October 23, 2014

"The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made"


Go and see this great safety clip at the link above -
As the next Hobbit movie is out soon - the new safety video for Air New Zealand will be used ahead of the movie's release. They have called it "The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made"

I'm heading up to Wellington next week myself so looking forward to seeing Gollum in the airport again. I hope they use it on the plane :)


As The Hobbit trilogy kicked off with An Unexpected Journey, the franchise partnered with Air New Zealand for a safety video in 2012. The airline then debuted a Smaug airplane last year for The Desolation of Smaug. As the trilogy comes to a close this year with The Battle of The Five Armies, director Peter Jackson and star Elijah Wood have teamed up for "The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made".
Clocking in at just over four and a half minutes, this safety video also features cameos from Dean O'Gorman (Fili), Sylvester McCoy (Radagast the Brown) and Weta Workshop co-founder Sir Richard Taylor.
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October 11, 2014

Happy Birthday Phoebe

A beautiful day with lovely people celebrating Phoebe's sixth birthday.... which just feels unbelievable as she really can't be six already!

Getting ready....


Cupcake decorating....
Special hugs with Mum

Nom nom nom
Love you Phoebe xx
 Just a perfect day :)

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October 10, 2014

Relaxation and Restoration, Nelson Style

Its been a brilliant two weeks off...  badly needed and greatly appreciated.

I stocked up the boys...

and headed off to see Libby and Davy in Nelson.

It was the first trip since Rowie left them.... so Ollie did a great job of filling some of the spot.

We filled the days with food, shopping and a lot of fun.

Kaiteriteri Beach

Giant Lamingtons from Motueka Bakery..... 
Between the shopping, we went up to the Motueka Sunday Market and the lamingtons from the bakery, on to Kaiteriteri Beach, and then home via Mapua where we lunched at the Jester House Cafe - a well deserved winner of the NZ Cafe of the year.  As it says on their website
Perfect on a winter's day with steaming a hot bowl of Tasman Bay seafood chowder enjoyed by the blazing open fire to warm you through.
and that is exactly what we did as there was a cool wind despite the sunny clear day.

Lovely old house at Jester House cafe

Feeding the eels at Jester House Cafe - with the help of the resident cat
The Aporo stream is the natural habitat of the New Zealand long finned eel (tuna). The tame eels come every day from September until May to be hand feed.  

We visited Royce Mcglashen Pottery  and had tea at the beautiful and historic Melrose House...

and did i mention the shopping? Luckily the extra 10 kg of weight was easily covered by the large suitcase I took, and the new silver, hard shell, multi wheeled cabin bag, affectionately known as "The Puppy" as it follows you everywhere.

Thinking of puppies, we went to the World of Wearable Arts gallery showing the 2013 entries - some amazing stuff.
I loved the costume made with masses of Qwerty Keys - and it had a little dog to match...

The other costumes were also amazing - 

Photos cant do them justice....

Home to a lovely sunny week and many birthdays to celebrate.  Phoebe is six tomorrow!!!  Party party party.... then family get together for James' birthday on Sunday. Poppy recently turned four too....

Loving the garden springing into life... the blossom is so thick in the driveway and the white wisteria is budding over the sleep out....

Taking time to savour the break and appreciate the good times - an essential part of the self care process. We all need to do it - the last two weeks have been a time of great sadness and loss for the veterinary world as another wonderful vet is taken by depression and suicide.  Dr Sophia Yin's death is a tragedy and a huge loss to the profession - her work on low stress handling has been a breath of fresh air across the world.
Her legacy will continue from her website http://drsophiayin.com/about

Tributes have poured in ....
Dr. Yin's passing has been a cataclysmic event in the animal-training and veterinary community and is sparking some important conversations about the prevalence of depression among those who care for animals (Jessica Dolce wrote a great post on "compassion fatigue"), and specifically among vets. Veterinarians are believed to be four times more likely to commit suicide than people in other professions. One recent study found that two thirds of vets surveyed had suffered from clinical depression; of that group, only a third had sought professional help. 
Some good advice for vets 

You deserve the same level of compassionate care that you give your clients. You do not need to be perfect or give until you are empty in order to earn your self-care. Give to yourself with as much enthusiasm and skill as you give to others.
You can do that by getting help. If you are suffering from compassion fatigue symptoms or you are struggling with anxiety, depression, or anything else: seek professional help. The cruel twist of depression is that its very nature makes reaching out for help difficult. So get help early.

I don’t know what was happening in Dr. Yin’s life, but I am so sorry that she was struggling and felt such despair. She meant so much, to so many. She was making a real difference in the world and she will be missed. My heart goes out to her friends and family. I hope they take some comfort in knowing that Dr. Yin was deeply respected, loved, and treasured by people and their pets around the world.
You made a difference Dr. Yin. Thank you.

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September 26, 2014

Ethics and education

Debbie doing her group presentation in 2007

Two of our classes got together yesterday to finish their Ethics and Animal Welfare projects with a presentation to other students.  They have been working in groups for the last month to research and discuss their chosen area with friends, family, and workplaces.  I am always incredibly impressed with the information they find and the quality of their projects, whether powerpoints, posters, role plays, or even sometimes movies.

The range of topics they explore still fascinates me too. For example, yesterday we learned about Circuses, Rodeos, Tail Docking, Halal Slaughter, Battery chickens, Puppy Mills, Dancing Bears, Dog Fighting, to name just some of them... they look at how they breach the Five Freedoms required when caring for animals in New Zealand.

As a responsible pet owner, you must provide your pet with the Five Freedoms: 
Freedom from hunger or thirst
Every animal must always have access to clean fresh water. You must provide proper and sufficient food for good health and weight.

Freedom from discomfort and inadequate shelter
Shelter must be weather proof, free from drafts, wind, rain and full sun. Dogs must be able to stand up and comfortably be able to turn around in their kennel. In the cold weather, pets need more care and attention. Whether you have a dog, cat, rabbit, in fact most types of animals, you must make sure it is warm and comfortable.

Freedom from disease and injury
Get prompt vet treatment if your animal is sick or injured. We recommend that your animal is kept up to date with their vaccinations, worming and flea treatments to help prevent them from getting sick. Also keeping their environment clean and free from any hazards can help to stop injuries and disease.

Freedom from distress and pain
Always handle animals in a way that won’t injure or cause unreasonable pain or distress to the animal.

Freedom to display normal behaviour
You are obligated to meet your animal's behavioural needs and provide an environment so they can display normal behaviour. Some good ways of doing this are adequate exercise, toys, scratching posts etc and an opportunity to play. Leaving a dog tied up for long periods is not acceptable.

These freedoms are requirements under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 and you may be prosecuted if you fail in your duty as a pet owner to provide them.
The students also consider whether there is a NZ Code of Recommendations governing their use in New Zealand - and in many cases, compare NZ to the situation in other countries.
For example, rodeos have been an area of controversy for many years....



and thanks to the Circus Code or Recommendations, animals in circuses are no longer seen in New Zealand.

We have one of the strongest Animal Welfare Acts in the world.  It does help to stop situations like the Dancing Bears of India.

Sadly, nothing will stop human cruelty.

The Link between Violence to Animals and People 
Historically, violence to animals has been viewed as an issue separate from other forms of violence. However, cruelty to animals, particularly companion animals, is now seen as a part of the landscape of family violence and a risk to human health, safety and welfare with strong links to child maltreatment, domestic violence and elder abuse. “Link” advocates believe that people are at risk when animals are abused, and that animals are at risk when people are abused. Since no forms of family violence should be tolerated, the disciplines involved should collaborate for a more effective, comprehensive approach to
reduce violence. 
A growing and compelling body of research is confirming these links and describing animal abuse as a predictor and indicator crime that often signals serious interpersonal aggression and familial dysfunction.  
People who abuse animals have been found to be significantly more likely to commit violent crimes, domestic violence and other antisocial behaviors. Caseworkers in any one field must be trained to observe for other manifestations of family violence and to report them to appropriate authorities. 
Animal cruelty perpetrated or witnessed by youths is no longer seen as a benign stage of growing up but rather as one of the earliest diagnostic indicators of conduct disorder. A history of animal abuse is one of the four most significant risk factors of someone becoming a domestic violence batterer, and batterers who also abuse animals are more violent and use more types of controlling behaviors against their intimate partners.          
This growing awareness is resulting in a variety of responses addressing The Link. These include: pet foster care and housing programs for domestic violence survivors; inclusion of animals in domestic violence protection-from-abuse court orders; legislation enabling or requiring veterinarians, child protection workers and animal shelter personnel to report suspected abuse; increased criminal penalties and psychological assessment and counselling for animal abuse offenders; training at-risk youth in nonviolent
conflict-resolution competencies through animal-assisted interventions; development of veterinary forensic sciences to facilitate animal cruelty prosecutions; and establishing community and national multidisciplinary coalitions based upon The Link between animal abuse and human violence.

So it was an interesting morning.... hard to watch at times, but the bit that made me cry was watching this movie...

You can read the back ground here: http://www.mamamia.com.au/social/battery-hens-set-free/

Choosing free range eggs and chicken..
Free farmed Pork?
What are you doing to reduce cruelty to animals?

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September 25, 2014

CPIT donates $10,000 to SPCA

I heard about this last week so really pleased to see it reported on today :)

The SPCA do a great job and I am pleased to see my workplace being able to help this way.


CPIT has given away $30,000 in funding to deserving community projects, including an initiative to reduce the dumping of unwanted dogs.

CPIT’s Time2Give Community funding programme was launched earlier in the year. CPIT received 17 applications for funding and over 160 CPIT staff voted for what organisations in our community they would like to see supported.

The biggest recipient of the funds was the Canterbury SPCA, who received $10,000 to educate dog owners about responsible dog ownership through community centre open days, leaflets and providing free micro-chipping and de-sexing.

SPCA Canterbury Chief Executive Officer Barry Helem says Christchurch has a raft of community dog issues including, strays on the streets, sick and injured dogs, dumping of unwanted dogs and abuse and neglect of dogs. "Without intervention and prevention these problems are growing exponentially. We hope this money will allow us to help people who want to do the right thing but don’t have the resources or support," he says.

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