Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Normal happenings...

So I've been a tad too caught up with Rochelle to post about the normal things going on.  On the 27th, Lola was adopted by Meredith and her husband.  Lola was one of our sanctuary chins -- chins that are not otherwise adoptable unless someone wants a chin that is special needs or has health issues (which as you may guess, doesn't come along too often).  Well, with Lola, when we got her in, the people who brought her, their vet had clipped her front teeth down to the gumline.  The next day, one of her bottom incisors fell out.  They said they couldn't afford further treatment and brought her here.  Our vet filed down the other bottom tooth pretty much to the gumline and we waited for her teeth to grow back.  Well, apparently that was going to be quite the wait, cause there we were, 6 months later, with no incisor growth.  Like NONE.  So apparently whatever that vet did permanently damaged the teeth.  But... in all fairness, she was eating, she was drinking, she was dust bathing, she did good with cagemates, and she was maintaining her weight.  Just had no front teeth.  As I have extreme difficulty adopting an animal out with so much as a broken leg that healed wrong (but causes no immediate problems, just potential arthritis in the future).... this would be an impossible hunt for the right owner.  However... as a chin buddy to get along with other chins, she'd be fine.  So, when I mentioned to Meredith that I thought putting Lola up for adoption as a longshot, she said she'd take her as basically her "pet" chin to babysit other chins.  Alrighty then.  So, we filled out the adoption paperwork and she took her home on the 27th.

Another positive note, our current set of baby gp's is ready to go to their new homes!  We have black and red (caramel) absyinnian female and a white, red, and black abyssinnian male.  Pics below.

And then, Pixie delivered her pups on the 29th!  The gp's are like rabbits, I swear.  Several cuties. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


So, many of you have probably already run across the Rochelle chip-in if you're one of the people on facebook who frequents either the NWI Chins page or one of several group pages that I got permission from the owners to post the info on.  Thanks to those people --> Alena (Moonlight Chinchillas & Rescue), Christine (Twilight Chinchillas), and Jean (TJ's Chinchilla Supplies). 

Already received quite a bit of donations, considerably more than I expected!  I was hoping for even $20 to help offset the cost of her upcoming treatments, but you all have been very generous!  Thank you so much.  I will be posting updates here and in her chip-in page, so for those watching both, it's probably going to be copied and pasted, so you can stick to one or the other.  :)  

Her chip in page is here -->

Since I didn't update on here since she got in, I will talk about what's going on with her and what went on at the vet yesterday, but after today, both pages should be identical for updates. 

So we went to the vet yesterday.  Was super frustrated by the time we got seen, because I got there in the morning, and the small animal vet and owner (who also sees small animals) were not there.  Was told to come back later, when I did, small animal vet in surgery, owner still not there.  Came back again, and Dr. Han (owner) was there and could see Rochelle.  So went in to see him.  I usually see the other dr, Dr. Foster, and I'd only seen Dr. Han before for Pixie's (guinea pig) spinal injury (quick recap - Pixie had been dropped and suffered a spinal cord injury, dragging her back feet behind her -- Dr. Han gave her steroid shots a week apart and oral steroids to take home -- and she regained all function and movement in her back legs).  Dr. Han asked if he'd seen this chin before, and I explained that he'd seen me once before, with Pixie, but that I run a chin rescue and that the majority of chins that they have files on are not my chins but are rescues that are now healed and in their new homes (they must have a ton of files under my name).  He remembered Pixie and he was absolutely overjoyed that she had regained use of her legs.  So that was good.

Anyway, so he looked at Rochelle and said she definitely needed antibiotics for the entire length of her recovery to prevent any further infection and to get rid of what she had.  He said her fur may not grow back, which doesn't matter, and suggested laser therapy.  Laser therapy had been suggested with Pixie, but I had waited, as we wanted to see if the injectable steroids and oral steroids would work first.  Plus, with Pixie, we didn't have a specific spot of injury, so I'm not sure how exactly the vet would have known where to target the laser.  But with Rochelle, Dr. Han recommended the laser therapy and as I've never had it done, I asked how it worked.  He said they shine a laser on the wound and basically it stimulates the blood vessels to regrow, speeds up healing time, and reduces swelling and inflammation.  So I said sure we could do that, and he said that it was really good that I was open to the option of laser therapy, as he thought that would really help her. 

So they said they could do the laser therapy right then -- I hadn't been sure, because even though it's generally a no-appointment vet, I do believe they try to schedule surgeries and some medical procedures if they can.  So I asked if I could sit in, so I got to hold Rochelle while the vet tech came in and did the laser therapy.  It was really simple, she literally just had this machine with a wand that shined the laser and she moved it over Rochelle's foot for a few minutes, and that was it.  New technology, eh?  So that was it, they sent me home with an entire bottle of antibiotics, saying I'd likely need that much and probably more.

So, we have 5 laser treatments left.  We're going in on Mondays and Thursdays, and I'm supposed to call before I come in, I suppose so they can find a free vet tech and make sure the laser machine is free.  I don't need to see an actual vet again until treatment #4, when Dr. Han wants to check her progress.  We will see how she does and make treatment decisions based on that.  Hopefully she will improve.

Dr. Han was optimistic that with laser therapy and antibiotics, we will be able to save her leg.  She still definitely has movement and feeling in it, so that's a positive sign.  However, he pointed out that she already has 1/4 - 1/2 centimeter of necrotic tissue (already dead) on her foot (due to waiting a week), and that will have to be removed at some point, but we will take care of that when the time comes. 

So as of now, we're just treating with antibiotics, 3 weeks of laser therapy, and we will see how she does. 

On a completely unrelated note, I believe I posted in here about the person who wanted a hidey house with a bottom for their 21 year old chinchilla so he could rest his feet -- I had told them I could add a bottom to any of the hidey houses for no extra charge.  They ended up purchasing a cottage hidey house with a bottom and I built it and sent it to them on the 23rd.  Just got an email back saying they got it yesterday and their chin was sleeping in it last night.  :) 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hammocks -- good and bad

So, first, "good hammocks."  Since I got down to two hammock patterns, I figured it was time to add some of the new ones to the website/webstore.  So I did -- feel free to check them out.  Also have a zebra pattern one and probably another few to add... but so far the ones I put up are the ones I had at least one currently made of, so I could take the pic for the website.  So the current list of patterns is here -->

And onto "bad hammocks."  Ok, so many know this, but I will reiterate, the hammocks at the pet store are not safe.  None of them.  Not even the ferret hammocks.  The pet store ones typically hang by nylon ropes, and are made of some fabric other than fleece, which contains strings.  Strings, which I might add, can become frayed and exposed when the chin chews on the hammock.  Strings, which, once exposed, can become tangled around a chinchilla's foot, causing the chinchilla to dangle from the hammock, by its leg, when the chinchilla tries to get off the hammock. 

Which brings me to our surrender of the day.  Rochelle is a 5-6 month old chin who came to her past owner's house with (apparently) her brother (who I did not catch the name of).  Rochelle and brother's first owner had them since they were babies, and told the most recent owners that chins could not breed until they are 1 year old.  Uh, nope.  So anyway, these chins were kept together in a cage, with one of the above-mentioned "bad hammocks."  Rochelle somehow got her leg caught in the threads, and the family found her dangling.  They had no idea how long she might have been dangling for.  Wonderful. 

So, if this was here -- not that this would ever happen here, but hypothetically -- we would have blu-koated the wound and it might have healed ok.  Assuming it was done day 1, as soon as they found her.  But, see, that's me.  For regular people, wanna know what they did?  Called around to every vet in the area asking how much it'd cost to see her, and asking about home remedies.  Apparently a grand majority of vets told them that the chin would die, and quoted them potential prices of $175 for x-rays and $50 to see the chin.  Well, the $50 sounds about right, but unless they're taking a ton of x-rays, I'm thinking that number should be cheaper.  Anyway.  So, the lady I'm talking to says they can't afford that and wants me to take the chin in and find someone who can care for her the way she needs to be.  Um... what?  Ok, so once I get these people on the phone, it's clear they think I have some magical powers of healing or of finding some magical guardian angel who wants an injured chin with an impending vet bill.  Um, no.  I told them, when they bring her here, depending on how she looks, I have pain meds, I have anti-inflammatories (I have valid prescriptions for all of these -- excess meds from previous chins), if it didn't look too bad, I might try treating for a bit and take her into the vet if no improvement, but I told them, regardless of what happened with my hypothetical treatment, she was likely going to have to go to the vet.  As... wait for it... the hanging incident was.... a week ago. 

So, in this week, the chin's brother had started chewing on her foot.  In addition, the fur started falling out.  Her foot swelled.  And somewhere in this, they decided that she wasn't getting better and called me. 

They said they gave her a dust bath (which I can only think:  yeeeeeowch!) and all the dust stuck to her foot, which made them think "oooh!!  the fur's growing back!!  she's doing ok!!" until they realized it was the dust sticking to her foot.  Uh, yeah.  If that doesn't scream "most intelligent owners ever" I don't know what would.  Ok, so here's the thing.  She is NOT getting a dust bath until this thing looks better cause it is oozing and pussing and clearly severly infected and that dust would f-ing hurt

So, before I get to pictures, I want to note, while I was still on the phone with them, these people asked if it would be possible -- once she was adoptable, if I would let them know and could they adopt her back?  And if not her, like if she died, could they adopt another one?  Now, they are lucky they asked me this on the phone cause after seeing her, I may have just strangled them.  I tried to, as nicely as I could manage given the circumstances, tell them that if they can't/won't afford the vet bill for this one, they definitely would not be able to adopt.  Not affording a vet bill doesn't bode well for affording future vet bills.  And here's the thing.  Had they taken her to the vet the day this happened, I would bet any money that the chin would have been sent home with preventative antibiotics and she would have healed up fine.  But nooo....

So, while I didn't go into this with them, here's the real problem with a rescue ever letting someone drop off a sick chin and later, when it's well, adopt it (and this should be fairly obvious).  Allowing someone to drop off a sick chin and then adopt it back later -- that would allow everyone to try to skirt vet bills.  I mean, come on, why would anyone pay vet bills if they could just drop off the chin at a rescue, have the rescue care for it while it's sick and foot all its vet bills, and then adopt it back for a measely fraction of what's been spent at the vet (not to mention, food, chews, and other necessities while the chin is at the rescue)?  They wouldn't.  Rescues would get in tons of sick chins by people who would be more than glad to re-adopt once the chin is well.  No... don't think so.

Even in this instance.  It's a standard grey chin, a young one, so adoption fee would be $100.  Well, with her going to the vet we can expect at least $100 in vet bills (it's $48 to walk in the door, so I fully expect a higher vet bill, but just for example purposes), and then the chin has to be here for four months to be sure that she's not pregnant before she leaves.  So, that's four months of food, water, treats, hay, chews, cage cleanings, etc etc etc.  If she has to go back to the vet in that period of time (which I'm betting is highly likely, given her condition), we're looking at another $48 as well as whatever the other fees are at that point.  All for an adoption fee of $100.  Yeah, see, this is why, for those people who say "you get em for free, why charge such a high adoption fee?"  Chins like this are why.  At $75 adoption fee per chin, I need 4 healthy chins to make up for one chin with a $300 vet bill.  And that's assuming that somehow those four chins don't cost me a cent while they're here.  In reality, it's probably a heck of a lot more than 4 healthy chins to make up for the one sick one that requires vet visits. 

Plus, I hate to say it, but paying an adoption fee of $75-100 for a small animal rescue really DOES seem to show whether you're willing to spend money on it in the future.  The people who come here and want a $25 chin?  I'm betting they would never think of spending a dime on vet care.  They'd just replace it with another $25 chin if it died.  On the other hand, the people willing to spend a tad more seem to be more the type to spend the money if the need arises.

For this chin, they said they got her from someone who wasn't caring for her well.... or something like that.  I didn't get the feeling they had paid a fortune for them though, even though it was two young chins.  Cause if they had, they'd be the people asking if I could pay them to take their chin in since they "just paid $____ for it and I've only had it ____ weeks and so it's clearly still worth that much."  Uh, yeah.  And I really do get people like that.  Sorry, but it's a rescue.  I try to find homes for animal that need to go now, not ones that "have to go by tonight.... rehoming fee of $300."  Uh, no.

Anyway, enough ranting, back to the chin.  Here's pics of Rochelle...

...and pics of her injury.  Please note, these are linked because they are graphic.  Not for the queasy. 

--pic 1 --
--pic 2 --

...and this is why you should stick with hammocks made by chinchilla vendors and rescues, as our hammocks (the collective "our" -- as in the chin vendors all together) are made with fleece, which does not contain strings, so your chin cannot get caught up in the hammock the way this one did.  Avoid all this suffering and pain with a good hammock.

Oh, and she has been given some metacam (pain med) to get her through the night until our vet opens in the morning.

I want to note, those pictures were taken after her epsom salt soak (which is why her leg fur is wet).  I should have taken a "before" picture, because that entire foot was a dark angry purple (like when we get a black and blue mark, it was that horrible color).  And there really is no fur on that foot.  The second picture is more true to life regarding the color, only it's now back to a nice dark purplish red.  Ick.  Can we say, infection?  And, it's oozing.  Not bleeding, no, not now (though, clearly before), no, now it's oozing.  Ickkkk.  Sorry but at some point I don't like looking at it either.  I especially don't like when it's sticky.  Yeeecch.  I can't wait to get her in to see the vet. 

For the people who looked at those pics, chin skin is supposed to be a nice bluish gray color.  Can't say it's exactly pretty to see a chin's skin, as they do look best with fur, but we've had some with injuries that require some fur to be removed, and their skin is actually a pretty color.  A nice bluish gray.  Notice how that leg is not at all that color.  And notice, in the second pic, the other leg in the background, if nothing else, for size comparison. 

Will update tomorrow when I know more of what's going on with her.  Fingers and paws crossed, and send some good thoughts this way!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


As a result of some family business that I don't want to get into here, I haven't been able to get on here to post about the going-on's.  Not much has really gone on, so I suppose that could have something to do with it.  But anyway...

I finally took the pics that I said I'd take and updated the "Chin-Room" page on the website.  It now looks on there like it actually looks in real life.  And it looks good, if I do say so myself.

Then, I worked on the NWI Chinchilla Rescue page.  Originally, it had a link to one of our "ads" which went more in depth about the process rescues go through and all that, but people had to click that link and then read the ad... and I'm not sure people were putting 2+2 together cause I got a lot of questions that could have been answered had they clicked the link.  So I re-did the page and put the grand majority of the info right on the main page.

Next, I went and updated the About Us page.  It now has a little blurb about some of our pets, specifically, the ones that were rescues and now are permanent residents, and it also now contains pictures of our guinea pigs!  Which I know everyone was just dying to see.

Few things I am currently working on -- #1 -- getting pans from JAGS that are made of something that does not rust.  Need to measure pans and get back to him.  This would just be for the runs, as those pans are really starting to look bad.

#2 -- loyalty cards.  You know, the ones where for every $5 you get a punch and once you spend $100 you get like $5 off?  Yeah, that sort of thing.  Working on designing one of those at the moment.  Between a blue design with a fancy swirl or a red/pink design (wish it was a different color!) with pawprints.  We'll see.  Anyway, Once I get those, the promotion would start from 1/1/13 forward, no retroactive spending added to the card, and chinchilla purchases/adoptions do not count.  Sorry, but if you're purchasing a $175 chinchilla kit, you're not $25 away from getting $10 off.  I know there's a collective groan going on out there, but that's just how it's going to be.  It's going to be for food/supply purchases only.  For the people who physically show up to purchase their supplies, they can hang onto their own cards, but I'm thinking for the people who do the online ordering, I will keep track of the money spent as sending the card back and forth would be a nightmare. 

#3 - Thank you postcards for donations.  Chances are, 90% of people would never see one of these in person, as (1) a lot of people don't donate and (2) the ones that do, many donate 50cents.  Not that 50 cents is meaningless, of course not.  But these cards are going to be costing me around 12-20 cents each not counting shipping, and I can't be giving away half my donation in a thank you.  But anyway, I think the main use of these is going to be by Jim, who is always securing us donations of cages and other small animals stuff from people.  He will have a stack of them to give out to people, and people who make a substantial donation (as in $1 or more, no crazy amounts) will receive one of these postcards.  Still working on the design and what I want it to say. 

And that's it.  Will have a sit down with my mother tomorrow maybe to go over this stuff.  Always good to have a critical eye look at it, and she's just perfect for that.  So these may be coming sooner, or later, we will see.

In other news, it looks like Posh will be going home Tuesday.  If not then, then we do have a backup on her, so she should be going home soon either way. 

Our guinea pig dropoff has still not recontacted us yet.  They originally said "Friday" as the day for wanting to stop by... but as right now it's 1:22 am Friday morning.... not so sure that's going to happen.  Regardless, we will see.

Had someone email asking what critters we have up for adoption right now, said he was thinking about a hamster.  Well, we only have our sanctuary hamster, Aries, and he's not going anywhere, so I told him that we have other critters, and we have cages available if he did end up going with that hamster.  So we'll see if that goes anywhere.

...and that's about it.  For today anyway.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Funny moment...

So, I dunno who I shared this with, but I know it wasn't on here, and it's funny, so I have to share one of those moments that make you laugh at yourself... much much later, of course.

So, the other day, I was getting the greens for the guinea pigs, and I completely take the bowl out of their cage, fill it up with greens, and set it back in the cage.  So, I'm holding the filled bowl in my hand, close to where I want to set it down, but there's a guinea pig in the way.  So I say "excuse me".... guinea pig doesn't move.... "excuse me"..... guinea pig still doesn't move.  *puts the bowl down, nudging the guinea pig out of the way while saying "sorry, you were in my way"*
I apparently need more human contact.

Busy day?

Ok, not really a busy day, but several people did stop over to drop off some chins.

Thanks to a wonderful vacuuming last night, courtesy of me, the basement currently looks wonderful.  And I washed all the liners last night, so now that they're fresh, I took new pics to put on the website's chin room page.  But first...

Ok, so first off, I just had to share some of our pics taken last year.  Doll clothes courtesy of Joann (one of my volunteers who hasn't come by in forever, but is very very nice).  These are Toby and Winx.

...and moving on to other things. Took all of the invoices that I'd shipped out and updated my chin excel file, finally got Shimmy's baby added to all the files that record chins.  Marked down the most recent rat adoption and emailed the previous owner (who will be dropping off two guinea pigs tomorrow - Monday) to let them know.

Was at the feed store the other day, picked up 7 bags of chin chow, and one of those critter space pods for Jim.  He wanted 2, but they only had one, so I can only do so much.

We were at the Forest South Animal Hospital's adoption event yesterday, in University Park, IL.  One of the foster homes for Cry for Help Rescue (a dog rescue) saw Shiloh (our prairie dog) and we must have talked prairie dog for hours.  He used to have 7, but didn't have any at the moment.  He donated $20 to the rescue.  Thanks Rick!

So, went downstairs and one of my orders needed some shelves cut and everything packaged up so they could get a shipping quote.  Turns out shipping was $11.50, which wasn't bad considering the box felt like it weighed a ton (ok, ok, 15-16 pounds), so I emailed that person.  Hopefully I'll hear back.  She had wanted the order shipped to her, like at her house, by this past Friday... but she waited until Tuesday to give me the info I needed for the shelves, and one of the things she wanted was a chinny mobile, which had to be put together and dry.  Well... that takes 2 days, so assuming I'd gotten it all done and started on Tuesday... we'd already have been at Thursday.  But in reality, I ran out of wood, so I had to get that, and because of that, just got her order done today.  So I'm hoping she still wants it.  If she doesn't, no big deal, but now that I've got it all packaged up and the shelves all cut and all...  well, we'll see.

Then, I had an order from someone with a 21 year old chin -- they wanted a house that had a bottom so the chin could rest its feetsies.  So I told them, no charge for me to add a bottom to any of the houses.  So they picked the cottage house and I put a bottom on that.  So that's drying now.

Then, got an email about two houses, one of them being the cutout house, which I almost never make except for if someone's wanting one (though I should, and have a spare one or two), cause they don't sell very often.  Well, anyway, she wanted one of those and a standard hidey house with the window reversed to the other side.  Ok, so I cut the wood out for the cutout house, and glued the four sides of that together.  Rubberbanded it, and will wait til tomorrow to glue on the roof.  For the other house, I cut out the pieces, but didn't drill out the holes yet, that'll be tomorrow.

Got an order for this used hammock that came in with one of the chins, this huuuuge pink one.  For $3, someone wanted it, so kudos to them I guess.  So I packaged that up.

Also packaged up an order for someone who ordered the Mazuri flat rate and a dust pan.  Yeah I finagled and squeezed that dust pan into the flat rate box along with the Mazuri.

Worked on a lot of the chin ads today.  Reput up the ads for the mosaic female.  Fixed the ads to be current for the extra dark ebs.  Fixed the rat ad to reflect that we only have one female baby available.  Then went through allllllllllll the ads and all my saved documents for current ads and changed the website from to -- cause that "for sale" had been bothering me for awhile, cause in reality, usually the grand majority of what's "for sale" is rescues which are actually for adoption.  But I didn't want it to be "chinchillas for sale or adoption" --- I think "available chinchillas" works out good.  I hope.

Got dropped off a few chins today -- first was Lucy...

I hate to sound mean on the first day, but man is she giving me the stinkeye already.  She's cute though.  And the people wrote out this whole letter for her new adoptive home telling about her, her likes and dislikes, her chin spin (which will be going with her to her new home) and so on.  Sweet girl.  She's 8 years old.

Next we have Keeper & Melon.  Keeper is the mother, she's a standard grey, and Melon is the hetero beige.  They are 5 & 6 years old.  Sweet chins, don't have to go together cause apparently Keeper is super protective over her daughter... so for a family with kids, probably not a good idea to get them both.  So I have the ok to split them up if need be.

...and that little transport cage that they were dropped off in... I could see that potentially being useful... so that pan is totally going in for powdercoating.  They probably think I've lost it at the powdercoating place... I continue to find things to bring in.  And really, I should get that pan that goes in the melamine cage powdercoated cause it's already rusting, so that can be the next trip....

I made a liner!  (I know, I know, this blog is jumping around everywhere).  The other day.  So, I know that I'd talked about making a liner for the gp's since like forever.  Maybe not on here, but the people in real life heard me say it.  Well, I finally made it!  Turns out, I have enough actual fabric to make two liners, but I don't have enough of the inner terry cloth.  And because their cage is like 2' x 4', I need 4 yards (give or take) for two layers of terry cloth.  So, I'll wait for that to be on sale again.  In the meantime, they will have to stay in their current cage on bedding, because I don't want to put bedding in their new cage.  So hopefully I'm able to get more terry cloth on sale and at a good price soon.

Why fish?  I dunno.

I then went and fixed all of the picture issues on the Happy Customers page.  Boy was that a lot of messed up pics.  But I think it's done!!  If anyone sees a pic not linking or looking squished like they were, please let me know.

Emailed one of the people who was on my waiting list for a male chinchilla -- told her we have a male pair (that can only go as a pair, and asked if she was interested) -- she said that could work, and would check and get back to me.  So here's hoping.  Howie & Sherman aren't ready to go yet, but when I have chins that I think meet what someone's looking for (someone on the waiting list), I will email ahead of time, so that if that person isn't interested, I know right away and have more time to work on writing up the ad and such for the chins.  So we will see.

...and then I went and re-did the entire Chin-Room page.  That was a LOT of pics.  It now features our new setup (or at least, as much of it as will ever be up on the website).  It took so long to put the pics up there that I'm not going to do it again -- take a look for yourself -->

...and now that I'm fully tired, and have scheduled some additional people coming in the morning due to my being up til the crack of dawn and other people not knowing the meaning of going to bed early either.... now, I'm going to bed.

Oh!  But before I do, lookie what Jim snagged for the rescue the other day -- guinea pig cage on a custom made (and practically color matched) sheet metal stand.  The guy was asking $40 firm for it, but Jim mentioned donating it to the rescue and I guess the guy thought that was a great idea.

Screenshot of original ad:

Thursday, October 18, 2012

It's called "communication," people.

Ok, so I'm starting to think the world is really falling apart.  Ok, nix the "starting to" -- the world's going to shit. 

What do they always say is the most important thing in a relationship?  Communication.  What does at least half the world forget about when they're in a relationship communication.

Case in point.  I was talking to someone about adopting one of our rats.  Nice person, had a pet rat, wanted to bring her daughter here and let the rat "pick her."  Fine.  Asked to come last night, but I was in class, so I emailed saying how bout tomorrow night.  The emails had been back and forth, pretty quick.  Well, then I get an email -- her husband went to Alsip (the store that has a pet section, not the town) and came home with a rat.  Without asking/telling her. 

Really?  I mean, I totally believe that happened.  In fact, the reason we got Daisy and Delilah back was because the father filled out the adoption form and brought him and his kids here and got the two chins, and then took them home and expected the mother, who knew nothing about his plans to bring home other animals, to care for them.

I could be wrong here, but what happened to spouses communicating?  I mean, this isn't even the I-want-to-surprise-my-spouse-with-a-puppy-on-christmas, this is like people just completely disregarding what their spouses think, heck, they probably could care less, and bringing animals home. 

It's not even that that rat is sitting here not adopted.  It doesn't matter, a home will come along.  The point is, what has happened to basic communication?  I mean, how hard would it be for mom to say, "you know, dad, I'm talking to a rescue about adopting a rat," or for dad to say, "you know, mom, I'm going to Alsip to replace the rat that died."  It's not that hard.  Really.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


So, today.

Last night, Jim had emailed me the link to an ebay posting for a Critter Nation 162 for $75!!  But it was out in Elkhart, and at some point, the cost savings isn't worth the gas and time lost to go get it... but Jim said he'd get it.  Awesome.  I can trade hammocks for that, he likes those.  So, I used the buy it now, bought the cage, and when I got an email from the person who was selling the cage, I looked up the email that I would be replying to and forwarded the email to Jim with the reply info... got an email this morning said he'd gone and got the cage.  Yayyy.  So he came and brought the cage.  And Jim's much more of a... ah... let's put it this way -- I don't want to ask for handouts.  I don't feel that's below me or nothing like that, I just feel odd asking.  Not Jim!  He scrounged up some extra cages and extra goodies through saying he's helping out NWI Chins Rescue and wanted to know if they had anything to donate. 

So here's all what he managed to round up:

As for other chin stuff, the people who were here two days ago came back to adopt some more rattie babies.  This time they took a black self female rat and an agouti self female rat.

Added Keisa and the newer baby rats to the website and to the various other sites.  Started fixing the Happy Customers page -- I have to delete the image, re-put-it-in, resize, and re-link it to the larger pic.  So I got a decent portion of that done today, we'll see maybe tomorrow I'll get more on that done. 

Alrighty.  Well, I was going to get together orders tonight, but as it's already 1:18.... I think I can do it tomorrow. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Wisconsin Show & Other Things

Ok, so been MIA for a few days.  Took some of our chins and went to the Wisconsin Show.  Meredith brought 3 of her chins along as well.  For our chins, we have:

Gypsy -- she is a pink white (beige mosaic) bred by Chins by Design.  She is a B (2012) chin and got a 2nd place.  The judge's comments were about good strength of fur, good clarity, knocked down to a 2nd because of size & volume of fur.  Will be showing her again at the next show when she will be larger.

Next, we have Puff.  Puff was bred here, she's a NWI Chin, and she is an A (2011) animal.  Puff got 2nd as well.  Comments about good size, good confirmation, good amount of fur.  Bad clarity of color, muddiness, and fur somewhat laying down. Thinking her clarity of color problem may have had to do with the fact that she pen-stained herself right before the show.  But, wanted to get comments on her as she didn’t place last year at Nationals as her fur was actually looking "curly" to the judges.  It really is a beauty contest.  But she got a 2nd here, and so we know what we need to work on.

Then we have Keisa.  Keisa was bred here, she is a B (2012) chin.  She was sold to a family and was returned a few months ago.  Since a show was up and coming, we took her.  She got a 3rd, which isn't too bad considering even at home, we were saying she had longer fur than we'd like, and it was somewhat laying down.  The judge's comments were about problems with clarity of color and volume/strength of fur.  She will soon be for sale.

Then we have Nytro.  Nytro was Whitewoods bred and is a K (2000 baby).  Yes, 2000, this is a 12, going-on-13, chin.  He got a 3rd. Comments about great clarity of color considering age, lacking fur volume (but was noted that that was expected for his age), pinched in the neck. Same comments as when he got 2nd at 2011 Nationals. Just wanted to bring him cause we had room in the carrier. 

He hasn’t bred any of his girls since last October so he may be telling us he’s done (he is 12 after all). Came home, found a hair ring on him, so removed that and we’ll see if anything improves.

And then we have Myshkin.  Can't actually find my show pic of him, and I'm still on my netbook (laptop is waiting for someone to come repair) so I can't go digging for it.  Myshkin was bred here, he is an ebony mosaic.  He is a V (2008) baby.  He did not place at the show.  Comments about him being more of a costina type, not having very broad shoulders, and having short fur in neck area, and bad clarity of color. He was disqualified because of chewing (not his own, a female who he’d been put with – who will soon be up for adoption as a pet) and fur damage. His clarity of color was likely due to a pen stain. The reason we took him -- Myshkin placed 1st at 2012 MCBA Nationals -- however -- the comments were uber-vague and not so much related to strengths/weaknesses, but rather tuned towards “he’d be fun to work with to see what he produces” as he’s a heavily marked/extreme eb white. So I’m not too worried about his fur damage, just wanted to get better comments as to what we needed to work on to complement him. Which I did, so I’m happy about that.

Unrelated to absolutely anything else I am talking about, but wanted to share a cute picture of Toby with his paw resting on the pan.

Had a few donations in the last few days.  On Oct. 13, we had two donations.  First, Jim (has adopted several of our rats and is always on the lookout for cages for us) stopped by with some stuff.  He said he bought a cage and it came with some chin stuff which he thought maybe we could use.  He emailed me saying he might leave it on the porch.  Which, I have to say, is how you can tell someone knows our crazy schedules, because he knows that if we don't schedule a time....  so anyway.  Below is a picture of what he donated.  

As for what it all is -- four cardboard tubes, a mostly filled bag of carefresh (which we already put to good use), two bags of chin food (junk chin food -- will likely go to our rats/hamster), a rat wheel, a metal litter pan, two hidey houses, (ours, which makes me wonder who this person was that he got this stuff from), a half-gallon water bottle, and a food bowl. Awesome!

Then at the Wisconsin show I got to meet Alena, who runs Moonlight Chinchillas & Rescue.  Also met some other people I'd heard about but never actually got to meet -- Kristy Morici (ABC Chins - Crystal Lake, IL), Jim Ritterspach, Jeoff Fauber, Brenda & Brent Walter, Bobbie Shultz, and of course, we saw our friends, Tricia Rees and her family at the show (they were picking up some blue diamonds from Mark Miller).  How I would love to have that kind of money.  But anyway...

So I met Alena and I bought another pineapple toy from her and two other toys, and she donated a hanging toy and some toss toys to the rescue.  Thanks Alena!

Then, we had some adoptions recently that I hadn't had a chance to yap about.

On the 11th, Delilah was adopted (again).  Here she is with her new family:

On the 11th, also, one of our adoptive homes returned to add another rat baby to their family.  Here they are with Nutmeg (their other baby adopted from here is a beige named Cinnamon).

On the 14th (today), another adoptive home returned to add more rats to their rat family.  Here they are with their two newest rat babies -- both females, a black hooded and a black split capped

To yap a little more about adoptions, we had someone stop by this morning who had originally been looking at Delilah (who I nicely explained that a chin can get adopted again, if they don't quickly express interest and get our forms and all that filled out).  So they were looking at chins this morning and said they'd let us know.

Then, I emailed the person who has one of our black babies on hold a few days ago.  Still haven't heard back.  With the ridiculous number of people falling through lately, I'm hoping I do hear back.

For the person with the white baby -- I looked at my records.  I originally called her back (from her original call) on 9/25.  She said she needed the adoption form and all mailed out, so I mailed her everything.  She called on 10/1 and said she was almost ready to send the form, and wanted me to send another for her friend.  I asked if she could just copy hers, and she said she'd already filled it out, so I told her, just have him write down his answers and mail it.  Ok, so... we notice now it's the 14th and I haven't received anything, haven't gotten any calls, nothing.  So today, I was going to call her (as she says she and her friend both don't have email... uh-huh... two teenagers don't have email.  Right.  Ok.) and I tried the number was incorrect.  Not that like the number was disconnected or anything, but literally a recording that said I had the wrong number, hang up and try again.  Oooook.  So, I had been planning on telling her that she had til Wednesday to get me the form or the chin was going back up for adoption, so reach her or not, she has til Wednesday.  From the 27th -- that would give her 20-21 days to have gotten the form back to me.  That's 13-14 more days than the average person gets to keep a chin on hold so that's it.  If she and her friend magically pop up after that, they can't adopt/buy.  Sorry, but I'm getting a tad sick of people putting chins on hold and then taking advantage of my forgiving nature and walking all over me as I give them time to get their act together.  And this all goes back to this -- if people don't want to adopt/buy, fine.  But TELL ME.  I just don't think it's that DIFFICULT, especially in the age of email and voicemail.  So she's got til Wednesday.

Bought a chin (or two?) at the show.  Got one from Bobbie Shultz, of Bobbie's Chinchillas, a beige breeder female.  She says the chin needs a month or two recouperation, so she's going to stay separate until we switch her over to our food and then she can maybe go in with a cage of females and we'll maybe show her in a few months.  Also got a 1A (means that it was the top 1st place in the class) beige from Brenda Walters.  Gorgeous gorgeous animal.  Will have to get pics of them, but not today.

So... we had this one potential person looking to drop off chins awhile back, who I hadn't heard from awhile, so I emailed them maybe a week ago.  They got back to me on the 9th saying they had decided to keep the chins and were going to maybe get them a bigger cage.  Well... come now, I get an email tonight saying they changed their mind and want to bring them in.  Well, that didn't take long, did it?

Ok, few more pics and I'm done yapping for the night cause I have a shitton of chin-related paperwork that I need to enter into the necessary areas and put where it goes, and then ads to write.

Some pics of the new baby guinea pigs:

....and our one female, Chunk (hey, I said it so many times cause she was pregnant for so long that it stuck), had the three babies, so a few pics of that... she had a standard female, a heavily marked mosaic male, and a dark ebony female.

...and maybe tomorrow, some updated baby rat pics.  But that's it for today.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

... late night yappings

So, it's Howie and Sherman that are the new chins.

Ok, so remember how I said I was getting texts from several people about Delilah?  Yeah, so one of them texts me again and tells me that it was her dad that was the other one texting me.  Yes, that's how genius these people are, have both mom and dad text me from separate numbers, and make me think I have 2 separate people interested in a chinchilla.  I know I was sleeping when they both texted me, but if I don't answer one text, texting me from a different number isn't going to make me answer any faster.  AND... making me repeat everything twice because you just couldn't wait for 5 minutes for me to text you back doesn't exactly endear me to you.  Cause I text long texts. 

So, I just got a text, 5 minutes to 1 am, from this person again.  She said she wanted to come look at all the chins for adoption.  So, I told her, only Posh and Delilah are available, and Posh isn't here right now, so the only one she could really come and see is Delilah.  So she says:

okay  .  no please save her i want her so bad . whenever you're free i would like to come and see her and take her home if i can

Which makes me think, first thought, like no one's listening to me about the care packet and adoption form.  So I tell her, I need the form filled out first, cause if I don't look at it ahead of time, she could get here and put down Kaytee food and a hamster cage and so on and then she wouldn't be able to take the chin home.

So then she tells me she hasn't gotten my email.  Which has happened before... but why wait 5 hours to tell me that?  So I told her to go online to the website and download the files.  Cause for sure they are on there (on the available chins page).  Anyway, the point here is, I'm not bitching about this girl specifically -- but why do people never tell me that they haven't gotten the file until long after they should have?  This isn't even one of the ridiculous cases.  I've had people where I've emailed a file, and like I told them, on the phone, give me 5 minutes and I'll have it sent to you.  Ok, so I go and email it.  I don't hear from them and 5 days later I'm calling/emailing them and "oh I never got the file."  Now, no doubt, some of them are just saying that, and never go on to adopt a chin, they just don't want to tell me they decided against it (which is a whole 'nother thing I won't get into).  But some of them that legitimately didn't get the file.... if I said I'll have it in 5 minutes... maybe I'd wait a day if I didn't receive it.... but surely not 5 days.  So for anyone reading this, if I say I'm gonna send you something, and you don't receive it, don't wait days upon days to receive it.  If you don't get it, check spam.  Attached files somehow put emails in spam a lot.  If it's not there, and it's been a bit of time, email me.

So anyway, this person is going to download them off the website and get them to me tomorrow.  Yay.

Delilah (and other happenings)

So, I woke up this morning to a text asking if Delilah was still available.  I texted back saying that she was, but didn't get a text in reply.  When I listened to my voicemails, I realized the same person had called me, so I called them back and talked to the guy.  He wanted to come over and meet her, so I said, fine, he said he'd be here within the hour.  So, then a few minutes after that, I get a text from him asking if they'd be able to take her home right away, and I told him about our adoption form and that he'd have to fill it out and if everything looked good, then he'd be all set to adopt.

Needless to say, he never showed up.

But, my scheduled appointments did -- I had a chin dropoff around mid-day.  The person wanted to come here and see the setup before she agreed to leaving the chins here, so she came in and looked around and decided this would be a good place for her chins, so she dropped off two males -- Stewart (I think?) a 4 yr old beige and Howie, a 8-10 yr old standard.  Sweet chins.  I checked, and they are both actually male.  She was feeding them Oxbow and, for the most part, the treats were ok.  I took one of her treat containers that had some of those yogurt drops in it (which she said she wouldn't be upset if they got thrown away) and gave it to the rats.  Not all of it, of course, but no reason to throw it away, the other critters that can eat it will eat it.  They seem pretty sweet, so I think they'll be alright to adopt out.  I do have someone on my waiting list that wanted a male.  Dunno if she'll want two males, but that's what I have at the moment.  So after evaluation, we will see.

Then, got a call from someone whose kids saw us at the Darien Pet Show and wanted to come by and see the chins.  So they stopped by and we talked chin for awhile.  So we'll see if I hear from them again.

Then, had the family drive up from Clayton (near Indy) to pick up Psycho.  The son renamed her Delilah Chinchillacus.  Very nice people, and Psycho seemed to really like them, so that's great for her.  I'm glad she found a good home. 

So then, somewhere in there I took a little nap, and woke up to two texts about Delilah.  One wanted me to pass along info to her daughter, who was looking for a chin, the other was asking about adopting Delilah themselves.  So, I told both about the adoption form, care packet, and all that, emailed both of them all the information, and stressed that since there is more than one person asking about her, the first to get me back a filled out adoption form is the one she will go on hold for.  Cause, besides these two people and the person this morning, I had a call or two while I was in Darien about Delilah, who had said they would call this week (but have not yet).  So we'll see if I get any forms in, from any of these people.

Have the first person on my rat list coming to pick out their baby Thursday morning.  The second person on my list already said to move on at this point in time (but keep em on the list -- see, some people actually do have common courtesy, rather than not email me back), and the third person on the list, all I have is a cell phone number.  So once the first person comes and picks out theirs, I will let the third person know what I have available and we'll see how that goes.  By that point, I will also know if the person with the two older rats still wants them (well, I'll know if they email me or not), and if they don't, those may be offered up first to that person depending on what they said in their original texts.... and down the line (there are several more people that want to know about the baby rats).  

Got an email from the people who dropped off the baby rats -- as it turns out, they have some guinea pigs that the boys are allergic to, so I believe those will be dropped off at some point in time.  So we will see about that as well.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Expo - day 2

So, day two (Sunday) was interesting.

Still didn't do much better with sales, though we did sell a few more things, and realized it was to our benefit to put up a "we accept credit cards" sign.  So we did.  Sold a few things, and talked to some more people who seemed mildly interested in adopting.  But you never can tell, cause I had a few people who said they'd call after the weekend was over, and today (Monday)... my phone didn't ring once.  Ah well.

It wasn't bad though, the day went by reasonably quickly.  Educated yet more people about the fact that they are chinchillas.  I think for the St. Charles expo, I'm going to hang one of our cage card holders on the expo cage and have a card in there "Hi, my name is Kandie.  I am a chinchilla.  My adoption fee is...."  And maybe I should bring a guinea pig, rabbit, gerbil, and hamster to show people the difference.  I think the best has to be the hamster.  That would be quite the overgrown hamster, wouldn't it? 

Well anyway, we did end up going through quite a few business cards on the second day, so who knows.  We'll see, right?

They had some exotic animals there as well, Cold Blooded Creatures, was the name of the place I believe.  So some pictures:

iguana (love the collar)
me and the iguana
alligator skink? (it's an "alligator _________" for sure)
black-throat monitor
black-throat monitor (that's not me petting it, but I did get to pet it!)
black-throat monitor
albino burmese python
Bubba (american alligator) -- pic taken wide so you can see doors in background for size reference
And then there was this random guy who was there (no booth or anything) for both days with his cockatoos.  So of course I had to ask to hold one.

It's looking at me like I'm tasty.  This one was named Harley.
So today, we're back home and I managed to do just about nothing all day.  Imagine that.  No, but really.  I did clean some cages, sexed and separated the rats, and emailed the people bout that.  Also wrote out all the invoices that have been piling up in my inbox and on post-its so I can start putting together packages tomorrow and getting people shipping quotes.

Psycho is going home tomorrow, but I have yet to actually get her stuff ready.  That'll happen in the morning.  In the meantime, while emailing potential adoptive homes, I sent out a two-day notice to the person who's had the two male rats on hold (the older ones).  Also sent out an email to someone who emailed asking if we had rats.. awhile ago.. and never emailed me back.  Asked if she was still interested.  Emailed the first and second people on the list for rats about the babies -- first one is trying to set up a pickup on Thursday, and the second one said now's not a good time for them to adopt.  So, I'm going to wait on the third home until the first one comes and picks out what they want so I know for sure which ones are available.  And then after the third, we have I think another person or two in line for the babies.  So we'll see how that all goes.

Oh!  Ok, so back at the expo, I was talking to the lady who's in charge of the thing, and we were talking about how I didn't get any donations, which isn't really a huge deal, but at the same time, it was a tad odd cause like other rescue booths had a ton of donations, and she said that maybe, aside from the fact that people think small animals require a few pellets, some water, and are cheap to care for (ha! they should try owning one), she said that dogs tend to pull on their heartstrings cause they want to be petted and want to interact.  So.... I asked her what she'd think if we brought Shiloh to the St. Charles show.  Cause Shiloh, on a good day, wants to be petted, acts like a ham, and EVERYONE loves him.  Come on, if you've met him and petted him and he's closed his eyes and thrown his head back... you can't deny you didn't want to take him home.  She said we could bring whatever we want, whatever will make people aware, and really, he IS a rescue, he's just one that's never leaving, so I suppose it all works out.  So, I ended up pulling one of our small cages off of our cages for sale page and we're going to hang onto it for Shiloh to be in at the next pet expo.  And we may bring him to the one in later October as well.  We will see.

And, totally unrelated to anything, just for fun --

my dog, da movie star