April 26, 2012

Elephant Kills Zookeeper | Helen Schofield An 'Inspiration'... | Stuff.co.nz


Shocked to read that Helen Schofield had been killed last night. There was some confusion when the first reports described her as a vet, then a keeper, but of course she was both, running the Franklin Zoo near Auckland and caring for Mila, the animal rehomed from a circus life.
As well as the article at the link above, we have others - http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/6807669/Nervous-elephant-crushes-zoo-carer
and the one about her former circus owner and his attempts to visit her.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10801476
A friend of mine is currently touring Thailand, India etc and there are photos of him with elephants - he said he could not stop grinning. I know how he feels - my visit to Kashin at Auckland Zoo, behind the scenes, before she died was so memorable. There is something magical about them, but like all zoo animals, their unpredictability and sheer size are a constant danger.
I wonder what decision will be made about Mila now.

April 24, 2012

Autumn splendour in Christchurch



The autumn colours have appeared in style and I took this photo on the bridge on Stanmore Rd yesterday morning - looking down The Avon as it meanders through another slice of the Red Zone.
Some gorgeous sunny days over the holidays have been started with crisp, near freezing mornings and cold clear nights so we decided to buy Poppy her first coat... sort of strange to go clothes shopping for your dog. A new experience for me, but to be honest I think I might buy one for Jessie too - it is polar fleece lined and showerproof. I didn't worry about Poppy last winter, but her coat is much thinner now and Jess is older - 13 now, and might appreciate some extra warmth.


Now Poppy glows in the dark!


We got the last stitch out from her nose today, finally, after trying and only getting one out last night, as she wasn't happy about them being tugged on. A stealth attack in the office with some pointy scissors by my colleaugue while I applied a headlock finally saved the day!  Chopped chicken in the cafeteria soon took her mind off it all - for a small dog she has a voracious appetite...part labrador, part bichon?

April 23, 2012

Adrienne Rewi Online: House and Garden

Please visit Adriennes's post about the abandoned homes of the Red Zoned suburbs of Christchurch. She asks why more people are not looking through the areas.... and I replied because I felt like a rubbernecker, particularly in the earlier days post quake... but I do want to look - to see the houses before the diggers take them away forever. One day the land they are on may become the new Avon River Park and revert to wetlands. In some places, the land wil be "remediated" and eventually resold to other families. But for those that lived there until now, they will probably never be able to return, financial reasons mainly, so it really is the end of an era. Memories will be all there is left.
I do intend to visit the Horseshoe Lake area across the river we live beside - just picking the right time.
I read this week that many of the local villas from these areas are being sold to rural areas and towns further south rater than being relocated with their owners. The strict covenants in new local Christchurch subdivisions means they can build with new materials only... and some of the apparent restrictions such as types of pets, and not owning cars older than three years old! How welcoming... I hope I never have to live there!

April 22, 2012

Life Earth Sky: Seize the Day

One of the blogs I follow is from 8200 feet up in the mountains in Colorado.
http://romp-roll-rockies.blogspot.com/
Her beautiful chocolate labrador, K, has been a frequent source of inspiration for the blogs. Now K is living with osteosarcoma and some fellow bloggers commissioned a painting of her from Kathleen Coy, who has captured her essence perfectly.
On Kathleen's site there is also a video of how she painted it.
Just in case you are interested in getting one done for your pet - she works off photos so can do it anywhere.
Beautiful work.

Ceroc Flash Mob - Christchurch City Super Ceroc 2012 - YouTube

A lovely sunny day with autumn colours and happy people enjoying the new Restart Container Mall on a perfect day last week...
How far we have come.. how much there still is to do.
As I watched the dancers, little things caught my eye - the diggers, the empty spaces, the missing high rises in the distance.
Only the distant Bridge of Rememberance pins us to this site as being Cashel Mall, the place of death and injury and destruction such a short time ago.

I looked back for a post quake video of the area - shocking, raw footage that was hard enough to watch the first time, but now more poignat as it features features people we have come to know, their backgroumd, who died, who lived....
Enjoy the sun, the music and the dancing and the joy of the day... and spare a thought for the people still dealign with the trauma of the day it all fell down.

See Press Reporters Olivia and Dan's post quake video on Cashel Mall here:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/12-51/that...>

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April 19, 2012

An overview of completed and under-construction projects in Christchurch | Architecture Now


This might give you a taste of what is to come for Christchurch.
I used picture 34 because it appears to be what is planned for across the road from our classroom...our new view. As it replaces an old bar, this is actually good news...we have missed the hangout!

April 18, 2012

Special TV channel for canine companions - Video - NZ Herald Videos

Our dogs might enjoy this - we usually leave the radio going for them, but TV is much more fun! Poppy tends to bark when she sees animals on the screen... but it would keep her busy :) What do you do to entertain your pets when you are out?

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April 17, 2012

In the news this week…

Thank you Claudia. 
You have said many things I have been wanting to say lately and better than I would. Please read her full post at this headline for an update on post #Eqnz Christchurch.

In the news this week…

New Cardboard Cathedral announced

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10799262
A “temporary” Anglican cathedral will be constructed on the St John’s site on Latimer Square, overlooking the CTV site.  (In Christchurch “temporary” means about 20 years or so).
Actually I quite like the look of this design.  It’s not the same as what’s been lost, but it’s uplifting.
There’s been a bit of debate going around about the de-construction of our Anglican Cathedral.  The Bishop has come under a lot of criticism – and some of it seems to be getting quite venomous and personal.  One of the most vocal opponents is the Christchurch Wizard, who claims to have spoken curses against the Bishop and Church leadership.
I was always taught that in intelligent debate, when one side resorts to personal attack, it’s often a sign of lacking rational argument.
I was pleased to hear about this:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/6682160/Church-leaders-back-bishop
An open letter of support from 70 churches and Christian organisations was presented to the Anglican Bishop of Christchurch.  The photo shows ministers from Pentecostal, Baptist and Brethren churches, as representative of the many denominations. 
As a city we need to work together, with unity, as we rebuild.  I found it encouraging to see the unity of Christian Churches working together.  A lot of this is “below the radar” and “behind the scenes”, but in my own opinion, if it wasn’t for the Christian Churches in this city working together in the aftermath of the earthquakes, we’d have been in a lot worse state city wide.
Yet these feeling of hope are clashing with a more sobering news issue:
The “New Homelessness”
There have been stories emerging of lower income tenants being pushed out of the rental market, as a shortage of available rental homes, an influx of tradespeople working on the rebuild, and displaced homeowners moving out of “red-zoned” houses.  Rents are becoming more than many people can afford.  When houses become available, 20 or 30 prospective tenants will apply, and often begin trying to outbid each other.
Here are three stories that have been in the press this week.
...

April 16, 2012

Work set to start on cardboard cathedral | Stuff.co.nz



Construction will soon begin on a cardboard cathedral to temporarily replace Christ Church Cathedral.
The designer, Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, will turn the soil on the cathedral's planned site on the former parish of St John's, on the corner of Hereford St and Madras St, next week.
It is expected the 700-person-capacity structure will be completed by December.
Ban revealed his design last August, quoting the construction cost at $4 million.
Richard Gray, of the Transitional Cathedral Group, said the diocese had ''the bulk of the money ... in hand but there will be further fundraising to meet the costs of building the temporary structure''.
''This is a very exciting next step for the project,'' he said.
''The transitional cathedral is a symbol of hope for the future of this city as well as being sustainable and affordable.
''The cathedral is confident it will attract interest nationally and internationally, drawing additional visitors to the city."
The innovative structure will comprise cardboard tubes, timber beams and structural steel.
It will serve as a temporary cathedral until a new Christ Church Cathedral is constructed, and will then remain in place as St John's parish, whose church, vicarage and hall were demolished after the February 2011 earthquake.
The diocese hopes it will also provide a venue for concerts, exhibitions, civic and community events.
Linked containers will sit alongside the cathedral to house a cafe, shop, meeting rooms, amenities and offices.
Designed to last more than 20 years, it will be the largest ''emergency structure'' Ban has designed.
He is known for his work in disaster zones, including Rwanda in 1994, Kobe after the 1995 quake, Turkey in 1999 and Haiti last year.
Warren and Mahoney will soon start the detailed design for the transitional cathedral.

$5m cardboard cathedral for Chch - National - NZ Herald News


It's official....
Love it or hate it, there is room to use it while a new place is planned and built.

Around 40 people gathered at the cleared demolition site on the fringe of the city's red zone cordon to hear the official announcement of the city's $5 million temporary cardboard cathedral.
The Anglican Church today revealed plans for the "transitional" cathedral designed by a top Japanese "paper architect".
While debate rages over the decision by the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch to demolish the crippled city centre landmark, work will start on the temporary A-frame building in nearby Latimer Square next week.
Constructed with cardboard tubes, timber beams, structural steel, and concrete, it is expected to last 20 years and will become the new place of worship for the city's St John's parish, whose church, vicarage and hall had to be demolished after the February 22 shake.
Reverend Craig Dixon, the cathedral's marketing and development manager, said the new building would "excite people''.

April 14, 2012

Poppy is recovering well.

Tumour removed... Appears to be a histiocytoma which should mean an all clear for her... Great relief :) Thank you Linda, Tania, Mike, Tahlia and Holly for looking after her :)



Picture: Poppy post op... And given the "all clear"...great news




Poppy post op... And given the "all clear"...great news
http://instagr.am/p/JV3xPABJ0R/
(Sent from Flipboard)

Poppy recovers


Sorry not to post this yesterday - there have been problems for me posting today through usual means, so finally accessed blogger properly - I really thought it would have gone through yesterday, but no - sigh..

Anyway, for those of you not on Facebook, Poppy is recovering well.
It looks like it is a benign histiocytoma, and it has all been removed and she is fine. A huge relief! It might have settled and disappeared on its own, but we all felt, if in doubt, get it out, so it has gone. We saved it to examine in more detail later, just in case something reappears.

http://vetmedicine.about.com/od/diseasesconditionsfaqs/f/FAQ_histiocytom.htm 
The appearance of a raised, hairless and bright red "angry" looking skin lump on a young dog is characteristic of a histiocytoma. This is often alarming to dog owners; as it they often appear suddenly, almost overnight. Histiocytomas are not painful, and most dogs do not even seem to notice them, despite the fact that they lump may be ulcerated. Click here to view photos of a histiocytoma in a young dog.
Where are histiocytomas seen?
Dogs less than three years old are the most common presentation, and the head, ears and limbs are the most common locations to find histiocytomas.


Histiocytomas will spontaneously regress in 2- 3 months. If in doubt, biopsy will provide an answer as to the nature of the lesion.
A lovely neat job by the wonderful team at The Vet Centre, Riccarton.
http://www.veterinarycentre.co.nz/vet-care-newsletter.php

She has been wearing the "cone of shame" to stop her scratching at her stitches. She certainly seems embarrassed when she greets other dogs...
Yesterday she was wobbly and sleepy, but today she seems fully recovered.

Thank you for all your thoughts and wishes  - greatly appreciated.


April 10, 2012

Easter Break

Did you feel like this after over indulging on chocolate????


We have had a lovely weekend with the family. Plenty of good food and times together.



We missed Alex being with us, but he is having a great time in Europe. His recent blog post is on Venice, but he has now arrived in Hvar, an island off Croatia in the Mediterranean. He will be there helping at a hostel for a few weeks. It's a tough life....



Took some Easter eggs out to Jaz, Mark and the girls on Friday and caught up over dinner. They have also had a lovely weekend... have a look at their blog post :)


Mark found a lump on Poppy's nose. It seems to have come up really quickly.


After doing some research I felt pretty sad about it on Saturday as even though she is young, it could be a Mast Cell tumour, which is malignant, but it could also be a benign histocytoma, or a few other things. I decided to take a leaf out of Jaz's recent post, about living in the NOW, as she waits for her own MRI results, and so we will worry about the worst case scenario when, and if, it becomes a real problem rather than an imagined fear. Poppy is having the diagnostics done on Friday and the growth can be removed at the same time. Meanwhile she is her usual inquisitive, entertaining self and knows no different, apart from some extra cuddles, and everyone focusing on the side of her nose!

We finished last term with our graduation of last years classes. An impressive turn out of students... with a real sense of achievement at getting their qualification despite the catastrophic events of the year - which meant an extra hard challenge for many of them. The sense of camaraderie of all being in it together created some friendships and memories I will never forget. Congratulations to you all.... and I know many of you are not in this picture, but I can't put them all here.


And to the great friends I get to work and play with, thank you for a massive year of effort and team work.


The lovely long hot and sunny weekend is over - the leaves are turning colour and the hint of winter is in the chill of the evenings... but life is good and I am having two weeks break. Bliss...
Happy Easter everyone.

April 1, 2012

Teaching a dog to enjoy a Nail Trim | Videos | Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS

Media_httpdrsophiayin_nighn

If you struggle with nail trims on your dog, watch this video.
I might just try this method on my Jess who has an irrational fear I am going to hurt her.... ( ok ok I did once cut a bit deep and cause her some pain)....but she might be distracted long enough with a good supply of liver treats to behave this way.
Off to check out some of the other videos too - might learn something.

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