Half-time

Just like the Super Bowl half time is all about the sponsors so I wanted to take a few to thank all of ours who have help make this journey possible.

TAGG the GPS Pet Tracker

TAGG has saved our fuzzybutts on more than one occasion.  The best example of this was when I walked highway 20 from Corvallis to Newport OR solo.  I took one of the trackers in case of an emergency and on the very first day I ran into a bit of a crisis. We had made water drops along the 50 mile stretch and my supply was down to less than half a liter.  As I neared the first drop I saw a man in a John Deere mower cutting the grass on the highway shoulder.

I sprinted up to him and asked if he found 2 jugs of water in the area he recently cut and he said he had and that one of them may have escaped the blade of the mower.  It didn’t.  The temp in wilamette valley was already soaring up to the 90s and the next drop was down the road another 10 miles so i was in a bit of a pickle.

Ginger was able to tag me and then find a nearby store using Yelp.  TAGG – not only great for your dog but Yer Big Dog too!  I’ve gotten to know the trackers intimately and the folks behind them and I can’t say enough about them. The fuzzybutts will be wearing them even after this walk.  

 When you purchase the trackers at their website and sign up for the service, enter the promo code 2Dogs they’re generously offering a 10% discount and donate $ 25 to the Puppy Up Foundation. Also you can track Indy and me as we walk the west coast at www.2dogsagainstcancer.com It’s been a little confusing because we’re staying with more host families and sometimes we’re tagged after we’ve been picked up and off the road.

We’d also like to thank our other walk sponsors: Hollywood Feed for providing the dog food for the walk.   P2 Collars and Toki Poki for the awesome corded collars and leashes.  Everlasting Memories for the beautiful infinity ring that holds Murphy’s ashes. Orijen for providing the 6 Fish food for Hudson.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES

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Hudson’s Cancer Is Back

Hudson’s cancer has returned. Two-fold it seems.  Last week two tumors were taken off him; on the base of his tail the other on his ear.  Path lab report indicates that the former is a neurofibrosarcoma, the latter a grade 2 mast cell.  
And while it’s preliminary pending further testing and consultation with a few oncologists contingencies must be made.  What has made it even more difficult for me, other than being thousands of miles away from him, the lack of cell service on both my AT&T & verizon phone.  The path results were texted to me and I had to use the landline of a grocer in elk CA to learn its scope.  
The walk may be postponed once we reach San Francisco.  As we’re within 130 miles of the Bay Area and planning a few events there, we’re committed to them.  After that, what we learn this week will make a determination.  
What’s particularly disconcerting to me is that there was a 95% probability of no recurrence or metastasis within two years.  It’s been less than one.  
We’ve been tried and tested the entire time on this journey in ways I didn’t foresee, perhaps even unforeseeable.  But what matters now is Hudson.  Indy and I are back on the road tomorrow unsure & uncertain what comes next. 

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES

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International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Today is ‘International Talk like a Pirate Day’ – who knew!  So I give you this tiny ‘Pirate’ who I’m sure can ‘woof’ in an ‘Ahoy matey’ sort of way!

In fact, this little sweetheart is called Shelley and is only 9 months old. She lives in Menton but I met her at the Sospel Agricultural Show last Sunday.
RIVIERA DOGS

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Blogger Opp – Black Friday Shop Till You Drop $100 #Giveaway

Black Friday Button
Sign up and join us in this awesome giveaway event! One lucky winner will get $ 100 PayPal cash or gift card of their choice to blow on Black Friday deals and steals!

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LoveMy2Dogs

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Rediscovering Something You’ve Seen Your Whole Life

If you all were here for my post last week, you will understand the whole thing with the 600 Brilliant Blog Post Ideas and where it came from, but if not, you can check it out here. If not, then read on.

# 544. Describe a time you rediscovered something that you have seen your whole life.

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LoveMy2Dogs

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Mange Mites and Guinea Pigs: What You Need to Know!

Important information about mange mites in guinea pigs: this is my summary of lots of research on websites, forums and even scientific papers into the sympto…
Video Rating: 5 / 5

Diy homemade howto make Pesticidal oil using canola oil,Its a all safe natural Garden insecticide, pesticides, It provides insect control all year. It’s perf…

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“A Bouquet of Love” Book Review

A Bouquet of Love by Janice Thompson My rating: 3 of 5 stars Set against the backdrop of Galveston, Texas, “A Bouquet of Love” is a refreshing contemporary romance novel filled with humor and a delightful getaway writing that draws in the reader, looking for a fun romance novel that isn’t racy, takes you into…



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Sunflower Faith

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GIVEAWAY: Win a Kurgo Atomic Drop Hammock!

Let’s face it: mud happens. And, in the fall, it can happen a lot. Recent rains in our area have us battling mud and muddy paws, but we’re not letting that stop us from our…



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DogTipper

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An Open Letter to My Veterinary Colleagues

Please share far and wide because we only have until Monday to get our voices heard.

Dear veterinarians, 

I imagine you have noticed things have changed a bit for us in the last ten years or so. A decade ago, you could look in the “Help Wanted” section on VIN or AVMA classifieds and have your pick of positions. This is good, since most of us carried modest student debt we needed to pay off. Being a new grad was exhilarating, a little nerve-wracking, but thrilling. Now?

molly-you-in-danger-girl-o

Vet school, you in danger, girl.

 

The Changing Landscape

Three things have happened that have dramatically changed the landscape for new grads, leaving them nervously optimistic at best and apprehensively regretful at worst:

1. The economy tanked.

Vet visits are down, and clinics are responding by tightening their belts. Job openings have dwindled.

2. Educational costs have skyrocketed.

I know we have all heard this, but have you really read the numbers? In-state tuition at my alma mater has doubled since I graduated. The average vet student now graduates about $ 150,000 in debt; some students are racking up debt as high as $ 500,000. To live comfortably- not extravagantly, I mean comfortably- your debt should not exceed an average starting year’s salary, which hovers around $ 64,000 in our field. We’re off by over double, and in many cases far more.

Source: http://news.vin.com/VINNews.aspx?articleId=17347

Source: http://news.vin.com/VINNews.aspx?articleId=17347

This is compounded by the fact that a change in student loan policies in 2007 allowed students in professional schools to borrow whatever amount they needed, no cap, assuming doctors and lawyers and dentists would earn enough in the future to make short work of the added debt. But in our field, the numbers just don’t add up.

3. Despite fewer jobs and higher debt, new veterinary schools continue to open. 

Why? After a threatened lawsuit brought by Western University against the AVMA Council on Education in the early 2000s, the accreditation process was relaxed to allow new institutions to become accredited without the added expense of building a teaching hospital. Instead, schools could use local veterinarians to provide clinical experience, which made the cost of opening a new vet school suddenly doable. (Please note, I’m not presenting an opinion on whether or not the quality of education differs- the Western grads I know are fantastic- simply presenting the history.)

Given how much money prospective vet students are willing to pay, this is a very lucrative proposition for private institutions such as Lincoln Memorial, or Midwestern, two new schools opening this year. At some private institutions, expected costs of attendance are reaching over $ 300,000.

vinmap

Source: http://www.vinfoundation.org/AppUtil/document/default.aspx?pid=0&catid=&objectid=21833&objecttypeid=10&redirectFromMiscDefault=1

More grads, fewer job choices, more debt. Sounds great.

The New Law School

It is no secret to those paying attention that veterinary school is being viewed as the next law school, that horrible disaster we’ve all read about, except- ugh- worse. The market fixes itself, economists argue, when prospective students see new grads flail and sink and stop applying, like that happened with dental school. So, you know, sacrifice a generation or two and it’ll be ok.

Except vet students don’t do that, because there is an emotional pull to this field that dentistry and law simply don’t have. Knowing the debt, and knowing the fact that things will be hard, vet school applications are still up. Will they regret it ten years later when it’s too late to change their mind and they are still living in an apartment because they can only find a 30 hour a week job? I guess we’ll find out.

Can we do anything about it?

Other than the aforementioned ‘let a few drown’ approach, I mean. I have read many practitioners state, “Their fault, too bad, sucks to be them,” and I can’t tell you how sad that makes me. Don’t we want to do better by our future colleagues than shrugging?

VIN has tried, by attempting to educate prospective vet students on the costs of education. Life with that amount of debt is not sunshine and roses. There’s nothing wrong with telling someone the truth about what that can mean for your life; if they choose to take it on anyway, that’s fine, but at least we presented them with realistic scenarios.

And what about the American Veterinary Medical Association, the “collective voice for its membership and for the profession”? Would it be a good idea for this organization to take a good hard look at the impact of these changes and attempt some proactivity in speaking out about the impact of these new schools?

So far, the response has been, “not our job, not our job, not our job.” Then what is? (Aside from making movie theater trailers.)

Accreditation and the AVMA

The AVMA Council on Education is responsible for accrediting new schools. If you’ll remember our history lesson from Part 1, this whole debacle started when the Council hesitated to grant Western a reasonable letter of assurance for accreditation and they threatened to sue. The AVMA cannot act in a protectionist way because as an accrediting body, it’s a conflict of interest to their neutral evaluation of new schools.

But they should, dangit. They should protect this profession. Not from the influx of new grads. FOR the new grads.

And the only way to do that is to completely sever the tie between the COE and the AVMA so they can function independently.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Take Action!

Every five years, the US Department of Education reviews an accrediting program and decides whether or not to renew its status. If you are an AVMA member, you received an email this morning letting you know this is the year, and asking you to write a letter to the NACIQI stating your support for maintaining the status quo. But I have a different letter to present to you:

Sign the Letter Now

We know where we are headed in terms of the status quo. The scattered corpses of lawyers and dentists line the way. We can do better.

You can submit a different letter, one asking the NACIQI to seriously consider the relationship between the AVMA and the COE, here. For more information about what I’ve written, check out the Resources page.

 

Sincerely,

Just another non-high-level-leadership peon who loves this field and wants the future to love it too

 

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

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Hey it’s Friday!

This came across Pinterest, so I wanna share it to all of ya’ll who manage to survive the week. The weekend is here! Smile…relax….breattttthhhe! © 2014, Sunflower Faith. All rights reserved.



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Sunflower Faith

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