Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Rabbits & Turtles

By the time this posts (as you may or may not know, I write some blog posts and post-date them so I don't have a super super ginormous blog post one day, covering 60 different topics, and then nothing for two weeks), our last adoptable rabbit will be in his new home.

He will be the last rabbit that we take in, except for possibly (and that's a very iffy possibly) special circumstances.

See, here's the thing.  Years ago, we took in a bit more of everything.  We still do, but within reason.  You see how we often have guinea pigs and right now, a bearded dragon, crested geckos, etc etc etc.  But before... we used to get so many "other animals" in, I couldn't focus on chinchillas, and at the end of the day, this is a chinchilla rescue, primarily.  When I say that we had so many other animals... we once had 40 adult rats in, all at the same time.  We once had in the 20's for guinea pigs.  Of course, I'm happy to take in other animals... but they just can't take over.

In the past few years, I've limited the other animals that come in.  Not that I won't allow them to come in, but if someone calls with 40 rats, I try to pass that off to a rat rescue, instead of taking them on.  After all, they are better equipped to handle that many of that sort of critter, versus where I would be better equipped to handle 40 chinchillas.

When we did have the higher numbers of the other animals, we got a lot of calls that asked, hey, do you have this, or that?  Some of those calls were asking about rabbits, so when we did have them in, they got adopted within a reasonable amount of time.  Also, before the last 4 years that I've lived here in Hammond, all the other places that the rescue was at, we were allowed rabbits.  I moved to Hammond, and some concerned soul called animal control and reported that I had rabbits (which are illegal in Hammond), because they were apparently bothering someone or something, and they all had to go to foster homes.  You may recall, one of our less adoptable buns actually went to Red Door in Chicago, which adopts out a ton of rabbits.  The rest were adopted out from our foster homes.

However, while foster homes can definitely be a good thing, what they typically don't provide is exposure.  I have one foster home (out of... 4-5?) that will occasionally post pics of their foster animals on facebook, but usually, the foster homes send me a few pics when I ask for them, and if someone doesn't just happen to run across the animals' ad, no one physically sees them.  This isn't the worst thing ever for the chins, since people are coming here for the chins anyway, and may peruse the website, and decide they like one that's in a foster home.  But now, with less of the "other animals," those calls asking about if we have rabbits (or other critters) have died down considerably, and with the rabbits not physically here for people to see, say "oh how cute!" and think about adopting... they're not getting attention and not getting adopted the way they should be.

The most recent rabbit... we got in him and his littermates at 14 weeks old.  14 of them.  They were all adopted out by the time they were 4-5 months old, if I recall correctly.  Three of them went together, a red male and two white w/ red spots males.  A few months later, that home was unable to keep them, and returned them.  The two white w/ red spots males were adopted out together, shortly after, but the red male is the one that, as of the time I am writing this, is still at the rescue, hopefully to be adopted later this week.  He is now over a year and a half old.  Yes, he's in a foster home, so he probably has no idea that he's in a rescue.  However... with the exception of the time of his life before we got him in, initially... he's spent most of his life with us.  To me... that's not fair to him.  At some of these other rescues that focus more on rabbits, they can get their buns adopted much quicker than we can here.

So, in thinking of the buns and putting their welfare first... we will not be taking them in, absent super special circumstances.

On a related, but side-note... I have learned that turtles are illegal in Hammond as well.  While we've only ever had one turtle at the rescue (and he was fostered, so probably no one except myself and the foster knew he was here... and the foster adopted the turtle)... we will unfortunately not have others, due to many of the same factors as the rabbits (not able to have them here, etc etc).

Monday, July 16, 2018

Adoptions -- Location!

Lot of people have been asking about this lately, so I'm going to add it as an FAQ and also wanted to post about it here shortly.

Some rescues / breeders only adopt / sell in a small geographic region.  Many people have heard of this when they are on a facebook page (or something similar) of a rescue and they ask about adoptions, and find out, they only adopt "in state," or "within a few hours of [city]."

Now, there are reasons for this.  If they do home checks, they would likely prefer not to go cross country to do the home check.  Of course, living in a border city like Hammond, where our next town west is Lansing, IL... it would make sense for some border cities to do more like, within a few hours, due to the location factor.  Anyway, I've also heard that the location concern is due to, if they need to take someone to court, there is a big difference between in-state and out-of-state.  Actually, if you remember my blog post from last year about that one cage of ours that I borrowed back in January 2017 and made it's way back in Fall 2017 after me pestering the crap out of the lady (as she was 4 hours away, in Ohio)...that's what these rescues want to avoid.

But here... it's not that I don't care... but we don't do home checks.  I don't plan on suing people.  I just want good homes.  That's what it all boils down to.

So, if you're in Pennsylvania and want to adopt a chin, and we can find some way to work it out -- great!  You're not denied, JUST because you're in PA.

That said, with United's change to their PetSafe program, where they no longer ship small animals, and the cost with other airlines being over double, you may be aware that we no longer ship.  Most people balked at $200-250 to ship... I'm not even going to waste my time quoting people $400+ just to get their animal to them.  Most won't pay it and most animals sell for considerably less than that, so it's just not worth it.

That does mean... wherever you are in the US, if you want to adopt, you can... but you will have to find a way to either get here, or meet somewhere like a chin show (somewhere I am already going... so if you don't show up, it's not a wasted trip).  So, you can adopt from anywhere... you just may need to travel to do so.  That is all.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Vacations! What To Do?

I got a really good question from someone the other day... and I thought it might be an interesting little tidbit for the blog, so I'll post what they emailed about, and my response to them, so you all can get some insight.

Their email:

Hey Ashley,

This is [name]; my partner and I adopted a chinchilla through you back in November. She is doing excellent and has grown into her own personality. 
We are taking a trip from July 22nd to July 29th and want to know what the best option for Viola would be. Should we take her with us, have someone stay in our apartment to accompany her or, if you still offer house sitting, would it be best to have her be around other chins and in the care of someone who is experienced? Our biggest concerns are making her feel like we abandoned her and causing too much stress in her environment.

My response:

Glad to hear she's doing well, she looks great!  

As far as what is the best option for your trip, that varies depending on a few things.  For the options of taking her with versus bring here here (or somewhere) for pet sitting, assuming the trip is more or less, drive there, stay a few days, drive back (versus a different hotel every night).. those two would be relatively the same, because there's be about the same amount of travel involved, and chins generally do well with traveling (though of course, it depends on the chin).

The best option can be (keyword: can) if someone can come to your place and care for her.  The reason I say it can be is because the chin stays in her own cage, so there's no moving around.  However, of course, the difficulty can be finding someone who's reliable and will show up and care for the chin.  While of course, they may not necessarily have to care for her in the exact same way that you do, it may be more limited to feed, water, etc, that sort of thing, they do need to show up.  If you know someone like that, great!  That would be the option with the least disruption to her daily life.  My difficulty (and granted, I have a lot more animals than you do), is always finding someone who will actually show up.  

I hope this helps, let me know if I can help you further! 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Freak Accidents

Some injuries for our furry friends are preventable.  Some even easily preventable.  These are the ones where you hear me preaching about using wood shelves instead of plastic, or wood bedding instead of carefresh.  Switch to the safe product, and sure, there's always some risk of injury, but it can be significantly less with the right product.

But... some injuries are just accidents.  Sometimes something seems fine, but there's that one person or one animal who somehow gets injured.  Sometimes unsafe items are used, without injury, for a long time!  Sometimes, those unsafe items result in injury, possibly even death.

If you've been on facebook recently, you've probably seen the article about the woman who's chinchilla got his leg caught in the bars of the ramp, had his leg amputated, and was ultimately put down.  If you haven't, it's available online here

The cage she's using is a Ferret Nation cage.  I love those cages, and so do a ton of people in the chinchilla community.  Her sad outcome from all of this doesn't make the cages unsafe... but it does make the ramps unsafe.

If you've ever talked to me about bar spacing for wire floors, you'll know that they're not inherently bad (as you might read online), but rather, that you want the space between the wire to be small enough that a leg cannot fall through.  That is not the case with the ramp bars in the FN cages.  A chinchilla can definitely get a leg through them, and when a leg falls through, sometimes they panic, and as you can see in the article... this can have major consequences.  Some people choose to cover the ramps in the FN cages, or simply not use them at all.

For me, I replace all the plastic shelves and plastic pans in there, put in wood shelves, and there's no need for the wire ramps or any plastic really.  Compare these pictures, of bare FN's (plastic pan, plastic shelf, metal rung ramp):

To these pics of some of my cages:

And I suppose you can guess for yourself which is likely safer.

This all said... still, nothing is 100% safe.  The outside bars of a ferret nation (and pretty much most cages on the market) have wide spacing.  I've actually heard stories of chins that bounce off the walls, get a leg through the outer bars, and break a leg that way.

So, then you say, ok, maybe smaller bar spacing is better!  They can't get a leg through!

No, they can't get a leg through... but again, nothing is 100% safe.

Below is a picture, looking from top down (so basically, the chin is upside down), of a chin that somehow hooked it's teeth in 1 x 1/2" bar spacing (yes, he passed).  When they hook their teeth in such a manner, they panic and thrash around to get free.  They almost always break their neck (I know of one instance where the chin got itself off the bars... but pulled out it's front teeth by the roots [at another breeder's ranch]... it was put down), and thankfully, it's usually almost an instant, painless death.  But see, nothing is completely 100000% safe.

This, and heck, even the chin getting a foot caught on the side of the cage... these are freak accidents.  Do these type of accidents mean these cages are unsafe?  No.  Some things, there's just no way to prevent, which is why we do our best to prevent the things that CAN be easily prevented... so there's less losses all together.  RIP my sweet white sapphire boy.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Rabbit Adoption -- Yaya!!!

Real short post today, but just wanted to update and let everyone know that our last rabbit has found his home today!  After spending most of his life at the rescue and in one of our foster homes, this bun is now in his new home and being well spoiled!

Meet Cheyenne... and... wait for it... Cinnabun!  What a precious name!

May they enjoy each other for years to come 💗💗💗

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Munchy Crunchy Toy!

You may have seen on our website or our facebook post, but in case you didn't... we have a new chew toy!

Ok, ok, I know we've had this at an expo or two, but now it's official!  We have the toy up on our website and up on the webstore, and it is available for purchase!  We also have made a stock of them over the last few days and they are ready for you to come stock up! 

We call it the Munchy Crunchy Toy, and it looks like this:

This is the toy for the finicky chin.  There's pine wood, for the harder chewers, vine balls for the ones that prefer the softer stuff, and apple & oat cookies for those that prefer their sweets!  Little bit for every chin!  Fun fun.  They are now available for $8.00.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018


Wanted to share a happy post with all of you -- the geckos from those big batches that we've gotten in have ALL been adopted and are now in their new homes!

You may remember that I created a gecko page for them on our website... that will remain, as I have a breeding pair of geckos and occasionally hatchlings, so there still will be a use for that page and it will remain up (though, right now, doesn't have any geckos on it), but they ALL have been adopted!  That was like ~40ish geckos!  Who-hoo!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Snake Update!

Hey, another quick update on our resident red tail boa.  She is continuing to eat (yay).

Now, with the corn snakes that are here, you dangle the food in front of them, they strike at it, and within a minute or two, the mouse is gone.  With the red tail, she strikes, coils around it... and 30 minutes later, is still coiled around it.

So, the last time I fed her, I came back to her enclosure several times after she'd taken the rat, and she was still coiled around it.  The final time, her head wasn't even anywhere near the rat, so I figured she'd decided she wasn't going to eat.  I was going to pull the rat out of there and feed it to one of the corn snakes. 

So, I got my tongs, and I went to go grab the rat, and turns out, she had a death grip on the thing.  At the time, I just figured I'd leave her with it, and see what happened. 

She did end up eating it.

Looking back (this is like the ah ha! moment)... remember, she was fed live rats.  We feed frozen / thawed.  For f/t rats, there's no need to constrict them, they're already dead, just warmed up.  For a live rat, those suckers fight back (which is why you don't feed live, btw), so a snake would need to constrict the prey to death (literally) before the snake could eat it.  The corn snakes, which have never been fed live, start to eat the mouse before it hits the ground, but the red tail (which actually is a constrictor... the corn snakes are not) feels she needs to kill the prey first, hence constricting and holding the prey for some time, before eating it.

And that's your lesson on different snakes eating different types of prey differently.  Say that 5 times fast.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Fostering Again

So, I know I just talked about fostering, but wanted to touch on that shortly again.  We have... four foster homes at the moment.  Three for chins, one for a rabbit.  We had four for chins, and of course, always have people wanting to foster, but never enough cages. 

The fourth foster home had been fostering back in the spring, I want to say they started over the winter.  When their foster chin got adopted, they said they wanted to stop fostering for a period of time, as they were going on vacation and whatnot.  That was back around March-ish.

As of a few days ago, I hadn't heard from them, and so I wanted to check in with them.  Sent them an email and asked if they were still wanting to foster and what was their thoughts on that.  Also, they had actually bought a nicer cage for their foster chin, and so they had my cage to return to me, so I figured I would ask about this in an email as well, because of course, if I had my cage back, I could have someone else foster.

They emailed back promptly (yay) and said that they do want to foster again, just not right at this moment, as they are currently fostering some rabbits for a shelter more local to them.  They said they're unsure of when they can commit to foster, but potentially in the fall, and they will let me know.  They said they can mail the cage back, which is fine with me.

The reason I mention this is because I wanted to point out... our fosters don't have to foster forever.  In a perfect world, I'd rather someone foster at least until their foster animal is adopted, so that the critter doesn't go from here, to there, back to here... all in a short period of time.  If possible, of course, I do understand that things come up.  But the thing is, if someone wants to just foster one animal and then be done, that's fine.  Or just foster for a few months, or whatever.  It doesn't have to be a lifetime commitment to helping out, just whatever people can manage.

Of course, this all falls back on, there's only so many cages, so I can't have 40 fosters if I don't have 40 cages, but I mention this because I think sometimes people are worried about the time commitment, and it isn't always meant to be a forever thing.  Heck, if someone came and told me, they only wanted to foster for 6 months or something, that might change which chin is even getting fostered out.  See, I often foster out the problem cases or the ones that aren't doing well at the rescue, but I could foster out a nicer / friendlier one, if I knew someone was doing it more short-term.  Just some thoughts for today...

Sunday, July 8, 2018

"Let Me Know When You Get In A...."

So, if you've ever asked about getting in something specific, the answer is often, something along the lines of, "due to how many animals come and go and how many people are wanting something specific, I'm unable to keep track of what specific people want without a deposit, though you are welcome to check back to see if we've gotten in something you like."

That of course, begs the question of why I don't have a full bulletin board of, "Jennifer wants a white mosaic with a blaze" post-it notes.  I mean, wouldn't I adopt more animals that way?

The short answer, is no.

The long answer is that this sort of thing wastes my time.  Case in point.  I had someone contact me in April, saying that they'd gotten a guinea pig from here and wanted to adopt another baby guinea pig.  I told them, I would keep them in mind, but that I didn't know of any babies coming in, so potentially it could be some time.  See, sometimes I know, ok, we'll have babies (or animals of a certain sort or whatever) potentially coming next week or something, but I told them, basically, nothing on the radar, but I would keep them in mind.

Fast forward to now.  I have two baby guinea pigs.  I'd saved their email in my inbox for all this time, and I sent them an email saying that I had them and asking if they wanted to see pics.  Their response was that they'd adopted one elsewhere, a couple of months ago.

That's of course, perfectly fine, and their choice.  But I guess for me, I'd prefer if they had said, "ok, you don't have one right now?  Then we'll be looking elsewhere."  Because I mean, a couple months ago was like... May?  So basically, they chilled on my "don't have it right now," response for a week or two, and then went and got one somewhere else.  And I would have been perfectly fine if they'd just said, oh they wanted it right now, thanks anyway.

...and the reason I say this is because this isn't just this one guinea pig person... this is pretty much everyone who wants to know if I get in an animal.  Now, if someone asks for a chin where I can contact another breeder and get the chin in this week, I very well may do that, and then contact them (though, often that's useless as well... I got in a blue diamond for someone who wanted one... who has now fallen off the face of the earth... who wants a blue diamond??).  But most often when people are asking for specific animals, it's something specific, whether it's an african grey parrot (yes, really), a snapping turtle, a white mosaic chinchilla that's really dark with a blaze up it's face, a fading white chinchilla, an angora chinchilla that's coming in as a rescue (ha!  if it ever happens, the chin will never leave)... you get the idea.  By the time I get the animal in, usually they have found it elsewhere.  That's why I tell people, feel free to check back, but I am unable to keep track of everyone.  That is all.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Foster Homes

If you frequent the website, you may have noticed that some of our rescue chins have been getting adopted!  Most notably, Freddy (our resident senior-ish female who had to go to her new home with her cage) went home a few days ago, and a little bit before that, we had Henry & Sweet Pea (our resident senior pair) go to their new home!  All from the same foster home too!

They came by a few days later to pick up another few rescues.  One of our current rescues, Ash, is a standard grey male who fur chews, on occasion.  The previous owners said that their vet said it was stress related, but they learned that he chews less when he's in a large cage and has a wheel.  So, the foster home took home his cage and his wheel (and other accessories, of course).  He'll have his write up available soon.

Since he was going with his cage, her other double ferret nation was open for more rescues, so she also took some of our long-term residents here, Chili Mac and Wife / Daughter!  They are now being fostered, and I know their foster home will get me more attractive pics of all the chins, and better descriptions.  Yay!  These chins are already listed on our website (and other places), but haven't had much interest, so we'll see how they do in a foster home.  But yay for them going to the foster homes and clearing out some space for new chins to come into the rescue!  Taking down the dreaded waiting list!!

Speaking of foster homes...real quick on that... I have a whole slew of people who want to foster.  If you want to foster, you're welcome to contact me.  However... I do not have cages to lend out, at least not at this time.  What this means for you -- if you don't have your own cage to use with a foster animal, I'll need to add you to the long list of people who want to foster, but need a cage first.  It will take some time to get through the list, as most of our really-sellable-cages need to be sold, to keep funding the rescue until we get our funds built back up.  Eventually, we'll get in some cages that are more appropriate for lending out, so of course, if you're willing to wait, it will happen eventually and you can foster eventually... but anyone wanting to foster super soon will either need their own cage, or will be added to the list.  Thanks for your understanding!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Chinchilla Noises

I get a lot of people emailing and asking about chinchilla noises.  Possibly the most common one is when people ask about their chinchilla wheezing.  Just got an email about that today actually, and so I went on youtube and looked up to find a video of their warning call. 

And I did, here

That is a perfect example of the chinchilla warning call.  I think it sounds like squeaking a dog squeaky toy, but I can see where someone might consider it sounding like wheezing as well. 

For sounds... when people are asking me, what does this sound mean, I find it easiest to ask for a video or a sound clip.  I mean... everyone describes something differently.  To me, a bark is sort of a harsh, quick sound.  But if you read my description of a bark, I'm sure 10 people can come up with 10 different sounds.  An actual sound clip or video is super useful in that situation. 

Chins make all sorts of sounds, and some we hear more often than others, so I can see why people don't know all the sounds.  It can be fun sometimes going through chin sound youtube (and other) videos (though... some aren't always correct in their descriptions).

Thursday, July 5, 2018


So... for those of you who've spent a lot of time on my website, you may have noticed there's a page on the pros and cons of fleece liners, here

If you've been here, you see that most of our larger cages do use fleece liners, but... I'm not a huge fan.  To me, the cages look dirty right away, as all the poos sit on top of the liners (rather than fall down into / mixed up with the shavings), and I don't want to wash them in my own washer.  Which brings me to... laundromats!

Oh, the joy of laundromats.  Do you have fleece liners as well?  Well, then you know how much they hate us.

If you live in the general area around me, I should tell you, the laundromat on Broad Street in Griffith, Sweets & Suds, has told me I am not welcome there (and if you want to wash liners there, you're not either).  I wouldn't even bring this up, but hear me out.

For years, I have taken my liners there.  Before taking them there, I shake them out.  I then shop vac them off.  I put them in large garbage bags, and haul them there.  Once they're in the washer, I sweep up any small particles that may have made their way to the floor.  I understand that there still may be things stuck to them that may end up still in the washer, and, well, I am respectful of others' property, so I bring cleaning supplies!  So, once they go in the dryer, I go back to the washer, spray it down, and wipe out the washer until it is clean.  Usually that doesn't even take that long, because of the shaking and shop-vac-ing that gets done first.  If there's any particles on the floor in front of the dryer, I will sweep those up as well.  Basically... you'd never even know I was there.  I take my mess back home with me.

Every time I've gone into that laundromat, when the owner is there, she had made a comment about how I need to clean them better before bringing them in.  She once said maybe I should hose them off first, then let them dry, then bring them in.  Now, personally, the point of a laundromat is, you know, to wash my stuff there, but whatever.  Every time, I tell her, I do shake them off and I clean and all.

This last time though.... she started telling me how expensive the washers are.  How expensive her pump is.  How the washers can't handle it.  I nicely (and I do mean nicely) said to her that I would think that if my home washer can wash these (and it can... but I can only fit like 2-3 at a time so washing these would take FOREVER at home) and it not be "too much" for my home washer, then I would think a commercial washer should definitely be able to handle them.  I guess that foiled that argument, so then she started saying that it's not fair for other people to have to use the machines after me because they're dirty.

So, I showed her my cleaning supplies, and I explained how I cleaned after every time I washed and dried.  She then said, well, she's come in the morning sometimes (it's a 24/7 laundromat) and found dirty machines.  I told her, if she did, they weren't from me, as I ALWAYS clean, and my mother can even back that up for me.  She just shook her head, said, "I don't believe it."  And so I told her, you know, I clean because I want to leave everything as I found it, clean and all.

Her next tactic was to find a piece of poo that must have been stuck to a liner and tell me how OMG FECES!!!! is in the washer.  That was a washer I hadn't gotten to yet, as I had just pulled the liners out.  I explained to her, had she let me clean it, that would not have been there.  She kept going on about the feces, and not to be a bitch, but... I have seen, no joke, people there in the wee morning hours, washing cloth diapers.  I really have.  You're gonna tell me those have no feces on them?  It's a diaper.  So I told her that.  I asked her, since she doesn't like feces, does she tell those people that they can't use her laundromat?  She literally said, "no, that doesn't happen, they don't wash that here."  I told her, "I have seen them with my own eyes, when I've been here late at night."  Her exact words, "don't make things up."  BOOM -- and THAT is why I'm posting.

You all may think I'm a bitch or opinionated, or read some of these blog posts and think, I can't believe she'd say that, or what an ass, or whatever.  And I MAY be an opinionated ass that doesn't always think the most highly of people, but you know what I am NOT?  A liar.  When I said I clean the machines, I meant it -- I clean the machines.  She can choose to not believe it if she wants, but if she came to a dirty machine in the morning... wasn't me!  In fact... maybe it was the cloth diaper people!  I don't "make things up."

Needless to say, she told me, I am not welcome there.  While I was waiting for my stuff to dry, she asked if the one washer (still going) was mine.  I said, "no," and she said, "good, so I don't have to stay here to clean it," and walked out.

You know, I try to support small business, and if you've ever been to this laundromat, it's a small business.  But you call me a liar, there's no more supporting your business.  I will find another laundromat that appreciates the money I spend there.  That is all.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018


So, gecko adoptions are always fun.  Well, adoptions in general are always fun.  Had some interesting ones lately.

Had one, wanted to get the gecko for a pet for their teenager, who'd done research and everything. They got as far as filling out the adoption form, submitting it, getting it approved, talking with me back and forth through email... to then tell me, the husband decided they were going to wait until Christmas to get a gecko for their son.

Another one, sent out the adoption form and everything, they hadn't returned it yet, but were asking about the different geckos we have available.  At the moment, we have two adults, but we also have some hatchlings that potentially could go home with experienced homes.  I told them about the two adults, linked them to our Crested Gecko page with the pictures.  They wanted to come see them, and we were working on setting up a time, and then I got an email stating that they decided they wanted to get a young one instead, thanks anyway.  Now, our hatchlings aren't listed yet, as I won't list them when they're teeny tiny, as they're somewhat fragile and probably shouldn't go to clueless people at that size / weight.  So, I emailed the person back and told them, we do have younger ones, they're just not listed on the site yet, and gave them some general info about birthdates and weights and such.  Never heard back.

Most recent one... got a text from someone saying they saw my post about the crested geckos, and asking if I have any males between 45-50 grams.  For the bigger ones, everything I have is what's listed on that page (two geckos in the mid-30 gram range), so I told the guy that, and he followed up by asking if we have any babies.  I said yes, some hatchlings that are 2-3 grams.  He asked for pics, I told him I'd send later that night, as I wasn't home.  He said that was fine, and told me that he was experienced with geckos so he'd be a great home and would love to have a baby again.  I get home, send pics of 5 hatchlings.  He asks the price of one of them and I tell him $40.  This shouldn't be a surprise to him, as our gecko listing states, geckos 1-10 grams have a $40 adoption fee (and of course, hatchlings will fall into that range, being 2-3 grams at a few months old).  Never did hear back.

Also have someone who seems very interested in one of our adults, and I just saw an adoption form come through from her, so I definitely need to look at that and hopefully get one of them in the new home!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Waiting List

So... our waiting list actually isn't ridiculously long right now, and actually, I need to call a few people to get them to bring their chins in, and it'll be even shorter.  Who-hoo!

Sometimes what shortens it, is the people bringing their chins in.  Other times, it's that people on the list have already rehomed their chin elsewhere, decided to keep the chin, or fallen off the face of the earth.  Just to give some examples of how this sometimes works...

One of the chins we just got in, Mango.  He was on the list since November of 2017.  The owner (daughter of person who called me) had moved into a high rise apartment and pets were not allowed, so he had to come into the rescue.  I reached out to the family towards the end of February, and was told that the chin was living with the parents, but the daughter was not yet ready to give up the chin.  I said I would circle back to them in time, but that they should also feel free to contact me when they were ready to bring in the chin.  I heard from them last week, they brought the chin in, a few days ago.

Another person on the list... she had 3 chins that were all caged together, and she said she could bring the cage with them if that helped get them in sooner.  She was on the list since the beginning of February.  Few months after that, she called me to update her phone number, so I would have her correct phone number to call her when I had room at the rescue.  Ended up recently having room, so I called her 6/21.  Spoke with her and she said that she had rehomed one of the three chins, but the other two still needed to come into the rescue.  She needed a few days to see what her schedule was going to be like, upcoming, so she said she'd call me back.  When she did, we set up the dropoff for Sunday (7/1) at 9 am.  She didn't show.

I did text her about 30 minutes after the missed appointment, saying who I was and mentioning about the appointment, and asking if she was on her way or was wanting to reschedule.  Nothing.  So, at about 10:15ish, I called and left a voicemail, basically saying the same thing.  She ended up texting back about 10:30ish, saying they couldn't fit everything in the car and needed to reschedule, and they rescheduled for the following day.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Chins With Malo -- continuation from prev. post

Remember this post about the chinchilla, Parker, who had malo and the owner wanted to surrender him?  See post here

I got an email back from them and wanted to share it with you.  Their response:

Hi Ashley,

 Thank you for your reply and advice. We decided, quite painfully, to have Parker euthanized. I thought it best in light of the fact that, although I managed to get him to eat from the syringe device, he seemed to have stopped defecating. He showed evidence of suffering from bloat in that he would sit in corners upright most of the time and also would take what appeared to be painful stretches, lowering his belly to the cage bottom. It also seemed like it was painful for him when I picked him up for his feedings.

It was a painful decision but the vet put him at peace. We got pretty attached to him even though we never wanted him in the first place. He had quite a personality and will be missed.

Thanks again.

My response:

Hi [name],

I'm sorry to hear that Parker had taken a turn for the worse, but know that with your help, he's no longer in pain.  What you describe with the stretching and lack of poos definitely does sound like bloat.  I'm sure you made the right decision and he would thank you for it, if he could.  They definitely are unique little critters with the ability to grab our hearts aren't they?  I'm sorry that your experience with chinchillas didn't have a happier ending, but I applaud that you were able to do what was needed.  All the best.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Adoption Fees & Delivery

I know you all know that all of our animals have adoption fees.  I'm sure, if you search past blogs, you can even find a blog post about how some shelters participate in those Clear The Shelter Events, and why I think those are about the worst thing shelters can do.  So, yes, we have adoption fees. 

All of our ads specify this.  Many of the place we list our ads, such as petfinder, hoobly, etc... all have a specific category for price, so there's actually a spot, when you look at the ad, where it shows:  Adoption fee:  $100.  For those people who don't want to read the actual ad.  But, should you read the ad, it is in there as well.  There's always a line that says something like, "This hetero beige female, Fluffy, is up for adoption for $100."  So, it is there, and of course, all these ads link back to our website, so in case you missed the adoption fees on the ads, our website has them clear, front and center, for all the animal listings, right above the pictures (and let's be honest, everyone loves looking at pictures, so with the price right above, I hope it's kind of hard to miss).

That said, none of this prevents me from getting emails that read something like this:

is he free and would you be able to deliver to mt. grove MO

Now, if you read what I just wrote, you know the answer to the first part.  For delivery... on a good day, I will deliver to downtown Chicago for $25, provided that I do not need to pay to park somewhere (cause we all know garage fees will cost me more than that).  The main reason for delivering to downtown is because a lot of people in Chicago don't have their own vehicles, and (and this is a BIG and), it's about 30 minutes from here.  So, we're not talking a long drive, and in the even I am delivering, the person has already paid a deposit, so I know I'm actually selling the chin and it would be unlikely for them to not be there.

All our ads also specify, this animal is located in Hammond, Indiana (46324).  Now, they also say that we do not ship, due to PetSafe no longer shipping small animals.  So in case there was any confusion about where the animals are located... the ads explain.  In the event that one of our animals is in a foster home, I mention that in our ad, and specify this to anyone asking about that specific animal, so there's never any question.  Either way... location is in the ad. 

Note, I said I will deliver 30 minutes away to downtown Chicago.  Are you curious where Mountain Grove, Missouri, is?  Just a little?  7 HOURS (471 miles) away.  So, not only should my animals be free, I should also spend quite a bit of gas money and an entire day in a round trip delivering the animals to their new homes.  Um, no.  Sorry, but no. 

I imagine for most people who send emails like this, they haven't looked beyond the cute picture.  Cause I mean, if they had, they'd know the adoption fee, they'd know where we're located... and while nothing says we don't deliver 7 hours away...I mean... I guess for me, that's sort of a given.  But, that's just me.

I do respond to these sort of ads, in case you were curious.  My response to this one:

Hi [name], 

This is Ashley with NWI Chinchilla Rescue, we're the ones with the bearded dragon, Noogie, up for adoption.  I received your adoption inquiry that you sent through petfinder, asking if he's free, and if we could deliver to you in Missouri.  He is not free.  It actually lists his adoption fee in two places on his petfinder page, which is $75 for just Noogie, or $150 for Noogie and his enclosure / accessories.  It also says on his petfinder page where he is located (Hammond, Indiana) which is where he must be adopted from.  We don't deliver, sorry.  If you're interested in making a road trip here to adopt him, just let me know and I'll get you the adoption paperwork.

Have a great day! 

Monday, June 25, 2018

"Terms / Phrases" and their Use

Now, you all know how much I value people being on time.  With that, I acknowledge, people mean different things with slightly different wording, heck, even with the same wording.  For example. 

"I will see you at 6" versus "I will see you around 6"

If you say, you'll see me at 6, I anticipate a more punctual 6 pm arrival, versus "around 6"... maybe you show up a little before or a little after 6.  How much before or after is "around"... I suppose that depends on the person.

Myself, personally, if I say I will show up around 6, it probably means not much earlier than 6, but potentially as late as 6:10-6:15.  To me, 6:30 is not "around 6," but again, that is my interpretation, and I understand that people interpret differently.

The one phrase that is currently on my phrase-shit-list is "right away."  Again, I acknowledge, people interpret things differently.  However, when people call, wanting to come the same day, and I say that I am home now (when they ask if they can come "right away") and they say ok, great, they will see me "right away"... and an hour and a half later, they are not here... to me, that is NOT "right away."  Maybe 30 minutes time is right away, depending on where they're located of course, but I, personally, would not tell someone, "I will be there right away," and show up an 90 minutes later.  To me, that just isn't right away.  Maybe that's "in a while" or "in a bit" or some other phrase.

I'm sure the people who do this sort of thing are not the same people who are reading this blog, but I put this out there, so hopefully everyone can remember, when you're coming over to someone's house... someone who may be waiting on you to arrive, so they can leave / do other things... your terminology is important.  That is all. 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Waiting List

I'm starting to think that no one has any patience, anymore.

I have one person (will use this as an example).  Maybe 3 weeks ago, they contact me, wanting to surrender their chinchilla.  I tell them, there's a waiting list, several people ahead of them, I can add them if they'd like.  Yes, they want me to add them.  So, I add them.

Not 7 days later, they contact me, asking if there's room to bring the chinchilla in.  I look on my waiting list to see where they are, and they are on there... with 5 people in front of them.  I inform them of this (and I did tell them, definitely people ahead of them, chins need to get adopted to bring more in, so on and so forth), and they say, ok, they'd rather get in sooner rather than later (but to a good home, of course).  Well sure, so would everyone on the list (get them in sooner), but unless people are stepping up to adopt (or foster), the waiting list is what it is. 

I get a text a few days ago, maybe two weeks since the initial contact, saying that I can take the person off the waiting list, as they listed the chinchilla themselves.  That's perfectly fine (and hey, the list shortens for the people after this!).

But the reason I mention this all... I can't make people adopt chins.  When we say we're full, it's cause we're full.  Sure, I have little cages open.  If these people would like their chins stuck in a 14 x 14 holding cage, I can probably take in a few more.  However, I understand that these people are surrendering their pets, and they don't want their chins in those small cages.  So that means, I have to wait for a big cage to open.  Some chins that come in get adopted right away.  Others.... well, you notice certain names on our website that just seem to sit there?  Chili Mac and Wife & Daughter come to mind... those two are taking up two of the big cages and have about no interest.  The "less adoptable" chins take up room until that perfect adopter comes along.  Since we are no-kill (which people like, until it means we have no space to take in their pet), just because a chinchilla isn't some flashy color and winning-you-over-personality, they just chill with us until they're adopted, whether that's days / months / years.  So, people have to wait for there to be room.  Have patience.  All I can do on my end, for the most part (other than posting their ads and hoping the right person sees them), is wait as well.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

So... I know it's hard to read... but...

So, I know it must be hard for some people. 

I understand our ads are long.  But even with short ads, this happens:

So, I have our ads a bit longer, hoping to cover many of the questions that people will ask, as believe me, I already get a zillion emails a day.  Of course, still not every possible question can be covered in the ad, that's understandable... but one thing that IS in every ad, is this line:

 This chinchilla is located in Hammond, Indiana (zip code 46324). Sorry, but we do not ship.

So, when I get emails. and I do mean a LOT of emails that are like, "hey, I'm in New York (or insert state of choice) and I saw your chinchilla available, can you ship him to me?", there are days when I'd really like to nicely ask the person, can you please go re-read the ad, and let me know if you find an answer?

Just this morning, I got two of them and it's not yet 11 am here.  It's not a big deal, but it could save not only my time, but theirs as well.  Cause I figure, they could be sitting on their end, thinking ooooh maybe there's a way I CAN get that chinchilla!  Where, had they read, they'd know that's not the case, unless they want to drive here... So, it would also save them heartbreak, if they would read the entire ad.  Maybe one day!

Friday, June 22, 2018

A Quick Hi from Chi-Chi our Current Boarder!

Hello!  My name is Chi-Chi, short for Chicago!  My mom is out of town right now and will soon be out of the country, so she dropped me off at my original-mom's-place for something they call "boarding."  I don't know what it means, just that I'm not home in my spacious cage and my mom's not here.  As you can tell, I'm not thrilled about this, and I make sure to bark at her every chance I get!

She put me in a smaller cage, though I guess it's alright.

See me?  I'm in the top corner.  That's my FAVORITE perch.  I can see when original-mom comes down the stairs and kack at her BEST from that spot.  Look at me sitting there like the princess I am:

Original-mom says I have something called "resting bitch face."  I don't know what that is, but I don't think it's a compliment. 

I realized I can hide in this log-thing today.  It's a little short, but I totally succeeded in scaring original-mom when she looked in the cage and couldn't find me!  I eventually poked my head out so she wouldn't have a heart attack.  She has to be alive to feed me, after all.

Tonight was the best EVER!!  I discovered that original-mom put a hammock in my cage!  How thoughtful of her to give me a bed!  Maybe this place isn't so bad after all!

Chi-Chi signing out.  Goodnight!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Updated on the Snake!

So, you may have read our post about the red tail boa that came in a bit ago.  If you didn't, it's here.  Wanted to give you a quick update on how she's doing, now that it's been about 3 weeks since she came in (we got her May 24th).

We feed our snakes on Fridays.  She ate a mouse the day after we came here, and then the following week (June 1st), refused to eat.  Just showed no interest.  She hadn't poo'd either, and with how skinny she is, it was a concern as far as whether everything internally is working alright.

I was at an expo on June 2nd, and picked up small rats for her.  Rats and mice have different nutritional info, as far as the amount of protein, fat, and so on.  Red tails are known for eating rats, whereas my corn snakes typically eat mice.  So, I picked up small rats for the redtail.

Following week (June 8th), I heated up a rat.  Absolutely no interest.  No poo either.  Boo.  My one corn snake enjoyed an extra big dinner with that rat though...

Following week, on the 14th, I had an adopter coming by to look at our adoptable hedgehog, Ox (didn't know we had one, did you?  If you're ever curious if we have a critter that you don't see listed anywhere, feel free to shoot us a message!  sometimes I can't get them listed fast enough!).  She asked what was in the enclosure (that held the red tail) so I told her the story of how we came to get her and all.  Turns out, she has a red tail of her own, so we were talking about her, and how she's teeny tiny based on her age, and I lifted up her hide, so this person could see her.  There was POO!!!!

I tell you, when you deal with unhealthy / sick animals, you sometimes get excited over the weirdest things.  In the poo was shed (snake skin)....like a LOT.  I'd never seen that before, but the person informed me that sometimes snakes will ingest their own shed if they are nutritionally deficient / starving.  Well, that wouldn't surprise me.  Removed the poo.  Had her out of her tank for a little bit, she was a good girl.

Fast forward to the 15th (next feeding day), I heated up a rat, and dangled it in front of her and she ate it!!!!  So happy for her!  I even messaged the person who was here to let her know the good news!

I feel like this may be one of those pics that needs an explanation to go with it.  Her head is at the bottom right, upside down.  See where those two coils are towards the bottom of the pic... the white coming from the right side is the underside of her neck, and when it curves to form the U-shape, you're looking at the bottom (upside down) of her jaw, holding onto the rat.  And she ate it!!  Who-hoo!!

A lot of recovery (for any animal) is getting them to eat, and put on the proper weight and such, so... eating is a BIG deal.  Super super happy she decided to eat.  Now, to see this trend continue!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Introducing Pets

When introducing pets, often people hear of everything going well.  Often, that is the case.  However...sometimes, it's not.

We have had several unsuccessful pairings in the last few days, as have other people.  One family got a chinchilla from us at an expo, and took it home to pair with their two chins.  Their chins weren't a fan of the new chin, so she came by today to return the chin, and hopefully find one that her pair would like.  Her pair had other ideas.  They liked each other, and didn't want a third wheel.  This resulted in no injuries, thankfully.

Not all introductions do, though.  We had someone the other day, who adopted a guinea pig.  She'd brought her guinea pig here to see how they'd do together, and while they were both acting a bit dominant, there was no immediate cause for concern.  She decided to adopt our guinea pig, and put them in a cage with a divider so they could get used to each other.  Her guinea pig decided to take a chunk out of ours, and she promptly brought ours back later that night.

Now, to be honest... while the adopter was absolutely freaking out, that looks worse than it is.  Though the nose is sort of hanging there, the bite did not go deep enough into the nasal cavity and will not affect breathing or eating, which would be the main concerns with a facial bite.  Basically, it'd a really bad flesh wound... that will heal just fine.

Mind you, that is from ONE bite, when the chins were separated by a cage divider.

We put blu-kote (antiseptic) on it, and have been checking on her, and she is feeling better and on the mend.  

Will update another blog with pics in a few days.  She will be fine.  This all said...if they were together, without the barrier, who knows what might have happened.  

This is why, when people ask, I always tell them, there's no way to know if any two animals will get along, without literally trying it out.  From my own personal experience, this guinea pig (Bonnie) is super sweet and loves other gp's.  Heck, when they were here, she was even grooming the other person's gp and trying to snuggle up to her.  The other person said her guinea pig has a similar personality... yet look at the outcome.  Some animals get along great... some not so much.

Update!  As of two days later, this is how it looks (see pics below).  Healing up nicely.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Pink whites vs. mosaics

Wanted to post a quick educational post on pink whites versus mosaics, as a lot of people have asked the difference over the years.

Both colors are considered "whites" for purposes of showing chinchillas.

A mosaic is a chinchilla with a white gene.  The base color of this chinchilla is white, and they can have grey / silvery markings over their body.  Mosaics have dark ears.  The chinchillas pictured below are all mosaics.

 A pink white is a mosaic with a white gene and a beige gene.  They also have a white base, and the have beige markings over their body.  Pink whites have light ears, which tend to look pink, hence "pink white."  The chinchilla pictured below is a pink white.

That pink white (above) has very little beige markings.  However, just like the mosaics, pink whites come in all sorts of markings, from almost all white, to dark beige markings.  For example, this picture (from chinchillas.com) is also a pink white.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Chins Watching TV!

Ever heard people talk about leaving a TV on for their chins?  Some people do! 

One of our adoptive homes told us that their chins like to watch The Simpsons -- their favorite show!  I replied, saying that I'd love to see a pic -- this is what she sent:

5 out of their 6 chins are at the front of their cages, watching.  Can you find them all?

Sunday, June 17, 2018

What Happens When Someone Emails With A Chin With Malo?

So, today's post is going to be about what happens when someone emails wanting to drop off a chin that has malo.  In case you were curious.  This is the email I received:

Message : Hi, we have a male (his name is Parker) and we think it best if we surrender him to someone/some place that will give him the care he needs. 

Here is his story: one of our daughters is an Activities Director at an assisted living facility and one of the elderly residents had an alcohol addiction problem. The resident lived alone at the facility so for companionship she would routinely get a pet of some sort. She owned a cat and then a dog prior to obtaining the chinchilla. Because she sometimes overindulged her drink, her cat or dog would get out of her apartment and roam the halls. The cat and dog had to be confiscated so the resident bought a chinchilla. 

She ended up going into rehab so my daughter and the facility management took away the chinchilla since he was unattended for several days. She asked my wife and I to look after him while they searched for a suitable home for him. They never did find anyone to take him so we gave him a home and purchased a ferret cage so he'd have plenty of room to jump around. The kids named him Parker. 

I think he's about 4 years old and about 2 years ago, I noticed that he would swipe at his cheeks when he ate so I took him to the vet who ended up doing dental work to remove "spurs" from his molars. All was well until 2 weeks or so ago when I noticed Parker had stopped eating so again he went to the vet. 

They removed pieces of some of his back teeth and said he may have other issues with other teeth and/or jaw bone, and that a vet that specializes in exotic animals would need to see him for further treatment. His recent issues cost us almost $600 and the vet guessed it would be over $1000 more at the specialist. I am retired and on Social Security so we can't afford the treatment he may need. 

We have been feeding Parker a special formula by hand through a syringe and giving him antibiotics and anti-inflammatory meds since he came home from the vet but he still doesn't take the food willingly and it needs to be administered several times a day. We can't continue in this manner and don't want to have Parker put down if it can be helped in any way, but we are also concerned about his quality of life. 

So, I searched the internet and found your website. Is there any way you could take Parker or, being that we are in Illinois, do you know of any facility like yours more local to us who would be willing to give him a home? I would provide his cage and the food and meds we currently have if they are wanted or needed. 

Thank you. 

And this is my response:

This is Ashley with NWI Chinchilla Rescue, I received your message about Parker and what he's been going through, health-wise.  I understand what you're saying about the cost of his care, and the quality of life.  Honestly, when the chinchillas have dental issues like what you described, the kindest thing for them is to put them down.  Treating the dental issues with the constant filings (they usually get to be about 1x a month or more frequent, as the dental issues progress) and constant feeding of the critical care is very stressful for the chinchillas.  The anesthesia is hard on them, as they are not an animal that does well with anesthetics, especially that often.  There's no research that specifically says how much is too much, but the research that does exist, says that they don't tolerate anesthesia well, and it is hard on their little bodies.  Further, the constant filings and handfeeding significantly reduces the quality of life of the chinchilla, and the best way I've come up with how to put it is it's sort of like terminal cancer -- you can extend their life, yes.  In the end, though, it will be what kills them.  Similar to how some cancer patients choose to forego chemo, because of the side effects and the fact that it doesn't always extend life that much, doing the filings has side effects and is painful in the meantime, and may not actually do much to extend life, or more importantly, quality of life.  

Think about it this way -- the reason for the handfeeding -- after filing, the teeth are painful for the chinchilla to eat on.  So, you get filing done, handfeed for awhile... but since the chinchilla is not eating the pellets, just the critical care mush, the teeth are not being worn down... so by the time the chinchilla does feel well enough to eat, the teeth are already overgrown again (and that's just the surface... nothing can be done about the roots), so you get a little time of the chinchilla eating on their own, but then you need another filing... and the cycle continues.

There's really no quality of life in that.  Don't get me wrong, I have taken in chinchillas and gotten their teeth filed, handfed, and repeat... many times.  Never was the outcome any different... the chinchilla always continued to decline and eventually had to be put down, due to the dental disease.  It's heatbreaking, and I wish there was another option to save these little guys, but I would rather end their suffering a minute too early rather than a minute too late.  When we get in a chinchilla like Parker at the rescue, or one that we determine has dental issues, they are put down to end their suffering.  I'm sure this is not what you want to hear, but I've been doing this now for 15 years, and after all the chinchillas that have come in with similar stories and unfortunate outcomes, this is what it's come to.  I'd rather them go out, without experiencing bad quality of life, and enjoying what time they had.  They all get lots of treats (if they will eat them) before they go, since at that point, it won't matter if they cause ill health problems... but there unfortunately is no "fixing" dental issues.

As far as other facilities like you asked about, the reputable facilities I know of have similar policies.  Quality of life comes before anything else, and unfortunately, even with a high quality of life, it is about impossible to find an adopter willing to pay $300/month (filing cost at the specialist vet in Chicago) for the rest of the life of the animal, for continued treatment.  There's one place that I know of that probably would take him (but I would not recommend -- I'm letting you know so you don't take him there), it's called FurryLovables in Wilmington.  I would, under NO circumstances, ever take a field mouse there.  They are basically known as the pond scum of the rescue world... They would probably take him in... but not treat him.  They are very money-focused, as they breed their rescue animals, without thought to health / genetics / etc.  I know of several people who have adopted out terminal chinchillas from there, that the organization said were perfectly healthy.  For the adopters, well, they took the chins to the vet, who told them basically that these issues did not develop overnight, and any normal person would have known they were going on.  Unfortunately, they were lied to.  One that I know personally (who I met long after this happened), adopted a chinchilla with such bad dental issues that her whole mouth was abscessed and filled with puss that was dripping out.  The roots were overgrown as well.  The vet found no traces of food in her stomach (on necropsy) and said the chinchilla looked dehydrated and starved... basically, that no one could have not noticed that she wasn't eating and wasn't doing well, but this organization not only adopted her out, but adopted her out as being in good health.  When this person contacted them after the vet visit (where the chin was put down), the organization literally said, "oh, sorry for your loss," and that was it.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not for badmouthing other organizations... but this one is one I wouldn't recommend for anyone.  They put on a good front, online and in person, but in reality, they have no concern for the welfare of the animals, and that's something I personally have no tolerance for.

If I can help you further, don't hesitate to let me know.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Low Ballers

I love you all, you know that.  But jeez people... there's not only a sale, there's a sale on top of the sale, right now.

So, when I get an email that references one of the chins, and it asks what the lowest I'll take on the chin is... pardon me when I email you and tell you (nicely, though), that that IS my lowest price.

One of the emails I got, for example, was on the blue diamond.  If you happened to read her ad (and even if you didn't, I'll tell you here), her normal price is $450.  She wasn't here for the Spring Fling Sale, but had she been, she would have dropped down to $400.  With our Summer Fire Sale (which, the prices are basically further discounts off the Spring Fling Sale), she's dropped down even further to $375.  This is a $75 discount in price...some of my chinchillas don't even cost that much to adopt, and this is a discount on a chin.

Now... blue diamonds are a double recessive, they require both sapphire and violet to be expressed, to get the powdery blue, blue diamond color.  With the genes required to create a blue diamond, you have a much better chance of getting a sapphire violet carrier, or violet sapphire carrier, for babies, than you do a blue diamond (statistically).  So, you could have a pair that could, in theory, produce blue diamonds, and go several litters, possibly even years, without producing one.  Because of that, they tend to be on the higher side, as far as price goes.  And... that's assuming you can even find one for sale.  Since there's not a ton of them born, if they're decent quality at all, most breeders will hang onto them and they won't be available.

So, I guess what it boils down to, is... when there's a sale, on top of a sale, don't ask for further discounts.  Especially for the chins that are down to $55-65.  By the time I feed the critters, I'm losing money at that point.  Which is fine, if they're finding good homes and enjoying life there, more than they would here... but keep in mind, we need money to run, and asking for further discounts doesn't endear me to you.  That is all.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Everything Happening All At Once

So, let me tell you about the other day.  I'm always talking with people and telling people, "oh something came up," and I wanted to share with you a good example.  Sometimes I think, maybe people think something really didn't come up, and I just didn't get back to them, or whatever... but quick story for you.

So, I had a potential adopter who wanted me to pair some chins for them.  We talked about it, and the night before, I told them that I would let them know how the pairing went in the morning.  In the morning, I sent them a photo of the chins snuggled up together.  They were happy, and through texting, they said they wanted to put down a deposit.  This was... 10 am?

I didn't get back to her right away, because I went over to my parents' house.  Drove my blazer the entire time... to their house, to the movies, to Lowe's, to Bath & Body, to Panera... everything seemed fine.  Go to leave from their house, the blazer won't start.  I figure it's probably the battery, as it had been acting up lately.  For example, it'd turn over, but the radio would reset to 12:00.

My parents have a trickle charger for their convertible (for the winter), so I hooked that up to my blazer and let it charge for awhile.  Still wouldn't start.  Decided to push the blazer back a bit, try to jump it with one of my parents' vehicles.  Still no.  Decided to leave the vehicles hooked up for a bit, to give it more juice.  Nope. 

Decided to rev up the rpm's on the parents' vehicle to start the blazer (bigger engine on the blazer vs. smaller on the car).  Who-hoo!!  It started!  Un-hooked, got about 10 feet backed up down their driveway, died.  Ugh.

My mom and I pushed the blazer onto the street and parked it near the curb, where it wouldn't be in the way.  Sat there, tried to think of who could call.  I could technically go get another battery myself, but I didn't have tools at my parents' place to swap it out, and even at my place, finding the tools would be the problem (I may not always be the most organized person in the world, especially for stuff I rarely use).  Finally, it occurred to me to call Roadside Assistance, through my insurance.  Went through that whole process, finally got a call that the tow would be there within 40 minutes.

In less time than that, the tow showed up.  I had put down that I wanted it towed to the address that was Autozone, as I could get a battery there, and they could put it in for me, and I wouldn't have to dig out any tools of my own.  The wrecker driver made sure that I understood that he was just dropping me and the blazer off, and leaving, and if I was wrong about it being just the battery, I was stuck there.  I told him, I understood, I had someone waiting by the phone in case there was a problem, but I really thought that it was the battery.  So, he tows the blazer to Autozone.

We get there, and there's like no one there, so the two employees in the store are watching out the window as my blazer is unloaded from the wrecker.  At this point, the battery has completely died, and the wrecker driver can't get it out of park and into neutral.  He has to pull out his jump pack, and gets it started just long enough to get it into the spot, reminds me that it could be my starter (no, replaced not long ago) or my alternator (better not be, just replaced within the last 1-2 years), but that he doesn't think it's the battery... and then he goes.

I go into Autozone, explain that I need to purchase a new battery and need it installed.  The guys are totally like, "oh we don't do that here."  Some people, who don't know, would have been like, "oh shit," and panicked, but not me, cause I know, so I said to them, "oh yes you do," and they started laughing.

They checked everything, was the battery.  Sold me, and installed, a new battery.  Started right up, all's good.  Would love to tell that wrecker driver, see, it really was the battery.  I don't have to be wrong, just cause I'm female...

I got home... at like 9 pm.  I walked in the door to a phone call from that person who wanted me to pair those two chins for her.  She was a bit curious about why I'd fallen off the face of the earth all day, and wanted to be sure that she really was getting the two chins.  I explained all of the above to her (and I should mention, my phone died somewhere in the middle of all of this) and she was super understanding.  No problem there.

The reason I mention all of this is just so you all can see how wildly things can go askew.  I intended to be home, early afternoon at the absolute latest, get a ton of chins listed, a ton of work done.  Versus 9 pm.  I still got stuff done that night, but not quite like I'd anticipated, and while of course, this sort of level of insanity doesn't happen on a daily basis, it's not uncommon for a day to take a twist, especially if someone calls about an urgent rescue, or something happens with a vehicle, or something.  I try to get everything done as quickly as I can, and get everyone's emails and questions answered in a timely manner, but I just post this to remind that life does happen sometimes, and just keep in mind, I do my best to work around it!