posted01/08/10

Chloe the Amazing Shih Tzu Can Sneeze on Command

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posted09/25/09

What is the Deal with Pet Insurance?

Recently, I had an Aunt whose 14 year old Peekapoo was diagnosed with Cancer.  Aunt Kathie proceeded to spend over $12,000 to buy Omally a few more years. Despite several painstaking surgeries, Omally died and Aunt Kathy was still stuck with the whopping bill.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my dog Badger but I’d have to think long and hard about spending that kind of money to potentially give old Badge an extended retirement.

About a year ago I began to hear people discussing the concept of pet insurance.  Initially I thought the idea was ludicrous and, as I often do, thought to myself, “what kind of world are we living in?”  I forgot about the conversation for a long time until recently I was talking with a very successful businessman who had just taken an interest in a company that sells pet insurance.  Given the fact that I respected this gentleman and his past business ventures I began to rethink my pessimism towards the notion of buying insurance for a pet.

I looked up pet insurance online and began to think that maybe the idea isn’t such a bad one after all.  Many common pet issues can take thousands of dollars to treat.  In an economy like the one we are experiencing today, many people simply cannot afford to foot huge veterinarian bills to help their suffering pet.  I entered eleven year old Badger’s info into Petcareinsurance.com’s questionnaire and got two quotes: a “Quick Care” program for a monthly premium of $10.95 and  a “Quick Care Senior” program for $32.95 a month.  The regular program covered automobile accidents and broken bones up to $2,000.  $1,500 was available for accidents involving poison ingestion and $500 went towards any cuts or lacerations Badger may experience.  For the extra $22, the Senior Program offered an additional $2,000 coverage for heart attacks and strokes.  Initially I found both quotes pretty reasonable.  It’s a lot easier to part with $11 a month than risking the chance of an expensive accident.

Just as I was becoming a fan of the whole pet insurance concept I hit the back button in my browser and returned to the the Insurance Site’s homepage.  On the left hand side there was a list of the 10 most common claims the insurance company received last month.  Of the top 10, each claim exceeded the $2000 coverage I was offered for Badger by at least a thousand dollars, and in some cases by as much as four grand.  Quickly, the $2000 didn’t seem nearly as helpful.  It seems to me that if you could pay $3000 to treat your dog’s neurological problems, chances are you can scrounge together the final $2000.  With a $50 deductible, and the slim chance your pet will have an accident that falls in the range of about $500-$2000 the coverage seems sort of useless.

I’m sure there are other plans out there with more coverage but they probably also cost more than the plans I found.  For $40 or $50 a month I think I’ll take my chances and continue to self-insure.

Dog with $$

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posted09/17/09

Sunglasses for Dogs?

The ALC Sales office is located in beautiful South Florida.  Vero Beach to be exact.  We ‘ve been down here for 12 years and love the gorgeous weather, excellent fishing and never ending  supply of golf courses.  There is however one drawback to our chosen locale; our Shih Tzu Badger seems to be blinded by the sun!  Badger has been with us for the whole twelve years and seems to be enjoying his “twilight” years quite thoroughly.  Due to the heat, we decided to cut Badgey’s hair  short so he doesn’t overheat. As much as we love the “Best in Show” Shih Tzu look, we opted to give old Badge a shorter “do.”  Initially, Badger was pretty embarrassed to sport the high and tight look. Now, we’re pretty sure he is thankful for his streamlined appearance.

The lone issue with the shorter style is that Badger gets a lot of sun in his face when he heads outside to take care of business.  He definitely prefers to be outside after the sun has gone down.  Yesterday I was driving along and ended up cruising next to a driver whose dog was enjoying the wind in his face as he hung out the window.  Upon a closer look I realized that this little lab was wearing sunglasses!  I was very impressed with this look as I’ve been thinking that a pair of shades might help the Badge  enjoy his daytime outings.  My only hesitation to picking up Badger his own pair of aviators was, how on Earth will he keep them on?  As I approached the stop light next to this hip dog next to me I realized his glasses were being held on by a little pair of doggy Croakies.  That did it.  Badger will finally be able to fully enjoy his retirement with his new pair of glasses.  Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to find him some Florida Gator Croakies to match my own.

stock_dog_sunglasses

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