All posts by amy

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Meet Zucchini! Plus a review of Pet Odor Eliminator scent Sugar Skull!

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Around two months ago, a sweet little American Bully was brought into my work to have her third litter of puppies.  Normally pretty routine – her then-owners are experienced breeders.  This time, however, something went wrong.  More than half of her puppies came out already dead, and over the next few days the remaining ones passed away as well.  Mama was fighting for her life herself – she had gone septic and was in really poor shape.  Her owners elected to put her down, and that was supposed to be the end of her story.  My coworkers and I were really sad at this decision – yes she was really sick, but she’s only 3.5 years old!  She deserved a fighting chance.  My boss agreed to treat her if her owners signed her over to the hospital instead of euthanizing, and thankfully they agreed.  She had about a 50/50 chance of pulling through, there were no promises.  She looked SO sick, couldn’t hold anything down, and wouldn’t even pick her head up.  It didn’t look very promising.
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Well…clearly since I’m posting this story, she pulled through   We had her connected to IV fluids and antibiotics, along with several other medications, and after 24 hours or so, her little body decided that it wanted to live, and knew that to do so it would have to fight.  So fight she did.  Every day she was looking better and better.  Coworkers and I took turns bringing her home over the weekends so that she wouldn’t have to spend them alone at work in a crate.  7DEB7313-E1BC-4048-A23F-81E27E7440DB

It was never my intention to adopt this little monkey.  Other coworkers were extremely interested in her, the thought didn’t really cross my mind.  However, the first weekend she stayed with me, it was like a light switch flipped.  She became glued to my side.  At work, if other people had her out and she saw me, she’d run right to me and follow me around.  She’d always stay right at my feet staring straight up at me as if she wanted to make sure that I was in her sight 24/7.  The second weekend I took her home, I let her off of the leash that I had kept her on the first weekend.  She immediately started playing with Linus – they are absolute best friends now.

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So, despite my best efforts of self-control and my reluctance to have another dog while I was still grieving Oreo, this little one became mine.  I absolutely hated the name that she came with, and with the help of friends commenting on a Facebook post I made, settled on the name Zucchini.  I’m not sure how, but it fits her perfectly.
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Right away it became clear that Zucchini was going to fit right into my family.  She acclimated to the cats right away, accepting that each of them has different personalities and treating them as such.  As I mentioned earlier, Linus and Zuzu are best buds and wrestle-mates.  She is SO gentle with him – when he wants to play, she rolls right over onto her back, giving him complete control of how long and active they play.  Burger isn’t big into playing these days, so when Zucchini wants to spend time with him, she’ll belly crawl over to him and gently lay down next to him, slowly inching closer until they’re cuddling.  Artie and Frenchie were initially TERRIFIED of Zuzu.  She started just laying down and not moving when she saw them, waiting patiently for them to get brave enough to come over and check her out.7B0D2652-96B5-4CE6-9AF8-7A7793B157C6 So, you may be wondering why I decided to make this “meet Zucchini” post also about pet odor eliminators.  Zuzu spent most of her life in a run.  She was used for breeding, and because of that, she didn’t get to experience a lot of things that normal dogs do.  One of those things is apparently potty training.  When I first brought her home with me, I bought a crate to keep her in while I was at work.  I was sure to buy a crate that wasn’t too big for her, and I would leave her food bowl and water bowls in the crate.  When I was home, I would let her outside every 2-3 hours.  I treated her like I would have if she was 3 months old instead of 3 years.  Most dogs won’t pee and poop in their crates, especially if that’s where their food and drink are well.  Zuzu never got that message, apparently.  I would take her outside and encourage her to go potty, sometimes she would, other times not.  Regardless, EVERY time I would get home from work, she would have peed and pooped in her crate.  I tried taking the dog bed out of the crate and replacing it with potty pads, and then she started to pee and poop around the house.  I’ve accepted the fact that my house will always be covered in cat hair, but I will NOT become one of those people whose houses smack you in the face with ammonia as soon as you walk by.  We carry the Pet Odor Eliminators at my job, and they work SO well!  Combine that with my obsession of skull things, and this spray was clearly a no-brainer.  E470F812-83F2-48F5-8090-D0437F9E110F I had never seen this scent before, and given that Amazon didn’t give a great description of the scent, I was a little bit nervous.  Typically the scents I buy are food related, so I know exactly what I’m getting into (I highly recommend the blueberry cobbler scent! 🤤).  The spray is pretty cheap right now on Amazon if you wanted to check it out, you can find it here

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Anyway, this stuff works SO well, and smells amazing.  Zucchini crapped on her dog bed, and after I cleaned it up like normal I just applied a small spritz of this (as opposed to needing practically a whole bottle of Febreeze), and the smell was GONE.  This smells kind of like a men’s cologne – lavender, sandalwood and spice notes.  Literally, one spritz took the smell out of the entire living room; it’s one of the stronger smelling sprays that I’ve used.

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For the record, if the pet odor variety sells out, they also make legit the same exact thing targeted towards smokers, if you go to amazon I usually see them listed in the “people also bought…” section.  I haven’t tried the smoker one specifically, but imagine that it would smell the same and work just as well.  It also comes in a candle version, but candles make me nervous because my cats are clumsy assholes.  That being said, we keep them lit at work and they literally last for at least a full month being lit 60 hours a week.  Whenever a doggo decides to have a little accident in our lobby, the candles are strong enough to completely eliminate the stench in minutes.  These are literally the best.  Everyone knows how obsessed i am with bath & body works Wallflower plug-ins, and i can honestly say that if they made these in plug-in versions, I would never buy another brand again.

Okay, non-sponsored sales pitch over 🤣

How To Make Your Pet Instagram Famous

Who doesn’t spend most of their downtime browsing Instagram for cute cat pictures, or funny dog videos?  I know I do!

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With all of the developments with the internet, one thing remains consistent – bored people love cat pictures.  It was only a matter of time before the adorable animals begun to take over on a celebrity status.  Enter, Grumpy Cat!

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Grumpy Cat (real name Tardar Sauce) started out with a simple post on Reddit, and has since EXPLODED all over the internet.  She currently has over 2.5 MILLION Instagram followers!

Not to be outdone by cats, the dogs stepped up with a mega-star of their own, Boo!

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This adorable little Pom has over SIX MILLION Facebook fans!  Can you even imagine having that level of popularity?!

So, inspired partly by their fame and partly by my incessant need to constantly post pictures of my pets, I created Burger his very own Instagram account!  You can follow him here.  With over 2,000 fans, he’s clearly not as famous as other internet celebrities, yet chances are that he has more followers than many of you do.

How does one go about creating a successful Instagram page for their pet?  These are some of the tips that I used:

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First and foremost, you need excellent photos.  I am no professional photographer, and my hunch is that’s one of the biggest reasons that Burger’s fanbase is in the thousands and not the hundreds of thousands or millions.  The photos I take are with my iPhone, and luckily I am able to get some pretty decent photos with that.  If you have a newer iPhone, portrait mode is AMAZING for capturing stunning photos.  My phone isn’t equipped with that, however, I’ve found that the Focus mode on Instagram takes pretty great photos as well.  Other tips are making sure that your pet is as comfortable as possible, choosing the right lighting, and making sure that the background isn’t cluttered.

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The next step is to establish a fan base!  You can’t have a famous pet without them having followers!  Start out by following other human and animal social media influencers.  Like and comment on their posts, and check out their fanbase.  Something that helped Burger get his few hundred fans was paying attention to the most active fans on other insta-famous pet pages.  By that, I don’t just mean the person who always comments “FIRST!”.  I looked at people who consistently liked their posts and commented thoughtful comments — especially comments related to the caption or theme of the post.  After pinpointing those active followers, I started following them!  Probably 30-40% of the people I added followed me back, and to this day are some of the most active fans on Burger’s page.

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Posting regularly is extremely important.  This is also something that I struggle with.  If you check out pages of any influencer, they are posting consistently – if not every day, at least every other day.  Along with posting, utilize hashtags!  They are one of the biggest ways for people to find your page – especially if you wind up on the Discover page for one of those hashtags.  I always try to use a combination of hashtag popularity – popular, less common and those in between.  For Burgers page, every 500 fans or so, I’ll search out cat related hashtags.  I’ll pick out a few of those super common, popular tags, such as #cat and #meow.  Those hashtags have MILLIONS of people that use them, which can be great for exposure!  However, your chances of being featured on one of those discover pages is slim unless your post engagement is huge.  I’ll then ,pick out a few hashtags with under 10,000 or so uses (you can find these uses just by clicking on the tag itself – it will show you how many people have used that tag!).  Tags such as #themostinterestingcatintheworld and #catchat.  The chances of your getting featured on those pages are much more likely, because there simply isn’t as much competition.  Lastly, I’ll look for some hashtags with anywhere between 100,000 – 500,000 uses.  These tags, such as #igers and #pamperedcats have a high number as people using them, yet it’s not completely impossible to be featured on their discover pages.  When Burger’s page jumped from 500 fans to 2,000, it was because he wound up featured on one of these pages.

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Endless creativity is SO important.  You could have the worlds best looking dog, but no one is going to want to see the exact same photo of him sleeping day after day after day.  Have some fun with the photos.  Use inspiration from different locations, take photos at different levels, take pictures of your pet in costume celebrating a holiday!  Also, this is a great time to start experimenting with product placement.  Ideally, some day you will be able to make a profit (or at least receive free items) from your page.  This is a great time to play with different ways to showcase products you’re already using – your cats favorite food, your dogs favorite toy.  Be sure to tag the brand who makes that product – occasionally companies will share those fan posts, and that alone can cause your page’s popularity to explode.

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Last but definitely not least, HAVE FUN!  For all of the millions of animal accounts out there, only a handful actually make it big. If you’re doing this only for the fame or the money, you’ll get disappointed fast.  On the flipside, if you’re already taking dozens of pictures of your pets anyway, why not post them and see what happens?

Does your pet have an Instagram page?  Post the link below, I’ll be sure to follow!

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Take A Walk On The Wild Side

Just a few short years ago, I NEVER thought I would be one of those crazy people taking a walk with their cat on a leash.  Until one day…I suddenly was.  All of my life, my cats had done so well living inside, never setting a single paw outside of the house after moving in.  When I first got Burger, it was hours after he was diagnosed with FIV.  The couple taking care of him had tried many times to convince him to be an indoor cat, but he would always escape – even going as far as breaking through windows to get out.  With the other stray cats in their neighborhood, it wasn’t fair to let him roam outside, potentially exposing countless other cats to his disease.

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Lucky for me (and for Bug!), after moving in with me, Burger was suddenly content living as an indoor cat.  However, there were times when I would take Oreo out for a walk that Burger would try to sneak out with us.  I couldn’t help but feel a little bad, but the thought of letting him join us outside never crossed my mind.  I couldn’t take the risk of him running off and getting hit by a car, eaten by a bigger animal, or simply just getting lost.

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The first time Burger got really sick after throwing his blood clot, he wasn’t very active at all – all he wanted to do was lay in the window.  I mentioned to a friend that I wondered if he would want to go outside for small amounts of time, just to lay in the sun with his dog.   That friend mentioned that she had a leash and harness from when she used to let her cats go out with her, and she gave it to me to try out.  Burger adjusted to being out on a leash almost immediately, he was soooo happy to be outside!

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I don’t know what it was about being outside, but Burger started recovering pretty quickly after that first time outside with me.  I still didn’t think he’d have very much longer with me, so seeing him perk up so much after his outings, I started taking him out just about daily, we’d lay in the sun after work until the sun would set.  To this day, whenever he isn’t feeling good, I take him outside for a walk on the beach with me, and it provides an immediate boost to his spirits – and to his health!

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I did have one scare with him, back when I was living at my parents’ house.  A super loud car went by and terrified Burger.  He wriggled right out of his harness and took off in (luckily) the opposite direction.  He tried to jump through a fence to get away from the sound but got stuck in the fence instead.  Trying to get him out of a fence in the dark at 3 am was definitely an adventure!  After that, I realized that after his weight loss, I needed to find Burger a harness that fit!  I wound up going with this one after seeing the good reviews it got on Amazon.  Thus far, he hasn’t been able to escape from it.  A lot of the time at my current house, I’ll shut the gates on the fence and let him walk around the yard without a leash on – he stays right by me until he finds the perfect patch of sun to lay on.  I would never try that when he’s out walking the beach with me, though – too many things could go wrong, so he is always in a harness for those trips.

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Part of the reason that I think Burger did so good when he first started going on walks with me is that initially, I would only take him outside when I was taking Oreo out.  Oreo was his best friend and his protector, I think it helped him feel safe and confident.  He would observe as Oreo rolled around in the dirt and the grass, and then mimic him by doing the same thing himself.  When Buddy moved in with me, most of Burgers walks were with him – Buddy moved more slow-paced, which helped Burger meander and explore more things, watch the birds flying overhead, and smell all of the new scents.  Buddy always let Burger dictate the direction they would walk, and the pace at which they would do it.

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It may seem silly, but I really do think that a huge reason Burger keeps fighting off all of his health issues is because of the outdoor time I give him.  He gets to soak up the sights and smells, and I think that it really helps to enrich his life.  What do you guys think?

SUMMER BUCKET LIST

Spending a few hours at the emergency vet with Burger this afternoon had my nerves going into overdrive.  In an attempt to calm myself down, I decided to brainstorm a list of fun ways to spend my summer.  Last year, I spent my only day off every week either drinking away my misery or sleeping until 4 pm and then binge-watching whatever show happened to be on ION.  Yes, I was miserable dealing with my loss of Oreo, but I completely wasted my summer.  Being at the emergency vet made tons of memories flash over me of all the times I spent in various hospitals with Oreo.  One of those memories included the bucket list I made for Oreo.  I had so much fun checking off all of our adventures!  So…in an attempt to recreate that fun and to have a summer full of making memories, I decided to create a summer bucket list for myself.

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Do any of you have things you want to make sure you do this summer?  What are they?  Even more importantly…do any of you want to help me accomplish my to-do list?!

Happy Summer!
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The Best Career Advice You’ve Ever Received

Once upon a time (3 days ago, haha) a coworker said to me that if the idea of leaving your job doesn’t make you sad, you should leave.  That little piece of advice helped me feel more certain about my decision to switch animal hospitals.  I’ve loved my time at Greece, but the idea of leaving to go to a different vet didn’t make me sad…it felt exciting.  I used to HATE change.  I liked being comfortable and wanted everything to stay the same, no matter the cost.  However, life happened.  It made me see that for the most part, change is a good thing.  You have to accept it and embrace it in order to see just how positive it can be.

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Because sharing is caring, I asked my Facebook friends what the best career advice they’ve ever received is.  Here are some of the answers that I received on the post/via DM:

1. “The best advice I ever got was from my dad.  His advice was to make someone smile.  Best advice ever!”  — Ashley

2. “Keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut.  My grampa used to tell me this when going into any new situation” — Dawn

3. “Just be your wonderful self” — Belinda

4. “Take feedback seriously, but not personally.”   — Stephanie

5. “Kill with kindness” — Nicole

6. “You can’t let others stand in the way of you succeeding in your career, sometimes you have to move on from a company to expand and grow yourself, and you can’t let someone stop you from doing that.”  — Savannah

7. “Your job does not define you.” — Todd

8. “Fake it till you make it.  Perception is reality”  — Viv

9.  “When looking for a career, find something that you love to do.  Do it for the benefit of someone else, and be sure to get paid your value.”  — John

10.  “Are you hoping for a dream job? Every job is going to just be a job at some point!” It resonated and it’s true!  — Kate

11.  “Be a problem solver.  Get along with your co-workers” — Bernie

12. “Go with your gut. It’s almost always right!”  — Leanne

13. “Provide value first.  Instead of promoting yourself, promote the benefits you can provide for your employer/customer/client.  Time is your most valuable commodity; don’t waste it and don’t let others waste it either.”  — Jake

14. “You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress, simultaneously.”  — Rachel

15. “Don’t cut corners.  Do the job, finish the job.”  — Dave

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? Please tell me in the comments!

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