Ramblin Ann

Three o’clock this morning I had a Moose on my head demanding breakfast.  Not just any moose, my Moose. An almost 18 lb white furry feline Moose. He paced back and forth kneaded the pillows and made that little meooow that he makes.  Not a manly MEOW, but a little squeaky noise that in cat circles would probably be considered embarrassing.

 Lucky for him, he is an indoor cat. No chance for all the other cats to make fun of him.  That’s Moose on the left. He’s a big mellow guy, except at meal time, or when he perceives it to be such.  Then he becomes “king” and very demanding of his human servant, me.

He’s not always bold and insistent though.

 Some of his time is spent in quiet solitude reflecting on his status in the mostly female household.  Or maybe this is just his way of getting away from…

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Ramblin Ann

I didn’t start out this morning with a goal to terrorize by poor neurotic quaker parrot Indy, but I think that is what I ended up doing.

It started with cage cleaning. Indy’s needed a whole complete scrubbing, including the little tent she sleeps in.  That is always traumatic for her. She hates changes being made and protects her home viciously.  Today she wanted nothing to do with this whole thing.  She screamed, bit, and held onto every thing I tried to change.  She worked herself into a tizzy and I worked up a sweat.

When everything was back in order she finally gave in and came out of the cage for me to hold. I thought “this would be a perfect time to practice Reiki” Not thinking there would be any specific positions on a bird this size, I just held her in my hand.  She relaxed completely.  Never…

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Yearly Update?

It has been ten months since I wrote something here.  Not sure where all that time went.  It really does fly when you get older.  Can’t imagine what it is like in dog or cat years.  Yikes!

To catch up: Casey did not manage to lose much weight after I put her on the last diet.  We tried walking but it was so buggy that staying in the woods long was less then enjoyable.   Casey was also having problems with energy and stamina.  There was one morning I thought I would have to pick her up and carry her back to the Jeep.  She made it, but it was a long slow process.

No matter what I did she seemed to be gaining weight and becoming more and more lethargic.  When I went back to work in the fall I called a holistic vet.  I really did love our old vet and they were very very good to Casey, but it was hard to schedule appointments and it really was not cost-effective for her to have to come all the way here. 

The first vet visit was very traumatic for both of us.  Casey’s blood pressure sky rocketed and they couldn’t do a full exam because they thought she was going to have a heart attack.  Instead we had to schedule an appointment with Tufts .  A very good clinic, but a very expensive one also.

One thousand dollars later we learned Casey has a stage one heart murmur and hypothyroidism.  That explains almost everything about the poor baby girl.   She was put on a strict diet and has to take a pill 2x a day for the rest of her life.  It made her a brand new beagle.  She is almost at her correct weight, has a ton of energy, and her attitude has gotten 99% better.   Simply amazing.

As for the cat trio.  They are all still going strong.  Ashes still has bouts of bloody urine, but has become very cuddly.  Sometimes sleeping in the bed with me.  Moose’s internal clock is off by an hour and he has been waking my every morning at 3:00 a.m.  Hopefully turning the clocks in the spring will cure that.  Jordan is still clawing apart the woodwork all over the house.  We have tried everything and we can still hear her in the middle of the night and see the damage in the morning.

Indy bird is still naked most of the time.  She has a smaller cage in my room (office) but doesn’t come out even if I open the door.  Crazy bird.

Not much else to update.   At least on this blog.  I have been writing more on my personal blog, Ramblinann if you want to pop over there.  I will make a conscious effort to keep writing here too.  After all my pets are my kids now.

It is another rainy day and Casey is being lazy.  Ssshhhh I have nothing to do with it. I know she would probably go out for a walk if I forced her to, but what fun is that.  None for me anyway. I was looking forward to walking trails this week. Now they are nothing but mud bogs again. Guess the hiking will have to wait.

This is all part of Casey’s weight loss program.  I measure out her whole days worth of food and put it in one container. From there she gets breakfast, lunch, supper, and good girl treats.  It seems very unfair and it feels like I am starving her, but I know in my head that I am doing no such thing.  She will be a much healthier happier girl without the extra pounds.

Following the directions I should see change in a week or so.  The key is to lose the fat gradually. The food is formulated so that she will use stored fat without losing muscle. If I can just get her out walking again she might even gain some muscle.  Beagles are such compact dogs that the extra fat really shows up fast. It has to go.

She has already been transitioned over to the food, Life’s Abundance Weight Loss Formula, so she has no digestive upset, but man is she poopin.  Her system is doing a whole clean out.  Getting rid of all the bad build up from snacking and treats.

She won’t step on a scale and the only one I have available is mine, so I will take pictures to document her healthy weight loss journey.  Hopefully she won’t be too embarrassed with the before and will pose pretty for the after.

Yes I have belly fat, and yes I am actually sitting ON the table

I think the saying is “It’s A Dog’s Life”, but in my house that isn’t true.   It’s my quaker Indy that gets special treatment at this time of the year.

We are making the transition between having the pellet stove on to heat the whole house and not.  With the cost of heating, even pellets have gone up dramatically, we need to conserve as much as possible.

Because quakers are technically tropical birds Indy doesn’t do well when it is cold.  What feathers she has get all puffy and she tries to roll into a small ball to conserve body heat.  It is not good.  Indy’s big cage is out in the dining room where right now it is chilly.  Her little cage is in here with me where I can close the door and put the electric baseboard on.  She gets to be cage free, but usually lounges in her tent.  That is unless the birds outside are busy taunting her.  Then she has to be on the top of her cage yelling at them.

Meanwhile my underprivileged Casey has to sleep under the covers with us. While Moose, Ashes, and Jordan, have the crate (which was bought for Casey), Casey’s memory foam bed, or me to sleep on.  Did I mention they all have beautiful fur coats and are underprivileged?



Close Call

When I had Casey out the other morning I noticed a lot of scratch marks in the front yard. Places where something had been digging, but not deep. They were under the Ivy bush, around the pine tree, and on the hill. I had a feeling I knew what critter was doing it and why.

Well at 4:30 this morning my suspicions were confirmed. As I stood there holding the leash, a flashlight, and a cup of coffee, Casey bolted. Down the lawn and around the pine tree she went. I yelled and came around the tree just in time to see a skunk make a dash for the woods. Luckily I held the leash or Casey would have caught up to the critter and we would have both needed some deodorizing.

Being out at that time of the morning doesn’t bother me, but from now on I will be doing more scanning with the light and less daydreaming.

Pet Sitting

In 2005 I started a pet sitting business called Furry Friends Pet Sitting.  I thought “What a fun way to make a living. Play with dogs and cats all day. ” and it was fun; most days.  Other days it was a lot of hard work, dangerous driving, or extreme weather conditions.   Not so much fun.

Most sitters travel to their clients homes to provide pet care. This allows pets to remain in familiar surroundings while the family is away.  A great advantage for the dog or cat that would be overly stressed in a kennel environment.

When looking for a sitter be sure to do your homework.  Remember you are giving this person complete access to your home and pets while you are away.   Here are a few tips:

  1. Always meet your sitter in advance.
  2. Watch how your pet interacts with the sitter. Animals are usually good judges of character, usually.
  3. Ask about liability insurance.
  4. Ask for references and check them out.
  5. Ask what their backup plan is in case of emergency.
  6. Be honest with your sitter.  If your dog protects their property when you are away the sitter needs to know this.  If your pet is an escape artist the sitter needs to know this also.  If they are nervous or afraid the sitter needs to know.   Experienced sitters will be prepared if they know these things in advance.
  7. Leave updated contact information including veterinarian’s name and phone number, though sitters will ask anyway.
  8. Make sure you have enough supplies; dog food, cat food, litter etc…
  9. Ask your sitters rates, know their policies.
  10. Relax and know your pets will be playing, having fun, and getting spoiled.  Sort of like when auntie or grandma comes over.

Last year, I officially closed my pet sitting business.   The economy came to such a grinding halt the year before that I just couldn’t afford to keep it open.  Living in a rural area it was sometimes 10 or more miles one way between clients. Factor in having to make the trips two or three times a day and the gas alone was too much.

I have many happy memories and three of my pets because of Furry Friends.  It was “a fun way to make a living”.