Please note that some posts contains affiliate links & I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links Find out More

Amy Shojai receives AVMA Steve Dale Excellence in Veterinary Media Award

by | Jul 15, 2023 | Cat Behavior & Care, Dog Training & Care | 4 comments

Today I received the AVMA Steve Dale Excellence in Veterinary Media Award. My friend and colleague of (mumble-mumble) years received the inaugural award last year, and it’s extra special to be honored as the second recipient and recognized with an award named for Steve Dale.

As Steve reminded me today, it’s only fitting since he also has an award with my name, from the Cat Writers’ Association–The Shojai Mentor Award.

AVMA Steve Dale Excellence in Veterinary Media Award

L-R: Dr. Lori Teller, AVMA President; Steve Dale, CABC; Amy Shojai, CABC

Excellence in Veterinary Media Award, Two Veterinary Nominations

Two veterinarians nominated me for this prestigious AVMA award. I’ve known Dr. Jim Humphries even longer than Steve, when he served on the board of our fledgling Cat Writer’s Association way back in 1993. And I *virtually* met Dr. Jonathan Gonzalez (Veterinary Medical Director at Your Pets Vets in Houston) much more recently when he reached out via LinkedIn about my COMPLETE PUPPY CARE book and subsequently provided copies to clients in his clinic. That makes an author’s virtual tail wag! Here’s what Dr. Jim had to say (I just saw this in the AVMA press release, mee-wow!):

Dr. Jim Humphries, an adjunct professor of media and communications at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, said “You could not find a more experienced person who creates and delivers outstanding content that is easily read, heard, and seen by pet lovers all over the country. I believe she truly embodies ‘Excellence in Veterinary Media’ more than anyone I know.”

avma award

L-R: Dr. Lori Teller, Amy Shojai, Steve Dale

In the presentation, Dr. Lori Teller, the AVMA  President, presented the AVMA award. “Amy’s tireless efforts in communicating accessible, engaging and informative resources about pet care and behavior have helped countless pet owners care for and connect with their animal companions. Her work epitomizes the spirit of the Steve Dale Excellence in Veterinary Media Award. It’s an honor to recognize her contributions to companion animal education and advocacy.”

And then Steve also said a few words–I’m still floating, and don’t really remember much more or what I said in my acceptance. I know that I fought a few tears. It’s been a crazy fun, enlightening, and incredible ride, getting to do what I love.

Lifetime of Pet Writing

Over the decades, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing literally hundreds of practitioners from all around the world. For the book THE FIRST AID COMPANION FOR DOGS AND CATS, nearly 100 emergency veterinarians shared their expertise; my pet behavior titles benefited from generous press pass credentials to the Western Vet Conference and interviews with world-renowned veterinarian behaviorists.

The books COMPLETE CARE FOR YOUR AGING CAT and the COMPLETE CARE FOR YOUR AGING DOG also only happened because of the generosity of dozens of specialty veterinarians in oncology, internal medicine, and more. While at the AVMA conference, I attended more sessions so that I can accurately update info in my “aging pet” books. And I had my world (and mind!) expanded when interviewing nearly 100 holistic veterinarians for NEW CHOICES IN NATURAL HEALING FOR DOGS AND CATS. I even had the pleasure or working with Dr. Marty Becker writing a couple of Chicken Soup-icity books with him and Carol Kline.

avma awardIn The Beginning

Back in the beginning, I wrote for the “pet press” and my first articles were personal experience stories from my days working as a vet tech. My first interview happened during a Chihuahua’s C-section, with the doctor handing me puppies to resuscitate as he interviewed me. I told my Mom all the wonderful, uplifting, tragic, and life-changing experiences and she encouraged me to write them down.

That was the beginning of an incredible journey that progressed from my first paid work that appeared in Bird Talk (a story about Venus, my rescue Spectacle Amazon parrot), to Cat Fancy, Dog Fancy, and assignments covering veterinary breakthroughs, and more. That led to helping create the Cat Writer’s Association, becoming a certified animal behavior consultant through IAABC, and even writing for a time as an online columnist and spokesperson touring with Purina to teach cat lovers about normal feline behavior, leash, and crate training (what I call “liberation training”). Today I write for Reader’s Digest, Hill’s Pet, and so many more.

But I don’t know this stuff or pull it out of thin air (other than for my pet-centric thrillers…which also feature vet medicine plots). No, I rely on credentialed information, from the true experts. I couldn’t do what I do without veterinarians. They gave me my career. And they gave many of my writing colleagues careers as well, many of whom should receive similar recognition with an AVMA award.

avma awardVETERINARIAN HEROES

Throughout the years, veterinarians generously shared their knowledge, from my hometown vets loaning me copies of JAVMA and answering countless questions, to researchers picking up the phone and sharing their passion–so that I could share with readers. I am honored and humbled to receive this award because it validates my body of work and shines a light on what I do to help cats and dogs. But I’m also thrilled because it celebrates my HEROES–veterinarians who shared their passion with me over the years.

I call myself the accidental writer–yet here I am, 35+ books and thousands of articles later because I followed my passion and received help along the way–from my furry muses, as well as the two-legged muses from the AVMA. For those reading this post, please never ever hesitate to ask for help–or to pay that help forward to lift others up.

In my world, ultimately, it’s not me as much as the pets who benefit. And after all, that’s why I — and why veterinarians — do what we do.

Please share…

Do you have a DREAM JOB made possible by others? Please share!

YouTube Button

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book giveaways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!

 

 

4 Comments

  1. Andrea

    Well deserved, Amy! And thanks for the Cat Writers’ Association. Where would we be without it.

    You know, looking back at the magazines I’ve written for, it saddens me to realize most of them no longer exist. Yikes! Cats, Cat Fancy, Cat World, Cat Fanciers Almanac . . . even All Creatures is gone now.

    Reply
  2. Frank Steele

    😃👍

    Reply
  3. Susan Greene

    This is fantastic, Amy! Congratulations!

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Categories:

Recent Posts

National Love Your Pet Day: 15 Ways How Pets Show Love

At my house, I see how pets show love every day. If you wonder, how do I make my cat love me, it’s easy! February 20 is National Love Your Pet Day, but Valentine’s Day comes in just a few days. At my house, pet love happens EVERY day. Whether you love your pet with special attention, treats and toys or lap snuggles, pet love has become a given in our pet-friendly society.

In mid-2020, we multiplied our pet-love quotient by welcoming Shadow-Pup into the house. He arrived at a time when we really had no plans for another pet and struggled with the reality of dealing with Bravo-Dawg-s cancer (sadly, he lost his battle, but his love lives on). And Karma-Kat welcomed the pup, too–but for Bravo, the added attention/distraction helped enormously as he went through scary treatment, losing a leg, dealing with pain, and more. So I’m adding another way pets show love–by showing up when you need them!

Valentine’s Day: Pet Danger Advice

I’m often interviewed by media about various cat behavior and dog training issues, and of course, Valentine’s pet dangers top the list this week. Pet hazards are common when our normal routine goes out the window, so pet parents are vigilant around the holidays. Refer to this post about Easter dangers for pets.  And don’t forget that pet safety issues for Christmas are similar to those for Valentine’s Day but it’s always good to refresh our watch list.

Spoil Your Cat: How to Show Cats You Love Them

Cats are great actors and try to convince pet parents they’re already purr-fectly healthy and happy. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s a good time to think “outside the litter box” and find special ways to love your cat.

Recently, I’ve received a boatload of emails with product suggestions for spoiling cats with healthy fun. So check out some of the offerings–and in the comments, add suggestions of your own! Then share the blog far and wide to spread the kitty love!

Pet Music Therapy? The Sound of Success!

Pet music therapy can help solve dog and cat behavior problems as well as offer physical therapeutic benefits. Our pets are attuned to sound and are incredibly sensitive to noises, including music. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, some pets with “stranger danger” issues are in for a rough ride. Pet music therapy can help. Read on for more tips.

Carbon Monoxide Danger for You and Your Pets

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas. It’s a natural by-product of fuel combustion present in car exhaust and improperly vented furnaces, space heaters, water heaters, fireplaces, and tobacco smoke. It can quickly kill people as well as their pets. Children and pets have died in as little as 15 minutes inside running cars while parents shoveled snow outside the vehicle, unaware of the blocked tailpipe.

Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself…and your pets.

UPDATED AGING CAT BOOK DISCOUNTED!

I’m delighted to announce the release of the 2024 edition of COMPLETE CARE FOR YOUR AGING CAT. This book, when released, received multiple awards from the prestigious Cat Writer’s Association. I got the rights back after the first edition, published by New American Library/Penguin Books, and released an updated version first in 2010, and again in 2017. But the latest 2024 version offers the most comprehensive revisions and updated material.

Learn more–and how to get deep discounts on the Ebook, Paperback, and Hardcover editions!

6 Easy Fresh Breath Tips & How to Brush Doggy & Kitty Teeth (Without Getting Bit!)

Do you brush dog teeth? How about brushing cat teeth? The AVMA sponsors National Pet Dental Health Month every February to help prevent pet dental problems.

According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by age 3.

But it’s never too late (or too soon) to get your pets’ pearly whites checked out by your veterinarian. Often the doctor has some great tips for keeping cat teeth clean and dog breath at bay, including how to brush doggy teeth.

Does the thought of brushing dog teeth make you cringe, roll your eyes, whimper, slink away–and feel guilty? You’re not alone. But once that puppy-sweet breath morphs into curl-your-eyebrows stench, it’s long past the time to address that stink-icity.

Pet Dental Problems: 9 Dental Issues You Share With Your Cats and Dogs

Pet dental problems rate as important to cats and dogs as your own dental issues are for you. Could your dog’s breath melt your glasses? Does your cat’s smile look like five miles of bad road? Pet dental problems are surprisingly similar to their owners’ dental issues. You may wonder how much does teeth cleaning cost for dogs and cats? February is National Pet Dental Health Month and a good time to check out your pets’ pearly whites. You can even learn how to brush your pet’s teeth in this post.

I write about pet dental health every year. These days I pay closer attention to Shadow-Pup because, for some weird reason, he likes rocks. That is, he picks up rocks whenever we go outside, brings them in, and then wants to play with and chew them. Shadow-Pup also raids the fireplace for lava rock embers, to do the same–and the pup wants to chew sticks! Oy! They already have lots of “legal” and safe chews, but he wants to play keep-away with rocks–and of course, I fear a broken tooth, or a tummy full of blocked foreign objects, or choking or worse. Urk!

While some cats drool when happy during petting, drooling cats and dogs point to dental problems. Hopefully, you won’t have that issue. Here are common dental issues you share with your cats and dogs (hopefully NOT eating rocks!), as well as ways to avoid them.

Steve Dale EveryCat Health Foundation Communications Award Now Open!

Wyckoff, New Jersey – EveryCat Health Foundation announced that nominations are open for the Steve Dale EveryCat Health Foundation Communications Award.

The award, named in honor of long time EveryCat Board member Steve Dale, CABC, is presented annually, to recognize a person or group who utilizes various media outlets to educate and inform others about cat health and/or behavior for the purpose of promoting the human-cat bond, and the welfare of cats.

As a past recipient of the (then-named) Winn Feline Foundation Media Appreciation Award, this opportunity makes me PURR. We have so many worthy communicators who champion cats. Read more to learn how to nominate someone (or yourself!) but don’t delay: Deadline is end of February!

How to Choose the Best Herbal Medicine for Pets: What’s Safe, What’s Dangerous for Dogs and Cats

In today’s world of cutting-edge medicine, we consider herbs for pets and herbal medicine to be old-fashioned. But holistic veterinarians continue to use herbs for pets because many of these plants are the foundation of modern drugs and medications, but don’t cause the same side effects.

Chinese herbal medicine has regained popularity for both human and pet care treatments. I learned a lot about them while researching my book NEW CHOICES IN NATURAL HEALING FOR DOGS AND CATS. And when the vet diagnosed Bravo-Dawg with hemangiosarcoma, I learned about I’m-Yunity, a Chinese herbal medicine treatment shown helpful in veterinary studies of the herb. Here are some things you need to know about using herbs with pets.

Visit Amy's Website

Amy Shojai CACB is an award winning author.  You can find all her publications and book her to speak via her website. 

On Demand Writer Coaching

AmyShojai.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com http://amazon.com/.

Awards

Memberships