I’m very excited to share with you all a Very Special Guest Post by a veterinarian who knows much more about rabbits than I do: exotics veterinarian Dr. Baebler! Like many vets, I’ll grudgingly treat these little guys, but I know less about them than I wish I did. So without further ado, here’s some Easter advice from our buddy Dr B!
With Easter just around the corner, ‘tis the season for cute little bunnies, chicks, and ducklings to start appearing in pet stores and farm & feed stores across the country. Unfortunately, this also means many, many unwanted animals are dumped, set “free” or neglected every spring.
As a veterinarian specializing in exotic pets, I see a good number of “Easter bunnies” bought for the kids. I urge all parents out there to do your homework with the small mammals or “pocket pets,” just like you would when acquiring a dog or cat as a pet.
I know first-hand how this type of situation can end. When I was 8 or 9, my parents got us a bunny for Easter. We named him Cinnamon and loved on him relentlessly for about 2 weeks. I started developing allergies to him, and he was shuttled off to a room in the basement, where he spent most of his time, caged and alone, for the better part of 11 years. Knowing what I know now as a veterinarian, we were doing it ALL wrong.
Rabbits can make great pets for individuals and families equipped to properly house and care for them. People interested in owning a rabbit (or rabbits) should know several things: (more…)
I spend a lot of time eavesdropping on the conversations of the other parents in my kids’ classes. I try to participate when I have something pertinent to add, but the conversations are often about things I don’t have much to say about:
- PTA meetings
All three topics about which I quickly find myself in over my head. So I mostly listen, and nod at what seems like appropriate intervals.
This week, the topic was Spring Break. Some parents are working, and the kids will go to day camp. Others have trips planned like Legoland and Sea World, happy little family bonding experiences. I, on the other hand, am abandoning the family to their own devices to venture into the bloodthirsty clutches of one of the most wild areas of the world in order to do surgery in the company of fire ants and watch people selling barbecued tree maggots on a floating open air market. The other parents have shunned me.
I live in fear of getting eaten on the trip, not only because I don’t wish to be messily devoured, but because I worry about my kids needing to explain that for the rest of their lives: My mom took off on our spring break and got eaten by a crocodile….What? Legoland? I know, I don’t get it either. Despite the fact that 99% of my life is spent (willingly) in servitude to the family, that one percent I retain for myself keeps needling me with a persistent and irritating sense of guilt. (more…)
Several years ago, while I was wistfully speaking about all the places in the world I’d like to someday see, my husband looked at me over the top of his computer and said these words:
“I’m not doing an overseas flight with you unless you get some Xanax.”
I was terribly offended, of course. I mean, come on. Sure, I get a little tense when I’m worried about making a flight on time- who isn’t? But given the state of TSA lines these days, I think I’m justified. Overall I’m a pretty good traveller. I go with the flow. I don’t panic about stuff.
OK, even I couldn’t get through that without a guffaw. (more…)
Last week, the weather spit out a surprise 100 degree scorcher sandwiched between two gloomy overcast 60 degree-ers. It was on this blistering Thursday that I realized our air conditioner wasn’t working. So I waited the three days until the AC guy was available to come out, because of course everyone in the county came to the same broken AC realization on the same day, and let him poke around the unit while I sat in the living room with no idea what he was doing.
He came in 40 minutes later, after crawling into the attic, running some “diagnostics”, and writing a bunch of stuff down on a clipboard. “Well, for the most part it checks out OK,” Wes the repairman said.
“So why isn’t it working?” I asked.
“Well, I think your capacitor is worn down,” he said, launching into a 20 minute discussion about something that made zero sense to me because at that moment, all I heard was “flux capacitor” and I kept turning him into Christopher Lloyd in my head. Then I started picturing his van as a DeLorean and thinking about how cool that would be. As far as I was concerned, he could have told me I needed plutonium and a Mr. Fusion and I would have been helpless to protest. So I signed the estimate. What else could I do? It was hot out. (more…)
My children are a little bit jealous that I’m going on an adventure to the Amazon without them. Totally understandable. To mitigate this somewhat, I’ve recruited both sets of grandparents and set in motion Spoil-a-palooza, which I have a feeling will be far preferable to them than anything I could come up with. Grandparents sure do know how to show grandkids a good time.
Once I got that under control, they became very interested in hearing what I would be doing in Peru. “Working with animals,” I told them. Enchanted with my tales of the magical rodent that I would surely befriend, they asked what else I would be seeing down there, so I decided to craft an “Amazon Alphabet” primer.
Unfortunately, while I was working on it my husband turned on that horrifying Animal Planet show I’m Alive- you know, the one that features story after story of people messily half-devoured by bears and snatched from the meaty jaws of death mere moments before the skull crushing commences, so I wrote it while becoming increasingly paranoid about the many ways I might die on the trip. Needless to say, this turned out more Gorey than Goodall. No matter.
The Amazon Alphabet
I love April Fool’s Day. I’m terrible at pranks, though. I’m the person who can’t make it through the first two lines of a joke without dissolving into peals of laughter, ruining the timing and the whole thing. I’m the one hovering behind you as you’re about to sit on a whoopie cushion choking down chuckles loud enough to make it pathetically apparent something’s up. In short, I’m a terrible comedian.
After several years of decreasingly original attempts to fool my husband into thinking I’ve a) signed up for plastic surgery b) driven the car through the garage door or c) brought home a new pet, I’ve given up and instead focused on the much funnier attempts of other people. Even dog lovers have gotten in on the yukks: (more…)