My First Business Trip: Traveling with GNFP Digital/Germinder to the KC Animal Health Corridor & CVC.

During my internship with GNFP Digital/Germinder, I got the opportunity to travel to Kansas City for the conference at the CVC and the Animal Health Corridor. As a college student, finding opportunities to get real world experience is absolutely vital. Since it was my first time traveling for work, I did not know what to expect or how things would work, nonetheless, uncertainty would not stop me from making this trip. I packed my bags, flew to Kansas City and happily joined Lea-Ann Germinder, the President & Founder of the company as well as the publisher of Good News for Pets.


Having the opportunity to travel across the United States for work was a huge step in my career. I knew that GNFP Digital/Germinder was investing a lot of money to help me grow as a professional. To me, this meant that I would aid in all…

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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)…

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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.

Ticks, Fleas….Ewww

Mention ticks and fleas and yes,  most people, including myself, do go “ewww.”  We don’t want these nuisances crawling or jumping on us, and we certainly don’t want them on our pets. The Centers for Disease Control Division of Vector-Borne Diseases urges people to protect both themselves and their pets from vector-borne diseases from these pests. Veterinary expert Dr. Michael Dryden recommends year-round parasite control and last year on goodnewsforpets, Dr. Byron Blagburn shared some additional observations that are worth repeating. This year, we also bring you Dr. Paula Harvatine of West Salem Veterinary Clinic, West Salem, Wisconsin who backs up the experts with some practical advice.

It’s great this advice and a product like Vectra3D exists. When I was a kid growing up on Long Island, my family boated on South Oyster Bay and my brothers and I played among the sand dunes at Robert Moses State Park, Tobay Beach and in countless other coves.  The biggest concern was staying away from the poison ivy. As far as “bugs” go, ticks were a nuisance, mosquitoes and green flies buzzed us, but bug bites were deemed harmless albeit itchy!  When we camped in the woods, the same rules applied. But once Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever outbreaks emerged on Long Island and Lyme Disease became prominent in the news, the ever-increasing tick population took on an ominous importance that continues on Long Island to this day.  The concern about vector-borne diseases isn’t just limited to Long Island –it’s nationwide. Admittedly I’ve never experienced a flea outbreak, and thank goodness.  Preventing ticks and fleas with a good parasite prevention program is the reason. Ticks and fleas…ewww.  I’d rather keep my distance — for me and my pets.

From Don to Sensation & Then Some: What Makes Westminster So Special

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in and of itself is a treasured institution to New Yorkers and Dog Lovers all over the world.  Established in 1877, it’s the second longest continuously held sporting event in the U.S., just one year behind the Kentucky Derby.   Being that old doesn’t make it stodgy.  No, Westminster’s been on its game since the very beginning.  It seems even the emblem of the show, a Pointer from England named “Don” became “Sensation” upon being imported to the United States. 

And, the showmanship continues!  Every year there is something new to talk about…and then some. David Frei is the public spokesperson for the Westminster Kennel Club and has been the television voice of Westminster since 1990.  It’s always exciting to get the latest news from him and his team. This year, we’ve highlighted the record number of entries and the two new breeds to compete and how they were selected.  Plus, an extraordinary poster capturing the elegant competition.

To me, Westminster also holds a special place not because of the dogs, which are of course a sight to behold, but because of the dog world people I’ve come to know.   From meeting Mordecai Siegal in the Westminster press room in 2000 to the excitement of finding out who of the writers won at the Dog Writer’s Association of America Banquet to the electric atmosphere of today’s Westminster Press Room, I’ve always come away with new friends, new contacts, and a feeling that it just doesn’t get any better in the dog world than this.  Now on with The Show….

Breaking A Leg & Soldiering On

This past October we faced Hurricane Sandy’s  wrath with flashlights at the ready, a generator on standby and a boat tethered to the dock (too late to pull it out of the Hudson). We survived relatively unscathed. Yes my husband had to scavenger for gas for the generator, but at least we had one — and an undamaged home. The boat on the Hudson miraculously continued to float tethered to a pylon — missing floating away by a foot. 

Three days later “our Sandy moment” hit as I broke my tibial plateau “walking” our two labradors. We took an unfamiliar route as our regular path was blocked by trees and downed power lines. I will save the details for another post, but suffice to say it happened, the leg is on the mend and we are indeed soldiering on. Despite the mishap, I and so many others consider ourselves fortunate to largely escape this deadly storm. 

Other New Yorkers are not so lucky. That’s why I’m proud to be the 2013 president of PRSA-NY. This December, our chapter stepped up under the guidance of Henry Feintuch, 2013 President-Elect and 2012 VP of Programming to host a holiday event to benefit the children of Coney Island. We’ve raised funds to help replace baseball equipment for Our Lady of Solace Baseball League and provided gifts for the Friends of Kaiser Park. We hope to continue to help not only these organizations but more in 2013 through the PRSA-NY 2013 Community Outreach program. There are many worthy animal health organizations that will continue to help. Breaking a leg isn’t so bad when it brings into focus those less fortunate. Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for 2013!