Tuesday, July 28, 2009

hace calor


I felt like we were battening down the hatches for a storm. It's supposed to get up to 108 degrees today, which is ridiculous for western Oregon.

Before work this morning, I watered the garden, put the rats in the travel carriers and put them in the bedroom (the only room with AC). The dog is in her crate in there, of course, and the door is shut for fear the poor little unit kills itself trying to cool the whole house. The cats must try to survive with out AC, but I filled the water dish to the brim which always attracts them to drink more (and play in it and splash it all over the kitchen floor). I also shut all the windows and blinds, which should keep it below 90. The cats (whose ancestors lived in the desert) and the snake (ancestors from central America) will probably survive.

Anyone else beating the heat?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The AVMA Conference

There was a lot of this:

and a bit of this:

I attended as an exhibitor, but I did get to slip away to listen to a few seminars. One about puppy socialization, one on dogs that bite, and one about drug compounding. I learned something at each. Such as:

-Some vets recommend keeping a puppy inside and away from other animals until it's fully vaccinated (at 16 weeks old). This seemed extreme to me, but it must be a fairly popular view, because the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior went out of its way to say it believes taking advantage of that window of learning (between 4-16 weeks) for socialization is worth the risk. In other words:

-Take your puppy to puppy class as young as 7-8 weeks old. (With one vaccination and one de-worm under their belt. And choose one that's indoor, on a hard, non-porous floor with puppies of similar age). This makes perfect sense to me, because:

-Many, one study says 40%, of owner-surrenders to shelters are because of behavior problems. In other words, what's the point of isolating your puppy and protecting it from parvo or distemper, if you end up surrendering it to a shelter a year later because it's an unsocialized mess?

Speaking of, my favorite talk was titled "Biting dogs: Do they have to go?" and was given by Dr. Margaret Duxbury. She was a great speaker, very funny, with a lot of stories of her old dachshund Scooter that had the entire audience laughing. I think I'll talk about that in a seperate post.

The drug compounding seminar was interesting. I didn't know much about it before, except that it's somewhat controversial. (Interestingly, there were several compounding pharmacies with booths in the exhibitor hall).

Overall, it was a great weekend, if exhausting (standing for 9 hours at a booth and then going out on the town afterward really wears on you after 5 days, I tells ya). I feel like it took me almost two weeks to recover. It doesn't help that I've been busy since I got home, too. And my computer is STILL broken. Aargh! I haven't had Photoshop for almost a month now. I'm getting the shakes, the withdrawal is that bad. I need help.

I leave you with this pair of cute-on-stubby-legs that wandered past our booth. I thought about having my colleague distract their owner long enough for me to stuff them into my suitcase, but it was impossible; every time they stopped for more than a few seconds, they'd get surrounded by a crowd of cooing vets and vet techs.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jerboas: the tastiest snack on the planet?

Their movement patterns look like a perfect cross between a bird and rodent.

I've noticed my cats (and border collie) don't get too excited by my pet rats. I'm guessing it's because most of the time the rats don't show the same quick, prey-like movements you see in wild rodents. They're pretty lazy and fearless and slow-moving most of the time, and I'll even allow (limited, supervised) visitation with the cats and dog outside the cage. That's how unmotivated my pet predators are by my pet prey creatures.

I'm pretty sure seeing a jerboa, however, would drive my cats absolutely bonkers (and my neighbor's rat terrier, for that matter).

Friday, July 17, 2009

Back from the AVMA conference

So much to say. Will update later.

(Free samples obtained over the course of the four-day conference)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dogs are funny

Friday we took Zelda to the park for a couple hours, threw the tennis ball hundreds of times, swam in the river, met people and other dogs. When we came home, she napped for a few hours, then was up and ready to play again.

Yesterday, the only 'exercise' she got was a ride in the truck when we went to haul hay with dad. A 30 minute ride, followed by 30 minutes supervising from the cab of the truck, then a 30 minute ride home.

She collapsed as soon as we got home and slept the rest of the evening and all through the night.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Holding pattern

Gah, for one glorious day I thought my computer was fixed. Then it wasn't. I have some rather excellent photos that I took at the Inavale Horse Trials that are stuck on my backup harddrive because I insist on shooting in RAW format which can only be viewed/edited in photoshop which was only on my computer... blah blah blah.

In other news, I have a request for everyone who utilizes the English language. Please no longer refer to anything you have to say as "not PC". This is simply code for "something I'm about to say is completely douche-baggish" OR "Somebody, somewhere might possibly have a different opinion than I do, and I guess disagreeing with someone isn't, um, nice or something? And someone might be mad at me if I disagree with them?"

I have yet to see the term used correctly. Ever. No really, I mean EVAR. I mean, really, prefacing something totally jerkwad with "tee hee, this is totally not PC, but..."
does not get you off the hook. Also, politically correct has nothing to do with having a different opinion than someone else.

So please, no more using this term. No one seems to know what it means anymore, anyway.

Thank you for your attention.