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


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