Wednesday, February 29, 2012

time's a changing....

So tonight was the night I separated the gerbils.  Didn't have too terrible a time figuring out the males/females, and they're so sweet the way they will climb onto your hand.  Will need to get photos of each of the groups, but for now, they're separated into a male cage, and two female cages.  Adorable little critters.

Weighed all the chins today.  Our fluctuating chin finally seems alright, and her loose poos are gone.  I guess the Mazuri was doing it, cause the second we switched her to Oxbow, *poof!* regular poos.  So, she will have to be fed Oxbow for life, but that's alright, at least we found something that works for her.  As she's already on hold (and has been since like forever), I emailed her new home and let them know that she is finally ready to go home!

For Joker's babies... one of the three people is coming over tomorrow to bring a cage, see what I think of it, and (I think) have me make shelves (if the cage is alright).  The other two I emailed and sent pics to today, letting them know that the babies are gaining and seem to be doing well.  So maybe this weekend we will have some pick-ups.

As it's almost the end of the month, I weighed the chins all today.  All either maintained or gained (few of our breeders gained a bit).  Never did get an email back from the original owner of the four girls asking about whether or not they'd been in with a male... but all of them dropped a little in weight this week, making me think they were gorging themselves the first part of the month and now they're eating more leisurely, knowing the food bowl will be filled when it's empty.  Makes me wonder what was going on at that previous home. 

Cadbury went from not liking her food to downing the entire bowl in 2 days!  I suppose that's good, but I was surprised to go down there and not see a single pellet in sight!

And the other day, I noticed she had peed all in one corner, so I put all the wet shavings in her litterbox and moved the box to that corner... and today I noticed.... *drumroll* most of the poos and wet spots are in the litterbox!  There are still shavings throughout the cage for the moment, but we seem on the way to a potty-trained bun.  Oh, and Cadbury gained about a half a pound (she now weighs 7.5 pounds). 

Oh, and had to pick up some shavings and hay cubes the other day, so we now have our hay cubes back in stock.  And we are going to start selling Apples 'n Oats cookies - I'm thinking 10 cookies - $1.50, 25 cookies - $3.00.  These are horse cookies, so for a chin, they do need to be broken up in to several pieces, rather than the whole thing given at once, so 10 cookies will last more than 10-treat-times.

My phone keeps messing up voicemails, so I wonder what types of voicemails I'm missing... hmmmm.  Hopefully not chin-related ones.

Having no luck finding the chins we're looking for to get delivered to Nationals.  Contacted one large breeder - they don't have them, contacted another who said she will check (I guess they have a broker sell their chins?) when she goes there once a week, but she wasn't sure... and really, there's no one I know to ask personally about specific chins... so I posted on the forum saying what I'm looking for (show quality females, pink white and homo beige, 1st or better (if shown) or can hold their weight on the show table if not, good color, clarity, density, and whatnot)... course no one is posting.  But then, almost no one is posting replying to threads on chins wanted, so I don't know what's up with that.  Like if no one's selling well-placing adult chins, then how do these people supposedly start up their herds buying good quality adults if no one's selling them?  Just a thought.  Course, I am asking for a bit harder to find colors, so maybe that's it.  I might just have to hope to find some at the show and see how that goes.  Ah well. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Treats, toys, and packages

So today, I finally packaged up all of the stuff for the chin orders that have been waiting to go out.  Also packaged up some Amazon orders.  So tomorrow should be a busy day - work, then post office, bank, show, few other things... gotta cancel an appointment... but anyway.

Today was fun.  Today was my day off so it was nice to sleep in and get some stuff done.  Was down with the chins for awhile today... cleaning as usual.  Cadbury's starting to pee in one corner, so even though we were having litterbox issues, I scooped up all the wet shavings, put them in her litterbox and put it in the corner.  She was grunting at me, of course, but I am SET on getting this bun to litterbox train.  The cage is waaaaay too big for shavings everywhere.

Let's see... oh!  I contacted Ryersons and they will be bringing 5 bags of dust to Nationals for me, so that's awesome.

Tried contacting my breeder-of-choice to get some chins for the herd, but they didn't have what I was looking for, so I posted a wanted ad on CnH.  So we'll see.

Filled up alllllll the toys in the chin cages today.  Some of the chins were practically ready to snatch the toys from me as I was hanging them back up in the cages.  Little turds.

I realized that (1) I am completely out of haycubes, and (2) I have no business cards down in the chin-room.  So I need to get some haycubes and put business cards down there.

The way I realized both was that I was putting together someone's order for when they come to pick up their rats at the end of the week, and I was on my last goodie bag.  So I figured I'd make some more.  So I started putting everything together and I realized the only hay cubes I had only about halfway filled a gallon-sized ziploc bag.  Uh-oh lol.  So I made enough goodie bags to fill my container and went onto my kit bags (goodie bags with kit-safe chews in them, no treats).  Started filling them and got to bag #3 when I ran out of hay cubes.  So that was a "darn!" moment as we're going to have three kit sales soon and some of them want more than one bag.  So I will need to get some hay cubes asap.

And as I was getting the order ready, I thought I'd put everything on the side, the care packet, the stuff she's getting with the rats, the hammocks, and I realized, no business cards. So that's on the to-do list as well.

Went around filling everyone's water... I swear they have all turned into little camels lately!  Like I swear I just filled some of those bottles recently!  Ah well.  Still need to fill the rabbit's before I go to bed. I think I'm going to hang a second bottle for him, cause even though his bottle is huge, I really am filling it ridiculously often.

Separated Joker's kits from her today... a day early because they're all good weights and doing well.  So now, just waiting to see if they all gain weight in the next few days and if they do and continue to, they'll be ready to go home soon.  All their homes are biting at the bits, so everyone will be happy.  And then I think our bv female that had the loose poos, that cleared up with a food change (Mazuri --> Oxbow) so as long as her weight has held steady since the last time, she will also be ready to go home, and her mom will be SOOOO happy cause she's waited like at least 3 months for this chin's issues and problems to clear up and she's finally looking like she's ready to go!

The rats are their usual friendly selves.  Changed all their ads to include the phrase "these rats do NOT come with a cage" today because apparently everyone who wants them is only concerned about that.  I've had emails that ask only that about the rats, no interest in them.  I may reduce their fee to $20 when I re-do the ads at the beginning of March, maybe people think $25 is too much for three 1-yr old rats?  I mean, they're at least $15 each in the petstore, so it would cost $45 for three...  but then, these are 1 year olds... but they're like... pre-owned, cause they're already social and great rats, so I don't want to undersell them or get them too low, so that I get idiots wanting them for snake food either, you know?  I don't feel like $25 is all that much for three rats, but then, I don't adopt out rats all the time, so it's hard to say.  But we did adopt out Harvey (1 yr old rat) for $10, so going with that, three for $25... well, maybe people just don't want three. But that's how they come, and that's all there is to it.

Gave all the chins some sticks to chew on today, a few of them snatched away the stick and gave me glares like as if I was going to take it back!  Hahaha.

Need to get ready for the people picking up in the upcoming weeks, seems like everyone picking up wants quite a few things that need to be made from scratch... so I should get on that!  But for now, I have work in the morning, so on to bed.... 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Baby chins: 1, Frito: 0

So, good day for baby chins, bad day for Frito.  Had some people come over today to look at the chins - they wanted to decide between a baby and Frito.  Well, of course they picked the baby.  While I love Frito, can't blame them, everyone wants a baby.  But I still have my fingers crossed that Frito's perfect home will pop up soon!  He's such a sweetie. 

So the people that came over put down a deposit on the one baby, and I had been waiting for a paypal deposit for the other, and when I came upstairs after the chin-people left, there was my paypal deposit in my email.  Look at that.  So now, all the babies are on hold. 

Emailed back like four people who had been hoping the babies would be deposit-free and said they all have deposits on them now.  Also emailed someone who was interested in some of our previous chins, letting them know about GiGi, one of our newer rescues.  She's got the same personality type as some chins they were interested in, so I thought I'd email them and see if they were interested before I spent time typing up ads for GiGi.  So we'll see.

Then, well, earlier while I was at work, got a call from Randy, our resident hay-buyer.  Literally, the guy is saved in my phone as "Randy (hay)."  He shows up about twice a month (he calls first, people who just show up randomly aren't often let in) to get some hay for him and his wife's guinea pigs.  Well, he called earlier today, and when I called back after work I got his voicemail, so I thought he wouldn't be coming today, but then right after the chin-people left, Randy called.  He and his wife Ashley (hope I'm spelling it right!) came over and got four pounds of hay, and donated $6 to the rescue!  How awesome are they!  So they were curious about if we had any new critters so of course I had to show them the pigeon and the rabbit and they had to pet Shiloh (prairie dog).  So we chatted for awhile, I learned some tips on pigeon care (thanks Ashley!) and it was nice to chat for a bit and relax.  I've been so wound up lately it as nice to just talk-pets for awhile with people like me who also go into the pet stores and read all the labels and are particular about what they feed their animals, and support rescues, and all that.  Found out they live in Valpo, which is about an hour from here (for those that don't know) but Randy usually stops by on his way home from work, which it turns out takes him really close to our house.  So that's cool.  And they just got a rabbit so they bought more hay than usual (usually they get 2 pounds, 4 was an increase), so always good!

So, finishing up the night emailing people and stuff.  Was looking at my chin orders today - need to spend tomorrow packaging up some... I realized that I almost sealed up a box with only ONE perch shelf when the order is clearly for TWO.  Oops.  Did that with a toy order last month.  I need to be more observant of the quantity selected.  But I didn't send it out wrong this time, so kudos to me.  I caught it ahead of time.  So tomorrow I make another perch shelf and that order will be done, and I just need to put together another 2 orders and I will have all three, and two Amazon book sales to ship out on Monday. 

 Need to email the one family that was here with our care packet and adoption form, so I should probably get to that.  Great family, they will be awesome with one of the baby chins.  :)  The tales of them with their pet rat were hilarious!  They were talking about her following them around and sticking her hands out of the cage reaching for them and everything, it was great.  Seems like a very nice home, very good kids (not young kids, like teens).  I've had so many people emailing lately that don't turn into anything that it's nice to have a good one turn up.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

busy day today

So today, right after I got home from my interview (I got the job!), I started on chin stuff.  Built 1 1/2 chinny mobiles (need to add the wheels to the second), built a cutout hidey house, made some munchers delight toys, and put some shelves and other stuff in that feisty ferret cage that I'm working on.  All while chinnys ran in the playpen and had all of their fun times.  :)

Oh! And learned something new today - our Cadbury is a female rabbit.  While I didn't actually flip her over and sex her, I was petting her and I noticed, get this, nipples!  Which apparently may be noticeable while pregnant or not (so it's not like with chins, where they're very noticeable when pregnant), but between the nipples and the dewlap (the flap of skin under the chin), several bunny websites have me convinced that the "he" is actually a "she." 

Poor Cadbury was having a cow today.  I just want her to be potty trained, and we have a litter box in her cage but she's not really using it.  So I was picking up the poos and putting them in the litter box and the little turd like grunted at me and lunged and bit me!  Twice!  Not hard or anything, but I was like well that's a new one.  Never had a bunny charge at me.  Apparently that's not uncommon either, as bunn's are territorial.  Learn something new everyday. 

Well, as soon as that one chinny mobile dries, I will be able to get that order out that's been sitting on my desk for what seems like forever... but between work, school, and other chin-responsibilities... I don't know where the time goes sometimes. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

...before I even got home....

So, I was supposed to have someone come for a drop off at 3:30 today.  I told them I wouldn't be home until 3:30, so they couldn't come any earlier than that.  Well, get a call from them at 2:50, while I was still at work, saying there's a white Tahoe parked in my driveway.  2:50 mind you.  I'm glad they weren't upset about waiting -  after all, they did know I wouldn't be home at that time - but I hate when people show up that early.  It's one thing if I'm HOME and people show up early, that's ok, but if I specifically state that I won't be home until such-and-such time... please do not show up early.  Even if someone else is home, they will NOT let you in the house and if, on some odd accident they do (like, if they answer the door because they're expecting someone else), they most definitely will not let you down to see the chins WITHOUT me there.  So just show up on time everyone, ok?

Anyway, so the people dropped off the chin.  VERY nice chin, she lets herself be petted in her cage and she's a good chin.  Friendly and sweet and socialized to death.  You can tell she was loved.  2 year old standard female named GiGi.  Turns out the kid was allergic to her and they tried changing the dust, tried changing the bedding, everything, but nothing worked, so here she is.

Then, I had gotten texts earlier in the day from one of our previous adoptive homes - they had purchased one of our bred-here babies and had named him Shimmy, after his mom (our standard grey female chin, Shimmy).  They wanted to come for some supplies, so they ended up coming and getting some supplies, and donating $4.50 to the rescue!  How nice, made me happy.

Did hear back from the person who was supposed to adopt Frito.  To make a long story short, she said she may be moving in with (what I assumed was) her boyfriend in June and then she would be able to take him.  Well, I thought about it, and I told her that I could not hold Frito for her for four months.  He's already been on hold for her for a month, and if, after four months, she didn't move in with her boyfriend, then that would be almost 6 months completely for nothing.  So I told her I just can't... but we typically have chins available, so I said, hey, when she's all settled, come see us and see what we have.  I like Frito, he's a good chin and likeable, but there are other chins out there that are just as nice for pets.  And who knows, Frito may still be around come June (though I hope not).

So then, right now it's late at night and I'm trying to finish up my "cheat sheet" (notes I can take with me to class for the final) and I realize it's after midnight so I start renewing my craigslist posts, which include the one for the three male rats we have.  Not two minutes later, I get an email which reads, "Not free?"  Seriously?

I tried to nicely explain that the adoption fee allows us to continue caring for rescues and not running ourselves into the ground.  And I even said to the guy, hey, these rats have cost me more in their homemade food and toys than the $25 I'm asking for them in the time they've been here, and if they continue to stay here for awhile, they will cost me even more.  Which is fine, don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about the cost - the point is that, it's not like I'm making $25 off of them.  Chances are, I'll spend more like $75 or something and so the $25 adoption fee will put me at negative $50.  Like with the pigeon we just got in. OK, the pigeon was a rescue, so I didn't pay for her.  But I had to go out and get a cage, $50, food, $7, toys, $10... already we're at $67 and I'm probably going to adopt the pigeon out for $15-20.  I don't mind spending the money, that's not it, but some people just assume that since we get the animals for free they should be given away for free and some people I want to just shake and be like HELLO - it costs money for us to keep these animals, treat these animals, and so on.  It's not free. I have to clean cages, bedding isn't free.  Water isn't free, and because we have had problems with our water in the past, we cannot get by without a Pur3 filter... and we go through the filters... like water.  Haha.  Everything is done in the interest of the pets, which means that somewhere down the line, we spent money on probably every animal that comes here, whether it's on chew toys or what.  The last few chins who have come in have come in with either none or very few (think 1) chew toy in their cage.  So, we add some - cost there.  Many require vet care - cost there.  One of our rescues started getting loose poos so we're thinking it might be the Mazuri and are doing a switch to Oxbow to see if that helps - if not, there will be a cost there.  Heck, there will be a cost there anyway, as we're paying considerably less for Mazuri than we would for Oxbow (we couldn't afford to use Oxbow to feed all the rescues).

It just irks me how people expect everything for nothing.  I bet that guy, even if the rats were free, wouldn't want to fill out the forms or read the care packet either. He's probably be the type that would say he already knows it all and doesn't need to do that.

... not to mention, rats without adoption fees... are most likely going to become snake food.  Hence, why people ask actual adoption fees for rats.  

Ugh.  Ok, rant over.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Interesting few days

So, it's been an interesting few days since my last post...

On Saturday, we had someone who was waiting for us to get in a single chin... they got a chin elsewhere and wanted to get some supplies (a starter pack) from us... so they stopped by and purchased that.

Then later in the day we got in Cadbury!  The rabbit I was telling you about.  Man is he HUGE!  I mean, they said he was big, but he is BIG.  I'm glad that Joann (our volunteer) donated some cages awhile back because our chin cages would have seemed a bit puny for this big boy!  He is such a sweet bunny.  And so strong!  When we got him in... well let me go back story first.  We got a call about taking him in.  Apparently, the call was from an older sibling in a family with several kids.  The rabbit was gotten for one of the younger kids, was passed around from younger kid to younger kid, and when this older sibling moved back into the house, she found the rabbit in his cage in a corner in the basement.  Poor thing.  So, she talked with everyone in the house who agreed that he should be found a new home, and so he was brought here. 

He's a very sweet rabbit.  Due to his lack of care, his nails were ungodly long.  Probably at least all an inch long.  Poor thing, he jerked and I cut the quick on one of the nails and off he went running.  He didn't want me to do the rest of the nails after that, but he was fine and I didn't cut any more of the nails too short.  Very sweet rabbit.  Very LARGE rabbit.   I mean, they said he was large, but he's almost 7 pounds! 

And as it turns out, I was wrong in my other post about his color.  Cadbury is a tri-color.  

With no further ado, I bring you Cadbury:

So that was Saturday.  Then today, Sunday, we started off the day with a gerbil dropoff at 10 am.  These nice people had gotten two male gerbils to pair up with their single male... well, turns out one was a female... and you know the story from there!  She had 5 pups - 3 black and 2 lilac.  So they brought the mom and all 5 pups here.  They're going to be separated by sex on 2/28 and they will be adoptable approx. 2 weeks after that, when they will be approx. 10 weeks old.  They're so cute! 

Due to their previous home sharing their likes/dislikes for their siblings, when they are adopted, they will be available in these groups:

--two black female pups
--lilac female pup & Darth (mom)
--black and lilac male pups

They are so cute and are doing well.

Today was a busy day, so I can keep going!  Our noon appointment showed up at 11 am, so we're actually thankful that our 11 am appointment was about 45 minutes late!  We're hardly ever thankful for that, but today was one of those days.  So the noon appointment shows up, and drops us off a pigeon - Fancy. 

Due to internet research, this color is a "red" pigeon.  Meet Fancy:

And due to the fact someone texted us the day before regarding our craigslist post asking about pigeon cages... we may already have a potential adoptive home for this girl!  But she will have to remain here for awhile first for her evaluation.

And then our 11 am showed up - they were coming to look at Flipz & Mr. Top Hat and see if they wanted to adopt them.  They showed up thankfully after Fancy's mom had left, and we went down and saw the chins.  They really seemed to like them, so we got everything together and paid for and they ended up taking them, their cage, and a ton of supplies home.  Great family, awesome people, and an awesome home for these boys.  They had a daughter, Anna, who was just the sweetest and smartest little girl, and I'm sure the chins will just adore her, and her them.  The previous home of Flipz & Mr. Top Hat had asked that the new home remain in contact with them, and these people said they would, so that's even a happier ending for all.  :) 

Picture is of Flipz & Mr. Top Hat with Debbie and Anna...  haha usually I catch people in blinks, this time I caught a chin in a blink!

So then, with appointments over, I had the task of writing my final paper for class... and amid that.... chin emails!  In looking through my emails, I realized there was unfortunately no email from the person wanting to adopt Frito.  So, sadly, I took him off hold, went on petfinder and took him off pending, and re-posted him on most of the classified sites and all that... and then realized I had someone potentially looking to get a single chin.  So, I emailed them asking if they might be interested in him... so we will see.

Other than that... had one potential home for the kits email back the adoption form, it looked good, and they already went out and got some supplies.  So kudos for that.  They also sent pics of everything they bought for verification of whether it was "good" or not.  Also kudos for that.  They said the will be doing the deposit in a few days, so that should make another of the kits on hold with deposit... and then got a call today about someone wanting to come physically see the kit in person... told her about the deposit and all... so she will be coming Thursday to look at the kit... so the other one's on hold until at least Thursday... so we're doing ok at the moment.

Now, if only someone would want to adopt the male rats.  They're so sweet!

I think we should have a chin drop-off tomorrow, shortly after I get home from work.  So we will see how/if that goes. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

....and there goes another one

Got an email back from the girl wanting the rats... turns out the parents won't drive two hours to get them.  Oh well.

But, this brings me to one of those nagging thoughts - does no one look at where the pets are located before they bother emailing rescues and people selling pets?  Because this isn't an isolated case, this is typical - I can't tell you how many people we get that will put down a deposit (by mail), tell us a list of things they want to purchase with the pets... and then realize we're 2-3 hours away from them.  I guess, for me, that's the FIRST thing I look for.  Like when I'm on craigslist, if I am searching for something I want to buy, I will have either "northwest Indiana" or "southern suburbs" (of Chicago) selected, so that results don't pop up for me that are two hours away.  Because let's face it, it could be the best deal in the world, but if I have to drive two hours to get it... it may no longer be such a great deal. 

But maybe I'm one of the few that actually looks at location before contacting anyone.  I don't want to waste anyone's time.  And while I'm sure that's not their intention, that is the end result of their not checking the location before they email.

Double-dipping - CLE and chin care and homework

So today I am at a CLE - continuing legal education - seminar that lasts all day.  Been here since 9 and been getting lots of work done with chins and with homework!  Been typing up my notes for class and working on all of that, and of course, answering chin emails in between. 

First of all, got an email about someone wanting to bring a rabbit to the rescue.  She wants me to call her, so I will on the way home from the seminar, but I probably shouldn't make a call during this seminar.  I'm sure they're already not thrilled that everyone has their work or other things out and aren't paying attention, a call may be pushing it.  So I will call her on the way home. 

The rabbit's name is Cadbury and is so cute!  Of course, he may or may not actually make it here, as I get contacted by a million people asking us to take in pets, and we only end up taking in maybe 1/10 because the people fall off the face of the earth, but this one sounds like we'll probably get him in.  I think his color is called harlequin?

Got an email back from the guy asking about building the cage.  Said he was happy his daughter had found such a great helpful place to get a chin from.  :)  Always makes me feel good.  :)  Asked about wheels, so I yapped about the good ones and all.  His cage idea sounds good, can't wait to hear how it turns out.  The chin will definitely be spoiled, that's for sure...

Also got an email from the girl interested in the rats, so that's positive.  She seems really nice so hopefully she will get us back the care packet and all and the rats can go home with her.  We'll see, but it seems promising.

Well, that's it for rescue emails this morning.  Checked CnH but still waiting for Dawn to PM me back with CA chin rescues and breeders.  I'm sure I'll get more before I get out of here.  It's only 10 am and I'll probably be here til 5.  Perfect day to answer emails and talk chin.

But for the moment, back to homework.

More and more emails

I'm starting to feel like I spend more time emailing than I spend with the chins. 

So today... started out the day with an email from someone saying she had a female rat and wanting to get company for her rat.  As we only have males, and it is a trio of males that we have, I asked her if she intended for the rats to play together or be together.  Obviously, asking because as a rescue, we get in our fair share of unwanted animals, and the last thing we need is someone putting together a male and female and creating MORE pets to end up on craigslist.  Not to mention, while I'm not all up-to-date on my rat knowledge, I'm pretty sure 3 males would fight over one female.  Or at least, that's how it is in the small animal species that I feel pretty knowledgeable about.  No response yet, and it's like 2 am now and she emailed me like early early morning, so we'll see. 

Moved onto an email from the father of someone who is on our waiting list for a BV baby.  Wanted to know how to best build a cage with a wood frame and wire rest-of-the-cage.  He asked if "any untreated wood, other than cedar" would be allright.  This really got me thinking of how we all know that cedar is bad... mainly because it's often marketed as animal bedding... but that people really aren't aware that there are a lot of woods out there that aren't safe to use in a chin cage or make a cage out of.  So I emailed the guy a pic of someone's cage that we once got some chins from and said it was a good example.  Cage:

Answered his questions which involved describing cage layout, good accessories, good things to have in the cage, and so on.  Probably wrote way more than he wanted to know, but I'd rather go with overkill than forget something important. 

Next email (told you this was an e-mail filled day!) was the person wanting to return us some degus, who is trying to find a time to come here from around Indy.  She wants to come Tuesday, but I think I work... as has been the case every time she's tried to find a day to come.  But, I won't know my schedule for sure until tomorrow or Saturday, so I can't confirm or deny Tuesday as a possibility yet.

The following email was the person from a day or so ago emailing bout the rats. She said she might be able to get them but she had to get everything together first.  So, I asked how long that would take, because if we're talking like a week to get a cage, that's one thing, but if we're talking like a month...well, the rats would need to be on hold then.  So we'll see what she says when I hear back.

Next email was from someone about 3 hours away, of course asking if we ever come in that direction.  As we don't, I tried to nicely point out that a large portion of our chin-homes come from 2+ hours away, and cited some people on my happy customers page that are from over 3 hours away.  Dunno if they'll end up coming here  or not, but other people have found it worth their while, so maybe these will too.  They wanted to know good brands for cages, and wheels, and other things, and what I'd recommend, so they seemed like very nice people, and people who wanted to do the best for their potential-new-pet.  So at least they're doing research, hopefully they follow the advice given and get a good cage and good wheel and all that.  If they come to us, we can set them up with a lot of the stuff they'd need, but if not, I gave them good resources for where else to get this stuff. 

Next email (I know! busy day) was from someone in California who can't find anyone closer to her (really? come on) and no one will ship to her.  I didn't even bother going into the whole "shipping would cost 4-5 times as much as the chin, honey" though I wanted to (I have to restrain myself) but rather, I just PMed Dawn and asked her about the breeders and rescues she knows of in California.  I know there are a ton, because I recall her saying that CA is littered with breeders/rescues, so once she gets back to me, I'll email the girl back. 

Last two emails of the night were two different people wanting to know my schedule for Sunday (which I don't know yet), one wanting to drop gerbils off, the other wanting to come look at some chins.  Man, I wish I knew my schedule earlier in the week! 

And then, just for fun, to top the night off, I got a fake email from domesticsale (one of the places I use for free classified ads) saying they'd noticed unusual activity on my account and I had to log in to confirm it was me.  Like I'm that stupid, the email was from like blackwolf-something-something-@  Um... yeah that's legit, for sure.  *rolls eyes* 

Ah well.  Ran downstairs for a bit to take some pictures of the kits cause the 3-hour-away person wanted updated pics, so I got those to him.  Fed all the chins, gave scritches, and got sprayed.  Fun fun.

Interesting fact, I've been having to mix up a crapload of the mom-n-kit formula lately.  I don't know exactly why these mom's are so crazy about it, cause never in the past... but currently, the chins are like chowing down!  For those that don't know, the mom & kit formula is:

1 parts powdered goats milk
1 part crushed pellets
1 part half and half  - baby oatmeal cereal and baby rice cereal

It vaguely looks like powdered infant formula, except for the brown specks in it from the crushed up pellets.  Currently have a coop cup hanging in both cages that have kits in them and the kits and moms are chowing down!  It's good though, it's good for them, it just seems a little unusual that in the past I couldn't get some chins to touch the stuff but the current litters are eating it like it's gold. 

Well, spent some time with the chins today, but would have liked to have spent more.  But today was my last class before the final, and had an interview, and a hair appointment, so it was a busy day (other than the emails).  Oh and got in the bird cage and set it up.  It's nowhere near the "heavy gauge" that it states on the page, which makes me mad that I paid $50 for this piece of junk.  If I wanted this thin wired bird cage, I could have gotten a bigger one for the same price in the pet store, but oh well.  Now that I've got it though, I really hope the person shows up with the bird tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bi-monthly weigh-in

Well, so I said I was going to weigh the chins tomorrow, but I ended up weighing them all today.  Everyone's doing pretty well, with a few notations.

Black Beauty - who is on hold with paid deposit for someone - only gained something like 15 grams this 15 days, versus around 50 the last period.  Her new home has already waited considerable time for her... but this needs to stabilize before she's able to go home.  But 15 grams is more promising than 50, so hopefully she will stabilize.  I have written down that, if she got pregnant the day she came here (she was housed with a male), she'd be due around the middle of March.  So, even if she doesn't stabilize... within another month we'll know for sure about the pregnancy or not.

Out of the four new girls and boy, who were not housed together... one of the girls remained relatively stable with a slight weight gain, and the other 3... gained about 50 grams a piece.  So, I don't know if they prefer their Mazuri/Tradition mix to straight Tradition or what?  The boy did gain about 50 as well, so I'm starting to wonder if they were free-fed at their last home, cause man do they chow down!  So I emailed the previous home (though she didn't answer my last email) asking if the females had been kept with or had playtime with a male.  Her mom was the one to drop the chins off, due to her having some health issues that day, and I had asked her mom if the boy had ever been housed with another chin and she said no, the boys were always kept in their own cages... but that wouldn't mean there wasn't possible playtimes and such. 

The girls are looking a bit better - they're all healthy weights to start with, but two are fur chewers... but even they're starting to look a little less ragged. 

Puff is back to gaining weight.  Good news, after she dropped about 30-40 grams after her mom/cagemate was put to sleep last month due to malo and an abscessed tooth. 

And of course, the babies are gaining like weeds.  None of our breeder chins showed any significant weight gain, so I don't think we have any expecting mom's at the moment.  

Today - 2/15/12

Today has been a less than productive day, to say the least.  I had full intentions of coming home from work and going downstairs immediately to clean cages, as they could use it.  Unfortunately, life got in the way and I had to run to the post office for my father, got a call from my volunteer, and somehow ended up taking a nap in between.  I set my phone (with the sound on) next to my bed, in case someone was to call.  You see, I had someone who said they might want to come over and see some of the chins today.  Well, long story short, they never called (probably had to work late or something), so the nap ended up being much longer than I anticipated.  Oops.

Heard back from Joann (our volunteer), who's been MIA since sometime before Halloween.  I'm thankful for any help I can get, but it will be nice to have her back (eventually).  She was telling me how she wants to get some cages and shelves from us, so I suppose I will need to put in another order for cages.  Typically keep 2 of each on hand, but if she wants two... I will need more.  Anyway, she said she'd call next week and we'll set up a time to sit down and go over what she wants.  Hopefully she will be back soon.

Today... I have not gotten much done.  Got an email from someone asking about carefresh bedding, emailed back about how it's fine if the chins don't eat it. 

Got an email from someone asking about the rats.  Turns out, we're over two hours away from them and they're going to talk to their parents.  I have to admit - I hate it when I find out I'm talking to a 15 year old, because 95 times out of 100, I'm just wasting my time and the family never ends up adopting.  But, I do it anyway cause you just never know.  And usually you can tell when you're talking to a 10 year old.

Got an email back from the person who's going to surrender us baby gerbils when they're old enough.  I had sent them out gerbil care packet and it'd been a few days and I was starting to wonder if maybe I'd really messed up gerbil care when writing up the care packet.  But they emailed back today (yay!) letting me know what specifics in the care packet applied to the babies and such.  That was good to hear from them and know that my gerbil care is on target *thumbs up*. 

Finally, got an email just a bit ago (it's already like 11 pm) asking about our baby for sale and if we'd meet.  While we will meet to pick up a rescue, we do not meet to have someone adopt a chin or buy a baby.  The side of the road or parking lot of a strip mall just isn't the ideal place for meeting a new home. Not to mention, the humane society isn't going to meet you anywhere... so I told them that, and answered a few other questions, sent them the forms and all, we'll see if I hear back.

As for NON-email related chin care stuff (which I feel I spend an awful lot of time on), the chins are doing well.  As it's the 15th, I really do need to go and weigh them, but I may just end up doing that tomorrow.  Same for the cleaning cages - unfortunately, I have a job interview in the morning, so I need to shower and get ready - cleaning cages can wait one more day.  They don't stink or anything, but it is time. 

Well, time to go down and take care of the chins for the night.

... up to speed

Today's post will be longer than usual, and will bring us up to speed as to where we are now, so the future posts make some semblance of sense.

It's been a bit of a frustrating run at the rescue lately [I will say it now - we've all gotten into the habit of referring to anything chin related as "at the rescue" - doesn't matter if it relates to selling supplies, adopting out rescues, or selling pedigreed baby chins, it's all "at the rescue"] .  Within the last week, we had someone come here and look at the babies.  Even marked the ear of the one he really liked (we have two gray females), but I had this feeling it wasn't going to pan out.  Didn't hear from him for a week, and as our policy states, with the exception of people who have a paid deposit down on a chin - if I don't hear from people within a week, I send a reminder email or call them, and they have two days to get back to me before I will take the chin off of hold or move onto the next person.  So, I called this person, left a message.  Day two (and it's always day two), I get a call back saying the guy was going to breed meat rabbits instead.  Alrighty. 

Also had someone contact us asking us to take in their chin at the rescue, and then asked if we would pay them the adoption fee once the chinchilla was adopted.  Nicely explained that the adoption fees come back to the rescue to help pay to keep the rescue open.  The rescue isn't profitable.  Last year, our expenses were roughly $7500.  The fees we made from adopting out rescues AND selling pedigreed chins, COMBINED, were only $4900.  That's a difference of $2600.  Thankfully, our supply sales made up the difference, but if we were to give all of the original chinchilla owners back the adoption fees, I can only imagine the negative dollar signs I'd be seeing.  Of course, upon telling this owner that, I have not heard back from her.  I hate to be rude, and I definitely don't wan to sound greedy - but at the end of the day, the people who are so concerned with money need to adopt the chinchilla out themselves.  I don't know how they see us as any different than dropping a dog off at the humane society and then asking the HS to hand over the adoption fee.  It's no different - the chins may stay here months, years, and the adoption fees we ask typically do not cover the cost of care/toys/and so on while the chinchilla is here. 

Currently working out what we're going to be doing about the Lake County Pet Expo.  We're attending - I've already let them know, so I suppose I'm screwed if I were to get a "real job" between now and then, but we are going.  We're suppose to donate a raffle item, and we're thinking a coffee basket... but have yet to make it to the store to look at what we're going to include.  We have time though - it's not until May.

Speaking of Donations, I told Mish that I'd donate something to the Atlantic Chapter show... which is after Nationals.  We still don't know if we're going to Nationals, as mom is still not walking well after her most recent hip replacement.  Need to decide soon, but I don't want to aggravate her and keep asking because of how easily she gets peeved.  I keep thinking I'd like to donate like one of our motorhomes, but then, those take so long to make, it'd be probably the only thing donated to the raffle, so I'm thinking maybe a basket instead with some chin toys and such.  I dunno, haven't decided yet, so we'll see.  And of course, if we go to Nationals, we will be donating a raffle item for there as well, so... it all just depends!

I'm starting to worry about Frito's potential home.  While the potential-home has stated they need to borrow a car to drive here and get Frito... I haven't heard from her for over a week now.  I emailed her yesterday, but I am anal about hearing back right away and I start to panic when I don't.  Poor Frito has been here forever. 

On a more positive note, the potential home for Flipz & Mr. Top Hat wants to come see them this weekend, and has given me a final list of the supplies they want (in addition to the cage and supplies that come with the chins), so that's a positive thought.  I really hope these boys end up going home with them - they seem like a very nice home and are willing to keep in contact with the previous home and all - always a positive thing.

Our trio of rats are back up for adoption.  Had a potential adoptive home for them - but she ended up saying she had to move (or something along those lines) and now can't get them.  She not so subtly asked us to take in her pet pigeon at the rescue, so I ordered a bird cage off of Amazon the other day.  Supposed to come tomorrow, and she's supposed to bring the pigeon Friday.  I suppose we'll see how that goes.  Had a call about the rats today - someone said they wanted more info on the boys, so I called the back.  Turned out, it was just someone wanting to know if I had a huge rat cage for sale - they weren't actually interested in the rats in the slightest.  Oh well.  A good home will come, though I wish it would come sooner.  I'm regretting putting the boys in my chin-cage with the wooden shelves, as it is looking grodier by the day.  I think I'm going to switch them out to one of my all-wire cages so that I can slowly clean the chin cage (it's one of our few baby-safe cages that aren't runs) and it will really need a good scrub down after this.

Had someone email us a few days ago about the four girls we will soon have up for adoption.  Talked with her a bit, emailed her the adoption form and all, and now just waiting to hear back.  I need to gain some patience, because I start to worry the second a few days have passed, but I'm really hoping this will pan out. 

Had someone email the other day asking why shipping was so much when ordering supplies.  She was wanting to order a chin mobile and a few other small things.  Can't remember exactly what else, but as the chin mobile weighs several pounds... that's a good portion of why shipping is so much.  I emailed her back letting her know that we do refund excess shipping and she ended up placing an order.  I suppose I should get started on that.

So, that's the recent happenings at the rescue.

Day 3102 - Beginning

So, first day of the blog.  Little bit about all of this.  First off, it's not really day 3102, but since we've been open between 8 and 9 years, 3102 is halfway between 8 and 9 years.  My name is Ashley, I run NWI Chinchillas, both the rescue, the breeding, and the supply sales.  I go to school part time and I have a job.

My mother was partially what has prompted me to do this blog, as she used to say that running the rescue (in mom-language, "running the rescue" means doing everything chinchilla related) was like having a second full time job.  And in all fairness, it is.  It takes a lot of time to run the chinchilla rescue, which is noted by many people who come here.  However, I think even I have underestimated the amount of time I spend running the rescue and doing random chin-related things, so as a result, I thought I would post about the daily happenings here at the rescue. 

I called this "nights at the chinchilla rescue" because of the fact that most of the magic happens at night.  I work during the day, so most of the time spent with chinchillas is in the evening and later hours.

Onto the daily happenings...