Thursday, July 24, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

the sixth and most recent child

This is Beka (formerly known as Annie). She's a 18 month old Rhodesian Ridgeback - an African breed. They were originally bred as an all around "farm" dog - to protect the herd from predators and sometimes hunt. More recently they have been used to hunt predators like African lions and cougars - they do not kill the cat but corner it for the hunter to shoot it.

Beka, unfortunately, has a sad story. She was removed from a home that had 1 male and multiple females - basically a backyard puppy mill (see below for definition of puppy mill). She was kept in a back yard - they were free fed and had to fight for food. She had never been in a home (as far as we can tell). She was never walked on a leash. She was never socialized with people and was therefore convinced she would be eaten by people. As you can see from my pics she is improving. But as you can see by the look on her face she's still not sure I won't eat her. Beka was lucky though - she was removed from the home and placed in a Ridgeback Rescue of the US foster home. She stayed there for about 2 months were she learned the basics of being a pet dog (like house training, walking on a leash, food does arrive on a regular basis etc.) She came home with me earlier this month. She has settled in pretty well - Wiggles finds her fascinating - Beka finds Wiggles terrifying......... We are working on that!

Puppy mill: The National Companion Animal Coalition defines puppy mills as a high-volume, sub-standard dog breeding operation, which sells purebred or mixed-breed dogs, to unsuspecting buyers. Characteristics common to puppy mills include: sub-standard health and/or environment issues; sub-standard animal care, treatment and/or socialization; sub-standard breeding practices which lead to genetic defects or hereditary disorders; and erroneous or falsified certificates of registration, pedigree, and/or genetic background. Note: These conditions may also exist in small volume or single-breed establishments.

the Fifth Child

Meet Sam the bird man! He's a ring-necked dove. He's yet another adoption - a former Junior Keeper I worked with asked me to take him when she went to college. Her mom didn't want to care for him and she was having a hard time finding him a home - so he came to live with me. He's a typical dove - doen't get along with other birds ( he actually tries to kill them!). And he moults his feathers everywhere! Little white feathers! (In other words I vaccum alot!)

the fourth child

This is Harry Lizard! He's a European Leggless Lizard aka Sheltopusik. He's my baby! I've had him since 2000 - got him around the same time I got Wiggler. He loves to watch EVERYTHING. Has pretty good eye site and sense of smell! For cool info on the species check here:

the third child

This is my other kitty - Wiggler. She only responds to Wiggles though. She got her name since all she wanted to do was be next to you but heaven forbid to try and hold her - she'd wiggle free in 2 seconds! She has always been a bit high strung..... She's been with me since 2000. I brought her home as a 8 week old runt from a litter that a friends cat had. She is definitely my trouble maker (I had to walk away from the computer to remove her from the spare bedroom where she is not allowed to be - to prevent her from eating children # 1 & 4 who live in the spare bedroom). She's a smart cat - she could learn lots of tricks if I could just get her to hold still long enough..........

the second child

This is Morgan - she's my cat - obviously. She's been with me since 1997 - just turned 11! She was adopted from the Topeka Humane Society - back when I lived in the mid-west. She's the top animal in the house - no one except me really bothers her - and she does tolerate my pestering her! She's a well behaved girl most of the time. Knows how to sit, stand on her hind legs, stay and lay down, all on command - well at least most of the time.

my first child...

This is Aiden - he's my red footed tortoise. Aiden has been with me since 1996 - he just turned 12. This kind of tortoise is from South America - very common in the pet trade but NOT recomended for a first reptile pet. It is very easy to cause mal-nutrition and they really do need to be outside ALOT if not all of the time. Here's great info on them :