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, April 29, 2017

Saturday Follies

Our Saturday started off way earlier than I would have liked.  Remember when I said crate training was going well?  Last night not so much.  Juliett seems fine with being crated - she settles in, sprawls out on her bed and goes to sleep - never making a peep.  Charli complains at first and settles after a few minutes.  Tango is a large pain in the rump.  He complained at the start and settled in - then at 2 am he starting crying, barking, whining.  This got Charli all wound up so she started in as well. Between the two of them someone was making some sort of annoying noise for the rest of the morning.  At 5:45 I gave up and let them out of their crates and booted them outside.

Little critters are all doing great - as is Piggers.  Weather was amazing today so there was lots of outside time.  This afternoon we let the pups and the pig play in the meadow - they ran about a hundred miles.  I am hoping they were more active today so they will be tired tonight.

Right now the pups are all outside hanging out in the warm weather.  Pig has had his tick check - we call it checking for bugs and its a part of his nightly routine.  No ticks to report tonight.  He is in his bed and will get up for a chewie when I get the pups settled for the night.  I am about to head down to critterland to take care of the ferrets and the kitties.  They are all doing quite well.  Violet seems just great - other ferrets are wild and crazy!  Kitties are feeling good as well.

It was a nice Saturday.  Tomorrow we will have people over for lunch which will be fun for the pups. In the meantime - keep your fingers crossed for us that the pups have a good night tonight....

Friday, April 28, 2017

Crate Training....

Let the crate training begin.  While for the most part we are incredibly lucky with 3 good puppies, it was apparent that the time had come that we needed to take back a bit of control of our household. Three pups means three personalities, three schedules and three distinct set of preferences.  As a result we were dealing with multiple potty schedules, middle of the night wake up calls, fighting for space on the bed, etc.  So - after conferring with a friend who crates her fur boys at night, I decided it might be the solution for us.  Pups will only be crated at night - bedtime has been set at 9 pm (may change as they get a bit older and mellow out some) or if we are going to be gone for an extended period of time.  Otherwise they will still have free reign of the backyard and the rest of the house when supervised.

I hopped on down to the pet store yesterday and found these lovely soft sided crates:

It's the Nature'e Miracle Port-a-Crate dog crate.  These fold up flat for storage or transport and are a snap to put together.  The top opens, as does the flap in the front and the panel on the side.  The pups had already been using dog beds so I stuck one in each and they fit great!  In a pinch we could also use one of these for Emma (I didn't get her one - I figure after 14 years she likely won't want to start sleeping in one) and we could use one for Winston if we needed to evacuate our property or get him to an emergency vet or something.  It will be nice when we travel for them to have their own beds for hotel stays or visiting someone's house.  It will also be nice to confine one if them if they are sick or injured and to have the option to take their crate with them to the vet for boarding or if they have to stay overnight for some reason.

Last night was our first go at crating the dogs.  These pups are so cautious and afraid of new things that when I set them up in the bedroom the dogs wouldn't even  go near them - they all jumped on the bed wondering what those large red boxes were.  I tossed some treats in each one and they proceeded to watch Emma who wasn't scared at all get all the goodies.  Finally Tango got brave and then Charli and at last, Juliett.  9 pm rolled around and in they went - with a bit of assistance from mom.  Tango was not pleased and made his opinion known (he is by far the most vocal of the pups).  Charli wasn't all that thrilled either.  Juliett laid down on her bed and went to sleep - not one peep out of her.

They all settled in after a few minutes.  When the hubs came to bed they got stirred up again but then settled back down.  All in all it was a pretty peaceful night.  It was nice to not have them scratching at the door at all hours, playing with noisy toys, etc.  This morning when we got up at 7 I opened their crates.  Tango and Charli hopped right out and went outside to go potty.  Juliett lounged in her crate for almost 45 minutes before she got up to go outside.

During the day today they were inside for a bit but not much.  They did not choose to nap in their crates but they also didn't avoid them either.  Tonight when 9 pm rolled around Tango reluctantly went in when told.  Charli was like a cat when you try to put it in a carrier - legs everywhere - she was not happy about it.  She fussed for a minute and then settled nicely.  Juliett did not want to go in but once in there she sprawled out on her bed and went right to sleep.  I think she likes it in there.

All in all I am pretty happy with the way things are going.  Thanks Auntie Cher for the great suggestion.  I will keep you posted on progress and I will try to get some pics of them in their crates in the next few days.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

In General

Things have been crazy around here - nothing earth shattering, nothing bad - just life and its endless list of tasks and such.

All in all the gang is doing just great - everyone seems quite happy and healthy and thriving.  We had a long (3 day) stretch of inclement weather over the weekend and the early part of the week.  It presents such challenges for a pig and 3 pups who prefer to be outside all day long.  Trying to keep them engaged and entertained while stuck indoors does present quite a challenge.  Needles to say when the rain rolled out mid day on Tuesday everyone was very excited to be outdoors.

I am working on impulse control exercises with the puppies - its hit or miss at this point.  When/if I see any progress I will share what we are doing.

Winston was quite cute the other night.  The pig is a VERY big fan of pizza and we ordered for delivery.  I had him out in the living room with us to give him some one on one time and get him out of his room for a bit when the doorbell rang.  He followed me to the door and once he smelled the pizza he proceeded to run through his entire bag of tricks in an effort to get the pizza guy to share. Pizza guy thought he was pretty darn cute.  I gave him a bite and sent him back to his room so we could eat in peace.

Ferrets and kitties are doing just great - I have been working in their room trying to get spring cleaning done - its slow going.

Lots of outdoor critter viewing the last few days: deer, turkeys, turkey vultures, hawks, owls, bats, amazing volumes of birds, possums, squirrels.  I love that we get to see all of them in their natural environment.

All in all we are pretty status quo around here which is great!  I will take status quo with no excitement any day.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Ferret Snaps

I got a few ferrety snaps today when I was down in critter land doing chores.  I think I got at least one of everyone.  The ferret gang is doing great - active, happy and healthy.  Violet continues to do well - we go for her glucose check on 5/11:



Tabby and Madison




Fiona, Theo and Madison


Funny - Theo is tucked in one shot - usually he is front and center for picture taking - I must have caught him at nap time.  He is fine though - I have had hands on him a couple of times today - sweet boy....

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Lazy Rainy Days

Image result for lazy rainy day

It's cloudy and rainy here and as a result we have a long list of lazy critters today.  Add to the list that the yard folks were here earlier which meant Winston and the pups had to be inside - its been a snoozy kind of day.

As I type I think everyone in critterland (kitties and ferrets) are sacked out.  I went down there to get something off the printer and no one moved.  The puppies are napping - Tango and Charli on dog beds in the living room, Juliett on the couch and Emma on the bed.  Winston is actually outside at the moment - he isrooting in the bushes having a grand time because its muddy - oh joy.

Kitties and ferrets are all doing well but are not very active when the weather is like this - can't say that I blame them.

As for Tango's bump - I think it might be a bit smaller actually.  Certainly not growing any and still soft, normal color, no red, no oozing - its all good.  Hopefully tomorrow will be a better and more motivational weather day where the dogs and the pig can get outside and use up some energy.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter!!

It's 9:30 here and we are just wrapping up our holiday with giving the fur children their Easter goodies.  It has been a busy day for the humans - hosting a brunch.  The puppies had fun playing with their cousin, Emma was quite participatory in the doggie shenanigans as well.  Winston spent some time napping in his room and then got to go out front and root for 30 minutes or so - he needed a breather from indoors to go potty and get some fresh air.  Once all our guests and visiting pups had gone he spent the evening in the back yard.  The little critters spent their day having the run of the outside play space as the weather was lovely here.

For Easter goodies our little gang got the following:

Winston -  peanut butter "cookie"dog treat, stuffed Peeps toy and lots of fresh fruit and veges from our brunch prep work as we were cooking.

Puppies and Emma - peanut butter "cookie", Peeps dog toy and each of them got a spikey dog ball - as I type this Tango is racing through the house carrying around the tube that the dog toys came in - he thinks the package is more fun than the toy.

Kitties and Ferrets - Treats and new treat dispenser - that seemed to be the big hit.  It's like a weeble wobble with a hole in the side - filled with kitty treats - as they knock it over some of the goodness spills out.  It also has holes out the top that you can put these rope treats - they look a bit like orange licorice - and the kitty or ferret can drag the toy to make the treats fall out.  Didn't take Theo long to figure out that those ropes were treats....  They also got a grocery bag full of small toys - mice and other cat toys.  Ferrets love toys they can hoard.  I have also found that they love grocery bags,  I poke holes - three - across the bottom of the bag so there is no chance they can get tangled up in there and have issues getting air.  They love to take things out of bags.

Easter pics for your viewing pleasure:

Juliett with ears

Charli with ears

Tango with ears

Emma with ears

Winston with ears

Peep dog toys 
Peanut butter 'cookies'






Kitty and Ferret goodies

Phoebe (kitty), Theo, Fiona and Violet

Tabby, Madison, Violet and Bash

Theo, Fiona, Bash, Violet and Madison

Phoebe, Kai and Ollie

Theo hoarding toys into the closet

Fiona, Theo, Violet, Phoebe and Ollie

Ollie, Tabby, Madison, Fiona and Kai

Saturday, April 15, 2017

General Updates

Well first of all - April the Giraffe had her baby finally and (s)he was so worth the wait.  If you haven't been following or you haven't checked out the new baby you should definitely take a peek! Thank goodness for mobile technology.  I got to see the birth when it happened and I have kept tabs on mom and baby while standing in line at Costco, the bakery and the grocery store.

As for my critters - everyone is doing just great.  Pups and pig spent the morning outside soaking up the gorgeous sunshine.  The puppies are active and happy and they have worn themselves out and are now snoozing in various parts of the living room.  Winston has gone in his room to take a nap in his fabulous paper bed.  Emma is snoozing on our bed - the canine/porcine part of the zoo seems pretty content.  There is only one thing that has me a bit worried.  I think Tango has developed a hernia at his incision site where he was neutered.  It's small - maybe the size of a jelly bean.  It's not hard, warm or leaking any kind of fluid - its just a little bulge.  It does not bother him at all and it is relatively new as it was not there on Wednesday when he got groomed.  I noticed it this morning.  I will be keeping a close eye on it - I will call the vet on Monday morning if it stays like it is - if for some reason it changes (gets bigger, gets harder or appears to be infected) I will take him to the emergency vet.  I am hoping its not a huge deal and really hoping it doesn't mean another surgery....

Down in critter land - kitties and ferrets are all doing great.  The door to the outside playspace is wide open and there has been a steady stream in and out this morning.  Violet and the kitties have had their meds and all is well at that end of the house.

Tomorrow is Easter and I am putting finishing touches on the critter Easter baskets.  The pups will get a treat and a couple of new toys, the pig will get a treat and a serving of fruit salad and the kitties and ferrets will get a combo basket full of toys that they can share.  They will also get treats - ferrets will get ferretone and chew sticks and kitties will get cat treats.  We are hosting an Easter brunch so I better quit typing and start prepping.....

Here are a few more pup pics from my phone - I will work on little critter snaps this week:

Spring has sprung for sure - lots of blooms






Juliett likes to sleep in the bushes

Tango and Charli prefer sleeping on the patio

Emma is the smart one - she naps on our bed

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Baths and Puppy Cuts

The puppies had their first groomings today.  I called the mobile groomer and wow - I will never go back to taking them in for grooming.  Having it done in your driveway is awesome.

I was quite impressed with how it went - the dogs were all very well behaved and cooperative.  I was worried that since they are scared of new things that this would be traumatic for them.  I don't think it was that bad.

Here are a few pictures I snapped - Charli went first:

Checking out the groomer - she liked him

Getting shaved

In the tub

Not loving the blow dryer

Not so bad once you get used to it
Juliett was next - I was worried about her - she is a tiny bit neurotic - don't tell her I said that:

Getting shaved

Being so good!

In the tub

Getting dried - really surprised she let him use the dryer - I thought for sure she would be scared

 Tango's turn - he was good but didn't love the experience and was very vocal about it.  Girls didn't make a peep but Tango complained the whole time.....

Getting shaved
Silly expression

In the tub

Getting blown dry

All finished - Tango

All finished - Charli furthest from the camera and Juliett