Elderfox's Blog

Thoughts of an elder writer-in-progress

A CHRISTMAS MEMORY

Another rememberance from being at Point-No-Point was our 1938 Christmas.  Aside from the “wild” kittens that were born in November and kept us amused while Christmas dinner was set– We had roast pheasants, mashed sweet potatoes with sugar butter “gravy”, bar-b-que cedar board baked salmon, walnut and dried cranberrys with onion dressing on a greens salad and an avacado and lime jello salad; desert was huge “soft” cookies topped with home churned icecream.   (Small wonder I was a chunky kid).  Our Christmas presents , wrapped in the funnies sections of the Sunday papers, were placed under a fir tree cut from the forest just across the road at the back of the house.

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DAILIES. . .WRIGHT GREEN

A bit of fun with the title. . .

However I firmly believe Mr Mark Wright of Durban, South Africa, is inspiring!  He has created a way to use landfills as a means to provide electricity; Using perferated pipes buried  in a landfill to siphon off the biodegradable methane, which is used to create electricity for the city.  It further prevents CO2 from entering the atmosphere which coal, etc. will do.  I remember there was some talk about this method, and perhaps it has already been investigated (tried?)here– But with all the bru-haw from our government, and other  so called newsworthy information being brought to bear on the public eyes and ears, why hasn’t this been investgated, and/or worth mentioning?  I believe it’s about time to step forward in OUR country with innovative new ways and means to insure there will be a future for our United States which is U S!

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Another Daily. . .

vet questions         I know we all can have one of those daysin our lives.  But when it happens day after day one could begin to wonder about  sanity!  Well, I’m beginning to wonder about the politicians running (?) this country of ours.  Have they gone insane or are they just plain nuts?  Apparently some (too many in my opinion) think they are man enough to mess around with women’s rights as “PEOPLE” as  pronounced in our CONSTITUTION.  Now I know said writers of the C were all men, but they had the common sense to understand that women too are “people”.   Religious beliefs aside, a person of the female gender forced BY (man’s) LAW to carry a child cast by incest or rape/rage or just plain ignorance, is outright repression of women’s rights, which, by the way, includes your mother, your wife, your daughters. 

Another thing…I am not amused by the slighting of Medicare and Social Security, which will also, one day,  include your mothers, wives, daughters, AND sons.  Yes, lowering the deficit is good.   But why?  Why is it so important to reward the wealthy and punish those who work(ed) to put them in that income bracket?  And, by the way, where are those jobs; and why, (as long as I’m ranting) when we have a refinery right in our state are we paying so much for gas?  (For that matter, why do oil companies take oil from our land and waters and we have to PAY THEM not only to do it, but pay them to get it back?)

 Hey, I’m just wondering. . . .

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DAILY…sometimes

Bright gray sky today…rain off and on…hoping  for Spring to arrive one of these April days.    On the other hand, Mother Nature has been hoisting storm signals, slopping around the upper and mid west and leading a mad charge of thunder and winds in the S E.  Not to mention the mess she flushed over Japan.  Never know when the ole gal will  lose her temper, kick up her petticoats and throw her weight around.

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Dailies

Weatherman forecasted a blast of snow…but there is sun shinning in a pale blue sky this morning.  Cold?  oh yea!  But snow, not so much, nor even any prospect of rain. … so my sister will be joining me soon for our morning walk around the neighborhood; she is a gardening person and has me noticing signs of an early spring in flowers and shrubs .  I am a late Summer/Fall person; I think it has to do with all the colors.   The world graced with its own special beauty.   

There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in having lots to do and not doing it.  (Mary Little)

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DAILIES

I get mail (the regular–go to the mailbox and get an envelope to open, etc. ) And today I received a “Congratulations On Your Nomination!” from a Hunting Club in Minnetonka, Minnesota.   And the free gift I will receive if I join (at only a “$1 a month”) is either a cookbook or field knife set with belt sheath”.   AND “only serious hunters are nominated“.

 Now, first off I am not and never have been a hunter. Possibly interested from a research point of view, YES.  However…”it’s no secret among my friends and family that: I am (NOT) a dedicated  hunter, so I am (not) exactly the kind of person this club is always looking for“.  And the free membership card entitles me to “test hunting gear and keep it free” and that includes “Firearms, GPS systems, outerwear, hunting trips, bowhunting gear, bags” as well as  “North American Huntermagazine “…filled with great insider know-how that will help you get lots of game just like those piectured in the eye-popping photos from cover to cover’

Now I AM NOT panning this advertisement, I am simply (really really) curious as to who thinks I can benefit, and who nominated me for membership, in the North American Hunting Club to field test hunting products and enjoy all the other benefits and privileges of membership.  Hummm?

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BEING ONE’S OWN SELF. . .

        It can be a dangerous time for your dog during the Holidays, especially for puppies (a cat/kitten usually seek their own hiding places, but do not let roam without supervision).  Your home especially can be a dangerous environment for curious/playful/ investigating pets.  

 HALLOWEEN                                                                                                                                    Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin flesh can be difficult for a puppy’s indigestion.  So after the pumpkin carving, or cooking, be sure the seeds ( even if roasting) and pumpkin flesh is  carefully garbaged, and seeds placed in containers.  Candy, especially chocolate, given to dogs, can be lethal. 

Guests and  children parties can be overwhelming. so it is  best to have the dog confined to a quiet place BEFORE the guests arrive.  The ringing, buzzing doorbell and knocking  and children’s chatter can over excite a puppy causing barking, urinating, and fear syndrome.  Best plan is to confine the puppy in a quiet place, with a radio on, several times before the festivities begin.  By doing so the puppy will be content, and exposure to the guests, a few at a time, will be less stressful and help the dog become more acquainted with strangers. 

THANKSGIVING, CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS–DECORATING

POINSETTIAS–toxin: a milky, acrid sap–intense vomiting, purgation,delirium.

MISTLETOE–toxin: beta-phenyl ethylamine and tyramine; consumption of the berries has been known to cause acute gastroenteritis and cardiovascular collapse.

ELECTRIC SHOCK–Pets that gnaw on electric cords can get shocked.  Unplug all cords where pet is present or may roam without constant observation. 

BURNS–Treat immediately with cold water; or in a basin of cold water.  Do not use butter or lard which can make the burn worse.  Take to veterinarian immediately.

EYE INJURIES– Pawing at the eyes may mean an irritation.  Call veterinarian for advice.

CANDY/NUTS/PARTY FOODS–Watch for vomiting, diarrhea, or not eating, check with veterinarian; AGAIN Chocolate is lethal;  as is Alcohol.

HAVE A VERY HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON

GOING TO NANO FOR NEXT MONTH  —– BE BACK IN 2011. 

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BEING ONE’S OWN SELF. . .

        God bless the breeder who has paper-trained your new puppy…or has at least informed you of “how to” with the use of your crate which is the size appropriate to the needs of the puppy while housetraining.  The crate you have purchased, made ready and located where the puppy’s privacy will be the one spot in your home that belongs to the dog.  A wire crate is the most preferred because it can be folded up and are more portable than those made of fiberglass.

The basic reason for the crate’s success in housetraining is because your puppy, if properly attended, will not soil its nesting area. But don’t expect miracles.  A puppy cannot control an active bladder, and obviously will need you to become aware (and recognize) the multiple times the pup will need to be taken outside, or placed in a papered exercise pen to relieve itself. Puppy needs to go first thing in the morning (and will most likely awaken you…and often that means getting up at early hours to go out, rain or shine). However, pup will soon learn a schedule (possibly yours) as it becomes more able to control what is expected of it.

Seeing your puppy eliminate also provides an opportunity to view a stool while cleaning it up to make sure there are not any worms, constipation, diarrhea problems that may need a veterinarian visit. You should have a health record for your puppy from the breeder/seller regarding immunization.  Taking an unimmunized puppy onto public grounds, or into an unfenced yard, is inviting trouble if the puppy hasn’t had necessary vaccinations. 

A cue word can also be beneficial when the puppy begins to eliminate; as is letting the puppy go on various surfaces—on grass, gravel, concrete, dirt–letting the puppy know it can go pretty much anywhere it is led to.  And don’t forget the lavish praise!

Bowel movements may depend a great deal on feedings.  A young puppy given 3 to 4 meals a day may have that many movements, more than he’ll have as an adult. If the puppy is being confined to a paper-spread exercise pen, be sure to remove the soiled top layer of paper to eliminate odor and the possibility of the pup becoming a stool eater.

A male dog will start lifting his leg from about 4 months of age up to a year, or may sometimes squat as an adult.  A female is more deliberate in selecting a spot but once she’s urinated, she is usually through.  The male releases a little at a time so if he wets when returned to the house after only a few minutes of being outside, you probably haven’t let him finish. 

Duel training to paper and outdoors can be beneficial and always take the dog away from the front yard or the back door.  A male dog will eventually begin to “mark” his territory which will inform other dogs this is his home…and invites other dogs ( free running dogs/strays) in the neighborhood to notify your dog of its presence in the area by over-marking those same areas.  (It’s an ancestral thing. )

Once the puppy has relieved itself, it can be allowed to visit and play with family, chasing a ball or playing with a toy.  Should an accident happen, don’t punish the dog.  Immediately take it outside for several minutes then return it to the crate. At first, Pup will let you know it isn’t happy with confinement but given a treat or toy will settle down. However be careful not to keep the puppy in the crate for long periods of time. It needs plenty of human companionship and exercise.

The crate is a tool to promote a better behaved companion for his and your sake.  Be firm. Be consistent.

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BEING ONE’S OWN SELF. . .Good ole summer time

Outdoor living is fun for all, but there are hazards unbeknownst to dog owners.  Barbeques for example are harmless?  Okay, but what about that foil you tossed carelessly in the plastic garbage bag and set aside. . .plastic and aluminum foil, the latter coated with meat drippings, can choke or lodge in the intestines of a dog.  And perishable dog food left out thru a hot summer day while the dog is preoccupied with all the kids and company, when finally eaten that evening, can be spoiled and cause severe intestinal upsets.  And those pesticide sprayed areas–to keep insects at bay and guests/family comfortable–can poison your dog (even inhaling pesticides fumes over a period of time can cause serious illness, even death).  Then there are the rodent poisons, your neighbor has spread around and your dog has snacked on a mouse that has died from poison bait.  Frolicking in your pool?  Are the anti-alge chemicals and other pool maintenance materials locked away?  Or maybe mom’s ibuprofen bottle fell into the grass, or your daughter’s diet pills, and puppy enjoyed chewing off the plastic bottle cap and eating the pills…those little white thingees that can cause a toxic reaction.  Or perhaps your youngest decided to give your dog a handful of chocolate . . . .

 Being able to “read” your dog is beneficial when it comes to recognizing stress.  In puppies not so much.  However,  If you become aware of your dog vomiting, trembling, or being in pain during or after a fun day’s romp at a barbeque fest, call your veterinarian immediately and follow the advice quickly: fast treatment is essential.   

POSSIBLE SIGNS OF TOXICITY:  Lethargy, Breathing difficulty, Unusual Thirst, Pale Gums, Dilated pupils and bumping into things, Excessive diarrhea, Foul breath odor, Frequent swallowing, Shivering, Convulsions.    Show goers, be aware of the possible hazards when traveling to strange places and exercising your dogs along a roadside or fields or areas where the show is being held.  Dogs can even pick up poisons on their paws and lick them later and become ill.  (NOTE:  Unusual barking and seemingly blindness occurred in a Shetland Sheepdog we were showing.  The toxicity that nearly killed him, our later  investigation discovered, was due to a cattle truck being washed out with a hazardous substance that drained into the exercise area, two days before the show.)

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BEING ONE’S OWN SELF. . .TIMELY

With the recent hot temperatures causing concerns, it is well for the dog owner to understand some of the factors that are involved in maintaining normal body temperatures for your dog. 

The rectal temp of the dog is about 101.5 F (38.6 C) and it can vary but when the temperature is higher or if it goes over 109 F the protein in cells is literally “cooked” and unless the temperature is quickly reduced, death is inevitable.

Heat loss in the dog is mostly by panting which increases the flow of air over saliva and fluids in the mouth and nose, however short nosed breeds—pugs, bulldogs, etc—have less surface for evaporation to take place and coupled with their problems in breathing makes them especially vulnerable to overheating.   High temperatures with high humidity are especially dangerous conditions for dogs.  If you are sweating while sitting watch your dog for overheating, and if the air is not moving—as  in a closed vehicle, or open bed of a truck, the dog will suffer tissue damage, kidney, liver or other organ damage, even irreversible brain damage, or death.  Dogs showing signs of distress may be wet down from a hose or wrapped in wet towels, or placed in a tub of water.  A spray bottle of cold water infused with medicinal alcohol can be sprayed on a dog’s belly; wrapping ice in a towel for the dog to lie on or near it in the shade. Cool water should also be available for drinking. In any case a dog that has overheated and showing signs of stress, should be taken immediately to a veterinarian.

 There are “cold coats” now available for dogs while waiting in hot weather at outdoor dog shows.

For especially hot humid days it is wise to not leave your dog unattended and to check with your Veterinarian or the Humane Society for other ways to protect your dog from serious damage.

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