Tuesday, January 31, 2012

(Officially) Introducing Ronan

aka Brimfeldt In The News when he eventually is big enough to play in the ring with the big kids and more commonly known as Wo-wo, Roni and Macaroni.;)  We are only just a TAD smitten.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Easy Peasie (With Lemon Squeezie) Banana Bread

Getting my "good mother" badge today making something with the Short People's favorite fruit. ;)  No, seriously... if Lily were given free access she'd have 3-4 a day easy and La isn't much higher on the self-regulation scale!

1 cup very ripe banana, mashed up
3/4 cup sugar
1.5 tablespoons golden syrup
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1/3 cup vanilla bliss non-dairy milk (yummmm... evil and sugary but so vanillaliscious)
6 tablespoons hot water
a good solid squeeze off of half a lemon or thereabouts
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp bicarb
3/4 tsp salt
dash each of cinnamon and nutmeg, more if it's your pleasure

Set oven to preheat at 180C.  Mash banana in a medium bowl till it's smoothish... don't worry if it's not blender perfect, you just call it "rustic home-style" and pretend that was your intent - it's half the charm of a loaf anyway.  Add in sugar and beat.  Add in wet ingredients - golden syrup, vanilla, sunflower oil, vanilla bliss, hot water and lemon juice and mix.  Add in the dry ingredients - flour, bicarb, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Mix to incorporate, tip into a greased loaf tin and pop in the oven.  Set timer for 55 mins or until the crust is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.  Stand guard while it cools enough small fingers won't burn, tip out, slice and distract the 6 year old with a nose like a bloodhound long enough to have at least one slice on your own.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Miss Not-Quite-Three

  • Loves fruit.  Apples, pears, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, mandarins and toast with either vegemite or peanut butter but NOT fruit spread thanks.  
  • Has discovered "chuppa chups".  (Shoot me now...)
  • Cheers for Daleks.
  • Is the only person in our family or group of friends to call La by his proper full name.
  • Loves her "dancy skirts" by which she means any skirt that swirls when she twirls.  Try putting pants on the child and she'll yank them right back off, hand them back and ask for "dancy skirt!"
  • Believes this look is best accessorized by 'tompin boots' -  that's stomping boots for those who don't speak two year old - which are her little faux bludstones. 
  • Is disturbingly interested in shoes.  Really, at not quite three the shoe department shouldn't win out over the toy department!
  • Dances a mean boogie-woogie and likes to sing in the car like her momma.  (Has her mumma's complete inability to carry a tune too sadly!)
  • Gives the absolute best huggies. Full arms around, patting your back, snuggled all the way in with her head either on your heart or in the crook of your neck.
  • Loves daddy - unless mummy is around, in which case poor daddy rates somewhere below roadkill.
  • Is Pip the kittens favorite person, despite all logic dictating that toddlers are most cats least favorite people she is the only one he will seek out, rub against and allow to carry him around.
  • Still cannot stand to have doors in the house open - doors are meant to be SHUT!
  • Is so going to be her mumma's junior handler - adores her doggies Sisi, 'opie, RIN!!!!, Kiahpuppy and 'wo-nin.

Funny words: shippy tuppy (sippy cup), 'abutty (peanut butter), 'amite (vegemite), shocks (socks), punnies (bunnies), rins (mandarins), toash (toast), bikkit (biscuit),

first race back

Miss Hope had her first day backrunning flyball the other week after her illness - I have to say that was one HAPPY puppydoggie!  On our way back home we stopped and visited the beach.  My camera battery was on the red but I managed to snap a few before it died!  I do love this area - such a lovely little town. :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

S'more bits and pieces

First puppy pictures... because there is just NOTHING cuter!  Okay so normally that'd be kind of insulting towards my children...and my other dogs... and cats... and rabbits and such.  I'm going with it because Ronan is very, very cute AND he's not dug his hay all over the box last night, muddy from wrestling outside (dogs), covered in lunch (LILY) or hanging upside down in the chair playing legos with his feet (that bit of weirdness would be La...) which makes him currently the cutest.  Sue me!

This morning I scared the bejeebers out of myself when I went to let the dogs out - bleary eyed from a late night of tummy troubles and pre-coffee, I cued them to sit in their pens and went to grab some treats out of the jar on the hutch for them.  Instead of just a few cookies, I came up with a bunch of spiderweb and an unamused funnelweb spider who'd decided to make herself at home.  Well... if nothing else, it certainly woke me up!

Taking a wild leap to the next topic with no logical transition... the Demonspawn was a funny nut last night.  She is rather OCD about the cats and movement.  I know, I know... Kelpie and Jack - that's a big fat lot of, "Well duh!"  At any rate one thing we've been working on is looking at the cats while giving calm/relaxed body language.  Nothing particularly ground breaking - it's pretty well known that getting relaxed body language can trigger relaxation. Breathing or rather exhaleing has been part of that.  So a nice relaxed exhale equals mark and reward. Exhale, mark and reward.  Lovely.  Possibly even productive.  Then she lets out this big HUFFFFFF when I was glancing away and missed the initial breath out.  (Bloody humans, can't train 'em to pay attention if their lives depend on it!  Pfth!)  I laughed.  About 0.00008 seconds later I realized my mistake (oh crap, I LAUGHED!  I LAUGHED at the manic dog who LOVES that kind of reaction! *mental whiney-stampy-dagnamit dance*) because my formerly 'relaxing and taking a deep breath' dog was gleefully running around on her tippy toes going HUFF, HUFF, HUFFFF!

Back to wishing my post box would magically contain the collars I've ordered for the dogs (two for Ronan and two for the girls and a name-tag for Ronan) and vaguely trying to get organized for the weekend in Wonthaggi as Hopie is having her first flyball comp after being ill!  Feel free to repress the trauma of seeing the unco wobbly thirty something doing a snoopy dance...

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


This is the other part of our news over the past little while... the arrival of PUPPYBREATH!

Sue was kind enough to have me over when mumma gave birth and spoil me with time with the babies to play and take pictures (just a few...) every week since as they've grown. 

Here's the wee little slugs in a row just after they were born... only a few hours old.  In order from left to right they are "Fat Albert", "Malcolm In The Middle" and "Tigerlily".  I was interested in a boy so it was Mr Albert or Mr Malcolm who were likely to come home with me and I had a soft spot for Malcolm as he has a kissy spot on his collar, which most of my dogs have had and I consider a bit of a lucky omen. :)  As it happened over the following weeks I just fell more in love with him and another friend fell in love with Albert (yay! PUPPY BROTHERS! *happy dance*) and Sue fell in love with Tigerlily (now Demi) soooooo unless things change it's most likely Malcolm is my "Ronan".  We'd decided to use that name as I'd made the wish for a puppy as special as my Verity after she passed at "our spot", St. Ronan's Wishing Well and it seemed the obvious name for a wish come true.  So here's a few of the pics (I won't add them all... there's about 300 'keepers' so far. LOL)  They are #2-3 at two weeks old, 4-6 at three weeks old and the last at four weeks.

If you're looking for a puppy to cuddle, I'm awfully cute!

With mumma, first time outside!

A bit of brotherly love!  With give and take of course. ;p

Beautiful mumma!

 Wellll... it may just have been a little while since I sat down to write on this blog.  A lot has happened so I'll give a relatively shortish recap.
One thing I'd not mentioned which was rather momentous for us was adopting Nilla a husbun!  Beautiful Master Buttons, a little black lop boy was who she seemed to get along with best at the animal shelter and he is just the cutest little man and I just love him to bits. They had a short period bonding before being able to be free-range housebuns full time together. :) 

In October we had Laurent's sixth birthday.  He was very chuffed to actually get me to go to a restaurant - Lord of the Fries at Chaddy - and get to order his meal all by himself.  He was especially pleased as turning six means he's allowed to transition to the "Big Kids Class" at school, from the Cycle One class (which is ages 3-6) to Cycle 2 (which is 6-12 year olds). 
We had a very busy few months after this first with three of the dogs ingesting a mycotoxin, which is suspected to be residue from a bit of rubbish (fast food wrapper or some bit of food) that was tossed on the roadside and blew into the yard.  The long story short, when they went out to potty they ate something (nothing was identified in their stomachs during pumping aside from a small amount of white powder in Kiah) and after about 45 mins inside were in dire straights having massive seizures and requiring a week at the vets.  Hope was the worst off, seizing for about 8 hours and requiring 2 generals and other medications to get under control.  Even then we spent the week waiting to find out of there would be permanent neurological damage.  Thank goodness there wasn't and all three girls are back to their usual happy bouncy selves as if nothing had happened.  The downside was we had a nice big fat vet bill resulting!

Then not a short while later Laurent was grabbing his schoolbag from the car leaning over the seat and knocked the car into gear.  Car went forward, La went flying... end result was the poor kid had a 5-6cm gash in his forehead all the way through and required plastic surgery to fix.  The car ended up being stopped when it rolled into a tree in our driveway, leaving it needing 'surgery' as well.

Thankfully everything has been a bit boring since then!  Hopie was able to go back to agility training not too long after and will be back to her first flyball comp soon too! :D

I've been doing a fair bit of garden work and the rainbow bridge garden has been really rewarding me for last year because all my little roses are blooming!

Christmas was quiet... we just spent the day at home opening prezzies, playing with prezzies and lounging around.  As you can see - it was rough!  LOL  The kids and critters all had fun with their prezzies though, which is the point of it all.
 And my own gifts weren't too shabby!  Although to be really honest... my best "gift" of all arrived a bit earlier than Christmas (5th of Dec to be exact) and will be the subject of another post! ;)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

painty bits

So last year in November I decided to teach myself to draw.  I found an awesome website called Wet Canvas and started picking up tips and tricks there.   I think about January I decided to paint and got a set of acrylics.  My first paintings were okay but er... not fantastic.  I got quite frustrated with one because I couldn't get the white to quit looking so matte and chalky and put it aside when I got busy with other things.

In September I got the itch again and joined in a Different Strokes challenge.  This kitty was the result... my 6th painting.  A4 size on canvas pad using titanium white, black, ultramarine, cad red med. (Finished.)

I followed the kitty up with starting in on this handsome lad.... Ch. Combee's Bearfoot Silver Magnum, an old Aussie who was very interesting. Same size, medium and but with chromium green oxide. (I am in love with that green... LOVE I tells ya!)  He's still got a little ways to go before he's finished as his jaw/cheeks area is undone and he needs glazing and tweaking of his bone structure at the top of his head (above eyes) and some more creamy colours tucked into his cheeks. (Work in progress!)

Then I played with a quick study of an rabbit that had lots of white and painted these two as a quick attempt to start to figure out rabbit fur.  (Obviously still have a ways to go on that...)  They are supposed to be Poppy and Violet, two rescue buns. 8x10, acrylic on board, same everything else. (Finished.)

At the same time I started these I started one of Verity, shown here in it's first layer of colour.  I'm working on it very slowly as it's very emotional.  It's 8x10 on gallery wrapped canvas. (Work in progress!)

I started this one, which is about halfway done, of an Isa Brown chook from a WC reference photo in one of the challenges.  She's 4x6 wrapped canvas so just a little bitty thing. (WIP)

I'm still working mainly on finishing up Magnum and Verity but needed to take a break from looking at them.  I am also working on understanding a lot of other aspects in painting and decided to do a quick study that I'd have to be convincing with out being able to obsessively tweak for detail and work with a very limited palette.  Sierra was napping in deep shadows that she almost seemed to fade into while the light that shone on her lit up her head and front with very high contrast and became my willing victim.  A4 using only burnt sienna, ultramarine and white, 1.5 hours. (Finished.)

That was so much fun I sketched up this one... no paint on it for now though.  A very obvious work in progress! ;p

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Toast anyone?

As Laurent was stowing his backpack in his cubby at school this morning I notice a large bulge in the back of his pants.  A large, box shaped bulge.  Since we've had *cough* ISSUES with him sneaking in toys and such before, which the kids aren't allowed to do and for which mum gets the politely-exasperated "we've having the talk about your child ignoring the rules about toys... again" talk I figured he'd tucked a box with toys into his pants not realizing it stuck out about 10" from his scrawny bum and was rather as completely and totally blatantly obvious as if he'd had stuck a billboard with flashing neon lights and a big arrow pointing to his backside.

Good Mummy asked in a Very Reasonable Tone - the one that is slightly more sweet than you feel when you really just want to find a brick wall to bang your head against - "Laurent?  What do you have in your pants?"

I am at this point expecting toys stuffed into one of his little carry boxes.  I mean, that would be an entirely (relatively...) normal thing to smuggle into class right?

Yeah.  Well the normal train doesn't stop at our house.

He grins a very clever little grin at me, eyes laughing and pulls out of his pants half a loaf of frozen bread.



Seriously.  Never mind it's bread (and why on earth he's got bread will remain known only to the gods because I got nuttin' out of him!) but FROZEN bread.  Down his backside. I am throwing in the towel on trying to make sense of him! LOL

Friday, September 09, 2011


I may have been a bit slack in blogging what has happened...

A week out from our test date I ended up sick as, well, the proverbial dog.  Possibly sicker, considering the dogs were obnoxiously chipper and enjoyed repeatedly shoving slobber-covered toys in my face while I was splodged on the nearest horizontal surface in a puddle of non-coherence.  (I love my dogs but I admit my sense of humor wasn't at it's best when I cracked an eye open to discover the taste in my mouth was a combo of slobber-and-carpet-crud-marinated plushie... shoved there in an effort to get it thrown. Ta ever so very girls!)  I slept like a narcoleptic, passed out when standing up (hellooooo gravity!), had a lovely visit with my Meniere's as it flared up and food was a Very BAD Idea to see... or smell... or think about... or acknowledge the probable physical existence of.  Fantastic for when you're on a to-the-day deadline to train a nice stinky-food based trick right?

The two days before I was quasi-well enough that with about a bottles worth of chest rub stuffed up my nostrils to block out the scent and a medicine cabinet worth of 'better living through chemistry' I was able to get in a few 10 minute sessions in a public space for the first time without hurling.  Dogs hey?  What boring, normal, positively sane lives we'd lead without them to do wacky crap in the name of training for!

The upside of it all is that Ms. Cleverpants lived up to her name and did the trick despite our lack of proofing.  Phew!  We found out on the anniversary of her sister's passing she got in.  Something to smile about was very welcome on a day that's been drowned in tears and spent in our Rainbow Bridge memory garden painting. Hopie's had her first lesson of foundation and was so excited that the next day anytime I was even remotely near the door she'd dash to the training bag and then the door while bouncing like a loonie so I think she may have enjoyed herself a tiny bit.  LOL

And tomorrow we're off for the first flyball comp of the season... whole buckets of yay over getting to be back out doing stuff with my best girlies again!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

My name this week...

Clever McCleverpants.  And I can hold the hotdog just like a dumb-bell without nomming it!

While this one got lost in her own back yard and howled her little heart out till mumma came and rescued her. 
And these two were just plain mischief!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Breakdown of the hotdog retrieve, for anyone interested.

Steps mainly follow:
Pre-req for good understanding of 'zen' related food refusal (self control, impulse control), front and finish

I'm deliberately not spelling out steps on some of the skill-sets as there's thousands of others who've covered it well and truly, except where I've done things in a way I want to remember.
1.) shaped retrieve of dumbbell
a.) pick up and take the correct 'bit' of the dumbbell instead of picking it up from other areas
b.) pick up and hold from hand - no duration/distraction at this point
c.) pick up and bring shaping from just lifting off the ground to normal carrying height and then bringing it, duration, distraction, distance
d.) teach to release specifically into the hand and not any other location properly, duration, distraction
    d.1.) backing up to hold from hand duration and distraction (seemed more natural progression)
e.) add in distance,duration, distractions to Whole Picture
f.) stim cont
2.) chaining and proofing retrieve with front and finish and proof those for distance/duration/distraction
3.) introducing 'hotdog' in a "can't eat it" form (frozen and either in a PVC tube if your dog is persistent (has a grip that's hard enough to break plasticwrap) like Sierra or in plasticwrap if they're easier (like Hope) and introduce as a substitute dumbbell and work the idea back up.  Work on a take and hold with the froze/pvc hotdog, starting brief and working up duration
5.) begin unwrapping small bits of the end, zen work with no sniffing/licking/grabbing the tempty bits and work on take and hold, up duration
6.) unwrap more and more progressively until you are working with the unwrapped frozen hotdog.(This is where Hope is at atm.)
7.) add in carrying it over a distance
8.) pick unwrapped froze hotdog off the floor and bring it
9.) switch to partially thawed, then raw, then cooked cool, then cooked warm hotdogs (dogs may transition easily and jump from froze to cooked or need the transitions)
10.) put it all together so that it's a formal start position, send out, retrieve and release

We will also have to proof this for the hotdog having icky sawdust on it as well as the test will occur in a horse arena which the floor is compacted sawdust.  (Blerg!)

The reason we're not a bit further is I was training when tired and my timing in marking was um, just a fraction of a hair late.  Which I noticed when (you get what you reinforce) my dog started deliberately relaxing her jaw allowing it to roll out after having a nice firm hold, while I tried to get duration extension!  *sigh*  Oh well, easy fixed, just no more training at midnight! ;p

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ye Olde Hotdog Retrieve

Okay, so it's not a real hotdog because I'm a special sort of snowflake and that would make me gag which is hugely counterproductive.  However Miss Hopie is being taught the hotdog retrieve (using a 'just as tempting but not-hotdog sausage') as our trick for getting into agility classes at the end of the month to prove I can train and she can learn.  It's easy enough to teach and hopefully it looks swish enough for us to earn enough points to get in to the training center because I really, really don't want to wait ages before testing again and would vastly prefer to just be able to train.  The whole trick will involve her going out to hotdog that is thrown as if it were a dumbbell in an obedience exercise, have it retrieved, front and handed over neatly before finishing.  It's coming along pretty well at the moment, I'll try in a few days to get a picture of her being a clever bean. :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

By George... I think the girl has GOT it!

Well... that may be a tad (okay, a lot) premature BUT having been working on Hopie's dry skills I have to say we've already seen some very HAPPY results which is awesome.

The first task we focused on was one of our biggest - the stock stick, which had gotten to a point where she saw it and was already anticipating pressure before we even got to the paddock.  She's not bothered by sticks or stick like objects in general or in other contexts - so I could use literally the same one as a target wand, run it all over her body,as a prop for freestyle, for fetch etc. so it was purely the fact it'd come to represent an (albeit usually considered mild) aversive.  That's been the biggest turn around as well - madam is a wiggling, waggling ball of happy eager dog she usually is and moves off it without issue.  Hopefully this will transfer over nicely to non-bucket flocks once we've got latency and distance more where I want them.  (Yes, I'm going to proof this to death before reintroducing it and pondering on how to structure the reintroductions so that I can maintain nice fine slices of single behaviours. LOL)

The next we worked on was a basic cast out.  She already knows that - well in so far as we'd worked her before and she knew 'get around' meant get your bum out around the sheep and start fetching even if it was too fast, too close in to them etc. so not really what I want as my ideal cast!  I started with a basic one anyway to get it firmly on cue and in relation to our flock-o-buckets before I started tinkering with increasing the width she was running out relative to the 'flock', the spaced-ness of her flock and then combining that with my distance from the "flock".

So it went:
  • flock close together, me close to flock, cast out and going within .5m foot of the flock
  • flock close together, me standing .5m away from flock, cast out and going within .5m foot of the flock
  • flock close together, me standing 1m away from flock, cast out and going within .5m foot of the flock
  • flock close together, me standing 2m away from flock, cast out and going within .5m foot of the flock
    And so on to get me standing back further from the flock.  Then we spread the flock:
  • flock spread .25m apart from each other, me standing .5m away from flock, cast out and going within .5m foot of the flock
  • flock spread .5m apart from each other
  • flock spread 1 m apart from each other
  • flock (which had a population explosion at this point *G* and gained a few dozen members) spread .5 apart from each other, me standing .5m away from flock, cast out and going within .5m of the flock and so on so she had to go around a 'big', semi 'loosely grouped' flock
    Then those sheep started being further away from me.  They went back to being fewer (about half the flock took a tropical vacation...) and closer (it's cold out) but instead of being 1-2 m away, they were 3-4m away and then began drifting apart again.  At this point, now we're working on getting her further back from the flock.
  • flock spread .5 m apart from each other, me standing back 1-2m, her going around within .5m of their 'bums' 
  • flock spread .5 m apart from each other, me standing back 1-2m, her going around within .75m of their 'bums' 
  • flock spread .5 m apart from each other, me standing back 1-2m, her going around within 1 m of their 'bums' and so on... 1.5m, 2m, 2.5m, 3m etc  Then they started spreading apart again... so the flock was 1m apart from each other, me back 1-2m, her having to work progressively wider around their bums.  Basically I want her to be comfortable doing what is asked regardless of how far I am from her, how far back from the sheep she is working, how far back the total space from me to the sheep and the sheep to her is or how wide spread they are that means she has to arch out wider to maintain the wider 'space bubble' around the sheepies.
We've got it firmly from the left going clockwise but not so much from the right going counterclockwise.  That'll be our next task.  I also want to be able to have her keep going (if cued) fully around as she's wanting to come to balance and stop, hesitating if I cue her to keep going and I suspect there will be times being able to push her off/past balance will be very useful to be very comfortable with.

We've also got 'back' down pretty well - very confident on her part, complete with occasional hind foot kicking chutzpa.  LOL

We've got 'look away' and 'look bye' (turn your head and shoulders out in the direction, to widen the angle of her path when she's cued to move) pretty well too. Bye is not as solid as away and she'll sometimes offer away still so we need to go pick it apart a bit.  Probably (maybe?) to do with handedness as well?  That does link with walk-on and we've just started chaining look away + walk and she's got walk-in (straight in) pretty well.

With regard to walk in, I'm pondering teaching it from her being oriented to different directions - ie 2 o'clock, 4, 6, 8, 10 etc. on a radial but debating where exactly I want to consider the 'target spot'.  We've enough on our plate it can wait but I'm pondering away anyhow.

It's a fun experiment for us anyhow and hopefully getting us closer to where we need to be.  It's also a fair bit of thinking of how to restructure things and getting some much clearer/more precise definitions of exactly what I want for the ideal/perfect/finished behaviours in each case.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Warning to dog owners - deadly Sisotamoxym virus


Due to the massive problem with foxes, the Australian Government has begun to introduce several potent strains of a virus called Sisotamoxym in an effort to control this pest species.  However it is not species specific and our pet dogs are at severe risk.  The death rate in domestic dogs is 100%.

New strains being manufactured for release routinely.  The vector is via biting insects who are bred and deliberately released at various locations around the country to spread the virus. IE mosquitoes and fleas.  In order to ensure the virus is spread as far and wide as possible the government has imported and released two types of fleas - the European and Spanish flea - as additional vectors to penetrate areas where lack of permanent water prevents mosquitoes from breeding.  All species of mosquito can transmit the disease and some can infect up to 10 animals an evening and remain infective for up to 7 months.   

The mosquitoes and fleas transfer the virus when they bite an affected animal and along with blood ingest bacteria.  The bacteria multiplies in the insects gut and when it bites another animal bacteria is introduced to the wound. Incubation period varies but averages 5-14 days. Once the dog is infected it's skin becomes red and thickens before traveling to lymph nodes and then organs.  It is present in the skin and bodily secretions making it contagious.  After 6 days the body has become swollen, with the swellings becoming distended and thickened.  Pus may discharge from the ears and eyelids, which become thick and swollen as well to the point they're swollen shut and the dog is blind and deaf.  The virus form tumors and skin lesions throughout the body.  The entire head swells and in in-tact males the testicles swell and the scrotum ruptures.  By this point the dog is anorexic, has difficulty breathing and convulses.  If not euthanized, death occurs within 12 days or so.  While for foxes this raises a significant issue of humaneness, dog owners need to be alert and aware to the symptoms to prevent an agonizing death.

Once infected, there are no treatments. Death rate is 100% and the current veterinary recommendation is for immediate euthanasia and quarantine of house-mates who may be infected.

The only current option available to dog owners is to keep dogs inside at all times and use mosquito proofing techniques to attempt to prevent infection.  If the dog must be outdoors, it is recommended you fully mosquito proof the enclosure and take measures to prevent fleas or mosquitoes from being near.  However it only takes one mosquito coming in and having one bite of one dog to kill them all.

There is a vaccination called Nobivac Siso.  It utilizes a virus called Shope Fibroma virus which is closely related but which doesn't cause the disease. However the Australian authorities are not at this time allowing the vaccine for fear immunity could transfer from vaccinated pet dogs to wild foxes.

This reasoning is faulty and does not hold with experience in areas where the vaccination is legal.  Foxes have built their own immunity independently according to the Australian Department of Primary Industries own publications. There is also a lack of immunity in a vaccinated individual can spread let alone to foxes. In UK and Europe, where the vaccine is available, there have been no signs of a decline in the disease and there is still a great need to vaccinate pets. The British distributors (Intervet) state that:
"...the virus (Shope fibroma) does not spread readily from one animal to another and all dogs in a group should be individually vaccinated"
Now... if you are all feeling properly horrified by the thought of your beloved pet dogs dying a horrible death, take a deep breath.  There is no virus called Sisotamoxym.  

The REAL virus is called Myxomatosis and instead of being released to control foxes it is released to control wild rabbits.  Instead of affecting your pet dogs, it affects our pet rabbits.  The only difference is that the word "rabbit" has been replaced with "dog", a pet most of you will have experienced a strong bond with - the medical information is accurate.  I wrote this to hopefully provoke thought as a house-rabbit is NO DIFFERENT than a dog in terms of it's intelligence, ability to love and be loved or bond when raised with the love and care we raise our dogs with and lives as a part of the family.  We are no less devastated by their loss than a dog owner would be.  Yet the Australian Government continues to deny, on the most dubious and shoddy of reasoning, access to lifesaving vaccination.  If you are outraged by this please sign the petition for the the vaccine to be made available:

Or write the following people: Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage and Shadow Minister for the Environment and Heritage
along with your local representatives.

Because whatever our pets species, we love them, we suffer when we loose them and we don't deserve to have to stand by and watch them suffer horribly because of governmental apathy.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

We've been saying Kiah is a lot like my old fellow Cade, who is now at the Bridge.  She's been growing leaps and bounds, so I decided to hunt up the collar I made him when he was a youngster.  It's double sided velvet hand embroidered in a celtic knotwork pattern and looks rather lovely on her if I do say so myself.

Meanwhile my stomach issues are flaring back up again, so I had a little extra snooze this morning so I could lay straight on the heat.  Nic went to let the girls out, without realizing Miss Kiah Papaya needs to be escorted straight to the door if it's not me letting her out because she's a big mumma's girl.  I soon found myself with an armful of wriggly, deliriously happy puppy moaning and groaning her bliss and attempting to clean every centimeter of my face (she's not usually a licky puppy so this is about the only time I get ecstatic kissy fest from her) before settling in to enjoy the heat pad too.  Such a little smile bringer she is. :)

It's also time for the little lovebirds, Romeo oh! Romeo and Cinnamon the Cinnabun to go get their vaxes.  Unfortunately the Australian government is STILL with-holding the myxo vax from pet bunny owners for no sound reason (yay for logical reasoning and evidence based decisions... oh, wait, no that would be prejudice, ignoring evidence and just not giving a rip!) but we can vax them against calicivirus which is just as important.  So we're off to visit the Melbourne Rabbit Clinic later today.
 Romeo would be giving me this face again if he knew what I had planned...

And one of Nilla, just being full of 'satiable curiosity for cuteness sake.  Excuse the craptastic lighting in all of them.