Feeding time at my zoo

This is the write up I did for the person that will care for my “kids” when I’m in the hospital. It’s two pages! – Just imagine how much the poor schmuck that volunteers to babysit Sophia for a couple hours will have to read through! :P

The Dogs
Their food (Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Formula), pills, and arthritis medicine are in the garage – just inside the door. The food is next to the tiny chest freezer, and the meds/pills are in a Tupperware bowl on top of the freezer.

The dogs are not allowed beyond the “mud room” please keep the door between the “mud room” and the rest of the house closed while the dogs are inside eating.

Petie: Four scoops of food (scoop is in the bag), two “Move Free” glucosamine pills, and his arthritis medicine (insert the syringe into bottle and turn bottle so that it’s opening faces down – that way you don’t fill the syringe with air) fill the syringe up to the “100″ mark. All of this can go into his food dish – no need to shove pills down his throat. Make sure to fill his dish with water or he’ll literally choke his food down.

Chelan: Three scoops of food, two “Move Free” glucosamine pills, and also fill her dish with water (the water isn’t as critical for her, she doesn’t eat *that* fast).

Please supervise as they eat so that Petie doesn’t steal Chelan’s food. If Chelan doesn’t eat don’t worry too much – she’s a freak of nature. Just dump any of her uneaten food in the gravel just past our “lawn” in the front yard.

Their water bucket is right outside the sliding door in the back yard. There isn’t functional water spigot in the back yard. If they need water you’ll need to fill either using the kitchen sink (please don’t spill on the hardwood floors) or go through the large garage door and up the front steps it’s on the right side.

The 12 pound cat that you will never see…
Bailey’s food, dish, and water are all in the kitchen. He can eat about two scoops (scoop is in the bag) of his food per day. Half of his food lands on the floor as he eats, which he then deems it completely inedible. *eye roll* You can give him both scoops of food at one time. Hell, leave the food bag open on the floor. I don’t worry about him overeating – he’s invisible after all.

Squeaky bird
Gandalf’s food dishes are on the left side of the cupboard that’s next to the refrigerator. They are the green ceramic ones. There are only four total and there is a good chance all of them are dirty. Please check the sink :P His food is kept in the refrigerator in a dish that is on top of the veggie drawers on the left side. The food is in a zip lock bag inside said dish. Each bag of food will last for about four meals. He gets about three to four tablespoons of this food for each meal and needs to be fed twice a day. His feedings don’t have to be 12 hours apart nor do they have to be the same hours that we typically feed, but we usually feed him at 6 or 7 am and then at 6 to 7 pm. Extra bags of food are kept in the freezer (very bottom) and take about 24 hours to thaw, so if the current bag looks low just place another in the dish with it from the freezer. We keep them in the dish because they sometimes leak as they thaw.

Gandalf’s water is in a water bottle that is accessible from the outside of his cage. It rarely needs to be filled, but if it looks low fill it to the tippy top with the filtered water from the fridge (that’s on the top shelf on the right side). When feeding Gandalf please put the new food dish where the previous food dish was – we only use that one back corner so that he doesn’t fling food onto the carpet.

Thank you so much for volunteering to feed the “kids”. I really appreciate it.

Feather Plucking

On Friday, I took Gandalf to the vet. She said that if his feather chewing wasn’t from an irritation to begin with it certainly is now because all he has on that one wing are poky itchy feather stubs. She said the good thing is that he isn’t picking at his skin and that because he’s plucking his wing it’s unlikely he’ll pluck his body (body pluckers tend to get cold easy). So right now, he’s on two medications. One medication is to relieve the itchiness and the other is an herbal equivalent to birdy Valium to take the edge off in case he’s stressing about changes in his environment (my pregnancy). An article about the herbal treatment Gandalf’s vet prescribed was published in Exotic Dvm magazine.

The “to do” list

Last week’s goal was to complete the goals of the previous week, which I still have not done. I did remove some of Kurt’s stuff from Sophia’s room, but it’s now sitting in the hallway. I don’t really count that as much of an accomplishment.

I also added 31 blogs that I frequently read to my side bar under the heading, “Link Love”, but there are still a few things I’d like to add/change/fix/replace.

This week’s goals are to keep on picking away at the goals of last week and to arrange the after baby shower dinner reservations, make a vet appointment for Gandalf, call the babysitting referral a coworker gave me, and make a doctor appointment for myself.

The first one I’ve already done *Yay* and no it’s not cheating cause I say it’s not.

Gandalf has quite literally chewed off (not plucked but chewed) all of the feathers from one of his wings. Because he’s shredding and not plucking and because it’s limited to just one wing I think he may have an ingrown feather or some other medical issue. It’s hard to tell with birds. I’m just hoping it’s not some emotional issue of him feeling neglected since Kurt and I have to do so much to get ready for baby because I’m sure it’ll only get worse once baby is here.

I really have no idea what questions to ask a babysitter. I already know that she does take infants, but I do need to know if she’s going to be able to take my infant when she’s six months old. I also know that she is licensed by the state and takes DSHS (not that I need that but from what I understand it means she gets inspections more often). The person that told me about this sitter says that this is the only sitter she ever took her son to and that anytime she passes by the sitter’s house her now eight-year-old son asks to visit the sitter. – I really don’t think you can get a better referral than that, but I still want to go in with some good questions.

I need to make my next doctor appointment for sometime around the 16th and after that appointment I get to see the doctor twice a month. I’m so happy and scared that the end is near. On Saturday Kurt and I went to our first Child birth Prep Class and well neither of us wanted to see THAT movie. I swear if they showed that in high schools the days of teen pregnancy would be OVER!

Toxic Adventures in Dishwashing

On Monday night I put the dishes in the dishwasher and turned it on about an hour before bedtime. I went upstairs to chat online and mess around with my blog a little. As part of the ‘getting ready for bed’ routine Kurt put squeaky pants (Gandalf) in his room and closed the door like we do every night. Minutes later I started to smell smoke. It smelled a little like burning rubber. I went downstairs thinking I left the stove or oven on, but didn’t see any lights on. I went back upstairs, but still smelled something. I went downstairs again and this time looked inside the dishwasher, which was on the heat dry cycle. I called up to Kurt, “I think we need a new dishwasher!”

“Why?”

“Cause this one is smoking.” I said. Then the fumes hit me and smoke just started pouring out of it. I turned off the dishwasher, closed the dishwasher door, ran upstairs and put a towel in front of Gandalf’s door. Kurt asked what’s wrong and I said, “The dishwasher has smoke pouring out of it.” I never use the heat dry cycle, as a matter a fact even though I typically have it set on air dry I usually turn off the dishwasher when it gets to the dry cycle.

Kurt and I opened the door again and pulled out a nylon/plastic cooking spoon that had slipped through a hole in the lower wash rack. The rubber handle of the spoon was resting right on the heating element. I opened all the downstairs windows and stayed up till about one o’clock in the morning. At midnight I think the smell was pretty much gone and I checked in on Gandalf. He WAS sleeping peacefully. He was a little miffed at me for waking him up, but he was ok. I still didn’t sleep very well that night and my throat hurt this morning. My nasal passages felt like they were burning (filled with smoke) all day.

Birdy Blunders

It’s so funny to watch Gandalf run across the top of his cage and attack paper. I usually give him my junk mail to destroy and he loves to punch holes and shred it. He’s an extremely expensive paper shredder, but he’s very thorough. The other day I gave him a Drs. Foster & Smith catalog that I had finished looking at. He had so much fun dragging it around the top of the cage and attacking it. At one point he was standing on the edge of his cage with catalog open and him shredding one page. Suddenly the catalog slid over the edge of the cage and Gandalf, who apparently weights less than the catalog, was still holding onto one end and plummeted to the floor still grasping the catalog. He was fine other than a slightly bruised ego. Gandalf popped up and was very alert – looking to see who may have witnessed his embarrassing moment.

Odd Weather

We’ve had a couple of cold snaps in the past few months. The first one caused about a foot of snow and I was out of power for two hours, which isn’t too bad. The foot of snow wasn’t even that bad, but then again I’m originally from Alaska. After the cold snap it warmed up a rained for a solid couple of weeks and then we had high wind storms. And let me tell you soggy ground + strong winds = a ton of tress just falling over. Some people were out of power for a full week (mine only flickered a bit). Just a few days ago we had another cold snap plus strong winds but only three inches of snow. My power went out for twelve hours (that was a cold night). And the gate to our fence fell, posts and all. If our power had stayed out any longer I would have taken Gandalf to stay with my parents or found some other friend that still had power. My malamute, despite his arthritis, still loves the cold and had a ton of fun in the snow.

How Gandalf got his name

Gandalf actually has two names and both originated before I even knew from which breeder I would be getting my baby. I chose Gandalf for my grey from the wizard in The Lord of the Rings books. The movies had not come out yet, but the first one was released a month before I brought Gandalf home. I thought I was being all cleaver with the name but when the breeder I chose asked me what name I was going to give him she just chuckled and told me it was pretty common.

Gandalf’s other name is Micken. We use Micken as a nickname and is more of a description of the type of animal to which he belongs (we call crows Mickens as well). So the story goes – One day my boyfriend and I were trying to decide what to eat for dinner and the choices were narrowed down to two things, Meatloaf or a chicken dish he makes with cream of mushroom soup and shoe string potatoes. We couldn’t agree on which to make, so he jokingly came up the idea of making the chicken and stuffing the meatloaf with it. He called this ingenious idea – Micken loaf. Months after bringing Gandalf home we had the same “what’s for dinner” dilemma and in the course of deciding what to eat my boyfriend pointed out the Gandalf was a “fat little Micken”. The nickname stuck and we use it on all waddling birds that are not chickens. Gandalf thinks it’s funny because he has the same twisted sense of humor that we do and he’ll say his nickname several times quickly – Micken Micken Micken!

Happy Shower time!

I’m so happy I found a new way to bathe Gandalf that he actually enjoys! I bought the 10-ounce Tropical Mist Fine Mist Bird Bath from www.drsfostersmith.com. I was so ready for him to be scared and frantically flap around the bathroom when I started spraying, but amazingly, he started dancing around and fluffing his feathers. I just put him on a perch in the shower and held the sprayer about a foot over his head. In the past, I tried a regular spray bottle, large dish of water, and just taking him in the shower with me. Even the regular spray bottle was not a fine enough mist for him and it tired my hand out trying to get him wet. He wouldn’t even go near the large dish of water, and going in the shower he just loathed. He is sitting on his perch next to me right now and I can tell he is just pleased to have had a happy bath time for once!

Gandalf’s favorite TV shows

As far as TV goes I think Gandalf could take it or leave it, but he does like the Vontage commercials with one of the songs from the Kill Bill all-girl Japanese surf-rock band – woo hoo woo hoo hoo. He even sings is during the commercial and uses it to get our attention when he wants out of his cage. He also likes to dance to the theme song from Penn and Teller’s Showtime show.

He also perks up when he hears bird sounds from the TV, and especially jumps to attention when he hears the sound of a hawk.

Rude little bird

Anytime my dogs start a howling chorus that goes on too long or barking fest I tap on whatever window I’m near, open it, and tell them to “knock it off”. Well on Halloween I just stayed home and handed out candy to the kids. Most of them teens that didn’t even bother to dress up. – When the first or second group of kids came by and knocked on the door Gandalf told them, “knock it off!” :) He’s so rude. I don’t have a clue where he gets it from. :P