Becca "B" Bling/Fancy Feebe

Meet the Knudsen family! We love to see this family and their wonderful dogs!

Lyze Lu/Chloe Bella

From Judy Knudsen as told to Dr. Shawn Finch:

At four, I was riding my pony, chasing ducklings and sleeping with my dog, Pepper. Always a love for dogs & babies of all kinds.

I was a foster mommy for thirteen years caring for premature and pre-adoptive newborn infants and at the same time raising my own two children and breeding teacup poodles. And really lucky to have a very understanding husband.

Master Parker


Always believing a single would be lonesome, I would have more than one pet to cuddle and play with. Dogs give so much and add a dimension to one’s life that helps complete a healthy and happy playful human. My family had that opportunity. I lend myself to the side of perfection and that is a level that’s hard to keep with my multiple pets and kids. However, Gentle Doctor has helped me do that. On the grooming side with Miss Pam’s assistance in keeping everyone in perfect breed specific “hair dos” and our visits there fill her and my calendars. I so enjoy seeing the fantastic job she does. She does wonderful work and pups love her as well.

Precious Cooper


I have also enjoyed fostering pre-placed puppies and try to see to it that those pups are in the best starter puppy place I can assist with. They absolutely fill my desire to help everyone be as happy with their pet as I always am. There has been a profound change in the last few years to the absolute desire to be “the everything” I can be for my pets.

On a bright summer morning, I had a call about a very sick and tiny puppy that needed a lots of attention and would I help by taking him for a while. YES!!!!! I sure would, and I was not one moment sorry that I added him to our family.

However, two weeks into trying to hand feed every two hours day and night and his not responding - I needed to call Dr. Pete. On that very phone call he knew what his problem was. It just wasn’t what I wanted to hear. Dr. Pete and I and the love and devotion of my entire family brought Cooper through lots of emergencies.

The six weeks to six months that Dr. Pete gave us turned the “love of our lives” to a total of “three years and three months”.

Precious Cooper with Dr. Pete on His 3rd Birthday

I can’t put into words all that Cooper gave us. He could look into our eyes and change our days and his barking was like music and his cuddles were tranquilizing to all of us. He was sent to enrich our lives – this I am certain. Thank God for him as to this day he inspires us. THANK YOU DR. PETE!

We find wonderful similarities and delight in the two little Yorkies we have since added. However, having Poodles and Maltese, we are finding this breed is far more energetic and active. Yes, their coats are as beautiful as Miss Pam has helped me do for them (brushing is another story, in itself).

Ruby Rose


We moved to Omaha shortly after Dr. Bob opened the old Maple Street clinic. We enjoyed the support of so many wonderful people there. Dr. Bob helped me through the teacup poodle times – especially Miss Tiffany. He was patient with me as I was certain the stroke she had would be OK if I could just bring her home! I did and she let me know when her time was done. Dr. Bob was there to help me through that, too. With tears still, I say thank you to him because he understood and that means so much. THANK YOU, DR. BOB.

I could go on and you would quickly say “yikes lady”, how many pups have you had. Well, A LOT!!!! Because, remember, one is lonely!

Simone


As time passes, so did the responsibility of the clinic – Dr. Pete took over. I remember him peeking around the corners of the Maple Street clinic as he was just a young boy with a lovely smile greeting you.

 

Puppy Rosie

Gentle Doctor, Dr. Bob and Dr. Pete have helped me keep a calm puppy family and have the knowledge that if something comes up we will find a way to make it OK. I realize that I have the best clinic on my side.

I feel gratitude there for the vet techs, office girls and the entire staff. I feel that I can trust each of them. Laura is still there, and she started with Dr. Bob, too. The Groom Salon and Pam are fantastic and can be sure when you get your pup home they will be relaxed and gorgeous.


I must also add that my three wonderful and delightful children are raised and have puppy families of their own. If we would get together we would have enough for a soccer team + a spare! We have great confidence in Dr. Pete and trust that will last for many years. I was lucky to have been able to share in Pete’s sister’s Stacey helping place two Maltese pups. They are adorable puppies. Such fun. I know Bob and Jan love Missie and she was an adorable and cuddly puppy. I just love to be able to help share the “love” the puppies give. Dogs do certainly take time and money and dedication, all of which is returned by them. It’s like winning the lottery, every day.


Congrats GENTLE DOCTOR on your 50th anniversary. With love from our family and the family of pups.
The Knudsens

Puppy Gus

Posted In: Our Practice

We love this family! And not just because they are Finches! Ken and Judy and their sweet Lucy brighten our day whenever they are here!

Lucy

From Ken Finch as told to Dr. Shawn Finch:

Tell us about your family – humans and pets!

Judy and I have five grandchildren - Michael, Allison and Molly (twins), Jonah and Brooklyn Potach; Judy's son David and daughter-in-law Sunni. They have a desert tortoise and Siamese fighting fish as pets.

Judy and I have LUCY - a seven + year-old black Shih-tzu, Poodle mix, not to be confused with white Lucy, my brother and sister-in-laws' white dog.

What do the adults in the family do for a living and for fun?

Judy and I are retired and loving it. We walk (a lot) and golf for fun in addition to helping out with five grandchildren. We snowbird in the winter at our place in Mesa Arizona.

What do the kids in the family do for fun?

Lots of sports stuff - soccer and running. Allison and Molly are currently big fans of Jack & Jack, two teenage Vimeo sensations from Omaha.

Tell us more about Lucy and the pets you have had in the past.

Lucy is a seven + year-old Shih-Tzu/Poodle who loves kids and most other people - at least for a second or two to satisfy her curiosity. She enjoys going for walks with us. Otherwise her life is pretty regimented - when to get up; when to go outside; when her dinner is to be served followed shortly by her treats; make sure she gets her three evening Cheetos at 8 p.m.; bedtime; and repeat the next day.

Lucy

She loves going for rides and going for haircuts.

Our favorite all-time dog was Goldie, our yellow Lab for more than ten years. She walked every morning with Judy and protected her when called for. Goldie was a GREAT dog.

We've also been owned by several cats - our first was Spencer, a Siamese who lived with us in Omaha (first go-round) and Elko, Nevada. Sophie was a manx mix, and my favorite kitty - she loved to play fetch with those little artificial mice they sell at pet stores. After Sophie died a premature death, we adopted Ghost - another Siamese. Ghost and Goldie were best friends, but we gave him to a farmer who needed a mouser when we moved to Omaha in 2006.

Goldie and Ghost

Cats are cool!

Tell us about when you first met the Gentle Doctor team or a story about the team others may not know.

We began with Gentle Doctor when niece Shawn Finch began working for them. Shawn has been our veterinarian of choice since we moved back to Omaha in late 2006.

What have you learned about pets that you did not know as a kid or before you had your own pets?

Our dogs are relatively predictable, and quite loyal. Lucy is Judy's dog most of the time; however, when it's time for eats or treats she is mine.

Do you have wisdom about any medical conditions that you could share with someone who is perhaps just starting to walk their pet through a similar situation?

Our much loved kitty, Sophie, succumbed to kidney failure in her second year. Perhaps she got into something bad similar to antifreeze. She pulled through a crisis once with help from our local vet in Elko, but passed within the year.

Moral - make sure your pets don't get into toxic stuff.

Do you have a favorite breed or type of pet?

Labs are our favorite, but because of our HOA's restrictions, we are limited to one small pet - thus thirteen-pound Lucy.

Is there a shelter or rescue group or other pet related group that is dear to you that you would like us to help spread the word about?

The Nebraska Humane Society seems to do a great job.

Is there a non-pet related cause you would like us to help spread the word about?

Suicide awareness/prevention is a big issue for us. LISTEN to your young people.

Is there anything else we should include in your story?

One thing that is amusing to us is that we have a Black Lucy and Karen & Phill have White Lucy - yes we use the same vet and groomer. :)

Posted In: Our Practice

Meet Barb and Gene Ericson! We love to see this family and their wonderful dogs, Tuck and Ollie!

Ollie and Tuck

From Barb, as told to Dr. Shawn Finch...

Smiley, a three-legged, crooked-grinned black and white female puppy was left at our farm in a grove of trees by a band of gypsies who had passed through our area. We like to think that Smiley was left as a thank you to our family from the gypsy family for the food and supplies given to them. She was a part of our "pack" even before my brothers and I were born. Smiley blessed us with four chubby-bellied little fur-ball puppies which occupied one whole summer of our young lives! She was my introduction to the wonderful world of dogdom!

After Smiley's death, my father purchased a rough-coated collie puppy from a breeder in Minnesota. This little ball of fluff was delivered by rail in a half-bushel basket. Lassie was a companion and babysitter for us as children and an extra "farm hand" to my dad. My older brother shared cookies and crackers with her; and, in turn, Lassie shared a case of worm infestation with him, much to the dismay of my mother!

After Gene and I were married, we always had at least one four-legged companion. Our 120-pound male St. Bernard, Monk, acted as a walking trainer for our son, Brad. Monk would rest on the floor, wait until Brad got a good hold on his hair coat, and slowly stand up, pulling Brad to a standing position. Monk gently walked forward with Brad still hanging on for dear life. I feel this gentle giant is the reason Brad walked when he was just seven months old!

Our dogs have provided the children first-hand lessons in conception, birth, animal care and death. As young kids, Brad and Becky sat with a big bowl of popcorn intently watching our Samantha in her whelping box. Becky took schnauzer puppies to kindergarten show and tell! It was heartwarming to watch some of our puppies growing up in homes of dear friends.

Rescue dogs and pure-bred dogs have all been loved unconditionally in our home. As a family, we have had fifty-two foster children. Our four-legged kids played a great part in the lives of some of these unfortunate two-legged kids, showing acceptance and love to all of them.

The Ericson family, with ages from two to ninety-one, is a five-generation family of animal lovers. We consider the four-legged members as a true part of our pack! Our great-granddaughter, Addison, could say Tuck's name before she could say Grandma or Papa! As the wife of a farmer, my mom considered the proper place for an animal to be outside of the house. Mom has lived in our home for over four years, and now the dogs have become very close to her, even cuddling on the bed or taking a nap on a lap!

Tuck

Our almost sixteen-year old soft-coated wheaten terrier, Ch. Acacia's Friar Tuck, acts as a guardian to all youngsters at our home. Tuck places his body at the doorway of the bedroom where a baby or child sleeps, keeping watch. Tuck has been protector to all family members. Several years ago, he thwarted a burglary very early on a September Sunday morning, flying through our doggy door, making sounds that we had never heard come out of his mouth before. Apparently,  the prospective intruder left our yard a lot faster than he came in---there is a permanent v-shaped dent in the top rail of our cyclone fence! It is difficult to watch poor old Tuck with failing health, but we will forever be thankful for the way he has touched our lives!

Ollie

Ollie of Wheaten Acres, our two-year old Miniature Schnauzer baby girl, has added joy and hilarity to our household! Ollie enjoys life and is like a two-year old human child---she scatters her toys all over the house! At the mention of the word "go," Ollie stands at the front door ready to be a part of any adventure! Ollie now acts as a companion and nursemaid to aging Tuck, barking and nudging him toward the doggy door or away from the trash.

Outdoor activities have been an important part of our lives. We, as a family of humans and pets, love to pull our travel trailer to unknown parts around our great country. At home, a big garden and fruit trees allow our family access to fresh produce. Throughout our married life, several of our four-legged kids have helped themselves to garden produce. We could tell when wheaten, Edyth Ann, had been helping herself to blackberries because she was white with big purple spots! Schnauzer, Tinkerbell, had a love of cherry tomatoes.

The leader of our family pack, Gene, spends three days per week at Fontenelle Forest. Being semi-retired allows him a little more time at home. There is always a "honey-do" list for Gene, and the dogs are very willing to assist in any way possible! I have been retired from Student Health Services at UNO for six years now and totally enjoy spending my days at home with Mom and the dogs!

Living at Wheaten Acres, our property on the far western edge of Douglas County, has provided us with access to the city but the freedoms of living in the country. We fenced two acres directly behind our home so the dogs can have room to run. At the back corner of our property is Wheaten Acres pet cemetery for our departed pets. Sometime far in the future, someone may stumble upon this cemetery and think that they have found some kind of archaeological find---dog bones!

As far as the Gentle Doctor team, we are a part of the team as recipients of their knowledge and genuine caring attitude. With the leadership of the professionals at Gentle Doctor, we feel that our four-legged kids are getting the best care possible. Dr. Shawn Finch is a much-respected friend of ours and doctor to our pups. Stacey Bashara (daughter of Dr. Bashara) was a sixth-grade classmate of our daughter, Becky, so this was the first we had heard of the Bashara name. 

Posted In: Our Practice

Celebrating Our Clients Mark Van Kekerix and Bob Tucker!

· Shawn Finch, DVM and Miranda Thomassen, DVM

Meet Mark Van Kekerix and Bob Tucker! We love seeing these guys and their dogs and cat!

From Dr. Miranda Thomassen...

Duke, Harley and Oz Van Kekerix are quite the family! With Mark and Bob caring for them, any senior pet would love to be a part of this family…really any age of pet! 

Duke and Harley both are on daily therapies for osteoarthritis, and Oz puts up with twice daily insulin injections to control his diabetes mellitus. Mark and Bob are always inquiring about the best options to help all of their senior pets lead the most comfortable lives possible. I truly look forward to caring for this family for many years!  

From Mark as told to Dr. Shawn Finch...

Tell us about your family – humans and pets!

Bob and I have been together for nine years and have been married for five. I have an adult son and a six-year-old grandson, both of whom live in Lincoln. Collectively Bob and I have lots of siblings, nieces and nephews, both locally and around the country. Our families have always loved animals – in fact, one of my sisters is a veterinarian in Wisconsin! 

Duke (left) and Harley (right)

We currently have two dogs and a cat. Duke, our black Lab, was Bob’s from before we got together; Duke is now almost eleven years old. Harley, our yellow Lab we adopted together; Harley is now almost nine. Oz, our cat, was mine from before Bob and I met; Oz is now eighteen years old! All three were adopted through the local humane society.

The Great and Powerful Oz

What do the people in the family do for a living and for fun?

Bob is a teacher (history and psychology) at Omaha Central High School, loves to play tennis and golf, and is an excellent cook. I’m a computer programmer for a software company that specializes in banking systems, and my hobby is singing in a community chorus (the River City Mixed Chorus). We also love to travel, and are working on remodeling a 90-year-old house in the Dundee area of Omaha.

Bob (left) and Mark (right)

Tell us more about the pets you have now and the pets you have had in the past.

Sometimes it’s a real challenge having three “senior” animals in the house! We’re lucky they are all in relatively good health.

Duke is the most mellow dog we’ve ever known, always friendly in a calm, relaxed way. Duke is a very typical Lab – he loves taking walks, loves to swim and be in the water, and will play “fetch the tennis ball” with you until he’s so tired he can’t walk! 

Harley is more excitable, and loves to be the center of attention – he believes there’s no such thing as too much petting and attention! 

Oz is the only cat I’ve ever known that will not even try to get outside – he’s perfectly content to look out the window instead!

Tell us about when you first met the Gentle Doctor team or a story about the team others may not know.

I first started seeing the Gentle Doctor team for Oz when I moved to Omaha seventeen years ago (out at the 153rd and Maple location). When Bob and I combined our households, we switched to the 89th and Grant location because it was closer. Because I have a sister who is a veterinarian (in Wisconsin) we naturally ask her about our animals; and she has always told us that we are getting great care from the Gentle Doctor team!

What have you learned about pets that you did not know as a kid or before you had your own pets?

We’ve learned that animals are as individual as people are – each one has their own unique personality, and you should give them the freedom to express that personality. And that pets really do crave the love and attention they get in a stable home – behavior issues are almost always the result of an animal’s anxiety over a change in their situation. The best solution for behavior problems is usually a structured, predictable daily routine – and it makes for a much happier animal!

Do you have wisdom about any medical conditions that you could share with someone who is perhaps just starting to walk their pet through a similar situation?

Older pets and pets with chronic conditions need you to watch them a little more carefully for changes in behavior and to plan ahead for things that are outside the normal daily routine. 

Both of our dogs have joint problems (hip dysplasia, which Labs are apparently prone to), so if we’re heading to the dog park, for example, we try to give them an anti-inflammatory medication before going, and watch them carefully for any signs of joint pain for a couple of hours afterward. 

Our cat, Oz, is diabetic and also has kidney problems, so we have to try to be aware of how much he drinks and urinates (so we can notice any changes). Just being “in tune” with your pets that have chronic conditions will help you catch changes and problems before they become serious.

Do you have a favorite breed or type of pet?

We’re partial to Labrador retrievers, of course – we have two of them!

Is there a shelter or rescue group or other pet related group that is dear to you that you would like us to help spread the word about?

There isn’t one specific pet-related organization that we are particular about; we appreciate many organizations that rescue and rehabilitate household pets and work against cruelty to animals.

Are there non-pet related causes you would like us to help spread the word about?

Our favorite nonprofits to give to are the River City Mixed Chorus (Omaha’s LGBT community chorus), PFLAG Omaha (an LGBT support and advocacy organization), and the Omaha Central High School Foundation.

Is there anything else we should include in your story?

I can’t think of anything else!

Posted In: Our Practice

Meet the Jones family! We love these guys and their pets!

Baby Snookie!

From Kristi...

We have five humans, Scott who works for Diebold, Kristi who teaches pre-k for Omaha Public Schools, Matthew who is a junior at Elkhorn High, Ben who is a freshman at Elkhorn High and Jack who is a fifth grader at Westridge in Elkhorn.

Oreo Jones

Our fur kids are Oreo, a thirteen year old Boston Terrier and Snookie, a six year old Boxer. We also have a two year old Hedgehog named Pickles.

Snookie

We started with Gentle Doctor four years when the awesome Dr. Finch (my sister in law) went to work for them.

I have always had dogs, but I have had to learn lots about having a hedgehog. Exotics are cool if you are able to take care of them properly!!

Pickles

All my wisdom about pets comes in the form of phone calls to Shawn!!

I have lots of favorite breeds and love the dogs I have now. But I think any future dogs will come from the Humane Society or from a rescue.

Posted In: Our Practice