Saturday, July 31, 2004

It was a very good night at the beach tonight...

we only lasted for a little over 1/2 an hour though because Leonard started looking up at the sky and got all spooked by something and she was determined to head back to the car. Since she didn't have the keys we all had to go with her. That was too bad.

Leonard says "I've found this fabulous stick!" Posted by Hello

Can you believe the look on Leonard's face here? Posted by Hello

The first step to the perfect action shot! Posted by Hello

I've finally taken the perfect action shot - look at this! Posted by Hello

They come together and then pull apart... Posted by Hello

And then Charlie goes directly for the throat! Posted by Hello

Friday, July 30, 2004

Mrs Dingle's been here 2 weeks

These pictures were taken last night. I took away the kitty litter this morning to see if that might be hurting the infection. And the sores do seem drier tonight. I don't know what else to do, really. I'm thinking now that maybe she had no immune system because she was so emaciated when I got her so she had nothing to fight the sores with and giving her the ivermectin was a mistake because it's so toxic that it just bowled her over. I should have just dealt with her nutritionally like I would've if she was a dog. So I think maybe that's what I'll do now - treat her like I would if she was a dog and not like she's some exotic alien that I know nothing about. Because if I don't do something I'm pretty sure she's going to die soon. And I'd really prefer that not happen.

Mrs Dingle coming out to say hello Posted by Hello

"I have no immune system, but I have a lot of love to give!" Posted by Hello

Monday, July 26, 2004

I'm Worried about Mrs. Dingle

Mrs Dingle has new sores on her body - she's got them on her face now. The vet gave me Ivermectin to give her. She gets her next dose tomorrow and she's got antibiotics to take as well. The scabs were getting thick but tonight she's been scratching them so much they started bleeding. She looks an absolute mess so I put some neosporin on them. Otherwise she's perfect - she's eating like a pig and gaining weight and she's affectionate as shit - although I'm testing her limits because I've got to give her antibiotics with a syringe so I've got to hold her down to give them so that's hurting the trust building which is hard.

I wanted to cut her back nails but she's gotten so antsy from having to get the drugs that I don't want to freak her out any more than I have to. She's had such a shitty life and their lives are so short I'd like hers to be as pleasant as possible. Her cage is full of toys and things to chew on and she's even starting to investigate the wheel we put in - I'm turning it and she's putting her front feet on it - so I'm pretty sure she's going to figure out how to use it pretty soon.

I wonder if maybe she's allergic to her bedding. Maybe I'll try the "Yesterdays News" bedding instead of the chip type bedding and see if that does anything. Hopefully the ivermectin tomorrow will help - if it doesn't kill her that is. I can't believe I'm giving an animal in my house that stuff.

Mrs Dingle preparing to take a ride on my shoulders Posted by Hello

Mrs Dingle showing her sores all goobered up with Neosporin Posted by Hello

Mrs Dingle with her version of the "Home Alone" hands on either side of face look! Posted by Hello

Sunday, July 25, 2004

I found a new place to walk the dogs!

I finally took the plunge - only a month and a half since I moved and I went behind my house and looked for walking trails in the big green belt behind the North West Arm Drive. It turns out that on the map of the city there is a road called "Cowie Hill Road" that doesn't exist. See the map directly below and then the pictures. The trails are pretty rough so where your rubber boots or prepare to get your feet muddy. Buttercup needed to get in the tub directly after the walk. She was pretty gross. But I am going to save SO much on gas. I have so much exploring to do now! Although I did come upon one guy who was obviously a transient who had set up a camp and was living there - that was a bit awkward, but I had Daisy on leash - so at least she didn't attempt to eat him.

Map that shows non-existent road - "Cowie Holl Road" Posted by Hello

Entrance to "Cowie Hill Road" - at the top of Penny Ave Posted by Hello

A look down "Cowie Hill Road" Posted by Hello

A water feature in Spryfield's newest - to me - dog park! Posted by Hello

But Charlie gives a big "4 paws up!" to the "Cowie Hills Road does not Exist! Dog Walk" Posted by Hello

Pooch Cafe is Funny

This cartoon was in the paper today. It is a very funny cartoon. It's so funny when shit like this comes out of dogs mouths.

From the Sunday Comics July 25, 2004 Posted by Hello

Friday, July 23, 2004

Tonight we went to Crystal Crescent Beach

It was the first time I'd been back to Crystal Crescent since the hurricane and I couldn't believe it. I didn't go in through the gates because we didn't get there until 7:30pm so we went in through a path further down the road - but the storm surge must have been huge - it looked like at least 2 or 3 feet of land was gone the whole length of the cliffs the whole trail that I walked tonight. The whole landscape is different. The erosion that's happened is awesome.

Crystal Crescent today Posted by Hello

Leonard on the beach Posted by Hello

A big pile of rope I can't believe I left behind! Posted by Hello

Thursday, July 22, 2004

A couple of links that sparked my interest today - brushes with greatness

I belong to an organization called "Dogs Deserve Better" and the founder of it chained herself to a dog house over the July 4th holiday - the Best Friends organization just did a super write-up about it on their web site and it's at: Best Friends No More Homeless Pets - my dog Daisy is a formerly chained dog and she fits the prototype 110% - but luckily her anger is only fleeting and her joy is boundless. Unlike me. I'm the opposite.

And I always tell anyone who'll listen that all Sinden's come from one man - he was a monk in England who when Henry the VIII made his own church and shut down all the monasteries and kicked out the monks so that they had to become normal men - they usually took the name of whatever trade they were - so this guy was the shroudmaker - which is a senden - and so all Sinden's come from this guy. So Harry Sinden, Donald Sinden - all Sinden's are related to me. I say Harry Sinden is my uncle (because he's old, so he should be an uncle, right?) Well I just discovered today that the director of the movie "The Usual Suspects" and the upcoming next Superman film - Bryan Singer - his Mom's name - is - Grace Sinden! So the director of the "Usual Suspects" is my COUSIN!!!! There's an article at with his mother because she's in all his movies like Martin Scorcese's mother is (or was because she's dead now).

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Mrs. Dingle went to the vet tonight!

So the sores on Mrs. Dingle's back aren't going away fast enough so we took her to Parrots to Ferrets and Friends Vet Hospital tonight to see Dr. Benoit - he's supposed to be the best rat vet in the city so that's where we went. Dr. Benoit thinks that Mrs. Dingle is only six months old at the oldest - so that's good news! We should be able to have lots of time to have good love. He gave us some antibiotics and stuff for the sores - in case they are mites. I have to give her stuff for the next 6 weeks. Mrs. Dingle wasn't very impressed with the whole experience - but as soon as we got home she went right back into her cage and started playing and looking for scratches, so I think she'll be okay. And now she won't have to go through any of that again unless she gets sick! It's all lollipops and sunshine from here on in!

Let me out of here! Posted by Hello

Ick!! Posted by Hello

Buttercup says "how come you've been spending so much time staring into that big metal box and not at me?" Posted by Hello

I Wrote a Letter to Pet's Atlantic about their "Raw Food" article

Oh boy, I'm steamed. So when I'm steamed I have to write a letter. So that's what I did - I sent it off this morning I have a section on my website about food with some of my opinions about it because in the past Charlie has had a weight problem. Thanks to Daisy he's nice and skinny now but he still looks big because he's really deep chested. But that's another post.

The article was called "The Risks of Raw Food" and it was about how dangerous it is and potentially non-nutritious to feed your dog a BARF diet. That could be said for any diet - including a kibble only diet. I'd like to meet a healthy, happy Ol' Roy fed dog!

So anyway, this is what I said this morning:

Hi there - I know the letter below is long, but I think this is a really important topic that needs to be looked at from more than one side. I am just a pet owner and not a veterinarian or a behaviourist or have any credentials, but I have done a lot of research and talked to a lot of people about my pet companion's diets and I was hoping that if you publish my letter you could keep as many of the salient points in there as possible. Maybe it could be a counterpoint article or something like that? I can provide research materials and back-up and write in more detail about this if you'd like - but I tried to be as succinct as I possibly could! The letter is below - and I'd also like to say I thinks it's fabulous that we have a local pet magazine to showcase all the wonderful stuff going on locally in the animal community. I think it's an area that's going to explode over the next few years and hopefully your publication will be able to document it and profit from it!


Letter to Pets Atlantic:

I would imagine – or at least I hope! – you've gotten a lot of mail about the article written by Dr. Alice Crook, DVM "The risks of raw food" which was in your summer issue 2004.

To use some of her words – many people ARE singing the praises of raw food diets – and it's precisely because of some of the worries that she lists when she's talking about why a kibble diet is better! She mentioned concerns with food safety and nutritional deficiencies with diets based on raw meat. That the "big worry is these diets are not nutritionally balanced and complete". I would like to know what is
nutritionally balanced about corn gluten meal, brewers rice, and a bunch of chemicals – the main ingredients in 99% of the commercially available dog food today.

I'm not saying that a "Biologically appropriate raw food" diet is the best diet for every dog, or that it is the only way we should be feeding our lifetime companion animals. I don't even feed my own animals a completely raw diet – but it IS part of their healthy, varied, interesting, balanced over time way of eating. Most people
discover this way of feeding our animals because we've come up against serious health issues caused by the way big conglomerate dog food manufacturers – who veterinarians sometimes seem to be coached by – have been telling us that we must feed our pets. I have yet to come upon any dog anywhere that's been fed a grocery store dog kibble ONLY and lived to be old and healthy with a shiny coat, good joints, bright eyes and good teeth. Whenever a dog's health impresses me enough to
ask what they're fed and their owner says "I feed them X (kibble)" – I always ask the second question – "and what else do you give them?" Invariably they always get selected table scraps, supplements, sardines, and sometimes even raw chicken necks and eggs – whatever – but they're never just fed the kibble only. Ever. Although I'm sure there are dogs out there like there are uncles and aunts who we all have who smoke and drank every day and lived until they were 100 – but imagine how long they could've lived if they had chosen not to do those things!

I have great respect for Dr. Crook – she is a super advocate for the welfare of our companion animals – but she neglected to mention in her article any of the downfalls of a kibble diet. The only thing she mentions is right at the end is where she says "check the ingredient list, and look for meat or meat by-products as the principal ingredients". I REALLY wish she could have talked a little bit more about ingredients that go into making kibble pet food and how important it is to only buy food that have labels that say "fit for human consumption". That way she might have shown the depth of the trouble that is in the pet food industry currently – and given novice pet owners a bit more choice than simply stating de facto – do not
feed raw food to your pet.

Grocery store and most pet food store kibble is made from all the indigestible garbage that is produced by the human food preparation industries. That's a fact. I don't think anyone who's done any research will dispute that – there's historical precedent to say that and it's still happening today. Would you feed your child "wheat middlings" or "animal digest"? Our companion animals have such short
lives – a couple years is a lifetime to them, and that's how big a difference in lifespan a super healthy diet can make – along with increased quality of life. I'd like to get as many days as I can with them. I feed my animals the same food I eat – I've never gotten salmonella or trichinella and I don't think my animals ever will
either – I don't treat their food like it's "dog food" – if you know what I mean!

There are risks to raw food as there is to everything – but to me, based on my research and the research of a lot of people who are a lot smarter than me – the risks of a kibble diet are much higher on the long-term health of my lifetime companion animals.

After I sent that off I emailed one of my raw-feeding friends who said that she's been asked by Pets Atlantic to write an article about the BARF diet - so there will be positive BARF stuff coming up in the magazine - which is super! In my email to her I said to her:

I'm so glad you're writing an article for them about it! Dr. Crook's viewpoint was such a stereotypical veterinarian's viewpoint that it was funny!

I didn't put in - but I thought it was a good thought - the idea that no one goes to the grocery store and unthinkingly says "I think I'll feed my dog raw meat and bones" like they do grocery store kibble, without ever checking the ingredients or finding out what those words on the bag actually mean. Probably 99.99% of people who feed their companions BARF diets have done piles of research into the topic and
are feeding their animals that way because they have seen the results of that type of diet with their own eyes - they don't need a bunch of scientific mumbo jumbo that's been tested on (tortured and abused labarotory) dogs in some far off lab and then published in research journals. Dogs have been around us for 1000's of years, we've been feeding them a BARF diet for all that time - except for the last 75 or
so years since the manufacturers figured out to turn our waste into extruded pellets. That's when all the health problems with our animals started. I think there's a connection!

A well rounded life is the same for dogs as it is for us - lots of fresh air, off-leash exercise, plenty of good yummy food that tastes, smells, and looks good, lots of friends to hang out with when you want to and plenty of time for just hanging out and scratching your itchy bits. If only we could all live like that!

Monday, July 19, 2004

The quarantine officially ended today - and Bart took full advantage of the situation! Charlie wasn't agreeing with him though! Posted by Hello

Mrs. Dingle got her new house tonight!

So what else can I say? I've fallen in love? Until Friday night I had no idea that this whole sub-culture existed or that it was possible for a rat to be affectionate. but this little thing has just stolen my heart. She just cuddles right up in my arms like as if that's the only place she wants to be. Well actually right now she's running around her cage like her heads cut off so I think she's not too interested about being in my arms right now. She's got a big rabbit cage to play in. Now I just have to work at getting some fat on her, and see about getting her scabs healed. If they don't disappear now that she's got a lot of room to move to distract her from scratching she's going to go see a vet. I don't see any fleas, so hopefully it was just stress scratching.

It will be amazing if the dogs (actually I know all the dogs except for Daisy would)let me carry her around. I'll just have to do some special training over time. And be veerry careful.

Daisy says - there's food in there somewhere! Posted by Hello

Mrs. Dingle says - this place is HUGE! Posted by Hello