August 30, 2009

Winter has gone!!! Spring has arrived in Christchurch, finally!

To quote Joni Mitchell, "you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone". I have felt this recurring as a theme lately in a few different ways, which I will come back to later.... but I didn't realise how much the absence of something has affected me for the last few weeks. Somehow, It has felt like being trapped....

Saffy's "take me with you Mum" look.....

It is only this week, as it has returned, that I can measure the impact to my life - I have felt better, more energetic, and I have to say, hopeful. Yes, winter has let go for a while and spring has arrived.... early, but so welcome. I am sure it takes advancing age to truly appreciate spring; the awareness you only get to see it a finite number of times and to get out and breathe it in, wondering at the beauty! To me the harbingers of spring in Christchurch are the smells; I can start to fill the house with Jasmine and Daphne and Jonquils.



When I wake up, the window onto our driveway is filled with magnolia and pink blossom.


There are birds singing and the mornings feel light, easy to wake up to. As I leave for work, there are daffodils lining the driveway, and I get to return home from work in daylight...we turn off the heating and leave the doors and windows open. Yesterday, a friend and I sat under the sun umbrella outside, where she gave me a professional manicure ( total bliss folks as my nails are not my best feature) and I got my first real taste of the power of the sun. Soon the scent of sun screen will become a normal part of life again, as it should have been yesterday judging by the red tinge to my neck.


Meanwhile, we still have a lot happening in our lives. With my parents and three children still here in Christchurch, we get to see them all regularly. In fact, hoping to catch up with my parents today - on the 1st September it is their 58th wedding anniversary... Certainly deserves some celebration these days !

The Bangladesh crew have returned to Dhaka, although their blog entries have been sparse... they have three more months to go before becoming tourists and visiting London, New York (where they have booked their tour of the Statue of Liberty... never realised you had to book so far ahead! )... and somewhere in the travels, they will stay with my brother in Vancouver for Xmas. I think they will have learned a lot this year, not just Bengali. Sounds like friends, family and home comforts will be appreciated when they return :)
Check out their blog Life in Bangladesh



Other news.. well, Phoebe is walking!!! Check her out on video pushing the little push chair we bought for her when they stayed with us recently! Awwwww....


We are booked to fly up to Auckland for a week long visit, 3 weeks and 4 days from today. Will be so nice to catch up with them all. They have been busy with school, kindy, gym and visits from their extended family...and adapting to their new lives. You can follow their journey at Treacy Travels. Here are a few pix from their blog.

View of Auckland from Devenport


It is such a pain that I do not have Skype on my laptop... well, to be accurate, I can add Skype, just need some way of getting a camera and mike set up! We need to make a greater effort to work out when they will be on as we do have an Imac we can use... just have to push my youngest son off it for a while.

Finally, last night, I cooked Mushroom and Vegetable Rice Pilau, a simple dish I like to make occasionally. I always fill it with garlic... what fills me with nostalgia is that it was a dish my Polish mother in law made for us all the time. The garlic fumes would greet me when I stepped out of the car, and she would freeze me pottles to take home for the children. It was just one of many of her delicious repertoire.. but I stood quietly and thought of her and my father in law as I made it. We lost them both within a year of each other. You truly don't know what you've got 'til it's gone.
I am sure my ex husband would have said "it's not as good as Mum used to make".. and you know he would have been absolutely right.


Well, thats enough from me - hope you are all well out there.
fi

August 29, 2009

A Mouthful of Flesh

One of my friends is a long term vegan. She found this web site, which raises some good questions about eating meat, triggered off by the decision of a recent immigrant to New Zealand barbecuing his pet dog.

The bit that caught my eye was the last paragraph -

It is wrong when animals are crowded into factories, treated like machines and killed using extremely brutal methods. It is wrong when animals are free to roam, treated kindly, and killed using relatively painless methods. It would be wrong if I treated my family pet like royalty and killed him swiftly and painlessly while he was sleeping, to cook his flesh and serve it for a Sunday meal with my family.

Killing is wrong. Exploitation is wrong. It is time that we stopped trying to justify actions that are morally reprehensible, for the sake of 'a mouthful of flesh'.

Good web site - worth a look ;)

Posted via web from Fiona's posterous

August 28, 2009

Driving and texting... This can happen to us.

This graphic video is definitely worth a look... as the law banning of cellphone use approaches in New Zealand, it will remind us of the reason why it is necessary!

Posted via web from Fiona's posterous

Inbreeding makes pedigree cats diseased and deformed, animal welfare groups warn | Mail Online

There has been a lot of discussion on how dogs have been bred to meet some idea of beauty, at the expense of their health. Well, it happens in cats too, with no excuse for the need to help them "perform" better. It i all about beauty.

Cats bred with certain physical characteristics, such as flat faces and small legs, are at increased risk of getting cancer, kidney disease or joint problems.

The RSPCA, PDSA and Feline Advisory Bureau (FAB) are now highlighting the issue to try to put pressure on cat breeders to eliminate the deformities which cause suffering.

The body responsible for registering pedigree cats is so concerned about the problem it has decided to look afresh at its rules which govern breeding.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1162118/Inbreeding-makes-pedigree-cats-diseased-deformed-animal-welfare-groups-warn.html#ixzz0PQNCYBSf

If you haven't already read it - my previous post was about a cat with wings!

Have you got a cat that you think has problems because of its breeding? Can you give me some examples :)

Posted via web from Fiona's posterous

Don't get in a flap, it's just a cat with furry wings | Mail Online

Cats as angels?
A very interesting cat -
Animal experts have been left baffled by the fluffy white moggy, who was born normal - but began growing wing-shaped appendages on either side of his spine when he was just a year old...

Some experts believe the bony 'wings' are in fact a freak mutation - a Siamese twin growing inside the kitty.

Others think the mutation may be genetic, caused by chemicals during his mother's pregnancy.

Perhaps we should watch out out for winged cats in future?

Talking of cats and inbreeding - check out the next blog....

Posted via web from Fiona's posterous

August 27, 2009

Graham, Colin make up for stolen time | Stuff.co.nz

I would have been so upset if my Black Lab, "Jenny", had been stolen - she was a huge part of my life and meant the world to me.

Colin the stolen labrador is back with his Christchurch family after finding his way home.

Thieves stole Gary Graham's car, with Colin in the back seat, from outside a Sydenham salvage yard on Tuesday afternoon.

Graham searched the streets for the seven-year-old black labrador until late and stayed up all night worrying about his constant companion.

As you all know, we occasionally lose our dogs... at the beach, or as happened yesterday morning, when the gate doesn't click into place. I realised I had not been mown down by the blonde bombshell as I measured out her breakfast...Saffy had escaped and decided to run around the workmen, the lake and explore the houses around the corner. We found her safely, none the worse for wear, but it could so easily have been a different story!
So, glad Colin is home safe, and had the brain to find and visit a house that knew him in the area - clever dog!

Posted via web from Fiona's posterous

August 25, 2009

When a pet chooses you | Stuff.co.nz


I love this article... how often have you been chosen by your pet?
Both my dogs gave me "that look" - and melted my heart. They were both unwanted.. one was a "pound-puppy", and the other, homed, but surplus to requirements.
Perhaps what attracted me to this particular article was that I own a cat very like him. "Motley" came into our lives after his owner died 12 years ago. We knew he needed a home and went to visit. He immediately came to meet us, rolled over at our feet and won our hearts. His calm and regal presence, his love of people and habit of treating the neighbours house as his own are the little traits we are going to miss. He is now about 15 and, sadly, time is catching up with him.
Tell me, which of your pets chose you?
See more of Motley at http://fourpawsandwhiskers.blogspot.com/2008/11/motley-cruise.html

August 23, 2009

Rat appreciation - Happy Birthday Ratties

Rats make great pets... they are clean, friendly, intelligent, inquisitive, and they don't smell. Perhaps, sadly, one of the main reasons I hear regularly for them being a good choice; they only live for about three years. Not such good news for the owner, but it suits a lot of parents who do not want to be saddled with their chiildren's cast off pets for life.

But, I know what you are a thinking they are vermin, they are lab animals, and " it's a shame about the tails"! Well, read further....

I have owned guinea pigs regularly; they are delightful, vocal and responsive pets...and they don't kick and scratch, which, to me, put them ahead of rabbits as a choice when it came to selecting my children's pets. Believe me, rats didn't even get a look in for beng chosen in those days, hence depriving them of what would have been wonderful pets. Sorry kids. Along with all their cats and dogs, we also owned and bred lots of mice. My mother will be shuddering at the memories of my breeding mice while still at school as they kept escaping and appearing in the kitchen cupboards... white, tan and obviously mine, not wild ones.. On reflection, I can say that although fun, the mice can smell musty, particularly the males, and when handled, cover your clothes in "eau de mouse" pee...as ours did, until the cats broke into the cage of our last batch and ate them :(... that will teach me for upgrading to a super duper, fab space age mouse hotel....the tunnels fell off and the cats just ate them when they came out. In fact, they probably dislodged the tunnels deliberately.

Rats... no never. Rats... that tail... eeeeeeew - well - that was how I felt for many years... until I started working with them. I initially avoided the rat cages, but one day, the students acquired a particularly fine, pure white one and named her after me. Hmm.. I remember feeling a bit strange about it at the time. I started to look at her admiringly (studiously avoiding the tail) when I went past; until finally managing a careful stroke... eventually getting to the point where I would open the cage and give her a cuddle when no one was looking.... Sweet Fi. Since then I have had a few rats named after me... "Ratafia" perhaps my favourite variation...all of course beautiful and intelligent specimens! The tails don't worry me at all!

These days we can't breed them fast enough for the market demand from people who love our well handled and healthy rat babies...

Zeta


Emily - showing off her lovely markings, and a TAIL:



Babies!!!


So, a here is a celebration from one of my past vet nursing students', Chantal, member of the local Rat Club, posted to celebrate the rat's first birthday.

There was cake for everyone:

and a feast of spaghetti and peas
with a juicy chop
Looks like an idyllic day for the rats...
Happy Birthday ratties..
Bye :)

August 22, 2009

Music to brighten your day

Music plays an important part in our lives. One piece that always makes me feel better is by Coldplay - Viva La Vida


also worth reading...
Coldplay - Viva La Vida lyrics | LyricsMode.com


and I have always loved their "Clocks" too


What made me play it a few times today, was when Dooce blogged about it today - http://www.dooce.com/2009/08/21/roman-cavalry-choirs-are-singing and there is a video of her daughter dancing to this song.... with her Dad. I was just reminded of moments like that with my own children, and how many old songs that I hear played today conjure images of them doing things like that...

Hazy with nostalgia, I started to scan all the comments...and found people had linked some sites where there were other variations of it... and some of them are great.

Kids singing it to acoustic guitar - so wonderful to see them really enjoying the words and meaning as well as the tune!!



Another one that I was impressed with was where someone has combined his daughter's favourite piece, Love Story by Taylor Swift, and put it to cello and piano. Slower, but beautiful and haunting, as well as clever.

Love Story Meets Viva la Vida

I like it when people can combine music like that ... or play it differently.
For some years i have followed Norwegian Recycling. I love the way he mixes these tracks...




Finally, thinking of something completely different, have you discovered the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain? I had some misgivings about listening to it when my friend first showed them to me, but they are clever and entertaining - worth checking out.

"The Good the Bad and the Ugly" - watch for the vocals added at the end!



"You don't bring me flowers"... very clever arrangement!!!


They even do Nirvana - Smells like Teen Spirit!

You may have read an earlier post I did this year on this theme... but go and hear the classical yodelling and Wee Andy Lloyd Weber done as a Scottish theme.


http://fourpawsandwhiskers.blogspot.com/2009/06/music-to-make-you-laugh-or-smile.html


Good listening everyone ;)

August 19, 2009

Waging a War on Dog Poop


Pet dogs have one major issue when it is time to take them out of their house and garden... and let's face it, we all carry, or should, our little poo bags. You haven't lived until you have experienced the warmth of a fresh dog poo through thin plastic... and the desperate look around for the nearest bin. We make our own dogs carry the clean bags in the little dispenser on the lead, but they often finish their walks with the full bag tied to their collars.

We do need to pick it all up... mainly because it is a public health hazard, particularly for Toxocara roundworms and bacteria... I was talking about it recently with a meeting of vets and vet nurses, and we were concerned how much plastic is being used to remove the droppings! We all felt that there are times where making sure it is removed from the public walking area into a grassy bank might be better for the environment!

Anyway - now you have some choices. Introducing Poo Trap

 Yes - the ultimate fashion accessory for dogs out walking. I can quite see my Goldie, Saffy, adorned in one of these as this is a pose we are very familiar with. .it has a harness ( in many sizes)  and a u shaped, fit all dogs ( despite varying tail lengths etc), magnetic bag holding attachment:


Apparently, the magnetic part of the harness lets you hang it on your door when you have finished... I saw it on one of the overseas youtube videos... The only magnetic door in my house is the fridge, and to quote the famous Tui Beer ad - Yeah Right!!!


To be fair, New Zealand tries hard.
I helped to endorse this I love my Dog poop scoop product some years ago because it was environmentally friendly and the local council was making them available  to people on our local beach areas! 


and recently, (the reason why the vets and vet nurses were talking about this delicate subject):

$300 fines for dirty dog owners
Owners caught walking their pooch in Wellington without a way to dispose of doggy poo will face a $300 fine.

The recommendations will be considered by the council's strategy and policy committee today.
The council's associate social portfolio leader, Iona Pannett, said Porirua and Manukau had passed bylaws to make owners carry poo receptacles which had successfully cut the amount of muck left behind.
"We are putting the onus on to owners to clean up after their dogs."

 Policing this is of course an interesting problem. So, overseas, they are getting even more serious.

City uses DNA to fight dog poop 

 An Israeli city is using DNA analysis of dog droppings to reward and punish pet owners.


Under a six-month trial programme launched this week, the city of Petah Tikva, a suburb of Tel Aviv, is asking dog owners to take their animal to a municipal veterinarian, who then swabs its mouth and collects DNA.
The city will use the DNA database it is building to match faeces to a registered dog and identify its owner.
Owners who scoop up their dogs' droppings and place them in specially marked bins on Petah Tikva's streets will be eligible for rewards of pet food coupons and dog toys.
But droppings found underfoot in the street and matched through the DNA database to a registered pet could earn its owner a municipal fine.

I do like this one that has been developed by a vet:.Sanitation Safety Stick.

a poop scoop that serves as a walking stick and a flashlight for night walks. It can be used for dog walking, camping or cleaning up the yard. It measures 24” by 4”, weighs less that two pounds and he says it is easy to clean (good to know).

 
 

You can also see it on youtube

Whatever you use - JUST DO IT
Happy poop scooping everyone :)

August 18, 2009

Eating your dog! Would you? Could you?

Cultural differences - we know they exist. What is acceptable practice in one country can cause a ripple of horror through another country.

So when news broke this week that barbecuing of dogs was not only happening in Auckland, but was considered prevalent by the SPCA, the topic became instant national news.

SPCA inspectors have removed the partially-charred body of a pet dog being cooked in a backyard barbecue.

But they cannot prosecute anyone over its death because it had been killed "humanely".

Frustrated SPCA Auckland chief executive Garth Halliday revealed it isn't illegal to kill and then eat a dog in New Zealand if the animal is slaughtered in a swift and painless manner.

Halliday said shocked inspectors had evidence that backyard dog barbecues were becoming more common.

 

I know this happens overseas. We have all read about it. It was interesting that there has been some response about it from a spokesperson from Korea... a country that has practiced this.

A Korean community spokesman wants the consumption of dog meat banned in New Zealand - despite his country's tradition of eating dog.

"Dog eating may be part of our history, but most Koreans today would consider eating dogs totally barbaric - and our culture actually forbids us making a meal of animals that are considered companions".

 

I think the idea of eating animals we have raised to be companions is possibly why there is such a reaction. I know I can't eat pet lambs or calves either... even if many people can.

I will leave you with the words of Nick Barnett from Four Legs Good, becuase he has perfectly captured for me why it makes my stomach turn.

Cats and dogs are species that we largely created, for our own purposes. Sometimes to do work for us, but nowadays mostly for companionship. They're the animals we let closest to us, and the ones we form the most tender relationships with. We've bred them for thousands of years so it's easier to love them, and so they'll fit our lives better. We've taken away a lot of their wildness, made them biddable, safer, soft, smart, attractive, sociable. They share our homes.

They're there to please us, and to be lovable, because we want to love them.

To me, this creates an obligation for us humans to treat companion species differently from livestock or "wild" animals. To create species to love us and then to use them for eating seems a hard-hearted betrayal, and encourages a cynicism about the rights of animals.

All those values are buried in my culture, and my culture imparted them to me.

This is why, for me, eating a dog is unthinkable.

Do go and read his post -

 

Posted via email from Fiona's posterous

August 15, 2009

Things that my students have taught me.

Not all vets make good teachers. Being a vet, or a vet nurse, even for many years, does not mean you will instinctively have the craft of teaching at your disposal. But some of them do make good teachers; in my humble opinion, an essential part of it is a willingness to admit that you need to practice this new skill!

In our line of work, an interest in people also helps you to develop a feeling for what might help people learning, to be always open to new ideas, or maybe it just helps us to offer an encouraging word, a shoulder when they need help coping with the upheaval that education seems to bring to their lives.

Making a decision to carry on with study when they leave school sets tertiary students apart from a large chunk of the population and working with them is generally a lot of fun, certainly never dull. Choosing to study when you are mature and busy with lives and relationships and children takes even more commitment, but these students bring life skills and wisdom to their classes. I remain in awe of what some of them take on, what they achieve and I have followed their progress throughout the world, into new ventures and careers, and have to remind myself that the capable vet nurses, company reps and practice managers they are today is often a far cry from the hesitant and fearful people that first walked thought the doors.

The aspect that has always pleased me is that they are people I grow to like. Not just "students" but men and women with histories and futures. I can say that the past eleven years of my new career as a teaching vet have shown me a lot of things that the first 20 years in practice and vet school didn't manage.

It is an area I have been thinking about this week, and one of the veterinary blogs I follow wrote about it tonight as they have recently started teaching.

So, a few of the things I have learned from working with my students:

1. All students will have strengths and weaknesses. Do them the courtesy of figuring out both before you dismiss them as disinterested or unenthusiastic. Walk a mile in their shoes...

2. Some students are just plain wonderful - always. However, don't forget that students who are quieter, but get the job done, arrive on time, are polite and pleasant and cause you no trouble are probably the ones that will stay as vet nurses and you will work with them for years, even if occasionally you have trouble remembering their time in class later! The wild party animals, or the ones that turn up to class dressed in their night club clothes from the night before, spit on their class mates, get in fights, expose butts and breasts and muffin tops to the world, are hungover in class, are late, rude, abusive, arrogant  - they either learn to cope or disappear into other lines of work!

3. That when a woman returns to study and improve her lot, there is often a partner who resents it. Remind the ones whose partners support them, care for the children, clean the house and allow them time to study, that they are to say thank you. For those whose partners or families sabotage them by abuse, waving shotguns, wrecking computers, having mental breakdowns... give them a lot of air time and help them work through it. Same for those who are affected by the death, sadly often through accident or suicide, of their friends and families. Be patient with the "cutters", the anorexics, those on antidepressants... not everyone can cope with life and pressure and low self esteem, It appears that animals don't hurt people the the way other humans do and that safety attracts them to this line of study.

4. That night clubs can be fun when you get to visit them as an old lady with a crowd of youngsters who include you... a heart felt thank you to you all - it made me a far more relaxed mother when my kids started going. Actually, it put them off because they didn't want to run into me there!

5. I learned early that you should NEVER ask a student a question in a polite, quiet coffee shop that you would not want answered in front of anyone you know. "So why exactly did you get your tongue pierced"?



6. When car pooling in my falcon station wagon, watch out for the" flashing" from the van of students in front... which I missed, but I did wonder why the man trying to overtake me nearly drove off the road! Poor bloke,,, she was a generously endowed young woman! Would have taken some explaining if he had crashed....

7. That when the tequila comes out, it is time to leave the party.

8. That it is probably not a good idea to play "I have never...:" with your class. Certainly not when alcohol is around. I did learn about vibrating cell phones though...  Might stick to bus trips... refer point 7.



 
and pole dancing?

9. That a student covered in a lot of pancake make up is probably hiding their blotched skin from heroin abuse... how did we miss that !!! Also that they support their habit with shop lifting, and working the local red light district. Once you are aware of the problem, you still can't get them "expelled" as it is all hearsay. The local paper and court reporter still runs an article about their extensive past as a con artist, complete with jail time for fraud, and heroin, in the north island...when they are sent to trial for the shoplifting. Still not enough.... but you are a little perturbed to read they are successfully completing a course with you and so don't get returned to jail, just to class, and the vet clinics!!!!Meanwhile, you and the 7 students in the station wagon keep an eye out for her at night in the red light district... crossing your fingers that none of the local vets drive that way too often and recognise her!
We did eventually get her removed... and for many years I kept one of her excellent assignments displayed on my office windowsill - read point 1 again.

10. That on reflection my work has been about as fulfilling as it can be and despite the admin stress and worry that has gone along with it all, I don't regret it for a moment. Hi to all the wonderful friends I have made along the journey.

Finally, working with students has changed my outlook on life and aging:


Remember, we don't get stop playing because we get old: we get old because we stop playing!

Good times...Class trip 2005.. younger, thinner and very happy - check out the nails... courtesy of one of the students!!!

August 10, 2009

Ethics and Use Of Animals In Research, Testing & Teaching

 
Each year we teach around 120 students about animal care and veterinary nursing.  This picture is taken in our main teaching classroom, of Steph, our past student and current vet nurse technician,  in charge of running classes and maintaining the welfare of all the animals in our care. Her lovely dog, Milly, is a regular attendee at our classes. I don't suppose most people think about it much, but ensuring the well being of the animals we care for during the training is an issue we have to be transparent about all the time.

The Animal Welfare Act of 1999 governs how we use animals for research, testing and teaching (RTT) in New Zealand. The passing of this law marked a major milestone in the development of New Zealand's animal welfare system and apparently includes some of the world's most progressive and comprehensive animal welfare law. It took effect from 1 January 2000.

The main reason for the Act is the obligation to care for animals. Although it outlines penalties for ill-treatment of animals, there is greater emphasis on prevention by clearly establishing the obligations of those responsible for the care of animals. The needs of animals take note of the internationally recognised five freedoms:
  • proper and sufficient food and water
  • adequate shelter
  • the opportunity to display normal patterns of behaviour
  • physical handling in a way which minimises the likelihood of unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress
  • protection from, and rapid diagnosis of, any significant injury or disease.
As well, there is an explicit reference to promoting efforts to reduce the number of animals used, refine techniques, and where possible replace animals with non-living alternatives. In teaching and research, this is known as “the 3 Rs”.
 It is an offence to use live animals in research, testing and teaching unless:

    • a person (including an organisation) has an approved code of ethical conduct (CEC) or works for a person who holds an approved CEC and
    • individual projects are approved by an Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) and carried out in accordance with any conditions imposed
  • The term “research, testing and teaching” covers any research, testing or teaching that involves the “manipulation” of any animal.
As a training provider, we consider any animals in our care as pets, and do no research or testing, but a manipulation can be as simple as asking students to bring their own pets to the classroom, particularly cats, as it involves a level of stress. We have strict guidelines to demonstrate how we will minimise their stress and avoid individual overhandling of any of the animals.

What we can do is to make use of replacement methods.

So we use stuffed toys to start their skills:

 
"Dog bandaging practice"

A fake breathing cat fits the bill for an expo on pet products :)
We use models for anatomy training - 
Plastic models that come to pieces like a 3d jigsaw... expensive but durable, 
 
 or moulded rubber 
 
 A real cat that is freeze dried ( yes, you can buy them...) 
I guess better to use one for hundreds of students than a real cat.
We can also use online demonstrations...
Sometimes we run carefully supervised teaching sessions with our own pets...Jess and Saffy loved these sessions, but I haven't used Saff since she was so ill.

 
Sometimes we have trouble telling which is the dog and which is the student :)


One are of concern has always been how often can you examine an animal, and obviously, it can vary with their temperament.... but we know that our students need to improve and learn their practical skills.

So we work out alternatives. The latest one we want to try is a technique for taking cat and dog rectal temperatures!Apparently, when placed in warm water, these "water wigglers" make perfect substitutes for the real thing!!!
  Water wigglers.....




Finally, I had to share this twitter from Stephen Fry today - doing his bit for ethics and animal rescue...click on it to see the original and read the fine print.


Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

August 9, 2009

Invite a friend to New Zealand - win free flights


It's official - they want us to be ambassadors and invite people to New Zealand... so sounds good to me. Come and see us here !!

Tourism New Zealand has launched a new advertising campaign, which sees New Zealanders volunteer to become brand ambassadors and invite their family and friends over for a holiday.
John Key, New Zealand Prime Minister, launched the campaign last week and has invited all New Zealanders to participate. Friends and relatives who are offered an invite even go in the running to win Air New Zealand tickets.
“New Zealanders are known as great travellers, and as a result so many of us have connections overseas,” said Mr Key launching the program.
“Whether it’s friends, family or people we’ve met during our travels, I want to encourage Kiwis to make contact with those people through the new campaign and invite them to visit New Zealand.”
or here

Free flights latest twist in tourism ad -
We can even invite you to win free tickets...and yes, I have started inviting!
http://www.newzealand.com/thegreatkiwiinvite/

You will love it..treat yourself... and as I can't find the TV ad they are running (yet), in the meantime, just watch these images, relax and enjoy the scenery!

Images of New Zealand from Michael Fletcher on Vimeo.


Want to see more videos?Check out

http://newzealand.tv/


or Lord of the Rings, or Narnia... or just look back through this blog. When I am not writing about animals, vet nurses or family, I am usually sharing the beauty of the local countryside.

Ciao... from your friendly Kiwi Ambassador.
Christchurch, New Zealand

August 6, 2009

Nude Kitties Dancing

You either like nude Sphynx cats.. or you don't; it is usually that simple.
But you got to admit they have rhythm...
Stick with this video - they synchronise after a minute!!!



How about sharing your bath with one?



These days, thanks to the wonders of modern technology... you can follow your pet with its very own web cam - or web tv!!
Greenwood residents Michael and Deirdre Cross have rigged their cat Cooper with a collar camera, documenting his life as he roams through the neighborhood with a series of photographs.


Check out Coopers flickr page for his cats eye pics - what do they get up to all day!!!




A friend sent me these pictures... so thought I would share them.

"Motherhood, love and friendship - animal style."

 
 
 

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