Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Last lil bit

That old saying is true -- the less time I have to work with, the more I get done.  So, so true. 

Had a few orders come in the other day.  Knew that I was going to be starting work in a few days, I managed to get all three orders out within 3 days of receiving the orders.  Got another order, and I've already gotten it written down and the invoice downstairs.  Just need to get the stuff out and packaged up.

Worked on sewing up hammocks.  Currently have two crates full of them that just need to be hidden-stitched closed.  That's for another day.

Today was the first day of work.  Came home, went straight to the rescue to make sure everyone was fed and watered.  Got some pics of Ziggy, to give to T (so she can tell me what type etc. of mouse I have).  Finished setting up a donated cage and finished putting some extra shelves in that.  Rolled that over to the used cage area.   Still need to write it down and figure out a cost tomorrow.  Pulled out another cage which I was originally going to keep, but only need so many spare cages.  Pulled out the hanging chew toys, a wood perch, and the other goodies that aren't going home with the cage, and sanded down the shelves, and set it to the side.

Finally, decided I should make an effort to put my remaining chin spin and two flying saucers into cages.  My goal was to have a wheel for every cage, and I had the wheels... just not set up.  Well, back when, I finally put that imitation chin-spin in the bottom of Winx's FN.  But hadn't done anything else with wheels.  Until today.  Today involved getting two more wheels in cages.  For our green FN, a shelf and a hanging bed was taken out, and the green-powdercoated chin spin was put in.  As the chins in there had chewed part of how the bed hung, I had to take it out and put another grommet in.  Then re-attached the hanging bed with eye-hooks under the current shelf.  Put up a real wood perch and a wooden tube to complete that cage.

Moved onto the blue FN.  Only good place to put a wheel was all the way in the back, so I took out another real wood perch and put up the flying saucer.

The last flying saucer would be going in the yellow/orange FN.  Actually removed the Leo Braun wheel and gave it back to the prairie dogs.  Hopefully Shani (new praire dog, pronounced shahh-knee, finally named her!) will take to it.  Had to move their food bowls around to get that wheel back in the cage.  So, then there was the open space for the flying saucer.  Didn't get a chance to put it in.  Needed to go upstairs for the night (need to go to bed earlier now that I have a job to be at by 8:30 in the morning... rather than 2 in the afternoon), so I just cleaned up a few things, made everything reasonably presentable, and went up.

 But first, added another shelf or two to a cage that's being picked up Thursday.

Meant to get that order ready while I was down there, but that didn't happen today.   

On a positive note, almost everything is in place at the rescue, which is good, as I have two people coming by on Thursday after I get home from work.  Considering tomorrow (Wednesday), I will be going straight from work to class and not home until 10ish, I won't have tons of time to be cleaning, so I made some effort today to make sure I wouldn't have a disaster waiting for me when I get home Thursday.

Think that's it for the moment.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Got nothing and everything done today

And yes, that is possible.  To get nothing and everything done today.  So, I had a whole list of things I was planning on accomplishing today.  Wrote that up yesterday evening.  None of that got done.

On the other hand, late last night I planned with T (my rat guru) to transport terrified-rat to her, as well as picking up another rat and mouse from a shelter, before I made it to Niles to get them to T for transport to Critter Camp.

So, the day started out with a dentist appointment, followed by coming home and getting terrified-rat into his carrier.  He was NOT pleased.  I hooked on a water bottle and got myself a baggie of lab blocks and a food bowl to give T so she could feed him in the meantime until she could get him to Critter Camp.

terrified-rat in his carrier
Note: these are all pics from my phone, hence, they're not very good pics.

So I get his carrier in the car, grab another cat carrier, and the three hole ryerson carrier, just in case, because I had been told that there might be other critters to pull from the shelter.  The shelter must remain nameless as there's already so many politics in place to deal with, and such difficulty getting animals out of this place, that I can't draw any more attention to it and make it more difficult for us.  We'll just say it's in the chicagoland area. 

So, I make it to the shelter, ask for my contact to be paiged, and she comes out.  Shows me the black hooded girl that I'm transporting to T.  Nice lady, we chatted about the idiots we run into due to the rescue animals.  I could spend pages going on about ignorance of people and the excuses people make.  But I'll just touch on the relevant/big ones.  For the female rat that I would be transporting to T -- apparently, it was too much work to keep one rat.  For Ziggy, the mouse that I was originally transporting to T, but now has taken up residence at our rescue -- the wife told the husband he couldn't keep a pet mouse because it would attract the wild mice which would start to come in the house.  Uh-huh.

One more -- apparently this shelter got in a ferret with a broken spine (but apparently alive).  So, my contact asks the lady dropping off the ferret, how did this happen?  She tells her that the kids (4 and 6 I think) were washing the ferret and literally wrung it out.  Like a towel.  So my contact says something like "oh this is horrible," and the lady was like "well shit happens."  Shit happens?!?  They wrung out a ferret breaking it's spine.  That ISN'T what that phrase is meant to be used for!  Apparently my contact said something along the lines of "how would you like it if your son did this to your daughter???" which makes me give her a mental high-five, but the lady couldn't have cared less.  My contact said the shelter did x-rays but the spine was literally shattered so they had to put the ferret down.  I don't even like ferrets, yet I want to wring that lady's neck and see what she thinks of it.

Oh, one more.  But first....  So, the shelter didn't have much in terms of small animals -- leading to T's thinking that they put them down when the animals come in the door -- and this is why people should drop off small animals at private rescues -- very few private rescues will put anything down, with the exception of something already on death's door.  I was informed that anything over 5 years old either has to go to a private rescue or is put down.  5 years!!  I mean, for a rat that'd be ancient, but for a dog?  Or a chin?  That's not even "senior"!!  Turns out, beyond that age, the shelter can't give a health guarantee, so it's not worth it for them to adopt out the animal. 

So there were some birds and a macaw and two healthy looking rabbits on hold, and then two angora-type rabbits that looked a little rough.  Turns out, they had been dropped off today? yesterday? recently, anyway, and they had been bought as snake food for a 4' snake.  So, the snake bit em each, quite a few times, but wouldn't/couldn't eat them, and so the people brought them in.  They didn't look too bad, but upon prompting by my contact, I reached out touch them -- absolute skin and bones.  It was like touching a skeleton.  Sunken in and everything.  The fur hid most of it, I would have just thought maybe the rabbits were in a fight or something.  So, the person dropping them off had said that they'd had them for a week, and when asked what they fed them, oh... nothing.  Right.  So, my contact had to de-matt these rabbits and hand-feed them and get some pineapple juice in them to help push things along, and she said they were doing a little better, but I tell you, these rabbits did not get that skinny in a week's time.  I feel like if someone's going to admit that they're bringing in rabbits that are snake chow, full of puncture wounds and skinny to the bone, why not already admit how long it's taken for them to get that way?  I will never understand people.

Anyway, so I knew about the mouse being there, but the shelter was only set up for a transfer of the rat, so I asked about the mouse, my contact showed me the mouse, and I asked if I could take the mouse as well.  So, they managed the paperwork for that as well, so then I got the mouse. 

Drove up to Niles, met T in a parking lot, where we handed off critters.  T asked if terrified-rat had a name, which I told her, he didn't, so she dubbed him Norman (like Norman Bates).  We transferred Cheese (the female rat she was taking from the shelter) to her carrier, she oohed and aahed over the cuteness of Ziggy  (the mouse), and then we went our separate ways.

I came home, got Ziggy out, got bit (never fails, I know how to pick them), and got him in our small critter cage.  It could use a good scrub but I hadn't been expecting to be bringing a mouse home, so that's for another warm day.  He liked his wheel at the shelter so I pulled out a wheel, got him all set up with his little house that the shelter sent with him, added one of our houses, an igloo, a tiny little hammock, food/water, some chew toys, a little ball (as big as him lol) for him to push around.  Over-stimulation.... complete.  Lol.

most of the stuff in Ziggy's cage

top of Ziggy's cage

bottom of Ziggy's cage

Ziggy munching on his little house

Ziggy chillin' in the hut-thing the shelter sent with him

Ziggy on top of his house
So... once I was done with that, a realization occurred to me that today was Thursday, and as trash is Friday morning, that means... cage cleaning.  So, I started with the runs.  I figured, I'd look in and see if Puff and Squishy had gotten along yet, and if they had, I could move them to the one holding cage.  Well, so I look in the run and I see this white chin.  And my first thought is, wait, my only white male in a run is Myshkin... and that was not Myshkin.  So... Puff had dismantled her three part collar and had gotten in the run.  Apparently it's my year for females with collar problems.  Next to her was Squishy, who looked confused, as, yet again, there was a female chin in the run with him.  So, got him out pretty easily.  She was another story.  Puff is... how should I put it.  Stubborn.  Like a mule.  She did NOT want to come out.  But, run forks and a pancake-squished chin later, she came out. 

the face of determination
Threw her and Squishy into the bottom of a FN so I could work on the runs, and moved Nytro into Haku's cage.  That... could have gone better.  Haku decided he was the dominant male and wanted to make Nytro into nytro-burgers.  But, once he got over the initial "there's a male in my cage" -- they seemed fine. 

So, I weighed all the chins, most maintained, a chin or two dropped a bit, but nothing super serious.  So, started cleaning the runs.  Put Squishy and Puff into their holding cage, continued along, checking collars, cleaning the runs.  Continued along until I got to the bottom run.  Since I'd gotten Puff out, now there was just Lexi on the far left, and no male in there.  So I went and got Ace, put him in the run, and went to go get Nikki.  Now, Nikki was still in half an FN, recovering from her scalp wound that had to be sewn up.  So, I get her out, and I have a collar out, thinking I will get it put on her, and I notice a pink spot.  Thinking that it maybe was just an area where the fur hadn't grown back, I blew on it, and saw no injury or anything but upon feeling it... there's a quarter-sized lump that's raised up from the skin quite a bit.  Wonderful.  It's always something.  So, no collar for her, I put her back, filled up her food bowl (though all the other pets had been fed today, since I'd been thinking she was going into the run I hadn't gotten hers), and closed the door.  She will be visiting the vet in the morning.

I suppose on a positive note, she did gain some weight.

So, once the runs were done, I cleaned some guinea pig cages and started cleaning the FN's.  Got the right three done, and completely switched over to liners again.  Looks good.  The rest will have to wait for next week.

Got everything vacuumed and picked up, and took the trash out.  Answered a few emails about the rescues and such, and that was the day.  Dunno where it went.  Hopefully more things on my list will get done tomorrow.  I think the only thing I crossed off today was "weigh chins." 

Unrelated to anything... but I saw this picture opportunity and had to snap it -- a new breed of guinea-pig, the leg-less!  

this is Lacey, our four-legged American gp

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Terrified Rat and Critter Camp

So, to not rehash the whole story of terrified rat, let me just make this really simple by copying and pasting (and annotating, in italics) what I sent to Beth at Critter Camp (a sanctuary for unadoptable animals) today. 

Here goes:

Hi Beth,

I have been talking with T (T, as we and everyone else knows her, is my rat guru, a rat rescuer in the Chicagoland area) about a rat that we have here at the rescue -- she believe it has come down to the point where this rat would benefit more from a sanctuary than from being here. Let me tell you about him.

First, I do think it is a him, but in all honesty I cannot get the thing to sit still long enough for me to get a good look.

Little background -- I run a chinchilla & small animal rescue, and one of the "other" animals that I take in are rats. I had someone bring in a litter of babies at 5 weeks old - this was, about 3 months ago. For the first few days I had them all in a 20g tank, with the intent to separate when I got a chance. Before that time came, I opened the lid to refill food and water, and one of the rats hopped out, onto the table, and by the time I could back up enough to see the floor... the rat was gone.

I had traps set out for the first maybe 2 weeks, in addition to calling together volunteers and having everyone come and scour the rescue for any signs of this rat. We did not find any, and though I put out food and water, it was not touched. I assumed the rat had died.  (We've only had one other animal ever get loose and vanish -- a baby gerbil -- which was, sadly, never found.)

Wrongly, of course. At about week 7 after the rat got loose, I was deep cleaning the rescue for a girl scouts meeting, and upon moving some items that are rarely touched, I found a clear rat's nest. What gave it away that this was a recent occurrence was the fact that I had just set down a bag of lab blocks that someone donated a few days before, and this bag had been chewed through, with the lab blocks littering the nest.

So, then I knew the rat was still alive, and we set out to catch it again. Brought in all the volunteers, we never saw the rat. Set the traps again. We finally would start hearing the rat move around, and finally did see it, about a day or two before I finally caught it. Sunflower seeds and peanut butter did the trick, and I found a very unhappy rat in my trap.

I made the mistake of reaching for the rat with a bare hand and got chowed. I got the rat into one of our cages and have tried to give it time to re-learn its manners. Unfortunately, time has not improved the situation. This rat currently sits in one of the two back corners of its cage, not wanting to move. It does eat, and does drink water, but it pretty much does not leave the corners for anything else. I have tried treats, I have tried taking it out for 20 minutes for the fear response to pass, but in trying that, well, we almost put ourselves back to square one as the rat got away from us twice within the first 5 minutes, and we're lucky we caught it before having to set out the traps again.

This rat is just bug-eyed-terrified. When I was holding it (with gloves, because it will attack bare hands, unprovoked), every little sound practically made it jump out of it's skin. You'd never think this rat had been around people at all. It is very nervous and it squeals to high heaven when it gets picked up.

I have tried everything that has been suggested to help this rat come around. As I understand it, most rats in a situation like this do come around... but this one seems to be the exception. Maybe because it had not been handled much prior to being brought to the rescue, so it does not have "good manners" to remember. I'm not sure. I just know that this rat is clearly terrified of humans.

From a rescue perspective, it's definitely not adoptable. In terms of rats, I only have three rat cages that I use to take in rescue rats, and this rat is currently in one of them. If I need to keep it, I will, but that means my rescue would be able to help less rats for the next three years, as one of our cages would be out of commission until this rat was to pass. If there is a way you would be able to take this boy in at Critter Camp, that would be ideal. If you could message me back about this, that would be great. Thank you.

-Ashley Gajda
NWI Chinchilla Rescue


Happily, Beth said that they can take our boy in.   Now, just the task of getting him there.


On an unrelated note, I forgot to put this in the previous blog post, but our abscessed rat is currently abscess free!!  If he can manage to stay that way for a week or two, he may be able to go back up for adoption! 

...and that finally ends all the news for today.

Terrified Rat, Cleaning cages, Prairie dogs, and More

So, today was one of those days where there was a million things to do, and a few things did get done, not as much as I'd wished, but oh well.

First, I had someone coming by for a cage and some supplies, as well as a guinea pig nail trims (er, four gp nail trims).  So, she came by, wanted to know how the court case was going, and I told her how I need to look up some other rescues that have the same policy about returning the animal without refund, and we started talking about how he wanted the money back for everything.  She though that was insane, and I told her how I 'd offered to pay him half price for all the stuff he'd bought, because that's all I can typically sell used stuff for, and she was saying how my prices for used stuff is totally reasonable, and I had tried to tell him that that's why I couldn't give him full price back for everything, because I can't sell used items for full price.  Ah well.

Moving on, she eventually left and I listed some more items on the webstore.  Moved onto my table-o-doom and starting to put thing away.  I took all of the hay cube holders that I ordered from Shoots ad put those on all of the runs and the FNs.  Repackaged some of the stuff on the table so I could move some of it off.

Cleaned most of the guinea pig cages and two of the rat cages.  Decided that today was a good day to see if the new prairie dog would get along with Shiloh.  So, she went in his cage.  Wide-mouthed with teeth out, and chirping, but not attacking.  Shiloh, being the gentleman he is, was just sniffing her and kissing her (a greeting sign) but being very relaxed.  With Shiloh's cage being as big as it is, the two could completely ignore each other but still be in the same cage, so I remained downstairs to listen for any signs of issue while they got to know each other.

Came back later to find this:

I made noise to get her attention so she'd raise her head so you could see her better...

So, that's clearly going well.

So, moving along, I needed to swap out Nytro and Squishy, so that Ace can have his run.  Well, the problem is that Puff likes Nytro, but that's not to say she likes most chins.  In fact, she doesn't get along with most chins.  So, I pulled Puff out of the holding cage with Nytro, got a collar on her (much to her dismay), and got her in one of the run holes.  Now, once I see Squishy in with Puff and her not maiming him, then I can move those two back to the holding cage, and put Ace in as the male for the last run.  That'll probably take a bit.  Because of Puff's not-so-friendly nature, I had to intro the two of them in a run, so Squishy can get away if needed,

Shimmy and her mosaic baby were moved to one of the holding cages (a free-standing holding cage), so I could have better access to the baby, which has now lost a few grams.  :(  It gets another day or two before I step in, so we shall see how that goes.  The point of moving them was so that there would still be an open run for Squishy to get into if he needed to get away from the females.

Oh and yesterday, I ordered all the necessary herbs for the supplement, as well as ordering 25 more loofahs, and ordering 25 more pounds of rosehips, and some other herbs that we carry.  So, those will be on their way.  Wrote up the little blurbs about the supplement and about the herb sampler (which will contain some of each of our available herbs - but not including the herbs that are only in the supplement).  I wanted to put together the herb sampler, but the other things that needed to be done during the day prevented that and left that for another day.

Moving on, I cleaned several of the rat cages until I got to the cage of terrified rat.  Now, terrified rat has been the subject of discussion for awhile, and the latest advice from my rat guru was that I should try holding the rat for 20 minutes, which would exhaust its fear response, and possibly turn the rat around.  Well... that didn't work out so well.  Ended up contacting my rat guru and then Beth at Critter Camp about that.  Will blog about that in a separate post so this one doesn't get excessively long.

So, there was that one guy who was on my waiting list, who then got a chin elsewhere, and now had emailed me a bit ago about bringing the chin here.  Due to receiving information that some of the emails I had sent never made it to their destination, after I didn't hear back from this guy for several days, I decided to call him to check if he had gotten my email.  He called back today, saying that he had totaled his car and wouldn't be bringing the chin by for at least another week or two.  I told him that was fine, and there was no rush, I just wanted to make sure he had gotten the email, which he had.  So he said he'd contact me when he was able to come by. 

Short of the rat stuff, which I will blog about separate, I think that was it for today.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

No faith in the human race

Ok, so I know some people have made comments about me being overly negative lately, but especially in these instances, today, all I'm asking for is some common courtesy, common sense, respect, people actually reading my ads (rather than wanting me to regurgitate the ads for them), and not wanting to have to hand everything to people on a golden platter.  Is that really asking for so much?

Let's start with this morning.  I get a text from someone asking if Desi (our black texel guinea pig) has had litters before.  With the events of the last few days in mind (being the plentiful emails I've gotten from homes that want to breed guinea pigs and want to start with the cheapest two M&F rescues they can get), I didn't even respond.  I feel, if people can't read the ad which talks about an adoption form, then they don't need to be adopting.  And since responding would simply be telling the person that we don't adopt our rescue animals to breeding homes.... there was no point.  Also, usually, if I bother to respond saying that, then I get people starting to say, "oh, wait, wait, I'll just get a female from you, what's the cheapest you've got? And can it still have babies?"  And when I reiterate that we don't adopt to breeding homes, they say, "oh, then I guess I won't breed."  Uh... sorry, but too late.  At that point, I'm fully convinced that whether I adopt them a male or a female, they're going to find the cheapest opposite-sex pig (or other animal) they can elsewhere and breed anyway.  I'm not that stupid.  So, most times, I will email saying we don't adopt to breeding homes, but I will not even open emails after that.    

That is, in contrast to the person who emailed about Desi and asked for pictures, but also said she could use our guinea pig care packet as a refresher since she hasn't had guinea pigs for awhile and that she would be happy to fill out our adoption form.  See, she read the ad.

.... but apparently she was the only one.

Going along with that -- I feel like bullshit is coming round full swing.  I had someone interested in Sammy, one of our guinea pigs.  Well, I had emailed the person cause they had said they wanted to come Friday (tomorrow), but I hadn't heard from them for most of the week, so I texted to ask if they still wanted to come tomorrow.  They said their cage hadn't come yet, so they were just waiting for that.  Later in the day, she emails saying she noticed I had some new pigs, how were they?  So I told her, they were all decently good pigs, though if she was looking for a pig to go along with Sammy, only Squirt or Bashful would work, as Wizard is a dominant male (as is Sammy).  So she emails back asking if all pigs with light fur have red eyes.  I explained that no -- it's like people with eye color (hair color doesn't determine eye color) -- that dark pigs can have red eyes and light pigs can have red eyes, or vice versa.  So then she tells me that her fiance is afraid of pigs with red eyes.  Not that he doesn't like red eyes, but that he's afraid.  Really?  I mean, it's a guinea pig, it's not going to suck your soul out with its red eyes.  Now, don't get me wrong.  Had she said, "we decided we don't want a pig with red eyes," or "he doesn't like red eyes on pigs," I would be fine with this.  But... he's afraid?  Give me a break.  Excuses excuses.  So I told her, my pigs that I have with dark eyes that are available are Bashful and Wizard.  So she says, "Oh ok what they look like do you have pics? and how much are they??"   I told her, they're on the website on the available chins page, pics are there too.  And linked her the website in the email. 

I get another email back -- "what about desi?  how is she?  how old is she?"  And this is where my patience starts wearing out.  I specifically didn't say Desi was available because I'm waiting to hear back from someone about her.  She didn't know that, so no big deal, but the part about how she is, and how old she is.  At some point I really get sick of regurgitating the ad information to these people.  So I told her, she's your average guinea pig, and she's 1 year old, which her ad clearly states right above where you saw her pictures. 

I wasn't mean about it, but I specified that she had the information available to her without me having to regurgitate it for her (I said something along the lines of "all of this is stated right in her ad).  I asked (in the same email) if she wanted me to let her know if the other person decided not to get Desi.  I got an email back "oh ok my bad."  What does that even mean?  I mean, I get the "my bad," but it answers nothing else.  I would assume if her fiance doesn't like the red eyes, then she no longer wants Sammy (who has red eyes), but what about Desi?  She hadn't answered my question.  So I had emailed again, asking if she was sure she didn't want Sammy and asking her again about Desi.  I suppose she couldn't be bothered to respond to me, because I haven't heard back, and this is someone who emails back like 2 seconds after you send them an email.  I took Sammy off the hold, but now I have to relist his ads everywhere.  Fun fun. 

What aggravates me about the above is that if these people would read the ad right next to the pretty pictures, I wouldn't need to answer ANY of their questions.  But they can't read.

Which is further shown by the next thing that happened today.  I got an email in my inbox at 8:10.  Apparently I didn't get to responding to it fast enough, because that person called at 8:13 to ask if I'd had a chance to look at their email.  Uh... no.  So, the guy on the phone first asks if I'm the rattery (rat breeding operation) in Munster.  I told him, no, we are a chinchilla rescue, we have rats up for adoption though.  Ok, but let's back up a step.  There are several things wrong with his question.  (1) The email came from PetFinder -- which only gives access to rescues -- not breeders -- to advertise their pets on.  So there's no way I could have been a rattery for him to see the ad there.  (2) In order to get our contact info off PetFinder, well, here's what it looks like:

Baby Rats -- 12 weeks old -- 3 females - very sweet's Contact Info

NWI Chinchilla Rescue, Munster, IN
  • 219-789-0026
  • Email NWI Chinchilla Rescue
  • See more pets from NWI Chinchilla Rescue
  • For more information, visit NWI Chinchilla Rescue's Web site.
Notice... all those places... "NWI Chinchilla Rescue."  But no, I'm a rattery, right???  Ok, so moving along, he gives the phone to his soon-to-be-17-year-old-daughter, who parrots everything I say back to daddy.  Which is another pet peeve of mine.  If the parents need to know every word I'm saying, I want to talk to them.  Not hear myself parroted. 

So, anyway, her first question is where did I get the rats, did I breed them, or what?  Let me enlighten you with the 2nd paragraph of the ad:  We did not breed these rats – these are all young rats that people have dropped off at the rescue.  So, I repeated that back to them, and the girl is having a convo with mom and dad while I'm sitting on the other end of the phone.  

So, at some point, she says something to her parents about coming to pick out one rat.  So, I tell her, we only adopt out in pairs.  She says something to the tune of, "I didn't see that anywhere," but let me enlighten you again, further in the ad:  

We only adopt our rats in pairs or groups, unless you are looking for a cagemate for a rat you currently own. 
The adoption fees is as follows: 
--one rat: $10
--every additional rat: $5
(so, a pair would be $15, three rats would be $20)

It's not on there, right?  My bad, oh, it is. So she tells me, "oh, well that's not going to work then, I can only have one."  So I tell her, just for her information, that the reason we do that is because rats can get depressed, stop eating, and die if kept alone.  (sidebar: I have no idea how often that happens, but the rat rescues I deal with tell me this is a good reason to adopt out pairs -- not to mention, the whole thing about rats living alone can develop territoriality and cage aggressiveness -- we rarely have single rats so we don't run the risk of that very often, so it's not something I personally experience).  She was like "ok" and that was it.  

Really?  Had she read the ad, they would have known that we are not a rattery, and that we did not breed the rats, and we do not sell single rats.  They could have avoided the email and the phone call, had they just read the ad

Common sense seems gone as well.  I had someone who I thought was supposed to be coming today.  On Tuesday, their text had asked "how about Thursday at 3?"  So, today, I made sure I was home at 3, cutting short what would have been a longer out-of-the-house trip cause I wanted to not be late.  So, 3:45 comes and she's not here.  I text and ask if she's still coming, and she tells me, she meant next Thursday.  I looked back through the previous texts, and clear as day, "how about Thursday at 3?" (this was Tuesday when they were texting).  No "next," no nothing to make me think she meant next Thursday.  So ok, I tell her that's fine, and I move her to next Thursday at 3 in my planner.  Few hours later she texts again and says, how bout Tuesday at 3:30?  Well, I have a doctor's appointment then and I refuse to schedule people within hours of those because it's amazing how I never end up home when I think.  So I told her that won't work, and now she's scheduled for Monday.  Now... this is just a case of miscommunication ... only... though this was not my lack of understanding (rather, her lack of explaining that she meant the following Thursday), yet it made me waste an hour waiting around for someone.  Now, she probably thought somehow I read her mind and knew she meant next Thursday.  But, as I can't read minds... this caused a lot of wasted time. 

All I'm asking for is to be treated like how people would treat others.  If you were setting up a date with your friends, I'd like to think you'd make sure they knew which week you were talking about.  If you were applying for a job, I'd like to think you'd read the ad to see if you quality before applying (but... after today, I seriously doubt this).  But if you would, can you do the same for me?  Read the ad before you email?  It can save you time (you can move onto another ad if the animals I have aren't what you're looking for), and it can save me time, as I don't spend time emailing you that could be spent emailing someone who is actually going to take an animal home.  That's all.

Adoptions, Sales, and Supplement

So, today was a pretty slow day, but that's partially cause I was in class (my last one - yay!!!!) for a good part of the night.

While I was home, I had an appointment for my to-be adoptive home to come pick up Aubrey and her baby.  So, she came and did so.  The feisty ferret cage fit fully assembled in the back of her suv (jealous!!), and we got everything else around it with room to spare.  Very nice adoptive home.  Last time she brought her kids (teenagers+), this time they were in school.  The kids knew the chins were coming home, but she said she didn't tell them she was picking them up today, so it'd be a surprise for them.  Normally, you know my views on animal surprises, but since the whole family was here the first time, and everyone was on board, this was a tad bit different.

So then, I had someone call about my crittertrail cages.  Well, someone called yesterday, I called them back, and I never heard back.  Then, someone else was texting me about it later last night.  And I was like, well.... that other person never got back.  So then the second person just said "maybe Friday" and I never heard back.  Ok, so then this morning, person 1 calls again and said they work the night shift, hence why they hadn't called back.  Ahhhhh.  So, they were from Kouts, and they wanted to know how far that was from here, and I said maybe 30-40 minutes?  I don't know.  It probably depends what route you take, and more importantly, how fast you drive.  Anyway, I guess it couldn't have been too bad a drive, cause they did show up and purchase the lot of the two crittertrail cages and accessories.  Yay.  Those were originally supposed to go to someone else, but then that didn't work out, and of course, the two cages wouldn't fit inside any sort of box or anything I had, so they were sitting out, collecting dust.  And now they're gone.  Happy happy.

Moving along, I want to note that I pretty much despise the 15 minute breaks that our class has.  5-10 minutes, sure.  But 15 always seems to edge to 20, and all I really want to do on the breaks is go to the bathroom.  Maybe get a pop.  That's it.  And both are within seeing distance of the hallway where the classroom is.  So why do we need 15-20 minutes?  For social hour I guess?

Anyway, point being, I took that time to write down the ingredients that I noticed were common in a variety of supplements for chins.  Then took the time to find prices for the ingredients on both companies (I almost typed what they were!  lol  sorry, my secret) where I get my herbs.  The amusing thing is that for some of the items, the prices vary wildly, like $10 at one, $19 at the other, but if I was REALLY going to include every single herb I listed, the price for the total ingredients worked out to be the same.  Interesting.

Anyway, so as I'm not some huge herbologist, I want this to be a beginner's supplement, nothing that's going to cure any health problems, but at the same time, I want it to be safe, so there's no "oh, don't give it while the chin is pregnant" or so on.  But, something that can be given daily (in a small amount) to keep the critters healthy.  So, I had my list of about a zillion herbs, many of which I was familiar with, some of which I already sell, and others which I had a general idea what they do, but... not super familiar with.  So, I started looking up the herbs I was not familiar with to see what they do.  Come to find that several are diuretics, and while I was aware of other properties of these herbs, I did not know that part.  So, some were decidedly crossed off, as I didn't feel the positives outweighed the diuretic part, and there are other herbs that have similar effects without being diuretics.  Turned out another was a mild laxative.  Which would actually be ok, if I was more familiar with the herb itself.  Cause see, rosehips can be a mild laxative.  But, I feel like I'm knowledgeable enough about those, and they're "safe enough" as everyone uses them (though I can't say everyone knows about the laxative part), but for other herbs I'm not familiar with except having read it here and there on various other supplements... they can stay off my list.

I suppose to explain, I'm all for the positive effects of the supplements, and I am staying well within the bounds of not-going-to-hurt-the-animal herbs, but the ones that have side effects like diuretics or laxatives, I could see a problem if it was given too often.  And while I know that I would not give it too often, I can't say the same of my customers.  So I want to leave in the herbs that are safe and, for lack of another word, dumbass-proof, and take out the ones that could be a problem if given in too high doses.  I wouldn't be comfortable enough to say that a pinch would be fine but two pinches = loose poos.   No thank you.  Moving along, a few I found conflicting information on how certain ones should be given (i.e. crushed vs. whole), as many places only sell whole, but then I read, you need crushed because whole doesn't digest.  On the chance that that might be true, and there might be no benefits whatsoever, if the herb is not digested, that gets nixed off the list.  And the point is to narrow the list.  I don't want a 40 ingredient supplement, I want something that has decent benefits but won't be harmful if given daily, or at least, several times a week, depending on what all I put in this thing.

So, here's what I've come down to, after pouring over this for quite some time.  I'll give it a few days to actually consider if I want to mess with this at all, but here's what the NWI Chinchilla Supplement would contain:
  • Calendula (marigold) Petals -- antiseptic, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties; increases blood flow; speeds healing; specifically, good at healing stomach, digestive, and skin problems*
  • Oat Straw -- strengthens the nervous system; nourishes the liver; improves digestion; improves tissue health**
  • Hawthorn berries -- antioxidant properties; stimulates appetite; aids in digestion; contains vitamins, minerals, and bioflavonoids; enhances absorption of vitamin C; helps maintain heart health; lowers high blood pressure; boosts immune system
  • Hawthorn leaves and flowers -- maintains heart health; improves "side effects" associated with heart problems such as shortness of breath and fatigue; lowers high blood pressure; helps with anxiety; improves digestion***
  • Red raspberry leaves -- naturally high in magnesium, b-vitamins, vitamin C, and iron; improves sleep; maintains healthy reproductive system; soothes intestinal distress/irritation; helps with diarrhea/intestinal upset
  • Hibiscus -- improves appetite; soothes stomach irritation; helps with anxiety; good source of vitamin C; treats hypertension; helps sooth respiratory and sinus infections; protects liver; shows potential in helping prevent cancer; prevents constipation   
  • Chamomile Flowers -- treats insomnia; stimulates appetite; improves digestion; soothes minor stomach problems; mild diuretic; treats pain; used to treat stress/anxiety; enhances the effects of anti-seizure medications

* Just learned this today -- if you are allergic to ragweed, calendula may not be an herb to bring in the house, as it is in the same family and can have the same effect.  

** If allergic to anything "oat" -- you may be allergic to oat straw.

*** Can interfere with heart medications your pet may already be taking.

So, I'm gonna sit on that for a few days and then go from there. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Picture time!

So, I've been slacking on pictures for awhile, so here's some recent ones.  Some may seem random, but hey, they're all rescue related.

First, the new prairie dog:

She's making some sort of greeting (?) or "the predator is gone" noise here.
Then, some pics from when I took our two female guinea pigs outside.  They seemed to enjoy munching on the grass and being out in the fresh air.  This was on one of the milder days:

Lacey, with Kailey supervising
Pixie again
Then we have Albie relaxing in his new home:

A good friend's/customer's rabbit with our spring holiday toy:

Then we have the photos of Kailey and Hannah from after the expo on their playdate:

**not even going to try to post them all** --> here's the link to the album --> https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.501113133288341.1073741826.144858985580426&type=1&l=fb5f67b78e (you don't need facebook to view it)

Then we have the 2013 Lake County Pet Expo pictures:

**though I could post all these, there's an issue with uploading on the blog right now** --> here's the link to the album --> https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.501123503287304.1073741827.144858985580426&type=1&l=c459214bae

...but I can post the cutest of the pictures.  Here's Boom & Pow, so relaxed with the whole event that... they went to sleep!

Boom sleeping
Boom really getting comfy sleeping
Pow sleeping
And I want to say that's it for pictures tonight.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Wood, shelves, and more shelves, and the never-ending to-do list

So, today was a day stuff actually got done.  Started out the day going to get wood so that I could make shelves for a customers' cage.  Did that, came home, and finished up a shelf order that I'd been sitting on and just needed bolts.  Texted those people and they came over within the hour to pick up their shelves.  Turns it out it was a perfect time for them to get the shelves as they just got their chin spin as well.

Moved on to the new guinea pigs.  As they don't need their quarantine/eval period since they are transfers, I literally just need to write up descriptions and take pictures and post ads.  So today, was the day for taking pictures.

Then, came the big order.  I have someone coming to get two chins, a feisty ferret decked out in shelves and goodies, and a lot of other stuff... and I had to get it ready.  $55ish worth of shelves, 10 pounds of dust, 6 pounds of hay, cottage hidey house, two chew toys, water bottle, food bowl, bag of chin chow, carrier, hammock, and a few more things.  They will be set for awhile.  So I got all that set and bagged up and ready to go.

Then came the emails.  I literally have to write emails into my to do list or else the ones that require a long drawn out answer, or the ones that require me to find paperwork, etc., I leave until a day when I'll get those all done at once.  So, that was today.  Added someone to our waiting list, wrote down payments made on an order, writing down orders (to get shipping quotes) on invoices, and that sort of thing.

Moved on to cleaning off the desk, which is like my workstation.  If I leave it for a few days, it ends up looking like a cyclone hit it, as I will stick every rescue-related paper or receipt on there.  So quite a pile piles up.  So I cleaned that off, and at least organized things into piles so when I get to the "paperwork" on my to-do list, I won't have to spend a ton of time finding it all.  Then moved onto cleaning the foyer, which still had remnants of things from the expo.  Moved all that, put it where it goes (mostly into other to-do piles, but at least, the foyer is clean).  Added the recent volunteering and donations to the Donations page on the website.

Next on the list is "organize rescue."  Ha.  That's a toughie, cause it pretty much is never NOT on the list.  That's one of those terms that includes everything.  It includes making sure all the pets are fed and watered, that the cages that need cleaning are cleaned, that anything on the floor that should be somewhere else is picked up and moved, that the table-o-doom (catch all table) gets a look-over and has some work done to clear it off, and so on and so forth.  So, I spent a few hours organizing the rescue.  Had someone come and drop off a rescue the other day so I put the stuff they brought where it goes (again, mostly into other piles that need to be dealt with at other times).  Hadn't mixed up the food for the new rescue yet, so I took out their food and mixed it nice and good with our mazuri.  I tend to put the containers on top of the cages, and this time, I made sure I put it somewhere on top of the cages that the chins canNOT reach it.  Oops to the last time.

Decided now was the time to break down some more boxes.  Turns out, the water guys are coming to the house to turn on our in-ground sprinkler system and need to get back to where the water turns on -- which I'd managed to block with non-broken-down boxes.  So, I broke them down and organization has been restored.  To that small section anyways. 

At this point, the rescue is looking more normal.  After the expos, it tends to look a bit everything-is-everywhere-ish, because I've had to pull treats and supplies and everything to take, so when the stuff that doesn't sell needs to get put away, it goes in a zillion different places, meaning every drawer will be open, every box pulled out of its location, etc.  Was wanting to make sure I order more of the herbs/treats that I am out of, so rather than just throwing those back where they go, I dug through what I have and pulled out what I had (unpackaged in my 1 oz, 3 oz packages) to determine what I had more of and what I didn't.  Some of the packages that I had completely sold out of at the expo, like the globe flowers and the marigold petals, so those I got out the bags and packaged up some more.  I realized that I am on my second-to-last package of rosehips, after buying something like 21 pounds a few years back.  Rosebuds I am on my absolute last package so I need to order more of those, as well as more jasmine flowers.

Few little notes on the herbs -- the marigold petals -- apparently this last time I ordered I ordered from a different company, so once I use up the few bags I have of marigold petals, my next 2 pounds of this stuff will be whole marigold flowers and petals.  So, some actual like flower buds among the petals.  I don't think I like that stuff as much, so I'll likely go back to the plain marigold petals once I run out of these, unless there's some serious desire to have the marigold flowers/petals by the people who buy them.

Also, for the hibiscus, we will start buying it from a different supplier, as there has been a lot of talk about how it's "hard to feed" since the pieces are so small.  So, we will be buying it as whole hibiscus petals, which will be larger, easier-to-feed pieces.  Anyone who loves the hibiscus, don't worry, it's the same stuff, just not crushed down to miniature proportions.  Though, if you do want the crushed hibiscus over the whole petals, act on that desire to get it before I sell the rest.  It isn't selling quick though, so you have time.  But once I do switch over, if you do want yours crushed, by all means, give the bag a good squeeze a few times and you will have your crushed hibiscus.  I had someone drop off a sample (for me) of the hibiscus petals from the place I will be getting them, so I know for sure it's what I want, and I can also vouch for their crush-ability. 

I am also toying with the possibility of making and selling a supplement.  There's enough out there that I can surely create one of my own, the question is, would anyone buy it?  The "problem" is that buying this stuff, I can only buy in (at least) pound quantities.  Therefore, say my supplement requires 10 ingredients.  Well... that's going to give me 10 pounds of supplement.  So we will see.  That's something for another day when I don't have only half of my current to-do list crossed off (though, this is good progress for one day).

Ah well, tomorrow's another day.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Court Case and Lake County Pet Expo

So, let me go over the last two days.

Yesterday morning, I met up with Amber to pick up some transfer guinea pigs.  As these are pigs that have already gone through an evaluation and quarantine at Amber's rescue, they are now up for adoption here, as there is no need to repeat the process.

On the way home, I noticed I had an email from the people who had adopted the chins (the ones I found on craigslist).  He said something along the lines of sure, he'd bring them back, let him look up what he paid.  And so I emailed and said, in short, that he signed a contract that stated that he would return the chins with no refund, but that he could do whatever he wanted with the supplies.  I told him, he could sell the supplies, or I could offer him 50% of what he paid for them.  Which, really, is a good deal.  I believe one of the cages they purchased was new -- well now, I can only sell it for approx. 50% of the price.  So by paying him 50%, that's all I'll likely make on it.  Same with the hammock, it's $8.50 new, so half is $4.25, and I ask $5 for used (in good condition) hammocks.  So, I'd be making 75 cents on that.  They got a glass water bottle as well, I believe.  I sell them new for $6.  In the event I decide to sell used ones, I sell them for $3.  So, if I was paying him 50%, I'd be making absolutely nothing on the water bottle, yet I'd still need to take the time to clean/disinfect before I could sell it, so I'd be losing money, if we really want to get technical.  In addition, with both chins, they purchased starter packages -- those include 5 pounds of food, 1.5 pounds of hay, 2 pounds dust, a hanging chew toy, and a goodie bag.  Well -- they adopted these chins about a year and a half ago.  Surely, within a year and a half, these people have gone through the food, dust, chew toy, goodie bag.  Yet, they purchased two of the starter packages (one for each chin, which they adopted at separate times), and so I should pay them $50 even though they have nothing left from those starter packages to give back to me?  Ah, no.

So, what ended up happening was that he said -- "Well, I find the contract to be onesided and giving you an unfair advantage to profit."  Yes, because me adopting out a chin that was returned, and getting an adoption fee, a second time, is profiting me so hugely.  Just as example -- one of the chins they adopted was adopted as a youngster, for $125.  It is a gray male, which is now approx. 2 years old.  At his current age, and with the personality I remember, I could only adopt him out for $60 now.  Say I got him back -- he'd be here for another month (at least) for evaluation and quarantine, and then, since he has attitude, he'd be here probably a decent while longer than the average chin.  The average chin with attitude is here about 6 months old.  So, assuming I adopted him after another 6 months here, I'd have "made" a total of $185 on this chin.  After caring for it for all that time, spending time putting up ads, weeding through potential adoptive homes, and finding him a good home.  $185.  Is that a ton of money?  I, personally, think not.  Especially considering that I've had all of... maybe 10? 12? chins returned over a 10 year period.  Ooooh I'm raking in the dough by re-adoping all of 10-12 chins.  

I told him, he signed the contract, stating that he agreed to those things.  Apparently, he didn't mean it when he signed it, or didn't think it'd come to that, but shit, he signed it.  To me, that means that he should have to return the chins.  I told him, I wouldn't hesitate to take this to court, but I'd much rather him simply turn the chins in, rather than have to go down that route.  

He ended up saying something like, well if it's going to be like that, he should stop talking to me.  I had said something in a previous email about, how, at Walmart, you try to return something a year and a half later and you won't get anything back -- he replied that they don't force you to return anything.  No, but we're talking about the chins -- he wanted money back for items that were used and long gone.  So I should suck up $50 because he used the items and can't return them, but he paid for them, so shit, I should refund the money? I think not.

So, I went to the Crown Point courthouse, and filed a small claims suit against him.  You'd think, after working in that law office for 6 months, I'd have remembered that you have to have 5 copies of everything, as as the courthouse charges $1/copy I had to go hunting for the Jewel, "right down the road" (more like, several miles down the road), to get the $92 money order and copies needed to file the paperwork.  So I did that, the court date was set for June 4th, and I guess I will see him then.  Service will be done by Sheriff so he will definitely be aware of this pretty soon, if he's not already.

I have to say, I never thought I would actually have to resort to suing someone to get the chins back.  I mean, to me, this just points out how, to this family, it's all about the money.  Oh, their ad on craigslist (which is still up, by the way), states that they're looking for a good home, but if they really wanted that, they'd be returning the chins, not saying, oh, they want every cent they paid back, or they're not giving the chins back.  I think it's sad that they're so focused on the money.  And they have two young kids, I mean, what is this teaching the kids?  That pets are just worth how much you can sell them for.  Not that they're living breathing creatures that deserve a good life.  No, of course not.  It's disappointing to me.

So, I was in Crown Point filing that, and believe it or not, I managed to spend all the time between picking up the pigs and about 3 pm over in Crown Point.  But I still had to set up for the Lake County Pet Expo.  So, stupid me, had I thought it was going to take that long at the courthouse, I would have driven my blazer which already had a good variety of stuff to set up for the expo.  But, since I didn't think it would take nearly that long, I had driven my mom's car.  So, I drove home, had just enough time to throw some extra boxes (that I'd packed but not loaded yet) into the blazer, and turn around and go right back to Crown Point.

As I was driving there, I realized I wasn't going to get there actually at 4, like I'd told Meredith, so I texted her letting her know I'd be like 10-15 mins late.  So I finally get there, park, walk in the building and realize... I don't have the raffle basket which I was supposed to bring.  So, when I went up to get my paperwork and booth assignment and all that, I explained what had been going on that day with the lawsuit and everything, and, the reply was, and I quote, "People are assholes."  Ain't that the truth.  So, she said I could bring the basket in the morning.  Goooood.  

So we got our booth assignment, we were towards the back, almost polar opposite to where we were the year before.  Not like it really mattered.  So, I pulled in the blazer and we unloaded and set up the tables and stuff.  I didn't have a lot of the signs with me, as the stuff we'd had at previous expos -- we'd added quite a few products since then.  So, we set up what we had and left.

But not before I got a phone call from someone who I'd been emailing back and forth about them wanting to drop off a chin.  They wanted to come by after the expo, so I told them I would need to check on that when I got home, as I didn't have my planner with me, and so when I got home, I set up for them to come at 7:30, giving me plenty of time to get home, get settled, and all that. 

I ended up messaging Jamie and Jenny about pickup and where the booth was and all that, so we were all up pretty late.  I stayed up to make the little signs and also to make cheat sheets in case someone needed them (every once in awhile someone will have a really good question and not everyone knows everything).  Got all that, got the broom and dustpan (cause rescues forfeit the amount we get if we don't clean up), got another tray table to put the hammocks on, and had everything laid out for this morning.

Morning came waaaay too quick.  I had told Jamie I'd be there by 7:15, it was more like 7:30.  We ran out to get McDonalds and headed to the fairgrounds.  Got the rest of the stuff unloaded.  Also, decided that we weren't crazy about how the booth was set up (which I'd been debating for the entire night), so we moved the table that was all the way up front back to the back wall, and turned around the other table so the products faced inwards.  

Jenny showed up with Hannah, set up her big dog crate in the corner, and we got the last few touches set up.  Got the raffle basket dropped off and the rescue started.  Things went good, saw some friends and talked to some other rescues that I'd met over the past year, bought some treats for Kailey.  Some of my parents' tax clients / my friends were there with their pooches so I got to pet/hold them.  Overall it went good.  A lot of the expos are mainly educational.  We bring Shiloh because he garners so much attention, as you just don't see prairie dogs around here, and I think it's especially interesting to hear people from the western states say how they are a nuisance out there but they've never seen one as a pet... .as Shiloh lays there and wiggles into better positions for you to scratch him.  Haha.  He's a comedian.

I wouldn't say, from any of the expos we go to, we get a lot of adoptions.  It's more spreading the word that we're out there, that we have the pets for adoption, that we have supplies for sale.  That kinda thing.  We did get some donations -- a few people told us to keep the change, which added up to a few dollars.  We had one family stop by who remembered me (though it took me a bit to place them) -- after their rabbit died, they'd adopted rats, then decided they weren't for them, returned the rats for a refund (within the time period, unlike the guy above wanting a refund after 1.5 years).  It totally slipped my mind that when they returned the rats, they hadn't brought the food back, which it really doesn't matter.  To me, if someone's bringing back an animal, for refund or not, the point is that the animal comes back, I don't care what happens to the care packet or the food or whatever.  It doesn't make any difference to me.  Anyway, they said that they started giving their new rabbit some of the lab blocks (on top of the oxbow rabbit food they're giving her) and they said she really likes them, so she'll be back to get some more when they run out.  So she gave a $6 donation she said, since she didn't bring the food back and all that.  So hey, I'll take it.  Every little bit helps.

We met some people who had a skunk as a pet, as well as some ducks.  Talked with them for awhile, turns out you need a permit to own the skunk and the DNR comes to their house yearly to check that the skunk is cared for well.  Which it apparently is, if they keep getting approved for the permit.  Very nice people, interesting to talk to, about their pets.  There's so few people with "true" exotics.  Don't get me wrong, chins are exotics, but they could be considered common at this point.  The true exotics like the skunks, prairie dogs, patagonian cavies, fennec foxes, and those sort of things, I always love talking to those sort of people cause it's just so interesting to hear about these other animals and how they live.  I can't say I'd want to always own the animals they tell me about, but it's definitely interesting to hear about them. 

So then we had a lady who was asking if we had hay available, and I told her, we have it at the house, but we didn't bring any with us.  So she was asking about price and I told her, we can squeeze two pounds into one of those large paper sacks you get at the grocery store, and that's $2.  She said she had two guinea pigs.  She seemed to like the price and she took a card, so I told her, call and see if we're home, and I can get her some hay.  So we'll see if she calls.  It seemed promising, cause she said she wasn't far, and, short of people buying a bale of hay themselves, it's hard to beat $1/pound.  

Had one lady asking about the adoption process for chinchillas, and so I went over that with her.  She asked what the adoption fee was, and we had Boom and Pow there (who are ready to go in like 2 days) and I told her it was $175 and she asked if that was for one.  It's for both.  Which makes me feel better, cause we do get people that hear $175 for two and have an absolute cow, like omg that's too much.  And in my head, I think, at the pet store you can get ONE for $150 + tax, which ends up being $160.50 (in Indiana), so two or $175 seems reasonable to me.  But not to everyone I guess.  This lady seemed to think that was halfway decent though, so we'll see if we see her again.  

Sold a decent amount of things.  Some of our previous adoptive homes/friends stopped by and purchased things (probably saving themselves a trip to the house), and that got rid of a lot of stuff.  Seems some of the same stuff that always sells sold, like the rosehips and hawthorn berries and such.  We did sell all the loofah, and not all to one person either, so that seemed to be a hit.  Will definitely be something I order more of in the future.  

So, at about 1-2 hours to closing, I get a text from my parents asking if I can still get them in as volunteers (i.e. for free).  Well, I had originally been anticipating having me and one volunteer, and then two more nametags for them.  Well... when they'd said they weren't coming, I snagged another volunteer, and so I only had one nametag left.  The booth next to us, on the other hand, had several nametags left (openly sitting on their table, so I could see em), so I asked if I could have one, and they said I could.  So, I told my parents, and they brought my dog.  

So, they said they were almost here, so I headed outside with the two nametags, and I tried calling them, but no one picked up.  So I'm looking around trying to see where they might be, and I see this sheltie standing over on the side and I think, "man that looks like Kailey."  I look up, and it's my dad holding onto the leash.  Lol.  Totally was Kailey.  And I said her name and she started like wanting to come over by me and pulling on the lead.  She never acts happy to see me, so that was like this PERFECT moment in my head.  I'll have to remember it cause it'll never happen again, lol.

So my mom was parking, so they both came in with their nametags, and stayed for a bit.  By the time they left, we didn't have a ton more time to go until cleanup.  Some of the booths (the ones that were paying to be there -- not rescues) were packing up early, which the rescues can't do or we forfeit our money.  So, we waited until just about everyone was starting to pack up, just to be sure, and then started packing up.  I tell ya, it goes quick with three people.  

Since we were towards the back, I was able to pull the blazer right in and get it loaded up.  We went to Jamie's house to drop her off, I got to see her german shepherd Felony, and then me and Jenny headed back to my place.  I had promised her supplies in trade for the thin mint cookies that she'd brought for all of us, but in the rush of getting everything done the night before, I told her she'd have to wait for me to pack it up after the expo.  So, we got everything in the house, the big things downstairs, and left the rest close inside the door.  I need to go through the boxes and sort stuff, as our one box should be just expo stuff, like the price labels, our donations box, pens, our receipt paper, and so on, and that stuff (and everything else) ended up mixed up with everything else. 

So we got everything inside, and let the dogs out back (with us there).  So, they played a bit and then were getting tired and were laying down, so we went in and I got her her trade supplies.  So then she left with her pooch, and as I waited for my 7:30 to show up, I started going through the boxes.  I dug through and pulled out all the hammocks, and put those back where those go.  Also got most of the hidey houses downstairs.  Got all the toys put away, and put all the baggies of the herbs/treats on the side, as I know I'm running low for a lot of them, so I need to take stock of what I have and what I need to order before I get those all put away.  So that's likely for tomorrow or another day.  

 Still have plenty of stuff in the foyer, and was still trying to clean up ad make the rescue halfway decent when my people arrived.  They brought a chin, Penelope, which the pet store had told then was a female, but then, they'd seen him cleaning himself (or so they thought).  So I checked, and for sure, he is a male.  Yet another instance of pet stores not having a clue as to what gender they have.  So, they brought not only the chin, but also a lot of stuff.  And I feel, in light of the recent events with these two chins where the owners want every cent that they paid back, I find this interesting.  These people brought not only the chin, but what appears to be a two-level ferret nation (it's taken apart, hence, appears), a medium sized cage, a travel cage, a dust house, and a box of treats/chews, and some bedding.  Assuming they bought this all new (which most people do, as the average person doesn't even think to go to a rescue to get this stuff), we're talking over $350 worth of cages/supplies that they dropped off.  And that's JUST including the cages and the dust house, not including any toys, food, accessories, etc that they brought with.  On top of that, these people, bless their hearts, donated $100 to the rescue.

I just find this amusing, in that some people are so willing to have their critter find a good home that they'll bring hundreds of dollars worth of stuff to the rescue, and then donate a huge amount on top of that, yet others don't even want to bring the chins themselves without payment.  I just find it interesting.

So, I got their chin settled in as best I could, and I went to take a nap.  I tell ya, it doesn't look like we have a ton of stuff at the expos, but it's amazing how it takes forever to set up, take down, put the stuff where it goes.... it's tiring.  I made sure all the pets were fed and watered, and I gave the new chin food and water, and went for my nap.  Everything else could wait for the morning. 

And I do have pictures of most/all of this, but that will also have to wait until the morning.  Got some great shots of Kailey when the pooches were outside laying around.  Will post pictures either tomorrow or in the near future.  That's on the to-do list as well as getting those girl scout pictures out to the troop leader.  Oops.  One of these days.