My turkey friend

This weekend I drove 600 miles for two different rabbit rescue situations. The first stop was in eastern Illinois at a rural shelter that had taken in 14 abused and neglected rabbits: abandoned, feces piled feet high in the cages, many dead rabbits surrounding them. They had been at the shelter for months awaiting the outcome of the court case and now were able to be adopted.

I am used to working with shelters in cities that house the rabbits singly, indoors, and only otherwise have dogs and cats or sometimes a guinea pig. But this shelter kept the rabbits in a barn, where there were also horses, goats, turkeys, geese, and chickens. I immediately felt at home among the wandering farm animals (not sure why) and started assessing the rabbits to see if we could help any of them.

I soon became aware of someone standing on my feet. A huge male turkey (what am I saying… how do I know turkey gender?) kept stepping on my shoes, rubbing his chest on my shins and occasionally pecking at my shoes and pants a bit. He basically stood on my feet for a good thirty minutes! He was really neat. Meanwhile a goat (I think named Elvis) kept nibbling at my coat in the back.

The rabbits were in sorry shape. Most of the males (all housed together) had been fighting. One was so injured he looked like a little Frankenstein–one eye was either missing or completely abscessed over, and his sides were a mess of wounds. Another rabbit had a fresh bloody bite wound on his rear. The rabbits were licking at the others’ injuries and trying to jockey for food and position in the small hutch.

cchs2.jpg cchs1.jpg cchs3.jpg cchs4.jpg
The females were in better shape, presumably because they weren’t fighting as much. Still the Dutch looked like she might fall over, the Californian had an infected eye, and the minirex had a wound on her ear. Some of the male rabbits had white discharge from their noses, which meant even though many were friendly, I couldn’t take a chance rescuing them for our main adoption program.

I did take a beautiful Flemish Giant female. If a vet check determines she’s healthy enough, we hopefully will be able to help other rabbits from the shelter. Leaving the others behind in those conditions was really hard–I did well while I was there, but cried on the way home. None of them deserved to be stuck in a wire hutch with nothing to dig or chew, fighting, no treatment for their injuries or illnesses… the shelter was doing the best they could and in the end the rabbits were sheltered and fed, which is more than can be said for their life with the abuser. But this beautiful Flemmie is in my kitchen now, loving the indoor life with toys and heat and attention and a litterbox full of tasty, diggable hay, flopping in happiness and begging for pets. They all deserve that chance.


I’m glad I went. I gave the Flemmie a chance for a wonderful life, and arranged to have the little gray dwarf who was suffering euthanized. I’ll try to get the word out to other rescuers and maybe we can make a difference for a few more.

edit: we went back!

On Sunday I drove to the Chicago area to take in rabbits from a rescuer who has cancer and is facing an unknown future, certainly one in which she won’t be able to care for so many rabbits. Three of them came home with me to find forever homes and take a little burden off this woman.

Very emotionally draining weekend.

Go Colts, I guess

I just don’t care about football.  I usually know what’s going on since I look over the newspaper and I work with a bunch of Colts nuts, but I really don’t care about the Super Bowl.  Growing up in northern Indiana we partied for the Bears anyway (I used to know all the words to Superbowl Shuffle), but either team can win and I won’t be happy or sad.  Unless, of course, the Colts winning means we could generate more revenue which could cause me to stop paying for their $#!@* new stadium…

Anyway, my company is decorating in blue too.  That means blue lights on the buildings, a 20-foot tall inflatable Peyton Manning named Tiny, blue water in the fountain, themed cafeteria food, and crap for sale in the gift shops.  Meanwhile my department has a whole themed week of food and clothing leading up to the game.  I find it all rather bizarre.

tiny3.jpg    blue_fountain.jpg

Plumbing: before and after

David wanted my useless opinon on how to set up the plumbing for his new utility sink, so he emailed me a picture of the situation.  I didn’t have any advice (or at least he didn’t listen to any of it), but I did ask to have an after picture for comparison, since it was obviously important enough to capture in the first place!  You can see where the old cast iron sink had been by the dark outline on the wall.  Anyone have an opinion on the plumbing?

before: laundry_valves.jpg

after: dsc_0058.jpg

Generic quiz

Spell your name without vowels: m Dtchly

What color do you wear most?: brown

What’s for dinner tonite?: sloppy joes from TVP

Are you happy with your life right now?: Mostly

Tell me a secret about one of your siblings: Matt used to make audio tapes of his farts and belching (the tapes were named “Burps and Bubblesâ€? because we weren’t allowed to say fart)

Anyone ever said you resemble a celebrity?: Yes

Last thing you bought over 50 dollars?: Dishwasher

How’s the weather?: Cold

What chores do you have around the house: All of them!

Finish this sentence. I wish: I had a week off

One word to describe you: Practical

What should you be doing right now?: Auditing

Who did you hug today?: Casper

What are you listening to right now?: The sounds of cubicle life

Done anything you regret so far this week?: Nope, but it’s only Tuesday

Describe where you are right now: In a trailer

Say one of your friends and an inside joke with them: KNH, dirty baby butt

How many homes have you lived in? Seven (not counting dorms)

What food did you eat last night?: French fries and a chik’n sandwich

Do you dress for style or comfort?: COMFORT

Name someone with the same b-day as you: Dustin Kosar from middle school

What is your favorite Michael Jackson song?: Billie Jean or Thriller

If you could eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?: Pizza

What curse word do you use the most?: sonofab*tch

Do you own an iPod?: No

Have you ever bid for something on Ebay?: Yes

Where do you buy your groceries?: WalMart and Meijer

What was the last movie you watched?: Clerks 2

Do you prefer regular or chocolate milk?: Soymilk!  Either plain or chocolate

Has anyone told you a secret this week?: Yes

When was the last time someone hit you?: High school

Can you whistle?: Yes

Have you ever participated in a protest?: Yes

Who was the last person to call you?: Receptionist at dentist’s office

What is your favorite ride at an amusement park?: The swings or upside-down coasters (no big drops!)

What is something you must do everyday?: Feed rabbits

What is your job title?: Quality Assurance Representative for Quality Control

What do you miss most?: Hamburgers

Would you ever sky dive?: Doubt it

What movie do you know every line to?: The Princess Bride, Monty Python & the Holy Grail.  I used to know all of PeeWee’s Big Adventure!

What color is your bedroom painted?: An ugly lavender (I didn’t do it)

Can you skip rocks?: Yes

Do you sleep on your side, tummy, or back?: 70% side, 20% back, 10% tummy

If you were born the opposite sex, what would your name have been?

Has anyone ever called you spoiled?: No

Did you ever go to the same school as your parents?: Kind of

How many hours of sleep do you need to function?: Six

How much is gas where you live right now?: $1.85 per gallon gas, $2.30 per gallon diesel

What album did you buy last?: Yeah Yeah Yeahs Show Your Bones

How many pairs of shoes do you own?: 15ish

Are your days full and fast-paced?: Yes, too busy!

Did you ever get in trouble for talking in class?: Only when Johnnie Balmer kept asking to borrow a red pencil in fourth grade

Were you a “planned” child?: Yes, down to the time of year

Are you a good dancer?: HAHAHA

Are you a nice person?: Several ppl have said so!

Letter questions

From SilntBob:

Are you available?: No
What is your age?: 30
What annoys you?: Bad spelling and punctuation. And littering. And being an irresponsible pet owner.

Do you live in a big house?: Kinda

When is your birthday?: February 13
Who is your best friend? KNH

What’s your favorite candy?: Hershey milk chocolate

Who’s your crush?: nobody

When was the last time you cried? A few days ago when I was really tired and watching a dumb movie… on the Disney channel!
Do you daydream?: rarely
What’s your favorite kind of dog?: rescued ones
What day of the week is it?: Wednesday

How do you like your eggs?: Scrambled, but I don’t really eat them anymore
Have you ever been in the emergency room?: A long time ago

What’s the easiest thing ever to do? Take a nap

Have you ever flown in a plane?: Yes
Do you use fly swatters?: No
Have you ever used a foghorn? No. I barely use my car horn.

Do you chew gum?: No

Are you a giver or a taker?: Both
Do you like gummy candies?: Not so much

How are you?: Frustrated with work
What’s your height?: 5’8″
What colour is your hair?: Blondish

What’s your favourite ice cream?: Mint Chip or most sherbets
Have you ever ice skated?: No
Would you live in an igloo? Only for a couple of days

What’s your favourite jelly bean?: Most red ones, don’t really eat them now
Have you ever heard a really hilarious joke?: Yes
Do you wear jewelry?: Only the same earrings every day

Who do you want to kill?: Ppl who are mean to animals

Do you want kids?: I don’t think so

Where did you have kindergarten? South Bend, IN

Are you laid back?: Yes
Do you lie?: Sometimes
Have you ever been to London?: Yes, saw the queen

What’s your favourite movie?: I don’t have favorites. The Office and Best in Show are funny
Do you still watch Disney movies?: Not really

What type of music you listen to?: Pretty much just XM

Do you have a nickname?: Was NickelEddiePeapod in boarding school…

Favourite number?: Was 4 for a long time (none now)

Do you prefer night over day? Usually

What’s your one wish?: Peace for all creatures
Are you an only child?: No, one brother
Do you wish this was over?: Starting to

What one fear are you most paranoid about?: A guy waiting in the back seat to attack me
Do you love the colour pink?: yes
Are you a perfectionist? On a lot of things, yes

Are you quick to judge people? No
Do you wish you were a Queen?: No
Have you ever rode a quad? No, but I rowed a quad

Do you think you’re always right?: Sometimes
Do you watch reality TV: Rarely–but I like Living with Ed!
What’s a good reason to cry?: Pet dying

Do you prefer sun or rain?: Sun
Do you like snow?: Yes!!
What’s your favourite season? Autumn–break out the sweaters

What time is it?: 1720
What time did you wake up?: 0630

When was the last time you slept in a tent? Backpacking in June

Do you own an umbrella?: Several
Can you ride a unicycle?: No (nor the back half of a tandem!)
Have you ever said someone was ugly?: Yesterday!

What’s the worst veggie?: Haven’t tried everything, but I don’t like lima beans

Where do you want to go on vacation?: Anywhere OUS

Where was your last family vacation to? Myrtle Beach

What’s your worst habit?: Picking my nose
Where do you live?: Indianapolis, Indiana
Who’s your hero?: I don’t believe in ’em

Have you ever had an x-ray?: Yes
Have you seen the x-games?: on TV, and they suck like most sports on TV
Do you own a xylophone?: Heard one in a Jethro Tull song yesterday (no)

Do you like the colour yellow?: Yes

What year were you born in?: 1976
What’s one thing you yearn for?: To know what direction I should head

What’s your zodiac sign?: Aquarius
Do you believe in the zodiac?: HELL NO
What’s your favourite zoo animal?: Zoos are mean

“It’s like nothing ever changed!”

I was shocked today to learn about Neuticles.  I think I was shocked mostly that they existed and I didn’t know about them already.

Neuticles are doggie testicle implants.  You know, so your dog doesn’t feel emasculated.  Riiiight.

I do see the point of their existence if it means someone who wouldn’t otherwise neuter his pet (you can get them for other animals too, like cats and bulls) now has the neuter performed since he has the option to keep his pet looking intact.  What I don’t understand is why anyone would care!  Frankly, when I see the rare intact male dog at the park, I secretly want to slap the owner and take the dog to the low-cost clinic myself.

Perhaps it’s a cultural (not necessarily ethnic) thing and I need to be more understanding.  But I’m part of an animal welfare culture, and modifying a dog to represent what, to me, demonstrates irresponsible pet ownership just doesn’t make a lot of sense in my world.

I found this testimonial on the site:

featured_bruno.jpg I had my standard Dachshund, Bruno, neutered six months ago using Neuticles. I am very glad that I did so. Bruno has the same look as before and I am extremely pleased with the results… Some of my friends have commended me for being a caring owner who knew the importance of maintaining Bruno’s natural look. I gladly advertise to everyone.

I guess I can almost see a big guy with a rottie buying doggie implants, but a dachshund?  Meanwhile, I wonder how many Neuticles users believe in a “natural look” including cropping and docking.

And then the site quotes the media, first up being:

“The ASPCA implores pet owners to neuter–but what about the emasculated pet?  Now there’s Neuticles!”

The Daily Show

Sorry, I don’t think I’d call the Daily Show’s endorsement an, uh, endorsement.