Saturday Survey: Therapy Animals

I posted an article yesterday on the value of therapy animals. Have you ever been lucky enough to have a dog (or other animal) come visit you when you were in need? Until next time, Good day, and good dog! Dog Blog

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Life Lately, in Snapshots // The End-of-Summer Edition

Life Lately, in Snapshots // The End-of-Summer Edition
1. daddy + daughter beach hang.  //  2. favorite salad, courtesy of our container garden. //  3. my sister serenading the backstage.  //  4. we went to a fair just to eat funnel cakes.  //  5. a special day, getting a visit from some of my oldest friends and watching our baby girls meet for the first time.  //  6. my attempt at last minute patriotic cupcake for a 4th of july party.  //  7. truly the best game ever invented.  //  8. baby party!  //  9. exciting to see my smoothie recipe feature in the september issue of redbook magazine.  //  10. hanging out at work with the husband. //  11. she’s on the move!  //  12. loving on my furry niece. //  13. there’s not much better than a summer evening stroll.  //  14.  just like her mom, the contemporary design exhibit was essley’s favorite at the indianapolis art museum //  15.  my happy place: warm evening, back porch, cold beer, summer flowers.  //  16. my new favorite (and almost nightly dinner): a plant based bowl.  thinking about sharing some recipes here.  //  17. a small portion of order madness after my clothing company’s farewell sale.  //  18. one final late summer trip to the lake.

As my regular readers know, every few months I post some bits and pieces of recent everyday life here, via plain ol’ non-fancy cell phone pictures.  Although my Instagram account (@bubbyandbean) has become my go-to for sharing quick personal moments like these, every now and then I like to ‘check in’ here as well.

This was my first summer as a mom, and although we took our fair share of mini trips and didn’t have much downtime at all, it somehow still feels like it’s been pretty laid back around these parts. And that’s actually kind of nice, I’m coming to find out. Robbie was on the road for the majority of the summer, but we really took advantage of our time together as a family when were all together. We took lots of walks to the park, ate lots of summery meals on our back deck, worked in our garden, traveled to Indianapolis and up to our favorite lake in Wisconsin multiple times, had baby play dates with friends, and took time to enjoy summer as adults on several occasions too via movie dates, live music, and gatherings with our crew.

In addition to looking back on this summer as Essley’s first, I think I’ll also always remember it as the summer when I closed my clothing company after 15 years. It’s still going to be a couple of months before all the loose ends are tied up with that, but it’s already been a huge weight lifted not to have to focus on it daily in addition to all of my other work, and to finally be able to give full attention to the Bubby & Bean businesses – and to my daughter.

Seeing these pictures from the last couple of months makes me realize how much has changed in a short time, and makes me feel pumped to see what’s to come. As I get older, especially in recent years, I value the simple moments more than anything else. And despite the fact that my gag reflex was in full effect as I typed that (because dude, so cheesy), it’s the truth. Life’s simple moments rule.

Bubby and Bean on Bloglovin


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Dogs and Cats with Skin Allergies – Atopic Dermatitis

Dogs and cats with atopy suffer from itchy skin and may bite or lick themselves excessively. Dr. Colleen Smith offers tips for this condition, including sugg…

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I take back everything I’ve said about writing being fun and easy

There is nothing that will make you gain an appreciation for a creative process more than attempting to do it yourself. You know, like those people who scoff at the museum and say, “A kid could do that!” and then go home and paint something absolutely horrid.


Or those people who look on Pinterest or food blogs for new recipes.



This is how I feel about writing a book. “I write a blog,” I said. “I have a command of basic English,” I said. This will be a piece of cake. James Patterson cranks out like 4 of these a year, surely I can do at least one in five years’ time.

Then I tried to do it. I sent to my agent a proposal that I thought might work, much the same way this sculptor thought his modern take on “a snake” might work.


These things are, clearly, subject to interpretation.

Much like the kindergartner who says, “I can do it MYSELF!!” before nearly running into the path of an oncoming school bus, my journey has required a good deal of handholding, gentle redirection, and tactful suggestions from people who have been doing this much longer than I have.

Today I sent off the second draft of All Dogs Go To Kevin to my editor. I don’t know how many drafts one normally goes through; enough to get it right, I suppose. It took forever. I did what all writers do and sat, paralyzed with indecision, for months before hitting the keys in a panic. I procrastinated. I took a short break to read Stephen King’s The Stand (not the best decision from a time management perspective, that one.) But we got there.

I’ve read that George R.R. Martin writes his manuscripts on a typewriter. I can’t even fathom how that works. Without word processors, I’d have been dealing with trying to make sense of something like this:



But it’s working! We have made progress! I have slogged through my favorite dogs’ deaths enough times now to count as official desensitization therapy. It’s actually, after lots and lots and lots and lots of work, starting to resemble an actual manuscript. It’s nuts.

We are on target for a summer 2015 release, which seemed like a long time away until that whole Hachette/Amazon debacle where Amazon is penalizing first time Hachette authors by burying their works and potentially ruining their fledgling careers before they even had a chance to get started.

Now, summer 2015 seems like “Plenty of time to get it figured out, right guys? RIGGGHT?” because if not, I’m going to be begging you all on hands and knees to put aside your Prime for just long enough to get my book at Barnes and Noble because yes, I am one of those Hachette authors affected by this, and it’s making my hair fall out.

In the meantime, my editor has been keeping me entertained by sending me photos of some of the dogs that may be featured on the book cover. Her job is to take the pictures I sent her of Taffy, Emmett, and Kekoa and come up with three reasonable stand-ins. It’s a tall order, at least so far as Taffy is concerned, seeing what they have to work with: “A slightly neurotic, half-shaved Lhasa with chronic skin issues who always looks like she wants to be anywhere other than with the two 80s relics who always insist on holding her, Joan Jett and Jeanette from the Chipettes.”

I really did love the Chipettes.

I really did love the Chipettes.


Can’t wait to see what they come up with.


Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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Camera Captures Exciting Moment Labrador Runs To The Beach | Video

A Go Pro camera attached to the back of Walter the Labrador captures the wonderful moment when he excitedly runs to the beach in Siracusa, Sicily!

The post Camera Captures Exciting Moment Labrador Runs To The Beach | Video appeared first on A Place to Love Dogs.

A Place to Love Dogs

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Moms’ Night Out and Other Things I Miss: Devotions To Help You Survive by Kerri Pomarolli {Book Review}

My rating: 5 of 5 stars A companion piece for not just the movie but the book itself, “Mom’s Night out and Other Things I Miss: Devotions to Help You Survive”, is a down to earth, life is messy devotional that cuts it right to the heart. Sharing the misadventures of mommy hood and how…

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Sunflower Faith

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Latest Tick News

Unemployment to Tick Down to 6.1 Percent for August; Continues to Resume its
This post discusses my monthly update of the Barnichon-Nekarda model. For an introduction to the basic concepts used in this post, read my introductory post (Full details are available here.) In July, the unemployment rate increased to 6.2 percent, …
Read more on Brookings Institution (blog)

Bad Bite: Tick Can Trigger Meat Allergy, Doctors Say
Doctors across the nation are seeing a surge of sudden meat allergies in people bitten by a certain kind of tick. This bizarre problem was only discovered a few years ago but is growing as the ticks spread from the Southwest and the East to more parts

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Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon Benefits Helen Woodward Animal Center

Rovers are riding a wave of excitement as they get ready for the start of the 9th annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon– an event that combines sport with support for a paws cause. Taking place September…

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Sasha at the Blessing of the Animals

Sasha is a beautiful Irish Setter who I met in Gorbio village.  He had been brought to village by his owners for the Blessing of the Animals.

Sasha is four and a half years old and lives in Menton.


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Pet insurance- the good, the bad, the somewhere in between

I admit I am biased about pet insurance. I like it, mostly. Clients who had it were, in my experience, much more likely to approve necessary treatments. That dog with a case of happy tail who wagged it so hard and so fast he got a nasty deep infection that ended up necessitating a partial tail amputation? Insured. Hit by car? Insured. From my perspective, it allowed owners to focus on the pet’s immediate needs and get them taken care of.

I also liked it because I didn’t have to do anything to get it taken care of, other than fill out a brief form.  The owners paid me upfront, and were reimbursed by their company after the fact. If the owner and the insurer had a disagreement about what should or should not be covered, it wasn’t something I had to get involved in. It was nothing like human medicine. The summer before I started veterinary school, I actually worked the front desk in an internal medicine MD practice and good lord, those staffers spent probably 33% of the day dealing with insurance issues.



Just a few years ago, I could list three pet insurance companies, tops. Now there’s almost too many to count, with good policies and bad policies and fine print a mile long and exclusions even longer, especially if you have a bulldog in which case you might as well just get a second job.

Some pay a flat percentage of your bill. Others use benefit schedules, and specify exactly what amount they will pay per procedure. Most reimburse you, but I know of at least one that is rolling out a program that will pay veterinarians directly. Some cover preventive care. Some cover accidents. Some cover breed related illnesses, and others don’t. Tooth extractions? May or may not be a pre-existing condition. WHO KNOWS.

It’s gotten so confusing, even for me, that when people ask me what I think all I can say is, “Yes, go for it, but with caution.” Caveat emptor. But even then, even knowing all there is to know and asking all there is to ask, I’m hearing more and more people tell me they just spent five hours on the phone with an insurance rep trying to figure out how a newly diagnosed endocrine condition counts as “pre-existing.”

If this sounds familiar, that’s because that’s what all of us have done with our health insurers at least once, right? It’s confusing, and getting even more so the more players that enter the field. All companies are not created equal. I think most people completely understand the need for exclusions and limits, but for goodness sake let people know when they sign up what, exactly, they are signing up for.


While lawmakers in California had hoped that pet insurance would fall under the auspice of state insurance regulators, it hasn’t happened, and people with complaints have found they were pretty much out of luck. Fortunately, a new bill that already passed the legislature and is headed for the governor’s desk should give consumers a good deal more protection.

AB 2056 will make California the first state in the nation to specifically pass regulations about the pet insurance industry, separate from its current designation as miscellaneous property and casualty. It specifies the need for clear language about co-pays, exclusions, waiting periods, and caps- all the stuff people run into issues with now.

This is good news for everyone: the excellent insurance companies out there whose reputation is being sullied by the shyster groups, veterinarians who are able to better care for pets, and most of all the clients and pets who stand to benefit from better access to care.

So let’s hear it: what’s been your experience lately? Have you been blindsided or pleased with your insurance coverage?

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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