Posts Tagged ‘dvm360’

Pet Blogger Challenge 2014

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

For the fourth year, pet bloggers are being challenged to think deeply about and speak honestly about their blog.  I love this challenge!  It is fun to share, and fun to learn about other blogs and get to know other writers!

Riley and James – Pet Blogger Challenge 2011

Riley and James – Pet Blogger Challenge 2012

Riley and James – Pet Blogger Challenge 2013

Thank you so much to Edie Jarolim of Will My Dog Hate Me and Amy Burkert of Go Pet Friendly for hosting this fun project!

Pet Blogger Challenge Jan. 10

Riley and James – Pet Blogger Challenge 2014

How long have you been blogging?

I have been blogging for a little over seven years.

Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging because my brother Dave told me I might like it.  You were right – thank you Dave!  At the time, I had to ask him what a blog was – I suspected it was one of those trendy, made up words.  I also did not know whether or not I liked writing, and it turns out I LOVE writing.  I can’t imagine NOT writing now.

Give us a quick description of what your blog is about.

Riley and James is named after my brother Dave’s and my Sister-I-Love Sara’s two giant dogs, Riley the Great Dane who is still doing great at age 9 and James the Mastiff who passed away at age 8.  The blog is not about those two awesome dogs – though it features Dave’s rendition of their cartoon likenesses (How cute are they??)

The main focus of Riley and James is the promotion of preventative care in pets from a veterinarian’s perspective, though if you stick around awhile, TANGENTS seem to be as big a theme as preventative care!  I like to write about my family, our own pets, gardening, Christmas, our annual purple tree, our community, my work, and whatever else is going on in our lives!  It often, but not always, is brought back around to pets!

Name one thing about your blog, or one blogging goal that you accomplished during 2013, that made you the most proud.

This one is subtle and awesome, and the work of others, not me…which I absolutely love.  Last year I posted as one of my goals that one day soon every cat in Omaha would have a home.

Two years ago, I spent a day with Dr. Horn, one of the veterinarians at Nebraska Humane Society, spaying and neutering cats and dogs.  On a normal work day, I might have a surgery or two, or I might not.  We had dozens of patients that day!  The pace was exhilarating – I loved it.  But the thought of losing puppies and kittens-to-be through spaying every dog or cat – which is the right thing to do – I firmly believe it – just smashed me.

I told Dr. Horn at the end of that day that I supported Nebraska Humane Society 100%, but I knew my role was not to be on the front lines with her.  I said that I would end up curled on in a corner on the floor, and they would have to step over me, and it would just be a pain.  I would be no help.  I was being honest, but I felt like I was letting down our community, Dr. Horn, and the pets that needed me.

I saw Dr. Horn at Central Veterinary Conference this past fall.  She asked me if I remembered that day.  I said that I did.  She said that they had considered how difficult that had been for me, and had improved their technique of juvenile spay and neuter so much that they were able to spay and neuter 1.8 lb. pets whereas before their lowest weight cut off had been 2.0 lbs.  She said that that may not sound like a huge difference, but it meant they could adopt out altered foster kittens and puppies a full week earlier than they could before.  Which meant that they could place more puppies and kittens into foster homes that were now open.  Which meant that they could now house and bring to term many pregnant dogs and cats, whereas before they would need to spay them right as they came in because they just did not have the resources to care for so many newborn puppies and kittens.

Now they do.

They are now rescuing PRE-TERM puppies and kittens by taking in pregnant dogs and cats and waiting to spay them until after they give birth and then adopting out the mamas and all the babies.

I am so proud of our community.  I am so impressed by Dr. Horn and her team.

It is easy to say we should save all the puppies and kittens.  It is almost (but not quite) impossible to be the team that makes that happen.

All I did was cry about it.  And write about it.  The Nebraska Humane Society team took it from there.

In all seriousness, they saw my heart break – they saw a perspective of an outsider who loves baby animals as much as they do – and they brainstormed and worked and made it happen – they save the lives of entire litters all the while saving the lives of the REST of the homeless pets in our community.  I have always been a huge fan of rescuers overall and the Nebraska Humane Society in particular, but this story got to me more than most, and warmed my heart on a very personal level.

I will keep writing.  I will keep hoping for impossible things.  I will try to remember that filling the role that I do is important, while still admiring the awesomeness of and actions of the Rest of the Pet Lovers.

“Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.” 1 Corinthians 12:15

Whatever 2

When you look at the post you wrote for last year’s Pet Blogger Challenge, or just think back over the past year, what about blogging has changed the most for you?

I have had less time to write this past year than before, but I am hoping that I will find more creative ways to fit in writing in 2014.

What lessons have you learned this year — from other blogs, or through your own experience — that could help us all with our own sites?

Write about what you love.  Post lots of pictures!  Don’t be afraid to go off topic sometimes – everyone will love getting to know the whole you.

Alternatively, if you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re still having with your blog, what would it be?

How do you all find time to write such consistently great stuff?  That – tips on finding time in a busy life – would be so helpful at this stage!

What have you found to be the best ways to bring more traffic to your blog, other than by writing great content?

I have not found a better way!

How much time to do you spend publicizing your blog — and do you think you should spend more or less time next year?

I post links on my personal Facebook page and Twitter page and send a link to my Dad.  Yes, I should probably spend more time on this!

How do you gauge whether or not what you’re writing is appealing to your audience? And how do you know when it’s time to let go of a feature or theme that you’ve been writing about for a while?

Sometimes people will tell me in person what they thought of what I wrote, or send me an email.  I also can gauge how a post resonated by comments – though that is not a huge aspect of the blog.  I LOVE when other bloggers I admire or dvm360 pick up a post – That is such a huge compliment.

When you’re visiting other blogs, what inspires you to comment on a post rather than just reading and moving on?

If I really feel strongly about a topic or have a thing to add that has not been said, I will sometimes comment.  I know bloggers’ love language is often comments : ) so I try to comment more  than I normally would – I am more a reader and mover-oner – even of blog posts I love (yours!)

Do you do product reviews and/or giveaways?  If so, what do you find works best, and what doesn’t work at all?

I very infrequently do product reviews, and those only if I have been asked directly.  I tell people who ask that if I do not absolutely love a product, I will not review it at all.  I review quite a few books here, just for fun, and have the same policy.  My Mom told me that if I can’t say anything nice not to say anything at all, so I try not to!  Great reviews are more fun to read, and people want to hear about products and books you loved, not ones you thought were just ok…or worse!

When writer’s block strikes and you’re feeling dog-tired, how do you recharge?

I am SUCH an introvert, that I need time alone or with my family to recharge.  Usually I will read or look through the internet or watch a movie.  If I am REALLY tired, I just need to sleep until I am caught up – not always possible to do all at once – but I always do my best work when I am fully rested!

Have you ever taken a break from your blog? How did that go?

I will often go several days or a few weeks without posting.  I try to go no more than a month.  If I have not written for a while, I can feel myself getting stressed and out of sorts.  I am not an every day writer – I SO admire those of you who are!  But I do need to write regularly to feel like I am at my best.

Have you ever thought about quitting your blog altogether? What makes you stay?

No!  I love it.

What goals do you have for your blog in 2014?

My 2014 goals I hope to accomplish through writing on Riley and James are the continued celebration of preventative care resulting in the eradication of illness and injury and death worldwide, a home for every Omaha cat, then a home for every cat and dog in the world and, as always, an end to puppy mills!

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Important KC CVC Info 2012

Monday, July 29th, 2013

I can’t believe it is almost time for the Kansas City Central Veterinary Conference again!  I can’t wait!  I am sad Dr. Nicol will not be making the trip from Australia this year, but excited to see Dr. Roark and (I hope!) Dr. Burcham again and the whole Veterinary Economics and dvm360 crew.  A bunch of coworker friends are coming to KC too, so that will be fun.

I have been saving notes from last year to use for blog posts, and figured I better get the posts I have planned done before the conference is here again!

Here is my contribution for today.  Linezolid is an antibiotic that is $115 PER PILL (+ 1 year inflation, I assume.)  I promise never to prescribe it to your pet.


I am posting this picture of my notes because – not to brag – I thought this was an EXTREMELY cute picture of a pill.

The doc at the top of my notes is Charles Stratton, MD.  He said, in discussing the problem of antibiotic resistance, “Dead bugs don’t mutate.”  The more you think about it, the more brilliant you will realize it is.

I don’t remember if I was drawing it from a picture of him or not, or honestly, what the main point of the talk was or who was talking.  Unfortunately, that happens a lot, and my notes tend to look like this.  I do have a fun time taking notes though.

And sometimes I write down brilliant random quotes.

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Breed of the Month

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Last fall at the Central Veterinary Conference in Kansas City, I was given a great big notebook as a thank you gift for serving on the Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board.  (Thank you!)  When I got back to Omaha, I held out the notebook to show our office manager and boss.  “You got THAT?!  Ours is in the mail and won’t be here for TWO DAYS.”

“You can read mine…” I said, now hugging it tight, “after I read it.”

Intriged, I opened the notebook.  “Benchmarks 2012:  A Study of Well-Managed Practices.”  One section caught my eye – “Breed Specific Healthcare.”

“Well, that’d be depressing!” I thought, and read on.

After I had read the entire Benchmarks 2012 cover to cover – yes it was as good as they said – I handed it over.  Angie called me that day and said, “We NEED to do this breed thing!”

I love specific dog and cat breeds as much as the next rescue-loving domestic shorthair and mutt-adopting veterinary professional, but focusing on the medical concerns of each breed for clients who love the breed because of their awesomeness?  It just sounded like a bad idea – You love Labs?  Have you thought about HIP DYSPLASIA?  Boxers?  Yes they are sweet and their faces are cute, but also cancer.  Bulldogs?  Liquidate your assets.  Oh, and congratulations on your new puppy.

Of course we cover breed-related medical issues during wellness care appointments, but focusing on it MORE?

“No,”  I said, “too depressing!”

“Yes!”  Angie said.  And so we did.  And it has been awesome – one of the most enjoyable projects I have done.

January 2013:  Bernese Mountain Dogs (and Mixes!)

February 2013:  Dobermans

March 2013:  Russian Blue Cats

April 2013:  Portuguese Water Dogs

May 2013:  Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

June 2013:  Sphynx Cats

Here is what I have learned this year:

Breeds are fun, and worth celebrating.

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Your clients and team will be your biggest supporters.  I have e-mailed, called or sent hand written notes, depending on the patient base size, and have gotten cute pictures in piles!  Always get permission before you use pictures, but it will not be a snag.  People know their pets are cute, and having their medical team confirm that?  Awesome.

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Clients and online friends appreciate learning about breed-related medical concerns, even of breeds they do not have.  Balance it with fun facts, breed history and pictures, and a month of focusing on one breed will be rewarding, NOT depressing.

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Putting fun facts out there – we do Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest – takes A LOT of behind the scenes work, but it is the kind of work I love most.  If you have someone in your practice who loves learning, reading and assimilating information (And you do, you are a medical team for heaven’s sake!) put that person in charge of gathering info.

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The team will love helping – Our receptionist Amanda gathers client names for me every month.  Vet tech Allison, Dr. Stokes and Dr. Kanne have provided tons of cute pictures of their own pets.  Angie manages the Pinterest page.  Everyone has supported us on Facebook by commenting, liking and sharing posts.

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Clients will love it.  Most of the rest of our pictures are from clients who have gotten behind our breed celebrations.

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Online friends will love it.  When we do not have a picture within our team or client base, online friends have always stepped up.  See the Twitter follower number go up with every monthly screen shot?

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The fancy-pants picture changing is easy.  If you decide to do a similar project, I will help you with all of that if you would like.

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The only thing that would make this more fun is if more vet teams were doing it with us!  We could share background breed information, cover the same breeds some months and share what is working and what is not.

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Choosing breeds is easy.  So far Angie and I have chosen them like this:  “Do you like ___?”  “Yes!”  “Me too!”  Next…  We started with Beagles and Huskies (before we were doing monthly Twitter pictures to show you!) because those are breeds of two local rescue groups we love.

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I have learned so much about specific breeds.  When I am gathering information in order to help clients, I can swallow my pride about thinking I should already know everything about every pet, and secretly (until now) think things like “Sphynx cats tend to be healthy?!  Who’d have thought?”

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I know we have succeeded if I get near the end of a month and have fallen more in love with the breed.  So far, YES on every count.  SO fun.

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Who would like to play Breed of the Month with us?

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And a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 31st, 2012

“Shoot for the moon and if you miss…you will be floating in space…the closest star is Proxima Centauri and it’s 4.2 light years away. So you might be ‘among’ Proxima in about 1 million years. But then you are only among a single star. It’s not possible to be among multiple stars because they are so far apart from one another. -Alex Krasny


This time around, coming up with New Year’s Resolutions has been difficult.

I’ve got Prove the Cute Vet Wrong in 2013, but you knew that one.  I thought only Dad and Russ knew that the best way to get me to do something is to tell me I can’t.  Even before this article came out – which I actually think is very, very good – I have had an all consuming obsession with the Gentle Doctor blog-to-be.  I have a year’s worth of weekly posts written.  Oh yeah, I am crazy.  In a good way.

On a related subject (online work projects) I would like to continue to manage and grow Gentle Doctor’s Twitter presence with the help of Dr. Krapfl and Angie and our new Breed of the Month thing.

Also, I meant to lose a Standard Poodle in 2012, and I lost a medium sized Poodle mix, which is still something.  So, next year, I would like to regroup, refocus and lose another medium sized Poodle mix!

3000 more followers on Twitter.  I don’t talk about follower count on Twitter much.  First of all, it isn’t up to me, it’s up to you.  And second of all, it seems like shouting about it would ruin things, and NOT shouting would allow things to keep going well, like being really quiet when you see a butterfly, and now I am in a beautiful swarm.  Only I do not know if butterflies have ears.

It is a common misconception that veterinarians know every little thing like that about every animal.  Mostly we know about dogs.  (Kidding!  Mostly.)

I do know that I am only “ahead” of the next veterinarian/hospital on Twitter by a couple thousand followers, and if we were a comic they would be my arch enemy, and they advertise like crazy for followers, and so that’s fun for me.  Even so, if I only had the tiniest group of friends on Twitter, and you were in that group, it would be as fun for me as it is now.

I have loved working with the dvm360 team, and would love to do more writing projects together.  That breaks about 60% of the S-M-A-R-T goal setting rules, but there it is.  It is what I want, even if I am not sure what it is yet!

Same goes for the Square Foot Gardening team.

There’s Penelope Dog. She will be in the December 2013 Veterinary Economics edition, so there’s that.  That matches up better to specific, measurable and all that, huh?

Penelope, we love your face!

Here’s another nebulous goal – continued success at work.

And another – continued healing.  Oo that’s kind of serious.  Things are good and getting better.

Family time.

Garden time.

Poodle time.

And cat and puppy time…This will be the Year of the Old Pet.  Joy the Puppy is only three, and just needs a disproportionate amount of attention.  Max the Cat (16) and Noodle the Poodle (13) though are really starting to show their age, and just are going to need lots more care than before, if things continue to move in the direction they are.  Stupid mortality.  Actually they are doing quite well.  We have a carpenter to build ramps all over and a vet to fret over their health and kids to help with pet care.  We should be set!

I hope 2013 is the best year yet for you and your family!

Happy New Year!!

Things that were Awesome in Kansas City

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Russ and Amanda and Abby and I went to Kansas City last week to go to Lego Land learn stuff.  Well, I went to learn stuff.  Also, we went to Lego Land which was awesome.  The girls had to tell Russ and me it was time to go at the end of the afternoon.  You know that sound Legos make when you are mixing them to find a blue 2X4 brick?  Yeah, that is what I was not quite ready to leave.

But we did, and I went to CVC, which was as awesome in a grown up sort of way.  Central Veterinary Conference is a veterinary conference done by Advanstar three times a year.  They publish Veterinary Economics and other journals-I-love and have the website dvm360.

Things that were Awesome in KC…

I played with Legos.  I know I already said that one.  I just wanted to give you context for how awesome the things on my things that were awesome in KC list is.

I met Dr. Andy Roark.

I met Dr. Dave Nicol.

I learned about feline hyperaldosteronism.  (Summary:  If cats accidentally make too much aldosterone, it makes them feel like crap.  Also, it’s treatable.)  I feel like if I can get my head around weird medical conditions, I can probably figure out the less weird things too.  It gave me hope.  Like I could walk into any exam room with any lethargic kitty and confidently hold his paw from diagnosis through treatment.

I sat through two entire eyeball lectures without getting grossed out.  Well, I was grossed out.  But I stayed.  And I learned things.  And I did this –


instead of this –


I went to my first Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board Meeting.  You know those guys in the little squares by the articles in journals?  And the editor names in the list at the front of the journals?  Did you know that they are REAL PEOPLE?  They are!  I got to meet them in Real Life.  And they are super nice.

I only walked into a crowded room and right back out twice in four days.  And I walked back in both times.  Yay me.  I am a grown up.  Well, maybe not.  But I do think I should get another “I’m a winner” sticker.

I have a list of EIGHT more books to read!  Woo!  And I bought two veterinary books – one on exotic pets and also the most recent edition of Plumb’s Veterinary Drug Handbook.  Loving that book does not make me a nerd.  I was already a nerd, and that is why I love that book so.  Be glad that I am.  It is good for your pets!

I came back refreshed and excited about medicine and exited about how social media and veterinary medicine can be friends.  They can, and they are, they just don’t know each other very well yet.  I feel as though I have more tools to work on that this coming year, especially after spending time with Dr. Roark and Dr. Nicol and the dvm360 group.  This is going to be fun, people!

Very, very fun week, and I am already looking forward to next year.

Thank you People Who Made CVC Awesome!  (Yeah, you.)

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? :)


Book Reading Project Bunny Trails

Friday, April 29th, 2011

The self-assigned Read Every Single Book on the Veterinary Economics 25 Books List Project was so fun that I read the last two books really slowly because I did not want the project to end. Then I realized that between friends and family loaning, giving and suggesting books, books the authors of the books on the lists recommended, other books they have written and books I found in hunting down all twenty five books, I have an ENDLESS list of books to read this year! Yay!

I wanted to list as many as possible in one place.  Dr. Burcham – I tried the GoodReads website, and I do not get it!  If you help me, I will try again – ha!  I think you may love reading as much as me!

Right now, the books I want to read are in a combination of on-my-shelf, on-my-nightstand, in-my-head, in-my-notebook, in-the-reference-section-of-the-books-I-have-read and in-cyberspace. Very unorganized and overwhelming. AND…when I am overwhelmed, I write a list!

So, you have seen the list of Books I Have Recently Read and Loved.

Here is the list of Books I Would Like to Read. Anytime I try to put What’s In My Head into a list, things can get a little crazy, which makes sense, considering the contents of my head. You’ve been warned. : )

What books would you add that you have read or would like to read? Thank you for all of your recommendations this past year and In The Future! This has been so fun!

The Thank You Economy by Gary Vee (Thank you Dave Nelson!)

Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (Thanks Cara-I-Love!)

The Twenty Point Day by Bob Nelson

(not yet written, but I hope my Dad will write it – It is going to be AWESOME!)

The Five Tools of Team Leadership by Dr. Scott Christiansen

(not yet written but I hope Pastor Scott will write it-another awesome book-to-be!)

The Book by the person who writes Hyperbole and a Half (not yet written but it WILL be for sure!  It says so in the blog!  Coming out fall 2012)

What Clients Love by Harry Beckwith (Thanks Phil!)

The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino (Thanks Dad!)

Soar with your Strengths by Donald O. Clifton and Paula Nelson (Thanks Dad!)

Where Have All the Leaders Gone? By Lee Iacocca (Thanks Dad!)

Heaven is for Real by Pastor Todd Burpo (Thanks Karen!)

SuperFreakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

The Future Books by Malcolm Gladwell

Every Book Published by “Twelve”

The Shadow of Her Smile by Mary Higgins Clark (Thanks Mom!)

The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem Van Loon (Thanks Brendan!)

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (the original edition)

Public Speaking and Influencing Men In Business by Dale Carnegie

Public Speaking for Success by Dale Carnegie

Lincoln the Unknown by Dale Carnegie

Five Minute Biographies by Dale Carnegie

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie

The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough

The Great Bridge by David McCullough

The Path Between the Seas by David McCullough

Mornings on Horseback by David McCullough

Brave Companions by David McCullough

John Adams by David McCullough

1776 by David McCullough (Thanks Cathy-Friend!)

In the Dark Streets Shineth: A 1941 Christmas Eve Story by David McCullough

The Greater Journey by David McCullough (comes out May 24, 2011)

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Built to Last by Jim Collins

Teaching and Learning Communication Skills in Medicine by Dr. Suzanne Kurtz, Dr. Jonathan Silverman and Dr. Juliet Draper

1812 by David Nevin (Thanks Cathy-Friend!)

Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell (Thanks Bryan and Karen! :))

So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore (Thanks Mom-Karen!)

Heaven by Lisa Miller (Thanks Roberta-Friend!)

Chicken Soup for the Soul – Power Moms

The Divine Life of Animals by Ptolemy Tompkins (Thanks Mom-Karen!)

The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs (Thanks Cara-I-Love!)

Don’t Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor (Thanks Cara-I-Love!)

Son of Hamas by Mosab Hassan Yousef (Thanks Sara-I-Love!)

Social Media for Veterinary Professionals by Brenda Tassava – This one JUST came out!  Woo!  Can’t wait to read it!  I heard that it is great!

May 2, 2011  Update: The author just offered to send me a copy of Social Media for Veterinary Professionals to review!  Woo!  Thank you Brenda!  *standing by the mailbox*

The Dental Radiography book at work

The Five Minute Veterinary Something by Someone and Dr. Tilley – I will write it down and fix this entry! (I have always loved this book, but I have never read it from cover to cover)

The Hill’s Veterinary Nutrition Book

The rest of the Marvin, The Golf Caddy Dog series by Harold R. Mann (This was to be an entire Marvin series, but I am not entirely sure the rest of the series yet exists in Real Life – I hope so or that it will exist soon as it was a fun book!)

Your Dog, The Owner’s Manual by Dr. Marty Becker

Boundries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend (Thanks Kim!)

Crucial Conversations: Tools for talking when stakes are high and Crucial Confrontations by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, and Switzler (Thanks Marnette!)


This may be a longer reading project than the previous one.

Also, I need more suggestions from you.

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I have always loved to read. So has Russ. It has been fun to see this trait passed down to both of our daughters. Our oldest has been told at least once every school year that recess is not for reading, it is for playing.

Once at a party I picked up my friend’s JAVMA (Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association), and he said “Seriously? It’s Friday night!” I said something super cool along the lines of “Um, I hadn’t gotten my mail yet…I didn’t know this issue was out…I…um…” and then joined the party like a Normal Person. I love reading. : )

May 2, 2011  Update! The Awesome Editor Kristi Reimer of Veterinary Economics/dvm360 informed me that Tom McFerson has a SECOND 25 Book List coming out! I told her to remind the author that our ceilings are only eight feet high – ha!  Bring it!  As long as I have time to walk Noodle the Poodle and Joy the Puppy and garden too, I will obsessively read whatever you all suggest!  (Oh, and I need time to raise children and do the whole save and preserve life thing… :))

Book Reading Project Summary

Friday, April 29th, 2011

In the July 2010 edition of Veterinary Economics, Tom McFerson wrote an AWESOME article called 25 Books for Your Summer Reading List. I have finished the list! Woo! What a fun project.

I decided to take the project one step further and review the books I loved. It is much easier to criticize a book than invest several months or years into actually writing one, so that is why I decided to only review the ones I loved and could give…


Five Stars!


Here are links to the reviews of my favorites…



Start-Up Nation

How to Win Friends and Influence People



Good to Great

Management Lessons from Mayo Clinic

Skills for Communicating with Patients, Second Edition

And some “update posts” about the project…

What I am Reading This Week: Veterinary Economics

What I am Reading This Week: Big Important Books

What I am Reading This Week: The Same Big Important Books

Coming Soon on Riley and James

And some other books my daughter Abby and I reviewed during the year of the book-reading-and-reviewing kick…

Houdini Was…

Speaking for Spot

Marvin the Golf Caddy Dog

Anesthesia for the Pet Practitioner, Third Edition

The Complete Cat’s Meow


And HERE is a super-cool book shelf graphic from Shelfari. I had seen it on friends’ websites, and NEEDED it for this post! How cool is this book shelf??


Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog

So now I need a new project!

I have been keeping track of the books YOU have recommended this year and plan on reading all of them! The ones you have recommended and I have read, I have loved. What other books would you recommend? I like almost everything!

Next Up on Riley and James…

Book Reading Project Bunny Trails

Hey, Thanks!

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Liz Marsh wrote a very nice article “Top 5 Veterinary Blogs” on dvm360 in February 2011 and included Riley and James! Woo!  Thank you so much!!

The other bloggers are Dr. Marty Becker (Pet Connection), Kyle Palmer, CVT (who blogs on dvm360), Brenda Tassava (Veterinary Manager Advisor) and Generation Vet (by Hillary Israeli, VMD and Phil Barnes)…all super awesome.  I am very complimented to be included in such a great group.

Thank you Liz for the nice things you said about Riley and James!  And thank you too Kyle and My Imaginary Best Friend (Dr. Amanda Brown) for saying such nice things!

UPDATE: Here is the print version of this article!  I did not realize it was going to be in print too – how fun!

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Signing Off…

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Losing Ebony has been difficult.  I am going to take a few weeks in Real Life and just deal with that.  And by deal with that I mean sleep.  And mope.  And take turns saying to Russ “Are you ok?” and “Do I look ok?” and bugging the girls about how they are doing.

Saturday I will post another short story about the human-animal bond.  These have been fun.  I think I will try to write them more often.  The Saturday Blog Hop is a great time to fit them in cuz they just take a second to read and you can hop to the next blog.

This one has Russ in it so I am going to get his permission before I post it.  I rarely ask his permission for anything, but I do try to ask people or at least give them a heads up if I am going to say anything other than “This person is super awesome,” which he is, by the way.  I figured I could at least extend him the same professional courtesy I extend to others.  And also, I try not to do anything Important without running it by Russ first.

We are a good team.  The hitch comes when we are both going through the same difficult time.  Still, it has been so good to have someone who loved Ebony like I did to be with.

Next up after the Short Story is that series of leadership articles written for veterinarians.  I am going to try to fit them all in before March.  I posted the first and my favorite at dvm360 today…

A Dramatic Wellness Exam

I will put the other seven here on Riley and James.

Then March 1 – Heartworm Free Celebration and hopefully by then I will be done with the Veterinary Economics 25 Leadership Books Series and can tell ya what I thought.  (So far I love it!  Less than two books to finish and the last one JUST came in the mail a few minutes ago – woo!)

Then hopefully I will be back to random celebration of preventative care in real time.  It’s what I love best about this site.  But when real life hits, you kind of get dragged through the hard times with me.  I love that you are here, but I do not want to share to the point of discouraging you.  Fuzzy and Wuzzy and Piggy and Ebony were such wonderful pets.  Losing them as little individual family members has been horrible, but having them pass away one after another in a matter of three months has been staggering.  I SO hope I have no news for you when I come back to sharing in real time mid-March.

Here is what I plan to say:*yawn*  Well, that’s better.  Gotta plant garlic and potatoes, then I will be back to write some super helpful veterinary preventative care information and stories for you…

Happy End of Winter…

Hope it is boring for you and your pets in the best possible ways.