Posts Tagged ‘pets’
Happy New Year!
2011 was not the boring year I wished for at this time last year, but other than losing Ebony Dog, it was a very, very good year filled with family, pets, friends, new jobs, new challenges and new projects. I would not trade this past year for anything, but I would like my dog back.
Goodbye 2011. Thank you for all of the new amazing things you brought to our lives.
Since this is a pet blog, I will say..I really like my new friend Maya the Boston Terrier. And her Dad. He is great. Also, I love Lucy Dog, who is Russ’ parents’ new puppy.
I have new friends at work who are wonderful. I kept all of my preexisting friends too. They are also awesome.
I have met many wonderful people through blogging and twitter. Hi internet friends! I love you as much as I love my Real Life friends. It is so good to know you.
I have loved all the time I have gotten to spend with family and friends this past year.
The Nelsons went to Colorado as a family, and I got to spend a lot of time with the very small Nelsons.
We got to go to our friends’ wedding in New York, where I had never been before.
Both Russ and I started new jobs this fall! We both love our new jobs and the people there very much. OK, I don’t think Russ would say he “loves” his coworkers, because he is a guy. But he does like them very much. And I, of course, would not hesitate to say…I LOVE everyone at Gentle Doctor!! And all of you who have come with me.
I started writing a weekly post with Life with Dogs this past summer. It has been such a fun project.
I met Kristi and Jessica. I got to eat lunch with them in Kansas City. So fun! They asked me to serve on the Editorial Advisory Board of Veterinary Economics. I am SO excited about that!
This year, I did Blogathon 2011 again with Dr. V and other Awesomes, and was also joined by a bunch of Omaha Greats (including my two daughters) to raise money for Nebraska Humane Society. That is a whole new level of Blogathon fun. What a great group of people.
Hello 2012. It is nice to meet you :)
Lemme work on articulating my thoughts and I will post a series of “New Year” posts this next week or so. I am one of the few nerds who LOVES New Year’s Resolutions. I make them and break them every year! I reach higher than I can possibly attain, and set goals that I have absolutely no control over.
Remember last year when I resolved to end puppy mills? And to have a boring year? And to lose no pets? I have similar goals in mind this year! As a kid, one year I wrote a list that was longer than I was! So do not feel bad if you do not like New Year’s Resolutions. Most people don’t. I am just a little off. In a good way.
I hope 2012 is the best year yet for you and your pets! I wish you every possible blessing of the New Year and will look forward to sharing it with you!
A veterinarian friend recently mentioned that she was interested in attending the Pfizer FRANK Communication Course offered by the Argus Institute of Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Sometimes I get an idea in my head and obsess over it until I have explored every possible angle of the idea that I can manage or have driven everyone close to me crazy. It is one of my most <endearing> qualities. Ha! My kick since my friend’s comment (well, one of them) has been communication.
Soon after I heard about the CSU course, I read my now second favorite book in the world, Skills for Communicating with Patients, an in depth review of the human medical side of doctor-patient communication.
And this week I found out that I get to attend a FRANK Communication Course through my work this fall! Woo! Can you believe it??
In case you want to see this obsession through with me…or learn more about communication like a normal person…here are some fun veterinary communication information links…
I can almost be all inclusive in my list of resources, because “Veterinary Communication” is just recently being formally researched and taught.
And thank goodness! Who cares how much I know about <heartworm disease> if I can’t communicate to Baby Shar Pei’s owner WHY heartworm prophylaxis is so vital? Five Year Old Future Shar Pei with fulminant heartworm disease does not care how much I know! He is counting on me now to get this communication stuff right, as are all of my dear patients and dear clients.
I would LOVE your input…on how vet teams (including ours) can communicate better…on how it applies to YOUR career…stories of successful or failed communication…
I am SO looking forward to this FRANK course, and I will let you know what I learn as I learn it!
We have been on a family vacation in Summit County Colorado for the past week. We are heading home Saturday. *sniff*
SO not ready to leave our Nelson family. Some are in Ohio and the rest of us are in Omaha. Even so, I still wish we all had more time like we have had this past week to just BE together. *sigh*
We do miss Omaha and our friends and the rest of our family! Here is the list of the dogs who have graciously stepped in for Joy the Puppy and Noodle the Poodle and Max the Cat to make our week full of amazing and beautiful pets. Thank you awesome doggies!
♥ Tiny Poodle in a backpack ♥ Long-legged Dachshund mix ♥ Boxer mix ♥ Boston Terrier ♥ Schnauzer ♥ 2 German Shepherd mixes ♥ Wheaton Terrier puppy named Myro with a dandelion necklace and headband (three way tie with Charlie Boy and Olive Girl for THE cutest thing I have seen all week!) ♥ English Bulldog who was in such great shape he almost looked like an American Bulldog – crazy! ♥ “Normal” English Bulldog ♥ 5 Golden Retriever mixes ♥ 9 Golden Retrievers including a Golden Retriever puppy *sigh* :) ♥ Lab Boxer mix who looked like my Raisin-in-law and came right up on our deck to say “hi” ♥ 2 Miniature Poodles ♥ Schnoodle ♥ Chow-Chow in a Breckenridge shop ♥ Chow-Chow out and about ♥ Australian Shepherd in a Breckenridge shop ♥ 2 Australian Shepherds out and about ♥ 2 Australian Herding dogs ♥ Weimaraner ♥ Pomeranian ♥ Fox Terrier ♥ Chihuahua X Pomeranian ♥ Lhasa Apso mix ♥ Doberman Puppy ♥ 2 Boxers ♥ Lilly the super-cute Chihuahua X Terrier with a “Caution – I Bite” harness in For Pet’s Sake Thrift Shop in Breckenridge ♥ Long Haired Chihuahua ♥ Standard Poodle ♥ Pug ♥ 3 Small Mutts ♥ 1 Medium Mutt ♥ 1 Big Mutt ♥ 2 German Shepherds ♥ 2 Old English Sheepdogs ♥ 1 Husky in a Breckenridge store ♥ 5 Huskies out and about ♥ Pomeranian mix ♥ Bichon Frise ♥ 3 Yellow Labs ♥ Yellow Lab mix ♥ 2 Border Collie mixes ♥ Greyhound ♥ Swiss Mountain Dog ♥ Yellow Husky mix ♥ 5 Black Labs ♥ Black lab mix who did not look anything like Ebony but reminded me of her so much she made me cry ♥ Chocolate Doberman mix ♥ Bishon mix ♥ 2 Pit Bulls ♥ 2 Chocolate Labs ♥ 2 Collies ♥ Dalmatian ♥ Short Haired Chihuahua ♥
Lilly the Chihuahua X Terrier
I have some pretty major issues surrounding the story “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.” It is worse than “Rock-a-Bye Baby!” Saying that is a kids’ story is like saying The Grimms Brothers’ Fairy Tales are for kids. Who screens these things??
Recently, two seemingly unrelated and pretty routine (as far as my life goes) events occurred. One of my Very Favorite Kids asked me to read him a story in Sunday School. Later in the week, I did a pretty cool surgery.
Anyways, after my very small friend jumped off of my lap and ran to play with his Hot Wheels in the Super Cool Preschool Sunday School Room Fort, with a good thirty years before the horrors of the story we just shared really occur to him, I put my head down on the very small table and thought “Why? Why did she swallow a horse?” (She died, of course.)
So, to deal with the flood of childhood memories, I have come up with a happier version of the story. Also, it is true, and based on the aforementioned pretty cool surgery I did later in the week.
I know a young cat who swallowed a dime.
We removed it in time
When she swallowed that dime.
She’ll be fine.
Even in Real Life, foreign body* ingestion can be very dangerous and even fatal. Five possible outcomes to foreign body ingestion may occur:
- It will pass.
- It will be barfed.
- It will cause a partial obstruction that can cause sickness and may progress to a complete obstruction.
- It will get stuck and cause death.
- It will get stuck and be removed – usually by surgery or endoscopy.
(*foreign body = veterinary speak for “stuff that ought not be eaten” that may cause a blockage in the stomach or intestine. Toxins are another catagory of “stuff that ought not be eaten” and deserve their own post as they are also very dangerous.)
As with the old lady and the fly, I don’t know why Kitty swallowed the dime. It was more a Retriever Puppy sort of thing to do than a Cat thing to do. Cats tend to play with string and such and accidently swallow things that they are unable to spit out because of how their mouths and tongues work.
The dime became lodged in Kitty’s small intestine. Food was unable to pass and the dime caused considerable pain and vomiting. Without surgery, she would have died from lack of nutrition, or more likely, because the dime would have ulcerated through her intestinal wall, causing sepsis.
Such a cool surgery, but I hate foreign bodies because of the pain they cause and danger they pose. (No, not really because of the story. It is actually entertaining in a twisted sort of way.) Kitty is home and well. But how in the world does a person cat-proof an entire house, including making even spare change inaccessible, when cats can reach everything?? As complex as foreign body removal surgery and medication and aftercare can be…I think I had the easy end of that case.
Next up, an open and ongoing brainstorming list of every foreign body case we can collectively think of…Please add things your own pets have eaten and cases you have heard about or been involved with! I hope that if you have had to deal with this with your own pets, your stories have ended as well as Kitty’s did. And may you never (or never again) have to deal with a gastrointestinal foreign body with your own pet.
Stuff Pets Eat
fishing line attached to fishhooks
string attached to balloons
thread attached to needles
Australian palm fruit
stolen food scraps
fuzz from the bottom fabric under the couches
the plastic eyes from stuffed toys
bags of pet food with the bag
bags of pet treats with the bag
bright pink leotards
Polly Pocket shirts
Dr. V has a Brody Signal – it is a picture of her super cute pup that she puts over a flashlight and shines into the night. Other pet lovers the world over see the signal, get the message and join her in her mission to make the world a better place.*
I do not think we even know how bad this tsunami and earthquake disaster in Japan is yet. Not everyone is found. The nuclear scare is not over. I cling to stories of individuals because the big picture is just too much. Everyone seems to be two degrees from loved ones in Japan. Or one. Or zero. World Vets is in Japan, helping with relief efforts.
Sometimes people rescuers need to focus on finding and rescuing people and need pet rescuers to come along side of them to rescue the pets.
Sometimes pet owners need to know they are loved, and we understand how awful it is to be be seperated from and even lose loved ones.
Sometimes communities need to know that we care and that we long for a concrete way to show that and that we would do anything to make the situation better, even though we cannot fix it.
Sometimes people cannot take in the horror of an entire country in pain and need to hear one encouraging account of a rescue…a reuniting…a hopeless situation that ended happily.
Pray for Japan
“Rejoice with those who rejoice.
Mourn with those who mourn.”**
*Dr. V does not have a Brody Signal. *sigh* I wish she did. But her super awesome blog Pawcurious works just fine when pet lovers need to be gathered for a common goal. I think she should do both.
**Romans 12:15 (New International Version of the Bible)
March 18, 2011 Veterinary Practice News Article: Vets, Animal Groups Rally to Help in Japan Relief Efforts
Our herd is down from eight to three, 37.5% of capacity, and we are not repopulating. Fortunately, Max the Cat, Noodle the Poodle and Joy the Puppy all tolerate hugs*, because they have been put on Grief Duty. I find myself asking “Who’s next?” and waking the poor things up if they are sleeping too comfortably. Noodle has been known to sleep with all four paws up on occasion. He has been the recipient of the rudest awakenings.
In an attempt to back off from this dangerous path, I am making the conscious decision to appreciate my pets on a day-to-day basis and enjoy the time I have with them. Yes, approximately 67% of the remaining herd is oldie-old, but they are also all healthy, and probably tired of being included in my late night panics. So hold me accountable. There is much grieving yet to do, but I do not want to miss out on today.
I can’t really pull myself out of this of course, even with all of your wonderful support (And you ARE wonderful – thank you so much for walking through this with us) – This is going to take the power of God Himself. While I hope you are in a happier season, this next quote is a good reminder to us all, and then a word of “encouragement” from my very favorite singer ever, Rich Mullins. And then, I will come visit the blogs of other pet blogger friends on the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop. And then…I am going to go hug my cat.
“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
*Note: Hugging most dogs is ill-advised. Normal dogs do not like hugs. Hugging most cats is just asking for it. Our pets are all sorts of special. Do not attempt this at home unless you are a Trained Pet Hugger. I am not. I just have really tolerant pets.
I try to keep up with pet blogs, but was challenged at a whole new level this past weekend, when I joined the Saturday Pet Blog Hop for the first time. (Yes, I have visited every single one of the 134 140 sites! Woo! You guys have some cute pets!) THAT is where I heard about The Pet Blogger Challenge.
I am always up for a great group project, especially when it involves pets or blogging or both, and don’t tell Edie and Amy, but I think they are awesome, and I will most likely do anything they tell me to do.
Here are their questions…
1. When did you begin your blog?
September 1, 2006
2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?
My original purpose was to get pet preventative care information to pet lovers in a broader way than just one-on-one in the exam room, veterinarian to client (which I still think is super important!)
My brother Dave suggested that I publish a newsletter for our family and mutual friends. I loved the idea! I tried to talk him into helping me print, staple and deliver newsletters to our friends, and he talked me into putting all of the newsletters onto a website that he offered to design for me. (Dave, you were right, this is much more fun!)
He and his wife Sara had a gorgeous Great Dane at the time, so we named the site after her, The Official Riley Fan Club. He even made buttons and fan club cards – so cute! They still have Riley and later adopted James, the wonderful English Mastiff, and the website became Riley and James. I went from publishing kind of long, formal entries every other month, to my current practice of publishing about twice a week.
Riley and James and…Riley and James!
3. Is your current purpose the same?
Yes! The methods have changed over the years, but the purpose of Riley and James is the same, to provide pet preventative care information to pet lovers. I also want it to be a fun site, and to be able to share some of my own pets’ stories. I recently came up with a Purpose Statement, at the recommendation of Problogger, and buried it in a long, rambling post. I will repost it here, and then at the Website Update, maybe somewhere more prominent!
The Purpose of the Riley and James Website:
To Promote Preventative Care of Pets in Order to Enrich the Lives of Pets and Their People
4. Do you blog on a schedule or as the Spirit moves you?
At first, posts were every other month. In 2010, I posted about twice a week. Now I am trying to do that (way more fun, and I can post shorter, more random stuff) and I am trying to post on Mondays and Fridays, to give myself a schedule to follow.
5. Are you generating income from your blog?
No, but I hope I am making pet lovers think about important things, and providing good medical information, and that I am playing a part in pets living longer, healthier lives.
I do work for Carefresh, and have written for Veterinary Economics and Firstline. I do not think I would have met any of the wonderful people involved with those groups if I had not been writing online.
6. What do you like most about blogging in general and your blog in particular?
I know those of you who do not know me in person do not believe me (because you have told me so!) but I am an extreme introvert. Unless I am completely comfortable in a group, I will always choose listening over talking.
With the blog, I am able to formulate my thoughts and get them out there, without worrying I will not be heard because my voice is too soft or I am not articulate enough. I think I have valid things to say, especially when it comes to veterinary medicine and related topics, but I will not necessarily say them outloud in Real Life. It is great to have this outlet.
7. What do you like least?
I really, really love everything about doing the Riley and James website and all of the writing and online interaction opportunities that have come from it.
8. How do you see your blog changing/growing in 2011?
I hope to become a better writer, take cuter pictures (That will be hard to do without Fuzzy and Wuzzy), make a dent in the puppy mill and cat overpopulation problems, connect in more ways with the pet community at large…I just think it is going to be a really great year, and I am excited to see it unfold.
Oh! Also, Dave is updating the website this year! If you know Dave Nelson, or his company, Secret Penguin, you know he does incredible work! Check back soon for the great updates! I will keep you posted.
Coming Soon to Riley and James:
My daughter Abby will review the kids’ book, Marvin, The Golf Caddy Dog, by Harold R. Mann, an Omaha author. Our friends at Nebraska Humane Society know I like reviewing books and that Abby just read this one, and suggested I have her do a guest post – book review. Her first blog post, woo! Great idea, guys! Thanks!
Bunny Trails: My latest article is up at Omaha.net…
I wish it did NOT feature my own Max the Cat and Ebony Dog, but aren’t they gorgeous??
My newest Wuzzy Chronicles article at Omaha.net deals with pet loss and grieving. We have had eight healthy pets for almost two years now, so I decided it was well past time to write this one that has been wandering around in my head and heart for a very long time.
When I started writing it, my Fuzzy Rat became very sick, and I wrote the article while holding her on my lap and hand feeding her. If you know me, you know that was a bit difficult. Ha! I was a wreck! I feared at times that I was writing the article for myself, for here and now…
Fuzzy rallied and is doing wonderfully. I suspect she had a severe inner ear infection. She will be on medication for at least five more weeks, but should do great.
However, in the time it took me to write the article, I lost three dear patients, two of whom were family (the rats). I dedicate this article to YOU and your wonderful pets and also to…
♥Kiki the Cockatiel♥
♥Miss Molly Rat♥
You were well loved by your wonderful families. Your company was crucial and your absence is acutely felt. You will be missed, friends. I was blessed to have known you.