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, 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....

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