Friday, December 27, 2013

Continuing - Day 3

So, I got home, wasn't feeling well and was tired, went to bed.  When I got up, went downstairs to make toys.  Started with the pumice & triangles so I could finish those.  Didn't have enough sanded toy parts, so sanded, drilled, and re-sanded those, and strung those toys.  Made enough to fill up the drawer.

Realized I only had a bit of pumice left in the large box I get it in, so I drilled it all, so now I have a nice gallon-sized bag of drilled pumice.  Put that aside.

Started on the fun chewies toys.  Those require the smaller circle cutout, which takes forever to sand down.  I only had 6 of them, so I was able to make two toys.  Will need to pull more of those out and sand them before I can make more of these toys.

Moved onto the anything goes toys.  I had two gallon-sized bags of drilled toy parts, so I cut enough wire and put the clips on, and started making toys.  Was able to make 16 before I ran out of toy parts.  Still can fit a few more in the drawer that holds those, so I will make more of those when I drill more toy parts. 

Cleaned up a bit so tomorrow I can come down and continue to work on the toys.  This is why these "numbers" stay on the list so long--- because a lot of the stuff that needs to be done cannot be done in one day, by one person.  I've had people ask what I'm doing, and I'll tell them, oh, making toys, and a week later, they ask, and I'm still making toys, and this is why.  Right now, the store is closed, and I do need to get out my last few orders, but I can get SO much more done without orders coming in, which is why the store needs to be closed periodically if I want to keep my sanity. 

I went down to the rescue in my pj's (cause I was sleeping, remember) so I didn't want to get really dirty cause I did want to sleep in them, so I left off cleaning the chests-of-drawers for another day.  That usually requires getting down on the floor and getting grimy and I wanted to stay clean.

Oh, I added to the donations page some recent donations we've received.  Christine from Twilight Chins sent over a swing for each FN, color coded to match our colors.  Yay.  Mara sent over a handful of apple sticks with her christmas card.  And Daphne sent over a huuuuge box (cost like $34 to ship, so think BIG) to ship, full of shelves, food, toys, all sorts of stuff.  Will get pictures of this up sometime later.  Those pictures will also be up on the donations page once I get them...

So with enough toys made for the day, it was around midnight, so I went upstairs to watch tv.  With my laptop of course.  While watching tv, I got all the cage pictures re-sized and labeled, and then listed all the cages on the website and on all the other classified sites.  Then went and finally put up the courtesy listing for Wheeker's available piggies.

...and now I'm going to bed.  

Thursday, December 26, 2013

More Accomplishments - Day 2

Then I had the numbers of cleaning the drawers, making toys, and making supplement.  Started out and cleaned yet another of the chests of drawers (there's quite a few of them -- that number will stay on my list until I've done em all).  Between the two tall black ones, I have two medical drawers, and there was never any rhyme or reason as to what went in either one of them, they were sort of a mishmosh.  Well, now they are sorted.  One has only medications, and the other has everything else.  Much better.

Moving on, I made some jars of supplement.  I had one person who bought supplement return their empty jar, so that allowed me to make an extra jar without using a new one.  So if you buy any of the items in the glass jars, are just throwing them away when they're empty, and are local, please bring them back to the rescue as they can be sterilized and used again.

Then moved on to toys.  Since I know that I should be anticipating toy parts sooner or later (assuming this package doesn't get lost as well), I started with the critter's delight toy.  I was drilling through a piece of wood that had a knot in it (couldn't be seen from the top), and I was really pressing it wasn't going through, and my titanium drill bit literally snapped in two.  Naturally, taking a nice chunk of skin with it.  So, rather than take a break and go upstairs, I figured, I'll just fold a paper towel and wrap it around my finger several times and tape it on.  If you're reading this, thinking "what a bad idea," you'd be correct.  So, it was bleeding, but I wanted to keep making toys, so I figured, the paper towel will soak it up and it'll be fine... sure would.  In fact, when I went to peel it off, hours later, I had about 5-6 layers of paper towel nicely stuck onto the area where I was missing skin on my finger.  Let's just say that hurt to get off.  

But anyway, before I went upstairs to fix the finger (and it's the SAME finger as the one I broke and mangled with the saw -- bad luck finger I guess), I made enough of the critter's delight toys to fill the drawer they go in, and then moved onto the pumice and triangles toy.  I made as many as I could with my pre-drilled pumice and triangles, then started drilling more pumice.  I got about half of a gallon-sized bag drilled at the point when the drill battery kicked out, so that went on the charger.

Then, I have bags and bags of non-drilled toy parts, so I went through two of the bags and separated out the triangles and the little squares that go in all the toys.  With the drill charging, not much else I could do, so that was the end of the day (not to mention, it was 10:30 at night).

Next day has the numbers of cleaning drawers, making toys, and listing cages.

Going On's and Accomplishments - Day 1

So, in the last few days around Christmas, several things happened...

A family came over wanting a chin for the family with several young kids.  Chincie was the obvious choice, so he found a home.

Our homo beige female kit also found a home.

And then since I closed the store, I made a list of things that needed to get done.  To avoid what usually happens, which is that the non-fun things get pushed back and never done, I had my mom pick numbers.  And those numbers were the things I had to do that day.  Works like a charm if I can keep to it.

Anyway, so far, the one number picked was to list the used items (the already washed and ready to go ones).  So I listed them.  Since the store is closed, of course, you can't see them just quite yet, but they are up there.

Another number picked was to list the newly available chins.  So, the homo beige male got listed, Carlos got listed, Bonnie & Bonnie's Girl got listed, the ebony female 3 yr old got listed.  And that's it for currently available chins.  The remaining ones are either on hold, on medical eval, or not ready yet. 

And then the third number (for the first two days) was to clean the chests of drawers.  That's sort of a one-at-a-time thing, cause there's a LOT in those things.  Few weeks back I cleaned one of the shorter ones, so in moving down the line, I cleaned a large black one today.  Half the point of cleaning these things is to better-organize what's in them and pitch what I don't need.  So, the drawers are now re-organized and there is no dust or spider webs on that chest-of-drawers currently.  That'll last a few days before it starts looking bad again, but at least the drawers are organized....

Monday, December 23, 2013

Store closed (temporarily)

Undoubtedly, some of you have seen this on the website (or guessed from the title of this post), but the store is now closed, with a few exceptions.

Please note:
The store is currently closed to orders until further notice (likely mid/late January) to re-stock.  You can email in your order, but orders will not be processed until the store re-opens.  A few exceptions: 
(1) current orders will be completed,
(2) if you are adopting an animal, your order can be filled,
(3) if you are picking up a USED cage, you can do so, and
(4) if you need food (either locally or shipped), I will fill your order.
Sorry for any inconvenience. 

...and now will come the influx of email that will say, "why didn't you tell me the store was closing, I wanted to put in an order!!!"  Exactly for that reason.  I once announced, ahead of time, the store was closing, and got like 20 orders in 3 days.  Nooooo thank you.

While orders are a good thing and help keep the rescue open, the point of closing the store for a period of time is so I can re-stock without selling items the second I make them.

Few reasons why this is necessary:

Some people have been aware that I had a box of the 2" x 3" pine squares get lost in the mail.  These blocks were sent out mid-October and fedex just now confirmed the box is officially declared lost (my USPS packaged never get lost....).  Since I have been unable to get those, I haven't been able to make toys (in case you all were wondering why my selection has been so limited lately, that's why...).  I got an email today that the guy who makes these for me is going to make another box and send it out.  Then, I will be able to make toys.

I also have only one jar of supplement/herb sampler (not sure which one) left.  Those actually take a bit of time to make, so it's not something I can do on the spot.  Just bought more jars the other day, but Meijer only had one package.  Grrr.  Will check back in a bit to hopefully get more (I try to make a lot at a time, so I can go longer between making them).  Will get more of those made up in the time off.

I have cages that need to be listed.  LOTS of them.  Mostly guinea pig/rabbit cages, but still, they would sell if I could list them.  Will be doing that.

Also have a lot of used small items for sale.  I sold a flying saucer yesterday, which nicely cleared out some room.  Also, when Harry was adopted by the new owner of Wheeker's, Desiree, well, she also takes in rats.   So, I donated some rat-sized wheels to her (less for me to sell!).  I need to go through everything, see what's worth selling, what's not (sometimes pitch-able things work their way into that pile).

Also need to WASH a ton of stuff to get it ready to sell.  I again have two large piles of stuff that needs to be washed so I can sell it.  Some of the "wood to wash" pile went down as I was able to use some of it in the QC's I sold yesterday, but there's still a lot of stuff there.

At some point, I need to go through all the drawers in the various plastic chests-of-drawers.... they start to pile up to the point the drawers can't be opened and half the time, things can be pitched or at least, better organized.

Plus the typical cleaning cages, filling orders for people who are adopting an animal, making sure everyone is fed/watered, and so on and so forth.  Filling outstanding orders as well.  Probably building a few more houses too.

Anyone who wants to come volunteer can help with any of this.... if not, it'll still get done, will just take longer....

Friday, December 13, 2013

Actually getting a few things done, and Red

So, I actually accomplished things yesterday.  Maybe that sounds kinda stupid, and makes you ask the question, how doesn't she accomplish things all the time?  Well, there's always cages to clean, animals to feed and water, emails and phone calls to answer... so actually doing things beyond that can be difficult at times.

But yesterday I accomplished a few things.  Minor things, mind you, but some days nothing gets done.  I listed four hammocks on the webstore and added them to the Fleece Items for Sale page.  I packaged up 5 orders which will be mailed out today.  I went through some paperwork.

...and the depressing news, Red, one of our rescue guinea pigs, passed away.  She was fine one moment, gone the next, making me think she likely had a heart attack or something of the sort.  She'd been living in the cage with our other female guinea pigs, and nothing had appeared wrong until I found her gone yesterday.  Well, now she's in piggie heaven.

Hope to get more done tonight.  For some reason, Friday nights are productive for me, and I think maybe its' cause I know I don't have to be up at the crack of dawn for work like usual.  Fingers crossed.

Oh!  One last thing.  If you have a cage on hold -- PLEASE come pick it up.  I know there's only like two listed on the Used Cages for Sale page, but there's at least 5-6 of you with holds on un-listed cages that keep telling me you'll come by and never do.  You know who you are and I think most of you read this blog..... and yet only one person has a set appointment to come pick up theirs.  For the rest of you, please come pick up your cage.  Even if you've paid for it already -- it's taking up room here and I would appreciate it going home with its new owner.  Thanks!  

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Yesterday and today

Trying to accomplish things hasn't really been going so great lately.  Had volunteers over the weekend and we got a ton of stuff done, but I'm still behind in orders, so I think the store will close again in January like last year.

Few updates first though:

  • I did some paperwork last night, so now, most donations made within the last 2-3 months are now showing on the Donations page
    • If yours is missing, please let me know
  • I did a hammock inventory
    • Realized some hammocks still listed on the site were, in fact, out of stock
      • Removed those
    • Changed BOH numbers on other hammocks
    • Found 4-5 hammocks at the rescue that are not on the site.  The one was a previous hammock that somehow must have gotten taken off when I still had some left.  That one was re-added
      • Still need to add the other three, but did take pictures, so that should be soon
  • Received another email about how the larger shelves are not on the webstore
    • Which, they never were due to the huge fluctuations in shipping depending on if someone's here in Chicago or in California
    • But, with so many people telling me they need to be there... I added them in
      • I just set shipping reasonably high, with a note that excess shipping will be refunded when the order ships
      • We shall see how this goes 
  • I officially have pictures and descriptions taken of more of the cages for sale
    • But note, they are not up on the website yet
    • But will be soon 
I had someone call mid-day yesterday, around 1 pm, for Harry (the rabbit we have).  Called em back when I got home from work, oh, they already picked up a rabbit elsewhere.  Really?  Now, potentially, that was an impulse purchase if they couldn't wait a few hours to be called back, but still... frustrating, as Harry's having a difficult time finding a home.  

Also, Jim noticed something interesting, in looking at our website.  He picked up a chin from someone who was selling it (the rescue rarely pays for critters, but if they look on the verge of death and really crappy situation, that's a different story sometimes) and brought it here.  The same day.... we had people come to adopt a male chin.  Those people who came to adopt were the same people who Jim picked up the badly cared chin from.  Wtf??  I mean, they adopted a chin of a different color, but... wtf???  Sell one just to get another?  I do not understand this world.  And I feel like this just proves, no matter how well someone looks on paper or even how they act in person, you never quite know what's going on behind the scenes.  And I'd never have known, had it not been for Jim....

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Fun day today, and I mean that in the most sarcastic way possible.

Had Tazzie adopted out yesterday, so I contacted the first person on my waiting list.  Did not hear back from them, so today, I texted the second person on my list.  Didn't know if they could text or had texting on their phone, but added in the text that I would call them tonight if I didn't hear back from them.  Well, they did text back -- originally they had three chins they wanted to bring by, a mom and two daughters, and I knew that, when they called back in September, the mom was sick.  Turns out, the mom has died, but they do still have the two daughters, and were just waiting for my call so they could bring them by.  Alrighty, so they said they'd try to find a day they can make it out here, and we'll go from there.

Then... I remembered I had seen a craigslist ad that made me think it was our chin.  It said:

Chinchilla for Sale - $60 (Highland)
I can't keep my chinchilla because I'm allergic. I need someone who can take great care of her. She's 4 years old & is in great health. She is a standard grey chinchilla. For the chinchilla only, it's $60. If you want the cage, it comes with a wheel, hidey house, hammock, pillow,& I'll throw in the bath house with dust & some hay, all for $150. Feel free to contact me at [phone], here's the interesting thing.  I read this and thought the phone number seemed familiar, like I recognized it.  Let's put this in perspective.  Every week, I probably get at least 10-15 calls, and 50+ emails about adoptions or supply sales.  So, even myself, I was thinking, I better check this out before I call them, because then chance of me remembering a phone number.... not always so good, just cause of the sheer volume of calls that have come through in the last 10 years.  But, it seemed familiar, so I looked up my Highland adoptive homes.  I don't have a lot of those, but I knew (from the ad) it was a grey chin.  That, right there, cut me down to two people, both who adopted in the same month during 2013.  So, I went and pulled their paperwork, and the phone number for the one ad was 2 digits off of the phone number on the ad.  For example, let's say my cell is 789-0026... but the number (2 digits off) was 789-0028.  Well, in my head, that's close enough, and what I will do in a situation where the number doesn't quite match up is call the number on the ad and ask for the person who adopted.  So, say Ashley adopted at the 789-0026.  I call the 2-digit off number (789-0028) on the ad and ask for Ashley.  If there's no Ashley there... oops, guess I have the wrong number, sorry.... and it could be someone else, with a close phone number.  But I know I hit the jackpot when it's a unique name that's not common and the person who answers says, "oh yes, this is her mother."  Awesome.  Well, as awesome as getting a chin returned to the rescue can be awesome.  So... Gigi is coming back.  Again.

So, I got in the two swings I ordered from Twilight Chinchillas, and made the mistake of asking my mom to help me string them up.  Bad idea.  I had the pieces laid out in order so they'd look nice, and I told her when we started, let's go in order.  So, she did for a little bit, and then grabbed a pile of things with her hand and started putting em on however.  Which isn't a big deal, but I said, "hey, can we do them in order?"  Naturally, she tells me, oh they already weren't in order (yes, they were), and she doesn't care how it looks.  So, I tell her, ok, fine, I don't need help, cause I want em in order.  So what does she do?  Puts her arm down on the table, flat, and sweeps it across the table, knocking off every toy piece that was on the table onto the floor.  $100 worth of toy pieces onto the floor.  Later, she said she fully enjoyed it.    ...and this is why I need to move out, sooner rather than later


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Motorhome returned.... and I am maaaad.

So, remember that person who wouldn't glue the two pieces to the motorhome to fix it and wanted a refund?  They finally shipped my motorhome back. 

Problem is, this is how they received it:

...mainly together, but with the top and the front piece off.  So, they ship it back to me, in a box 2x the size of the motorhome, with 7 freakin air bubbles.  This is how I received it: know, when I opened the box, I actually thought someone sent me some shelves.  It actually took me a minute to recognize, hey, that's the motorhome I'm getting back.  In many many pieces.  I am pissed. 

Considering I sent the motorhome with ample packaging, they could have sent it back in the original box (which fit it much better), with the original packaging (which FILLED the box), and had it not break any further.  But no..... instead, I get a motorhome that might as well be scraps of wood for me to cut up.  And I paid $10.95 to ship this back to me!  Plus, they got a refund.  And now I get to re-assemble the whole thing, IF it is even possible to do so at this point in time, with it broken like this.

I am sick and tired of people saying, "oh, you must not have packaged it well."  No, I packaged it perfectly fine, but I can't help that postmen play basketball with the box.  Or if it falls off a 15' up in the air conveyor belt, also not something I can protect against.  The picture above is the PERFECT example of something packaged horribly. 

Sure, I get, she didn't want it, so she returned it.  Fine, but could she have made some effort to return it to me in the same condition SHE received it in?  As in, only requiring a few dabs of glue to return to how it should look?  Obviously she didn't care enough to do so, threw it in the box with not nearly enough packaging, and now it's scrap wood.  I spent the time to make this thing (and the motorhome takes a LONG time to make), then refunded the purchase price, and now I paid another $10.95 for a pile of scrap wood.  You know how damaged this is?  Let me show you.  These are the only pieces left together:

 ....really????  Omfg. 

I sent this to the person who sent it back to me:

I received the motorhome today.  Just wanted to let you know that I would have preferred you to have packaged it better, as see the attached pictures as to what it looks like now.  I just paid $10.95 for you to send me scrap wood, as now, it is un-fixable, due to how many pieces it is in.  I took the time to make this, it came to you with two pieces off, which could have been easily fixed, and I feel like you couldn't even take the time to package it in a way that I would received it in the same condition you received it in.  Considering you had all the packaging materials from when I sent it to you, this should not have been difficult in the least, and should have arrived here in decent condition.   

Snarky?  Maybe.  But you know what?  I feel like they couldn't take 5 fucking minutes to package it up, and now I have a pile of firewood, they get to know my thoughts on their packaging.

Busy busy... doesn't always accomplish a lot

So, yesterday was a busy day.  Got home, had people coming at 7, so I went and finished building their snowman, got the other toy they wanted, and their food and put it upstairs.

...and started on taking Christmas pictures for the cards my parents send out.  Well, it actually worked out good, cause my people had to re-schedule, and so then I had more time to do the pictures without an interruption.  Got those done, went to Meijer, got em printed, and back home. more orders.  I finally got the snowman ledge shelves done for the one order, packaged those up with the rest of the order, and sent a quote over to the interested person.
snowman ledge shelf

Another order was for a large cage with some shelves.... got all that weighed, cost figured out, and sent over a quote to them.

Another order was for two ounces of globe flowers... packaged that up, cost figured out, sent over a quote to them.

I still have several orders I need to work on.  There's one that was paid yesterday or the day before that needs to be packaged up to go out.  There's one that a lady sent a check through the mail to pay for, need to start on that one.  There's another that's ready to go, just waiting for payment.

So, then started the clean-up.  When I'm working on multiple projects, everything tends to get everywhere.  So, during cleanup, everyone got their dust bath with the fungicide in it.  Still have a chin or two that looks less-than-appealing, and one that is just not getting better that needs a nice dose of the strong stuff (that's for today or another day), but for the most part, they are getting better.  That said, now my one guinea pig, who seems to have a cold/respiratory infection, now has a spot of fungus on her nose.  See, opportunitistic infection which attacks the ones with a weak immune system.  So, she's getting baytril for her infection, and I rubbed some desenex into her nose.

And then I made some holiday wreaths.  So now, I have about 5 of those ready to go for orders.  To make more, I'd actually have to dye more toy parts, so I'll wait til I'm down to the last one (if I get there) before making more.  For those 5 wreaths, it took about 3 full trays of dyed toy parts.... there's a lot of wood in those toys.

Gave everyone food, water.  Gave them all the supplement tabs that I got in a bit ago.  Still surprised they eat the things, they're like little whiteish gray round tablets.  But most chins eat em with no problem.  The others get them laid in their food bowl (I try to get the chins to take em from my hand... but that doesn't always work out) and they tend to disappear.

Oh and Dreamz is definitely pregnant, probably with multiple babies.  The last two pregnancies she had a stillborn and two preemies, so if this doesn't work out, she's going to a pet home.  Well, she's likely going to a pet home anyway, as I believe I have a replacement female for her, with less attitude.

Cleaned up a little, tried to organize, as I have volunteers coming Sunday!  Still have a ton of cages on the floor that need to be cleaned... I FINALLY brought down paper towel rolls to the basement so I can have something to clean them with.  Also need to list the already-clean cages.  Need to take pics of those and get descriptions up... maybe today.

And I need to clean cages... but as it's Thursday... I think it can wait til Sunday when I have help.  I'm sure anyone who've volunteering Sunday and is reading this is thrilled at the prospect of cleaning cages, but sadly, that's what takes oodles of time.  We'll see though, depends on what else ends up getting done between now and then.  It's only Thursday after all...and trash day is tomorrow, so might be good to actually get some stuff cleaned so next week's trash isn't overflowing with chin stuff...

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Festival of Trees, and other things

Let's start with the Festival of Trees.  Hearts in Motion (the re-sale shop in Munster on 45th where the old Sterks used to be) currently has their Festival of Trees.  It features Christmas trees decorated by local non-profits, with ornaments being sold and the profits from those ornaments going to the non-profits.

So, naturally, we went to set up a tree.  And, naturally, I didn't listen to my mother, who said to open the tree box and see if there was a stand.  So we get there, and, well... there was a stand, but my dad had taped pieces of wood to the base of the tree, so it would need a larger stand than what we had.  Ok, so I drive home, dig our garage sale tree stand out of the garage, bring it back.  Screw it on, and naturally, the tree starts tilting until the point we need to catch it so it doesn't fall over.  So, I'm having such a heck of a time with turning those tighteners on the tree stand that I'm starting to get cuts on my hands due to the threads, so I ask my mom to make herself useful and go ask one of the workers for pliers or something of the sort.  So, she goes and finds those, we remove the tree, unscrew the tighteners all the way loose.  We put the tree back in, and I count the tightens.  So, 5 turns on each side, then 5 more turns on each side.   And it took forever, but the tree is now standing!  Yay!  So, we put on the ornaments, wrapped a donated piece of fleece with paw prints on it around the base as a tree skirt, and now our tree is up!

Came home, put together most of two snowmen hanging toys, one for pickup today, another for possibly sometime on the weekend.  Got the three circles drilled, all the eyes/nose/buttons on, and the hats drilled and dyed.  When I get home today, need to attach the hats, drill the holes for the arms, and put in the arms, and they will be good to go.

Remember the other day how I went on about people not calling when they don't show up?  Yeah, that was for Tazzie's adoption that was supposed to be last weekend.  I still have not heard from those people, despite my sending them an email asking for them to contact me to reschedule, and tomorrow (Thursday) will be day 5.  You know what that means.  Well, maybe you don't... it's been awhile since I've sent a 2 day notice out.  So, what it is, if I don't hear from someone for 5 days, I send em an email saying they have 2 days to get back to me if they want the animal still on hold for them.  99.95% of people don't respond to them, but the purpose is so that no one can say, oh, they didn't know I wasn't going to hold it for them any longer.

Now... these people wanted a wire cage on hold (see picture).  One that I find to be a pain in the ass to assemble and disassemble.  I have only, in my entire time at the rescue, had two of these cages in, but they are an absolute pain.  And I'm telling you, if two cages drive me this nuts... they've gotta be bad, cause I deal with a lot of cages over the course of the rescue.  For Tazzie's pickup... they wanted the cage broken down.  So, I broke it down.  And you know, typically, I actually leave the cage mostly set up, with the thought that I will break it down fully when the people get there and they can SEE what I'm doing (so they see how the cage goes together).  But, I felt this one was reasonably self-explanitory (though, that doesn't mean not-difficult), so I broke it down, and even cable-tied the pieces together for these people.  Naturally, they didn't show up.

If they don't answer the two day notice, I will re-set the cage up, and I will use metal C-clips to make it more sturdy.... and to effectively make it so that I will never have to take it apart again.  And it will be listed as a cage that does not break down for transport.  Cause my mom can tell you, I spent way too much time breaking down this cage, only to have the people not show up (and likely I'll never hear from em again) and then that'll require me to set it up again.  The next time I set it back up will be the last time.

Oh and I now have oodles more cages cleaned and ready to be up on the used cages for sale page.  Mostly guinea pig and rat cages, I think a rabbit cage as well.  Hope to get those up soon.  And still, lots of used supplies, like rat wheels, litter boxes, a plastic flying saucer, and more.  Still need to get those put up on the website as well.

Oh and I made a snowman ledge.  Like a circular perch, but snowman.  Working on finalizing that today and should have it up in the store soon.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Busy times....

So, been super busy with orders, but been trying to accomplish other things in the meantime.

I finally have the female guinea pigs and the rabbit over in a ferret nation.  As of yesterday, I had another CN and FN, and when my mom takes her chin (when I move), she's going to keep the FN (which is going to be a decked out Christmas/birthday gift for her), and I sold the CN.  So that gets me rid of spare huge cages.

I have one more large cage right now, but it's on hold.  Will be selling both of my QC's, as well as the midwest guinea pig cage, and several other large cages.  My 24 x 48 rabbit/guinea pig cage that's sat on the floor on wheels will be sold as well, as will the two red guinea pig cages on the stand.  Currently working on cleaning these all.  I have the midwest cage off its stand, and will be, at some point, moving the runs/holding cage up to there.  But that won't be until the QC's get off their table and I can move the runs over to that area.  Lots of cleaning/moving things lately.

Also, just got in the pro-C supplement tablets that I bought from Meadowbrook Chinchillas.  I was iffy as to whether the chins were really going to eat these things, as they're little whiteish round tablets, but surprisingly, the chins actually take these things and eat them!  Most of the chins, anyway.  The others got these put in their food dishes, and they disappeared, so, I imagine those ate them too.

Last time I got a care packet from Jean (TJ's) she sent some dried cranberries.  Since I don't give the chins any fruits/veggies, the guinea pigs and rabbit think I'm amazing right now, lol.  They just love em.

Oh and people, please... if you're going to not be able to make it, let me know.  Especially if I've given you a large span of time to be here.  As most people are aware, I try to set appointment times.  As in, I want people to tell me, they're going to be here at 5.  Or even between 5 and 6.  That way, I'm not sitting around all night waiting for people to show up.  What I dislike is when the best I can get from people is that they'll "come after 6:15" or they'll come "between 2 and 4 or maybe later."  The reason being, for some reason (and I dunno why), the people who give a range like that either show up outside of their range, or not at all.  Last week... had someone who was supposed to come "after 6:15."  They texted at 7:30 asking if they could come at 9.  Well, sure, that's after 6:15, but that's pushing it as far as how late I want people here.  So I said sure.  In the end, they'd confused Munster with Muncie, and wouldn't have gotten here until about 11 pm.  At that point... I told em, sorry, gotta come another day, I am not letting anyone in in the middle of the night.  No other pet store or rescue would do it, and I'm not that desperate to adopt out animals.  They came the next day.  But note.... I was home, and waiting around, for them from 6:15 on.  They never came that night.  Maybe that doesn't seem like a big deal, but I have things to do.  When I need to cut things on the saw, I will wait until all my people have come and gone, so that I don't end up covered in sawdust.  Problem is... if people never show up, I never end up using the saw, having effectively wasted the night.  I get it, I can just cut and end up sawdust covered, but that's not the point.  The point is, I've just sat home all night for someone who didn't show, and even aside from the saw, if I wanted to leave, I didn't, with the thought someone was coming.

Like yesterday.  Had someone who was supposed to come "between 2 and 4."  They never showed up, never texted, never called, never anything.  I had some places I needed to go, but I sat home, waiting for them.  At 4:30, I even sent an email saying, hey, if you're on your way, please call/text/email, so I can make sure to stay home for you (cause I was set to leave at 5ish).  I still don't have an email or any contact from them.  Now, I understand that people are busy, animals aren't everyone's #1 priority.  However... how long would it take to send out an email, call, text, whatever, saying, hey, I can't make it? 

Especially cause I tend to put off vacuuming unless I have people over.  The reason being, the poos fall on the floor, 5 minutes later, the floor is covered again.  If people are coming, I vacuum.  If they're not, I vacuum about twice a week.  If you don't show up, now I've spent time vacuuming that could have been spent doing something else.  Same goes with cleaning up.  The people who've been here volunteering know what a disaster the rescue turns into when we pull out shavings to clean cages, or toy parts to make toys, or the hidey houses and the glue and try to get those all put together.  Everything gets put everywhere.  I've tried to better contain that lately, by setting up another table and using that for the projects, but that doesn't always help, depending on how much stuff is down there.  Well, if people are coming, again, I try to make it look neat and presentable.  Which is fine, I prefer it neat.  But... if they don't show up, and I still am not done with whatever project... I have to pull it alllllllllll back out.  Again, wasting time.

....and this could all be solved by simply contacting me and letting me know that they can't make it.  But that seems super difficult for a lot of people....

Monday, November 18, 2013

Guinea pig cage

Ok, so going to end the day on a happy note.  Finally moved the female piggies over to their portion of the FN.   I will be selling my Midwest guinea pig habitat once it's cleaned.

Old gp cage:

New gp cage:

Really, I like the first cage better, and its 2' x 4' (versus the FN being 2' x 3') but I just won't have the room once I move for a ton of cages that aren't stackable.  And this will take less time to clean...

So far, I only put the wood pan extenders on three sides (not the front), but we'll see how much bedding makes its way out of the cage.  They may end up with a front one too. 

Things breaking in the mail

Now... I'd like to think I package things well.  And I understand when things break, people want a new one.  But sometimes I think people think this is Walmart and if it breaks, they want a whole new one.... heaven forbid they pull out a little glue.

I ship out over 100 hidey houses, motorhomes, and mobiles combined over a year's time, and maybe 10 break.  7 of those people will email, say it broke, and sometimes send a picture and will ask what they can use to re-glue.  And I'll tell them and they will re-glue themselves, no problem.  Maybe 1 of the remaining three sends a picture and it's broken so badly that it can't be fixed, I'll send another or issue a refund, whichever they prefer.  But the remaining two.... I'm sure I'm going to sound like an absolute bitch here, but.... they won't glue the damn things back together and want a full refund when the fix is minor.  A roof came off a hidey house.  Super difficult to glue back on, I know.  *rolls eyes*  I can see if the whole thing came apart, as I collapse houses trying to glue them together and get rubberbands on them to let them set... I collapse them myself all the time.  That's not easy.  But a roof?  Come on.  I currently sent out a motorhome, and the roof and the front panel (with headlights) came off.  Easiest pieces to glue back on as they don't support anything and there's no trying to line them up perfectly.  The roof goes on top, the panel goes in the front.  I tell them, they can just glue those on, use elmer's glue.  Nope, they want a full refund.  Really?  

Don't get me wrong, I will give a refund if wanted.  I don't argue about it, someone says something happened, I will give a refund (though I do appreciate pictures, in the event you're asking for a lot of money refunded).  And I've had some things sent out that are damaged so badly they definitely warrant a refund.  But when two pieces come off your item and you don't care to glue it?  That just irks me.  Because you would have the exact item you ordered if you'd glue the thing.  But no.

Also should note -- these are handmade wood items.  They are made with glue.  You know why they're made with glue?  Because the animal community frowns deeply upon the use of screws or nails.  Which I can understand, you all don't want your animals munching on metal, but then I feel like people have to understand, it's not superglue used to hold these things together.  It's simple white elmer's glue, and that stuff isn't super glue.  It's strong, but it's not strong enough to withstand the mailmen playing basketball with the box.  

And the other thing -- I'm fine with paying return shipping... but it seems no matter how much I stress to people to ship things out the slowest, cheapest way, I tend to get ALL refunds sent back either priority mail or even once, overnighted!  It is NOT worth paying $40 for me to get something back the next day.  Heck, the motorhome itself is only $32!!  I don't know if some of these people are sitting back laughing because I told em ship it cheap and they just cost me $40 to get a broken motorhome back, but people really do this to me, and I'm getting tired of it.  Keep in mind, if you order something and it breaks, and you want to ship it back to me, now, in addition to whatever it cost me to make the item, now I've just downed another $15-20 into it (for a motorhome, for example, which are expensive to ship, as they're large and heavy.... not to mention, a lot of times, people pack them crappily, and they arrive at my place broken even further than when the person received them).  It's only selling for $32, and if I spend $20 to get it back, and then have to fix it... well, it takes forever to build one anyway, which is why its $32.... now I'm only making $12 (and, it took me additional time to fix it, if I even can...).  I understand even standard post is expensive, but I don't need it priority or overnighted.  Cheapest possible, please.  I'm not in a rush and super excited to receive broken pieces of wood in the mail.  It can wait a few days.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Tag-along to the last post

So, this goes along with my last blog post, so read that one first so this one will make sense.

The person who wanted me to throw in a cage and food emailed me back, saying "How much for a cage and food? What is the bottom price for them? I truly want them but can't afford them a cage and food."

My response:

We sell food at $1.25 per pound, and our cages start at $75.  Both are cheaper than getting the stuff at the pet store.  The chins are currently on sale -- the price you saw of $113 is their sale price, they're normally $150.  $113 is cheap for two chins, especially with one being white, considering the pet stores charge $150 just for one chin.  

If you can't afford them, a cage, and food (and that's not all you'd need to keep them healthy and happy), you wouldn't be able to afford vet care if they needed it -- if they needed to go to the vet for some reason, vet bills are typically $150+.  I would suggest looking into a cheaper pet.  

Cause here's the thing.  Just a cage, food, and two chins is not going to cut it.  And a $75 cage probably isn't going to be one big enough for two chins.  But let's not forget, they also need hay, chew toys, water bottle, food dish.... none of these are huge expenses, but they do add up, especially for people who are barely scrounging by as it is.

Don't get me wrong, people can have the best intentions.  But I won't adopt out chins to someone who said they can't afford the chins and the cage, cause if they can't do that, that's the least of it.  I mean, our chins are adopted out healthy, but who's to say one won't develop a respiratory infection next month?  If it does, well, let me put it this way -- I've never left the vet for under $150.  Need meds?  That's extra.  Extra syringes?  That's extra.  Need to handfeed for some reason?  Critical care is EXPENSIVE.  If $113 is going to break the bank, you can definitely not afford two chins.  

...and really, "what is the bottom price for them?"  Really?  It's not about the money, I'm not concerned with making a certain amount per chin, but I am concerned when people think that $113 is too much, because then I wonder what they'd say if something happened to the chin and they had to face a several hundred dollar vet bill.  Cause here's the thing -- a lot of people that think $100 is too much for a pet also don't think that pet is worth vet care.  Those people are often the ones who call me and say that the chin has a broken leg and has had it for a week, but they don't want to pay to take it to the vet.  Want to know the reason?  Cause they only paid $30 for the chin and don't want to spend hundreds at the vet, when they could get another chin for another $30.  People are really like this, I deal with them all the time.  

Now, don't get me wrong, there are some people who aren't well off who take their pets to the vet if needed and care for them well.  But they're not the majority.

And, going back to the broken leg example -- you might be surprised how many of these people want me to take it to the vet, pay for the vet care, hang onto the animal until it's healed up, and then when it's better and I've spent time and bouceau bucks to fix their animal, they want me to return the animal to them.  Oooooh no.  The only way I'm paying for vet care for an animal is if the animal is surrendered to the rescue.  

Few things

So, it's been busy lately.

For all who didn't catch on, the house fell through.  The bills were 3x higher than what I'd budgeted for, and unless my boss gives me a pay raise, which isn't likely, I couldn't afford to live there.  So, the house hunt starts again.

... some people caught on due to the fact that, on the website, the "moving sale" changed to simply a "sale."

I can't say I'm happy about that, but it is what it is.  Unless, of course, someone wants to donate a few thousand to the rescue and then I can move in... haha.

Moving along... I get emails and calls daily about chins.  If I put a chin on hold for every call/email I received, they'd all be on hold and 90% would never go home.  And here's why -- out of every 10 people who contact me, I return their phone call/email, and hear back from maybe 2.  So, I don't put an animal on hold until either I receive a completed adoption form or unless we have a date and time set for someone to come over.

This can create problems.  For example, Person 1 calls Monday about Animal X and I call them back and leave a message, and they don't call back, and 3 days pass.  Do they want the animal?  I don't know.  So, Person 2 emails, with an adoption form attached to the email, says they want Animal X.  I email them back, they respond quickly, and Animal X goes on hold for Person 2.  Then, Person 1 calls and is upset that Animal X is not on hold for them.  Now, let's note, I've never actually talked to Person 1, I do not have an adoption form from Person 1, and so on.

Now, I used to do it where for every person who emailed/called, the animal would go on hold for them for 7 days, and they'd have that long to get back to me.  But not anymore, because, as noted, only 20% of people get back to me, so 80% of those animals would be on hold needlessly.  I still do this 7 day hold for someone who I've been in contact with several times, who then vanishes, but if I've never talked to you or never received something from you, then it doesn't apply.

...and by the way, offering more money for chins that are on hold for someone else doesn't work.  You know why?  Because it's not all about the money.  Even if the rescue was broke, it'd be more important to find a good home than to find the home that can pay more for the chins.  If the good home came along already, well, people can wait around for the next chin that's available that meets their criteria.

Moving along again.... I hate emails that say things like (and I quote) "willing to buy them if u provide the cage & bedding."  Um, no.  This is a rescue.  We provide what we provide, which is the following:

--single chin -- baggie (roughly 2 pounds) food, goodie bag, care packet
--pair chins -- 4 pounds food, 2 goodie bags, care packet
--trio chins -- 6 pounds food, 3 goodie bags, care packet
--baby chin -- baggie (roughly 2 pounds) food, kit goodie bag, hanging chew toy, care packet
--rabbit -- 4 pounds food, 2 cardboard bagels, care packet
--guinea pig -- 2 pounds food, 2 cardboard bagels, care packet
--rat -- bag of lab blocks (roughly 1 pound), bag of dry cereal mix, care packet

....and that's it.  If the animal came in with something that the other said they wanted to go with the animal, then they may come with something else.  I've had chins dropped off with their cages, and the other said, send the cage with them.  Or send the wheel with them.  Or whatever the case may be -- then those animals come with "their stuff."  But, that's not most animals.  Most animals just come with what's listed above.  In case anyone wonders why those particular amounts?  The average chin eats 2 pounds per month.  The average large rabbit can eat 4 pounds a month.  A rat could probably go a month on a pound or two of lab blocks.  So, the idea to give those amounts is so people have a month to go get more, assuming they are not purchasing more from the rescue (some people do, some do not).

But when people say that they'll buy them if I provide this and that... to me, that's like saying, "how bad do you want them gone?  If you want them gone badly enough, throw in this and that and I'll take them."  Um, no.  Let's note that people like that almost never end up adopting.  Because they want to buy everything packaged up in a neat little bow for $50.  And that's fine -- they just need to look on craigslist for the people who are selling chin, with cage, with everything, and call up that person.  Sure, those chins often look like they've never had a dust bath, and often the cages are caked with built up feces, but come on, that's why it's $50 for everything!  There's a reason the chins here are more money and the cages are more money.  The chins stay here for a month to be sure they're doing well, healthy, eating, all that.  If they're not, they stay here until they get better, they don't get adopted out ill, unless it's something that cannot be fixed but is not life threatening (like, for example, a rat we recently adopted out with teeth issues [need clipped every few weeks - under $15 at a vet, could be done at home] and weakness in her legs -- not specifically unhealthy, just older and needing a more special adoptive home.  So, after having kept a chin here for 30+ days, fed it, dusted it, cared for it that time, it's going to cost more than $20.  Same with the cages.  I wish you all could see the cages I get in with animals.  Usually the whole base is caked in either feces or just unrecognizable grime.  I end up taking a metal putty knife, scraping up what I can, and pouring in vinegar and letting it sit.  And after it's sat for awhile, I scrub it.  Then pour in more, let it sit for awhile, scrub it.  And rinse and repeat over and over until the grime comes off.  Some of these cages take days to clean.  I have one cage right now, where I have had the base on the floor for the past week, letting it soak, scrubbing it, letting it soak more, scrubbing it more, and so on and so forth.  It can take forever to get everything off.  And that's just the base, the top part (wire) has to be scrubbed and washed, as well as any plastic shelves (if it's a non-chin cage), and any wooden parts need to be scrubbed, sanitized, and sanded down.  So, the cages aren't $10, because many have hours worth of my time put into them.  Hence, I can't throw in a cage that I'd otherwise ask $150 for, with two chins.

I get people wanting everything at once, one nice little package.  And I can do that, you tell me you want chins, cage, water bottle, food bowl, toys, I will come up with a nice package for you.... but not for the price of the chins themselves, will I throw in all this other stuff.  Sorry, just not how it works.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

"Hours" or Something of the Sort

I'm sure I've gone over this time and time again, but it keeps coming up.  The rescue does not have hours.

If you email me and ask to come by, and ask when I'm available, I will tell you, this day after 6, this day after 7, this day all day free... and then I make sure to ask, "let me know what day/time works for you."  Here's what this means -- let me know what time you would like to come, so I can pencil you in.  Here's what this does not mean -- these are hours where I will be sitting home in the hopes that someone may stop by.  No, no, no.

This is not a pet store.  We are not open 9-5.  If we were, then sure, you could stop over anytime between 9 and 5.  But this is a house where I happen to live.  Just because I get home from work by 6:15 does not automatically mean I plan to sit home all night.

I have told people time and time again, do not just show up, let me know when you're coming.  I'm fine with a range.  Between 1-3 is fine, assuming I don't have a busy day full of lots of people.  But I need an idea.

Here's what is frustrating.  This is today.  Yesterday I was asked for my availability and I gave it to them.  They asked about last night, I told them that would be fine, and then they said, ok, if that doesn't work, what about the next few days.  So I gave them that availability and asked when they'd like to come.  Heard nothing back, so I emailed and asked if they'd figured out when they were going to come.  The answer "Saturday or Sunday."  Not helpful.  In a lot of ways, because this Saturday is literally PACKED, so they couldn't just randomly come at any time Saturday, and even Sunday, leaving that wide open.  So I email them and ask if they know what time, and I tell them to not just stop by, because if I don't know what time they're coming I may not be home.  The response "in the afternoon."  Maybe this isn't frustrating to anyone else, but it's frustrating to me, because if I didn't respond, and just assumed they're coming in the afternoon, I could end up sitting home from 1-5 pm with them showing up sometime there.  Now, if I was already planning on being home all that time, that's not such a big deal, but I still like to know what time people are coming.

If I need to run out to get food, I need to know what time to go so I don't leave 5 minutes before someone gets here.  If an animal gets sick, I need to know whether or not I should cal someone to tell them we need to reschedule the appointment.  If the animal's sick at noon, and they say "afternoon" -- I would need to cancel a 1 pm appointment, but probably not 2:30 or later.

Not to mention, sometimes I do like to have a life outside of the rescue.  That's why it's not bothering me to shrink down the rescue when I move, because the rescue has taken over my life.  I have been trying to limit appointments to a few days a week, rather than one person every day of the week.  I need to have some free time to myself, and telling me that you're coming in the "afternoon" doesn't allow me to do that.  I need to know when to be ready for you.

And... it benefits you if I know when you're coming.  Say you give me a laundry list of things you want with your chins.  The reason I ask for those ahead of time is so that I can get it ready so you don't stand there while I dig out everything you want out of various places I have it stashed.  If you tell me 1 pm, it will be ready at 1 pm.  If you tell me afternoon, I don't know whether to have it ready at 1 or 5, and the thing is, if I have something more pressing, I may do that first, and then if you show up early, your stuff may not be ready.

This is why the rescue is appointment only.  So I can plan my life around the rescue.

Don't get me wrong, I understand some people don't know exactly when.  I have no problem when someone tells me, they have their kid's soccer game in the morning, and they think it'll end at 11, and they'll come right after. Ok, fine, the time they actually get out could differ.  What frustrates me is the people that just don't want to pick a time.  I have literally been told before, "oh I'll show up whenever I get up."  What?  No.  That could be 8 am or 2 pm, depending on the person.  I don't need it to be 4 on the dot, but at least be courteous enough to say, between 4-6.  It makes my life so much easier.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Great Day Yesterday

Yesterday was AWESOME!!  So much accomplished.

So, got home from the farmer's market at around 11, went downstairs to start cleaning up the rescue (everything was everywhere) and such.  I organized the grand majority of our packaging supplies.  They'd been taking over the basement, between bubble wrap, air pillows (the kind you use to pack a box with), and that kind of stuff.  Gathered it all together and boxed it up.

Same with the supplies on the work table (which is typically covered with other stuff and never has any room to work).  I had boxes upon boxes of things that need pictures taken of and put up on the webstore.  Took all of those, put them in sealed boxes, and stacked them.  Went through every box on the table, and put away what I could.

Organized the pile of items that need to be washed and decided which cages are staying vs. not staying as our spare cages.  I think.

Took pictures of the used cages currently for sale, so I don't have to hunt through the camera for them.  Got a few more ready.  I have a Prevue Hendryx 495 that still had some useable metal shelves, added some wood shelves to that one.  Took pictures.  Had a huge cage sort of like a Quality Cage mansion, it had wire ramps and such, but they are chin-safe bar spacing, so I left those in.  Added more wood shelves to that, took a picture of that.

Have another cage that folds down, I think it might have been a ferret cage, but the shelves were so flimsy and wobbly (and not chin-safe) that I pitched them.  Got as far as wiping the bars of that cage down.  The base needs a lot of work and a lot of vinegar, so I started scrubbing on that yesterday, but it's going to take some time to get that one clean.

I've decided I'm going to sell the cage we usually use for Expos, as it's so big and bulky, and I'm not getting any younger, and we're going to use our Quality Cage travel cage.  I had always figured, oh, I'd use a cage the size they should be in... but then the prairie dogs come in a travel cage, and I'm fine with explaining that it's not a permanent cage, and to own a chin, they'd need one bigger.

...and selling that cage allows me the room to keep the 4 J's Plantation cage -->

Oh and I got in the air scrubber.  First few days, didn't notice much, but then, I bought the unit for a small area, not for the size of my parents' basement, but then yesterday, I was downstairs from 11 am in the morning and didn't need my inhaler til around 4-5 pm!  That's WAY longer than I could ever have gone before without needing it.  Yay.

So, I was supposed to have three people come to volunteer, Emily & Sarah, and Sammy, but Sammy couldn't make it, so just Emily and Sarah came by.

We got so much done!  Like I had a zillion things on my to-do list and we knocked out the grand majority of them.  All the runs got cleaned.  The large guinea pig cage, and the two smaller guinea pig cages got cleaned.  The two quality cages got cleaned.  All the chins got wood sticks to chew on.  All the chins got hay.  All the hay cube holders got filled up.  All the chins got a dust bath.  Prairie dog food got mixed up.  And all the hanging toys on the cage got filled up.  The girls did an awesome job, it would have taken me forever to do all of this without their help.

So when they left, I continued to clean and organize.  Completely organized the wall of stuff that needs to be cleaned.  Picked up all the hay on the ground, and put it into 1.5 pound bags (for when people order starter packs).  Realized I had no more baggies (1 ounce or 3 ounce) of rosebuds, so I made some of those.

Opened up email on my phone to view current orders.  Realized I still haven't sent out an invoice for an order (and still haven't yet as of today, the mental note failed).  Got together four orders that had been paid for.  One was already packed, the others I packaged up and got ready.

Some of the orders I'm still working on.  I have an order for a cottage hidey house with a bottom with bolts to hang on the side of the cage.  Well, I'd started building one, and it had half of the top on and the rubberbands still holding it together.  Pulled it down, put on part of the bottom, and then cut the little piece for the remainder of the bottom, and rubberbanded that all together.  And drilled the holes for the hardware.  Today, I will just have to cut the remaining piece for the top, glue and rubberband that and let it sit for a day.  Will put the bolts in, finish the shelves that go along with that order, and will hopefully box it up within the next few days.

Another order has a toy and a motorhome and something else.  Had started on the motorhome a little bit ago, made the front piece with the headlights today and the two front supports and glued on the roof.  Left it to try, the wheels can go on tomorrow or the next day.  Then that order should be able to go out soon as well.

Got another order in today.  And I think I have another few lurking in my email, but I need to clear out the ones I'm mailing today to see what's left for me to work on.  For sure I have the one order left that has the 7-8 hidey houses in it.  Haven't even had a chance to look at that one yet... but to even have space to do that, I need to move some of these others out first.  But I got a good start on the orders.  Currently marked all the hidey houses and chinny mobile and chinny motorhome as "out of stock" because I need to get caught up before I keep getting more orders for those.  So any orders within the next few days from the webstore can only be little things.  Yay.

So I think that's it for now.

Friday, October 25, 2013


I got the house!  *happy dance*

So, adoption fees are all reduced by 25%.

That said, when our 2.5 year old rat comes up for adoption in a few days, her adoption fee of $5 to a retirement home is going to stay at $5.  If anyone is looking for an older rat, she is super sweet.  Sleeps a lot, but does awesome being handled and a great rat all around.  A pink eyed white.  Doesn't bite, loves people, just is old and sleeps a lot.  Needs a home to live out her days.  

When I get around to listing used cages, those will also be 25% off.  All other supplies remain regular price.  Despite the lack of cages on the Used Cages page, I have a TON of used cages right now.  I think one or two guinea pig sized, at least two rat cages, plenty that would work for chins or ferrets.  Will try to get those posted sometime soon.

So, if you're looking to adopt and need your critter and cage, now's the time to get it at a reduced price.  Good deals!  If you're looking at a $100 chin and a $100 cage, you'd now be paying only $75 for each, and saving $50!  Who-hoo!

Oh, but this all only applies if you pickup before November 27th.  If I have to lug this stuff to the new house (still *happy dancing*), no discount.  Ideally, I'd like to sell this stuff now so that I don't have to move it to the new house.

Oh, and the chins are back up for adoption.  Still no testing results back, but at this point, if it was food/water/hay, we should have had more dead, and if it was contagious, cagemates (of the chins that passed) should be dead, and they're still all alive and well.  So, we dunno what it was, but it seems over now, and the chins remaining here are fine, so they're back up for adoption.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Short update

So, this will be a short update.

Tazzie was adopted by the person who took her on a trial run.  Yay.

Our med eb male was adopted, named Midnight, and they sent me pics!  Yay.

No chins have died, with the exception being a few-day-old baby, which is not unusual.

Our Lucky (guinea pig) has passed away, unknown causes, but, as with chins, sometimes that just happens.  Unfortunately, we never know to what extent (if any) these animals have unknown health problems, heart conditions, etc.

Lambchops and Carmen (both guinea pigs) went to their new home.  Yay.

Called up Highland Animal Hospital today, cause it's day 14 and we still don't have the necropsy results.  They said that the results are running slow right now, they said to expect to find out towards the end of the week.  Ugh.  So more waiting on that.

On the house hunt, was ready to make an offer on a house in Hammond in the Hessville area... until we did our longer walkthrough with the realtor and discovered... no central air.  Now, had it just said "air: yes" -- this would not have been anything major, as I did see a window unit in a closet, but it actually said "cooling: central air."  So, my realtor contacted the listing agent, said that I was disappointed, but still interested, but wanted to see about getting central air put in.  So we're working on that right now.  Not getting it put in, actually, but the seller is supposed to get us some quotes on cost.  So, once I get a quote, I will offer that much less (plus I was already going to offer less).

It's a nice house.

The basement is literally divided into two sections, one for chins, one for my other stuff.  The main thing that would need to be done (other than the air conditioning) would be to install doors in the basement to close off the chin area and close off the storage area.  Other than that, just minor touch-ups and cleaning.

Fingers crossed this property doesn't get sold in the meantime cause I am in love with it.

Have emails from some other people potentially looking to adopt, once we get the necropsy results in and re-open the rescue to adoptions.  The rescue is still going to stay closed as far as surrenders, as we're still way over the number of animals we should be, but open for adoption is better than nothing.

With the house -- in the event the air issue gets worked out and I put in an offer and it's accepted, we're going to have a sale with reduced adoption fees.  The purpose being to maybe move some of them out of here a little quicker so there will be less animals to move to the new place.  Much easier to move empty cages that can be cleaned ahead of time, versus moving animals to carriers, trying to hurry up and vacuum cages to make em halfway decent, and moving em.  I would rather not move cages that have only been cleaned so-so to a new place.  So the more chins and critters adopted out, the better.

And I think that might be it.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Going on's

So, it's been a little quiet lately, what with cancelling adoptions, not going to the chin show, and all of that.

But we did have some adoptions -- one person adopted Flounder and Prim (separate cages, obviously) and three male rats, another adopted a single male chinchilla.  So, that's a few less.

And orders are still coming in.  Had a few small ones, until today... when I got one order for like 8 hidey houses.  That's going to be a pain to pack.  Granted, that will likely be more than one box.  But still.  And I still don't have a ton of hidey houses ready to go, though I do have a few, thanks to a volunteer coming by to help make them and sand wood parts.  But 8?  Must have a lot of animals.

Oh and the rescue is in the process of purchasing an air scrubber.  As anyone who's been down at the rescue with me for any length of time knows, my allergies start getting the better of me and my asthma kicks in and I start wheezing.  That doesn't make staying down at the rescue very appealing, because I value breathing pretty highly.  So the air scrubber we're working on getting is refurbished discontinued unit, so it basically 70% off.  But don't let that fool you, it's still super expensive.  But if it lets me stay down at the rescue longer and keeps my (eventual) next location from getting condemned due to animal smells, it will be worth it.  These air scrubbers are like a high tech version of air purifiers and not only help pull particles and smells from the air, they also pull in bacteria and ideally keep airborne illnesses from spreading.  They tend to be used by vets, animal hospitals, regular people hospitals, so this is like high tech.

Dunno how soon we'll have this, the rep I'm talking to knows I want this one (which is good, cause apparently there were other people considering these -- there were two [different sized] refurb'd units) and just emailed asking what sales tax is for Indiana, so hopefully next step is I have a final price with sales tax and freight and we go from there.  I am antsy.  I keep checking my email hoping...

Oh and Carmen is set to go home this upcoming weekend.  And I think that's it.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Decent Day

...and by decent day, I mean, nothing died!  Yay!!

Moving along, actually got some stuff done today.  Packaged up 5 orders and mailed them out, including one from yesterday.  That person will think I'm super quick, everyone else is probably at home grumbling wondering where their package is....  ah well.  It is what it is.

The person who was supposed to come pick up Tazzie for a trial run decided she still wanted to come, upon being informed about what's going on.  She and I both agreed -- in the event Tazzie's not sick, assuming we do have sick ones here, she'd be better elsewhere.  So, she took her for a trial run and she's going to let me know how that goes.

Also, I have people who originally decided they wanted to wait regarding picking up their chin, but have now decided they're going to come anyway, on Sunday.  They said they're going to take the chin to the vet on Monday.  I told em, I dunno if the vet will find anything, but if they do, let me know!  I still need to get them cage pictures and prices so they can decide what they're doing regarding that.  That will be today.

And I could have gone to look at houses today (except for the fact my realtor already scheduled someone) because my person coming today to pick up a guinea pig that she'd had on hold for 2.5 weeks said her brakes went out on her car.  Understandable, but that doesn't change the whole thing where we only hold for 2 weeks, so I told her, if she still wants him on hold, she can put down a deposit, and that will hold him for a month.  So, her return email was confusing cause she said she didn't want to make him wait to find a home, but then she asked about how she'd do the deposit.  So, we'll see how that goes.

But, her cancellation freed up the night, so now I will have more time to work on orders.

I took all the chin ads down yesterday and marked on the website that we are not adopting out chinchillas at this time.  I need to make sure all the "other" pets that are here are listed, since now I have the room for them on all the other sites.

I think that's it for the moment.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

RIP Clyde & necropsy results (or lack thereof)

So, I came home today intending to take Haku to the vet for a necropsy and Clyde to the vet to have his leg looked at.  Yeah, bout that.  My mom called Munster Animal Hospital and asked if they did necropsies.  Turns out, they do not, and they said no one local did.  Ok, come on, I know someone local does.  So, I pulled out the phone book and started calling local vets.  First didn't do small animals (oops), and about the next 10 either didn't do necropsies at all or didn't do them on small animals.  Finally, got one place that didn't do necropsies, but the nice lady told me to call Munster (done), and then said try Highland or Glen View because they knew both saw birds (which are considered exotics).  Turns out, Highland Animal Hospital does necropsies.

So, I go downstairs to get Clyde out for his vet visit... and he's gone.  So then, we had a fresher chin for a necropsy.  So I took him in.  They called back later, said they found nothing obvious that would have caused his death, so they sent out tissues to Purdue.  Said it will take 10-14 days for the results to come back.  That is a long time.  So, now we wait.

The people at Highland were super nice.  Very helpful, very understanding, and they're going to bill me for the tissue samples.  Never seen me before but they're going to send me a bill.  I did pay for the necropsy and body handling, so they did get some money already (just fyi, you want a chin necropsied and body disposed of, it's $166 at Highland), but I was surprised that they'd bill me considering they've never seen me before.  But very nice, very helpful.

I came home, emailed everyone set to pick up a chin and told them what's going on.  So far I've heard back from all four (figures that I have oodles of adoptions set up when something like this happens), three have said that they want me to hold onto the chin for them until this passes, which they're aware that we don't know when that'll be.  The other just emailed me this morning asking what type of illness (don't know), if she'd be putting him in danger taking him home (probably no more danger than he's in here), and I just emailed her back.  So waiting on that.  Also texted the person who was supposed to come for a trial run later today, so waiting to hear back from her as well.

Needless to say, we are no longer going to the chin show this weekend.  That had completely slipped my mind until Meredith mentioned it, but I can't take potentially sick chins and get all the ones at the show sick, so we're staying home.  Boo.  So Meredith will be picking up my order at the show from Ryersons.

Meredith pointed out something, and this could potentially be unrelated to anything else, but all the chins that have passed have been males.  Could be just a coincidence, but that's the current trend.  And all rescues or at least, chins living with the rescues.  None of our pedigreed chins have passed yet.

Juanita (of Hendryx Chins) told me to check they're breath because it'd smell sweet if they had this one health condition.  I took out one female that was looking a little sluggish.  She tried to take off my face (so much for sluggish) and her breath smelled fine.

I had several people suggest it could be a brain issue, which would explain why they're all going downhill so fast.  And could explain Clyde's leg problems, as it seemed to not be broken, but maybe he had some paralysis going on.  I don't know.

We shall see.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

NWI, we have a problem....

Title says it all.  Four chins have died in the past 10? 11? days, we have something going on.  Today, I had volunteers here today (thanks girls!) and they noticed that Dracula (aka Haku) was not dusting when put in his dust.  Pulled him out, and he was alive, but just barely.  He passed over the next maybe hour or so.  No reason, no nothing.  Like the others (in case you've forgot -- Bongo [9/24], Aston [9/27], Nytro [9/29]), he was fine the day before, and the all of a sudden, passed.  I dunno if we might have something contagious going on, but we need to find out, so Dracula is going in for a necropsy tomorrow.  He is in the freezer right now (much to my parents' dismay).

My mom said maybe it's a sign I'm not supposed to have the rescue (that all the chins are dying).  What a thing to say, eh?

I'm worried about the remaining chins.  My Winx isn't (and hasn't been) in the best of health (though he is improving), so he could be dealing with a compromised immune system, and let's not forget right now we have 11ish chins under 4 months here.  Also not the most wonderful immune systems when they're that young.  I wish I could take the day off work to take the chin in but needless to say no one here (or at work) would approve.  

...and Clyde has seemingly managed to injure himself.  I dunno if he fell or what but he's sort of half dragging his one back leg, doing a weird sort of limp.  So, he will be going to the vet tomorrow along with Dracula. 

But there are good things going on too!  Yesterday we were at the Hobart Home Depot for their annual fire and safety thing for kids, and we got $8 in donations!  Yay!  One of the people who donated was the guy who runs Amhurst Asylum and he said if I give him a flyer for the rescue, he'll put it up!  Awesome!

Also, Irene & Beatrice were adopted yesterday.  Today, Prim and Flounder were picked up for a trial run.  I have already received an email that the girl, for sure, wants to adopt them (they are in separate cages) -- yay!  And she wants to come look at the rats!  Plus, I had someone call about the rabbit, and another person text about taking Tazzie on a trial run -- she (well, I think it's a she... I could be wrong), is coming up from Indy on Tuesday.  Oh, cause a tree fell on my realtor's vehicle so he won't be up back to this area (from Bloomington -- he was visiting his daughter at college) by Tuesday, so we need to reschedule house viewings.  Darn, but it does allow me more time this week with people since most of this week I already have booked up and will be gone this week for a chin show.

Oh and Lambchops should finally be going home this Wednesday!  And I think that's it for the good news.  Back to worrying about the chins we still have....if you pray, pray that the remaining chins (all the zillions still here) hang on until our vet figures out what's wrong.  And pray he does figure out what's wrong.  If it turns out we have a mystery illness, I dunno what we're gonna do. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

*sigh* shipping to other countries


Let's just start with what happened.  I get an order from the webstore and I look at the address (which is unconfirmed, of course) and it's Denmark.  Wait, Denmark?  The webstore is only set up to take US orders.  And of course, because it was put through as a US order, it shows shipping as $8.50.  Uh... no.  Just to illustrate...

Now I intentionally made that large, so it's clear.  Notice on the bottom there, it say, "Shipping to:" and then shows "United States."  Guess what? - that's the only option.  You click on it, try to change it, you can't.  And that's done intentionally, because I do not have anywhere near the time I would need to go through and figure out shipping for every item to every other country out there... not to mention... I typically ship out 1-2 items out of country every year.  And typically, those are to Canada.  So, it wouldn't be worth it for me to spend the time to input shipping costs for every other country.

Most people who want things shipped out of country email, say, "hey, I noticed I can't do it on your website, how much would it be for this?"  And I tell them and 99.5% of the time, they say, "oh that's too expensive, nevermind."  Ok.  But this person apparently just glossed over the fact that shipping is to the United States, and then put in a Denmark address.  Which would completely be fine if somehow shipping reflected the package going to Denmark.  But heck, $8.50 might not even cover these for a far part of the U.S. much less Denmark.

So, I sent her an email nicely saying that the $8.50 she was charged for shipping was for shipping to the U.S. and that the shopping cart is not set up for international sales.  I told her that I looked up shipping, and it would be $18 to ship the two items (she had like a supplement jar and loofah I think) to Denmark.  So, if she wanted the items, I needed to be paypalled an additional $9.50, or I could refund her money.  We shall see what happens.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Busy busy busy

So, this week is just busy in general, but yesterday took the cake for most-time-wasted.

So, I get off work, drive home, pick up Nytro's body to take him to be cremated, and pick up Harry, our male rex rabbit that was dropped off the other day that has gotten extremely aggressive.  Go to the vet.  They check me out with Nytro, but then tell me that Dr. Han is in surgery (never fails, I always show up when the only small animal vets are gone or in surgery) and I can either wait or come back.  But, it's exploratory surgery, so they tell me the doctor may not even be seeing patients today depending on how long it takes.  Since I'm still in my work clothes, I opt to go home and call them in a bit.

Go home, change, let Harry out of his carrier... he hopped around for about a minute before promptly hopping right back in.  Apparently that's a safe place for him.

So, I call the vet about 40 minutes later and Dr. Han is out of surgery and seeing patients, so I head over.  We get seen, he's given a good bill of health and scheduled for a neuter in the morning.  So, I'm getting ready to leave and they tell me, oh, I need to bring food and bedding.  Ahhhhhhh.  Not like the vet's far, but I make a third trip home and a third trip back to the vet.

So now, he should be getting his surgery done sometime today.  My mom is going to pick him up later, as I will be going with the realtor to look at houses today and likely won't be home before the vet closes.

So, we're almost out of hay.  Which only happens twice a year, so not a common thing.  So I call up my hay people, who remember me (which I find amazing... but maybe I'm the only one who ever buys anything under 40 bales?), and we tentatively set a time for Friday.  I'm supposed to call them Thursday to remind them and check that Friday's ok, and if it is, we will be getting hay on Friday.  Well,  potentially on two days because I don't think I can fit it all in at once, but we shall see.

The other day, got a call from someone at the Hobart Home Depot inviting us to an event featuring local rescues.  It's this Saturday from 9-12, and we're going to be there.  So, need to get ready for that.

If all goes well, Irene and Beatrice (rats) should be going home Saturday.  Lambchops should be going home on the 9th.  And so far, that's all I have for upcoming adoptions.  Rue potentially is going home sometime next weekend, if the people can work around the fact that I won't be home except for Sunday night.  If not, it'll be another time.  But other than these few, the rest of the animals are here, adoptable, and looking for their forever homes.  I still need to get down quite a few more animals before I can even take in the ones on my waiting list (assuming those still need to come to the rescue, knowing as how people seem to always think it'll take a day or two for an opening, not any actual time).

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Busy couple of days

So, lot's been going on lately.  Not all good.  So, few days ago, Bongo, our malo chin dropoff, passed away.  His cagemate, Baja, seems to be doing fine, but we'll keep an eye on him for a bit to check that he's doing alright before he's put up for adoption.

Then, Aston passed unexpectedly.  No rhyme or reason, just one day went down to feed/water the critters and he had passed.  So I went and took down his ads and changed Martins' ads so they no longer mentioned adopting him and Aston together.

Moving along to today.  Nytro and Dusty were all set to go home, there person had come here.  She'd just finished holding Dusty and moved onto Nytro.  He was energetic when I went to catch him and was sitting pretty nicely for the person.  At one point, struggled a bit, and then settled down. And so she says, "awww, I think he went to sleep."  And a few minutes pass and she makes another comment like that and I say, "I hope he's sleeping."  Well, turns out... he had passed.  Guess he had wanted to die at home with his family rather than die elsewhere.

We're going to have him cremated and I'm going to see if I can get Munster AH to do the pawprint thing for me.  We shall see.

So, I changed all of the Nytro and Dusty ads to just Dusty ads.  The person here picked out another chin to take home - Chili.  After this weird turn of events, which she, understandably, was a bit freaked out by (I mean, in 10 years, I have never had a chin die in the arms of the person wanting to take them home), I explained to her our 7 day health guarantee, but fingers crossed, that will not come into play.  But... now I'm paranoid.

Oh and to top off the bad few days  -- I forgot to give Chili's new home her bag of food, goodie bag, and printed out care packet. 

Now, if these were three separate events of healthy chins dying, you bet I would have them at the vet for necropsies.  But... one was a malo chin and another was a 13.5 year old chin.  But... if another chin dies... oh hell.  I will be there faster than you can blink.  They say death comes in threes....I hope this is my three, and some weird luck doesn't decide to up it to 6 or something.  Even though two of the deaths are explainable.... this is still too many too close together.  Ugh. 

So I weighed all the chins today just for good measure and there's none that I'm worried about... yet. 

On a positive note -- since we NEED one right now -- Winx, for the first time in ages, is over 600 grams!!  He was at 606-607!!  Who-hoo!!!

Not much else going on.  Got some orders out from before the store was closed.  Made some halloween holiday toys.  Cut out some of the houses that need to be built for the orders that were placed during the store closure.  Listed a TON of animals.  I think we're up to 16 listings on PetFinder (they count, I just notice the number), and that's counting pairs as 1 listing, so probably more than that available actually.  And that's with a critter or two listed as "adoption pending" - so, not counted in that amount.

I was going to work on listing more animals tonight, but I feel like I've gone through the wringer, so tonight is just going to be some TV and then bed.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

People.... and going's on.

So, I know I shouldn't start back up after a long absence with a non-happy blog, but... it is what it is.

So, two nights ago, I get a phone at at around 11:30 pm.  Yes, PM.  So, I do not answer it -- I tell my adoptive homes, if you need something that late, leave a message and I'll call you back, because I will not answer the phone after, say, 9:30 unless I'm expecting a call or know who it is.  So, I didn't answer the phone.

So I get an email:

Hi my name is [name] I called u late at night sorry but I was just wondering if I can stop by and see ur cuties martin or aston or jingles I have a female who is lonely cuz she has a huge house but no buddy but she is very friendly and adorable  she is only 8 months I beleave she is adorable her name is chee heres a pic of her and her house [phone number]
Ok, fine.  He sends pics of the chin and one of his FN/CN, which is very nicely decked out.  This is what I send back:

Your cage looks great!  However, since you have a female, you would only be able to adopt a female, as we don't adopt our rescues into homes where they would be with opposite-sex chinchillas, as they would breed and create more chinchillas that would probably find their way into the rescue.

If you decide you're looking for a female, we have a 4-5 year old beige female for adoption.
So, he calls three times during the day, none of which I pick up (because, let's remember, I work), and so he emails back.  
Thats what I thought too I was reading alot about meeting new chinchillas together well im interested really much can I swing by today I live in dyer IN. I was looking for a black velvet one or a tri. Color or who ever I fall in love with please call me [phone number]
Since I'm sure the "that's what I thought too" reference is to the cage, and there's no mention of the "female" part of my email, I'm pretty sure he has glossed over that, so I send another email:
I'm at work so I can't call you back right now.

I won't be home until 6:15ish today.  The only female I have available right now is a beige, no black velvets and there is no such color as a "tri" or even a tricolor, so I'm not sure what color you would be meaning by that.  If you want to come and see the beige that's fine, but just so you're aware, that's all I have in terms of females.  And I only have one female available, so not really anything to pick from at the moment.  Just so you're aware, I don't want you to feel like you're wasting your time.

If you want to come by to see the beige female, what time were you thinking?
Needless to say, I never heard back.  And I sent that email believing that he still was thinking he was wanting to come see those males I have (the all different color ones that he listed), hence why I wanted to lay it out, hey, if you come, you are not coming to see those.  It goes without saying, the last thing I need is some idiot that doesn't even know chin colors breeding chins.  I can guarantee you lots of those babies would end up at the rescue.

Moving along....

On another somber note, Bongo passed away.  Bongo was a malo chin that had been dropped off here maybe 1-2 months ago with his cagemate Baja.  Bongo had had a filing back in April and basically, I was waiting around to see how long that filing would last time.  If it was a good amount of time, then he'd be adoptable, if not, he'd become a sanctuary chin.  Well, I never did get to see how long that was, because he passed sometime yesterday.  He was not drooling, no watery eyes.  Got a good feel of his jaw now that he's gone and there's nothing to indicate jaw penetration by the roots, so likely he wasn't in pain.  He was eating his pellets and hay and taking the supplement (his previous owner left some) from my hand the day before.  So, likely, he had something else wrong that no one knew about.  But, he died happy with his cagemate and both of them chewing up things like little beavers.  He came from good home, so I can't say he had it better at the end, cause he always had it good, but at least he still had his buddy with him.

Moving along....

Everyone is returning their animals!  Nylah (well, Nyler... turns out its a boy), the mini rex is back, Honey (well, Harry... also a boy -- since adopting these two out I have been given lessons on properly sexing rabbits -- though these two were "only" rabbits so no worries there.  And today Haku is coming back.  Oh and Prim and Rue came back almost a month ago.  Busy busy.

Moving along....

I got an email from someone interested in chins, they listed just about every single I have with the exception of the beiges, asking for info, so I emailed them info and told them I'd get back to them with pics.  So that likely will be today.

Eddie is a turd.  I guess I've gotten used to chins that stay in their cage when the door's opened... not him!  He bolted out at like midnight last night.  Well... now I know better for next time.  

Moving along...

My computer had to be re-set, so I lost my huge access file with everyone's info in it.  Which is not a huge deal, I have the info elsewhere, but now I have to re-create the spreadsheet and re-do it all.  Ick.  But that's for when things have cooled down a bit and I have some free time.
Well, I think that's it for now.  Have a few people who want to come by this weekend, but I'm waiting to hear back about when this dog thing we're going to is, so I need to know that before I can schedule anyone.   

Oh one more thing.

House hunting has officially began.  So far have only driven by most of em, and some are clearly better than others just judging the outside.  The one in particular looked nice in pictures, but though the garages are accessible through the alley, clearly everyone parks in the front.  And since the road is narrow, and a cul-de-sac, and by cul-de-sac I mean a road that dead-ends with a slight bulb at the end, I had to do a 5 point turn to get out of there.  I don't think I'll subject my customers to that. 

And I will be calling me a new realtor.  The current one still hasn't gotten back to me about the houses and its been like 2 days (which may not sound long, but I want to move on this, pun intended, and I know other realtors are quicker with turnaround time).  My current one also said he has to "stay neutral" *rolls eyes* because he represents houses in Gary and other bad areas, so he can't tell me what's a bad vs. good area cause that wouldn't be fair to the houses he represents if he was like "don't buy this one."  I get the concept.... but not cool.  Apparently making sure the buyer is satisfied is not a priority.  Screw this, I'm going with one that I know can and will tell me about bad vs. good areas, and that gets back to me sooner than this.