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!

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.

What About the Pets?


There is so much tragic human news as we get set to honor our veterans on Memorial Day that brings out the compassion in all of us.  But what about the pets?  One of several groups working with veterans today is PACT for Animals.  The group is helping by caring for and then reuniting soldiers with their pets through its foster care program.

The horrific Oklahoma tornado is certainly foremost on our minds, as it should be.  The good news if any is the amount of human kindness shown to those in need.  For the pets, the story is still unfolding.  Tragically, according to dvm360, it appears many pets and animals have died in the terrible storm.   There are some heroic tales as well, including one about a hero dog guarding the body of its owner.  The American Humane Association is sending much needed support and will continue to update us via their social media platforms.

What about the pets in other areas looking for forever homes? Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days, the first free New York City wide Adoption Event, takes place next weekend — June 1 and June 2 in New York City.  Check out the blog post from Debra Horwitz, DVM, DACVB on the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals web site.  The Keep the L.O.V.E. Alive Behavior Express Tour bus will also be at June 1-2 events in New York City.

In other news, as pet owners travel the country with pets this summer,  The Center for Pet Safety is set to test travel products this summer.

What about the pets?  It looks like there are plenty of people and organizations that care.  Happy Memorial Day Weekend!