Thursday, November 29, 2012

Uh, people!

So, some people make me sick. 

Ok, so awhile back, I had this one adoptive home ask if I had another chin they could adopt.  They had asked about a specific chin which was already on hold, and I asked if they wanted to know if that person backed out.  They did.  So, like two days later I see their post on facebook which said they had gone to the humane society and picked up for themselves a beige chin.  So, what was the point in telling me they wanted to know if that person backed out?  Anyway.

So, this person was on facebook talking about putting the two chins together.  Now, mind you, the chin they adopted from me was an aggressive male who had badly injured other chins he was in with, so he was sold with the "introduce others at your own risk."  He was a rescue, as was the female she picked up at the humane society.  So I got on facebook and posted about how she had bought him knowing she's not supposed to put chins with him or breed him or whatever.  So, she tells me, she was planning on splitting the cage down the middle, or something like that, something which would allow them to sniff but not breed.  Nope, still a problem.  You know why?  Cause chins can breed through the bars.  So she swears up and down she's not going to breed and has no intention of putting them together.  And she would never breed rescues, she knows that's wrong. Ok, fine.  I don't believe her, but there's no reason for me to think she's lying other than my gut, and the male chin in question is long since out of my control.

So, I get on facebook today and she's on this one chin group that I almost never go on, except for the fact that some of my adoptive homes post on there, and she has said:

Hey long time no talk, but to all that were involved in the convo about my aggresive male and his new friend, they are getting along perfectly, she wears the pants in that cage. :)

O.M.F.G. Really?!?!? 

So I say -- so much for saying you wouldn't put them together cause you didn't want to breed rescues :(

Her:  They're not breeding they really havent touched eachother, they're just not fighting. and my other cage broke. so i had no other choice.

Me:   Unless you're watching them 24/7, you don't know they're not breeding. Believe me, they are. I get in tons of male/female pairs each year that people swear up and down they don't breed... funny, it's amazing how the female will always pop out babies a few weeks later. They don't understand they're rescues, they're a male and female, and they are animals, which means they will breed, whether you see it or not. And you had no choice? Sure you did. You could have put the one in a carrier until you could go and get another cage. If getting another cage was too expensive, I sure hope that she doesn't have any problems delivering, cause you will find that is waaaaay more expensive than a new cage. 

....and, you are lucky he didn't kill her, because he was adopted to you as an aggressive male that had badly injured other chins in the past. So even trying to put another chin in with him was endangering the life of that chin.

She's probably sitting there, thinking, what do I do, sit around and wait for her to post?  No, I'm not, but it always does come back to me if some idiot adoptive home is being an idiot adoptive home.  

Oh, and I'd be really interested to know how this cage "broke."  I've had a lot of cages over the years, but none of them have ever "broke" out of the blue which would make them unusable.  

And she even said in the first post about her "aggressive male."  Fuck, he was SOLD to her as a chin that had almost killed several other chins.  That means you NEVER try to put that chin in with another one.  How difficult is that?  I even tell people, when I have chins that don't get along with others, that if they are even mildly thinking that they may want a second chin in the future, they shouldn't go with a "first chin" that doesn't get along with others.   

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Found the degu.

So, today was the day for putting up ads for the critters that have become adoptable in the last bit of time, and as I was getting to Lucy's ad, I realized I had all of one picture of her.  So I go downstairs with the camera and I'm walking past the table with the gp cage and the degu cage, and between the two cages is this odd degu-shaped thing.  Um.... yeah.  I walked right past at first and then had to backtrack.  Yup, that's a loose degu.

Whether it was the loose one I couldn't find or another one, now was the chance to catch it, and catch it I did.  Little stinker.  And it was the missing one, Trixie.

So, once I caught her, I noticed banana chips everywhere.  See, I have this bag of banana chips that didn't fit in my guinea pig treat container, so it has sat out on top of the container near the guinea pig cage for easy access.  Well, the degu apparently decided they were worth getting cause she completely tore through one side of the bag and got them everywhere. 

Now, degus can't process sugar.  They're like chins, but worse.  Some of them will turn diabetic if you look at them wrong, I swear.  Trixie already has diabetic cataracts, so the last thing she needs is more sugar, so what does she do?  Go straight to the banana chips.  Now, those banana chips were for pets, so they're not the super-sugary ones like that people eat, but still, they have natural sugars in them.  Little stinker.

Someone just told me, like just told me that they always want what you don't want to give them.  I don't even remember if it was related to the degu being loose, but at the time I was like thinking, ok this should mean something to me, but it really didn't at the time.  Course now, it makes sense, she shouldn't have any sugar, so she heads to the one thing that HAS sugar (well, natural sugar) in it, as there's hardly anything down by the pets that does, cause the chins can't have it and the degus for sure can't have it. 

Gotta give the furball credit though.  She did manage to get up, off the floor, and get up on that table.  Granted, I probably made it easy for her (unintentionally), cause the cage I had open for her to go in (with the food and water) was next to a larger cage, also on the floor (which her mom is in), which is next to the table I found her on (which the cage which her daughters were in).  Yes, I have three generations of female degus in my house.  So she had to scale the one cage, use it to jump to the other cage, and use that to jump to the table.  Bypassing her GOOD food to eat the BAD banana chips.  Go figure.   

Monday, November 26, 2012


So, been a busy last few days.

Had an escapee degu last night.  Still haven't found the little bugger, but I do have a cage set out with food and water so if she's smart, she should come looking for it.  I wrote down the date she got out, so if there's not a catch in 5 days, we can pretty much guarantee we're not going to be getting her back.  So far, it's not looking promising.  Haven't seen her all day.

Have someone coming today to pick up some supplies and look at one of the chins we have up for adoption.  I actually need to put up some more chins for adoption, cause right now, several chins are adoptable, but not listed -- Lilly, Keeper, Melon, Lucy, and Chloe (guinea pig).  So I need to get to work on those ads.

Not too much been going on.  Had some drama with someone over a package.  They told me they wanted the package to get here Thanksgiving week, and they were in the NY/NJ area.  Well, I've sent things to Jean, and I get packages from her, and they always make it here in 3-4 days.  So, I mailed out the package on Tuesday of Thanksgiving week, cause they said they'd be home the later part of the week.  3-4 days should have put the package in by Friday/Saturday.  Well, go figure, it didn't get there in that time period.  This person emailed me asking for tracking.  Well, I don't do tracking unless it's asked for.  Well...... she said I should have inferred that she wanted tracking because she said she wanted it there around Thanksgiving.  I'm sorry, but I'm not a mindreader.  I don't do tracking cause most people don't want to pay extra for it, and the ones that want it typically will tell me they want tracking.  I currently have on my website that if people want tracking, they need to put a note in their paypal payment or let me know in an email, or else it will be shipped without tracking.  Well, of course, I put this up after I started talking with this person, so she says she didn't notice it.  Fine, but I still stand by the fact that if you don't orally or otherwise tell me you want tracking, I am not going to just assume you want it.  Sorry.  So now she's all peeved that I didn't get tracking and she doesn't know when the package will get there, because there's some problem with the post office guy leaving the packages at the door.  I guess someone has to be home.  Which created another argument, because in my defense, 3-4 days should have put the package in at Fri/Sat, which meant she would have been home.  But, the post office took longer, which I don't have any control over.  With the thought that the package would have been delivered in 3-4 days, they would have been home and it wouldn't have mattered if there was tracking or not.  But of course, this person tells me that everyone has always shipped her stuff with tracking so this is never an issue.  Everyone?  Really?  I order chin stuff pretty frequently online, and while some people definitely do tracking (and I don't deny that), I would definitely not say that MOST do tracking.  I'm sure if you ask for tracking, they will put tracking on, but not just automatically.

Ah well.

Got quite some interest in the GP's over the last little bit here -- just got an email from the lady who was interested in the female, saying she went with someone else, so I texted the second person in line.  The male with the blaze has pretty much for sure found a home, I just need to wait to get the adoption form through the mail.  That person is also considering the other male, and I told her, she needs to decide, cause I have a different person who may be interested in either the female or male, and so if she's not, then I could move onto the next person.  So we will see. 

Had someone email about Gumdrop.  I emailed them the rat care packet and adoption form, we'll see if I hear back.

I still need to combine the rat ads and put up the ads for the other critters.  Maybe later today after the people come.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Last few days

So, not much been going on in the last few days, but it's life as usual here. 

Had an order for some Mazuri, another for a hammock & food bowl, and another shelf order that's been pending for months (was emailed about it, they said they didn't want it right then, and then pushed it back a few times), got all those out the other day. 

Have a few orders at the moment, need to work on those.  Several for custom houses, some for shelves, will work on those in the morning.

So, Lilly's mosaic female went home the other day, as did the three dumbo rats.  Go figure, just like I said, the lady went with the younger rats and my older ones are still here.  Next time anyone is interested in them, I am not posting any more rats until they actually go home.  Don't have the pictures up on the computer yet, need to work on those.

Joker had a baby, well, maybe a week or two ago now.  Looked ok coloring at birth, now looks really red -- this was her second shot to see how she'd do, both times we've had really red (pet quality for sure) babies, so she will be finding herself a good home in 4+ months. 

Cut up a ton of apples & carrots for the gp's.  Was at Misch's (polish grocery store) with my mom the other day and they always have produce for good prices so I picked up some more carrots and green peppers.  So the pigs will have carrots for quite some time, and they'll get some tasty peppers. 

So, my mom thinks she wants to hang onto the cream longhaired male guinea pig, but upon examination he's got some patch of sticky something towards his rear end.  It's hard to tell if it's like something stuck to him or something actually wrong in that area, so he will be getting a bath in the next few days, to see what's going on with him.  Other than that, he looks healthy and happy and definitely still eating and drinking like a pig, so here's hoping one of the kids at his previous home just stuck something to him and got him sticky.  We will see.

The three older male rats appear to be getting along together, so assuming that continues to go well, they will continue to stay together.  I combined their listings on the website, I'll do that for their other listings once they've been together a tad longer.

Guinea pigs are sexed and separated now.  Two males and a female.  The males are in with daddy and the females are in with the adult females.  I put up their ads, so now just waiting for someone to want to take them home.

Got in another order today for shelves, quite a few of them, but most of them are small and medium shelves, so that won't be too bad to manage.   I would get to work on all of this today, but I'm actually going out tonight (see, every once in a blue moon I do have a life), and I don't want to coat myself in sawdust ahead of time. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

One of those days.

So, today was one of those days.  One of those days where I wish I had someone else who I could say, hey, could you go deal with the animals today, cause I just am not feeling like it today.  No worries, everyone got fed/watered, but the guinea pig sexing did not go well, and we're still questioning the sex of one guinea pig, even with expert help (see facebook page).  That will be ironed out in the morning.

I have chin orders galore to do, but I really was not feeling like doing any of them, so.... they're all nicely stacked waiting for me to cut up wood and all.

I had someone email about the three older male rats that I have.  And sets up a time to stop by tomorrow to come adopt 2, potentially 3, if they get along.  So I intro the three, things are going well, I'm happy my older males are going to be going home....

....and then what do I do?  Post an ad for three younger dumbo males that are here.  Dumbass dumbass dumbass.  I never learn.  Never.  This is why those older males are still here, because the second I post anything younger, people switch from wanting the older ones to the younger ones, and the older ones continue to get older and older and the older they get the less desirable they are to the rat market.  So of course, if you didn't guess, I get an email, saying oh, are those available?  maybe I want those instead. Dumbass dumbass dumbass.

So now I'm kicking myself cause with the way things have been going now, she will take the younger ones home, which I could have saved myself writing the ads and posting all of them today, and the older ones will sit here until someone comes along feeling sorry for them.  Adoptions are at an all time low right now, and I have a zillion animals in quarantine/evaluation/pregnancy watch, and what do I do when I have someone looking to adopt 3 older animals?  Post an ad for babies.  Complete genius, let me tell you.  Couldn't have waited until after she walked away with the older males, no.  Would have been too easy.    


The only NON-stupid thing I managed to do was that I didn't get delete all the ads on the various sites for the older males.  Cause then I woulda been fuming having to put all those back up if she goes for the youngsters.  Course, she says we can talk about it tomorrow, but so far, it's never failed that people coming here to choose between older and younger, choose younger, especially when younger isn't costing them a penny more for the younger ones (which is only the case for rats -- guinea pigs and chins that are younger have higher adoption fees).  We will see, you never know.  I just wouldn't count on having the older ones go home anytime soon.

One day I'm gonna learn.  That day just wasn't today.

Friday, November 16, 2012

It's not all fun and games...

So, the other day I was talking about how people think we get in free healthy animals and adopt them out... and make money.... let me give you an example of the other side of that. 

Subject: Please... help.
I'm in a terrible fix and have a chinchilla that desperately needs the care of someone who can do better by him.
My name is Juan, and my chinchilla's name is Dauphine. He is about four years old, and is a friendly if somewhat reticent chin who is in a terrible fix of his own.

My wife has left me, taking his brother with her, and I have just gotten out of an extensive (three week) stay at a clinic for thyroid issues. It wasn't cancer, but even now they're talking about radiation treatment for other problems the stupid gland has, which will mean more time in and out of the hospital.

The problem is that Dauphine has teeth issues, and the girl that was supposed to take care of him and try to get him to chew in my absence did almost nothing but pop in to feed and water him. His cage is a mess and, I fear, beyond salvage, and he himself is in terrible shape. His teeth have overgrown extensively, he has drooled all over his underbelly and I suspect he has a cold.

With my wife goes half my household income. With my health issues goes most of the remainder. I have applied to a credit line that specializes in pet health care and gotten funding to have his teeth removed, which, after months of taking him to get them trimmed and all his suffering, will probably seem like a joy to him. I can also afford two donations over the next month of $100 each, which I can arrange as would seem best to you. Optimally, it would likely be a pair of dated checks, but I want you to be SURE I want to make these donations.

I REALLY... reallyreally... don't want to put him to sleep! He's been a sweet pet and a surprisingly good conversationalist, and just charming. It breaks my heart to think of giving him up, but hurts just even worse to think of having him put under. I can transport him anywhere he would need to go quite easily... I have the perfect little carry cage I got for pet visits.

I just really need someone to take care of him like he so richly deserves.

Feel sorry for the chin?  I do too.  But sadly, to sum up the several page response that I wrote to this guy... my response is basically, when we get in a malo chin, we will file it once, to see if it's just spurs, but if the teeth grow back, the chin is made comfortable until it stops eating again, and it is put down.  Malo is incurable and filing a chin, month after month, is hardly good quality of life for the chin.  We go go two different vets for the chins -- the one gives us a whopping $10 discount every so often (which I do appreciate, but it hardly makes it "cheap" for us to go), the other costs $68 to walk in the door, and if I want an extra syringe?  That's $5.  Doesn't matter that I could buy it online for 30 cents, they're an exotic vet and as much as they know what they're doing, they're also very money-hungry, have Mac computers in their office, and care more about the almighty dollar than helping people out.  Don't get me wrong, I don't think it should be free for a rescue to take an animal into the vet, I have no problem paying for services, but some people seem to think we get some huge discount.  We don't.  I told this guy, I would love to be able to save every chin.  But at the end of the day, with malo chins, you go from yearly filings to 6 month filings to 4 month filings to 2 month filings... and so on.  Until you eventually put the chin down.  Nothing will stop that end, the malo WILL eventually kill them.  And they will be miserable during all of those filings and handfeedings and all of that... until you finally end their suffering.

I have dealt with malo chins.  I don't want anyone to think it's just that I don't want to spend the money.  It's not that.  Though I definitely don't have that kind of money to spend on every chin.  But they really do not have the same joy for life, the same sparkle in their eye.  They're not happy when you're filing them so often and handfeeding until they start eating again, and then it's time for another filing an the circle goes round.  If there was a cure for malo, you'd see me taking in every malo chin.  But there's not.

And this guy's talk about pulling teeth -- short of pulling them all, which I wouldn't recommend, pulling some of them will only give the others nothing to butt up against... and cause those to need to be filed monthly to keep those in check.  It's not the answer.  Not to mention, we got a quote of $1200 to pull a tooth earlier this year.  There's a reasonable possibility of breaking the jaw when a tooth is pulled, so it's not done lightly. 

I told the guy about Care Credit, in case he wants to try to help this chin on his own, but I told him, as gently as possible, that even if I had room at the rescue (which we really do not right now, I don't know where I'm going to put the gp coming in next week), I would not allow a chin to suffer for years.  And filing and handfeeding one after another is no life for a chin.  As the chin's already been filed several times, there's no question this is a malo chin, and if he's drooling now... we would put him down.  Call me cruel, call me whatever you want, you can't save them.  The solution is to end their needless suffering.  And for what?  So they can stay here with us a few more years while they spend so much time at the vet, a good portion of their time eating critical care mush and looking like absolute hell cause they've drooled on themselves so much?  They don't enjoy it, it's taxing on both the owner and the chin, and I'm busy enough with the sick animals already here.  I can manage a chin that needs some dental work for spurs and then needs some handfeeding for a few weeks.  Toby was like that.  He had spurs, stopped eating, we got them filed, and after awhile of handfeeding, he started eating again.  That was when he was 1? 2?  He's now 7-8 and never had a problem since.  But the time needed to devote to a full blown malo chin just isn't in most people's ability.  Much less in most people's wallets.

Best of luck to him and his chin, but there's no magical solution to help malo chins.   I feel like his sentence -- I just really need someone to take care of him like he so richly deserves -- what the chin so richly deserves, if he's already covered in drool and has a cold -- is to be put out of his misery.  Sorry, but that's my belief.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Because I promised... Rochelle update!

You all should see me running around like a chicken with my head cut off over here.  But I promised a Rochelle update days ago, so here we go --

She went to the vet on Monday and had her laser treatment.  Vet was amazed at her progress, said that he thought the necrotic tissue would eventually fall off on its own, so we can just leave it alone for now.  She still has one more laser therapy treatment (today) and the vet thinks she will not need any additional therapy.

Her fur is starting to grow back on her leg, and the open-wound parts are very small now. The necrotic tissue is still there, but the vet said that could take awhile to fall off.  You can see the necrotic tissue as the black on the bottom of her foot on the 2nd pic.  She is still taking her antibiotics and will be for some additional time until she heals up fully.

Thank you to everyone who has donated or sent happy healing thoughts this way to help her get this far!  

Pictures (not linked this time, cause they're not graphic! yay!) --

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

More ranting and raving bout Gigi

So, was posting some stuff on facebook, and it occurred to me it was totally stuff I should be writing in here.  So here we go (edited so it makes sense out of context):

I've had chins returned where someone contacts me saying it's not working out (or whatever the case) -- I don't make a big deal of it, I don't berate them, we just set up a time to get the chin back and move on with our lives.  No hard feelings, it happens.  It's the people who try to avoid returning the chin that everyone gets to hear about (negatively, of course) cause I really don't think highly of those people, to say the least.  The lady today said she wanted the chin to go to a good home -- sure she did -- but by listing her for sale rather than contacting me, she clearly pointed out (in her words as well), that money was a top consideration.  Don't bring back the cage and supplies, that's fine, sell those and make money for all I care, but the living animal?  I feel like if you're so caught up on the money you spent that you don't want to return the chin cause you won't make your money back.... that's just ridiculous.  If they really cared about a good home, they would return the chin, without me having to dig out their paperwork and call them, because they'd know that the rescue approving someone to adopt is likely a better home than they could find themselves-- not knocking anyone's ability to find a good home, but this person seemed like she'd give the chin and supplies to the first person who showed up with the money.  $120 hardly makes someone a good home.

If someone wants to return the chin, fine. I'd rather the chin be in a home where someone wants to take it out and love it than with someone who feels they have to keep feeding it and watering it cause they don't want to return it.  I've had people question my charging an adoption fee for the second time the chin is in the rescue.  Just cause I didn't pay money to have it returned doesn't make it free!  I still have to care for it, cage it, evaluate/quarantine it a second time, and so on and so forth.... but some people are so concerned about the money aspect.  I think some people really think a rescue is a gold mine, and let me tell you, those "free animals" I get in all the time drain the rescue bank account like you wouldn't believe.  If I didn't have all the wonderful donations (thank you, all) for Rochelle, I would have to adopt out a hell of a lot of critters to balance out what her vet bills cost me.  Just for example.  It's not like they come in for free, nothing's spent on them, and I make $75 per chin, it's more like -- they come in for free, I have to cage/feed/water them for several months, screen several adopters and waste plenty of time with the wrong ones before finding a good one, and then make $75.  But what do the expenses cost?  Food, filtered water, clean cage, my time... surely that's all worth something?  I've never actually figured it out, but the point is, it's not free, but some people act like I'm making out like a thief!  Me wanting money for an adoption fee is, I feel, so different from someone not wanting to return a chin because they WON'T get money.  Someone being able to pay me an adoption fee doesn't guarantee a good home, but it does help stop the impulse buyers and it does show that they are willing to spend something on the chin.  Rochelle's owners wouldn't even take her in for a basic exam, that was "too much."  I feel like they were the people who would want a free chin and though I don't know, I think they may have gotten theirs for free or for very cheap, because they were not willing to even spend a small amount at the vet.

What's even better is when I get these people on the phone (the ones not wanting to return their chin), they start trying to talk their way out of it, but you know what?  I'm not a doormat and they're not going to walk all over me.  I find out someone's trying to sell one of my rescues, oooh they're dead.  Every once in a blue moon, there's a reasonable excuse (i.e. the person selling the chins was not here for the adoption and did not see the adoption contract, so they legitimately didn't know they were supposed to be returned), but 99% of the time, the person knows full well and they're just trying to skirt the contract and that just boils my blood. 

I don't mean to imply this happens often -- it doesn't -- I haven't really had that many animals returned over the course of the rescue's existence (less than 20 total since 2003)....and even less where the people try to skirt the contract (probably under 5), but it just pisses me off when that does happen.  Just shows that no matter how well you screen, some bad ones work their way in.

Some of the problem with finding good homes seems to be that the chins are often bought as a "family pet," but the family expects the kid to care for it.  Which is fine, provided the kid actually wants to.  What seems to happen (not often to get chins returned, but often how I get them in the first place) is that the kid never cares for anything, like, the kid says they will take care of a hamster, but they don't, then a guinea pig, but they don't, and down the line, but when they want a chin, the kid swears up and down that "this time will be different."  The idiot parents BELIEVE the kid (*facepalm*), get the chin, and, surprise!, nothing's different and the kid doesn't want to care for the chin.  In the picture that I saw of this chin in her cage, there was a yellow ziptie clearly holding the doors closed.  REALLY?!?  I mean, yeah, this chin is a tad bit crafty (well, she darts for the door when you open it), but ZIP-TYING the cage shut?!?  Just screams neglect.  Cause how do you feed/water a chin that's cage is zip-tied closed?  Or how do you let it out to play?  People are just insane.  

I want to strangle them believe me.  The thought of going to jail for assault and not being able to help the animals, that overrides the desire to strangle them and tell them what I really think.  But it's definitely hard sometimes.  Like when Rochelle's owners asked me, once I spent money on her at the vet and she got better, could they adopt her?  Uh, no?  Oh.  Well, could they adopt another chin?  NO.  If they won't pay for a vet bill for one chin, nothing will make me think they'll pay for a vet bill for a different chin.  Right there is an automatic adoption rejection -- won't pay vet bills.  That, or I had someone recently get rejected for telling me he put the chins outside in the summer outside his window for his viewing pleasure.  And he didn't read our care packet cause he didn't need to (and wrote something to that extent on the form).  Um, wrong?  Just cause you think you know doesn't mean you know.  Humor me and read it, you just might learn something.  Sorry, but with the pet comes responsibility.  Won't pay vet bills?  Not getting pet.  Won't take a few minutes to read a care packet cause a rescue asks you to?  Not getting pet.  Dropping off pet cause won't afford vet bills?  Sure not getting pet BACK.  That's why surrenders sign a form (well, when they come in, no one signed anything today for Gigi) that says they will not have the chin returned to them.  Cause these dumbasses..... you know, it might be for the best that they didn't stop in today, cause I was ready to ask them about that cable tie, and I mighta just gone off..... 

Not to mention, poor Gigi reeks of cigarette smoke.  Not like, faint smell, like you can be holding her and I can smell her several feet away.  Now, I don't smoke, no one in the family does (and no one's ever going to, because I already have asthma and lung issues), but I don't understand how you can do that to an animal.  Sorry to anyone who smokes, but I really believe that if you really care about your animal, you're not going to smoke around them or in their general viscinity so that they will NOT smell like smoke.  If you do, you're hurting their lungs.  Sorry, but you are.  Smoke outside or whatever, keep the chin in a separate room with an air purifier, but this chin reeks.  What, were they smoking next to the cage?  I feel bad for the kids in the house.  Oy. 

Ok, I'm done for today.  I'm going to bed before I send my blood pressure through the roof thinking about the idiocy.   Will update on Rochelle tomorrow and hopefully get some more rescue stuff done.

Interesting day

So, today was one of those days.  Started out the day with a text from someone who was supposed to drop their chins off tomorrow, turns out, they're not coming.  Well, not tomorrow anyway.  If this is anything like the several other people who schedule and cancel... give it a few weeks/months, I'll be hearing from them again.  But who knows, maybe this time will be different.

So, the person who was supposed to come yesterday for Howie & Sherman came today.  Very nice people, they really seemed to enjoy the chins.  They bought a nice sized cage (from us) for them, as well as a a water bottle, toys, etc, so I know the chins will be spoiled and loved. 

...about that.  Being spoiled and loved thing.  Jim (the rat/cage guy) had texted me about a female chin with cage for $120.  Well, if I was going to rescue every chin out there, sure, but it's one of those things, if I'm going to pay for a chin/cage, I want to know what type of cage I'm getting.  So I told him to ask for pics or at least ask what type of cage.  He's been working on getting some cages for cheap or free that I can spruce up and sell to help make the rescue some extra money to pad the account.  So, these are the pics I get:

Not like I remember every chin and cage I sell, but that cage looked awfully familiar.  As in:

Ok, so it's missing the green hammock, I didn't include the food bowl, and a few other things, but the cage, those shelves, that hidey house, the leopard print hammock in exactly the same spot -- Looks familiar, eh?

So, Jim's talking with this lady, and I tell him, she signed a contract saying she's gotta give the chin back.  He wanted me to pay for it and then try to get the lady to refund my money, saying that she could sell it, and never give it to me, just saying that she wouldn't return it.  Uh, she could, but I'm still not paying the money and trying to get a refund.  My dad is always telling people that if there's a dispute with the IRS, you don't pay the money, you just wait until the thing is worked out.  Cause if you pay it, you have a helluva time getting it back.  So, I was like there is no way I am paying a cent.  But everything tied back to the same person -- the name matched, they lived in Highland, it was the son's chinchilla.... and so on.  But the phone number I had wasn't the same as the one he had, so I figured, I'd call them on the number I had.

Called them, they did say they were selling the chin, and I told them that they'd signed a contract stating they'd return the chinchilla.  Well, they wanted to know if they were getting a refund.  They bought the chin in April.  I think our refunds extend out to 14 days and that's it.  Unless I grant someone special circumstances, for a problem chin or something (which has happened before -- we have one lady who can bring her chin back, any time, no questions asked), but I didn't for these people.  So I told her, I don't need everything back, she can keep/sell everything else, but she needed to bring the chin back.  So she said something about she thought it was vague about money being refunded.  Ok, fine, I'll pull out the contract and quote it.

Now, here's the thing.  The contract which specifically states that money doesn't get refunded came into existence when we got on PetFinder.  They required a contract and that got worded in.  So, before this phone call, I had looked up when they had adopted the chin, and I pulled their adoption papers (cause I really do save them all), and I have their adoption contract which is signed by them. 

So, back to the phone call.  I read her, from our adoption contract, which clearly states "If for any reason, I find that I am unable to keep this animal, or I am unable to provide the proper care for this animal, I will return the animal to NWI Chinchillas without refund of money."  Her response -- "oh."  Yeah.  Anyway, so she tells me the kid isn't giving the chin any attention and asks if they have to bring the chin back.  Yes, they do, hence the words "I will return the animal" -- that doesn't mean I should have to go get it from you, regardless of how close/far you are to me.  So, she said they'd call later once she'd picked her daughter up and bring the chin over. 

Few hours passed, I was a tad skeptical that they were going to call, cause in the past, it usually happens that I call and remind them that they have to return the chin, they don't call back, I call again, they don't call back, I call again... and eventually they get so sick of me calling that they bring the chin back.  But, surprise, they actually called.  Said they were in the neighborhood but couldn't remember the address.  So I give them the address and they say they can't see addresses.  Ok, well, black suv, green car, parked out front.  She hangs up.

Seemed SUPER pissed on the phone call.  Now, here's the thing.  I don't care how much I seem like a bitch, if you sign a contract stating you're going to return the chin if you can't keep it, that's exactly what you're going to do.  I don't care that you're losing out on money.  You saw the contract and signed it.  In fact, just because I think people don't read, I specifically go over the adoption contract with everyone and I specifically mention, out loud, that what they are agreeing to includes that they will return the animal to us without a refund.  So I know, even if she didn't read it, she heard me say it.  So if you signed it, you can whine and bitch and moan allllllll you want..... but you still signed it and that makes it MY chin from the point on when you either decide to sell it or say you don't want it anymore.  Too bad, so sad.  I. Just. Don't. Care.

So, they show up, and there's a knock, and the lady sent her daughter to the door with the chin in a box, taped to all hell (ah yes, I remember the escape artist chin).  The kid hands me the box, I say thanks, the kid doesn't say anything and goes back to the car.  Ok, fine, be that way. 

My mom thinks there's a snake or something in the box, but we open it, and it really is a chin.  On a towel.  So anyone wondering how I end up with so many towels and things in the hamper downstairs -- it's cause so many people give me a towel in the carrier or with their chin stuff.  So, I weigh her -- Gigi -- and she weighs about 10 grams more than when she left, so at least they were feeding her.  Though, judging by that yellow zip-tie on the top of the cage in their pic, she wasn't coming out very often.

The best part -- and my mom pointed this out -- is that on the second page of the adoption form, it says "will you contact NWI Chinchillas about potentially returning the chinchilla in the event you cannot care for it before selling it to a third party or take other actions of selling the animal?" -- she wrote "definitely" with an UNDERLINE.  Uh-huh.  So much for that.

So my mom was saying what if I got someone who refused to return the chin.  My answer -- small claims court.  I bet I wouldn't even have to take the people to court -- suggesting that I would do so would likely do the trick.  And I totally would actually go to court, so it's not just a bluff.

But the chin's back, that's what matters.  Absolutely reeks of cigarette smoke, but she's back.  She'll get some time to air out and check that her weight stays constant and all, and then she'll be back up for adoption again.

In other news, I took pictures of some more used stuff and will be putting it up on the webstore (gently used supplies section), and I washed some additional small stuff.  Still dreaming of another 70F day to wash some wood items, but those may have to wait for spring.  After I finish the rest of the small items that need to be washed, I get to move onto cleaning and listing cages.  Which will be good cause I have quite the pile that need work.

Moved around some cages down there.  Originally had the FN & CN sitting in front, but as those aren't for sale, those were moved back against the wall and others put in front.  So now I just need to clean some additional ones and have more cages available for sale.

Didn't get a ton done today, but I did get some new pics of Rochelle's leg and I should be posting an update later tonight if I get a chance.  Will be posting those items on the webstore first so I can cross that off the to-do list.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Chicago Pet Expo - St. Charles and Shiloh

So, today was the first day (of two) at the Chicago pet expo.  Got a third banner hook last night (asked one of the people in charge if they knew where I could find an extra, turns out they had some) and our banner actually hung well this time.  Started out the day good, sold several 1 ounce bags of the treats and a few goodie bags.  Brought Shiloh with us, he was a hit, everyone wanted to know about him and how we got him. 

Just about no one asked about the chins, but we did have several people wanting to take Shiloh home.

Got $3.25 in donations!  Better than the $0 last time. 

Talked with someone at the Greater Chicago Ferret Association.  Bought two beds for Shiloh from them.  Turns out they have an average of 100-150 ferrets at a time, and they have an actual storefront that costs then $1500 per month.  Holy cow.  And I thought adopting out 100+ animals this year was good, can't imagine having that many at once! 

The guy with the garage-sale-ish pet stuff was there as well.  Picked up some skin & coat vitamins (for my sometimes itchy doggie), a huge piece of yucca for $3, and two hanging tent sleeping things for the rats.  

Had someone with a booth there donate an antler chew for Shiloh.  Awesome. 

Noticed that Shiloh is missing a top tooth and one of his bottom teeth is overgrown (the one that would have been butting up to where the missing tooth is).  Not so awesome.  So, I think he will be going in with me on Monday when I go to take Rochelle in.  I'll see if they can manage to help him out without driving up to Elmwood Park.  This is front teeth so I think they can manage just fine, but I'm just not sure they've seen a prairie dog before.  Maybe this is why Shiloh's been extra crabby lately?  He never bit anyone in the first two years we had him, yet in the last month or so he bit me and one of our potential adoptive homes.  I'm really glad we noticed this.  I had noticed his eating was a tad off, but he's not consistent, so I'm really glad we brought him and noticed this now before it became a real problem.  Just bought beds for my baby so he's gonna get better from this.  Prairie dogs are rodents so they have the same potential issues as chins, degus, etc...but front teeth are usually the problem for prairie dogs, so at least this is a reasonably common problem.  I wonder what in the world he was doing to break off a tooth?  He eats rat blocks, high quality dog chow, and hay.  Nothing tough enough to completely break a tooth.  Well, I suppose it doesn't matter as long as this gets taken care of quickly.   

Some kid asked why Shiloh was a prairie dog named after a dog.  Said with a "how stupid" tone.  Had to refrain from making some snarky comment back.  We didn't name Shiloh, he came with his name, and it really does fit him.  Dog or not.

Though, we did have some idiots ask if a prairie dog is a real dog.  Like, no joke, like honestly asking.  No, prairie dogs are rodents.  And then I decided, I should check on that to see that I wasn't lying all day, but no, they are rodents.  They are ground squirrels.  For anyone wondering, prairie dogs are rodents that are only found in North America.  There are 5 types of prairie dogs -- black tailed, white tailed, gunnison's, utah, and mexican.  The one found farthest east, and in the most moist region, is the black tailed prairie dog.  Shiloh is a black-tailed prairie dog.  They are typically 14-17 inches long and weigh 1-3 pounds.  I should weigh Shiloh, he's got to be more around the 3 mark.  Black tailed prairie dogs do not hibernate, unlike the other 4 species.  Besides farmers shooting prairie dogs because they are considered a pest, and besides hunters hunting them for sport, another threat to prairie dogs is the black-footed ferret.  The black-footed ferret is an endangered species that eats prairie dogs and uses their burrows.  For more on prairie dogs and the ferret, reference the fish and wildlife website --

Rochelle update (from 11/8/2012)

On the 8th, Rochelle went to another therapy session.  She also saw Dr. Han, who was happy with her progress and again said how great it was that we chose to go with laser therapy.  It definitely seems to have helped.

The swelling in her leg has gone down a bit, and it's a tad bit more normal looking.  Less of that angry purple color. 

She's taking her meds like a champ, so still good there. 

Still has two laser therapy treatments left, Dr. Han said that may be enough and after that, we will continue the antibiotics for a bit after that to ensure complete healing.  Like before, we will see how she continues to do, and, based off of that, decide whether she needs any additional treatment.  Dr. Han seemed pretty confident that she may not need any treatment other than what we've already set out.  Time will tell.

I will try to get a picture of her leg within the next few days to show the progress she's made.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Been a tad bit behind...

...regarding everything other than Rochelle.  So here we go.

Adoptions --

On 11/3, one of our 9 week old black variegated males went to his new home.  Here he is pictured with his "mom," Malinda.

Then, also on the third, our baby male guinea pig went to his new home.  This is Snickers with his new family.

On 11/5, our "courtesy listing" chinchilla (aka Meredith's chin) went to her new home.  Here is Posh pictured with her new family.

And today, 11/6, our other baby guinea pig went home.  Here is Lena with her new "mom," Anna.

Made up a new pic of Puff...

.....she hasn't changed a bit.  In both photos, she's even looking away from me at the same angle, lol.

Just some more pics, for fun.

Gypsy sleeping in her house.  Dunno how this is comfortable....

And then Toby... also looking uncomfortable.  But then, we all know how he sleeps...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

...but the day's not all bad.

Went to the powdercoating place to pick up my pan, and the invoice was there with it, but no price on the invoice.  Course, I'd left this pan there for quite some time, so I had been hoping there wouldn't be a holding fee, cause it's been weeks since I've made it out that direction.  Anyway, so they took a look at the invoice and went and talked to Shannon and he said this one was a freebie!  and they'd get me next time.  Well, I'd brought in a pan today, for a little holding cage we got in a bit ago, so that's my "next time."

In other news, that person who said they keep their chins outside in the spring and all that good stuff.... yeah, never heard back from them.

The person with the guinea pig that had been saying about waiting for a cage from her mom and all -- emailed me back.  Said she has a cage and was asking if the guinea pig is still available.  I told her that she is, but before we can arrange for her to come get her, I need her adoption form back.  Cause... that ad said she was looking for a cage or aquarium.  No GP of mine is going home in an aquarium, sorry.  I can't wait to see what type of cage she's procured.

People never fail to amaze me.

So, we have someone who is looking to adopt our second baby guinea pig.  She originally told me that her mom had guinea pig supplies from when she was a kid, but wanted to see what I had for sale and she'd consider it.  So I told her, we have some $20 cages, $1 food bowls and water bottles...  you can't get a ton cheaper than that.  Well, unless you want to beg. 

I read craigslist like people read the morning paper.  That's just me.  Take a gander at this --

WANTED: Guinea pig and/or supplies! (Chicago (willing to travel))

Date: 2012-11-05, 9:51PM CST

Hello! I'm new to Chicago and I have been looking for a pet guinea pig. I had one as a kid and absolutely loved it. My mom has the cage, water bottle, food dishes, etc., but she lives very far away, so I won't be able to get them til Thanksgiving, and I don't want to wait that long! So if anyone has any supplies for a small pet (ESPECIALLY a cage or aquarium) that they no longer need, I'd love to hear what you have for sale/free!

I do have a guinea pig I may adopt, but if you have one you need or want to get rid of that can come with a cage, that would be excellent! I do prefer a baby so it will grow up knowing me, but a little older is fine if it's friendly and healthy!

As for me, I am a 22y/o female, and I live with a roommate in an apartment where we are allowed to have pets. I've had pets of all varieties growing up and am very kind and never mistreat my pets. I promise I will not use it for food or breeding - I just want one to love and spoil! :)

Thank you! 

People just piss me off.  I understand wanting something for a reasonable price, but give me a break.  And she definitely did not say thanksgiving, she said a week or so.  No wonder she told me that if someone else wanted the guinea pig to adopt it out.  

In grade school, they taught us... read and write.  But in all reality, I think people have forgot how to read.

Now, if you go online and search for chinchilla for sale, or guinea pig for sale, or whatever for sale, even if you type in Indiana, or whatever state you're in, you may still get ads from other states.  If you go on a classified site, even if you are in your "Indiana" section or whatever, if you type in "chinchilla" and there are no chinchillas in Indiana, often the site will show you chinchilla ads elsewhere.  Craigslist does this too -- it will say something like "no ads in your local area" or something of the sort, and then it will show other ads, which are likely a bit out of your local area.

That all said... no one bothers to read the ads.  OR the locations.  I got an email last night saying someone came across an ad saying that we had guinea pigs available, and they wanted to know if we did.  Ok, fair enough, a lot of people don't take down ads until long after the animal is gone.  So I email back, saying yes, I have one female available, and attaching a pic.

Get an email back -- "can you please tell me the age and sex of this piggie?"  Really?  So I email back, and notice that the guy's signature contains New York.  Well, we're in Indiana, so....

He says he tried to call me but it didn't go through and asks if I can call him.  I first ask him if he's in New York, as we're in Indiana.  He ignores the question, gives me the phone number.  So I email again, asking the question --> "That's not going to work.  Thanks anyway.  No need to call."   No shit Sherlock.

What kills me, besides the fact that he couldn't even be bothered to read the ad to see what age/sex guinea pig we had available, and he didn't even listen to me when I told him what we had available -- was that he couldn't even be bothered to look at the location before calling.  If I'm looking at an ad for something, and the number isn't 219 or 708, I will look it up and see where I am calling.  Sure, some people have a cell phone with a different area code (I kept my 219 cell phone when I lived in 317) but the grand majority of people are dead on located in their area code.  219 is not New York, it's northwest Indiana.  And I even try to make it easy for these people!  All of my pet ads, with the exception of the first few paragraphs are identical.  When I'm writing up a new one, I pull up an old one and change the description of the pet and the adoption fee (if it changes).  The rest of the ad -- which mentions the adoption form, care packet, location, and so on, do not change.  They are identical from ad to ad, and I do things this way to ensure that I do NOT forget to put our location.  And just an example from one of our ads....

Regardless of past guinea pig experience, all potential homes will be asked to read our guinea pig care packet and fill out our adoption application/guinea pig questionnaire. If you are unwilling to do this, please do not waste our time or yours. No guinea pig will go to a new home without an adoption application being filled out - no exceptions.

This guinea pig is located in Munster, Indiana (zip code 46321).

The guinea pig is $30.

If you are interested in this guinea pig, would like to see additional pictures, or have any questions, please let us know. We also do have other rescues and critters up for adoption as well. You can email us or text/call 219-789-0026 for more information or if you have any questions. If you call and there is no answer, please leave a message and we will get back to you.

See?  Location given, complete with zip code so someone can mapquest it.  But see, people have to actually read.....

I was just telling someone... last year, this time of year, this was the busiest the rescue had been in awhile.  This year, it's just filled with uncompetent pet owners and idiots that can't read. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

TJ's donation

So, this is one of these things that's sat here for several days now cause I haven't had time to get around to it, but I just have to share.  TJ's sends donations to rescues, and I guess it was now my turn and I got a huge box full of stuff! 

So, here's what's in the box, and I'll put a picture down below --
  • blue colored shelf
  • gallon-sized bag of yucca chunks
  • two gallon-sized bags of pine toy pieces
  • two bags (32 oz. total) of Alfalfa King hay -- oat, wheat, & barley
  • 5 lbs. mazuri
  • palm shredder
  • 4 large vine balls
  • 6 large grapevine hearts (love these!!)
  • pine hanging toy
  • wood hanging toy
  • popsicle sticks
Everything is great and I and the rescues appreciate everything -- but I have never seen the large grapevine hearts before!  I think those are just the neatest!  Can't wait to get a tad bit free time so I can go restock the toys for the rescues!  And she donated some fleece scraps as well, but I must have already put those away prior to this picture.

Rochelle update 11/5/2012

Rochelle had another session of laser therapy today.  She did well, and her leg looks like it's improving.  Slowly, but surely.  She's taking her meds like a champ.  Her leg still looks super swollen but it's definitely dry now and looks like it's healing versus bleeding.

Had one of my volunteers here today, who has been following Rochelle's story -- after looking at her leg, she said the pictures in no way show how swollen the leg really is.  So, to help illustrate, if her normal leg is pencil thickness, this leg is working its way towards highlighter thickness.  Hope that helps.   

Paid for the rest of her laser therapy today -- and I was able to pay for the next four sessions in full, with some left over, thanks to all of your generosity!  Thank you so much! 

At the next laser therapy session (this Thursday), Rochelle needs to be seen by Dr. Han so he can determine whether she will need more therapy, some other course of treatment, or whatnot.  So we will see what he says when he sees her later this week. 

Her leg still doesn't look "attractive" by any means, so I'll link it... though it definitely doesn't look as bad as the last picture...  While you can't tell from the pic, it's actually slightly more pinkish blue and less of the dark bruised purple we were seeing last time.

Oh!  If you've donated more than $1, you should be soon receiving our new thank you card in the mail.  For those that donated $1, I thank you as well, and I do not intend to discount what you have given... but the cost of the card and postage would wipe out your donation, so you will not be receiving a card.  Thank you to everyone.  :)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Ugh, people.

Ok, so today, was taking a nap, and my phone kept ringing, and I kept ignoring it, and then I go back to sleep and a bit later I hear the front door open and my dad saying "are you here for Ashley?"  Ok, so let's back up.  Turns out, these people had seen my website, decided to call to see if they could stop by and if the "store" was open.... four times.... and when no one answered, they drove here from Chicago and rang the doorbell.  Now.  If I called what I thought was a business, four times, and no one answered any of those times, I would think, oh, I dunno, that the business is not open.  But... that's just me.

Anyway, the basement was halfway decent so I took em down, and asked what they were looking for.  A white male.  Now, that's funny, cause when you look at the website.... and feel free to go look if you want.... there's no males listed as available.  In fact, the ONLY males listed haven't even completed their evaluation/quarantine period, and they're ALREADY on hold for someone.  So first, they just said white, so I showed them the white female we had.  Then they said they wanted a male, and I told them, we don't have any available (and nicely reiterated that that's what the website shows as well).  They asked what I had available, and I told them, all females - a white, two extra dark ebs, and a gray.  So they ask, is the extra dark eb a male?  No, I told you, all females.  Ok, so then they ask if Petsmart carries chinchillas.  I told them that I think they do (they had one last time I was there) and so they left, I guess to go there.  Here's the thing though -- the Petsmart by us is the one that typically has all female animals... so they're not going to able to find a male there, and surely not a white male.

Moving on.  I had someone text me early this morning, like 6-something (I wasn't up), saying in very poorly spelled English that they wanted to come over and see the white mosaic female and the extra dark eb females.  Ok, so I told them, we have a care packet they need to read and an adoption form.  So they said send em, so I did.  That's where the problems started.  First, they put down that they had several chinchillas and would breed these when they were of age.  Ok, so the white is pedigreed, so that wouldn't specifically be a problem, but then they put that they didn't have a vet. So, that's not uncommon that someone doesn't put down a vet, but as someone breeding typically will need one at some point in time, I told them of a good vet.  Moving on. 

As for the food question --> Uhm i purchase a big 25 pound bag from the breeder Ridish** in Ohio when i went tu purchase the chillas that i have.. I dont recall the kind it iz

Ritterspach?  That's fine, but it's good to know the brand you're feeding, for when the vet asks you when something does go wrong.

Then, they left blank the type of bedding they use.  They also left blank if they have air conditioning.

Then.... on the "where will the cage go" -->  In basement... Outside in spring at 70 degrees of shaded area in front of living room window for my sight and relaxation

Then, for are they given playtime --> Oh yea.. Out in basement.. They runaroun for a day or 2

Then, this one really got me steamed -->

Have you read our Chinchilla Care Packet?
No no care packet needed

Excuse me?  They are not "above" reading my care packet.  In fact, the only people who are "above" reading it are people who have adopted before (and so, have already seen/read it), people who are known breeders in the chin world (not like this guy who has it looks like one cage with several chins in it, likely inbreeding), or something like that.  The average Joe Schmo has to read it, I don't care how much they "think" they know. 

And... as a result of him not reading it, he got one of the true/false questions wrong.  The question asked if babies shouldn't have treats until they're 6 months old, and that's true -- no treats until they're 6 months.  He put that he gives treats at 3 months. 

So, I asked him about all of the above, and I asked him, since he breeds, at what point/age does he put females into breeding?  Can't wait to hear what he says, but I'm 95% sure he's not adopting.