Pay Through the Nose? Or Let the Damn Dog Die?

Our Riggsie died from bloat in 2013.  A year later, we lost our Morgan to canine lymphoma.

(Read about it – and see pictures, here.)

In both cases, I suffered the guilt of wondering if I could have saved either dog by spending more money – which I didn’t have.  Would pet insurance have helped me keep them alive a little longer?

In both cases, the dog’s time had come, no matter how much money there was, whether from my own funds or from insurance.  Riggsie was too old to undergo the required surgery, and Morgan would have had only a few more months even with expensive (and stressful) chemotherapy.  I comforted myself that we had done the best we could for our pets.

Still, pet insurance was always in the back of my mind, so when Puppy Cody came along, I immediately signed up with Nationwide Insurance for their top-of-the-line plan, which plan would include not only reimbursement for things like accidents and regular canine illness, but would also cover any genetically-related diseases.  Not knowing exactly what mix Cody was, I felt it was a good idea.

At the beginning, the premium was $45 a month – a bit of a stretch for the family budget, but well worth it, I thought.  I knew we would likely (hopefully) not have any claims for awhile, but believed that when Cody got older and suffered something like Morgan’s cancer, we would be grateful for that insurance.

The $45/month became $48/month, then $50/month, then $56/month, at which point I began to doubt the wisdom of paying so much for insurance we might not ever need.  This month, I got a notice from Nationwide that the premium would jump to $78/month!

There’s never been a claim against the policy, Cody is healthy, has a fenced-in yard, is not around other dogs, etc. – so how could Nationwide justify such a jump?

Meanwhile, we learned that my husband’s employer offers a group pet insurance plan through Nationwide.  Perhaps we could get a discount?

I called Nationwide.  Yes, the group plan would be a little lower, with the added benefit that the premiums would not increase every year simply based on the dog’s age.  Even so, we were looking at $56/month.  I weighed the options and decided to go ahead with the group plan.  Veterinary records were obtained – and Nationwide rejected Cody.

Why?  Because Cody is on a prescription diet.  She has been on that diet since she was a pup, and it’s keeping her from having any health problems, and will continue to prevent any health problems.  Again, let me point out that there have never been any claims made to Nationwide on Cody’s behalf.

If we wanted to stay with Nationwide, we were stuck with a premium of $78/month, which premium was likely to increase every year based on Cody’s age.

The Nationwide sales rep commiserated with me, and suggested that we could add “riders” to the current policy (presumably to cover Cody’s “food allergy”, although that wasn’t specified) – and the cost of those riders would, of course, be added to the already high monthly premium.

At this point the phrase “money grab” came to mind.

I researched other pet insurance  companies (including the company that carries our homeowner and automobile insurance), and the rates weren’t much different than Nationwide’s.  In addition, the initial on-line quote would probably go up as soon as they heard about the so-called food allergies.

Hubby and I discussed the situation and decided we would be better off simply putting the money in the bank every month, and hopefully by the time Cody does need medical care, we’ll have a nice little nest egg.  Should have been doing that all along – approximately $3800 was already paid to Nationwide, and Nationwide never, ever had reimburse us for a claim.

This morning, I called Nationwide and cancelled Cody’s pet insurance.

The way things are going in this country, we may soon face a similar situation with our people insurance.  Pay up? Or just die already?

It’s a sad, sad choice to have to make, whether it be for a pet or for a person.


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Images by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio

Posted in Health, Pets, That's Life | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

A Welcome Break

Even a four-day work week can get you down occasionally, and it’s so nice to have an extra holiday on a Monday.

Not having to drive into the city is always a plus, even though sometimes the view is picture-worthy (see above photo of Colonial Circle in Buffalo, New York).

But there’s something to be said for just hanging around the house, doing laundry, cleaning, reading, or doing absolutely nothing (hence, my second post this weekend!)

As a plus, we are experiencing a break in our cold winter weather.  In fact, this morning I heard a robin singing – can spring be far away?  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the robin to take a photo of it.  It wasn’t in the tree with the broken limb:

Nor could I found it elsewhere.

While I looked for the robin, Puppy Cody enjoyed searching the yard for squirrels and bunnies:

The back of the yard still has snow, making the tracking more enjoyable.  Closer to the house, grass is showing through the snow, and when it was time to go in, Cody refused:

Even promises of “lunch” or “treats” would not budge her.  Finally I just locked the gate, went in myself, and opened the window blinds so I could keep an eye on her:

Yep, still out there and still refusing to come in, the little brat.

So, you ask, how did I finally get her to come in?  Well, at the most convenient time, a neighbor was walking her dog down the street and Cody ran onto the porch to look – at which point, I suggested that Cody “go look out the window!” – and dumb dog that she is, she immediately ran inside to the upstairs window so she could “see better.”

I’m so proud that I’m [still] smarter than the dog.

But probably not by much.

Happy Monday, Everyone.  Tomorrow it’s back to work.


I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at
Images by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio


Posted in Holidays, Humor, Pets, Photography, That's Life | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

Happy Valentine’s Day

This would go for kittens, too …

Cordelia's Mom, Still


Don’t allude to puppies for two weeks prior to Valentine’s Day and then give your loved one a card and a candy bar instead.




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Posted in Holidays, Humor, Pets, Re-Blogs, Relationships, That's Life | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Teddy Rosalie Goes to the Library

It’s crappy weather, and I needed books anyway.

So Teddy Rosalie and I took a short trip to my favorite library branch, the Audubon Branch, next to Waltons Wood Park in Amherst.

Teddy had never been inside a library and wasn’t sure what to expect.  She’s not much of a reader, but she did want to get out of the house for a change.  Especially since she could be free for awhile from that nasty Puppy Cody, who’s always trying to eat her.

I let Teddy return the book I had already read.  She wondered where it went after it dropped through the slot, and I assured her it was safe and would be taken care of by the library personnel.

My favorite section of the library is the Nearly New area; in fact, I seldom go into the stacks themselves because I always find something to read in Nearly New.  Teddy helped me pick out some  reading material:

Of course, she then immediately became bored, so I sat her at the puzzle table while I finished making my selections:

Apparently, Teddy’s a whiz at putting together puzzles.  Who would’ve known?

Teddy wondered around a bit and was happy to meet Roscoe:

When it was time to leave, I allowed Teddy the honor of checking out the books.  The computerized checkout is efficient, but personally I kind of miss the days when the librarian had to punch cards to slip into each book.  My younger readers probably don’t even know what I’m talking about.

On the way out, we spotted a desk with LEGOs construction on it, and Teddy just had to stop to look:

I’m a bit of a nervous photographer, so all the pictures I took inside the library I did quickly and quietly.  I was afraid someone would spot me and throw me out or something.  So far, that hadn’t happened.

But just as I snapped the shot of Teddy in front of the LEGOs, a librarian approached from behind the desk.  A rather tall, male librarian.  I nearly peed myself, but I managed to mumble that Teddy Rosalie likes to go various places to do photo shoots and that today she had decided to visit the library.  The librarian smiled and suggested that perhaps I would like to take the photo from his side of the desk so as to get Teddy’s face.  Really?  That’s allowed?  Of course!  So I did:

Doesn’t she look happy?  I know I was.

Like any other child (or child-like, at least), Teddy simply could not go out and get in the car without climbing up the snowbanks first:

“Just Keep Climbing”

“Queen of the Hill”

Trust me, I wasn’t particularly enjoying that part of the trip.  It was cold out there!

But despite the cold, once I got Teddy buckled in, I thought I would take a quick stroll through the park to see if I could get some nice winter shots of the pond.  Sure enough, as soon as I got to the water’s edge, I saw the perfect shot.  It required just a bit of climbing down a slippery slope, but I was ready.  I aimed, adjusted the camera controls, and clicked.


Instead, I got that most feared of all photographic warnings: Battery Exhausted.

Damn, I thought I had charged the darn thing recently.  Guess not.

So ends another fun WNY weekend.  As evening approaches, I’m ready to relax:

“May the Evening Begin”

Back to work for most of us tomorrow.  Enjoy the upcoming week, Everyone.


I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at
Images by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio

Posted in Photography, Road Trips & Cars, Teddy Rosalie, That's Life | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments