Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Just another reason to be glad I am not American...

...in addition to the whole 'worrying about getting sick and ending up bankrupt' thing.

Bush wants all recipients of federal funding to agree not to refuse to hire medical professionals who object to abortion and birth control.

So that pharmacist who refuses to, you know, do his job and fill your prescription for emergency birth control? Can't be fired! Can't be sanctioned in any way!

What next?
Teachers who refuse to teach mathematics because they don't like all those icky numbers?
Dentists who refuse to pull teeth because they find halitosis offensive?
A Catholic kid working at McDonalds refuses to serve Big Macs on Fridays?
A Buddhist who enlists in the army refuses to fire on the enemy?

January 20 can't come soon enough.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Pythons, Possums, and Pooches.

My client (a Dame Edna impersonator- a woman impersonating a man who impersonates a woman) told me an interesting story about a friend of hers down at the lawn bowls club. Apparently this lady had a large pet python and allowed it free roam of her house. It keep the mice away and liked to curl up in the sun on her bed. A few months ago it stopped eating, but she wasn't overly concerned. Then it began lying down beside the length of her body in bed, and she was worried that it was having problems staying warm and that it was very ill. She took it to her vet who specialised in reptiles, and explained her concerns. The vet told her straight away that the python had to be euthanised.
It turns out the snake was planning on eating her.
It was fasting so that it could make room for a large meal, and it was stretching alongside her to measure her.
I get a chill down my spine just thinking about this, but it sounds like an urban legend.

(Aha- Just checked Snopes.com. It is an urban legend . My client is a very sincere person so I think someone misled her rather than she tried to mislead me.)

For about 9 days we could hear a persistent scratching coming from the wall behind the kitchen sink. For the past 3 days it has been silent. I tend to think it was the possum that was frolicking in the roof each night, and had fallen into the wall cavity and became stuck. I would like to think that it freed itself and has scarpered off to someone else's roof, but I suspect there will be a god-awful smell in a few days.
It could be worse: it could be Summer.

Cute war:













An American possum (left) versus an Australian possum (right)
No contest, right?

Incidentally, a friend of mine works in wildlife research and undertook a observational study of Brushtail possums (right pic). She recorded a type of social behaviour that had never before been documented in Australian possums. It is a facial expression the possums make when reunited with family members- an opened mouth expression Sarah dubbed the "Cheezel grin". I'm not sure if she officially called it that in her thesis, but I sure hope so.

Chloe, my 12 and a half year old Labrador is starting to lose control of her bowels. She has had quite a few accidents inside over the past week, and sometimes on walks she is leaving a trail behind her as she trots along and she doesn't even seem to realise. I'm hoping that it might be some deliberate action on her part due to laziness and reticence to go outside in our current wet weather, but this doesn't bode well for her. Yesterday she had faeces all down her back legs and she had to be cleaned off with baby wipes. It took me back to when I worked in the boarding kennels and I had to clean up geriatric dogs in that same state and I would think to myself how cruel the owners were to make the dogs keep going with no joy or dignity left.
Chloe is my first pet to ever make it to her twilight years and I had no idea how hard it would be to make that decision. I keep wishing she will pass away gently in her sleep, and if I am wishing that then it is probably due time.

I feel for Harry. He went from a home with his siblings and mother to a home with Chloe and he's never been the only dog. They don't play together much (although it is very sweet to see Chloe try to play with him even though she is hobbling along) but he just dotes on her. If I walk him alone he always races to get home, and starts running to every room in the house until he finds her. I've seen him spend half an hour just lying beside Chloe licking her face. He frets without her.
While there are plans to breed from Harry eventually, the more work Chloe becomes the less likely my parents are to buy a second dog once Chloe passes away. Harry was difficult to housebreak, and we only had a few months of respite between Harry having accidents and Chloe deteriorating to the point of having accidents. It is becoming more likely that Harry will be an only dog and will be rented out to service other peoples' dogs (he's already been pimped out for his maiden voyage with another chocolate lab in about a year's time).
To end on a happier note, Harry is having a first birthday reunion this weekend with his dad Kernow, his mother Baci, his brother Gus and his sisters Marley, Zali, Bella, and the other one (forgot her name).

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Happy Birthday Harry Plopper!

From this...
















...to this...




















... to this! All in one year.



Happy birthday Harry!
It's hard to believe that it was only a year ago you arrived via C section, and just two weeks after that when I met and held you for the first time.

You were such a cute little bugger, what happened?

(Man I need to get a new camera...or improve my photographic skills)