole veterinary medicine package — my team members, my clients, their pets, and helping them with all the ailments and accidents they can come up with.   But if every appointment consisted of examining a healthy dog or cat, guinea pig or bird… answering questions from proactive owners, and sending each pet home with a tummy full of treats and an A+ health report card, I would be the happiest vet in the world.

And as much as you probably love watching Animal Planet and hearing great life-and-death stories, I’ll bet when it comes to your pet, you would like our vet visits to be as boring as I would, huh? It sure has been a fun career as you all help me approach that.