December 27, 2010

My blackberry is not working..

Christchurch aftershocks movie. Boxing Day 2010

Safety first as cordons return to inner city |

Christchurch has been cordoned off in some areas since the first quake, but fresh barriers are up again after the latest aftershocks this weekend.
Some businesses have reported worse damage than the first time, with a few buildings being evacuated.
Our peaceful night didn't happen with two aftershocks; the first at midnight was strong enough to get us up.... Torch, check, radio, check, water, check.... Clothes!.... Amazing how you soon forget and how fast adrenaline reminds you.

Cordons returned to inner-city Christchurch yesterday as did uncertainty and fear.
The swarm of strong aftershocks yesterday sent people scurrying for safety and forced officials, just entering holiday mode, back to work and the biggest earthquake operation since the 7.1 magnitude quake on September 4.
While some inner-city spots were shut off, officials said public safety was paramount. Police manned the cordons overnight.
The cordons would stay while emergency services assessed more than 20 buildings believed to have been damaged. There was no formal evacuation but property owners and customers will not be allowed back until the assessments are done.
Twenty buildings were known to have been damaged and 10 Civil Defence teams would continue assessing them today.
Once Civil Defence staff were finished, individual building owners could work through the remediation process with their insurers. Building owners returning after the holidays who discovered damage should consult their own engineers and insurers.
Environment Canterbury (ECan) said yesterday's shakes were still part of the normal aftershock sequence from the September 4 earthquake. They were the largest swarm of aftershocks since mid-November.
"It is not unusual to get significant aftershocks several months after a large earthquake, and it is not unusual to have them in swarms or groups," an ECan spokesman said.
Because the aftershocks were centred closer to Christchurch, they were felt more strongly.

December 26, 2010

The science behind the shakes - national |

Shaken out of the complacency of the past weeks and here is the reason why!
Intersting, but not fun to be living in. At least it is warm; not snow and ice; small consolation.

Merry Xmas and shaky earth returns

I had a wonderful Xmas filled with traditional family times. Eggnog and mulled wine with mince pie supper before midnight service; morning Skype to family in Auckland, afternoon Skype with family in Canada (so pleased it was back online).  Hot beautiful weather. Huge Xmas feast and Secret Santa presents with the children at my parents', with petanque to work it off.

Charades to challenge us ...try The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Moulin Rouge, Horton Hears a Who! A tightly fought contest and many laughs... Won by 1 point by the girls...mainly due to a technical fault over issues with the timer.

Poppy's first Xmas.... Yes that is, she hadn't drunk it.

The sort of memories you treasure forever.

Sad for the children without their Dad to spend time with.  We thought of him when we hauled out the family albums and remembered when we were babies, young people, new parents...  

Mother nature seems to feel it is time to disturb us again. We had five shakes overnight and have just had another huge one... Felt like a 5. Forgotten the adrenaline rush! And then two more immediately after... The earth is not stable by any means today.

Hope you all had a great Xmas and a relaxing Boxing Day (or are you battling the sales?)

December 22, 2010

Updated safety regulations

> > _**
> _
> *While shepherds watched their flocks by night*
> > *All seated on the ground,*
> > *The Angel of the Lord came down,*
> > *And Glory shone around.*
> > > > **The Union of Shepherds has complained that it breaches Health & Safety**
> *Regulations to insist the shepherds watch their flocks without appropriate*
> *seating arrangements being provided.*
> > *Therefore, benches, stools and orthopaedic chairs must be available.*
> *Shepherds have also requested that, due to inclement weather they should*
> *watch their flocks via CCTV cameras behind centrally heated shepherd*
> *observation huts.*
> > *The Angel of the Lord is reminded that before shining his / her Glory all*
> *around, the shepherds must be issued with glasses capable of filtering out*
> *any harmful effects of UVA, UVB and Glory lighting.*
> > **
> _
> *Little donkey, little donkey on the dusty road,*
> > *Got to keep on plodding onwards, with your precious load.*
> > > > **The RSPCA has issued strict guidelines with regard to how heavy a load a**
> *donkey of small stature is permitted to carry. Also in the guidelines are*
> *permitted feeding breaks, and at least one rest break in a four-hour*
> *plodding period.*
> > *Due to the risk of pollution from the dusty road, Mary and Joseph are*
> *required to wear facemasks.*
> > *The 'Little Donkey' has expressed his discomfort as being labelled 'Little'*
> *and would prefer to being simply referred to as 'Mr Donkey'.*
> > *Comments upon his height or otherwise are considered to be a breach of his*
> *equine rights.*
> **
> > > *_WE THREE KINGS_*_
> _
> *We three Kings of Orient are,*
> > *Bearing gifts we traverse afar,*
> > *Field and fountain,*
> > *Moor and Mountain,*
> > *Following yonder star.*
> > > > **Whilst the gift of Gold is still considered acceptable - as it may be**
> *redeemed at a later date through such organisations such as 'Cash4Gold'*
> *etc., gifts of Frankincense and Myrrh are not appropriate due to the risk of*
> *oils and fragrances causing allergic reactions.*
> > *An acceptable alternative might be a gift voucher.*
> > *It is not recommended that traversing Kings should rely on star navigation,*
> *and would advise the use of AA RouteFinder or Sat Nav.*
> > *Both can provide the quickest route and advise on fuel consumption.*
> > *As in the case of Mr. Donkey, the three camels require regular rest and food*
> *breaks and facemasks for the three Kings are obligatory due to the*
> *likelihood of desert dust disturbed by the camel hooves.*
> > **
> _
> *Little Jesus sweetly sleep, do not stir,*
> > *We will lend a coat of fur,*
> > *We will rock you, rock you, rock you,*
> > *We will rock you, rock you, rock you,*
> > > > **Fur is no longer appropriate wear for small infants due to the risk of**
> *allergy and for ethical reasons.*
> > *Therefore, false fur, a cellular blanket or, perhaps, micro-fleece material*
> *should be considered alternatives.*
> > *Please note that, only persons who have been subject to a Criminal Records*
> *(Police) check and have a Blue card will be permitted to rock*
> *Baby Jesus.*
> > *Persons must carry their Blue Card at all times and be prepared to*
> *provide three forms of identification (100 points) before any rocking commences.*
> **
> > > *_JINGLE BELLS_*_
> _
> *Dashing through the snow on a one-horse open sleigh,*
> > *Over fields we go - laughing all the way.*
> > > > **A Risk Assessment must be submitted before an open sleigh is considered safe**
> *for members of the public to ride.*
> > *The Risk Assessment should also consider whether the use of only one horse*
> *is appropriate - particularly if passengers are of larger proportions.*
> > *Permission from landowners must be gained before entering any 'Open Fields'.*
> > > *To avoid offending those not participating in the venture, it is required*
> *that only 'moderate' laughter is used and not at a noise level likely to be*
> *of nuisance to others.*
> **
> _
> *Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, had a very shiny nose,*
> > *And if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows,*
> > *All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names,*
> > *They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games.*
> > > > **You are advised that, under the Equal Opportunities Policy, it is**
> *inappropriate for persons to make comment upon the ruddiness of Mr. R.*
> *Reindeer.*
> > *Name-calling contravenes our Anti-Bullying policy, and further to this, the*
> *exclusion of Mr. R. Reindeer from any reindeer games will be considered*
> *discriminatory and disciplinary action will be taken against anyone found*
> *guilty of this offence.*
> > *A full investigation will be implemented, leading to imposing sanctions such*
> *as a ban from hanging up stockings or enjoying Christmas dinner.*
> > **
> > > > *_AWAY IN A MANGER_*_
> _
> *Away in a manger - no crib for a bed.*
> > > > **_Refer to Social Services immediately!_*
> > ******
> **

Posted via email from Four Paws and Whiskers

December 21, 2010

Xmas Poppy. Chew chew chew

Canterbury Quake Live

Sometime ago I wondered if we would hit 5000 earthquakes by Xmas. Amazingly, we will hit 4000 by then. Only five more to go to hit that milestone.
Happy to be out by 1000!
The earth is warm and peaceful at the moment, and very grateful we are too.

Dog has 17 puppies, all survive |

Big litters are not always a blessing for dogs.. Hope they all find good homes.
We only have one puppy... Quite enough but totally adored.

December 20, 2010

Dog died trapped in hot car - national |

Please remember everything takes longer than you think it will. Children, dogs... Hot days.
Poor dog. It was soooo hot here on Saturday we could barely move, let alone sit in a hot car. Some owners have no brains.

A dead dog was found harnessed and muzzled in a locked car at a Christchurch shopping mall on Saturday.
The dog was left in the car on the hottest day Christchurch has seen this summer, with the temperature peaking at 33.4 degrees Celsius.
The pomeranian dog was left in the sun, harnessed to a seat belt and tightly muzzled, at the top level car park of The Palms shopping centre in Shirley.
A member of the public saw the dead dog in the car, frothing at the mouth, and alerted mall staff.
Geoff Sutton, Canterbury SPCA manager, said it was an avoidable and frustrating tragedy.
"The issue is bloody simple, do not ever leave a dog in the car when you go shopping," he said.
"Everytime it happens it is one too many. But the answer is simple, no ifs or buts, just don't do it."
The SPCA have the dog's body and are investigating the incident.

December 15, 2010

A Vet's Guide To Life: Evolving Anesthesia

This is an extract from an article by Chris Bern, an American vet...

Currently my practice is getting ready to change our anesthesia protocols.  We've spent time reviewing the literature, consulting with specialists, and deciding what is both safe and cost-effective to use.  I'm pretty excited about the changes, and really believe that it will allow us to have better and safer anesthesia, as well as better and safer pain control.

Most clients probably don't realize that the anesthesia can be extremely different from one veterinary practice to another.  There simply is no one, single consensus among veterinarians regarding which protocol should be used.  Some vets elect to do anesthesia as cheaply as possible to make it available to more people, recognizing that the cheapest drugs usually come with greater risks than others.  Some vets use the most modern equipment and drugs, realizing that their anesthesia will be more expensive than their colleagues, but willing to do so for the increased safety.  There are numerous variables to how anesthesia is performed, including drugs used (inhaled versus strictly injectable, and then several choices in each category), supportive care given (warming aids to reduce hypothermia, fluid support), monitoring (ranges from none at all to ECGs, blood pressure, and oxygen monitors), and analgesia (ranging from none at all to both pre- and post-operative pain medications).

I have seen many changes in my 13+ years of practice and 26 years in the field.  Many of those changes have been in the last 5 years as research expands and companies develop better drugs.  The way we as a profession look at anesthesia and pain control in 2010 is a far cry from how we looked at it in 1990.  And depending on how they have kept up with their continuing education, a veterinarian who has been practicing for 30 years is likely going to see the subject differently than someone who just graduated. 

What does this mean for a client?  Ask LOTS of questions about how your pet is being treated and monitored.  When you ask about surgery costs and ask "what does that include?", don't settle for an answer of "Oh, it covers everything."  Yes, I've heard veterinary practices state it that way.  Ask details of precisely what is included, which drugs are used, and how monitoring and supportive care is done.  If you're comparing veterinary clinics, please don't go simply on price, as there are inevitably shortcuts made or corners cut in the cheaper of two quotes. 

What does this mean for a veterinarian?  We all need to keep up with current research and options, striving to do the highest quality and safest care possible.  I can guarantee that how you were/are trained in school is not going to be the standard in a decade or two.  Change in medicine is continual, usually for the better, and it's our responsibility to keep up with the new knowledge.

In essence, anesthesia is willfully bringing a pet closer to the conditions of death than we do in any other circumstance.  It's important to make it safe and reversible with no long-term consequences.  There is no way to make this perfect in 100% of the cases, but we can continue to improve.  Embracing the change is a good way to do so.

Please read this if you own a pet. Chris has made some comments I totally agree with. You really do need to ask these questions of your clinic. I find it sad that so many of our vet nursing students, despite all our "best practice" teaching, find them selves working in clinics that work only to price. Sadder still that many of them come to think it must be acceptable because the vet says it is.
Owners are the best people to demand change and vote with their business, or not.

Posted via email from Four Paws and Whiskers

Electric Earth: Stunning map of the world created using Facebook friendships between cities | Mail Online

Facebook, and i think blogging too... This map reminds us how the Internet helps to unite people and cross borders.
Hi to the many people I know from all over the world. Great to meet you.

December 12, 2010

Animals of YouTube sing "Deck the Halls"

A helping hand to get you in the festive feeling :) Thanks to Donna for the link...

Our choir at home of 6 cats, 2 dogs and a tank of fish could probably have sung this all on their own!

Posted via email from Four Paws and Whiskers

December 10, 2010

Puppy love | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

If we could decide on a name, I would share it with you....
But while we wait for her personality to show, she is just making do with "puppy"...
Best guess is Bichon x Cairn Terrier. Fingers crossed it means non shedding wool which also means regular clips, but she is an adorable little bundle of fur and much loved already.
She even gets to eat breakfast in bed with Dad.

Video | Simon's Cat: Santa Claws | Books |

Watched some kittens try and do this last night... Simon has captured it perfectly here.
Merry Xmas everyone! Starting to feel mildly festive.
We have a new canine addition to our own family.... bringing some love and cheer to the family in inimitable style! More later.....

Posted via email from Four Paws and Whiskers

December 6, 2010

23 seals clubbed to death in Kaikoura | NATIONAL News

The Department of Conservation is condemning the brutal killing of 23 seals, including eight newborn pups, on the Kaikoura coast.
The Department is calling for public help to identify those responsible for the violent attack. New Zealand fur seals are protected by law and it is an offence to kill or harm them.
The bashed seals were found at the Ohau Point seal colony, about 22 km north of Kaikoura township. Some of the pups killed were just a few days old. The dead seals also included 13 females and two bulls. Other live seals have injuries that suggest they were also struck.
I hope that spreading the word will help identify the cowards that see this as sport. So sad.

December 2, 2010

Govt bows to public pressur,; bans sow crates early | NATIONAL News

New Zealand leads the way again with this great news. Still going to take years before it happens and really hope that people will support this by buying the right meat, not the cheap imports from countries that continue to keep their sows penned all the time, not just for the four weeks after giving birth!
Do you know where your pork and bacon comes from?

The government has bowed to consumer pressure and will phase out controversial sow stalls two years earlier than planned.
A new code governing the welfare and treatment of pigs on New Zealand farms reveals the cramped gestation crates will now be gone by December 2015, rather than 2017.
Agriculture Minister David Carter released the new welfare code for the animals today and said New Zealand is now leading the way on pig welfare, with the support of the New Zealand Pork Industry Board (NZ Pork).

Use of sow stalls on New Zealand pig farms is to be limited to four weeks after mating, in 2012, and prohibited by December 3, 2015, Carter said.

The ukulele orchestra of Great Britain... The good, the bad and the ugly

Completely privileged to see these in action tonight...awesome music and very funny.
A great night :)

Posted via email from Four Paws and Whiskers

November 28, 2010

Postcards from November

This month has been filled with many wonderful events... two birthday celebrations, a visit from my brother, and award dinners for our graduating students. I can see these unfolding in my mind as a series of postcards.. full of great food, wine, shared laughs and family ties, against the sun, warm evenings and the beauty of the roses and blossoms that make up this amazing Christchurch Spring.

And thank you to Jaz and Mark and the girls for my gorgeous new birthday necklace, and Libby for the jacket - so spoiled  :)
The month will also be remembered for the tragic loss of the 29 miners in Greymouth. 

Please take a moment to listen to this poem. I can't say it better than Gary does..

I might not have blogged much lately but I have certainly been busy. I see that my next blog post will take me to the nice round 400 stage... it has been a great journey.

November 25, 2010

A tribute to the 29 miners that lost their lives in Greymouth

Thoughts with the entire community of Greymouth. The greatest loss of life in this country since the Mt Erebus plane crash thirty years ago.
The flags will fly at half mast today and the country will remember them.
Also thinking of those from overseas who lost loved ones in the mine as many are from other parts of the world.

November 21, 2010

DUTCHCORNER: Wishes for Greymouth

Wishes and wonder
are filling the minds of family
are filling the minds of people
about the safety of the men
in the pike river coal mine
May strength and wisdom
be part of everyone of them
May there be faith,
determination and hope
Wishes and wonder
are filling the minds of family
are filling the minds of people
about the safety of the men
in the pike river coal mine
May strength and wisdom
be part of everyone of them
May there be faith,
determination and hope
for the best outcome

You can read more on this blog entry
Meanwhile, we wait...

Posted via email from Four Paws and Whiskers

November 14, 2010

Birthday treats and cakes

A special birthday yesterday with some beautiful presents...  I have been very spoiled and will be able to enjoy chocolates and  wine, stunning jewellery, beautiful perfumes and beauty treatments for a while yet. My partner not only got me a new handbag, but cooked me his first ever cake; banana choc chip with strawberries - was delicious. My daughter gave me some special birthday cupcakes, and although the 30C heat tried to melt them, they taste wonderful!

We had a family dinner, enjoying the warmth of the sun and the new Lindauer Summer champagne ( there is a review here if you are interested; overall we all thought it was nice) . The earthquakes stayed away until after midnight, then gave us a good 4.7 one to wake us up, and another 4.9 tonight to keep us on our toes.  Such is the way they go - likely to go on for a long time by the sound of it.

It has certainly been a particularly tough year so it feels really good to appreciate these happy times. On Tuesday my brother arrives from Vancouver, via Jakarta, for the rest of the week so we can celebrate Mum's birthday early and do it all again!

Cheers :)

November 9, 2010

Swans with cygnets at Peacock Springs

Today, while taking the vet nursing students around Peacock Springs on our wonderful annual tour, for the first time I have seen a swan sitting on her nest with her cygnets. Only ever managed to see them as an empty nest or swimming with the babies... so this was a real treat. It stretched the limits of my phone camera, but luckily the others with me got some clear pics. We couldn't get any closer - father swan was not happy at us being as close as we were....

We also had some fun with another protective male swan . My partner got some great shots of him, with us all laughing at him from a safe distance, cameras ready for some funniest home video action! Apparently this bird likes to take on the work utes!

Such a beautiful place... on a perfect day.

 To read more about their conservation of endangered birds and see more pictures, just visit my last post on them when we visited in 2009 :)

How To Gift Wrap A Cat

What a patient cat! Thank you Donna for this link :)

Small reminder that Xmas is coming too I guess, but I have a small matter of getting through my birthday first... 21 again ..perhaps 42....? Still wishful thinking...not liking the way the numbers are creeping up!
We will also be celebrating my mother's birthday, but as she reads this, I know better than to mention her age. The best news is it looks like my brother is going to make it over from Vancouver to see us in the next fortnight which will be a great birthday present for us both.

Had a wonderful day at Peacock Springs and for the first time in my life I saw a swan sitting on a nest with her cygnets. Will post the pictures soon...

Posted via email from Four Paws and Whiskers

November 3, 2010

Canterbury Quake Live

According to this site we have now had 2493 earthquakes... So with the current numbers per day, we will make the 2500 mark tomorrow.
Really can't get my head around the numbers. Seems no time since we reached 2000, and I idly ondered if we might get 5000 by Xmas. Hopefully not.... But you can check the score on the Christchurch Quake Live site...currently quake3.crowe

Gisborne has had three shakes in the last two days..thoughts are with them.

Posted via email from Four Paws and Whiskers

October 29, 2010

Fireworks - Some good advice for those of us with scared pets

Remember, remember the Fifth of November
It is fireworks time again in New Zealand, and many other countries. Yesterday, my vet clinic, who have a great website, reprinted their article on fireworks and it caught my eye as I have been thinking about how to help Jessie through the next weeks without Saffy for company when the rockets start flying.
You can read it in full here, as well as see more of their webpage and read all about Dog Appeasing Pheremone.
They have given me permission to quote some of it on the blog.


by Gina Cameron, VN
(Appeared in Spring 2009 Newsletter)
Fireworks time is coming up and for many pets and owners this is a very stressful time of the year. Dogs that have firework phobia show signs of fear in response to the sight and sound of fireworks. Some are only mildly distressed while others suffer severe anxiety or sheer terror.

Signs you may see your dog displaying are panting, trembling, cowering, hiding, vocalizing, destructiveness, salivation, attention seeking, urination and defecation.

As much as you may want to cuddle and comfort your dog this only reinforces the message that the dog has something to be frightened about. Do not punish your dog either. There are several things that you can do to reduce the dogs’ fear of fireworks:
  1. Make sure that your dog has a good long walk during the day. Before it gets dark take your dog outside to go to the toilet, then inside and close all the doors and windows to minimize the noise.
  2. Close the curtains or blinds early and turn on the lights. You can turn on the TV or radio for some background noise.
  3. Feed your dog its evening meal an hour before the event. You can add some cooked chicken and white rice for extra carbohydrate. This is to fill the dog up and make it feel sleepier.
  4. Provide your dog with a ‘safe’ place like a crate or its usual bed and blanket.
  5. Give your dog a distraction like a Kong or its favourite toy.
  6. Do make sure your dog is kept in a safe and in a secure environment at all times, so that it does not bolt and escape if a sudden noise occurs.
  7. Stay calm and go about your normal routine.
  8. Use Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP) spray or diffuser plug in.

Note to self.... Must get more DAP for the diffuser...we have plenty in spray form for her bandana, but not a lot for the room left.
Now where did I put that DVD of fireworks noise we got to desensitize her...and keep forgetting to use!!!

Safe Guy Fawkes for you and your pets....

October 28, 2010

Woman loses head in riding accident |

A British woman had to pick her own head up off the ground after badly breaking her neck in a horrific fall from a horse, according to reports.

The Daily Express newspaper reports that 26-year-old Thea Maxfield suffered a horrific "hangman's fracture" - a clean break of her upper cervical vertebra - after she was bucked six metres into the air in the accident.

After she fell off the horse Ms Maxfield tried to get out of the animal's way, but found that when her body moved her head stayed where it was.

She was forced to cup her hands around her head and lift it back into place to avoid damaging her spinal cord after her vertebrae shattered.

"I had to literally pick my head up and carry it in my hands. I didn't have much hope of a recovery," she told the newspaper.

Amazingly she can still walk.
Not so amazingly she is back riding horses.

Posted via email from Four Paws and Whiskers

October 25, 2010

A taste of summer in Christchurch

Hagley Park - Band Together from

Sun and music and a public holiday - bliss.

Started with a huge free concert in Hagley Park on Saturday..  all day, hot sun, alcohol free, great music, enjoyed by over 100,000 people there and many more watching on tv at home.
See more pix at
Heat control!
The aftershocks held off during the concert, but yesterday we got a good one - interesting because it was a strong 4.7 shake, centred just offshore to the East not far from our home - completely the opposite direction to the usual ones. Hmmmm!

You can see more info on this, and all the quakes at Christchurch Quake Live.

Today we decided to celebrate a day off and take Jessie to the Waimakariri  River for a walk... and landed up following it east into Brooklands that you can see at the top part of the map above. We have been avoiding the area because of the damage and to avoid being rubberneckers but just landed up there - eventually we found somewhere to stop and explore the river.. but less of the water and more of the cracks and liquefaction!

Not sure if this was new from yesterdays shock nearby, but there was plenty of damage and damp mud around.

We made our way back to the boat ramp - lots of activity and fast flowing water.  There are still notices everywhere to remind us of possible post-quake sewage contamination, but it looked nice and the guy on his jet ski was having fun :)

Great weekend - and lots of time with family and friends as well.
Hope you all had a great weekend :)

October 23, 2010

Here are the guidelines courtesy of Life With Dogs
* Link up your pet blog name and URL using the Linky Tool below. You only need to add your link once to be seen on all the Saturday Pet Blogger Blog Hop Linky Tools for that week. Note that if your blog is not pet related your link will be removed.
* Grab the “Saturday Pet Blogger Blog Hop” button at the upper left of this blog and include it in your Saturday Blog hop post so that your readers will know what is going on. *Note – posting is optional. Feel free to just link and follow.
* Follow your co-hosts listed in the first 3 slots of the Linky Tool.
* Follow as many other blogs on the linky as you’d like
* Take a moment to comment on the blogs telling them you’re from the blog hop.
* Follow back when you get a new follower through the Saturday Pet Bloggers Blog Hop

This is a Blog Hop! 20 entries so far... you're next!

October 21, 2010

Pets Help People Feel Loved

Beagle dogs
DECREASING STRESS: Pets help children and adults feel secure and unconditionally loved.

This something that the veterinary world is increasingly aware of - the importance of fur babies and the impact on people of losing them too.  
Most families report they value their pets most at times of crisis. Pets provide emotional support that makes it easier to cope and recover from stressful events.
In the middle of a crisis, one's usual supports may be preoccupied or distressed themselves. The bonds people have with their pets offer comfort, affection, and a sense of security at these times.
I have heard from many of the people I have seen since the earthquake that the children, particularly, have turned to their pets for comfort, with the usual rules about where the pet sleeps being relaxed somewhat.

Our  next decent earthquake two days ago was terrifying for many people and has stretched some already frayed nerves - I can see depression and anxiety and stress increasing dramatically at a time when we are already trying to assess our students,so the anxiety levels are climbing for everyone. One student had a panic attack on returning to the classroom the day after and we had three quakes during the morning classes too...  I know I feel like I am permanently wired on caffeine and not sleeping well. The adrenaline levels are taking a while to resettle.

This video is worth a look - helps explain why it is affecting so many people...

I miss my blonde bombshell at home. I wonder if it is why I feel more anxious this week!  Jessie comes and washes my face when I cry and she is "here", but it just isn't quite the same, much as I do love her.  However, many of you might remember when I mentioned a fellow blogger in France, Angus, who lost his dog Digby to tick problems earlier this year, and is now about to lose their lovely Wilf to cancer.  You can find Angus and WIlf here....
My thoughts are with you - losing both dogs in quick succession is just unimaginably sad and sends me off to give Jess a cuddle whenever I think of it.


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