Posts Tagged ‘Nebraska Humane Society’

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

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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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T Shirt – Final Draft!

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Here is the final draft of the 2013 Gentle Doctor T-shirt.  Be sure to preorder your shirt!  By preorder, I mean call and bug us about getting them in, because there is no actual preordering :)  I will let you know when they are in though.

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The design is from the comic When I Grow Up, I Want to be a Vet.  The occasion is the 2013 Nebraska Humane Society Walk for the Animals.  The theme of the Walk is “Be a Hero.”  All proceeds from shirt sales go to support Nebraska Humane Society.

The shirts will be $10 each.  Last year, wearing a Gentle Doctor shirt got you into the walk and into the pancake feed, which I think will be true this year as well.

The Nebraska Humane Society Walk for the Animals is Sunday, September 29, 2013.  I love this event more than I un-love crowds.  It is SO fun and for a great cause.  If YOU are there, it would be even more fun, and the crowd would be even less overwhelming for me!  Please come if you can!

Thank you to Chris and Travis of Impact Merchandising for the great shirts!  Thank you to Angie and Kelly – I love working with you, and I love designing t-shirts and planning walk stuff with you!


Camp Kindness, June 2013

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

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Frank and Joy go to Camp Kindness

Friday, July 26th, 2013

I was asked to speak at Camp Kindness, the kids’ day camp at Nebraska Humane Society, again this year.  That is always one of my favorite parts of the whole summer.

Russ, Abby and Amanda helped.  We brought Joy the Puppy.

The second of the two days my vet tech friend Allison and her awesome cat Frank came with us.  That made it even more fun – Thank you Allison!

Frank and Joy did great together again.  Here is their story.








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Nebraska Wildlife Rehab Orientation

Friday, July 12th, 2013

A few weeks ago a nice client brought a hurt Mallard duck to us.  Nebraska Wildlife Rehab came and got him and took care of him.  They are always doing nice things like that.

The good people of Nebraska Wildlife Rehab have helped me with countless bunnies and baby birds through the years, many of which I never see – I just direct kids right to their number or to my other Favorite Group, Nebraska Humane Society, which works closely with Nebraska Wildlife Rehab.

Sometimes all people need is the advice to let wild animals be, and I can and do provide THAT, but if they need anything else, Nebraska Wildlife Rehab is the best group to help.

So Jan and her family, Rae-Anne and her husband, Russ, Amanda and Abby and I all went to their Open House the other day.  Janie, Matt, Liam and Emma and Leda went too.  It was very fun.

Then Russ, Amanda and Abby and I went to the Nebraska Wildlife Rehab Orientation which was led by Brittney on Saturday, July 6, 2013.  Mostly I wanted to hold a baby raccoon.  We did get to see them, so that was neat.  And Abby got some good pictures of them.

Also, the guy who used to deliver oxygen to the two Gentle Doctor locations I work at was there with his family.  If you know me, you know I love that sort of thing.  (Well, yeah, oxygen, but I meant, you know, connections.)  He is very nice and so is his wife, and so was the entire group – about a dozen – of would-be volunteers.

I don’t know What’s Next, but it is going to be fun to find out.

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Baby Raccoons!!

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The Nebraska Wildlife Rehab Center near Louisville Nebraska was donated in 2011 by Ash Grove Cement.  It is a very neat building!

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My ever-tolerant family!  They will always support the things I am excited about.  Which sometimes ends with them getting to see baby raccoons!

Areas in Which Nebraska Wildlife Rehab Needs Volunteers:

Animal Caretaking

Volunteering at the Center


Transporting Animals from Nebraska Humane Society to the Nebraska Wildlife Rehab Center

Rapid Response – Picking Up Animals from other Locations as Needed – Like when they came to get Mr. Duck from Gentle Doctor

Newsletter Writing

Organizational Tasks

Building and Repairing Cages

Land on which to Transition and Release Animals

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Nebraska Humane Society Walk for the Animals 2012

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Pawcurious Blogathon 2011 is This Week!

Monday, November 7th, 2011

The third annual Pawcurious Blogathon starts this coming Saturday at 1:00 pm Central Time!

Recently Rescued Pups at Nebraska Humane Society

What is Blogathon?

Blogathon is a very fun online fundraiser for animals. It was started in 2009 when Dr. V decided, sort of on the spur of the moment, to spend twenty-four hours in a row blogging hourly to raise money for her local humane society.

In 2010, eight other bloggers joined Dr. V to raise money for different pet causes.  Four of us raised money for a seizure support dog for a four year old named Bradyn.  (He is getting his dog in March 2012 – woo!)

This year, the project has gotten so crazy that I do not even know how many animal lovers are participating yet!  How cool is that??

Elizabeth Hilpipre and I, along with at least six other Omaha bloggers, are raising money for the Nebraska Humane Society.  Also, an anonymous donor is matching every single donation to the Nebraska Humane Society during the Blogathon!  (Thank you Secret Pet Saver!!!)

Here is a running list of participants…Let me know of any I should add!



Lions, Tigers and Bears

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Amanda Finch


Nebraska Humane Society

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Abby Finch


Nebraska Humane Society

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Riley and James


Nebraska Humane Society

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The Wandering Duck Climbs a Mountain


Nebraska Humane Society

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Cornerstone Christian School


Pawsitively Texas

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Kol’s Notes

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My Tail Hurts from Wagging So Much

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A Shepherd’s Voice

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Bridey Boyle Liver Shunt Surgery on Facebook and ChipIn

When is Blogathon?

1:00 pm Saturday, November 12. 2011 – noon Sunday, November 13. 2011 Central Time.

Can I participate?

Yes, of course!


  • If you have a blog, and an animal related cause you would like to support, join us on Saturday and Sunday to blog hourly to raise money for your chosen cause. Feel free to blog more or less often, or participate in the “sane” hours of the Blogathon.
  • If you have a blog and would like to support a cause already being sponsored, check the list of participants and jump in with the project you would like to support!  Last year, I was still figuring all of this out, and loved Dr. V’s idea of helping a little boy get his therapy dog, so this is the option I chose.
  • Let us know you are participating!

Do I Have Time to Prepare if this is the First I Have Heard of Blogathon?

Last year I bought some Diet Coke and chocolate right before Blogathon started and made stuff up as I went.  So, yes.

What Should I Blog About?

The cause you are supporting…pets…your thoughts on things you think…videos…photos…links to the cause you are supporting or other Blogathon participants’ websites and the causes they are supporting or other stuff…

My blogging style is a bit random, so I made sure to link to the donation site at the end of every post last year to help focus myself.  I will be doing that again this year!

Do You Have Links From Last Year I Can Check Out?

Yes, and if you follow those links, they will bring you to more information!

Blogathon 2010 on Pawcurious

Blogathon 2010 on Riley and James

Oh no, I do not have a blog!  Do I need to sit on the curb and watch everyone go by?  *sniff*

No, of course not!

  • Offer to write a guest blog post in advance for any participating blogger you think may need a 3 am coffee break.
  • Comment on the participating blogs.  You would not believe how encouraging support and participation are when bloggers are thinking “What was I thinking?” and “What did I get myself into?” and “I am so tired!” and “Is this making a difference?”
  • See if bloggers need pictures that you have taken.  We are ALWAYS looking for great pictures, and they make posts more fun to read.  Also, your pets are super cute.
  • I am specifically looking for pictures of clocks “on the hour” to post each hour, so if you take a neat clock picture that I can use, let me know!

You are crazy!  I am not staying up all night!

That is not a question!  But you do have a good point.  You can still help!

  • Promote the Blogathon through facebook and twitter and other social media sites.
  • Tell your friends and family.
  • Support the cause or causes that you love.  Make donations during the Blogathon or even later in honor of “The Pawcurious Blogathon.”
  • Learn about the groups highlighted during Blogathon that sound interesting.
  • Get to know the participating bloggers.  Odds are, they are just as dog crazy as you are and would be very fun to know!
  • Do the awesome things you are already doing to help organizations helping animals…give, volunteer, support.

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I think you are awesome, and I can not wait to spend this coming weekend with you!  THIS is going to be fun, people!


Camp Kindness 2011

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Cat Expo

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Saturday’s Cat Expo at Nebraska Humane Society was very fun!  I neither tripped nor drooled, but I did speed talk.  More time for questions!  And there were great questions, many about diets for fat cats, so we should talk more about that here soon.

Kitty Dybdall did a great presentation on cats and litterboxes.  I took notes like crazy – I really think more cats are rehomed because of litterbox issues than anything else.  One of my Life Goals is for every cat owner to get to have their cats for twenty plus years, and their (unintentional) pee antics and their peoples’ (understandable) frustrations are interfering with my Life Goal!

The Nebraska Humane Society team did a great presentation on cat grooming.  They have a handout on nail trimming that I am sure you could get if you need.

The Cat Agility Demonstration was SUPER CUTE!  Two kittens, Oreo and Twizzlers, who have been working (playing) very hard on their skills showed what they had learned on the screened in agility course.  You are very talented, Baby Cats!

My talk was on Common Medical Issues at Different Life Stages.  Even though the audience was composed of very engaged, intelligent cat people with decades of experience, I am pretty sure at one point I said “Cats are super cute.”  Wow.  Cutting edge information.  Oh well.  Very nice group of people, and they had great questions.  Here are links to the articles I gave out after.  If you want printed copies, I have more…Pretty sure I did not lose my train of thought or say “um” in any of the articles :)

Choose Your Own Adventure, Litterbox Edition, Introduction


Choose Your Own Adventure, Litterbox Edition

on Riley and James

Forty Things

on Riley and James

Max the Cat

Wuzzy Chronicles,

Thank you for including me in your awesome Cat Expo Nebraska Humane Society!  I hope tons of cats and kittens were adopted!

What’s New?

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Hi!  What’s new?

I feel as though my poor website has taken a back seat of late and I have not gotten to interact with you all here much.  I did not mean to show up here so infrequently!  Here are some highlights from my past few weeks!

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I attended a Beth Moore event with my Mom-in-law, Karen, which was wonderful.  One of the absolute highlights of the weekend was this cat painted on the parking garage near Pershing Auditorium in downtown Lincoln:

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My girls attended Camp Kindness at Nebraska Humane Society, which was, as always, awesome.

While we were there, we accidently met a baby Chinese Crested puppy and her two equally adorable brothers.  She was throwing toys at her brothers’ heads and dancing around in a happy I-am-just-the-greatest dance.  Her mini dress says “Major Attitude.”  My friend called this the Princess and the Pea picture.  :)  That is her equally cute, more furry brother to the left of her.  HE has been adopted.  I do not know if she or her other brother or their Mama have yet.

Must. Resist. Puppy.

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The awesome Jana Rade of Dawg Business published this post I wrote on xylitol toxicity:

Xylitol and the Basset Hound

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener present in many products, most notably some sugar-free gums.  After the scare with this poor dog, we do not even allow xylitol into our house anymore!

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My weekly articles at Life With Dogs are up and running…

Life with Dogs

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The CareFRESH Blog is up and running too…

CareFRESH Blog

Any small pet health topics you would like to see covered?

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Veterinary Economics published my story about Joy the Puppy missing her Ebony Dog, which is neat to see in print, but brings up all of my (still pretty raw) sadness over Eb.

Do Pets Mourn?

Joy’s eyes are still intermittantly baldy-bald, and we are still all moping around, but we are doing ok!

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Next month, Veterinary Economics is publishing my post on how to make a Veterinary Pen Holder!

That will be lighter, and a fun article.  Pretty silly!

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Tomorrow, I am speaking at the Nebraska Humane Society Cat Expo at noon.  When I do public speaking, I tend to drool and stammer and mumble and talk so fast I am done in ten seconds instead of one hour and trip over my own feet standing still (or at least I feel like I do).  So that should be fun for everyone.

Nebraska Humane Society Cat Expo

If you are in Omaha, come if you can!  A cat behaviorist, Kitty Dybdall,  is speaking at 10 am, which I am very excited about, and a CAT AGILITY TRAINER, Jill Archibald, is doing demonstrations!  I am SO excited to see that!

Hope you are having a wonderful summer!

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