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!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Month in Review

January just flew by - holy moly!

It's been a very busy month both for critters and for humans.  All in all - it has been a pretty good month I will say.

Health Updates:

Violet continues to thrive.  Her glucose number was lower - 56 at her latest check which is not great. The vet made an adjustment to her prednisone so we will see how she is doing on 2/13.  I can say with pretty great certainty that she feels fantastic.  She is very active and happy - I am pleased with how she is doing and she is quite the trooper about taking her meds.

The puppies saw the vet this month as well - they got their last set of puppy shots and their first rabies vaccination.  They are very healthy pups - growing like weeds and doing great.  Its amazing how much they have changed over the last month.

Oliver is on a high calorie supplement to try to pack some pounds on him.  His appetite is great but with his thyroid condition keeping the weight on is tricky.  Oh to have this problem....

Winston is doing well - he is so great about maintenance.... today he let me trim his hooves with fingernail clippers.  I filed a bit on his back hooves but his dew claws were long - so he let me snip them off.  He is so good about that stuff.  I am lucky - there are many folks who have piggies who require sedation to get ears cleaned, hooves done, etc.  I have also been handling his tusks every day - scraping, pulling, wiggling.... I am waiting for the gigli wire to arrive and we will see if he will let me trim them - I think yes - it may take some time but we will get there I think....

We celebrated birthdays (Violet & Theo), we played in the snow (puppy's first snow), we tried to make some progress on leash training - that is slow going and we fought through some allergies - which is just a funky thing to say in January.

In general - the kitties are doing well.  I will continue to work on putting some weight on Oliver - perhaps some weight gain wet food for him.  The ferrets are just great - they are happy and active and they seem to be engaged and playful.  Emma continues to enjoy having puppies in her world - she is incredibly active these days.

I am pleased with the current state of the zoo.  Here is to a happy and healthy February....

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Critter Pics

Here are the totally random pics from my phone in no particular order:



Theo and Bash snoozing behind the chair - they must have been tired from hoarding their toys back there


Giving me stank eye for waking her up



Bash with Kai in the background


Bash and Kai
Theo and Violet


Such a handsome boy 
Theo and Juliett think he is scary

I don't care about puppies - just give me cookies

Tabby checking herself out in the mirror - a girl's gotta look good!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Week In Review

It was a busy critter week - a busy human week - all around there was too much on the plate this week - that seems to be how it works sometimes.

Bright and early on Monday morning I pulled Violet out of critter land to fast her before her blood work.  She gets to go in the guest room while she waits and she loves that.  I usually find her curled up under the fluffy comforter on the bed snoozing away.  Her number wasn't all that great this time - 56 down from 63 last time.  The vet made some adjustments to her meds and we return for another check on 2/13.  You can read more details and see the pics here if you missed it.

Image result for leash clipartTraining:  We have been doing two types of training this week.  First I have been trying to get the puppies used to their leashes - OMG they hate having them on!  We are in early stages - they are learning to sit and be still while I hook their leash to their collar and they are learning that they can't go wherever they want when it is on.  That is going well.  The resistance happens when you try to get them to go anywhere with you.  They freak out if you pull on them,  I read somewhere that collies are difficult to leash train as they hate things around their necks - I can confirm this is a true statement.

We have also been working on target training with the piglet.  It's where you put down a rug and tell the pig to target and he goes and stands on the rug.  Eventually you train him to stay on the target but first things first.  It took him about 4 bites of cookie to understand what I wanted - pigs are freakishly smart.  Now we are battling against the fact that he knows what to do - he just doesn't want to.  Pigs are freakishly stubborn as well - you know.... stubborn as a boar - pig headed - they are a true representation of my boy.  We will keep plugging away.

First encounters: So - I cleaned Winston's room on Thursday and opened one of his doors to mop.  I forgot to close it and when I let him in he had access to our room and to the puppies.  Yikes!  It was the first time they had been in the same room together.  I wasn't present for the encounter but I came running when I heard a yelp.  I think what happened was that Charli came to say hello in her exuberant way.  She is overly friendly with Emma at times.  Guessing that Winston wasn't nearly as patient with Charli as Emma is.  She had a big slobber mark on her side.  I think when she yelped because he scared her - she in turn scared him.  When I made it to the bedroom the puppies were cowering on one side of the bed and the pig was on the other.  Thankfully no pigs or dogs were hurt in this accidental encounter.  The cup half full news is that I let Winston stay in the room for a few more minutes with me present and he had absolutely no interest in the puppies at all.  I was afraid he was going to be aggressive with them to show dominance but I think it might be more of the case of them leaving him alone and him doing the same for them.  Eventually I think they will all be able to share the back yard - never unattended of course.

The last big happening this week was a vet visit for the puppies.  They got their last round of shots, got checked over by the vet and had a fecal sample taken (not their favorite thing FYI).  I am happy to report that they are in fantastic health.  They are growing and I am not kidding - Tango is 36 pounds, Charli is 31 pounds and Juliett is 29 pounds.  Wowser!  I will schedule them for their spays and neuter late February/early March and then we will be set - they can go on a regular annual routine.  Here are some vet visit pics:

In the car at 7 am


Charli having a hissy - she barked during her whole exam - little stinker


Juliett - she was a perfect girl - very well behaved

giving me stank eye - Juliett


Tango - none of him on the table but he was pretty well behaved  

In the car - ready to go home - they have not mastered the art of the selfie
I can confirm with a fair amount of certainty that Charli gets car sick.  She has thrown up on every car trip so far.  Thankfully I got these great covers for the back seat, the cargo area and the door panels - they are waterproof, tear resistant, etc.  There is not much they can do to the car that can't be wiped up on those bad boys.

Once we got home the pups were pretty mellow for the rest of the day - not feeling 100% after their shots.  Even Emma decided it was a good time for a nap:

Juliett sleeping on the bed - she is the only one who has figured out how to get up by herself




I think that about covers our crazy week.  Tune in tomorrow for some pics of the little guys....

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Leash Training for the Puppies

Today we officially started leash training for the puppies!  They are used to their collars - I put them on the first day we got them.  They are used to their leashes as they have been in the toy box from day one as well.  They often get them out to play with them.  Today I hooked their leash to their collars. They have been roaming around with them on - playing with them, leading each other around.  I have done very short stints inside - getting them to walk with me.  Tango and Charli have done fairly well.  Juliett hates it and tries to pull.  Later this afternoon after the piglet comes in from his outside play time I will attempt to go outside with the leashes on....wish me luck....  :)

Emma does great on a leash so I have been hooking her up and having her show off her skills to the babies - they are not sure what to make of it.....

I will keep you posted on progress:

Monday, January 23, 2017

Violet's Trip to the Vet

Miss Vi had to go see the vet techs this morning for another glucose test.  Unfortunately her number was down - 56 this time vs 63 last.  Buggers!!  So - since she is still doing very well - energetic, good appetite, maintaining weight, etc. the vet made an adjustment to her dosage of Prednisone.

There are several treatment options available on this journey - increasing the prednisone, adding a second medication to the mix and also a surgical option.  We are still pretty early in this whole thing and since she is doing so well it gives us the luxury of going slow to find the right mix of things for her body.  She goes back on the 13th of February for another quick check.

I did get some cute snaps of my sweet girl while we were there....

Hanging out...

Foot poke

Investigating the room

I love this one! 

Back in her carrier and ready to go home...

Saturday, January 21, 2017

A Foggy Walk

Every day I try to take Emma and the puppies for a walk to burn off some energy.  We usually go 2 times a day - in the morning and the evening.

Today they only got one walk - about mid day.  They got to see Winston through the fence and then we went exploring through the fog.  I love that Emma is so much more active with the babies around - she runs and runs and they chase her.  I think she loves having them around.

Here are a few snaps from our jaunt:




Playing on the mulch pile





Juliett - action shot


And....they're off