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, June 22, 2017

Funky Bug

I have a soft spot for bugs - well most bugs - not really ticks or ants - but everyone else gets a pass.  I am not a squisher - I will scoop them up in a cup or on a piece of paper and take them outside.  I like to rescue them from the pool - they are my friends for the most part.

This morning I was on my way to get a tea and I stopped at the mailbox - there was the most curious bug on the door....  It looked like a head of cauliflower.  I googled and after a bit of the process of elimination I am pretty sure that this was the larvae of a lacewing.  If I am right its a good thing because lacewings eat lots of other bugs - up to 200 soft bodied bugs each day - go on with your bad self!!

Here is the professional headshot of a lacewing larvae:

And the not nearly so exciting pictures of the little guy on my mailbox:

I would be happy if there were lots of these guys around because this summer has been very buggy so far!!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Pet Peeves

I haven't done an installment of Pet Peeves lately....  for the most part I adore those furry children I share my life with but sometimes they do make me a bit nutty.

  • Must the puppies poop on the patio?  They have 3/4 of an acre of grass....more poop to clean up - fun times.
  • Why does Emma have to unmake the bed every.single.day all the way down to the mattress?  The mattress pad, sheets, blanket, comforter and pillows all have to be wadded up in the middle of the bed.  I don't like making the bed once a week, let alone every day!
  • Oliver - must your love bites pierce the skin?  What happened to soft nibbles?  Crazy cat....
  • Speaking of cats - must they wail at the top of their lungs at every meal as if they haven't ever been fed, ever in their lifetimes?
  • Oh little ferrets....must we check to see if there truly 150 Kleenex's in the box by taking out each and every one??
  • Winston has decided one chewie before bed is not enough so he throws a temper tantrum at his bedroom door.  He has been sent to his bed in trouble for the last three nights - little pink turd...
Oh critters - I do love you!!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Latest and Greatest

So - there is not really much to report from our little zoo - and that's a good thing.  I am perfectly content with status quo because it means that everyone is doing well.

Puppies are great - they have had indoor time this week because it's been HOT and humid with a ridiculous heat index.  Not much swimming this week as it's a two person operation and the hubs was on business travel.  I think they are getting over their destructive phase - thank goodness.  And, I think they are liking their crates more and more - Juliett napped in hers today voluntarily.  Emma is doing just great as well - she always has indoor time - that dog hates outside.

Kitties are all doing well - they have such a cushy life I tell you.  They are sprawled out on comfy beds or sunning themselves in the outdoor playspace - must be rough....

The little weasels - they are all just fantastic.  Violet continues to thrive on her meds.  The rest of the gang are all active and doing just great.  I love that furry bunch of energy!

Winston wasn't too thrilled with me yesterday - his bed was to the point that I had to clean it out which meant his precious paper got thrown in the garbage.  He was outside, none the wiser.  He came in and had a cookie and then went to visit his bed.  I was in the laundry room folding clothes and he came back my way to give me some stank eye.  Lucky for me a new piece of packing paper came in an Amazon box today so I am forgiven.  Don't tell - but I ordered him a giant roll of paper for his birthday - and a new tent - spoiled piglet!

Like I said - not much to report here.  Looks like the next few days will be quite warm as well - I will have to get creative on how to keep the pups and the piggy entertained.  Wish me luck....

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Week in Review

Whew - this was a crazy week!  Lots going on for the humans and actually lots going on for the critters as well.

Winston had his annual vet visit which, although it was quite stressful, resulted in a healthy, vaccinated, short hooved and short tusked piglet.  I am so glad he is so healthy and that the appointment only happens once a year.  Thankfully he recovered from the anesthesia quickly and by Wednesday evening he was back to his normal self.  He did try to push his boundaries yesterday - its a pig thing to challenge for dominance and every so often Winston tests those waters.  It's easily correctable with a technique called Move the Pig (MTP).  Once he challenged by head swiping he was sent to his bed.  I forcibly march him down his hallway and put him in his bed.  He usually pouts in there for about 5 - 10 minutes and then comes out a piggy with an improved attitude.  Winston got  a goody box

Violet is a little rockstar - 92 for a glucose count.  That's a fantastic number for an insulinoma ferret. She continues to thrive as an active and happy little weasel.  Her weasel siblings are also doing just great!  Everyone is very active and engaged and I am quite pleased with how my little business of ferrets is doing.

The kitties are all three doing well.  They are enjoying the outdoor space - sunning themselves in the afternoons and watching the bugs and birds.  They quite the lazy lives and this past week has been no exception.

The dog pack - they are going strong.  It was interesting to watch the puppies while the vet was here for the pig.  Winston squealed loudly while he was having his exam.  The puppies did not like that and were aggressively trying to get to the source of whatever was making their 'brother' so unhappy. Even though they are still deathly afraid of the pig it was nice they wanted to protect him.  They have spent lots of time outside this week and have enjoyed some new treats and some new toys.

All in all this was a great week for the critters.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Winston's Vet Visit

Today was the day - Winston's annual vet visit.  Thankfully our awesome vet offers house calls so we don't have to try to transport the pig anywhere.

The appointment is a bit stressful for everyone involved I think - they do things to Winston that he doesn't like, he is uncooperative so I am sure it's stressful for the vet and his team and then there is me - the pig mom - it's really stressful for me.  Today it went something like this....  try to corner the pig in the living room so the vet could grab him and put the anesthesia in his snout.  I learned today that you need the assistance of gravity as it's not an aerosolized medication - so they tip him back and squirt the meds in his nostrils.  Let's just say he's not a fan.  The loud screeching and the snorting of the meds were fairly good indicators of that.

Once that was over he wandered a bit - he looked like a drunken pig staggering around so we knew it was time to get started.  We got him on his side and then on his back which totally stressed him out.  I sat next to him and talked to him the whole time.  Once I gave him some loves and reassured him that he was okay he settled a bit.

There is a lot that happens during these appointments - multiple vaccinations, physical exam, blood draw, hoof trim and tusk trim.  Although he was noisy at times, he was fairly well behaved and we got through all of that fairly efficiently.  We let him up and gave him some cookies.  He was ready to get away from it all and headed for his room which was perfect.  He went down for a nap and slept off the cobwebs.  I went in with him and he wanted snuggles - I took a couple of conference calls from the laundry room floor with 95ish pounds of love on me.

I think when he got the meds in his nose he got some down his throat or into his lungs - he had several coughing fits over the course of the couple of hours after his appointment.  He seems fine now - its been about 5 hours since the last one.  He has been up and around, has eaten his dinner and has been outside a couple of times.  I think he is good to go.

I got an email a bit ago from the vet saying that his bloodwork looked fantastic - nothing outta whack at all.  All in all he is a super healthy piggy - no trace of the heart murmur he had when he was a piglet and no issues to be concerned about.  I will take it!!

Moving on to less stressful topics - presents!!  Winston got his Summer Buddy gift box today!  He was very spoiled.  We were paired up with a sweet and handsome piggy named Ziggie who lives in Florida.

Winston got lots of great things in his goody box and it was perfect timing - a great prize for dealing with the vet stuff:

Opening his card

YUM!  Mangos

A new toy to play with!

A new puzzle 

Ziggie's mom knew Winston loves paper so she made sure to add lots!!  He loved it!

My favorite of the pics - taking his paper to his bed
Thanks to Ziggie and his mama for the lovely gifts!!

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Kitty Post

I don't post about the kitties all that often - it's not because I don't love them.  It's because we have three spoiled, lazy kitties who are old enough now that they don't find themselves in the shenanigans some of the others do.

They are all three doing well.  Healthy, happy, all of them at a good weight - no complaints.  In the critter bedroom there are lots of beds, toys and places for the fur kids to investigate.  They have these cubes that hook together that have been in their room for ages.  Mostly the ferrets use it but rarely the kitties.  Yesterday I went to visit and low and behold both Phoebe and Oliver were in the cubes.  I moved one of the puppy beds down to critter land as well - those little pups are now big pups who no longer fit.  Let's just say that Aggie is happy they grew.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Laid Back Saturday

We are having a laid back Saturday around here.  As I type this Winston is napping outside, the puppies are laying in the bedroom chewing on their bones.  Emma is snoozing by the pups.  The littles are all in various states of napping.  The weather here is lovely so the doors are open - which means that when Mr Pig wakes up he will go in his room rather than cause havoc with the puppies.

We signed up for a pig gift exchange for fourth of July through our pig group on Facebook.  Today we got everything wrapped and ready to ship this coming week.  It's quite a fun thing to take part in - we have done Christmas, Valen-swines and Easter so far and Winston has been S P O I L E D rotten.  This time we are paired up with a Florida piggy named Ziggie.

Crate training continues to go well - in fact - last night I opened a new bag of chewies - treats they get when they go to bed.  I didn't say a word and Tango went in the crate and laid down, then Juliett and then Charli.  Tango is funny - he has no attachment to his crate and will go in whichever one is closer. This time it happened to be Juliett's crate - she looked at me like 'WTH'.  She went in his crate and Charli went in her own.  They are getting better and better about going in and getting settled.  They do not, however, like to sleep in.  Tango wants out around 5:30 every morning - UGH.  Hopefully that will get better over time as well.

The humans are tired so it will be a lazy weekend I am guessing - lots of critter time....  <3

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Happy International Ungulate Day

Say what?  Yep - it's International Ungulate Day - can't believe you didn't know that!  What's an Ungulate you might ask??  According to wikipedia - Ungulates are any members of a diverse group of primarily large mammals that includes odd-toed ungulates such as horses and rhinoceroses, and even-toed ungulates such as cattle, pigs, giraffes, camels, deer, and hippopotamuses.

So - in honor of this momentous day - some piggy snaps!!!