Sunday, September 29, 2013

Busy couple of days

So, lot's been going on lately.  Not all good.  So, few days ago, Bongo, our malo chin dropoff, passed away.  His cagemate, Baja, seems to be doing fine, but we'll keep an eye on him for a bit to check that he's doing alright before he's put up for adoption.

Then, Aston passed unexpectedly.  No rhyme or reason, just one day went down to feed/water the critters and he had passed.  So I went and took down his ads and changed Martins' ads so they no longer mentioned adopting him and Aston together.

Moving along to today.  Nytro and Dusty were all set to go home, there person had come here.  She'd just finished holding Dusty and moved onto Nytro.  He was energetic when I went to catch him and was sitting pretty nicely for the person.  At one point, struggled a bit, and then settled down. And so she says, "awww, I think he went to sleep."  And a few minutes pass and she makes another comment like that and I say, "I hope he's sleeping."  Well, turns out... he had passed.  Guess he had wanted to die at home with his family rather than die elsewhere.

We're going to have him cremated and I'm going to see if I can get Munster AH to do the pawprint thing for me.  We shall see.

So, I changed all of the Nytro and Dusty ads to just Dusty ads.  The person here picked out another chin to take home - Chili.  After this weird turn of events, which she, understandably, was a bit freaked out by (I mean, in 10 years, I have never had a chin die in the arms of the person wanting to take them home), I explained to her our 7 day health guarantee, but fingers crossed, that will not come into play.  But... now I'm paranoid.

Oh and to top off the bad few days  -- I forgot to give Chili's new home her bag of food, goodie bag, and printed out care packet. 

Now, if these were three separate events of healthy chins dying, you bet I would have them at the vet for necropsies.  But... one was a malo chin and another was a 13.5 year old chin.  But... if another chin dies... oh hell.  I will be there faster than you can blink.  They say death comes in threes....I hope this is my three, and some weird luck doesn't decide to up it to 6 or something.  Even though two of the deaths are explainable.... this is still too many too close together.  Ugh. 

So I weighed all the chins today just for good measure and there's none that I'm worried about... yet. 

On a positive note -- since we NEED one right now -- Winx, for the first time in ages, is over 600 grams!!  He was at 606-607!!  Who-hoo!!!

Not much else going on.  Got some orders out from before the store was closed.  Made some halloween holiday toys.  Cut out some of the houses that need to be built for the orders that were placed during the store closure.  Listed a TON of animals.  I think we're up to 16 listings on PetFinder (they count, I just notice the number), and that's counting pairs as 1 listing, so probably more than that available actually.  And that's with a critter or two listed as "adoption pending" - so, not counted in that amount.

I was going to work on listing more animals tonight, but I feel like I've gone through the wringer, so tonight is just going to be some TV and then bed.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

People.... and going's on.

So, I know I shouldn't start back up after a long absence with a non-happy blog, but... it is what it is.

So, two nights ago, I get a phone at at around 11:30 pm.  Yes, PM.  So, I do not answer it -- I tell my adoptive homes, if you need something that late, leave a message and I'll call you back, because I will not answer the phone after, say, 9:30 unless I'm expecting a call or know who it is.  So, I didn't answer the phone.

So I get an email:

Hi my name is [name] I called u late at night sorry but I was just wondering if I can stop by and see ur cuties martin or aston or jingles I have a female who is lonely cuz she has a huge house but no buddy but she is very friendly and adorable  she is only 8 months I beleave she is adorable her name is chee heres a pic of her and her house [phone number]
Ok, fine.  He sends pics of the chin and one of his FN/CN, which is very nicely decked out.  This is what I send back:

Your cage looks great!  However, since you have a female, you would only be able to adopt a female, as we don't adopt our rescues into homes where they would be with opposite-sex chinchillas, as they would breed and create more chinchillas that would probably find their way into the rescue.

If you decide you're looking for a female, we have a 4-5 year old beige female for adoption.
So, he calls three times during the day, none of which I pick up (because, let's remember, I work), and so he emails back.  
Thats what I thought too I was reading alot about meeting new chinchillas together well im interested really much can I swing by today I live in dyer IN. I was looking for a black velvet one or a tri. Color or who ever I fall in love with please call me [phone number]
Since I'm sure the "that's what I thought too" reference is to the cage, and there's no mention of the "female" part of my email, I'm pretty sure he has glossed over that, so I send another email:
I'm at work so I can't call you back right now.

I won't be home until 6:15ish today.  The only female I have available right now is a beige, no black velvets and there is no such color as a "tri" or even a tricolor, so I'm not sure what color you would be meaning by that.  If you want to come and see the beige that's fine, but just so you're aware, that's all I have in terms of females.  And I only have one female available, so not really anything to pick from at the moment.  Just so you're aware, I don't want you to feel like you're wasting your time.

If you want to come by to see the beige female, what time were you thinking?
Needless to say, I never heard back.  And I sent that email believing that he still was thinking he was wanting to come see those males I have (the all different color ones that he listed), hence why I wanted to lay it out, hey, if you come, you are not coming to see those.  It goes without saying, the last thing I need is some idiot that doesn't even know chin colors breeding chins.  I can guarantee you lots of those babies would end up at the rescue.

Moving along....

On another somber note, Bongo passed away.  Bongo was a malo chin that had been dropped off here maybe 1-2 months ago with his cagemate Baja.  Bongo had had a filing back in April and basically, I was waiting around to see how long that filing would last time.  If it was a good amount of time, then he'd be adoptable, if not, he'd become a sanctuary chin.  Well, I never did get to see how long that was, because he passed sometime yesterday.  He was not drooling, no watery eyes.  Got a good feel of his jaw now that he's gone and there's nothing to indicate jaw penetration by the roots, so likely he wasn't in pain.  He was eating his pellets and hay and taking the supplement (his previous owner left some) from my hand the day before.  So, likely, he had something else wrong that no one knew about.  But, he died happy with his cagemate and both of them chewing up things like little beavers.  He came from good home, so I can't say he had it better at the end, cause he always had it good, but at least he still had his buddy with him.

Moving along....

Everyone is returning their animals!  Nylah (well, Nyler... turns out its a boy), the mini rex is back, Honey (well, Harry... also a boy -- since adopting these two out I have been given lessons on properly sexing rabbits -- though these two were "only" rabbits so no worries there.  And today Haku is coming back.  Oh and Prim and Rue came back almost a month ago.  Busy busy.

Moving along....

I got an email from someone interested in chins, they listed just about every single I have with the exception of the beiges, asking for info, so I emailed them info and told them I'd get back to them with pics.  So that likely will be today.

Eddie is a turd.  I guess I've gotten used to chins that stay in their cage when the door's opened... not him!  He bolted out at like midnight last night.  Well... now I know better for next time.  

Moving along...

My computer had to be re-set, so I lost my huge access file with everyone's info in it.  Which is not a huge deal, I have the info elsewhere, but now I have to re-create the spreadsheet and re-do it all.  Ick.  But that's for when things have cooled down a bit and I have some free time.
Well, I think that's it for now.  Have a few people who want to come by this weekend, but I'm waiting to hear back about when this dog thing we're going to is, so I need to know that before I can schedule anyone.   

Oh one more thing.

House hunting has officially began.  So far have only driven by most of em, and some are clearly better than others just judging the outside.  The one in particular looked nice in pictures, but though the garages are accessible through the alley, clearly everyone parks in the front.  And since the road is narrow, and a cul-de-sac, and by cul-de-sac I mean a road that dead-ends with a slight bulb at the end, I had to do a 5 point turn to get out of there.  I don't think I'll subject my customers to that. 

And I will be calling me a new realtor.  The current one still hasn't gotten back to me about the houses and its been like 2 days (which may not sound long, but I want to move on this, pun intended, and I know other realtors are quicker with turnaround time).  My current one also said he has to "stay neutral" *rolls eyes* because he represents houses in Gary and other bad areas, so he can't tell me what's a bad vs. good area cause that wouldn't be fair to the houses he represents if he was like "don't buy this one."  I get the concept.... but not cool.  Apparently making sure the buyer is satisfied is not a priority.  Screw this, I'm going with one that I know can and will tell me about bad vs. good areas, and that gets back to me sooner than this. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

"Other things"

Some  "other things" from recently that I want to comment on. 

People always tell me, if I don't want the animals to be used for breeding, I should put right on the ads, "not for breeding."  But I don't, and there actually is a reason why  (and it's not my dislike of typing one extra sentence).  Say someones looking for a white chinchilla to breed.  They see one and it says "not for breeding, pet only."  They may figure, "hey, I'll make sure I tell her, we don't have another chinchilla, only this one, and if she asks, we're not going to breed."  You may think I'm kidding, but I've probably met more dishonest people through the rescue than I've met anywhere else.  So, I don't have it in the ad.  But there's the question in the adoption form -- "do you plan to breed?"  If they have no reason to lie, they put down yes or no.  The other day, I got an email from people who wanted pictures of Prim, one of our white rescue chinchillas.  Wanted to know the price.  Didn't seem to care anything bout the chin except white and price, which immediately set off warning bells.  They filled out the adoption form, got it back to me, along with an email stating that they wanted to know right_away if they were approved.  Looked it over.. they want to breed... "once."  Uh-huh.  And their cage would never have been approved as it was like guinea pig cage sized, no shelves or anything, and I bet you any money that it was not baby-safe.  I nicely emailed back saying, "hey, this is a rescue, we do not adopt out rescues to breeding homes as we do not know genetic history or backgrounds, and we already have enough chins at the rescue we don't need anyone else just breeding for 'cute babies.'"  I didn't say exactly that, I worded it nicer, but got the jist through.   Told em that we have some pedigreed chins if they're wanting to breed, or they need to find another breeder if we don't have what they want.  I have almost no doubt I will not hear back.

And here's the thing -- say they were to email back and say, "ok, we decided not to breed."  Too late.  Once they've said it once, if they try to convince me that they're not going to, I tend to lean towards the "they're just saying that so I adopt them the chin."  I could be wrong, but I'd rather a chin stay here longer to find a home than one to a home that just wants to breed with no care for genetics or anything other than cute babies.  The same goes for money.  If you tell me you "can't afford" a cage more than $25, I'm not going to believe you two days later when you tell me that you can afford vet bills.  At least, it's unlikely.  I've let people through who have credit cards and say they will charge vet care... but typically, those people aren't trying to cut my prices in half.  If you come up and want me to lower the chin from $100 to $50 and the cage from $175 to $100 and give you a 50% discount on supplies, sorry, but nothing you say is going to make me think you can (or even would want to) afford vet bills.  I dunno if I posted about this, but I had someone awhile back tell me that a $40 guinea pig was too expensive.  But then was asking about a chin two days later.  If the pig is too expensive, they definitely cannot afford a chin.  But man did they try to convince me! 

Another thing -- if the animals are listed on the site as "Chevy and Ford" or "Louie and Mr. Jingles" -- the "and" signifies that they are a pair.  This means, you cannot adopt only one.  So, if you email asking for pictures of only one, I will send you pictures of both and inform you that they are a pair and must go together.  Just so you know.  If they can be adopted separately, they will have separate bullet points on the website.  Simple as that. 

Also... I have no idea if any of your chins will get along with another chin.  I can't tell you how many emails I get asking if someone's chin would like a buddy.  Not to sound rude, but... how would I know?  I have chins here that I can't predict if they'll get along with another chin without trying, all I can do is guess if I've never met yours.  Sure, I can tell you that we do introduce old chins to old chins, and it is possible... but I still can't tell you if your old chin will want a buddy.

Moving along... I'm starting to think some people I adopt to are idiots in disguise.  I am going to paste an email below, and if it's yours, I'm not sorry I'm posting this, because you should know better.  Here's the email:

It's [person] again.  I was looking at your website and saw you have a 18 week old  feamale chinchilla for sale. I have a couple of question for you.  I have a 10 month old chin at home and he is a male if I cage him with the 18 week chin female will she get pregnant? I was just wondering do you think my 10 month old chinchilla will like a cage mate?  What do you think if we can do a test run and see if they get along or not?  Would we get more pellets, bag of hay and another toy if we buy the 18 week of chin?


My response:

If you cage this female with your male, she will almost definitely get pregnant, and at her age, that typically results in death.  I got in a chinchilla her age that was pregnant a few years back, she was about the size of this one -- way too small to even consider breeding -- she had the babies, they ripped their way out of her, causing internal bleeding.  We took her in for an emergency spay to try to stop the bleeding and save her.  She lived through the surgery, but died overnight, and all the babies died as well.  To the tune of about $800 trying to save her.  Long story short -- horrible horrible idea to put a female this young with a male.  They're intelligent, but at the end of the day, they are animals and don't understand they should wait to breed until they're older.

As for whether he wants a buddy -- that depends on him.  Some chins like company, some don't, but you don't know until you try.  If you just want a buddy vs. a chin to breed, you'd want to get a male though.  I have chins coming out my ears lately because of people keeping males and females together and letting them breed one after another, when typically, those chins would get along just fine with a same sex buddy.  Now, if you did want to breed, you could get this female, but you would want to keep her separate (and I mean completely separate -- no playtimes, no contact) from your male until she's about a year old.  We typically wait until at least a year to put females into breeding because they need to be large enough and mature enough to actually be able to handle having babies safely.

I'm sorry, but we are definitely not doing a test run to see if your male gets along with this female.  As noted above, it would be detrimental (potentially deadly) to the health of the female to be put with a male anytime in the near future, and I won't risk her health and her potentially getting pregnant at an age where she would definitely have difficulty having babies as she is still a baby herself. 

If you were to get her, she would come with 2 pounds of pellets, a kit goodie bag, and a hanging chew toy.  That's what all our babies come with.  If you got a bag of hay with your previous chin, you must have purchased it separately, cause we've never included hay with our chins.

I don't think I need to further explain that one.
Moving right along...  if I email you and tell you I will be out of town until a certain date.. emailing the day before that certain date, telling me you really need the stuff, can I hurry it up... will not get me emailing you a shipping quote (or whatever it is you want) any quicker, ESPECIALLY if I actually DO need to be home to do it.  I can't quote you shipping for 20 items from an expo, sorry.  For one hidey house?  Maybe.  Lots of different items that are going to require a large box and probably weigh in excess of 15 pounds?  I'm not even going to try to guess.  And I'm not driving home early to do so.  Sorry.  Patience, people.
Further... price does not change just because you email me.  Occasionally, I goof on price.  One ad will say $100, another says $75 (for the same chin, just on different websites/listings).  I admit, it's happened before.  If you saw the $75 ad, fine, it's $75.  No big deal.  And those emails I understand, because people see two prices and don't know which is correct.  Let's just say, though, you email me and say, "hey what's the price of chinchilla x?"  Assuming this chinchilla has ads up (which it almost always does), I will take the time to go look at each and every ad to see if there is a price discrepancy.  Once in a blue moon, there is.... 99.9% of the time, there is not.  Which makes me think that you saw the price at $100 and think that emailing me will get me to be like "oooh interest!!!" and drop the price.  Not how it works.  You saw that chin listed as $100 everywhere... guess how much she is?  Yup, $100.

And let me just add that if your only concern is price... that's not a good way to start off.  I understand the concept of wanting a good deal, and I'm sure some of you have been around when I've bought 10 beds for the prairie dogs at once cause they were a good deal.  But if you somehow get me thinking that you care too much about the price, that's not a good thing.  Especially since our prices aren't high to start with.
I think that's about it for the other things at the moment.  Will post about the expo (which I didn't see anyone I knew at -- doesn't anyone want to come out and support us??) later sometime.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Volunteer-filled productive day

Ok, so today I knew I had volunteers coming, and prepped for that.  Which meant yesterday was a mad-house trying to get things semi-organized so today wouldn't just be re-arranging stuff.  So, that was yesterday.  I have an awful lot of cages that need to be cleaned and shelved, and they were everywhere.  So those were all moved over by the order table and now.... there is no getting through that way.  Moved all the clean cages over to where the clean cages go.  Assembled that new cage that had been donated way back when.  Turns out it was an absolute pain.  And also was the same cage that I sold awhile ago as a degu cage.  So.... its assembled, but it needs to be O-ringed for extra stability.  That's for another day.  Had all the shelves for a donated cage washed, sanded, all that good stuff.... but when you wash them down with the hydrogen peroxide, sometimes, no matter how well you rinse, when they dry, the hydrogen peroxide separates intro hydrogen and oxygen and somehow that can cause a white powder to form.  So, sanded those down to get the white off, and moved those over to the cage staging area.  Also cut out pieces for 5 porthole hidey houses.  Didn't get to drill the holes, but at least got teh

Moving on to today.  I had Emily and Sarah helping out first.  They stayed for about 3 hours, 15 minutes.  We started out with  n one of them working on the guinea pig cages, cleaning them, while the other mixed up our dry kit supplement for the baby chins.  Got all of the guinea pig cages cleaned, and two jars of the kit supplement made.  I cleaned the rat cages and moved the two females into our rat stack (out of their cage) temporarily, due to current lack of space.  Pulled the table with the QC cages away from the wall and vacuumed everything around and behind it. Got everything under the table pulled out, wiped, and replaced.  Got all the tables scrubbed (not sure what they stain from, but they stain so quick!).  Got hay for everyone.  Dust baths for all the chins.  Some toy parts sanded.  All the water bottles filled.  Rat cage hoppers filled with lab blocks.  All rats handed their yogies and got their scoops of treats for the day.  Rabbit cage cleaned.  Veggies and carrots and leafy greens given to the veggie-eating critters. 

Also, had an epiphany moment -- my one chin, Molly, has been a pain (to put it oh-so-mildly) to keep a collar on, so she's spent more time with her run closed than open.  So, while going through the box of sell/keep (recently washed stuff), I came across my 3 prong collars and when I went to put them away, came across my bags of O-rings.  Hmmm.  So, one of the girls held Molly while I O-ringed her collar closed around her neck.  Let's see her get outta this one.

Also, I've been needing to bring down a new box for the food bowls.  Due to the weight that's always in that box, its been falling apart for quite some time, and since we were cleaning where that box was, I went and got a new box and had help moving the food bowls into the new box.  Sounds boring, but this was one of those needed to be done things that kept getting pushed off because it wasn't like a necessity necessity. 

Had the bins of donated dust combined to make less bins.  Cleaned the treat holders for the pigs and rats and doled out some treats. 

Then it was time for them to leave, and, wonderful timing, my best friend since like middle school, Lisa, arrived to volunteer.  Now, Lisa remembers me before the rescue and she could vouch that I had no life then either.  My "no life" now is just so much busier than it used to be.  So, while I got some of the holes cut out in some houses, she sanded some toy parts.  Once I had two cut, we sat down to sand those down and make the houses.  Made two porthole houses.  Moved onto putting the donated cage together and putting shelves in.  Drill ran out of juice mid-shelving, so put that on the charger.  Love that the new drill has a 30 minute charge, the old one was 4 hours!!  So while that charged, went back to sanding things. 

Also, another one of those things that has sat around on the to-do list forever was to get the barn back in the prairie dog cage.  That was one of those things where there really had to have two people to do it.  First cleaned and vacuumed the cage.  Pulled it away from the wall and got the vacuum behind it.  Then, removed the wheel.  See, the wheel was in the way of getting the barn in the door.  So, Lisa scrubbed down the wheel while I got the barn stuffed in the cage, then we got the wheel back in and everything back together. 

By the time we had that done, the drill was charged again, and we finished putting the shelves in the cage and the cage on its stand.  Then, totally by accident of course, we realized Nylah is uh... male.  Apparently I took the word of the adoptive home that the rabbit was female (cause I can sex rabbits just fine), but when Lisa picked Nylah up, noticed Nylah was stained, I went to get baby wipes to wipe her down.... and noticed testicles.  Oops.  Now we have a male rabbit up for adoption lol.  Got his nails clipped so just need to write up ads for the critters.

And tomorrow's another day of volunteering.  Plus, a two guinea pig pickup and a chin dropoff.  Fun times.