A Virtual Waiting Room Added to Services at the APA Adoption Center

IMG_20180417_004229 (1)Some visitors first stop is to see the dogs and cats looking for homes at the APA Adoption Center. It is fun, rivaling the birthday parties, pet showers, or some of the educational classes and workshops at the center.

My first stop at the center in Brentwood, Missouri near Saint Louis is usually the wellness clinic. One of the busiest areas of the adoption center, it serves over 10,000 pets each year.

IMG_20180214_123057The wellness clinic is where veterinary staff perform health screenings, vaccinate against disease and spay or neuter each pet prior to adoption. The APA wellness clinic is open to the public offering low-cost exams and vaccinations for pets.

I’ve found it to be a great place to meet adorable animals and great pet parents while they wait to see the veterinarian or pick up medication. The clinic reception area is a favorite hunting ground in my search for interesting stories about animal adoptions and the role pets play in their daily lives. Many owners like to share what makes their pet special. No matter how hectic life gets, our pets are there for us.

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I’ve seen fewer people and pets in the APA Wellness Clinic reception and intake area. It isn’t that there are fewer pets and people visiting, they just aren’t sitting and waiting as long anymore.

Technology is helping to take the wait and crowded waiting room out of the APA Wellness Clinic. Anyone can get in a virtual line to see a veterinarian.

It is easy to join the virtual queue from home, the office, or on the run using your phone. You’ll receive text updates and notifications on forecast wait times so you and your pet can wait where you want.photo-1423666639041-f56000c27a9a

The QLess platform in use now at the APA clinic helps people around the world every day to avoid wasting time in line at license offices, hospitals, and businesses.

“We give time back to millions of people who otherwise would have to waste time standing in line,” explains Dr. Alex Bäcker, CEO of Qless.

This technology makes it simple to get in line at the APA Wellness Clinic from home, the office or even on-the-go using your phone. The text notifications allow pet parents to stay updated about estimated wait times and when they are next in line.

“With the QLess App we’re always looking for ways to incorporate technology and improve customer service. By reducing time spent in our waiting room we can better serve people and their pets,” says Kim Brown, APA Director of Operations and Vice President.

unnamedIt is easy to join the line, just send a text message “APA Clinic” to 417-720-2235. APA clinic clients will receive a text confirming your place in the queue.

Or pet owners may join the line via a computer by visiting APA website and the virtual waiting room at https://apamo.org/pet-services/virtual-waiting-room/.

The QLess notification is not an appointment time or reservation, but a way to give APA Wellness Clinic clients freedom and flexibility to wait wherever they want.DrD

The clinic’s hours are 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Saturday. The APA is centrally located in Saint Louis County at 1705 South Hanley Road with easy access to interstates 64 and 40.

Learn more about the many community programs at the APA Adoption Center or how to bring home a furry friend at https://apamo.org/

 

Tips for Take Your Dog to Work Day

Friday, June 23, 2017 is Take Your Dog to Work Day. For some animal lovers, it is the one day of the year they are permitted to bring their dogs into the workplace. It is a daily ritual for a growing number of Americans.

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Take Your Dog to Work Day Tips

Eight percent of all U.S. pet owners are allowed to bring their pet to work according to a survey by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). The number of companies allowing pets in the workplace is on the rise. Researchers found support among the American workforce for pets on the job:

55 million Americans believe having pets in the workplace leads to a more creative environment

50 million believe having pets in workplace helps co-workers get along better

38 million believe having pets in workplace creates a more productive work environment

37 million believe having pets in workplace helps improve relationships between managers and staff

Are you planning on taking your dog to work for the first time? Make sure your office environment is safe. Remove poisonous plants and pesticides, hide electrical cords and wires and secure toxic items such as permanent markers. Any office items in question should be placed out of reach.09_tydtwday_hitachi_data_systems___staff3

Make sure your dog is fit for work. Even dogs don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Be sure your dog’s shots are current. Make plans to have your dog bathed and groomed before accompanying you to work. Be mindful of your dog’s “work readiness.” You know your dog’s demeanor, so if he is aggressive or overly shy, it’s best to leave him at home. Consider how your dog has behaved in the past around strangers before making the decision to bring him. If your dog has shown fear, irritability or aggression, or if your dog has never met strangers, the workplace is not the best place for him.

Have a doggie bag. Include food, treats, bowls, toys, leash, paper towels, clean-up bags and pet-safe disinfectant. If you are routinely in and out of your work space, consider bringing a baby gate for your doorway or a portable kennel for your dog’s comfort and your peace of mind.

Plan your pet’s feeding times carefully. During an important sales call is probably not the best time for a bathroom break. Plan your dog’s feeding time around your work schedule and be sure to choose an appropriate area for your dog to relieve himself afterward.

Champ chow Alvin

Chow ready to chow down!

Avoid forcing co-workers to interact with your dog. Dog lovers will make themselves known. Sally from accounting and Joe in human resources may not want to play fetch or offer belly rubs, so be mindful of fellow employees’ time and space. To avoid pet accidents, monitor the amount of treats your pet is being given from your co-workers. Remember that chocolate, candy and other people food should not be shared with dogs and that not all non-dog owners will be aware that these items can be very toxic to your pooch.11169932_10153285246389184_5258844094715746244_n

Have an exit strategy. Although most dogs enjoy being with owners at work, your pet may not. Should your dog become overly boisterous, agitated or withdrawn, consider taking him home or plan in advance for your professional pet sitter to offer a midday check-in visit. Never, under any circumstance, leave your pet alone in a vehicle while you work!09_tydtwday_hitachi_data_systems___staff

Fast and Furriest Is Much More Than a Timed 5K Run & 1M Walk With Your Dog

Most Dogs Are Natural Networkers 

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Your neighborhood is filled with dog lovers. In the United States, nearly half of all households, 44 percent, include at least one dog according to the American Pet Products Association. Not only are dogs great companions, they help connect their owners to their communities and people who enjoy being outdoors with their pets.

Just visit a park to see what I mean. Pets are natural networkers introducing their owners to a variety of possibilities. FF-group-336x223I recall a dog park visit where I met a woman and her pet visiting for the first time. Hank was met with wagging tails. Hank’s owner had just moved from Atlanta. Other pet parents learned Hank came into her life in college and has been a constant companion through moves, break-ups and celebrations including the job promotion to Saint Louis. Hank helps her meet people, network and explore their new neighborhood.

You see, Hank loves to exercise with his owner. I mean serious running. Hank is a Whippet, a superb athlete as well as a gentle companion. Several of us made sure Hank can stretch his legs in an upcoming event to help homeless pets. I want to make sure you know about it too whether you have a pet or not! ffThe 9th Annual Fast and the Furriest 5K Run and 1-Mile Walk will be Sunday, April 23, 2017 at Hollywood Casino in Maryland Heights. The run is the Saint Louis original dog-owner professionally-timed race. Others with or without pets will take part in the walk at a leisurely pace or activities on the grounds. This is an event not only for athletes, but the entire family! There will be food trucks, vendors in addition to the activities. This major fundraiser for homeless pets in the Saint Louis area is sponsored by Purina.

Great FFYou can take a gamble on the 1 mile Pooch Poker Walk, which offers a more leisurely pace with the added fun of creating your best possible poker hand along the way. Both the 5K and 1M come complete with a race t-shirt and the best goody bag in town. There are special awards for fastest runners in each age group and for the fastest overall male and female dogs. But you don’t have to have a dog to get in on the fun.

FF%Collecting pledges for your participation with your pooch is another way to involve your friends and family while increasing your impact to help pets. A generous donor is matching all the pledges at the Fast and Furriest to raise double the amount for homeless pets at the APA Adoption Center. The top fundraiser will lead the race and gets a grand prize

It is easy to get registered and be a part of this fun mission to help pets. This is the link to learn more, register and invite pledges or visit the APA’s website at apamo.org.

Don’t miss this great opportunity to spend some quality time with your pup, get some exercise, help homeless pets and meet great people who love dogs. I’ll be there and I hope you will too!

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Be a Party Animal at APA Adoption Center

 

10 reasons to host your party at nonprofit APA 

There can be a lot of expense and pressure in planning a birthday party that will be memorable and fun. Whether you’re 3 or 93, children and adults agree having a party at the Animal Protective Association of Missouri is a tail-wagging good time!

11025160_807130716029148_5874756013793407181_n1. Your big day at the APA of Missouri can be customized and personalized for the guest of honor. There are choices of fun classes, crafts, and your celebration can include a VIP shelter tour with animal petting, time for celebrating with games for the guest of honor and up to 15 friends.

2. Birthday parties at the APA include balloons, streamers, and goodie bags. Plus APA staff and volunteers clean before and after the party so you don’t have to.

pup_kiss_StockSnap_HMOI9OUX4J3. You don’t have to worry about where party guests will park that will not irritate your neighbors. There is plenty of free parking for guests at the centrally located APA.

4. Worried about how and where to put up the bouncy castle you are going to need to rent? There are no inflatables to blow away in a gust of wind except for the helium balloons decorating the special APA party room.

5. An APA party is affordable. The fee of $250 covers the party room, decorations, favors and activities. The money goes to help the homeless animals at the adoption center. You can make your own cake, food and drink making the party even easier on the budget.

6. You don’t have to be in charge of food. There are many restaurant delivery options surrounding the APA. Whether your party animals prefer pizza, sandwiches, or even ribs and sushi you can have it delivered to your APA birthday bash.FB_IMG_1449114000840

7. Very easy to skip the gift dilemma. There can be angst over gift registries for parties; but you really don’t want another board game or pool toy. With an APA party, you can ask guests to bring something for homeless animals in lieu of a gift for you or your child. The APA has a wish list of easy to find items to help the pets waiting for adoption. It is a great way to teach and practice selflessness.

8. No need to be concerned space to accommodate excited children and adults in your home if the weather prevents you from accessing outdoor space for your bash. The APA party room is “kid proof” and comfortable 365 days a year. Plus you don’t have to do a major house clean before party day!

9. An APA party includes invitations. You have a choice of free printable invitations for your bash and there are also APA Wish List inserts if guests wish to donate to help homeless animals.11390326_844980078930795_2036857226601795217_n

10. Finally, many people love animals and it is a memorable venue that offers a treasure of experiences. The APA makes it so easy and affordable you can do more than birthday parties–go all out with Halloween, Christmas, Hanukkah, end-of-school and end-of-summer parties! No matter the celebration or age of the honoree; the APA staff and volunteers are ready to make it a memorable day. Party planning starts with an email to communityprograms@apamo.org for more information.

Parties with adorable animals are fun and teach lessons too

Too Good to Be Healthy Crunchy Frozen Yogurt Bananas

A cool treat packed with nutrition is a recipe I had to share. These fruit based treats are also easy to make.all_kinids_bannas

“Too Good to Be Healthy Crunchy Frozen Yogurt Bananas”  may become a favorite family snack as they did for the recipe’s creator Sandra Leal.

Easy to make, each banana treat comes in for 132 calories and delivers 4 grams protein and 3 grams of fiber.

Ingredients:
3 bananas, cut in half and skewered with Popsicle sticks
1 container non-fat Greek yogurt
1.5 cups toasted granola
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Directions:
Once the bananas are skewered, roll them in cinnamon and nutmeg. Then roll them in Greek yogurt, followed by the granola. Wrap in plastic and freeze for about 4 hours.thumb_2317_recipe_b

Any non-fat Greek yogurt will work, but I have a favorite for several reasons. A farmer owned dairy in my area, Prairie Farms, introduced a new line of 100 calorie Greek Yogurt a few months ago and I love it! Each 5.3-ounce cup contains authentic strained non-fat yogurt made with natural ingredients and produced using milk from cows not treated with artificial growth hormones. Plus each cup contains 12 grams of protein and the yogurt is naturally sweetened with Stevia and free from artificial sweeteners, flavors and colors.

Another reason I look for this yogurt in stores is that Prairie Farms Dairy represents over 700 farm families. The dairy also helps families in need and non-profit organizations. The Prairie Farms charitable giving program, Our Caps, Your Cause, supports a variety of non-profit organizations and gives consumers a voice in helping local causes.

 

 

A Team Offering High Tech Fun and Skills for the Future

 

How many fun team sports will help young students land a high paying job? Your answer may include some professional sports, but high school players who reach the pros are almost as rare as lottery winners! 

Another team sport underway at schools across the nation promises fun and long term career potential for girls and boys alike.

It is a growing initiative backed by some of the biggest names in business to get youngsters’ attention with innovative, after-school projects.  Corporations including Intel and General Motors are using high-tech team sports to recruit the next generation of engineers, innovators and scientists.

Ask any kid what they want to be when they grow up and you’ll get an almost infinite number of answers. But ask a parent what they want their child to be when they grow up and, these days, you may get one predominant answer – employed!  And while unemployment statistics vary, many large companies are having difficulty filling high paying positions that require candidates with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) based education.

This is why the FIRST® Robotics Competition is more than just an exciting extra-curricular activity and fiercely competitive team sport. It is actually the beginning of a student’s recruitment connection with the companies who both provide sponsorship and are actively looking to recruit the innovators, scientists and engineers of tomorrow.

Students have fun and learn valuable skills

Students have fun and learn valuable skills


The FIRST® Robotics Competition was founded in 1992 by Dean Kamen, inventor of the self-balancing, two-wheeled personal transporter known as the “Segway”, FIRST®.  The competition attracts hundreds of thousands of students each year as well as hundreds of major corporations like Google, Microsoft, Johnson and Johnson, Underwriter’s Laboratories and General Motors who provide hundreds of thousands of dollars in sponsorship and support.

This year, General Motors will sponsor more than 70 teams in the FIRST® Robotics Competition and provide additional sponsorship and event support to over 600 teams in other programs such as the FIRST® LEGO League and the FIRST® Tech Challenge.

The FIRST Championship games for 2014 will be held at America’s Center Convention Complex in St. Louis April 23-26, 2014. The Gateway City also hosted the robotics competition in 2011, 2012 and 2013 with thousands of people attending to see the robots and students in action!

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Students have an opportunity to learn about all kinds of technology at competition exhibits

To learn more about the teams, how to get involved and the upcoming season go to  http://www.usfirst.org/

 

Fashions, Food, Fun, & Football –All Part of Super Bowl Sunday

Football enthusiasts across the country are gearing up for one of their favorite days of the year: Super Bowl Sunday. According to a survey conducted by BIGresearch, an estimated 167 million adults will watch the game this year, up from 158 million last year!

Sunday’s showdown is the Pittsburgh Steelers’ seventh trip to the Super Bowl and the first Super Bowl for the Arizona Cardinals.  But it is not just the football attracting fans on Super Sunday; there is also food, funny ads, and this year football fashion!  That’s right I said, FASHION.

Gone are the days when NFL might as well have stood for ‘No Fashions for Ladies!’  Frustration with a lack of stylish fashions for female fans of the game led one actress to take on a new role as fashion designer and entrepreneur.  SBTV.com caught up with Alyssa Milano who is working with the NFL, NHL, and MLB to create fashionable fan wear.  Click here to see a streaming video with actress and business owner Milano and some of her fashions.

Grilling is a big part of many football parties.   One inventor found a way to give football fans or anyone taking their party on the road a new way to heat up the celebration!  Click here to see an exclusive SBTV.com video.

So which do you look forward most on Super Bowl Sunday:  the food, the food, the fashions?

Please let me know what part of game day you rate tops!