Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Do you want the Good News First of the Bad News?

Well we will start with the bad new first.

No one had any questions for me for my Small Animals Saturday. So I'm going to start collecting questions I receive at work for my Saturday Posts.

Now for the Good News: .....................................(Dramatic Pause).......................................

I passed my Small Animals Test and now I'm a certified Small Animals Specialist for my Store.

"Yea Woo Hoo Lots of Clapping"

My Next goal is Reptile Training to get my Certification in that. Go Team Go!

I hope everyone one had a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Yule
Winter Solstice, Pancha Ganapati, Kwanzaa, Yalda, and Dies Natalis Solis Invicti.

There I think I covered all the winter Holidays. What every you celebrate at this time of year I hope it is Joyous.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cricket Says "What the Heck Is THAT???"

Today's story is about thinking before you buy!
If you take a close look at the pictures you may notice a small bundle of fur at his feet. That is a pure breed Yorkie. No we will not be keeping him, He will be going to live with my Sister in law. But how he came to be spending a few days with us before arriving at his new home is an interesting story.
I was at work and a young lady entered the store carrying this cute bundle of fur. She asked if if we could take the puppy. It was appearent that she really liked the puppy so asked why she wanted to give him up. She explained that she had purchased the puppy and as she was taking him to the car decided she should contact her landlord to make sure she could have a dog. He told her No Way! So she went back into the store to return the dog and they told her they would not take the dog back because she had already taken him out of the store. She had no Idea what to do but had heard we take in unwanted animals and didn't want to take it to the pound. Every one started making calls. To see if anyone could take the puppy finally I called my inlaws and they were more then happy to take him in.

The moral of the story...... Do a lot of thinking before you purchase a pet. Try to take every part of your life into consideration. How much space do you have, how much time and care will he need? If you rent or are part of a community such as condos what are the rules for pets. Never buy a new pet on impulse!
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Monday, November 16, 2009

Small Animal Certification

Well as you may or may not know I'm working on getting my small animal certification. I'm hoping to get your help to improve my knowledge of small animals. That being said I'm starting Small Animal Saturdays. E-mail me your small animal questions to:

Every Saturday I'll post the questions and the answers. This will give me access to questions a customer might ask me and give me the chance to do some research while answering your questions on pets you have or are considering adding to your family.

Thanks for your help!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cute Pics From The Pet Shop

Here's one way to get breakfast in bed!
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Monday, November 9, 2009

I had a bad night!

I woke up last night to find Fitz,my elderly cat, snuggled up in my arm. He hasn't done this in a very long while. He prefers sleeping in a box next to the computer. Now you may not think this is scary but I thought for sure that he had crawled into my arms and passed away! He wasn't moving and I couldn't feel him breathing. I was so relieved when he finally moved that I cried!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

I thought this shot of the Rose Haired Tarantula was particularly fitting for this creepy holiday!

Happy Halloween

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Doggy Halloween Contest

We had a doggy Halloween contest in the store on Saturday. There were some very cute dogs there. Including Dorthy and the Yin Man a cowgirl and a hot dog. The winners gave me permission to post their pictures so here they are. Three Birthday clowns complete with cake.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sad News

Poor Rosco died yesterday.

Our little frog that too so long to become a frog passed away. We don't know why. I found him floating belly up when I went to clean the tank and after making sure he wasn't playing dead I told the kids. Its funny that even a non-cuddle pet such as a frog can make you cry when they leave us but it does and we did. Here are all of Roscos photos to remember him by

Sorry there aren't any better pictures. It's funny how you go around thinking you have all the time in the world so you can get a better shot later and then it's too late.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Girl Scouts Rain Forest Project

Here is a little project I did for a friend of mine. She is a girl scout troop leader and her troop is setting up a display in the local mall. She asked me to build a home for some fire belly toads for their display and this is the outcome.
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Thursday, October 1, 2009

How To Help a New Pet Adjust To Their New Home

Lets face it moving to a new home is a stressful experience for anyone. If you are getting ready to bring a new pet home the move is just as stressful for them. But I know a few tips that will help you introduce your new family member that will help them feel more at home sooner with less stress.

Some of these tips will be easier to use then others and they can be applied to most pets with the exception of the exotics such as snakes, frogs, spiders and lizards.
The first thing you want to do is make sure their is a spot in your home that is just for your pet. Someplace they can retreat to when they need to be alone. It should be someplace where every family member understands is just for the pet. Whether it is a crate for your new puppy or a bed in a corner for your new kitten, or a plastic igloo for your new hamster or guinea pig they need someplace to escape too.
When you go to pick up your new family member get some of the bedding that is in the cage with your small animal. If you are getting your dog or cat from a reputable breeder see if you can drop off your puppies new bed a couple days early so it gets the scent of home on it. To help close down puppy mills make sure you know where your puppy or kitty comes from. Avoid pet stores because the only way to make sure of where your pet comes from is to get it from the breeder yourself. Now if your like me and get your pet from a shelter then check with the shelter to see if you can drop off the bed before pick-up.
Now to help get the pet use to you faster, before you bring them home take an old worn out shirt (one you don't want any more) and where it to bed (don't wash it). When you bring your pet home add it to their sleep area or cut it into pieces and add it to the small animal bedding. This will help them get use to you faster.

Last but not least and especially important if you have small children. Give your new pet some room to explore their new home with out being mobbed with attention. You should give small animals at least a week before you try handling them. (this of course depends on where you get them since some pet stores do an excellent job of handling their small animals) By giving your new family member some room to explore you will help prevent agressive behavior based on fear.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Did You Know ???

Ok first things first here is an updated picture of Rosco and Kermit.

As you can see Rosco is now a full fledged frog. He is the smaller of the two. Both are doing well but I have since learned something about my little hoppers. They play DEAD!! When I first saw it I thought Rosco had injured himself. He was swimming around in a panic when I opened the tank to clean it next thing I knew he was floating belly up. It scared the crud out of me! I picked him up out of the water and laid him on the land part of the habitat. I watched him for a few minutes and first saw he was still breathing (WHEW). Then I saw him blink and his leg twitch. After a few minutes he got up and hopped behind one of the little plants. He has done it a couple times since and today when I was catching the frogs to clean their tank, Kermit did it too. I did a little research and found that they play dead to escape enemies. I don't know how well it works for that but it certainly makes them easier to catch when I need to clean out their home.

NOW! Did you know that the stench from Stagnant pond water will stick to you no matter how many times you wash your hands??

I found this out today. You see I seem to have created my very own stagnant pond here in my own home. In hindsight I should have realized this would happen but I really didn't think it out. How did I make my own stagnant pond. Well let me tell you it might make a good science fair project for someones kid (though I suggest you do it outside because once you disturb the water your whole house will smell.

I orders some duck weed for the frogs home. It gives them someplace in the water to hide and helps keep the crickets from drowning since they can walk right across the top of it. Now the smallest size I could order was a quarter pound of duck week. This is way too much for my little frog house and I put the rest into a little aquarium we had sitting around. You can see a picture below.

Now if you look in the upper left corner you will see a little filter. It wasn't there before I just put it in. Before the duck week covered the entire surface of the water to about an inch thick. The problem with this is no oxygen could get to the water and caused a build up of bacteria that thrives in an Anaerobic condition (a condition with no oxygen). This is of course what happens in stagnant ponds. Algae clogs the surface of the water letting now oxygen through. Now the smell doesn't escape till you disturb the plants on the water. I did that this morning when I went to get some for my nice clean frog habitat. My hands are still stinky and I've washed them 4 times already. It's going to be a long day!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I won an award

It was given to me by Tina over at Mummy Diaries

It was for the answer I gave for The question:

How can i stop my child from coming out of their bedroom and into mine every night? I hope my answer helped Lyndsey from the UK. Here is what I said:

Start by developing a bed time routine. Make it the same everynight this will help them mentally ready for bed. Then when they get up at night you have to take the back to their own bed immediately. Talk to them there about why they are up. Don't turn on any lights as this will wake them up more. Once they have settled back into their own bed the go back to your. This may take several times before they stop doing it but you must be consistant.

If you want to participate in the question of the week stop over to Mummy Diaries she has a new question each week .

Thanks for the award Tina

Monday, August 24, 2009

Walking The Dog

I think many people take for granted that our best and most loyal friend never complains. So today I'm going to let Cricket do some complaining for them.

Hi my name is Cricket, my family rescued me from a very noisy place where I was kept in a cage. There were lots of other dogs there and all of them were as sad as I was. At my new home there was another dog named Wags and she told me stories of all the places she had lived with her new family. One of place was so hot the pavement could burn her paws If she went out in for a walk in the middle of the day. She could look out the window and see other families walking by with their dogs ignoring the fact that while the covering they had on their feet protected them from the burning hot road their four footed friend was suffering loyally beside them.

She told of other places like where I was born that got so cold in the winter the ground would freeze. Though the cold ground was no bother to her well padded paws, the big trucks that lumbered down the road poured stuff out the back that would get up in between her paws and irritate them. Lucky for Wags that our family made sure to clean her paws after their walks together. But after living in the place with the hot pavement she wondered how many other families with dogs remembered to take care of their paws after a walk.

Wags has gone away but her stories stay with me and I'm glad I have such a thoughtful family to live with.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Rosco Report + 1

I have two pictures to share today the first is little Rosco the Frog who has finally gotten his front legs. He still has his tail though you can't see it in this shot because of the fake plant.

You Grow Rosco

This second one is of my old friend Fitz once again trying to thwart my computing efforts as he snuggles down for a nap on my chair leg.

Awww How could I make him move I had to save blogging for another day.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The other day I came face to face with my turtle’s future self, a lady had gone jogging one morning and saw a large turtle in the road. She decided it didn’t look healthy and bless her kind heart wanted to take it home and take care of it. She brought the turtle in a large cooler to Petco (where I work) and asked what she needed to take care of it. The first thing I told her was that what she had in her cooler was a Red Eared Slider. Then told her the best thing she could do for him was to find the closes water to where she found him and release him back into the wild. From there I began to explain everything she would need to keep him as a pet. Not surprisingly she decided to return him to the wild. By the way the Turtle she brought in had a shell that was about a foot long. The original tank we bought for Rex (the one sold as an aquatic turtle kit) was only 12 inches wide and would have never been big enough for the turtle in the cooler.

Red Eared Sliders are relatively cheap to buy, and the young do look particularly delightful, but it is surprising that many people buy them with no knowledge of what they have bought, and not even providing the bare essentials. Many places sell them at an illegal size (under 4 inches) in a little fish bowl like this one.
This set up is completely inadequate for a Red Eared Slider giving him no room to grow and none of the lighting he requires.

Aquatic turtles like sliders need fairly elaborate and expensive housing. They need regular exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, so pricey bulbs designed for reptiles that produce UVA and UVB light are needed for turtle tanks. Without this light, they can develop metabolic bone disease. Turtles are very messy, and even with a good filtration system you will still have to clean in regularly. Remember turtles have to drink the water they are living in. Their tank should be deep enough and wide enough to allow swimming and a place to get out of the water to bask. Here is a list of equipment you will need if you have or are thinking about getting ANY aquatic turtle:

A suitable sized tank
Heater and thermostat
Filters and air pump
Light bulbs
Suitable depth of swimming water
Dry area

Though aquariums are good for young turtles, make sure you get the largest one you can afford to help prevent the need to keep buying larger and larger ones. At their full grown size the will need a tank that holds about 100 gallons. One of the owners I've talked to used a pre-formed plastic pond (like you get at home depot) to build an indoor pond for his turtle. You might also consider putting him outside part of the year if you have pond in your yard that has a good fence to keep predators out.

Now I'm not tell you all this to keep you from buying a Slider, I love Rex and think he is fascinating to watch. I love when I come into the kitchen first thing in the morning he is happy to see me. Yeah I know he knows I'm there to feed him but it's still fun to watch him climbing around trying to get my attention. Opps started getting off track LOL, I'm telling you this for the turtles sake. Many people take them home and when they get to big dump them. Once these turtles have lived with people they CAN NOT be returned to the wild and expect to live very long.

Don't feel down and blue if you have discovered after reading this that Red Eared Sliders are to much for you to deal with. I have some alternative you might want to consider. They will still need the whole aquatic turtle set up but do to their smaller sizes you can buy a smaller tank. The First is the African Side Neck Turtle:

I borrowed this picture from California Turtle and Tortoise Club I home they don't mind. If you want to see more pictures check out their site (click here). This is the larger of the two I'm suggesting with an adult size of 6 to 8 inches.
The second aquatic turtle I'm suggesting is the Three Striped Mud Turtle:

This photo I borrowed from you can visit them (click here) It's a photo host and share site.
Thise cute little guys only get 3 to 4 inches. So in the first tank I had Rex in I could probably happily house 4 or 5 of these little guys.

I think anyone who is thinking of getting any kind of pet should visit their local library first. Read everything available for the pet your considering. That will help keep surprises to a minimum and insure that you have a healthy long lived pet.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Tank For Rex The Red Eared Slider

A little bit of advice for anyone condsidering a Red Eared Slider. Double Check the food lable.

Not the best picture sorry but you might notice the two red circles. One lable says Growth Formula the other says Maintance Formula. Make sure when you grab your food you get the Maintance Formula not the Growth Formula. We made that mistake for you and the results is that we had to go and get Rex a new Tank sooner then planned all because I wasn't paying enough attention.

Presenting Rex's new "Indoor Pond"

This thing is about twice the size of his original.

He still has some growing to do but now he will do it slower and will still have plenty of room.

I have more to say about owning a Red Eared Slider but it will have to wait until tomorrow since I have to go to work shortly.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Cleaner Hands

I was helping out with the fish today and one of the cleaning shrimps wouldn't come out of his bag. When I reached in to get him out he decided my hand needed cleaning. It was pretty cool I could actually feel him tuging on my skin.
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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Good News and Bad News

First the Good News Rosco Finally started his metamorphosis. That's right he got his back legs and is on the way to being a frog. Woo Hoo. It's a little hard to see in the pictures and I had a heck of a time getting a picture of him at all. We added some plants to his water so he would have something to eat while we were on vacation and the Duck weed kept getting in the way. The Duck weed is the little green flecks on the top of the water.

Now before I get to the bad news. Here is a shot of Kermit in his new habitat. He is sitting on the rock in the middle of the water.

Now of course for the BAD News.... Kermits habitat is leaking.... that is to say the water is leaking over into the land part of his home. All that hard work to give him land and water and I have to start over.

Here is a second shot of him in the water.... see the funny color of the water? That's because the water is leaching into the dirt and causing everything to have a brown tint. So Kermit is going to have to go back with Rosco and I will probably have to put something on the lid to weigh it down so he doesn't knock it off... he is a pretty strong jumper.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Small Wonders

Something wonderful happened today. At the pet store where I work a mamma guinea pig had 4 little babies and lucky me I've got pics to share. Sorry about the fuzziness I was trying hard not to disturb the new mamma.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A sleepy hamster

I'm not dead I just sleep that way
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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cute Pics From The Pet Shop

Here is some thing new for you to stop by for. Every now and while I'm working I see some really cute behavior from our pets that are waiting to go home. When I can I'm going to grab a shot to share with you. I hope you enjoy them. I caught these guys taking a nap.
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Monday, July 13, 2009

Pets and Vacations

We are planning on going on Vacation and the problem arises.....How to care for your pets when your not there.

Dogs and Cats have a very simple solution though kind of expensive. There are kennels and "pet motels" everywhere you go. You simple have to find one you think will care for your pet they way you want them cared for. I am choosing to go with the kennel at my vets. Simply because I have an extremely elderly cat and a dog with a gimpy hip. I know they will get the best care there. But what about the fish, frog, tadpole and turtle?

Fish aren't a big problem either. We have timers from past trips we can place on the lights and picked up some vacation fish food from Petco. It is pyramid shaped and will dissolve over the time we are gone to release food for the fish. If you want to go a little more high tech you can get a battery powered feeder that will drop food in every day.

The real problem is the exotic pets in my case the turtle, tadpole and frog. My solution was to talk to some of the experts and here are the solutions I've decided on. For Rex the Turtle we will be adding some live plants and some feeder fish to his tank since we have a canister filter we shouldn't have to worry about cleaning his tank. We will probably put in some of the small snails to give him something to dig around for too.

We took Kermit the Frog out and put him in his new habitat it's not as finished as I would have liked. I wanted to get some moss growing in there but haven't been successful yet so we added some "Frog Moss" I purchased at Petco to put on the land side until I get the moss to grow. There is enough room that I will be able to add several crickets for him and he will eat some of the fish food that will be released from the vacation food.

As for the Rocso the tad pole he will be a little tricky. You see his little tank wont support a battery operated vacation feeder and though he would eat the food in a vacation pyramid the water would quickly become filthy and he would suffocate. We have added some plants to his habitat. We have chosen Anicharis, which is a long plant that can be placed in the rocks to grow roots or left to float (which is important since the tadpole habitat has no rocks) and some duck weed which is also a floating plant. These will feed the tadpole and help keep the water a little cleaner.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Frog Update and a New water dish

Hey all sorry about the long time between updates my hubby is working on his Masters Degree and I don't get much blog time.

Rosco the tadpole is still a tadpole he doesn't even have back legs yet. I've been searching around to see if it is normal for a tadpole to take so long to change but I haven't really found anything except it can take up to 90 days (I think it has been longer then that.)

If you have been reading along you would remember my comments about my older cat Fitz. If not then I'll tell you. He have become very picky in his old age. Some of the pickyness has to do with his water dish.
He refused to drink from it unless it was completely full. I was becoming rather concerned about whether or not he was drinking enough. So we went out and bought this. It's the Drinkwell pet Fountain.
It provides continuious flowing filtered water for your pet. We opted for the Platinum version because it has a bigger water storage container and since Cricket would drain the old bowl in one sitting we figured it was a better choice.
I have to tell you I love this thing. Fitz sat there for several minutes drinking water I was very happy. As promised on the package it is very quiet the filter on the fish tank makes more noise. The water flow is adjustable which is great for making sure there is no splashing and there is enough water for days. Definately a winning product I wish I had bought it sooner.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Meet Kermit The Frog

Yes he's out of the water and hopping around. He still has a teeny tiny bit of tail leftbut other then that he's a frog. I

didn't take a picture of Rosco today because he hasn't changes any since his last photo.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Frog/Tadpole Update

Poor Rosco is still Legless
(those little things in the water around him is food not poop.)

Kermit now has front back and front legs all that is left is for him to absorb his tail and he will be a frog.
(sorry its kind of blurry I took 16 pictures of the tadpoles and this one was the best one of Kermit)

A Shot of Rosco and Kermit together