Lucky Update- 2/25/11

Okay y'all.

Lucky's fund has grown a little more.  It takes a few days for any online donations to show up. The same with donations mailed in.  We are closer to her estimate, but not totally there.  I think with what I've sent in, and with what people have said they sent in, we are around the $1500 mark.  The official total is still $1050 when I called the office today.  That's when I found out that it takes a few days for credit card payments to show up.

So, I have decided to go ahead and schedule her surgery for next week. She's getting dropped off on Monday with surgery probably happening on Tuesday.   Thanks for everyone's help so far. Donations or just spreading the word about her.

I originally thought I wouldn't be able  to schedule her surgery until the funds were totally raised. Between 2000-$2500.   But now that we are a little closer I think it's wise to go ahead with the surgery and let the surgeons actually see what we (they) are dealing with.  With the knowledge that I (we) might need to raise a few more funds. 

Here's a little video clip I shot of her earlier.

Thanks again for everyone's help so far.  Lucky OWES everyone a LOT of chores around the house.  I'm just sayin'.

I'll keep you updated on her surgery next week.


Wellness Programs

I would like to hear your opinions about the subject of wellness programs that are billed monthly.  Sort of like budget billing for your utiity bill.  But for your pet care instead.  Leave questions or comments in the comments section below.  Thanks.

For awhile we've been seeing dogs and cats come into the office.  Some are sick as they aren't vaccinated.  Others have things like heartworms and fleas.  Some are overdue on their vaccinations.  Like a year past due.   Some dogs got 6 months of heartworm prevention at their last visit and then forgot to get anymore.  So the dog went off heartworm prevention for 6 months and now has heartworms.

We mail out reminders when dogs are due for their yearly checkup and vaccinations.  But we don't send a reminder for heartworm prevention in 6 months as sometimes people buy less, sometimes they buy more, and there isn't a convenient way to set up a reminder based on quantity that they purchase except to do it manually. 

Cat yearly checkups and vaccines run around $70 and Dog annuals run around $100 for vaccinations, their exam, check for intestinal worms, and a heartworm test that checks for heartworms, ehrichia, lyme's disease, and anaplasmosis. 

So by the time, you have that done, then get their heartworm prevention, and flea and tick medication, you have a nice little chunk of change and Fido has to go home and do chores around the house.  I can only assume that people don't bring Fido back when he is due for his vaccinations because of the lump sum of paying for his stuff.  If the owner was highly organized they could work the amount into their budget, but most people aren't that organized.  Or as is the case with senior citizens, they might only have a small monthly budget to deal with in the first place.

Pet Insurance can be obtained to cover emergencies and that breaks down into a monthly payment for the owner.  And some insurance companies do offer coverage for the pets annual checkup, medications, and spay/neuter.  Some people ask about pet insurance. Some already have it and are familiar with it. And Most don't know that it exists.  So when you mention it to them, their eyes begin to glaze over.

What do you think of a wellness program where the owner pays $15-25 month to cover their annual checkup, vaccinations, medications, etc. The routine stuff, not the emergency stuff.  It certain makes owning a pet more budget friendly, and I think I could set it up through paypal as a subscription for those with an email address.  Or if no paypal account, we would enter the amount in the credit card machine each month.   I think there is some law about not keeping credit card numbers on file that can be stolen, but I think it would be okay if I kept the file locked in the drug safe. 

Care Credit is one payment option for clients. It is used more for emergencies and larger hospitals.  The main reason is that it is used more for larger hospitals, I think,  is that it would cost me $300-400/ year just to be able to offer it to clients.  And then the client still has to qualify. 

Does anyone already use such a wellness program for their routine pet care?  If so, how do you like it, and if you elaborate in the comments about how it works,  that would be great.  Is it billed to your credit or debit card monthly? 

I would hope that people would bring their pet to the vet, or pick up their refill medication, if they knew it was already paid for. 

And two additional things- 

I made up some magnets, pocket mirrors, and bottle opener keyrings for Lucky's Fund last evening.  They are at the office if you are local and want to see them.   $5-7 bucks each.  I  have some, maybe most, of them listed online too if anyone who lives out of the area wants to purchase any. 

And the other thing-  For clients who read my blog, and happen to also have a Facebook account, LIKE the Granite Hills Animal Care page, and I'll give you $10 credit off your next visit.  (just a few minor restrictions on where it can be applied.)

I think Facebook can be a useful tool to let clients know if we are seeing outbreaks of things like parvo virus, kennel cough, etc.   Or if the office happens to be closed for an afternoon.  Things like that. 

Thanks for reading this LONG post, and let me know what you think about Wellness Programs.  Yay or Nay? 


Items Being Sold For Lucky's Fund.

Hi all.

I wanted to do a quick update as people are selling items on behalf of Lucky and her surgery fund.

The first I mentioned the other day.  Karen Weidert has paw print pendants that you can purchase on her Facebook page (even if you don't have a facbook account).   I am linking to her page and to purchase a pendant click on the SHOP NOW tab at the top, above her name.   Karen's Facebook Page.

The next is from my friend Rebecca who has listed catnip toys in her Etsy Shop.

Drop her a note if you want one or something different.  Someone asked about a cat bed as they cat doesn't play with toys.  She said sure- make it larger and leave out some of the stuffing but keep all of the cat nap.   Here's the Link to her Etsy Listing.

The last one is by a website called Squigglefly.
They sell digital stamps and are donating any cat images to Lucky's Fund for the remainder of February.   If you don't know about digital stamps, watch their videos on their website.  You download the stamp and you can use if for card making, scrapbooking, gift tags.  Even just print it out on paper for your kids or grandkids to color with.  (OR for you to color with. No judgement here. :)  )

Thanks all. 


Dear Pet Product Manufacturer

I am getting tired of being accused by clients of price gouging them on pet products.  They get mad when I refuse to match the price they find in a catalog, or online from international locations such as Australia or Canada.

I understand that you can't dictate what people actually charge for your products at retail.  That would be price fixing and is illegal.  But perhaps some guidelines are in order.  Or maybe reconsider your volume discounts. 

We use a standard markup for products.   I try to explain that the price they find online or in a catalog isn't a true retail price, it is more in line with the actual wholesale price you charge veterinarians and veterinary hospitals. That is to no avail. 

In the past, offering a manufacturing rebate or coupon to clients did help.  But the gap continues to grow wider and wider.

I have always evaluated products based on efficacy and value.  Does the product work as it should?  Does it seem to work as well as other products?   Is it priced comparable to similar items?   And let that guide me on what products to recommend to clients.

This problem has escalated around a few products, a few companies and volume discounts.

From this point forward, not only am I going to be evaluating products based on efficacy and value, I will also be evaluating the sales policies of the manufacturing companies.  And then determine which products, vaccinations, and medications to either recommend to clients, or with to treat patients.


Lucky Update

Just like the Jeffersons, Lucky moves up to a Deluxe Apartment in the sky. 

After Lucky's bath on Sunday, she moved to an upper apartment.  Just like Weezie. 

Thanks to a uber generous donation this week, her fund has grown up to $877. 


George and Gracie

Look at these two.  Little George Burns and Little Gracie Allen.

The pound thought they were Saint Bernard Mixes, but I don't think they are going to be that large. I think they might be Australian Shepherd Mixes or something.  We'll see how much weight they gain between now and their next appointment.  Big dogs will gain 2-3 lbs. / week.

They were adopted last week from the pound by the family who had Barney.   Barney was the Lab who I had to put to sleep early last year. The one who was Jethro's buddy.    You can search fom "Barney" at the top and find photos of him.

Barney, was found at the garbage dumpster when he was about 8 months old.  And lived quite a pampered life after than.   I asked his owners over the summer if they were thinking about getting another dog when I was looking for a home for Maggie.  They said not right then, they were traveling in the fall visiting relatives and had decided to wait.  I was happy to hear that they were considering it as they were such a good home for Barney.  And if you had asked Barney, he would have wanted the same for other dogs in a similar situation. Dogs that just need a home.

George and Gracie, along with their littermates, had their photo in the newspaper last week.  So, Mr and Mrs. P went to the pound to see what was available.  They were just gonna look they said.  "I even left my purse at home", said Mrs. P.

Well, she liked George.   He liked Gracie.  So they got them both.

They were in yesterday for a puppy vaccination and bath yesterday.  Listen to the mouth on lil Miss Gracie while George was getting his bath.


Lucky Update

I posted this elsewhere, but didn't get around to posting it here until now.  Shiloh's painting was purchased over the weekend and Lucky's Fund had a few more donations over the weekend too.   That brings the total up to about $625, about a 1/4 of the way there.

My little yupo paintings are small, 5x7 inches.  I am working on another one of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that might be finished by the weekend.  I've had little prints available at various online sites, signed by me, for $20.  If people want larger prints, those are now available at    They aren't signed though. ( unless you happen to live close by, then bring one by and I'll sign it.)

When my painting appeared on the cover of the JAVMA magazine almost 3 years ago, I had a few veterinary hospitals purchase some.  And if they bought 4 of them, I threw in a 5th one free.

So, I am doing this again for Lucky.   5 prints for the price of 4 with free shipping.   That works out to be 20, almost 25% off.   That makes the pot a little sweeter and Lucky gets closer to surgery, a little faster.

You can choose, mix and match, or let me send you my favorites. 
Where to go look for the prints?  They are on various sites, but the most complete sites are going to be ecrater, artfire, or bonanzle.    The print of Shiloh isn't on any of the sites yet. 

AndyMathis at Ecrater
Me at Artfire

There might be some on Etsy, but they tend to expire, and I forget to renew them.  Etsy.
The other sites don't expire.

If people would like to purchase a single print, you can purchase it through the various sites.  But if you want the "Lucky Special of Buy 4, Get 1 Free, plus Free Shipping", buy it through this paypal link, and include a note with the prints that you want.

Lucky's Print Special

It doesn't have to be just the cats or dogs. You  can mix in the florals or fruit ones too. 
For reference,
Cat Ones -- Grey Tabby on Yupo, Can We Play Now, Please?, Cat Nap, Penske, Lily, Maybelline, Jedi Whiskers, Latte, Marco, Shoe Polish Nose, Visions of Sugar Plums,  Luna.
Dogs- Retriever Puppy, Dog Portrait, Basset Hound, and the new one of Shiloh.

There are probably a few I forgot along there somewhere too.  If you find it as a painting, it probably is available as a print.  Not sure, drop me an email, and ask. 

Of course, if you would like to make a tax deductible donation to Lucky's fund yourself, the link and information is posted in the blog post about her surgery consult from  almost 3 weeks ago.


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