This morning I decided to walk the dogs from home, rather than drive them to Burns Beach for a walk. I sent Stephen off with the car but forgot to take the dog leads out. I have spare leads but no spare Halti for Jet. She’s still almost impossible to walk without it, so we delayed our walk until 8:30 and then walked by the pet shop to pick up another one. Then we called into the Vet for a weigh-in. Anzac has put on a little weight lately and I wanted to be sure just where they are starting from with the diet change. Anzac 25.6kg, Jet 15kg.
We headed from there to the nearby park with duckponds and wandered around the ponds, saying hello to other dogs. Anzac insisted on walking along the ledge around one of the ponds, just like a kid, hoping he could ‘accidentally’ step into the water. I’ve seen that one done before so there was no way I was going to be caught by that.
As we were walking past the bigger pond (and Jet was trying to convince me that the ducks needed rounding up) someone pointed out a Cormorant, on the island, with a plastic bag either caught on it’s beak or in it’s throat. It looked quite distressed, continually shaking it’s head and trying to dislodge the bag, so I pulled out the phone to call the local council. After several attempts my call was answered and I was put through to the ranger who told me they couldn’t help, I’d have to call either Wildcare or the RSPCA. I tried the Wildcare hotline, but couldn’t get an answer, so I called the RSPCA. They told me they couldn’t help and that I’d have to call Wildcare. I explained that I’d already tried and was told that I’d have to either try again or call The Department of Environment and Conservation‘s main number. I tried Wildcare again but still couldn’t get through so called DEC who were able to put me through to Wildcare. The lady on the hotline was very concerned but couldn’t do anything for me – I’d have to call Seabird Rescue. I explained to the Wildcare volunteer that I was there in the park with 2 dogs and that I’d been on the phone trying to get help with this for nearly half an hour, she said she couldn’t do anything, she’s was only there to answer calls and give advice about who to call next. She couldn’t call out herself. So, I called Seabird Rescue and explained the problem. That volunteer didn’t sound very enthusiastic about helping at all. She did say she would try to get a volunteer to go out and see whether they could do anything but that if the bird can fly, then when it’s approached they probably won’t be able to catch it anyway. She sounded like she had an ‘I don’t know why we’d even bother’ attitude. I wasn’t very impressed but there really wasn’t anything else I could do.
I called into the Vet again on my way home just to check whether there was someone else I could have contacted, but no, Seabird Rescue is who they would have had to call. The Vet nurse said she would follow up on it with them for me. Apparently they are usually very good and always send someone out. I know that many of these organisations are run by volunteers, but it shouldn’t be so difficult to get help for a distressed animal. Surely the Ranger at the local council could have handled it all, so I wasn’t there looking up numbers on my phone and being passed from pillar to post. But then again, she didn’t even know the right group for me to call. And neither did the person at the RSPCA.
We’re seriously considering moving the dogs to a BARF (bones and raw food) diet. I’m currently reading Give Your Dog a Bone: The Practical Commonsense Way to Feed Dogs for a Long Healthy Life by Dr Ian Billinghurst.
Our dogs get quite a few raw meaty bones already, though not as many as recommended. They are fed primarily dry, kibble type dog food with some pre-packaged meatballs and some veggies and fruit – oh, they do love their fruit.
I went out and bought some of Dr B’s patties and some chicken wings today. I also thought I might see if the butcher had any rabbits. Boy, was I in for a shock! When did rabbits become gourmet game meat? $32 for a rabbit! Am I really showing my age by remembering when you couldn’t even find rabbits because the butchers couldn’t give them away? I think the pups can skip the rabbit for now.
For more info on Dr Billinghurst and the BARF diet: BARF Australia
This morning we had a great walk along the Burns Beach track. Anzac, Jet and I always enjoy the walk but today was extra special. We left home a bit later (after we dropped Stephen at the station) so we weren’t under any time pressure and could walk further than usual. For the first half of our walk there was good cloud cover so that helped as well.
Jet was especially good this morning. Because we were later there were none of her normal little antagonists – those pups who make snuffly noises as they walk and try to rush towards her, which literally gets her hackles up (you should see that; I must try to get a photo). She reacts badly to dogs who approach her too enthusiastically and has a specific couple she’s really developed a dislike for. She ignored all dogs this morning and just enjoyed her walk. I was careful not to put pressure on her lead and, by doing that, give her a signal that she might need to be worried about an approaching dog. I’m afraid I might have been sending her the wrong signals with some dogs.
Jet was also particularly good with the bikes this morning. She really dislike bikes, or should I say spinning bike wheels, which she knows are coming when she sees a bike approaching. It’s only the moving ones that need to be snapped at and need rounding up. I’ve been noticing a positive improvement with bikes coming from behind for a while now, ‘specially those whose riders ring their warning bell. On Friday Jet ignored all bikes from behind. Today, while she didn’t ignore them, she also left all oncoming bikes to go past without being snapped at. With each bike she saw she moved off the path beside me and looked up at me, waiting. I’ve been rewarding her with a treat after the bike goes past and it seems she’s finally put two and two together.
Thanks go to the Haltie collar (which has given me so much more control and made our walks pleasant again), Kim at DoggieWould Training for her great training tips and advice and to the obviously yummy ZiwiPeak Good Dog Treats from AYM Pet Supplies and More that were in our prize bags from the DoggieWould Christmas party. I’ll definitely be getting more of those!
Now, if only I could stop Anzac from wanting to sniff every post, bush and mark on the path along the way! And where did he get the idea that it’s acceptable to lift his leg on so many of those posts and bushes? I know he doesn’t need to wee that often. Boy dogs! Hrmph!
Anzac and Jet resting after this morning’s walk
After seeing a link to, and then reading, this blog: http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2012/04/green-smoothie-challenge.html I’ve been inspired to have a green smoothie every day (except one) for lunch for over a week now. I’ve never been able to bring myself to drink veggie juices (believe me, I’ve tried) but I haven’t had any trouble drinking green smoothies. I use a few leaves of either rainbow chard or tuscan kale from the garden and add either frozen berries or fresh pineapple. I usually also add some unsweetened almond milk and water, and sometimes a small spoonful of almond, cashew and brazil nut butter. I also sometimes add a small banana – bananas make the smoothies nice and creamy. Today we bought some frozen coconut meat and I added that to kale and pineapple. It was very disappointing; coconut milk is a tastier alternative though I might try coconut juice/water. Some combinations I’ve tried have tasted a bit grassy, and the only ones that aren’t a green colour are the ones with berries.
All in all I’ve decided that green smoothies are a yummy, healthy lunch option -even if they do break my ‘no drinking anything green coloured’ rule.