Dream about death leaves me thinking about life – HaliPawz

I don’t always understand my dreams. This morning, I woke up after having a dream about four people who we are thinking about dying. Well, actually three of them were thinking about it, one was already on life-support. One of them, a younger person, was terminally ill. To break it down; Two adult males, that were of older parental age (40-50), one person, female, on life-support, and then a young girl about mid to late 20s who was terminally ill. 

They were all somehow related, but I could not quite remember, or figure out, how the relationships all worked out. I do know, however, that they had decided to all pass away at the same time. It was in such a bizarre way though, the one who was on life-support was going to remain on life-support and they had a note asking whom ever walked in on them to stop her life-support after they were all gone. The other three had decided to lay in shallow pools of ice slowly bringing their core body temperature down until they grew weary and eventually pass away. 

The three all had a normal conversations, talking about other family members, and did not seem to be freezing as they all laid in the ice. As the talking slowly drifted away, and they began to think about their own lives, my dream began focusing on just one of the men. My dream showed him starting to think about some things he didn’t get finished, about someone else in his life he hadn’t seen in a while, and even about one of his pets. As his thoughts continued about all the good things, the happy things, in his life, he realized, he wasn’t ready to die. As he felt his eyelids getting heavy, he said out loud,  “I’m not ready to do this”, and he stood up.  

The other adult male glanced over at him, and asked “why”?  “I don’t know” said the man, it’s just not time. The other man stood as well and decided perhaps he to rethink the decision and reasons.  I know more happened before he rethought it, I just don’t remember the details.  

They glanced over at the terminally ill young lady, realizing she had not said anything throughout their exchange. She had, indeed, already passed away.  The woman on life-support had also quietly passed away. While the men were sad at their passing, they also knew it was the right time for them. 

I woke up completely confused; confused about why I had a dream about death, why I had dreamt about suicide, because that is indeed what it was, and why there were four people in my dream I did not know at all. It started making me think, that because they had chosen something that was so slow and within their control somewhat, is this the message I was supposed to share. If more people who were contemplating suicide had the time to reflect on the good things in their lives, on the things not yet completed, and on the thing that made them happy, would they second-guess their decision? 

Too many times in our society, especially with social media today, we are used to knee-jerk decisions and reactions. I think it is time for us to understand how important it is to not do a knee-jerk reaction, or make a knee-jerk decision. Take time to think about the consequences of your actions and your words before you do or say them.  

Sadly, when someone chooses to take their own lives with suicide, they don’t have the time to reflect, to reconsider their actions. I am not a trained professional, I do not claim to have all of the answers… So if anyone is reading this, and they are considering suicide, please think about reaching out to those who love you, or reaching out for professional help. Think about all of the things that make you happy, the moments in your life where you smiled or laughed, focus on those times until you can have a conversation with someone who can truly help you. 

As I said at the beginning, I don’t always understand my dreams, but this one seemed important enough to share. I can only hope, that if it even helps one person, then there was a reason for the dream and the push to share it. 

I wish everyone reading this many wonderful years of happiness and laughter.  Reach out to those in your lives you love.  Let them know you are there for them. 

Know what the band is playing before jumping on the bandwagon – HaliPawz

I recently watched a video being shared on Facebook regarding Donald Trump being a racist.  I know the intent was to show a protester not fully informed about the subject of his protests, but I saw so much more. 

The video – Black Lives Matter protester regarding Donald Trump

Video courtesy of Dennis Michael Lynch

  

Screenshot of Dennis Michael Lynch’s video regarding Black Lives Matter protester

As you can see, it has been shared over 8000 times. People are reacting in many ways to it.  

 This is an example of too many issues in our country today. Not just with racism or Donald Trump…we have a society where people jump on bandwagons without truly knowing facts. They follow crowds, spouting off “facts” that may or may not be true. Stop following others. Stop sharing things you do not know are true. Do your own research from sources OUTSIDE your comfort level. I’m not a Trump fan because he encourages the racial division and the violence that follows, because he knows it helps hype him up. He’s made a living over sensationalizing media moments and he continues to do it with his political campaign. Encouraging racial division for media sensation IS NOT the same as him being racist. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t. I don’t know because I haven’t done enough research on that topic. I know he LOVES Omarosa for all the money she helped make him when she was on his show, so he can’t be 100% racist LOL. The point is….verify before you spout off. Don’t just be a follower. Before you jump on a bandwagon, know what the band is playing! 

#knowthefacts 

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What is the real anger behind the Josh Duggar Story? Parent Cover Up? Mistakes as a teen? Just wanting to be hateful? – HaliPawz

The Duggar Family of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting have been on television for over ten years now.  People love them or hate them.  Now the latest news is Josh Duggar was guilty of child molestation when he was a child himself.  I read quite a few of the articles and some of the “hate” articles that are quick to follow whenever anyone in the limelight gets caught doing something guilty.

Now, the latest news is that TLC has removed the show from their schedule.  While it is no surprise because we live in a society filled with knee jerk reactions, it still disappoints me.  Why does it come down to everyone trying to please everyone.  It isn’t possible!

I want to break down some of the stuff I found out about regarding this story and give my take on it.

Josh Duggar was 14 when all of this happened.  14 twelve years ago is not the same as 14 year olds today.  According to the stories, some of his sisters and others were affected.  Other stories say it was just his sisters.  Then another story says it happened more than during just one time and affected Jim Holt’s run for the senate.  So many different stories…..you have to wonder WHAT is the truth and what is fabricated to make for a better story.  The story is that he fondled (not raped) the girls while they were sleeping.  Does this make him a child molester or a curious, horny teenager who took advantage of the situation around him and explored with the girls around him.  Yes, it is horrible that it was his sisters along with others, I won’t deny that, but again, he was 14.  He recognized it was wrong and he admitted it to his parents when asked.  He didn’t lie, he didn’t deny it.  At 14, to recognize he had done something horrible and to want to take ownership of it says a lot.

His parents, being parents, did what they thought was best to help their son.  Did they handle it correctly?  Honestly, who are we to say yes or no?  What parent doesn’t go above and beyond to help a child in trouble?  Did they choose protecting their son over protecting their daughters?  No one knows.  There has been speculations that they stuck to the teaching where women are submissive so they had to just accept his apology, no matter what.  Perhaps that type of teaching doesn’t work for everyone, but it does work for some.  Who are we to question whether they forgave him because of their teachings or they forgave him because he openly asked for their forgiveness.  When someone apologizes SINCERELY, each person has the right to accept it or not.  It isn’t our place to speculate WHY they accepted it.  I’m sure many readers would admit a family member has done something wrong to another family member on one occasion or another and had to apologize.

I personally know women who are HAPPY to be in a submissive relationship and it isn’t based on religion, it is based on choice.  They are happy, healthy, and do not feel abused.  Take the word “Religion” out of it and no one seems to have a problem with it or seem to even realize it is happening, but the minute you put the “religion” label on it, then people add hate to it.  I have my own thoughts on organized religion but it doesn’t mean I automatically think everyone is wrong because their beliefs are not necessarily the same as mine.

They took Josh to a state trooper who gave him a “stern talking to” and sent him on his way.  While I agree this may seem strange, for anyone who is familiar with Arkansas, and how much it has changed over the last 15 years, you really wouldn’t be surprised. Add to the fact the state trooper Josh was taken to is now in jail himself for child pornography isn’t the Duggar’s fault!  I can not believe they would be ok with someone who was into child pornography.  It is just another example of how everything handled in this case may not have been the best way, but not due to the Duggar’s actions.

The parents discussed it with their church elders who gave them advice.  Did they give them poor advice?  Again, I’m not saying it is right or wrong, but the parents WENT and sought advice and then followed the advice.  Who isn’t guilty of going to someone we trust for advice and was given bad advice, yet we started to follow it or DID follow it.  They sought advice from those they thought would be helpful to them.  Clearly they didn’t hide this, it seems, by all counts, to be pretty common knowledge to those in their circle.  That doesn’t sound like parents who are trying to sweep it under the rug and make it disappear.  Did they want it out and discussed all the time?  Of course not!  Who would want a family’s dark moments discussed over and over again?  NO ONE!

I see posts who complain about Josh Duggar being around his three children and everyone should be worried.  Are you kidding me?  He isn’t a pedophile!!!  He didn’t go after pre-pubescent girls when he was 14.  It was girls his age.  It is that kind of thinking that truly brings harm to others.  That type of thinking who gets the emotionally minded fired up to take dangerous actions because they can not think for themselves and just act on emotions.

One last thing I read that made me laugh is that Mama June of Honey Boo Boo threatened to sue TLC if they didn’t cancel 19 Kids and Counting because their show was canceled……ummmmm how about the difference is one was a CONVICTED CHILD MOLESTER….that means the adult sought out children.  Not QUITE the same thing!  Come on, we are such a litigious country.

Do I think the Duggar family is perfect?  No, of course not.  What family is?  Do I believe they are above being held responsible for their actions?  No, of course not.  I don’t agree with their beliefs towards gay marriages and I personally believe every Christian would be accepting of gay marriages if they looked at it like I wrote here……but at the end of the day, whether I agree with them or not, I don’t believe they deserve the HATEFUL comments towards them, in this latest situation or in any of the others.

TLC shouldn’t pull the show in a knee jerk reaction.  If their followers CHOOSE to not watch because of this, then TLC can not bring them on for another season, but it should be left to the ratings, not to the haters.

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Labeling Religion brings lack of acceptance – HaliPawz

dogs, dachshund, mastiff, tolerance, differences

We seem to love labels.  I don’t know if it’s an American thing, a world thing, but the idea of saying, “I’m just not sure, I’m still figuring it out” doesn’t seem to be used enough or accepted enough.

I had a conversation last night with a friend and we started discussing religion and family.  He has stated many times in the past he is agnostic but I have also heard him use the word “atheist” in the past.

The conversation took place because he wasn’t planning on going to church with his mom on Mother’s Day.  Now I don’t care if someone goes or doesn’t go to church, but it was his reasoning behind why he wasn’t going.  He said it was because he’s “atheist, agnostic, or whatever” (his words not mine).  You can’t really be Atheist, Agnostic, or whatever.  I called him out on his choice of words!

If he was, indeed, agnostic, going to church really would be no problem at all. Going to church with family would be no different than going to a family member’s house you don’t really care for, but you go out of respect or expectation.  As an agnostic person, you aren’t against the concept of a God, you’re just skeptical or non-committal towards the idea of God.  If this is the case, then suck it up, make your mom happy, and go to church.  It shouldn’t be an issue and you’re mom is happy.

His issue isn’t with God or even the existence of God, it is with the labels and expectations, mostly associated with organized religion.

I decided it was time for us to discuss this further and help him understand why others have difficulty respecting his stand when his stand is always changing.

I try to understand other’s points of views, even if I don’t always agree with them.  Because of this, I try to use words or terminology which will fit the person I am talking to.  If I’m talking to a Christian, I state I am a Christian, I just have difficulty with organized religion. If I’m talking to an Agnostic person, I state I most identify as a Christian but all it means is I believe in a higher spirit, just not necessarily organized religion. It is the same thing, I’m wording it for the best comprehension.

I accept and respect ANY religion which does not bring harm to others.  Yes, even the understood “Christian” religions who choose to kill “in the name of God” aren’t doing it because of God, they are doing it because of some organized religion directing them to do so.

How many of us know someone like this?

Why does anyone think their religion is better than another’s, when, in reality, it is all the same?

Imagine, if you will, going back hundreds of years and talking to a Native American about his religion. Now imagine you are a Christian determined to convert him to Christianity because you believe in it so much.  First you tell him his religion is wrong because he prays to a “spirit” to bring rain.  He is wrong because he believes in Gods and Godesses and there can be only ONE God.  You tell him all this and then proceed to tell him about YOUR God, your religion. You tell him about God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Jaweh, King of Kings, etc….Ummm can you see how that information could make a head spin??? Tell me again what the difference is? Never mind the fact BOTH believe in an ultimate higher being. BOTH believe in human immortality and an afterlife. Just because someone puts different words to the same concept doesn’t make it wrong or give it a different meaning! When a Christian is experiencing a drought, he prays to God for rain but I sure the term “Mother Nature” has been said at one point in time, either by them or by someone they know.  Why is it so easy to accept Mother Nature but not another person’s terminology for God?


Religion isn’t easy.  It is the desire to accept something that is not felt, not touched, not seen. Then we (humans) come along and make it more difficult by wanting to wrap our beliefs, the way WE understand it, up in a pretty box and put a bow on it because we cannot accept the fact it is all the same, just summarized differently.

The next time you want to have an issue with someone else’s beliefs, take a minute, ask them to explain it, or use the Internet to get a better understanding, if it is completely different than your own, respectfully explain your belief, your understanding….but in the end, if your belief or theirs brings NO HARM or DISRESPECT to others, accept it as theirs and move on.  One is not better than the other.

When respect and acceptance of differences begin to be a norm, society will be a much better place!

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Protect the SHARE button; keep the hate bandwagon in the station-HaliPawz

I should be asleep right now. I fell asleep downstairs watching tv, woke up around 2:30am, headed up to bed with the thought I would listen to the latest Randomocity podcast and then go to bed. These guys crack me up and I am so excited about getting the opportunity to work with them. That’s a story for later!

I couldn’t sleep. My brain is racing. So many things happening right now. I go where everyone who can’t sleep goes; social media. Amongst the latest YouTube mash-ups, the puppy memes, and friend updates, I come across the following picture

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with the poster encouraging others to stop supporting the brand.

My first thought was something doesn’t seem right about it. The wording in the article was off. Michael Kors is a business man. I am in no way saying a business man cannot be racist, but the actual wording did not seem legit. I am not naive to the fact racism exists. I’m not a Michael Kors fan per se but if he was truly, openly, racist, I would be an advocate of sharing the information with everyone I know so they had the knowledge to do with it what they chose. On the flip side, I hate a business being boycotted or deemed racist due to the rapid “social media hate spread” that exists in our world today.

My investigative mind wasn’t going to stop until I dug into this. So much for my light, happy, puppy pic sharing mood…I needed to know. Within 30 seconds, I had my confirmation. It was fake. In my defense, if it had been a link on the post I saw, I would have known quicker, but since it was just a picture, I had to dig further. The article was written on a site where they have the disclaimer “all of the articles published on the site are “complete fiction.” Question answered. I felt obliged to go and post in the comments, knowing it doesn’t always change opinions. Once it’s out there and spread throughout social media, it will be believed by many as fact. The damage is done. Will it affect Michael Kors business? Maybe, maybe not. I won’t speculate.

This leads me to a few other concerns. The first is WHY these sites can continue to post very untrue statements about people, make them appear legit, and because of a hidden disclaimer, they can not be held responsible for any damage to a reputation or business?

Why do people continue to SHARE & COMMENT on things without either viewing the source (I try to make a mental note of the fictional sites so when I see a link back to them, I know it isn’t true) or taking the minute to just look into it further if the information you’re seeing / reading sounds a little far-fetched. Why have we reached the point in our society where we are so quick to accept a person is bad, a person is secretly racist, the person(s) involved did a bad thing. We assume the worst a lot quicker than assuming the best anymore. I admit I am guilty of it sometimes. Is there so much wrong today it is easy to accept it? That saddens me a little.

My last thought….and this is probably the one troubling me even more; is SOMEONE wrote the words Michael Kors assumably said. The article stated:

“Just for the sake of a sale I have to deal with women like Nicki Minaj? I’d rather not. After all my fans made me money, It’s only fair I be honest and let them know how I really feel,” said [the] CEO of Michael Kors on his twitter account.

The fashion industry is shocked from Michael Kor’s Ceo offensive statement when he said “I’m tired of pretending to like blacks.”

Early Tuesday morning Michael Kors took to his twitter page to express his true feelings about blacks. Considering every black person either has or knows someone with a MK watch, MK Purse or MK key chain this might affect Michael Kors sales.

“I can’t stomach the thought of my Michael Kors purses being stuffed with synthetic hair, weave or what ever else my fans are into.” Said Michael Kors.

Is it just me or is there a lot of HATE in those words? It made me wonder just how full of racism is the person who wrote it? Someone used the power of a fictional accusation to write how they felt. The last part about synthetic hair, weaves, etc really hit me. It just seemed to ooze with hatred.

Someone who hides their racism behind fictional writing to the extent this writer did is someone I would be more concerned about than the person who shows their ignorance or racism openly.

I have said it so many times and I will continue to say it. If our country would just learn to RESPECT other people, we wouldn’t have so many issues. You don’t have to like everyone if you don’t want to, but be respectful of one another. Have a respect for self. Have a respect for life. So many problems would be solved with respect.

Be mindful of what you share on social media. Take a minute to verify. Look to see where the source is. Here is a good article with the list of fake news websites.

Remember, just because it looks legit, doesn’t always MEAN it is legit. Use caution. Use thought. Most of all, protect the share button like you would want someone to do for you.

Emergency Vet Care – Be Careful of costs when emotions are high

Christmas Day, 2014, I received a call no pet owner wants to get. My Jack Russell, Zipper, had to be taken to the emergency vet.

I had made the decision to leave them at home this year. It is never easy determining the best course of action for your fur babies, but I felt I had left them in capable hands. They always seem to do best staying in their own home when I have to be away from them. With the addition of a third dog, a Great Dane I had agreed to watch for a couple months while his owner was in transition from one home to another, boarding them would get extremely costly AND with the Great Dane and my Neapolitan Mastiff, it was difficult finding a location with enough room. I had found a very capable dog walker. She seemed to genuinely love being around my three, was very accommodating to the many issues surrounding the three, and was affordable.

I know my dogs are not easy. Zipper has dog aggression and food aggression. Bella, the Mastiff, is very loving but can, at times, get annoyed with her little brother when he is in his mood. I needed someone who was very detailed & methodical to keep them all on point. The person I hired fit that bill. I was impressed with how she handled Zipper during our first interview and with all our interactions following ; picking up and dropping off the key. I had used her at Thanksgiving as well with no issues.

A couple days before Christmas I was told Bella got upset with Zipper over a longer than normal lasting treat. She had rolled him over when he gave her attitude and lightly nipped his leg. She cleaned Zipper up, checked the wound, and everything was all right in the world again. Because of the negative interaction, my dog walker was being extra careful. She made sure all treats and food were consumed before releasing them to play and interact with each other again.

Fast forward to Christmas morning. I received my typical text, alerting me she had arrived to feed and care for them. The plan was minimal time with them so she could go and enjoy the day with her family.

Sadly, the day did not go as planned. Through no fault of my dog walker, a scuffle broke out between my two. A third party had arrived on the premises and a door had been left open. Before she was aware the door was open, she heard a squeal from my JRT. She rushed in see the fight happening. There was dog food in the room and we can only speculate as to what transpired between the two dogs. A 100lb dog mad at an 18lb dog. Not a good combination.

The bites were pretty severe. He needed to be checked out. She had bitten around his leg so there were about 4 bite marks. As you can see (taken 5 days AFTER the attack) the wounds were pretty big. He had to go for treatment.

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He was taken to VCA Mission Animal Referral and Emergency Center in Mission, Kansas. Typical to most emergency veterinary locations, they required a deposit to start seeing him. This is my baby. I’m up in Michigan. It’s Christmas Day. Of course I gave them a credit card and told them to take care of him. When I spoke to the vet, she informed me I would be looking at roughly $700. I told her to go ahead. About an hour later I received a call stating she had looking at him, they were getting ready to sedate him to get him cleaned up. They also needed to X-Ray his leg to make sure there was no other damage. I was told everything had been put in the computer and it would be about $800. Again, I agreed. This is my baby. He was going to be taken care of.

Later in the day I was told he was resting peacefully and would be able to go home in the morning but he would need constant care because they couldn’t stitch him up yet. They wanted to allow the wounds to breath a few days. I was also told leaving him there a couple days would be another option. The vet told me she would call me in the morning to discuss my options.

I was relieved. I knew he was ok, he was getting strong anti-biopics and pain medication. Bella, my Mastiff, was getting care at home, and the Great Dane was with his owner. My emotions had been running high all day trying to decide if I should stay or head home. It is never an easy decision.

I received the call the next day. Zipper was eating fine but he was heavily medicated. I was told they could keep him there for $80 a day or I could come pick him up and bring him back every day for a dressing change. It would just be an office visit of $25 every day. $25 vs $80 when I am 13 hours away. I made the decision to keep him there a couple more days so he could have the utmost care and be watched. With the wounds still open, we had to be careful of infection. It was worth the extra $50+ for him to be cared for better than I could care for him.

Even though I was concerned about him, I made the decision to keep my trip as planned, let him stay in the animal hospital, and let Bella be cared for as we had scheduled.  I felt good about this decision, as good as I could while still being concerned about Zipper.  On Saturday, I received a picture of Bella and could see she was sad.  I even responded as such.  The reply I received was enough to tell me I had to head home.  Bella was starting to break down.  She went from a home with me and two other dogs, to me being gone and the other two dogs taken away from the home quickly with emotions running through the humans.  She was starting to not eat.  She was distressed.  I had to go.  I finished up a few errands I needed to do in Michigan, loaded up the car, and headed out.

I ended up stopping in a rest area to sleep for a few hours, driving overnight is never easy.  I let my dog walker know to go ahead and feed Bella Sunday morning so her schedule wasn’t off.  I didn’t need anything else to stress her out.  I had planned to get home, unload the rental car, take a quick shower, then go and get Zipper.  Plans changed quickly.  I was not ready for Bella’s attitude.  She cried and whined.  From the minute I walked in the door she started searching the house and just kept crying.  I could tell she was happy to see me but it wasn’t enough.  Every time I went out to get something from the car, I could hear her non stop.  The problem was, I didn’t know what to expect from Zipper either.  I knew he would need 24 hour care and could not be left alone, but could he be left alone long enough to go out and finish unloading the rental?  Would him and Bella be ok?  She bit him HARD the last time he saw her.  Would he forgive her?  All of these thoughts were going through my head.  I didn’t know what I was getting into.

I made the decision to just unload the perishable items and my suitcases.  I chose to skip the shower.  I was going to get Zipper.  It BROKE MY HEART leaving Bella again.  To shut the door on her and hearing her cries as I walked to my vehicle.  It was almost more than I could take.  I could not take her.  I didn’t know what the attitudes would be and could not risk it with Zipper being so injured.

I arrived at the vets office and was presented with the bill BEFORE I could see Zipper.  I understand the reason behind it, they need to get paid, but I just wanted to see Zipper.  I didn’t even really look at the bill, handed over my credit card, and signed the receipt.  Once it was paid, they called back and said he was to be released.  While I waited for him, I looked over the bill and was shocked at what I saw.  Not only had the $800 quote moved to $1200 but the “$80 a day” had switched to $141 a day!!!!  Are you kidding me?!?! A 76% increase OVER what I was quoted!!!  What choice did I have?  The work had been done.  I wanted my dog.

No, I couldn’t let it go.  It’s not RIGHT to take advantage of people when they are emotional.  I saw Zipper.  My heart BROKE.  He was so heavily medicated and bandaged up.  He looked horrible.

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As you can see from these pics, it would be easy to just focus on him and not think about the costs as the time.

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I started to walk away and stopped. I had to say something. I asked the associate at the front desk about it. I explained my concern. He said he would talk to the business manager and have her get back to me.  I was coming in the next day so I was ok with waiting, plus it was Sunday so I figured I wouldn’t get an answer.

I arrived home and was careful to not allow any apprehension creep into my thoughts.  I wanted a positive greeting.  I walked in, dropped the leash so I could go and block the dog door.  Zipper was supposed to only go out on a leash long enough to go potty, and then back in.  We had to minimize his risk of infection.  Before I could slide the lock down, Zipper was OUT THE DOOR cone and all! The little brat!  I popped the door out and went out on the deck to get him.  He was going to the bathroom, so I waited.  Bella was ecstatic!  She was hopping all over the deck.  Leaping into the air.  Spinning.  She was so happy to have her brother back!  Zipper finished going to the bathroom and ran up onto the deck and was sniffing her like crazy.  He was pretty groggy so I took him in, showed him his new dog bed, and he proceeded to get in it and lay down.  Bella seemed to understand she had to be easy around him.  My fur family was going to be ok.

I went in for my follow up and Zipper was taken back right away.  The vet came out to discuss my options.  I could either stich him up (which would be a ridiculous cost; he said it would be about $800 – $1100)  or I could remove the bandages, keep him on an anti-biotic and pain medication, and let nature heal him correctly.  He would have a small scar but his hair should cover it up.  He was upfront and said he wasn’t recommending the surgery.  He didn’t feel it was necessary.  Zipper came out of sedation rough the first time and he didn’t feel it was in his best interest to sedate him again.  He warned me there would be some discharge from the open wounds though, so if that was going to bother me, I should consider the surgery.  I know there are people out there that would opt for the quicker, less messy, fix.  For me, it wasn’t about the cost, it was about what was in Zipper’s best interest.  I didn’t want him sedated again.  I would take on the responsibility of putting warm compresses on the wounds three times a day, I would deal with the oozing, healing, wounds.  I knew it would take an extra week for him to heal; stiches would be about 10 -12 days, letting it heal naturally would be about 21 days.  I was prepared for that.

They brought Zipper out to me and I went to check out.  I asked again about the bill and the associate checking me out was looking at me like I was speaking a foreign language!  Ugh!  Here we go again.  I re-explained my concern about the bill. She assured me she would discuss it with the business manager, she handed me a business card, said she wouldn’t charge me the office visit , and she would have the business manager give me a call.  I made my appointment for the following Monday and left.

I arrived for my follow up and was handed some receipts.  I glanced at them quickly, saw a “-” sign by a dollar amount and assumed they had just corrected my bill without calling me.  Not a great business practice but I didn’t care as long as my bill was adjusted.  Zipper entertained the waiting area with his Terrier cuteness, cone and all, so I watched him.  While he was back for his follow up, I glanced at the papers given to me.  There were the EXACT SAME RECEIPTS I already had!  Are you kidding me?  Zipper was brought back out to me and I went to the front desk to check out.  It was the same associate I had talked to talked to the previous Monday.  I asked her about it again and she looked at me like it was the first time she was hearing it.  I showed her the card she gave me the previous week.  I was told to have a seat.

I was met by the director of client services.  She took me back into a room and I explained my concern yet again.  I explained my frustration with the lack of communication.  As we talked, she explained all phone calls are recorded so she would be able review the conversations between me and the veterinarian I talked to.  I said “Great!”  I was genuinely happy to have them reviewed.   She seemed a little surprised I was encouraging the review.  I knew I was right about what I heard so I wanted the review.  She apologized for the lack of communication and assured me I would hear back from her. I was happy with the communication and was glad I had said something.

The week days passed.  By Thursday, I still had not heard from her, so I called the office.  I was told they were having problems with their phone systems, they had a technician coming out, and was asked to be patient.  I felt like I was just getting the run around, but I said ok and continued to wait.

Zipper and Bella were doing well.  Zipper was healing nicely.  They were starting to interact again, rather than just tolerate each other.  Bella wanted to play and would paw his cone to get his attention.  I could tell he was still a little nervous around her, but was just encouraging positive interaction and letting them take it at their own speed.  I was so happy the day I looked over and Zipper was giving Bella kisses!

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About a week later, I finally received the call I was waiting for. I was told they were finally able to review the conversations and I would be getting a refund. She wasn’t sure how much because the business manager was out with the flu and she would need to discuss it with her. I was understanding and said I would wait, figuring it wouldn’t be until the next week since it was already Friday. I called Monday to follow up and was told the associate I was dealing with wasn’t in. I understood. I called again on Wednesday. They took my name before telling me if she was in or not. They came back on the phone telling me she wasn’t in but I could leave a voicemail. They were expecting her in later in the day.

Well, a month after I started talking to them about the cost, I FINALLY received a call back and I am happy to report they are refunding me some of my payment. My perseverance paid off. I am EXTREMELY happy with the outcome and believe they are being fair.

do not believe they practiced good business behavior on the front side. I wonder how many other pet parents paid the bill without saying a word? I do appreciate their correcting the situation.

Bottom line, even in emotional situations, you have the right AND the duty to be informed and follow up. In any medical situation, human or animal, go through your itemized bill. If there is a problem or concern, voice it. The outcome may not always be in your favor but YOU are your own best advocate!

When a gun kills, the blame game starts but it stops too early

I was reading / watching an article on NBC today about a young child who killed his younger brother with a gun in his grandfather’s home.

NBC News; Child kills 9 month old brother

This is a HORRIBLE story, one no parent should ever have to experience.  My heart goes out to them.  This blog isn’t about this family in particular but about all of the blame going to the gun.  Let’s get one thing straight, a gun, by itself, cannot kill someone.  You need a bullet in the chamber.  You need a way for the trigger to be pulled, usually a human but I have heard stories where an animal was too close and played with the trigger.

This story shared a lot of problems that exist in today’s world and I want to break them down a little more.

*The gun was loaded.  WHY was the gun loaded?  Even when used for protection, if the gun is not within your control, it should NOT be loaded.  You can have a bullets in the magazine and have the magazine located within a close proximity so you can grab them quickly if needed, but they should never be put together when you are not handling it, especially when there are children around.

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*The parents said they did not know a gun was in the house but also said they grew up with guns.  If you grew up with one or both parents owning guns, why would there be an assumption guns weren’t still in the home.  Unless your parent has changed DRASTICALLY, it is probably understood there are guns in the home.  I think the blame is on all adults for not asking / communicating correctly about weapons.

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*You could open the safe easily.  Umm, then it isn’t a safe!  Don’t get me wrong, I grew up with rifles available in the home and they were not in a safe.  We knew not to touch them.  If we DID touch them, it was with permission and we were well aware it had the capabilities of taking a life, be it animal or human.  We were raised to not point the barrel at anything we were not prepared to shoot and kill.  My issue is having the false sense of security keeping a gun in a safe that is a safe in appearance only.  If you are going to use a gun safe, it better be a SAFE!

*The boys were told to not go in the room, but boys will be boys.  REALLY?!?!?  Are you kidding me?  Shame on any adult with that mentality.  How about raising your children to RESPECT boundaries and rules.  How about teaching young children about the firearm in the room.  If you aren’t willing to teach the child about the firearm and about the danger of the firearm, then PUT IT SOMEPLACE HIGH, HIDDEN, AND SAFE!!!  Better yet, if you aren’t willing to teach the child about the firearm, take it out of the house while they are in your home.  If we take the mentality, boys will be boys, then we are saying we have an expectation of boys doing just about anything.  I am willing to bet a boy can understand the concept of touching a stove means you will get burned, so they could understand the concept of a gun having the ability to harm or kill someone or something.  I don’t believe boys are the only ones capable of having an accident like this, I was focused on the “boys will be boys” comment.  It is just as easy for it to happen to a little girl as it is a boy if she is not taught about safely handling a gun.  I am a woman, I enjoy shooting.  I was a girl and I handled bb guns / rifles.

*Maybe he learned to shoot a gun from television.  You know, we have a crazy idea of wanting our television shows to be as realistic as possible.  We want the gun fight to look like a real gunfight.  We want death to look like a person really dead.  How can we expect a young child to truly understand a gun kills if they are allowed to watch these realistic shows and they see the person later on another show.  What discussions are taking place to explain television isn’t the same as real life.  It is pretend, even when it looks so real.

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I don’t necessarily agree with the “rapper” comment, but the concept speaks volumes.  We have to educate instead of television being the educator.

Having discussions with children, teaching them to be respectful of adults and rules, explaining the power and danger of any type of weapon, it doesn’t have to just be a gun; it can be a knife, an ax, any weapon, are all ways to stop these situations from happening.  We started with BB Guns, we had the SAME rules for the BB Gun as we had for the other rifles.  We were never allowed to shoot at birds, animals of any kind.  The rule in our home was, “If you aim at it, be prepared to kill it, if you kill it, be prepared to eat it”  The idea was teaching us you didn’t kill just for a sport, you could shoot for sport; we shot at soup cans, blown up balloons, anything that did not have life attached to it.  We were also taught to respect hunting seasons, if you wanted to hunt, you hunted for the meat, not for the sport of hunting.  Handguns aren’t used for hunting usually, but if you instilled the same set of rules with the handguns, the number of accidental shootings would decrease drastically.

Guns, when handled responsibly and RESPECTED BY ALL, can be safe around children and adults.

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