August 29, 2011

Follow Happy Feet with Sirtrack - NZEmperor


At Sirtrack we are very excited about following the travels of emperor penguin "Happy Feet". We have created this website together so that we can share his journey with the world.
Happy Feet has been fitted with a Sirtrack KiwiSat 202 Satellite Transmitter which will transmit signals to satellites twice a day for three hours. Transmissions from the KiwiSat 202 will allow us to monitor Happy Feet's position as he travels. Each new position will be plotted on the map(link) so we can all follow his progress. It is not known which direction Happy Feet will travel, hopefully back to his home in the Antarctic, which makes this all the more fascinating and such a rare opportunity to learn about the movements of an amazing animal.
Today one of my past students Angelina came up to talk to the current class of vet nurses in training about working at The Nest at Wellington Zoo. She is quite famous from many media stories, most recently as one of the team nursing the Emperor Penguin, nicknamed "Happy Feet" back to health. She has earned a few nicknames herself from the people visiting chat room that has been linked to his live cam feed - my favourite is "Shovel Girl".

Tonight he started his journey home, accompanied by the vet from The Nest, Dr Lisa, who suffers seasickness and faces a month at sea until the ship returns to New Zealand. Yes the forecast is for gales.... but apparently she is well stocked with a range of medicines... probably as many for her as she is also carrying for Happy Feet!

The penguin has a tracking system attached which will last until he moults in about four months. This will help work out where he heads for, or where the Orca he becomes a meal for swims??? Doesn't bear thinking about!

He is also microchipped and this can be picked up if he appears in the right places - but as he is a juvenile, it might be a couple of years before he returns to where he was born.
Angelina assures us he is a good weight, energetic, hard to handle and that Dr Lisa is planning to blog from the area ( assuming the drugs work to allay the seasickness)...

There is a map on this site to help you follow his progress...

All the best Happy Feet and thank you Angelina for a great talk :)

August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene Evacuations

One of the many lessons learned from previous hurricanes and natural disasters is that people will not evacuate without their family; for many people, this includes their pets.  After Katrina they found people living in flooded homes in terrible conditions but they still refused to leave because the rescue boats would not take their pets. 

As we wait to see the impact on Irene on America's north eastern cities, the news is reporting not only that rescue shelters are taking pets, but that the NY yellow cabs have been mandated to take pets.  This is great progress.  I know that that many pets are still going to be abandoned, misplaced and separated from  their owners as a result of the storm but hopefully many will also be saved, and perhaps more importantly, their owners wont risk their own lives.

The ASPCA says pets are welcome at all centers.
If you do bring your pet, remember to also bring a copy of your pet’s vaccination and medical records, a leash and muzzle, a crate or carrier, and pet food and medications for animals with special needs.

Great to see the sharing of information that is possible with social media in the face of disasters. The use of Facebook is letting people share stories and warnings, and with smart phones, as we learned during the earthquakes, this still  happens even when the power has gone down and you can't rely on television...

According to this special Facebook page above, one of the posts said:IMPORTANT TO PET OWNERS: The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Act (PETS) requires state and local officials account for the needs of individuals with pets before, during and after a disaster. If you have a mandatory evacuation and they are not letting you take your pet(s) PLEASE stand your ground! More and more states are opening up ALL shelters to pets. You and your pets should NOT be turned away!

This is a great site and offers up to date posts from people in the affected areas and the passage of the storm.
You can look on Twitter too - search for Irene, or #Hurricane Irene for a constant stream of updates... or look here for Irene updates...

Also found a great page showing what is trending on Twitter worldwide - anyone can look and see the updates - you don't need a twitter account.

Want to know more about Hurricanes? Watch this National Geographic video
Hurricanes 101

Apparently Irene is nearly twice the size of a normal hurricane  - that link shows pictures of satellite images and comparisons to Katrina, Ivan, Andrew etc.  Usually they are 300 miles across but Irene is 290 miles to her centre.....

Please share the information about pets with anyone you know in the affected areas. 

Our thoughts are with all the people and hopefully the storm will be less devastating than the size of it predicts. 

Kia Kaha

August 26, 2011

Sad day....

Today we heard that one of our past students lost a battle with septicaemia. His life support was turned off and he passed away last night in England.
We are all very saddened by this at work. It has been impossible to focus today.

RIP Mike.

August 24, 2011

Everyscape Viewer- CHristchurch City today

If you want to check out Christchurch central city take a look at this - a guided tour of it and the current state of the buildings, right from your armchair.
Sad... but places we haven't had access to for a long time can now be seen.

Posted via email from Four Paws and Whiskers

Christchurch Pets Lost in the Feb Earthquake

Thank you to Nixx for this picture....
On the six month anniversary of the Feb earthquake, her photos are a small reminder of the city. This one felt really sad as it reminded me that many people lost their pets in the quake. A small memorial to one of them, in the city on an empty section....

Waiting patiently

Taken at New World Stanmore Road

August 22, 2011

SIx Months - frozen in time

Yes it has been six months today since the Feb Earthquake.... something we only realised when we took my parents round the perimeter of the red zone for a look yesterday. There are parts of the city they have not felt up to visiting - too much change and damage and a real risk when driving.

I didn't take many pictures,  just looked quietly and thought of the people who have died.  For the first time I was able to get into Durham St. Standing by the Provincial Chambers.... it could have all happened yesterday. Frozen in time....

The paper left where they ran from the coffee shop across the road - the date says it all if you enlarge the picture by clicking on it...

Nothing touched - the building unsafe to enter ( although safe enough to peer in windows and stand in front of apparently?)

There will be many memories for Christchurch today... I might feel the loss of the buildings and the heritage and see the uncertainty to lives and disruption of suburbs and homes, but I can only imagine how much worse it is for those that lost loved ones.  Here is just one story.

At the end of the day, buildings are just structures we can replace. But people are unique and are lost forever.

August 20, 2011

Snowy Mountains | Christchurch Daily Photo


I was admiring this view myself today when I ran my son to the airport... the mountains are totally white.
Love this view across the city... although quite a few of the buildings will be gone before long... particularly the Grand Chancellor tilting on the right, and probably the stadium on the left.

Apart form that a gorgeous warm day - a chance to relax after spending yesterday working in Wellington, vist a friend to enjoy the sun and walk the dogs.

After a nice lull, we had a 4.2 waking us at dawn this morning. First shake I have really noticed for a while - a small reminder of things, but perfectly happy that it wasn't happening in central Wellington yesterday where I still prefer not to have to look at all the high rises and glass ! There was a brass monkey southerly at the airport - I even got back in the taxi while paying as I felt like I was going to take off myself as he played around with the credit card machine....

Off to see the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra performing At CBS Arena in KiwiSoul tonight...
Last week we caught a performance by the local improv group, Scared Scriptless now based at Heaton Intermediate on Fri and Sat nights - brilliant and we laughed to the point of tears. Catch them if you can...
Next week I am looking forward to seeing Scott singing in the Arts Festival tent in Hagley Park with the Pops Choir. Great that we are getting lots of places to go - loving it :)
Keep warm

Posted via email from Four Paws and Whiskers

August 17, 2011

New Zealand Snowstorm: Fantails Come In From Storm... |

After my posting of the feeding fantails photo the other day, you might like to watch this video of three of them sheltering from the snow:) Sad to think that so many will have died in the extensive cold weather we are having.....

Posted via email from Four Paws and Whiskers

August 16, 2011

Simon's Cat 'Snow Business' - YouTube

Perfectly suits NZ at the moment.... thanks to Donna for this :)

So peaceful

New Zealand has ground to a halt in the snow... the 50 year storm.


We are having another day at home... work is shut, the clinics are shut, the students safely at home, as are my children. The roads are not the best place to be... and the heat pump is doing its thing keeping us warm, although the defrost sessions are becoming very necessary!!!

There are things we are meant to do today... but looking at the snow I doubt we will make it.  Or more accurately, I am not sure I feel they are worth risking the trip, the possible accidents and panel beating and injury... even as I write, the sky is darkening again and fresh snow is falling. There is more to come.

Poppy alternates between exploring the snow, which is still dry and powdery and easy to shovel, and sleeping contentedly on a faux fur rug, a lap, or in front of the gas flames.  A great life surrounded by a captive audience of all the people she loves.

Hope you are all coping around the rest of New Zealand.... Auckland even had some snow yesterday. They are getting strong winds and damage so not escaping the storm...

The only thing we worry about now in Christchurch is the power cuts.... or another good earthquake!

August 13, 2011

The Press - Christchurch and South Island News -... |


This image of eight waxeyes feasting at a bird feeder has netted a Christchurch photographer a Fairfax photography award.

Andrew Lukey snapped the image on July 31 at his parents' Halswell farm.

"It was early and my mother had put some butter on the bird feeder and the waxeyes were going crazy for it. The light had just broken above the nearby hills and I thought the scene was worth photographing," he said.

Posted via email from Four Paws and Whiskers

August 11, 2011

Humans, owned by cats

I had to wonder about this when i saw it this morning. Certainly a cat that knows how to get what he wants...
His name is Migou and he lives in Taiwan. I am glad to know you all like it.He is a mixed breed cat. He was a stray cat and his age is 3 now.He is a lovely and smart cat for he often brings joy to me. finally my hands didnt get hurt and thanks for your caring.

Tonight one of my students put this on facebook...
I felt a sense of deja vu...

funny pictures - Kitteh Komic ob teh Day: How Cats See Humans
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

We are down to five cats... and one of those lives next door....  I wonder what life would be like with just one?

August 6, 2011

The New Poppy

After an early start to get my daughter to the airport, I spent the afternoon taking Poppy for her first official haircut.... not just a wash and brush groom - the whole works today, and Hairy McLary lost half her coat, has plucked ears and feels lovely and soft.

Having left my phone at home (shock gasp horror) I asked my friend to use her camera and we managed to get her to sit still just long enough for a few photos before she raced off to lose the bow and acquire a new layer of mud.... my friend did well to get the tongue in action. Many thanks to Sharleen and her able dog bathers Laurin and Sarah, three of our vet nursing students, who have done a wonderful job...

While they did the deed, I wandered around a local mall, getting a birthday present for Mark ready to send... as I sat addressing it to catch the post, I realised their address was on my phone..and no amount of careful thought would bring it to mind. So it is still here, and will have to be posted on the actual birthday. Sorry Mark - thinking of you!!! And GB - a classic example of why I hate being without it. No map, no contact list, no camera, missed meeting up with Scott even though I drove past where he was after he finished work... and he was trying to ring me. But of course there were compensations and alternatives instead.

Off to watch the All Blacks play the Wallabies at Eden Park - the delayed match sadly as we don't have Sky Sport. Better stay off Facebook for a while so I don't ruin the suspense.

Treacy Travels: Thankful Thursday: What a year it has been!

I haven't written much about the family lately but I just wanted to say that Jaz has put up a lovely post to celebrate the first year of the anniversary of discovering her tumour. She has faced the fear, diagnosis, surgery and treatment so bravely and managed to write about muh of it here.. with Mark taking over post op for a while.
If you have been following me, you will already know some of the journey, but you can read back on Jaz's own blog to find out more.
Meanwhile we are just so happy she is here, or rather there, as we miss them being here in town, but back driving and doing stuff again.
Mark also has his own blog - do go and have a read there too :)
And of course - Happy Birthday Mark for tomorrow - wondering what we can give you!!!!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin