A Day in the Life of a Zookeeper

A Day in the Life of a Zookeeper
Ever wonder what its like to share your world with a bunch of crazy critters? Tune in to find out!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Temper Tantrums

I am chuckling at my sweet piggy and his newest thing - the temper tantrum.  It used to be when he was younger and smaller that he would stand with his front hooves on the sofa while you were munching on a snack and sometimes he would get a bite or two.  As he has gotten bigger he is a giant pain in the rump when it comes to food and we are working on making him wait politely for a bite.

His latest thing goes something like this:  he gets his front hooves on the sofa and gets told he has to get down.  He makes a ton of noise and puts his butt on the floor so in essence he is sitting but his feet are still on the sofa.  Then he gets told he has to get all the way down which is followed by more incredibly loud protests while he gets down.  Then he has to sit nicely for a nibble.  He is quite a comical piglet.... love that boy...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Cookie Bin

Yesterday I went on an very important mission - a trip to the pet store to replenish the cookie bin.  The pig and the dog go through lots of cookies and the bin was getting a bit bare.  I like to have a good variety in there so they get different things over the course of the day.  I also try to make all of them meat free since we are not trying to bulk up the piglet's weight.  The other thing I try to monitor is the percentage of protein - wow - some of them are 25 - 30% protein and that won't help when trying to control a little piglet's weight.  I try for 5% and under which is pretty hard to find.  I don't usually go over 10% as a rule.

Emma and Winston love it when we replenish the bin because they get a bit of a buffet as I let them sample the new cookies as I get them out of their packaging and into the bin.  There are a variety of sizes and flavors ranging from tiny little stars that are great for training - you can do 5 - 6 of those before you equal the size of a regular cookie - to sweet potato fries which are a big hit with both of them.  We adjust Winston's food intake accordingly so on days that he has an abundance of cookies he gets a little less in his dinner.  Emma never seems to budge in the weight department  - she has been 46 - 48 pounds for years.  I don't worry so much about her especially since she walks with us each day.

This run I got enough to fill up the bin (a plastic box with a lid that snaps shut) and have a few spare bags/boxes in reserve.  I would hate to see what happens if one lets the cookie bin get to empty....

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Too Much Togetherness???

Constant togetherness is fine - but only for Siamese Twins.... - Victoria Billings

We have been going through a bit of a naughty phase with Mr. Piglet here lately.  I think he just wants to test the boundaries and try to see how much he can get away with.  We are trying a new approach to how our days go and I have to admit it seems to be working.

It used to be that I would spend ALL day with him - heading downstairs around 7 am and heading up to bed sometime around 9 pm.  He would have constant companionship all day long and I think he got a bit spoiled.  In addition - the ferrets sometimes got short changed on the amount of time they got the humans for.

Last week I had to be in the office which is not the norm - and I found that he was much better behaved on the days that I was away.  Our interactions are much more positive for some reason.  So - I decided to change things up a bit.  I still feed him at 7 but I come back upstairs and hang with the ferrets and get ready for my work day.  Then I go back downstairs over the course of the morning depending on my meeting schedule.  When I go its specifically to interact with him so he gets my undivided attention.  It might be a short training session, a trip outside to go potty or maybe a grooming session where we clean out ears or file his hooves.  Rather than having me all day long with my attention being other places he gets very focused one on one time throughout the day and his behavior is much better.  In addition - I get little weasely visitors while I am working upstairs which I love.  Everyone seems pretty happy.

Emma splits her time - sometimes she hangs out downstairs with Winston and sometimes I bring her up with me.  Kitties are mostly downstairs - Ollie and Phoebe occasionally head upstairs but not all that often.

Now - don't worry about my boy - I promise he gets lots of love, attention, kisses, cuddles, etc.... but having less together time is making our interactions that much better.  I am happy with our new way of dividing our days....

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Ferret-y Snaps

I have a few ferret snaps that haven't been posted - thought I might share them for your viewing pleasure....

My handsome Theo

Madison sacked out in my craft room  - she has taken over a bag of stuffing....


Violet with Ollie in the background

Violet and Fiona

Miss Madison

Theo (left) and Kai

Wrestle mania - the tub is the best place for playtime

Crazy boys...

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Saturday Night

It's Saturday night and we are curled up in bed watching movies.  Its a bit rainy out so its the perfect night for it.  Winston has had his dinner, playtime with his ball, hugs and kisses and nighty cookies and has settled in to bed.  Emma has had her dinner and is snoozing on the bedroom floor. Most of the ferrets are up playing and munching on their dinner and Phoebe the kitty is sacked out on my pillow.

We went to dinner with friends and while we were gone Bash trapped himself in the bathtub with a shirt, a roll of toilet paper and a bath mat.  After figuring out that he couldn't get out he made himself a bed with the mat at the bottom, then the shirt and then a bunch of toilet paper.  He looked pretty comfy in there but woke up shortly after we went in the bathroom and was happy to see us and to get out of there.

Hopefully we will have a restful night and not have to get up too early in the morning.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Week in Review

Wowser - what a crazy, crazy week!!!  Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were just jam packed with work stuff.  Tuesday had 8 hours of back to back conference calls and Wednesday and Thursday I actually had to be in the office which is a rare occurrence. This meant lots less time with the critters than usual.  Add to that finishing taxes and the time it takes to do our walking each day and Kai being sick on Wednesday night made for an excessively stressful week that I am happy to see come to an end.

So - not sure what was up with Kai.  Ferrets very rarely throw up - for instance I had Clooney for 7 years and he did only one time ever.  I think since Kai had never had that happen before he scared himself and felt like he needed to hide.  He did a great job - going under the bathtub where you couldn't see him or get to him in any way.  I think he must have curled up and gone to sleep.  He was under there for a really long time. When he came out he was perfectly fine - thank goodness.  Needless to say - the door to under the tub has been sealed so no one can get under there again.  I am always shocked at the affirmation of how much you love one of your critters when you think they might be sick.  I am so relieved that my boy - and all of my sweet weasels - are doing well.

Mr Piglet had a tough week - lots of alone time.  He was very well behaved - not into any mischief while we were gone but he was quite the stinker once we got home.  He is still doing his tricks and playing with his treat ball.  Today I did a bit of an experiment where I spent time working both upstairs and downstairs which let me spend time with Winston and Emma and also with the ferrets.  It seemed to work pretty well and there didn't seem to be much complaining from anyone.  Might have to adopt this new way of dividing my days.

Emma had a rough week as well - multiple days of rain made her very unhappy and she spent a good amount of time under the bed.  Kitties - well...they are just as lazy and happy as always.  So long as they have food and a clean litter box they don't seem to care much if I am home during the day.

Tonight we are hanging out at home having a bit of downtime.  Winston is in bed, Emma is tuckered out from her walk.  Phoebe and Ollie and hanging out upstairs and Zoey and Aggie are downstairs.  Ferrets are playing.  All in all a much needed quiet evening.  There are no formal plans on the docket for the weekend so I hope we can make up for some lost time with my sweet critters....

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Gold Star

Winston gets a gold star for today!  I had to be in the office for a LONG time today which is unusual.  This meant that Mr Piglet was going to be home unsupervised for a long time and that his dinner would be late.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I got home but I am happy to report that he was a perfect angel today - he didn't get into anything that he shouldn't have.  Even more impressive was that he was truly by himself all day because Emma was upstairs hiding under the bed because of the rain.  His dinner was about an hour and a half late and he had very few cookies before I left so the fact that he didn't get into garbage or anything else is impressive.  He also decided to wait to go potty til I got home rather than using the box so there was no scooping required.

Now - in the spirit of full disclosure - he has been a bit of a stinker since I got home.  He has made it perfectly clear that he is not happy about the events of the day.  He is frustrated and keyed up so I will be spending some one on one time with him before bed giving him plenty of attention and play time....

All in all - quite pleased with how things went today...