Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Seeing Pearl

Pearl's patterns have changed in recent weeks.  She spends more time on the floor of the cage than she used to.  She has not been seen swinging on the swing in quite a while.  She rarely uses the perches.

Leonard and Pearl

What can it mean?  She doesn't seem ill.  She is eating and drinking and bathing.  No puffed up feathers or lethargy.  When there is a bit of fresh food clothes-pinned to the wall of the cage, Pearl finds it, eats it.  She and Leonard still groom each other, they continue to spend nights nestled in their grit cup. 

Wait a minute!  Her eyes look different.  There is a cast.  That glow of light present in the eye of a bird does not move as Pearl moves.  There is instead, a small dull circle on each of her eyes.  Great balls of illumination!  Could it be that Pearl is blind?!

Now, didn't I read somewhere that light pigmented Society (aka Bengalese) Finches are prone to blindness?  Let's see now, according to Northwest Bengalese Finches it is a misconception that albinos have eye problems.  They do however, have trouble with bright light due to lack of pigment in the eye- albinos have pink eyes.  Very interesting, but Pearl has black eyes.  She is not albino. 

Again, according to this Bengalese breeder, it IS true that white birds, particularly white pieds with fawn ancestry, tend to have eye problems as they get older.  They tend to get cataracts.  Pearl is a white bird, is she a pied of fawn ancestry?  The only way to find out would be to breed her and look at her offspring.  We won't be doing that.  Pearl is an old gal with cataracts.

It's OK.  Pearl will be just fine. Leonard is there for her.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pop Culture Frenzy, Round 25

Welcome once again to Pop Culture Frenzy.  Let's get on with our question.

Most of you commoners are no doubt unaware of a major breakthrough in luxury toothpaste.  A company called Theodent has presented a fabulous new flavor of toothpaste that can best be described as a sweet dream come true. 

What flavor is this incredible toothpaste?

Hostmaster:  incorrect. 
You are thinking with your dog palate.  I gave you a hint.  Sweet.  Try again.
OK.  Let's see, sweet. 
Hostmaster:  incorrect.  But nice try.
Hostmaster:  incorrect.
Hostmaster:  correct.
That can't be good for your teeth.
Ya think? 
It's not chocolate like a candy bar.
  The flavor comes from a substance found in the cacao plant
which is where chocolate is derived.
Theodent mixed this substance with some mineral
that will presumably strengthen tooth enamel.  The actual
ingredients are patented and therefore secret.
You are expected to take on faith that this cacao mix
is a better way to brush.  It's great for the whole
family!  It's OK to swallow! 
No dangerous fluoride side effects!
Available at Whole Foods for
 just $99.99 per tube!
Trust us!
  After all, POTUS buys
his arugula at Whole Foods.
Be sweet to your teeth!
Buy a tube today! 
 if it sounds too good to be true
it's worth the hefty price tag!
Sigh.  So ends this round.
  I've got a hankering for chocolate.
  Who's up for Mozart Black shots? 
Round 24
Fluffy/Molly    13
Bryan/Cyndi   10 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Yes we have no available Puppies

The death of a dog is never easy.  There is an emptiness that begs to be filled.  No dog is replaceable, of course.  But life goes on, as they say.  Puppies are cute.  They are also annoying and time consuming.  While you are grieving, the demands of a puppy can prove wonderfully distracting and fulfilling.

Thus, The Handsome One and I visited a local rescue group and submitted an application.  We alerted our veterinarian's office, giving our permission for them to talk behind our backs to a representative from the rescue group.

The rescue group committee approved our application and invited us to make an appointment to pick out a puppy.  We did.

This rescue group has a storefront where they display the adoptable animals.  Cats and kittens occupy the front area.  Through a double door into another room, you find dogs and puppies.  We'd seen some pictures of the "available" puppies on the rescue group's website.  I recognized some of those puppies there, waiting behind bars, including puppy x.

With a volunteer hovering over us, we met some of the puppies.  Eight week old puppies are not accustomed to being on a leash but we had to attempt to get to know each youngster while he was more focused on the strange thing around his neck then on us.

A placard accompanied every enclosure offering a name and description of the occupant.  There was an Akita/Boxer puppy in the first cage.

There were two runts in the second cage (one of them puppy x), three other pups in another cage, all from the same pit bull mix litter.  Our esteemed volunteer had been fostering this litter.  She told us a little about the personalities of the individual pups and advised that these puppies were accustomed  to being in a home with dogs and kids and whatnot.  Yes, yes.  Early socialization.  Very good.

I asked how it is that they know so specifically what is in the mix of these rescued puppies.  Reluctantly admitting she knew nothing about the Akita/Boxer, our volunteer raised her nose to reveal a virtue clearly greater than ours, saying that the pit bull mother was chained to a basement wall left on her own.  Then the owners got tired of caring for the puppies and gave them to the rescue. 

Um.  Huh?

We met about four puppies.  Just as we were declaring that we liked puppy x the best, a large woman with a meritorious demeanor entered the room.  She and our volunteer huddled out of earshot.  Then our volunteer returned to tell us that puppy x was not available after all.  Oops.  Sorry.  She usually knows everything that is going on with HER fosters.  But we can pick another! 

Is this why pet shops still sell puppies?