By: Dr. Jack Stephens
Hello All! Oh it’s an excellent month to be a dog! The weather is changing and it is finally getting cooler in my office, I no longer have to lie around all day in the scorching heat! For a while now I thought I might have been gaining a few more ounces, since I haven’t been able to make my daily treat trips around the building which help me keep my slim figure!
For all of you who weren’t able to wish me a Happy Birthday, I celebrated my glorious 6th year of life last week! It was fabulous! I was able to catch up on my beauty rest, had one or two treats here and there…… Ok, ok, I may have fibbed just a little, I had a few more than that, but it was my birthday, I deserved something special! Later that afternoon I had a few pictures taken for my portfolio. I was enjoying myself until they attempted to put a birthday bow on my head. Yeah right, like I was going to let that happen. I look fantastic just the way I am.
Some other current events that are going in my life… My dad enrolled me in these Positive Pet Parenting courses. So far I haven’t notice a difference. I am not surprised because, in my opinion there is nothing wrong with me. I may be a little bit more vocal than some of my fellow canine friends, but hey, I am pint sized and have to speak up or no one would be able to hear me. I also don’t think that “asking” politely and putting on my “cute face” really translates to “begging.”
So have you all seen the previews for this upcoming movie “Beverly Hills Chihuahua?”
Well I did, and I am appalled that my dad didn’t get any offers for me to be one of the main stars! I am cute, full of spunk and have a great talent for acting. I mean half of the people that work for Pets Best who give me treats, really think I like them. Now that’s “real” acting. I should get an Oscar for that….hmm maybe they should start calling them the “Torrey” awards, that has a nice ring to it. Anyway, not to babble on about how I am not in the movie, I am just thankful I am insured, because I bet most of the Chihuahuas in that movie aren’t. What happens if they were to get hurt on the job? Like break a nail or something? At least they would be protected by Pets Best Insurance. Hmm maybe we should give their parents a call!
Well my paw is getting awfully tired of writing, so until next time everyone!
P.S. For anyone who may have forgotten to send me a belated birthday gift, you know where I work!
Be good! I know I will try, just for my dad’s sake!
By: Dr. Jack Stephens
Wow! What a month! So much has happened and I hardly know where to begin. Since a few of you have asked (and because I personally enjoy being the center of attention), I asked my people to take a few beauty shots of me to help tell this month’s story.
To begin, we spent several busy and incredible days at the American Veterinary Medical Association annual meeting in New Orleans where it was hotter than sin. Thank God for air-conditioning as I’m not sure that I would have made it. As you know, real ladies never sweat, so that was a bit of a challenge in 510% humidity, even for a dog.
This show seemed even busier than usual for some reason. Dad was shaking hands a lot, and while we usually spend a lot of time talking to people, it seemed like there was hardly ever a moment when we were alone. Other people were really excited, and it all seemed to be a pretty big deal, something about Somebody Something Trust and some lady named Edna, but I just smiled and enjoyed the extra attention.
While we were there, Mom picked up J.P., short for Jefferson Parrish because he was adopted from, yes, Jefferson Parrish, a New Orleans shelter that Mom helped fix up with other volunteers while we were there. She said he was too adorable to leave behind. I don’t know about that, but I do know I’m glad *I’m* not stuck in one of those boxes!
As far as J.P. and I go personally, I’m glad that he seems to understand who the pack leader is, so he and I have not had any issues. Yet.
I’m glad that he’s a decent sort of fellow because Mom and Dad took us camping the weekend after AVMA and it was irritating enough to have to share my space with seven others, let alone seven plus the new guy who may or may not have deferred to me naturally, as he should have. I did the best I could and spent most of the time in my chair or trying to stay near Dad. Truthfully, I missed my cheetah couch as I am not a huge fan of the Great Outdoors.
Back in the office I settled back in to my daily routine of Office Guard Dog and Chief Giraffe Fetcher, along with my customer advocate duties.
All in all, it’s been a pretty good month. I have a celebration of the day I was born coming up next month, but since ladies never reveal their true ages, I’ll just say that I am in the prime of my life. (And not that I would share this with just anyone, but it’s on Sept. 10th if you’d like to send jewels, treats or anything cheetah themed, my favorite.)
And to whomever shared the Animal Behavior website with my Dad, you and I need to talk. Fortunately, I was able to do a little damage control so that Dad remembers that I, of all people, don’t need behavior modification, but the phrase “I have a bone to pick with you” does not begin to describe the conversation I plan on having once I find you.
Remember, Darlings, well behaved women seldom make history.
Until next time,
By: Dr. Jack Stephens
Recently Pets Best conducted another set of focus groups of pet owners in order to find out if we are addressing what pet owners really want and to see if they understand the value concept of pet insurance.
Overall we verified previous observations from years of prior experience and learned more about perceptions of Pets Best. One thing of note—which was prevalent in all the focus groups—is that there are definitely still myths floating around about pet insurance. The following are the highlights along with my responses to those lingering myths:
1. Pet Insurance is only for sick pets
Actually, you must purchase insurance before your pet is sick for it to be effective, the same as you would buy auto or homeowners insurance before you have an accident or catastrophe.
2. Insurance is a hassle
Pets Best plans are simple, you simply pay your veterinary bills and submit the bills to us and we reimburse you directly, usually in less than a week.
Unlike some plans which are complicated and use schedules which may be substantially less than your actual veterinary expenses, with our 80% payment, after the deductible, it is easy to figure out how much we will reimburse you for claims.
Since pet owners are typically out-of-pocket for their pets’ medical expenses, unlike human health care where hospitals and doctors bill the insurance company, the turnaround time for payment is important when choosing a pet insurance company.
3. We could not choose our own vet
Fortunately with most pet insurance plans there are no managed care principals, pet HMOs or veterinary PPOs to contend with. At Pets Best—and most other pet insurance providers—you can always select the veterinarian of your choice. Pet insurance is not typically involved in the decision process for treatments, care or cost. As with most things, there are exceptions, though, and at least one company is currently working to set up a network of veterinarians.
4. Pet Insurance must be expensive
Although premiums vary by company, plan type, the age of the pet, and species (cat or dog), in most instances pet insurance is more affordable than you might imagine with the monthly cost being about what you would pay for a dinner for two. Pet owners can also choose even less costly plans with lower limits and a higher deductible or higher cost plans with lower deductibles and higher limits. Prices will vary from company to company, but most are reasonable.
5. Pet Insurance has too many exclusions or does not cover what I need
When it comes to accidents or illnesses, pet insurance actually has very few exclusions. Pet insurance is designed to transfer the risk of your pet’s future unknown health cost to the insurer. When it comes to your pet’s health and the many thousands of accidents and illnesses that can happen to pets, other than hereditary, congenital and pre-existing, all accidents and most illnesses are covered.
With Pets Best many of the typical exclusions are limitations, where the payment, although smaller does provide some coverage and value. Ask your veterinarian or their staff how many times a pet’s illness can present financial hardship and hard decisions for pet owners. Pet insurance is like your own health insurance, it is designed to help pay for your pet’s medical needs, whether it is a simple skin rash, a virus, an ear infection or severe cancer.
Although your actions in insuring your pet speak to your understanding the myths and knowing the value pet insurance can provide to your peace of mind, our recent focus group shows that most pet owners still do not completely understand pet insurance. I will not rest until every pet owner is at least aware there is pet insurance coverage that can be budgeted at a reasonable cost so they never have to be concerned with their pet family member’s health cost.
By: Dr. Jack Stephens
Recently, I was listening to a conversation in the office about pets with bad habits. This wouldn’t be me, of course, but I do happen to know several pups here with some pretty poor manners.
Let’s talk about Bear for a minute. Now don’t get me wrong, everyone says that Bear is a great dog. However. That dog has some behavior issues. He barks – and I don’t mean just a bark or two like a hey-how-you-doin’ bark – it’s more like an I’m-going-to-rip-your-face-off bark, that goes on and on. You get my drift.
And then there’s Tallulah. I’m sure she’s a great girl – don’t get me wrong. But if she’s left alone for more than a fraction of a second, she starts howling. And Kiah. Bless her. But that girl has more energy than everyone else in the office put together. I know we all need exercise, but that girl is over the top with her running around. (Perhaps I wouldn’t mind it so much if she wasn’t mowing me over, but she is and I do.)
Because they are disturbing my beauty sleep (and trampling me), I’m thinking of politely suggesting that their owners hook them up with Dr. Rolin Tripp and his team at the Animal Behavior Network.
Now, there is a *nasty* rumor circulating that *I* could use some lessons, myself, and I would just like to put my paw down and say that is the most ludicrous idea I have ever heard. Darlings, that’s just not me.
The others, though. That’s an entirely different story altogether. Love you all. You know I do. MuWah!
By: Dr. Jack Stephens
You’d think that a girl my size would have more trouble getting what she wants. Fortunately, this is not the case. And while I think that I would probably still get pretty much whatever I want if my Dad wasn’t the boss, I must say that I do enjoy the extra clout it brings.
Being Daddy’s Girl, I know that wherever he goes, I go, whether it’s to the office, or hanging out on a beach in Mexico for our annual trip. It is rare that you won’t see me by his side.
So for Father’s Day, I wanted to share a little secret with you. Ready? Here it is. Dads don’t like ties. Oh, sure, they act like they do, but really, they’re just being nice. And while some Dads may actually like that new golf club or trashcan basketball game (as if!), most Dads would appreciate your doing something that protects pets in times of need. Like me!
Remember: Ties stink. Choose something meaningful for Dad and buy him a policy so he can have the peace of mind knowing that he doesn’t need to worry if something happens to pets like me. Of course, it never will. I’m too amazing to get sick or hurt, but Dad says that you just never know.
Until next time,
p.s. Giving a gift policy is easy. Call us to find out how! 1-877-PETSBEST. (1-877-738-7237)