Thank you for all you do to help pets!
I think that you are great.
Happy May Day!
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…
…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 some…stuff 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.
Our Three Previously Black Dogs
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!
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…
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
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!!
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!)
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.
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!
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??
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.
Banfield Journal published an article I wrote on team conflict…
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…
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.
This just in from Riley (Great Dane) and James’ (Mastiff) owner:
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!
provided by Paul Kavulak of Nebraska Brewing Company
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!
(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 email@example.com. Have a great week!
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.
May 1, 2009…I started this newsletter in April before I knew What’s Next…so here it is from the beginning. It is good to know it has a happy ending!
As many of you know, I will be done working at Oakview Banfield on May 20, 2009, and hopefully starting at a different veterinary hospital in May or June. Thank you for all of your encouragement! My career is amazing because of you.
All I know so far is that I would like to stay in Omaha, and I really do not want YOU to have to commute far from Midtown/West Omaha, if it can be helped! All of Omaha is close to my heart, of course, but I love Midtown, where we live, and I love West Omaha where I grew up and where I practice now. And most of you are in one of these two parts of town too.
I do not mind driving, so I am looking in a pretty wide radius. But I would like to stay close enough that if you join me on this new adventure (I SO hope that you will!!) you will not have to have too long of a car trip with your sick pup/scared kitty/temperature sensitive pocket pet…I love Banfield, and I love my coworkers. To a person, they are as passionate about pets and medicine as I am, and incredibly talented. I will miss them all very much. That has made this a very difficult decision for me, but I am absolutely sure it is the right one.
If you are a Banfield or PETsMART person reading this, know that I plan to continue bringing Noodle for grooming, keep bringing the entire herd to the Petshotel, come for more puppy classes, and shop at PETsMART as much as I do now. I already have May Day baskets started for all of you, and will come celebrate with you when the new PETsMART opens on 168th and Maple Street. My goal is to have you say, “I thought she left…