Since we are pondering on all things to do with the Olympics, here's a very British breed, the Welsh Corgi.

Actually, there are two different kinds of Welsh Corgis: the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. What's the difference?

According to the Embrace breed profile for the Cardigan Welsh Corgi:

The Cardigan is the Corgi with the tail but he stands out from his cousin, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, in other ways, including his larger, more rounded ears and wide variety of colors. His weight ranges from 25 to 38 pounds, making him a little larger than the Pembroke as well.
 
Although the Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgis were both developed in Wales and share the name Corgi, they have different ancestry: twin sons of different mothers, you might say. The Cardigan, nick-named the yard-long dog in his home shire of Cardigan, shares ancestors with another long breed, the Dachshund. Unlike the Dachshund, the Cardi was used to drive cattle by nipping at their heels. Today he’s a companion and show dog, but he still has strong herding instincts.

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Have you been watching the Olympics with your pets? Dr Riggs is a big fan of the Olympic Games and that led him to ponder - what if animals were allowed in the Olympics?


I love the Olympics!   Maybe I am a naive optimist, but it seems the only time the world gets together and is as one.  Seeing all the athletes of the world in one place congratulating each other, laughing with other athletes of countries with opposing political and religious ideals… makes me wonder. Hmm…  Yes, well, back to the blog. 

It is amazing to see the athleticism of all the athletes.  The amazing speed and grace of American’s Micheal Phelps, Missy Franklin and China’s Sun Yang.The phenomenal courage and skill of the gymnasts. How do they get the guts to do the things they do???  I am in awe every time I see the smoothness and apparent ease of Usain Bolt breaking another world record.  What about the tiny weightlifters who clean and jerk three times their body weight over their head? The endurance of the cyclists blows me away. It is a testament to their dedication, hard work and skill. Their accomplishments are to be commended.

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It's hard to believe that 999 posts ago, I wrote the first Embrace blog post called "What am I trying to do?" on April 28, 2005. As an entrepreneur, I have no time to look years ahead in the future but I must admit, years ahead, it is certainly darn satisfying to look back.

Just to backtrack, the Embrace blog came about as follows.

Alex Krooglik and I (Laura Bennett) were part of the team that won the 2003 Wharton Business Plan Competition with a pet insurance idea (I know! Who'd have thunk it). Once we graduated, we decided that pet insurance is what we wanted to do with our lives and thus Embrace Pet Insurance was born in July 2003. Several years went by (raising money is a cinch compared to finding an insurance partnership) and we sold our first policy in October 2006. Things keep getting better ever since.

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Myla loves barley 4Did you know that that spending on pets in 2011 topped $50 billion for the first time? That's a lot of dog collars, don't you think! 

Actually, we spend on everything from pet accessories and food to veterinary care and services such as boarding and pet sitting. To put $50 billion in perspective, the pet industry tops the book publishing ($31 billion) and women’s clothing ($41 billion) industries by a healthy margin.

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Have you been wondering recently why your veterinary care feels like it costs so much more than it used to? You are not alone.

I was digging into the inflation numbers over at the Bureau of Labor Statistics and I was fascinated by the difference between veterinary inflation (yes, they do track such a thing!) and the consumer price inflation.

For example (see graph below), if I look at January 2007 to March 2011 (just about as long as we've been selling pet insurance policies), while my wages went up 10% over that time (yay!), my vet bills went up 25% in the same period (ouch!). Vet bills are definitely taking up more of a bite out of my free cash than they used to. 

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Max and Monte We insure a lot of Italian Greyhounds and love it when people send in pictures for us to share. They are fun and loyal dogs, who don't know their own small size.

Since it is Pet Dental Health Month at Embrace, I thought it would be appropriate to feature a toy dog breed because of the tendency to have dental issues in the smaller dogs.

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We take our jobs very seriously here at Embrace but every now and then, we have a laugh at ourselves to keep our feet on the ground.

So, here's a little pet insurance inside humor from our claims department, for those of you who live your lives day in, day out buried in pet insurance claims.

You know you are in the Embrace Pet Insurance Claims Department when...

  1. ...people tell you about their pet's illness stories (at work or away) and your first thoughts are all of the things that would be excluded in a medical history review
  2. ...you want to scream from the rooftops to get an orthopedic waiver done
  3. ...the electronic fax queue has an enormous file in it and you are praying it’s medical history for a claim you’re working on
  4. ...you become proud of yourself for being able to read the worst handwriting in the world
  5. ...a breed of dog is mentioned and you begin listing all of the genetic issues they have in your head
  6. ...your thoughts are constantly centered around how to increase productivity & efficiency, in the office or at home 
  7. ...the term “applied to Continuing Care” makes you cringe
  8. ...you’re more familiar with Microsoft Excel than Microsoft Word
  9. ...it no longer surprises you what a pet will eat
  10. ...you compete with yourself every day to see how many claims you can process
  11. ...you see a bulldog owner and automatically offer them your card or an Embrace brochure

For those of you with other pet insurers, please add your own in the comments. Don't worry, I won't tell your boss you wrote on my blog :)

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Embrace is tapping into the world of fish parents who care for the 75 million goldfish in America

Mayfield Village, OH – Embrace Pet Insurance swims against the tide, adding goldfish health insurance coverage to its customizable product range.

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Perhaps we shouldn't order the milk-bone flavored paper anymore? Within the last 2 weeks, we received these 2 emails:

Chance Hello Chris,
Sorry for the delay. I had every intention on signing that paperwork and sending it back, except I really believe that my dog ate it. I know I know, that excuse doesn't even fly with grade schoolers, but I found little bits of it and half of an envelope. Would it be posible for you to remail it or email it to me again. Thanks.
george

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Orthopedic condition - not me Back before Embrace Pet Insurance was but a twinkle in my eye, I knew something about pet health (it's hard not to learn with a dog and at least 4 cats in the house at any one time as a kid) but nothing like I know now.

One area I was particularly weak on was canine orthopedic conditions. For some reason, our dogs never had issues with their hips, knees, or elbows, which we're very grateful for so I never had to learn from experience.

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