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My Life Is A Zoo

This is where I will post interesting (or not so interesting) things that happen in my life. The subject matter will include any random things that I decide to put in (including animals, my work, my hobbies and my family).

Friday, May 30, 2008

Finished, almost finished and still to be started projects!

First, the finished:

These are three felted belt bags that I've finished over the last few weeks. I really like this pattern and, as an added bonus, it's a fairly easy one. :)

And this one is a drop stitch scarf I've made for my cousin. I really hope she likes green! This was also an quick and easy pattern.

And the almost finished is this:

It still needs to be felted but it's a pouch. Once felted it will have strings threaded through the top to pull it closed. I will felt it as soon as I have a couple of other items finished that need to be felted. :)

And the still to be started project is this:

Yup. That's a bunch of clean Anatolian Shepherd fur that will, at some point in the future, be spun into yarn. Here's a closer look:

I'm not sure yet if I will attempt to spin it myself or pay a company/individual to spin it for me. I'm not sure I'm ready to do this. I really want to use the yarn to make something special. I'm fairly confident I can card it into roving fine (and I've just purchased some silver and white raw wool to blend with it) I'm just not sure I will be able to make it into decent yarn...and while I know it will probably cost a bit to have someone else spin it I would at least know it would turn out the thickness and quality I want. So...at some point I will have to make a decision...Oh, and this is about 8 ounces of Anatolian Shepherd fur. I actually have more of it (that hasn't been cleaned yet) but it's from different dogs (two of my fosters) while this batch is exclusively from the two Anatolians at work. :)

Sad and Happy happenings...

First, the sad:

Bridge: unknown puppy

While at the Clinic today a lady brought in a young pitbull puppy who was not feeling well. Turns out the little pup had Parvo. The pup was so far gone that the lady elected to euthanize her. The vet tech and I stayed with the puppy until she was gone. This poor dog was skin and bones and so lethargic. Please, vaccinate your dogs (especially your puppies) for Parvo. This is not a disease to mess around with!

And then the happy:

Rescued: kitten!

This young kitten (weighs less than a pound!) was rescued off the street near the Clinic. The woman brought her in and begged them to please take her. She couldn't take her as she was on her way to work and was afraid the kitten would get hit by a car if left where she was (which is highly possible!). Of course, the clinic staff took her and, I suspect, the vet will actually take her home. This little girl spent very little time in the kennel and quite a bit of time in the arms of the staff. :)

Poor Sasha....

Sasha had to go for surgery today. We couldn't tell for sure if she was spayed or not so they had to actually open her up. The vet couldn't find anything (after 20 minutes of looking!) that resembled ovaries or a uterus. He couldn't even find a stump where they had been removed. So...for now she's being called spayed and if she comes into heat I'm to take her back in and they'll look some more. Most likely she was spayed when she was a pretty young puppy and just healed really well. Poor girl...she missed breakfast for nothing.

Fundraiser for Ridgebacks

Ridgeback Trust Inc (RTI) is a group that rescues "at risk" Ridgebacks. They have saved hundreds of dogs in the 10 years they have been in existence. I have personally rehabbed two of the dogs they have saved. Dogs that would not be here without RTI. These two auctions are their major fundraisers for the year. If you are so inclined, please check them out. :) To learn more about RTI please visit their website: http://www.rrsatrisk.org/

And here is the link to the first auction is:

You can view the items after the auction begins using this link http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZridgebacktrust
Or go to www.ebay.com and type ?ridgebacktrust? in the search box

Thursday, May 29, 2008


1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years.  Any separation from you is likely
to be painful.
2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.
4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You
have your work, your friends, your entertainments, but I have only you.
5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your
voice when speaking to me.
6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.
7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you,
and yet, I choose not to bite you.
8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if
something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I
have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.
9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old.
10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you
can't bear to watch. Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier
for me if you are there, because I love you so.

I do not know who originally wrote this but I like it so much I had to p
ost it.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day...

is a time to remember. I hope all of you took the time today to remember those who fight for freedom both at home and abroad, past and present. I know I did. Thank you.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bear Awareness Day 2008

The Houston Zoo celebrated Bear Awareness Day this last Saturday (May 17th). It was a lot of fun and well attended. We had representatives from the Houston SPCA, Texas Parks and Wildlife and Big Thicket National Preserve on hand to answer questions. They also had educational handouts available for anyone who wanted one. TPWD brought their interactive cd to allow zoo guests to test their bear knowledge. A TPWD representative, Ricky Maxey, also gave two presentations on bears in Texas for zoo staff and volunteers. The zoo commissary hosted a booth that gave guests a chance to see what exactly the bears at the zoo eat, including some of their diet as well as the diet sheet showing how much of each item our 4 bears (2 species) receive on a daily/weekly basis. We also put together the "Bear Maze" which allowed guests to pretend to be a bear. :)

My department again did two educational skits for the guests. The first one was our hiking skit. This skit took place in our Grizzly Bear exhibit and discussed what to do if you run into a bear while hiking. One staff member played the bear while two others played the hikers. After it was over (and the staff had left the exhibit) the Grizzly Bears were let out onto exhibit to the oohs and aahs of the guests. Our second skit was our camping skit and took place in our Spectacled Bear exhibit. This one illustrated how to camp correctly in bear country. One staff member played the "good camper" and two others played the "bad campers". Once the skit is done (and the campers have left the exhibit) the Spectacled bears are let out onto exhibit and allowed to wreak havoc on the camp, which they did. I have posted some low-res pictures on the groups website under the photo section if anyone is interested in seeing them. During both skits a keeper discusses how Texas is again becoming home to black bears. We chose to focus on this because most Texans have not had to worry about black bears. Now, however, there is a sustainable population in West Texas and several individual bears have been sighted in East Texas. We feel it is important to educate the people of Texas on how they and the bears and cohabit together. TPWD has done an excellent job on being proactive with this. They have been educating the people in the state since 2002 about bears returning to Texas in attempt to reduce the number of bear/people conflicts. The staff at the Houston Zoo are pleased to assist them in their mission. :)


Sasha is doing amazingly well. She has gained weight and finishes off all of her food. This is a 180 degree change from when I first got her. Due to her cold she wasn't too interested in eating. I eventually started shoving Robitussin down her throat to help her get over it. She tolerated that very well. At no point has this dog shown any aggression towards me...and believe me, if she was going to she would have by now! I had to clean her ears and shove nasty tasting cough medicine down her throat twice a day. If anyone is interested in adopting Sasha she is on the ASDRL website under "Available Dogs". She will be scheduled for a spay in the near future. She is also HW negative (which was quite a surprise!).

Photos from Bear Awareness Day 2008

Hiking Skit:

These are our two hikers attempting to determine which bear species they have stumbled upon. (It's a Grizzly...)

The "uneducated" hiker attempts to climb a tree to escape the "bear."

Bailey, one of Houston Zoo's two Grizzly's, enjoys his diet out of a cooler.

Good Camper/Bad Campers skit:

The three campers sharing a meal and discussing bears.

Willie, the Houston Zoo's male Specatacled Bear checking out the cooler.

Patty, Houston Zoo's female Specatacled Bear, checking out the same cooler after Willie wandered off to check out the rest of the camp.

Patty switching sides....it's always easier to just go over than around!

Patty enjoying her prize.

Willie discovers the trash can with all sorts of goodies inside!
And this is what the Spectacled Bear exhibit looked like after the bears had finished with it...