When Sandra Says Yes, A Site Is Reborn: GNFP


Mention the name Sandy and most New Yorkers know exactly what you mean and it ain’t pretty, as in Hurricane Sandy. Heck, most of the nation knows what that name means.  Mention the name Sandra and most folks think of Sandra Bullock. Not a bad reference. My Sandra is Sandra Fathi, wiz of the PR tech world and founder of Affect, known to me and my fellow PRSA-NY colleagues as a more recent past-president of the chapter.  So what does she have to do about Goodnewsforpets (GNFP)? Plenty! When I decided to revamp the site and could not find the time to manage it against client projects, I turned to the colleague I knew could not only get it done, but get it done far better than me with her team. Without her, this GNFP rebirth would not be possible. Several years ago when I was the recipient of the Kansas City Business Journal Kauffman Women Who Mean Business Award I was reminded it was our turn to pay it back to other women leaders, to mentor. There’s no mentoring here. It’s reverse mentoring. Sandra is a PR business woman leader extraordinaire.

They’ll be more thanks to spread around in this celebratory month. While I’ve been front and center, great teams are the key to success. In 2000, GDM News was born with me(G), my special three time hire employee Amy Davis(D) with her University of Missouri School of Magazine Journalism degree, and my special two-time hire employee Shelli Manning(M), solid work ethic bar none. My brother Matthew O’Hare joined us in Las Vegas at Western Veterinary Conference as we launched the site with a virtual newsroom and Steve Dale’s debut column about  pet dumps. The late Mordecai Siegal joined us a year later. Julie Lux later joined us as the first editor. There have been so many more partners and wonderful clients along the way and we are grateful to be able to showcase dozens of important topics over a 14 year period. I will be writing more about them here as we celebrate our rebirth this month.

In the meantime, fast forward to today.  We are celebrating the rebirth of GNFP at BlogPaws May 8-10 in Las Vegas.  We are grateful that the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists is with us with a new Helping People Help Their Pets column, co-editor Steve Dale will be signing  Decoding Your Dog books at our BlogPaws Booth #14.  Ceva Animal Health has a new campaign, Why Wait for the Bite? and is sponsoring a BlogPaws session with Steve Dale Friday, May 9 3:45-5:15 PM. Finally, we are celebrating the GNFP rebirth at BlogPaws with a special raffle of an Elena Kreigner necklace and sponsorship of Pawject Runway to benefit pet shelters.  It’s a rebirth a time for new ideas, new partners, new avenues to explore. Now on to BlogPaws and the Celebration!

The Dangers of Insect Bites: What You Need To Know – Part 2


Furry Wiggle Butts

In last Monday’s post, we learned about three extremely dangerous insects: fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. These tiny insects carry diseases and can cause significant harm (and even death) to your pets.  Steve Dale, pet expert and certified dog and cat behaviorist, told me that veterinarians have noticed a significant increase in vector-borne diseases among dogs in metropolitan areas. Scary, but true.

Photo credit: Thomas Hawk / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0) Photo credit: Thomas Hawk / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Here are just a few vector-borne diseases that insects can cause in dogs:

  • Anaplasmosis
  • Erlichiosis
  • Lyme Disease
  • Otoacariasis
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Flea Allergic Dermatitis
  • Hemoplasmas
  • Iron Deficiency Anemia
  • Plaque
  • Typhus
  • Heartworm

“Our pets bring us so much joy but we don’t want parasites in our house. All of the things that can be scary to our beloved dogs and us can be avoided,” says Dale. “These are simple steps and…

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The Dangers of Insect Bites: What You Need To Know – Part 1


Looking forward to your next post Tammy.

Furry Wiggle Butts

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of having dinner with Steve Dale who is a pet expert and certified dog and cat behaviorist, journalist, radio host, and frequent speaker at national veterinary and animal welfare conferences. Steve was in New York City to promote a book he helped edit called Decoding Your Dog, written by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. Though he was kind enough to give me (and sign) 2 books (one for Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue’s recent online auction), what he was really there to talk to me about was insect bites. I know what you’re thinking: Who cares about insect bites? Read on.

steve dale Steve Dale with his furry wiggle butts

As dog owners, we’ve all heard about the importance of flea and tick prevention. Depending on where you live in the world, the dangers of these insects are more (or less)…

View original post 578 more words

Keeping Up With the Karens


Lately there’s a lot of Karens in my professional life.  To be clear, one Karyn, two Karens, and one Carin. Keeping up with them is inspiring. When I write their full names you will know immediately why.

The first Karyn is Karyn Gavzer, now a practice management consultant who has worked with industry, associations and veterinary practices for 20 years. I think of Karyn every February during Pet Dental Health Month as she was partner extraordinaire and director of marketing for the American Veterinary Medical Association as we created “Pets Need Dental, Care Too!” with the American Veterinary Dental Society and Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. We worked together on the strategic planning of the Catalyst Summit which led to the formation of the Catalyst Council. We will soon be working together yet again. Karyn has her MBA and is one of fewer than 400 certified veterinary hospital managers (CVPM) in North America.

The next Karen is easy.  As I wrote in my last blog post, Dr. Karen Bradley is a woman who has taken action within the veterinary profession in six short months and a featured guest column interviewee. Dr. Bradley is the newly installed President of the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative (WVLDI).

The other Karen is Dr. Karen Padgett, Chief Operations Officer of Ceva Animal Health, who I’ve  also been honored to know while she was at Hill’s and now again at Ceva.  I haven’t written about  Dr. Padgett a lot. Like Karen Bradley, it’s never about her, it’s never about being a woman, it’s about the work at hand.  But this is my blog and she is a woman, she is a veterinarian, and she is valued by both industry and the veterinary profession.  She’s just got the right mix going on.  And like the women profiled in my last post, she’s surely not done yet. Facebook COO’s Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In  examines why women’s progress in leadership roles has not moved forward. This Karen not only has, she’s representing Ceva as the first industry sponsor of WVLDI.

And finally there’s Carin. Carin Giovanni is the dynamo Western Veterinary Conference Marketing Director who has accommodated every request I’ve made to help plan to cover the conference, get the word out about the WVLDI event, and more.  This is my 19th Western Veterinary Conference and thanks to the conference leadership including Manolita Moore, the Chief Operating Officer, I have always felt especially welcome. I haven’t met Carin personally yet, but when I do, I will not only thank her, but sing her praises all around.  Keeping up with the Karens?  You bet they’re awe-inspiring. And a few more examples of women leaders in the veterinary profession.

Are We Done Yet?


Apparently not. In this case the “we” I’m referring to are women leaders, and the “not done yet” refers to Facebook COO’s Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In which examines why women’s progress in leadership roles has not moved forward in the 30 years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States.

A woman who has taken action within the veterinary profession in six short months is Dr. Karen Bradley,  this issue’s featured guest column interviewee. Dr. Bradley is the newly installed President of the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative (WVLDI).  Watch for both Dr. Bradley and this group to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming months.  She’s not done yet.

Today marks the start of the North American Veterinary Community Conference (NAVC), and as I was preparing to write this post I was looking backward for what I wrote last year.  Blank. That was because I was on crutches last year and dealing with other health issues. I made it through, but I sure wasn’t posting. This year I’m here honored to represent the Germinder & Associates and Goodnewsforpets.com teams at a conference packed with promise — 30 years plus after graduating. There’s no “done yet” here.

The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB) Helping People Help Their Pets column featuring chapter editors and  authors from the Decoding Your Dog book we unveiled last week. This includes Debra Horwitz, DVM, DACVB, Chair of the ACVB Public Relations Committee.  She will be signing books at the Ceva Animal Health Booth #331 on Tuesday, January 21st from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  The ACVB column is just the start of new items you will be seeing on Goodnewsforpets.com. You will soon be seeing more interviews, more videos, more contests, and more just good stuff! No “done yet” there.

And finally, I thought of someone so special and treasured in veterinary medicine that has made a lasting impact in my professional career and a host of others. I initially was introduced to Dr. Bradley by Dr. Mary Beth Leininger. Dr. Leininger, the first woman president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and now a member of the prestigious AVMA’s Council on Education (COE) is hard at work to address issues in veterinary education.  I first met her when she was Chair of the AVMA Public Relations Committee and I was launching the “Pets Need Dental, Care Too!,” campaign. No “done yet” there.

Are “we” as women, no matter what our profession and what the status and level of our leadership roles done yet 30 years out? These women in veterinary medicine — collectively with a host of others — and with the support and championing of their male colleagues are not done by a long shot.  Myself?  I’ve also been supported along the way by both males and females (as I can’t forget four brothers, one of whom works with me now).  Together, we are not done.  Nope, not by a long shot.

Gotta Love Those Docs


The big news is here. This time, it’s about a very special group, the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. I’ve been privileged to work with several specialty AVMA Colleges of Veterinary Medicine over the years — beginning with the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC). No, I haven’t forgotten them. But today we are celebrating a smaller College that deserves to be bigger, and I have no doubt they will get there.  The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB).

Today is a big day for the ACVB and we’re thrilled to be a small part of it. The College’s new book, Decoding Your Dog, goes on sale today to help explain common dog behaviors and reveal how to prevent or change unwanted ones. The book is packed with remedies for behavior problems, socialization, anxiety and aggression issues and much more. We are playing a small role by also unveiling the ACVB monthly column, Helping People Help Their Pets on www.goodnewsforpets.com. This month’s column features questions and answers by editors Debra Horwitz, DVM, DACVB and John Ciribassi, DMV, DACVB.  The book’s other editor, Steve Dale, has been a longtime contributor to www.goodnewsforpets.com and will be interviewed next month.

So why is it I and others love these docs?  The members of the ACVB are called veterinary behaviorists. They are doctors of veterinary medicine who handle the really tough issues — and solve the behavior problems that often prevent pet relinquishment.  When you consider unwanted behavior is the number one reason dogs are relinquished to shelters and rescue groups, their work is a tremendous service. Great doctors of veterinary medicine dealing with tough issues.  Yes, we love ’em and look forward to hearing more from them in their monthly column.

Winner Redux? Goodnewsforpets Wins Video Contest, Joins BlogPaws Influencer Group


Redux seems like a nice fit for goodnewsforpets, and I hope you will agree as you see what we have in store for 2014.  In the meantime, the news is we have won!  Over the years Goodnewsforpets has celebrated companies and organizations that have won awards, introduced winning products and/or services, professionals who have deserved special praise, and pet owners that have either shown their amazing talents in caring for pets or won one of our prizes.  Now we’ve taken a special turn ourselves — winning a contest for running a contest!

This holiday season we decided to repeat our popular matching donation format, but this time it’s a video contest about celebrating the holidays with your pet. And, in the holiday spirit, we’re also offering a chance to win an Apple product — one of ten iPad minis and a matching donation to a shelter of your choice. The catch? Produce a 1-2 minute video to share with our community.  So far, the contest won Best Online Contest of the Week by Online Video Contests and has been liked and viewed by thousands of people. Now we are looking forward to seeing the videos. There is still plenty of time to enter by December 29, 2013!  

In another recognition of our site, this blog has been invited to join the BlogPaws Pet Blogger Influencer Group, a trend-setting panel of pet bloggers/microbloggers/pet parents who enjoy sharing their opinions and being a valued voice in the ever-growing pet blogosphere, one of the most influential groups of pet bloggers on the web. Since BlogPaws is the original and first social media community and conference for pet bloggers and microbloggers, BlogPaws is adding to the power of the pet blogger by engaging feedback in constructive and useful surveys. These surveys will cover pet parenting to pet products, blog posts to blogger influence, and more and be posted within this blog. To receive this shareable data from these surveys on our blog & more in the coming months, register for our free e-newsletter on our home page

Happy Holidays and I look forward to sharing our 2014 news very soon!