• Life,  Pets

    Muffin the Bunny’s Departure

    by There’s nothing to remind us about mortality and the fragility of life that does so as well as the death of a family pet. My youngest daughter adopted two rescue rabbits last summer. She settled them in, built an environment out of her room that was not just bunny-friendly but specifically for bunnies, worked through the bonding process carefully and thoroughly, monitored diets and any tiny potential health item or hazard that was possible to monitor. One of them has a long-term GI issue that will probably always be part of his life. It doesn’t seem like it affects his behaviour most of the time, but sometimes he gets…

  • Pets

    High-End Veterinary Care

    by Anyone who thinks American-style healthcare is a good idea has never had to open the coffers for extraordinary measures to save a beloved family pet. This is Muffin, one of my daughter’s pet rabbits: Out of nowhere, he started limping and holding one foot up off the floor. X-rays, blood work, examinations = pain meds and monitoring. A wound appeared on his thigh, what looked like a burst abscess. Antibiotics, cleansing, adjusted feeding to include syringes. Behaviour doesn’t get better and he starts to get lethargic. Abscess is far more extensive than anyone possibly thought it could have been. Sepsis, imaging, surgery, blood transfusion, ICU. And we still don’t…

  • Multiple pictures of my 10-year-old Saint Bernard.
    Pets

    Happy birthday, Ollie!

    by Wow. My dog is ten today, which is getting up there for a Saint Bernard. According to what I’ve managed to read regarding lifespans, only about 1 in 5 of these giant sucks gets past their tenth birthday. So, yes, I’m concerned in a general way. But his health is good (yes, he’s old and stiff, but we’re medicating and always paying attention to his limits), and he’s on the small and lean side for a Saint (a mere 150 pounds), and he has no underlying issues that we’re aware of (well, aside from the anxiety and the mild OCD licking in one spot that is fairly common in…

  • Pets

    Take Your Dog To Work Day

    by I don’t usually get to celebrate this. Almost never, really. But since the pandemic shutdown pretty much closed the entirety of the tourism and entertainment industries, which includes me, the place I’m working is also the place I’m living. Lots of housework, lots of household projects, and the to-do list is actually getting shorter, which it probably hasn’t done since we moved out of the last house at the end of 2002. And that only lasted until we moved into this one and I started a new list. So, I work at home right now which means, realistically, that every day is Take Your Dog To Work Day for…

  • Pets

    Take Your Cat To Work Day

    by Which I only recently learned about. In fact, the whole week is Take Your Pet To Work Week. Both events were created by Pet Sitters International, which I feel like I should have heard of before now. As the pandemic still has my industry shut down (and I expect will for a little bit yet), my cats come to work with me pretty much every day. Oh, they’re not obvious about it and they’re not really trying to hang around and I mostly have to go to them, but my work is currently around the house and at the computer. That makes home and work the same place. However,…

  • Pets

    A House Full of Animals

    by Beyond the human variety that is. I share my living space with a lot of domesticated and semi-wildlife. The current count is something over 38, numbering 3 Feline Overlords, 1 Giant Dog™, 11 Snakes between 2 species, 8 lizards across 5 species, 11 Forest Scorpions, 1 Goliath Bird Eating spider, 3 spiders of a smaller but approximately as venomous variety as the Goliath (so not very) and whose name eludes me at the moment, An indeterminate number of cherry shrimp, White Cloud Minnows, and snails divided between an aquarium and a palludarium (that was supposed to have tree frogs in it by now except for the pandemic). It’s less…

  • Life,  Pets

    The Zoo

    by Yesterday, I made the joke that our house was more or less a giant snake and a small crocodile away from having our own zoo. A giant snake and a small crocodile are not in the cards at the moment, but the joke is less an exaggeration than you’d think. It’s already been suggested that I provide more details on that. So… 1 Giant DogTM, a 9+ year old Saint Bernard who, reference notwithstanding, is actually on the small size for his breed. 3 cats, ranging in age from 7 to 10. 2 small fish tanks. One of which is a shrimp tank, really, with a couple of small…

  • Pets

    This is Zesty Mike

    by For non-herpers, she’s a Blue-Tongued skink. She’s also a rescue (coming from the far side of Toronto) and part of my son’s burgeoning menagerie, currently at seven species of mostly reptiles. More on that another day. All you need to know right now is that menagerie is currently living with him in the basement apartment of our house. (He’s home for the summer this year and the menagerie had to come with him, obviously). Lots of personality in this beautiful lizard, though she’s a messy eater sometimes. Fond of quail eggs, I understand, and almost as puppy-like as people keep telling me Bearded Dragons are. Someday, she may have…

  • Pets

    This is Geckzilla

    by Or Geck or The Gecko. She came to live with us around about my son’s 9th birthday. The first, but by no means the last, reptile to join the menageries, she was just about full-grown she came home, which probably made her somewhere between six and nine months old. In my view, she did, and does have a distinctly saurian look about her. Leopard Geckos are slow moving and easy to take care of but, like many small pets, you need to be gentle with them. Over the 11 years and change since my son brought her home, he, and by extension we, although not as much, has learned…

  • Pets

    Introducing Reese Slitherspoon

    by The secret to coming up with a good snake name, at least if you like snakes, is to sit down and make two lists of words. The first should be a list of things that snakes are and do: long, slinky, slither, hiss, etc. The second is a list that sounds like each of those words, rhyming words, homonyms, and so on, and see were those take you. Other things you can add to that second list are characters associated with snakes in your media of choice. Insert your favorite Harry Potter reference, and you have one, here. Don’t forget mythology. If there had been a classical Greek Naga…