'Not only is punishment risky, but it also fails to teach the dog an acceptable alternate behaviour. The dog does not learn what to do the next time he is in the same situation. He only learns to fear the situation.' Emma Parsons, Click to Calm p73

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Psycho Dog.

If someone had come into the yard at that moment, it's pretty much what they would have thought. Who else but bad dogs gets tied up and muzzled? Dogs that have been chasing a football around a muddy field and need hosing down, that's who!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012


Sorry for the absence! I've had nothing to post - it's been crappy weather so not much opportunity for photo taking, we haven't done much of anything, and, well, I've not really been in the mood. But I'm here again now :)

I'm looking after my friend's rats for the next ten or so days. They've been here nearly a day already and I've had a brief rat cuddle, fed a bunch of mealworms and a ripped up mushroom, and generally watched them. They're both very cute, very big girls. The dogs aren't sure what to make of them - Jess wants to eat them of course, but she wants to eat everything; and Lola doesn't really give a damn unless I'm Paying Something Else Attention and then she'll bring me her football and stare at me to kick it.

Adam is a red-eyed white rat, and Eve is a red-eyed Siamese. Eve is the boss rat and a little bit of a bully. She also seemed way more timid at first, but has come round massively; she's the only one of the two I've been able to pick up so far. Adam is nippier - she's slightly blind and doesn't like fingers in her face, as I've come to realise. Offering the back of my hand first before I stroke her seems to be helping.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Tricky T-Day: Close the Door.

We've been working on this for a while. I indicate the door to be closed by pointing at it, as well as giving the verbal cue - I want her to eventually be able to close *any* door, and there's no way I'd be able to remember a dozen or more different cues, one for each door!

Monday, 13 August 2012

Mousey Monday.

Kinkajou still isn't doing too great. Popular theory right now is that she has mites; I've ordered some stuff to treat that. Her face is still pretty banged up from her itching - I think she keeps scratching it open again. I'm hoping that she responds well to the mite treatment, and then I'll try putting her and Tosca in together. For now though I have three mice in three cages, which isn't so fun.

But enough of that: photos!










Saturday, 11 August 2012


I spent a couple hours today making Lola a new collar with a Smurfs ribbon. It's not the best, but it's only my second attempt and much improved on the first. I need to get some better quality webbing--the stuff I have is very thin.

It was very fun to make it though! And I have a lot more ribbon and webbing to make more. I even have Angry Birds ribbon :)

Friday, 10 August 2012

Trip to Wales.

For most of Wednesday and Thursday, I was visiting a friend in South Wales. She has a lot of pets (four dogs, a cat, a bearded dragon, three rats and a cockatiel), and true to form I took photos of most of them. We had a very good time!

For reference: the red merle border collie is Harley; the blue merle is Scout; the black/tan daschund is Amber; and the (old) labrador is Fern. I'm not sure which of the rats I took a photo of; the bearded dragon is Hugo; and the cockatiel is Cas.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Mousey Monday part 2: Mozart.

Funny how these things happen, huh? I'm really not having much mouse luck at the moment.

Kinkajou's the ill one, but it wasn't her that died today. Mozart was fine, this morning and earlier today wandering around. I looked over whilst moving some furniture around (like I do maybe once a month) and she was moving around just fine. I looked over again a couple of minutes later, and she wasn't moving and was sat on the top floor of the cage.

Strange. I got up and went to check on her.

She wasn't moving, and her sides looked like they were sucked in slightly. She was still breathing. I scooped her up onto my hand and she only slightly moved her paws to make sure she didn't fall off.

I rang the vets, and they messed me around for five minutes asking me about her, as I haven't brought Mozart up before to them. In that time she was on my hand she was still breathing, but barely blinking and barely moving. When I put her down to grab my bag, I had blood and poop on my fingers from her bum/base of her tail. She didn't move off of her side in the box that I put her in until I scooped her back up.

She died on the way to the vet.

RIP Mozart.

Mousey Monday.

Shortly after Flower was pts, one of my other mice had to be seperated because of being bitten in the face by one (or both) of her sisters. Urgh. She also had scruffy fur, which sounds like nothing but has gotten progressively worse--her fur is just grotty looking, though it feels fine. She had diarrhea for a day or two but seems to have gotten over it. I don't think there's anything that the vet could do for her right now, so I'm just waiting it out to see what happens. The only other mouse who's ever been bitten was Flower, and she got a tumour, but I'm hoping that was just coincidence and not a sign that my mice can smell the tumour before it arrives. I don't really want Kinkajou to get a tumour :(

If you look at the tag for the mice, you can see that none of them--even Flower, tumour and all--have this grotty looking fur. It's really weird, but I have no idea what's causing it. The usual problems would be: mites, substrate problems, food allergy, etc. But if I had mites I'd know about it cause they'd all be like it (as the cages have wire bars and are all very close together), the bedding has never changed from Aubiose, and their food hasn't had any new ingredients since at least a month before Flower was pts, and Kinkajou only got the weird fur starting up maybe a day or two before Flower.

I wondered if maybe it was a grooming thing, that she's always previously been groomed by the others and is looking grottier because she's seperate... but Wheatley is on his own and his fur is just fine. I don't know, and since my vet isn't super knowledgable in small animals I don't think they'll be able to help at all. So, for now, having to leave it and see what happens.