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).