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Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital Blog

Hot -> Cool -> Hot Season

We're not complaining, but it is a little odd. The weather warms up. It cools down. It warms up again. Fast too.

It's a little schizophrenic, this weather.  Because of that, we wanted to issue a little shout out reminder about how the hot side of this wackiness can get bad quickly for animal overheating. Just like the fog burn-off can happen very quickly, the result renders the animal in the car helplessly overheated in a hurry. Weather doesn't care that it was cool when you went in the store.  
Or when you left the house.  Which is the point. Perhaps consider treating this period like it was hot all the time, at least when it comes to your beloved animals. Like a good hat, put on your best sense of humor, lay out the extra water, set the thermostat to have your back, and pretend it's hot when your skin says its cool. Because it will be. Apparently.
And yes, the Bay Area weather may be a little wacky, a little quirky, but it's still some of the best weather in the world.

Hospital Update update

What do we look like, fabulous interior designers?  Turns out we have one in our midst. By day she's our Hospital Administrator. But under the cloak of night, and of course the company picnic, she's taken this building from 'mid-century modern' (last century) into the new millinneum. 

Cindy's not the type to brag on her work, but I have no problem telling you all about what she did. I'm so impressed with the result. 
The new look is much more up to date, and a bit more functional, which is pretty amazing considering that we didn't remodel or change the structure of the building. Yet when one of the functions involves a nervous animal remaining calm, it is amazing what aesthetics and color achieves.
"We wanted to update the lobby to achieve a more contemporary look and a serene feeling," said Cindy Grant, Hospital Administrator.
To get there, Cindy took the unusual step of bringing in a restaurant designer! Oh, yes, she did. She brought in Lois Wachner-Solomon, a trained visual artist and restaurant designer to bring expertise in both color and spatial design. Makes sense, right?  We needed to address space and function and aesthetics, just like a restaurant would. Lois is known for really working with her clients to bring out what is truly right for their specific setting. 
I asked Ms. Wachner-Solomon about the challenges of improving our increasingly busy reception area and she said, "We talked about creating a family-friendly, up-beat lobby that is not chaotic, but colorful, inviting, and mitigates the many rows of patient files that share a room with the waiting area. We wanted to eliminate clutter and set a soothing tone for a nervous animal and worried parents."
I really think the new colors are just terrific. Cindy and Lois really hit the mark with what they set out to achieve. 
"We worked with colors such as Lancaster Whitewash, Shades of Spring, Ocean City Blue, Philipsburg Blue, Wythe Blue, Hemlock and Yorkshire Tan," Grant added. "Lois Wachner-Solomon is awesome and a joy to work with, and just made the design process simple and smooth. And to complete the new look, we added artwork by Kendra Luck, Dogumentarian."
Of course, if you don't already know, you probably suspect, we are huge fans of Kendra Luck's work. It is also nice to hear the warm response from clients, who like the art and seem to pick out a favorite new color from those they used.
The original color inspiration came from the exterior garden update, which was the first element of the update tackled about a year ago. Cindy chose local landscape designer, Toni Heren, whom we've known for decades from our own wonderful community. Lois Wachner-Solomon took several of the particularly beautiful shades of green in Toni Heren's garden design as a starting point. That's not as easy as it sounds since the human eye can discern more shades of green than any other color, and as such matching greens is very difficult (though perhaps easier for a designer). But from the landscape-inspired starting point, they derived all the colors we used inside and out.
The Hospital Update is almost complete. What's left to do? We still have a new sign to go up. Since Cindy's in charge we have no doubt that it will be in place before the upcoming Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital's 50th Anniversary. 
Approaching 50 years, we think she looks just as young and vibrant as ever, which is all Cindy's doing. Many kudo's to Cindy for a job really well done. Herself, she has really great taste and quite a design chop. She also picked great talent to help. She managed the process, soup to nuts. She maintained great quality control along the way. And she made it painless for the rest of the hospital. That's some trick. As always if you have any opinions let us know...

Hot dawg: the company picnic!

You may have noticed that our lobby has recently had a facelift in the form of new and colorful paint. Since we needed to close the practice in order to paint we decided to take advantage of the opportunity and host a company-wide family fun day.

We feel that Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital has some of the most skilled and compassionate animal health care professionals in the business.  Rarely does a day go by that we do not receive compliments regarding our wonderful staff.
Each day at the hospital can also bring both joy and heartache. Nothing brightens our day more than meeting the newest member of your four legged family, or sharing in the joy of a patient’s recovery and seeing them return home to their anxiously awaiting families. We are also there to share in the hardest act of all - when it is time to say goodbye.
Ours is not an easy profession; so, Jan, Carol and I wanted to thank our wonderful and amazing Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital team members for all of their hard work and dedication.


The family fun day let us celebrate with our families, both two and four legged. The day included a BBQ, an agility course for anyone brave enough to try it with their dogs, swimming and a bounce house for the youngest party attendees. Judging by the pictures I think a good time was had by all! 


Thanks Palo Alto Weekly readers!

What local eateries, stores, businesses and community favorites make Palo Alto Weekly readers sing their praises and do a happy dance? They asked and guess what!  Mid-Peninsula was named one of the recommended services in the Best Of Palo Alto 2011.  Here's what they said about us:

Thousands of pets for nearly 50 years have received attentive care at Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital. From holistic care and acupuncture to the best in veterinary technology in the middle of Silicon Valley, Mid-Peninsula strives to offer top-notch services -- including a concierge pet taxi service and home-delivered medicine and food.
1125 Merrill St., Menlo Park; 650-325-5671.
(Photo courtesy of Embarcadero Media.)
We just wanted to say "Thank you" to the Palo Alto Weekly and to the readers who voted. It's really gratifying to be recognized by our neighbors!

The Stand By You Project

In our last installment on the Japan disaster, we described our process for figuring out what to do, and outlined some of the challenging issues. Now, for a slice of the solution.

Sometimes the best connection is a direct one. Our colleagues in Japan told us they could rescue more of these animals if they could fund their immediate shelter and eventual foster care. One of them had an emergency-specific, non-profit already established through which we could direct the funds to help in the effort, effectively creating a direct channel to partner with these pet professionals. The deal is simple: they do the work, we pay for the dog food (and cat food, cost of medical care, etc.). With these out-of-pocket costs covered more families are happy to serve as foster families until they can live with their real families, or be adopted into new ones if necessary. Now, that's a solution we can get behind.  
But how to get the money over there?  You use a bank right?  Well, sure, but there's a challenge there too. We want the money to actually get there reasonably intact. Most banks we talked to would be happy to help us convert the currency alright, and they'd be happy to transfer it, too; dinging the balance for every single donation and for each step of the way, which added up like crazy and was too much for us. It wasn't until we found some community-minded folks at Comerica Bank who "got it." By working with some aggregation techniques and partnering with us on the rest of the process, we're able to achieve efficiencies here too.  Excellent.
So, who else is involved? In Japan, the project is aptly called "Emergency Animal Rescue HP." They didn't focus on creative naming, rather they focused on quickly assembling expertise for this specific, targeted effort. It's a collection of our veterinary industry friends who span the gamut from doctors to technicians to admins on the computer finding the animals' families. 
Some of the folks are being borrowed from other organizations: Japan SPCA, Japan Animal Welfare Society, Japan Pet Care Association and Japan Veterinary Medical Association. Plus, there's also lots of individual volunteers. Combined, the source of people power is great for us because it means we can keep our donations deal very specific: They do the work, we cover out-of-pocket. 
The money goes to food and medical care for the animals so their foster families don't have to do anything but provide love and attention. Overall, it's a direct project between industry colleagues about as high a bang-for-your-buck as we can make it.
If you want to join us in this effort -- which we're calling the Stand By You project -- we invite you to do so. You can drop a check made to "Stand By You" by our office or take it straight to the Menlo Park Comerica branch, or use the Paypal option (which charges about 2%, but is indeed convenient).
It's doing our part and making sure our efforts are efficient, direct and high-impact. BTW, the two dogs in the original video? Last we heard, they're doing just fine. And their powerful message was heard loud and clear!  Join us!