Is Your Pet Ready to Board? Daycare for Dogs and Cats

Whether you’re going on a vacation or working long hours at the office, you’ll need somewhere for your pet to stay sooner or later. Finding care for your pet can be a stressful task. How do you know if your pet is getting good care while you’re not there? Good news—the pet boarding industry is growing, so it’s easier than ever to find a great place for your pet to take a break.

If you’re going out of town, be sure to make reservations early. The peak season for pet boarding is typically during the summer months and at Christmas and other major holidays—just when you and everyone else is likely to go on a trip. Staying in town? There is a cornucopia of doggy day cares that will groom, feed, and give your dog plenty of playtime with other dogs so you won’t have to come home to a rambunctious rover at the end of a long work day.

Some pet boarders have entire facilities dedicated to the task. Places like your local groomer, veterinarian, or even some private homes may also be open to caring for your dog or cat (some places take dogs and cats; some are devoted to one type of animal only).

With popular services such as 24/7 on-site care and an on-call veterinarian, temperature-controlled environments, walks twice a day, and unlimited playtime, doggy day care can be a social dog’s dream come true. Some facilities offer one-on-one play and even spa-like services to create the perfect relaxing getaway! Some boarders offer electronic monitoring, allowing you to check on your pet any time, day or night, in real time.

Cats can be pampered as much as their canine compatriots. Private “apartments” with climbing towers and separate litter boxes, individual playtime with staff members, and the option to room in with other cats from the same household are some common features. Cats are notoriously picky eaters, so it will probably help lower everyone’s anxiety level if you bring your cat’s favorite food.

Be sure your kennel separates large and small dogs. Larger dogs can see their smaller counterparts as prey, and innocent playing can turn into a dangerous situation if not monitored properly. The best practice is to have separate areas for different sizes of dogs, to avoid any unhealthy conflict.

Always take a tour of a boarding facility before booking a stay for your pet. Trusting your instincts as well as your five senses will give you an indication of whether a place is right for you. Any offensive odors or lack of ventilation can be indicative of unsanitary conditions and may lead to common ailments such as “kennel cough” or worse. Even the busiest of kennels should not reek of doggy odors.

Next, inspect the kennels themselves to ensure they are tidy, clean, and properly ventilated. Don’t be afraid to ask how often the kennels are cleaned. Indoor and outdoor running areas should also maintain their cleanliness. All reputable and qualified boarders should be more than willing to show potential clients where their dogs are kept and exercised. If they are not, walk out and don’t look back.

Many boarders require proof of vaccinations prior to check-in. This policy helps ensure the safety of all the animals on the premises. Be sure to ask whether a veterinarian is on call. If your pet requires medicine or other special treatment, bring it up before booking. Some facilities are specifically geared toward pets with special needs.

Separation anxiety is common, especially if your pet has never stayed away from home without you. Anxiety can manifest itself in many ways, so look for behaviors such as excessive barking or whining, destroying objects, or scratching doors and walls. To calm them as much as possible, bring their favorite toys, treats, and blankets, so they have the smells of home to relax them while you are away. Even a pillowcase that smells like you would be a welcome reprieve from all the foreign smells of a kennel.

Before leaving your dog with a boarder or doggy day care for an extended stay, it is also possible to work on your pet’s anxiety by leaving it for shorter periods of time, gradually building up. Your veterinarian can offer other helpful suggestions. If your dog is naturally social, look for a kennel with a busy schedule for its dogs. Finding a kennel with plenty of exercise time, walking, and socialization with other dogs can alleviate stress and can be great fun for your dog.

Once you have selected a place that fits your needs, be sure to make good-byes short, sweet, and upbeat. Animals can sense your emotions. The more excited you are to get on with your vacation, the happier your pet will be!


Velvet and Lace and Pearls, Oh My! 2018 Wedding and Prom Trends

From high school to the red carpet, everyone wants to feel glamorous on their special day. Whether it’s the prom or your wedding, keeping up with fashion trends while honoring your personal style can be tricky. Here are some ideas from the 2018 season to help you stand out.

Prom brings an exciting opportunity to get glamorous and have fun with friends. One note of fashion caution: Schools have dress codes, even at prom! It’s smart to check before shopping to see if any styles are not allowed. Traditional styles will always be in vogue, so feel free to go for the princess dress, if that speaks to you. For a modern twist, add a bit of texture with a beaded belt, or perhaps tassel earrings and colorful shoes.

Another way to add texture is by incorporating velvet. This luxurious fabric adds sophistication to any outfit, whether it is the material of the dress, shoes, or jewelry. It also goes well with a pop of glittering chunky jewelry. Illusion dresses are on trend and allow the wearer to show a hint of skin while remaining tasteful. Two-piece gowns with beaded accents and lacy tops are also on the rise for a twist on tradition. When choosing your final outfit, wear what makes you comfortable, and feel as fabulous as you are on the inside.

Bridal fashion has seen many changes in the 2018 season. Several designers have decided that black is the new white and have added black accents such as bows, belts, and even full-length skirts. Channeling classic Audrey Hepburn, sweeping ruffles and tapered skirts are all draped in tulle and accented with the tiniest of lace details. Sheer corsets and pearl embellishments are also incredibly popular, adding a seductive touch for the daring bride.

A twist on “something blue” was also on the runway, by Mira Zwillinger and Randy Fenoli. Layers of sky-blue tulle along with pearl accents make for a truly fairy-like gown. If you are more of a traditionalist, don’t worry. Plenty of classic silhouettes are still going strong in bridal fashion. More traditional features like lace gloves, statement bows, and beaded dresses are commonly seen.

Choosing a dress for a second wedding can be hard to navigate. Queen Victoria popularized the white wedding dress, which began to symbolize the concept of the purity of a first-time bride. However, as shown in the 2018 bridal collections from many designers, brides are moving farther and farther from tradition. Therefore, when choosing a dress for a second wedding, follow the same basic rules as a first-time bride: Consider the venue, the time of year, and the overall tone of the wedding.

Staying true to your personal style is also extremely important. As we mature, our tastes mature, as well. Perhaps a cocktail dress or couture skirt or pantsuit may fit your taste. (Bonus: They really can be worn on more than one occasion!) The only thing to avoid as a second-time bride is a blusher veil to cover the face—this would likely be seen as a faux pas. Other than that, do not be afraid to flaunt your figure and dress in a way that makes you comfortable. The more confident you feel, the more excited you will be for the walk down the aisle!

The mother of the bride can have an equally difficult challenge in choosing an appropriate dress; trying to stand out but not overshadow the bride or end up looking like a bridesmaid can seem as challenging as a tightrope walk. Some trends, such as pastels, neutrals, and lace, are timeless ways to blend with the wedding party. Caped dresses are also extremely popular and, with asymmetrical designs, are a twist on a ’70s trend. Tiered skirts and sheer sleeves are also a great way to flatter any figure while adding a hint of sensuality.

You may think men have it easy when it comes to formalwear—after all, it’s hard to go too wrong with a basic black tuxedo. Think again! As options grow, so does the number of choices that need to be made. Men still need to select from a bevy of shirts, vests, ties, cufflinks, and shoes. Colored, printed, white, and even corduroy tuxedos are being worn on the red carpet by both men and women.

No matter your personal style, the key is to follow your gut, pick pieces that speak to you, and dress in a manner that reflects who you are.

Dr. Katherine Brown – Omaha Thoracic Surgery

The Omaha Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery practice at 9850 Nicholas Street is a one-stop shop for solving vascular issues. From peripheral vascular disease to varicose veins, this specialized group of surgeons can repair the vessels and pathways for blood to flow freely. Dr. Katherine Brown, a board-certified surgeon, specializes in vascular surgery and sees patients for a wide range of vascular issues.

Originally from Colorado, Dr. Brown “always wanted to go to medical school.” She earned her degree in osteopathy after attending medical school in Kansas City. After her surgical internship and residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago, she participated in a fellowship at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine. She has been practicing since 2008.

In the fall of 2015, Dr. Brown joined the Omaha Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery group. It was an easy and seamless transition. When asked about her balance of work and home life, she accredits her success to an incredibly supportive family. She also adds, “You’ve got to be a little spiritual,” as her position can have extremely high stakes.

Dr. Brown mainly treats patients with peripheral vascular disease (PVD) and venous disease. PVD can affect the arteries’ ability to carry blood from the heart to other parts of the body. To fix these problems, Dr. Brown uses an array of surgical techniques, ranging from complex open surgery to minimally invasive techniques.

She also treats carotid artery disease, aortic and peripheral aneurysms, mesenteric arterial disease, dialysis access, and varicose veins. These diseases can be treated by using a variety of techniques, ranging from complex reconstruction of veins to salvage limbs, to treating aneurysms through an open surgical approach, to treating varicose veins using minimally invasive techniques. Her goal is individualized care. “We treat everyone on an individual basis, with complete care,” she describes. “We have a great track record in our practice of taking good care of our patients.”

The team at the Omaha Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery group focuses on diagnosing and treating circulatory issues. Using the most current techniques and equipment, the surgeons set a high standard of practice for surgical teams across the country. Leading the region in a collaborative approach, the team gathers experienced specialists from many different areas, including cardiology, interventional radiology, vascular surgery, neurosurgery, and cardiothoracic surgery. Dr. Brown’s favorite parts of her job are the complexity of the cases and the different technologies required to treat them. She loves the way the team can come together for a comprehensive solution to any vascular issue.

Dr. Brown is certified in vascular surgery by the American Board of Surgery. Board certification is an especially important quality when choosing a doctor or surgeon. Certification requires that doctors comply with specific requirements made by the national medical specialty boards in the United States. A board-certified doctor is more likely to have the most current procedural and diagnostic knowledge available.

One thing that sets this surgical group apart is the way they handle their patients’ care in a personal manner. Dr. Brown notes, “I treat patients like I would want myself or my family to be treated.” They have a wide range of procedural knowledge and variety of options when it comes to patient care. “We do all sorts of different operations for the vascular system all over the body,” Dr. Brown explains, including doing dialysis operations for patients or operating on blood vessels in the neck, legs, or arms.

The most rewarding part of the job for Dr. Brown is the immediate effect she can have on her patients’ quality of life. “I just really like taking care of the patients, seeing them do well,” she shares. “It’s very rewarding.” With successful varicose vein treatment, for example, patients feel immediate relief and improvement in their mobility and energy, which greatly improves their quality of life. Dr. Brown stresses that her success is a team effort, acknowledging the tireless staff at her office and at Bergan Mercy Hospital, where they perform the majority of their surgeries. “They are just super,” she says. “They make a huge difference in the patient experience and outcome.”

Accepting 29 insurance carriers and offering over 60 different procedures, Dr. Brown and her team are accessible to virtually everyone. Contact them at 402-399-9990 for a consultation and see how your quality of life can improve.

Esther’s Consignment Boutique

Esther’s consignment store in Omaha has become a staple in luxury fashion by securing couture from across the country for over 40 years. Boasting such brands as Louis Vuitton and Rag and Bone, this family-owned and -operated consignment shop provides a comfortable space to peruse classic, high-end styles at remarkably affordable prices.

Originally something of a happy accident, the store was opened four decades ago by Esther herself. Esther’s sister, Adele, was a fashion model in New York City. She began sending her seasonal items home to Esther with the thought of passing them along to her daughters. However, with so many friends who wanted designer clothes, Esther began her business venture, selling her sister’s New York fashions from the lower level of her home. With the passage of time, more consigners began seeking her services, and a business was born.

After 10 years, Esther’s daughter, Trish Lonergan, began working with her mother. With a degree in sociology and experience in human resources, Trish learned the art of helping people and developed an eye for fashion while living in Los Angeles. “I’ve always appreciated good clothes,” she says. Reflecting on her decision to come work with her mother, she notes, “In your life, sometimes, an opportunity presents itself.” This proved to be a wise choice, as Trish eventually took over the enterprise and is now the owner. She puts her appreciation of good clothes into good use on a daily basis.

Esther’s has a diverse clientele that has only expanded over time. Spreading by word of mouth, friends and clients that have moved out of state continue to send boxes for consignment. Her staff goes through an extensive sorting process, seeking items that are unique, are well-made, and will be in style for years to come. Trish advises her clients to “bring us the very best pieces in your closet” and to ask themselves if the item in question is something they would want to buy if they saw it in a store. Esther’s prefers pieces that were purchased in the last two years. To maintain these high standards, Trish says, they keep only about 20 percent of what people bring in. Because of this, customers can rest assured that items bought at Esther’s are comparable to those in high-end boutiques, but without the hefty price tag.

What sets the store apart from other consignment places is the variety of clothing from across the country. Including consigners from places like California, New Orleans, Scottsdale, and Washington, D.C., Esther’s offers an eclectic mix of clothing to dress clients from head to toe. Fortunately, Trish is lucky to have a great staff, some of whom have been employed at Esther’s for over 30 years. Aunts, daughters, and mothers have all worked for the family-oriented boutique. “I have a terrific staff with very good fashion sense,” Trish explains. When customers come in for a specific outfit or event, they are always happy to play dress-up.

Their motto is one of honesty, and Trish stresses that their customers’ satisfaction is always their goal. “We are never going to try to sell something unless it really looks right for you,” she says. “My mother was like that. I think honesty is really important.” Teresa Eirinberg, a frequent consigner and customer at Esther’s, describes her experience at the store: “Whenever you need to find an outfit or accessorize an outfit, they always have something. Their staff and customer service are unparalleled.” She recalls a handbag she bought from Esther’s. She got so many compliments on it, she shares, that she “stopped counting after 13 people said something about it.”

In a fluid industry like retail, Trish knows it is important to maintain a high level of professionalism. Being tactful about the clothing she consigns and turning away the rest ensures the best quality and that her clientele will find what they are looking for every time they walk through the door. “It’s a constant challenge to make sure clothes are in top condition and are good styles,” she notes. “There’s a lot of clothing that’s out there that is not well-made anymore.” The growth of “fast fashion,” such as H&M and Zara, has made it harder to find quality items—popular lines like these are made to be fashionable but are not designed for longevity. Trish and her staff must be vigilant.

You can get a glimpse of Esther’s merchandise on Facebook and Instagram, but Trish recommends a visit to the store for the most current selection. After all, she notes, new items come in (and out) daily. Visit Esther’s at 805 ½ South 75th Street to find your next statement piece or call 402-391-1301 for more information. For high quality, classic taste, and longevity in your clothing, look no further than this unique boutique!

The Daily Record – Baby, It’s Cold Inside!

Small Business of the Month

During a cold winter, it seems ironic to need help with refrigeration, but LoTemp Equipment Company is accustomed to building and servicing industrial storage since 1979.
Founded by his father, Bob Hillebrandt, John Hillebrandt, along with his sister Nicky Rainbolt and cousin Patrick Hillebrandt, are now operating the family owned company. Once a practicing attorney, John saw a gap in the business that needed filling, relieving his sister of the burden of day-to-day operations so that she could focus on her strengths as an engineer.
Recognizing their attention to customers’ needs, the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce has chosen LoTemp as their February Small Business of the Year.
Composed of twelve engineers, mechanics and technicians, they have over 150 years of combined practical experience in industrial refrigeration to bring to their customers.
“The amount of experience we have in our service department sets us apart,” John said. “My dad is a mechanical engineer. My sister is also a mechanical engineer.” Boasting a business teeming with experts, LoTemp is assured that their customers know they are in the right hands when they call.
Providing refrigeration engineering, installation, service and parts to customers all over the Midwest, LoTemp specializes in ammonia refrigeration. To describe his work, John says, “I always tell people to think of Rocky when he is in the meat packing plant. That would be a smaller space for us, but it gives you an idea.”
Instead of punching frozen steaks, however, John and his crew serve clients, from food processors to hockey rinks to pet food manufacturers, to ensure their product stays at optimum quality by keeping it at just the right temperature. By sparing no expense in the installation process, the risk of problems and costs later on are reduced significantly.
LoTemp is setting the standard for craftsmanship and consistency for all other contractors. Follow through is extremely important, John said. “Saying it is simple. Doing it is not. LoTemp does what it says it will do. We are driven to doing things the right way, whether it is meeting project deadlines, providing customer-specific engineering, consistently responding to customers’ service needs, or providing common sense solutions.”
They also respond right away to maintenance issues that can cause millions of dollars in wasted product if the units are not fixed in a timely manner. Imagine an entire warehouse of food going bad: millions of dollars are at stake for the company, which is why John and his team are so quick to jump on service calls. Once the root of the problem is identified, they diagnose and fix it to completion so that the issue will never happen again.
Project management from day to day can take a toll, with a gamut of possible things that could go wrong at any given moment. John describes, “We had a crane day, and all of a sudden, there were 40 mph wind gusts; we could not use the crane that day, so we had to find 80 hours of work for a crew to eat up in a day.”
Their project management strategy involves planning and putting out any fires that may arise, all while keeping ahead of their staff to ensure they are continually occupied with projects.
A problem that arises for John and his employees at LoTemp are service calls during extreme weather, both hot and cold. “Summer hits, and equipment gets stressed. The weird thing is, winter hits, and with extreme cold, you get just as many calls. You cannot reheat a space, and if the ambient temperature is too low, you can have service calls going the opposite direction,” John said. The stakes are extremely high: if the temperature gets too hot or too cold for too long, the company must dispose of their entire supply!
Specializing in ammonia-based refrigeration, LoTemp looks forward to a greener future in refrigeration. Compared to Freon, which is “radically more expensive,” John said. Ammonia costs only one dollar per pound, versus $16-25 per pound for Freon. Freon also depletes the ozone once it has escaped the atmosphere, whereas ammonia is easily manufactured and does little damage to the environment.
When LoTemp employees are not assisting their clients, they are involving themselves in the North Omaha Community by volunteering, coaching youth sports, and actively participating in church and neighborhood service groups. Those that seek additional education in their field have the full financial support of the company, which increases their value not only as an individual but also as a part of the company.
A member of the Chamber of Commerce, John has been grateful to have attracted food processors and other industries that need industrial refrigeration. It has also served as a fantastic networking hub for similar businesses to offer clients a more comprehensive level of service.
John’s advice to other business owners is to always remain ready for anything. One of LoTemp’s biggest strengths has been their ability to anticipate and respond to their client’s needs without sacrificing quality. This takes the pressure away from their clients worrying about equipment failures, so they can continue running other aspects of the business, knowing they are in good hands.