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!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Crummy Critter Day

Yesterday was just a crummy critter day.  I don't have many of them thankfully and they stink when they happen.

Winston continues to limp on his front foot - although I can say that as I type this - I just let him out and he was showing marked improvement this morning.  I hate it when any of my fur children aren't feeling 100%.

Emma managed to get stung/bit in the mouth by something while she was outside.  We had a couple of hours of worry where she was not feeling great but today she is back to normal.  She had a Benedryl last night to help with the swelling that was left and today you would never even know it happened.  Geez...

And lastly - my sweet Harlow girl.  She scared the crap out of me yesterday.  Around 4:30 I went to go and wake her for her feeding.  She ate just fine but when I put her down her back legs were not working.  She has been experiencing some back leg weakness over the last month - its a symptom of her disease.  It has changed her gate a little bit but she has been perfectly mobile and quite active.  I promised myself that at the slightest hint of decreased quality of life we would make the difficult decision and do what was necessary to prevent her from suffering.  After many many tears last night and a quick trip to the craft store to get the supplies necessary to make a paw print (the company that does after care has quit offering this service) - we returned home to find her a bit wobbly but significantly improved.  Thank goodness!!  Over the course of the night she got even better and this morning she is feeling kinda frisky and has been pretty mobile going from our room down the hall into my closet, into two purses, through the hanging items that are long enough to touch the ground and into her pirate hat bed.  So - I think we are out of the woods for the time being.  I am afraid her time with us may be short so I intend to soak it up as much as possible.  She will spend the day with her ferret and kitty siblings today and I will keep a very close eye on her.  She seems to be feeling quite good so I hope whatever remaining time she has left is full of ferret happiness and joy.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Updates From the Zoo

It looks like once a week is all I can fit in these days for blogging.  I will be glad when I am back to a normal routine!

Things here are incredibly busy but going very well.  Critters are happy and for the most part healthy. Here are some quick updates....

Emma is doing just fantastic - she loves running and playing in the yard and is getting used to the new house with its new smells and such.  Her health seems just fantastic.  It's about time to order her another Soresto  flea collar - be proud - I just went on Amazon and ordered.  Finding if I don't do something when I think about it - its gone out of my brain.....

Winston is doing great - still limping a bit on the front cracked hoof - the back seems to be much better - the crack is growing back together and he doesn't seem bothered by it.  The front one is getting better as well but it's one of those things that takes time.  Winston really seems to love it here and some of his undesirable pig behaviors like head swiping, trying to show dominance and being destructive out of boredom have all gone away.  He is just a happy piglet that wears himself out playing outside each day.  I am so happy for him (and for us).  Here is one of him begging for a cookie - look at that dirty face....

The kitties are all doing well.  They seem to be adjusting to their new space.  Even Aggie - my hater of all things change has started to explore and find new snoozing spots.  Health wise they all seem to be doing great - good appetites and healthy coats and happy active kitties. For some reason I didn't snap any pics of my Zoey girl - I will get her the next time I have the camera out....




Ollie and Phoebe
The ferrets - that little bunch of weasels - they are something else.  They seem to be doing so well - I am really happy with how they have made this transition.  They are active and playful and curious.  Their health seems to be amazing.  They seem to be closer than ever as a family which I am loving.  All in all I am pleased as punch (what a dorky saying that is).  Here are some ferrety snaps for your viewing pleasure:

Harlow and Theo - those two are very close and Theo is Harlow's protector

Harlow, Theo and Fiona who I woke while taking pictures.  They are sleeping in an empty box - who needs beds and blankets anyway???

Bash, Kai and Tabby behind the bathroom door

Madison snug as a bug in her favorite spot - the cat carrier

Last but not least - Miss Violet sacked out in the ferret tunnel
And last - an update on Harlow.  Her weight has pretty much been in a free fall - from close to 700 grams down to the 540s.  I have been feeding her every two hours to ensure she has good nutrition and hydration.  I had quit weighing her every day because it was just too stressful and depressing but I popped her on the scale yesterday and she was 558 which makes me cautiously optimistic that we might be on an upswing.  This is what happened last time so fingers crossed we will continue to climb. The good news is that through all of this she hasn't been "sick".  She is active and curious and happy to be with her siblings and I honestly don't think she feels bad.  She definitely doesn't have the stamina of the other ferrets but interestingly enough they seem to know that and are very gentle with her.  I think her quality of life its still quite good - most days are 8 or 9 on a scale of 10 and even when she feels cruddy it seems to only be for a short period - a few hours - and then she seems to bounce back.  It's a lot of work but I do love taking care of her and I hope I get to continue for a good long while.

So - that's it for this week from the zoo....Happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Latest and Greatest

It's been a bit since I posted - things here have been so busy with trying to get out of the old house and into the new one.  Life on the farm is great but moving really stinks!!

All in all things here from a critter perspective are good.  Everyone seems to be adjusting to their new surroundings.

Winston is struggling a bit with his feet.  His back hoof is better but now one of his front feet is sore.  It's going to take a bit of time for him to adjust to all the hard surfaces but the good news is that once he is in the grass or dirt it doesn't seem to hurt him one bit.  He is loving playing outside, rooting, exploring, etc.

I think Emma really loves it here.  She wears herself out every day running around the yard.  She is a funny dog though - she doesn't want to stay outside unless the humans are out there and even then sometimes she prefers to be inside.  She is a much better behaved dog for sure and I am so glad she finally got her farm to run and play on...she still, however, hates getting her picture taken.

The kitties are doing well - they seem to be adjusting and they seem to like their new area.  The cats and the ferrets have their room - the critter room we call it and they also have access to the hallway and to my office/craft room and bathroom.  That's it for them though - they do not have free run of the entire house.  Having them sequestered to one area has made cleanup and locating them each day much easier and the square footage they have access to is very similar to what they had at the old house.  It will be so nice once I get their room set up and decorated.  I will post pics when I am done.

Anyway - here are a few snaps of the kitties:

Oliver - Mr Mischief - photo bombing while I try to take pics of the ferrets

Zoey who has claimed the ledge behind the tub in the critter bathroom - in the morning and  evening she lays on the cushion but during the heat of the day I guess the cool tile feels better

Miss Aggie - hanging out under the chair in the critter room - she didn't like that we had to use the dreaded vacuum cleaner prior to taking this picture

Cutie patootie Phoebe
The ferrets seem to be doing fantastic - they are active and bright and full of energy.  They seem to like their space and don't seem to feel the pressing need to get out into other parts of the house.

Fiona and Tabitha sleeping on their pad behind the bathroom door - its a favorite spot

Kai, Violet, Harlow and Theo
 And last but not least - an update on Harlow.  For those of you who just joined - she is my 13 month old baby girl ferret who was diagnosed with an auto immune disease called systemic coronavirus in May of this year.  Harlow's weight really stinks right now - but - interestingly enough her energy levels, playfulness and curiosity levels are at an all time high.  I am feeding her every few hours in an effort to get the weight back up.  When we moved to the new house we made the decision to put her back in with her brothers and sisters and she LOVES it.  She doesn't have the same amount of stamina as the other ferrets but she is so happy.  She has been in with them for almost three weeks and it is doing her emotional health a world of good.  Here are a few pics:

Snoozing with Kai, Theo and Violet

Theo and Harlow - he is her protector - he keeps a watchful eye on her 

Harlow and a very sleepy Violet

Other than Harlow's weight - I am tickled pink with how our little zoo is doing.  Once the move is over and we are more settled in we will get back to a regular cadence of posting....

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Whole New World

It has been ages since I wrote a blog post but I promise - its for a very good reason.  I can now share that our little zoo has relocated - to a FARM!!!  We are so thrilled that we were able to find and purchase a new home on a large amount of acreage.

The last 2 weeks have been filled with packing, moving, having parties and getting the gang situated in their new location.

Emma and Winston absolutely love it here - they have a very large fenced yard where they can run and play to their hearts content and they both wear themselves out every day - its fabulous.  The only challenge we have had so far is that Winston is limping due to a cracked hoof.  This happens to pigs sometimes when they go from walking on mainly soft surfaces like carpet to mainly hard surfaces like tile or the new patio.  We have gotten him some medication and he seems to be improving.

The kitties and the ferrets have a new area of the house.  They have their own room - a large second master bedroom that has great storage for pet supplies and a bathroom which is handy for filling up water bowls, bathing and having the little boxes.  They also have access to the hallway and the room that will be my office/craft room.  It's nice that this house allows us to keep them separated from the pig with no gates - just doors.  The ferrets seem very happy here and are adjusting quite well.  Harlow is still struggling in the weight department but is loving being back with her siblings and is quite happy. Her quality of life is very good and I keep feeding her in the hopes we can get her weight back up.

Oliver and Phoebe have adjusted quicker than Aggie and Zoey when it comes to the kitties.  They are happy to explore and check out new things.  Aggie and Zoey are a bit more cautious.  All in all though - they all seem to be doing quite well and are getting more and more used to their new spots.

We have no furniture in the house yet - that happens in a couple of weeks - lots of packing and cleaning left to do at the old house.  Lots of unpacking and putting away left to do here at the new house but such exciting times!

Stay tuned for pictures and new adventures!