September 26, 2014

Ethics and education

Debbie doing her group presentation in 2007

Two of our classes got together yesterday to finish their Ethics and Animal Welfare projects with a presentation to other students.  They have been working in groups for the last month to research and discuss their chosen area with friends, family, and workplaces.  I am always incredibly impressed with the information they find and the quality of their projects, whether powerpoints, posters, role plays, or even sometimes movies.

The range of topics they explore still fascinates me too. For example, yesterday we learned about Circuses, Rodeos, Tail Docking, Halal Slaughter, Battery chickens, Puppy Mills, Dancing Bears, Dog Fighting, to name just some of them... they look at how they breach the Five Freedoms required when caring for animals in New Zealand.

As a responsible pet owner, you must provide your pet with the Five Freedoms: 
Freedom from hunger or thirst
Every animal must always have access to clean fresh water. You must provide proper and sufficient food for good health and weight.

Freedom from discomfort and inadequate shelter
Shelter must be weather proof, free from drafts, wind, rain and full sun. Dogs must be able to stand up and comfortably be able to turn around in their kennel. In the cold weather, pets need more care and attention. Whether you have a dog, cat, rabbit, in fact most types of animals, you must make sure it is warm and comfortable.

Freedom from disease and injury
Get prompt vet treatment if your animal is sick or injured. We recommend that your animal is kept up to date with their vaccinations, worming and flea treatments to help prevent them from getting sick. Also keeping their environment clean and free from any hazards can help to stop injuries and disease.

Freedom from distress and pain
Always handle animals in a way that won’t injure or cause unreasonable pain or distress to the animal.

Freedom to display normal behaviour
You are obligated to meet your animal's behavioural needs and provide an environment so they can display normal behaviour. Some good ways of doing this are adequate exercise, toys, scratching posts etc and an opportunity to play. Leaving a dog tied up for long periods is not acceptable.

These freedoms are requirements under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 and you may be prosecuted if you fail in your duty as a pet owner to provide them.
The students also consider whether there is a NZ Code of Recommendations governing their use in New Zealand - and in many cases, compare NZ to the situation in other countries.
For example, rodeos have been an area of controversy for many years....

and thanks to the Circus Code or Recommendations, animals in circuses are no longer seen in New Zealand.

We have one of the strongest Animal Welfare Acts in the world.  It does help to stop situations like the Dancing Bears of India.

Sadly, nothing will stop human cruelty.

The Link between Violence to Animals and People 
Historically, violence to animals has been viewed as an issue separate from other forms of violence. However, cruelty to animals, particularly companion animals, is now seen as a part of the landscape of family violence and a risk to human health, safety and welfare with strong links to child maltreatment, domestic violence and elder abuse. “Link” advocates believe that people are at risk when animals are abused, and that animals are at risk when people are abused. Since no forms of family violence should be tolerated, the disciplines involved should collaborate for a more effective, comprehensive approach to
reduce violence. 
A growing and compelling body of research is confirming these links and describing animal abuse as a predictor and indicator crime that often signals serious interpersonal aggression and familial dysfunction.  
People who abuse animals have been found to be significantly more likely to commit violent crimes, domestic violence and other antisocial behaviors. Caseworkers in any one field must be trained to observe for other manifestations of family violence and to report them to appropriate authorities. 
Animal cruelty perpetrated or witnessed by youths is no longer seen as a benign stage of growing up but rather as one of the earliest diagnostic indicators of conduct disorder. A history of animal abuse is one of the four most significant risk factors of someone becoming a domestic violence batterer, and batterers who also abuse animals are more violent and use more types of controlling behaviors against their intimate partners.          
This growing awareness is resulting in a variety of responses addressing The Link. These include: pet foster care and housing programs for domestic violence survivors; inclusion of animals in domestic violence protection-from-abuse court orders; legislation enabling or requiring veterinarians, child protection workers and animal shelter personnel to report suspected abuse; increased criminal penalties and psychological assessment and counselling for animal abuse offenders; training at-risk youth in nonviolent
conflict-resolution competencies through animal-assisted interventions; development of veterinary forensic sciences to facilitate animal cruelty prosecutions; and establishing community and national multidisciplinary coalitions based upon The Link between animal abuse and human violence.

So it was an interesting morning.... hard to watch at times, but the bit that made me cry was watching this movie...

You can read the back ground here:

Choosing free range eggs and chicken..
Free farmed Pork?
What are you doing to reduce cruelty to animals?

September 25, 2014

CPIT donates $10,000 to SPCA

I heard about this last week so really pleased to see it reported on today :)

The SPCA do a great job and I am pleased to see my workplace being able to help this way.

CPIT has given away $30,000 in funding to deserving community projects, including an initiative to reduce the dumping of unwanted dogs.

CPIT’s Time2Give Community funding programme was launched earlier in the year. CPIT received 17 applications for funding and over 160 CPIT staff voted for what organisations in our community they would like to see supported.

The biggest recipient of the funds was the Canterbury SPCA, who received $10,000 to educate dog owners about responsible dog ownership through community centre open days, leaflets and providing free micro-chipping and de-sexing.

SPCA Canterbury Chief Executive Officer Barry Helem says Christchurch has a raft of community dog issues including, strays on the streets, sick and injured dogs, dumping of unwanted dogs and abuse and neglect of dogs. "Without intervention and prevention these problems are growing exponentially. We hope this money will allow us to help people who want to do the right thing but don’t have the resources or support," he says.

September 18, 2014

Six years today and 1000 posts....

My 1000'th post was yesterday and today it is six years since I started blogging.  Probably worth some reflection as a milestone day. 

If nothing else this blog has been a place to revisit some of the small thoughts and moments in my life, as well as the more life changing events that have happened since I started.  The good, the bad and the ugly!

Arch dying suddenly on the Mt Hutt Rd in June 2010…. A shock to us all. I hope that Mt Hutt honour their promise and recommendations of the coroner to place barriers on the roads and corners on all their ski fields. 

Jaz having to deal with finding a growth in her brain in August 2010, followed by radiotherapy and eventually surgery and rehab. A scary time for us all and I am just so grateful that she has come through it all so well.  

Two huge earthquakes in Sept 2010 and Feb 2011 and about 14,500 other smaller ones since, and still going…. and the impact it has had on us all dealing with repairs, EQC, insurance, Red zones, and demolition. 

Losing Saffy in September 2010 and then getting Poppy, who was born 4 years ago next week, between the big earthquakes. My wee Hairy McLary has been a great source of joy.
 Finding my birth mother in the UK in December 2012 and seeing pictures of my parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, my brother and two sisters... I chat to my mother regularly and hear all the news.  
My partner moved out early 2013 and then I discovered his home torture movies and inappropriate underage chats.  How often do you get to sit with a senior detective watching porn and saying things like "have you seen the one with the bridal pins?” - and the resigned and disgusted expression as he nodded yes.   How do you deal with the impact his online offending has had on one of his young victims…and his family. All stuff that can’t be undone, unseen, forgotten, or forgiven.    
...a real mix of positives and negatives that have created some personal growth, helped me to establish better boundaries for myself and increased my love and appreciation for the friends and family around me.  

Thank you James and Jess, Kirsty and Nathan, Liam and Alex, my parents, and Jaz, Mark and the girls xx 

Some things haven’t changed so much…
I live in the same house - reroofed, repaired and repainted and Alex is getting the gardens into shape. Now it is a peaceful haven without the negativity that it came to contain, particularly after the earthquakes....
Our city is slowly rebuilding - yes it’s going to take a long time but some of the new buildings look amazing.  Trying to be positive and look beyond the gaps and the losses.
I work in the same place - often stressful but ultimately very rewarding.  Thank you particularly Libby, Tina, Julie, Linda and Nicole, particularly for picking up the pieces when I have really needed the support. 
I am still glad I didn’t have a crystal ball when I started writing six years ago - some things really are better left unseen.  Would I have believed them anyway?

Whatever the next few years bring, or whether I make it to 2000 posts one day,  thanks to those who have been along for the ride "virtually" for so many years around the world. It has been great to get to know you all better through blogging.  

September 17, 2014

Another class flies away

Another vet nursing class finished.... 
Congratulations everyone.

I started with my first class in 1998.
Since 2004 we have had two vet nursing classes each year...
That's 30 classes....
And 3-4 classes of animal care students a year now too.
I remember the first time I taught that in 1999... 
Almost yesterday!

I have met the most amazing people, had a lot of fun and made some great memories...
I shall miss it when I retire.
But not there yet :) 

September 15, 2014

Adrienne Rewi Online: 26 Ways to Say Christchurch City Rebuild

Adrienne has posted some great pictures of some of the new buildings in Christchurch -
Worth a look ;)

Adrienne Rewi Online: 26 Ways to Say Christchurch City Rebuild: I keep hearing about the amazing progress that's taking place in the Christchurch city rebuild following the earthquakes of 2010-13. ...

September 14, 2014

Spring fever....

We have all been enjoying the spring weather here in Christchurch - we have new blossom in the garden and  there are daffodils everywhere.

 The leaves are starting to appear on the trees in town, but not here yet.  The tree across the road is still bare....
Horseshoe Lake
Christchurch Daily Photo caught one of the willow trees turning green by the Avon River,
and I just love this one too

I have been trying to get a decent picture of the cherry blossom in Hagley Park but I'm always driving - so you can head over to see Ruth's blog post with lovely views of them, despite the day of rain we had yesterday..... They are spectacular when they appear before the green leaves break through.  Here is one of Ruth's photos.

Been a hectic week but had a lovely weekend - James and Jess for dinner Friday, and then Kirsty and Nathan on Saturday - and a day with my parents today.

We got some pics of Jess -

and Poppy was getting so shaggy she got a clip and bath.

Election fever is building here.  I took advantage of the polling booths set up at work and did it early. Saves a lot of hassle on election day next weekend.  Hopefully we get a good turnout of people actually voting this year.

September 12, 2014

A day of rememberance

Thirteen years... 9/11.

For New Zealand it happened on September 12th... but we woke up that day to join the rest of the world in shock and horror. Glued to televisions. Utter disbelief.

Two nights ago Alex and I watched a documentary on it.. not intentionally. I turned the tv on and it happened to be on the History Channel and the documentary was so riveting we watched it until midnight.  It was a real time documentary that I hadn't seen before of eye witness videos and footage mapped out in real time sequence.  I am sure it was 102 Minutes that Changed America.  There were no ads and no obvious titles appearing that gave us a name - just around two hours of film.

It is probably still available on i-Sky on demand in NZ. I also found a copy online here

Amazon sell copies :

and the History Channel also has a great interactive map

I think it is the first time since the earthquakes that I have actively watched a 9/11 video.  It added a depth of understanding that I hadn't had before.  Dealing with the unimaginable. Phones down, can't get home, fear of what will be hit next - nowhere is safe.  The documentary gave me a perspective of how the disaster played out for the people in the streets around - who didn't know what was happening or what to do. Slack jawed shock and incomprehension felt so familiar.

September 12th here was also Arch's Birthday. Last weekend was Father's Day.  My children are coming over for dinner to remember him tonight.

September 8, 2014

63 years....

Last week on Sept 1st my parents celebrated their 63rd Wedding Anniversary together and we went out for a lovely long coffee on Saturday and on Sunday we went to their place for a meal.
Yesterday we also celebrated a lovely sunny Father's Day here at home.

It has been a great week and time for us all to enjoy them.

I thought some memories might be the best way to remind us of the occasion!

 The engagement.
 The wedding....

The Golden Wedding held in Canada in 2001...

All our love and congratulations to you both xxx

September 6, 2014

Big clap for Molly

Molly got a trophy for netball tonight and is so happy she can't stop smiling... Well deserved :)

Before her prize giving we went out to Waikuku beach with Rosie and Poppy. Such a gorgeous sunny day to explore the driftwood structures.

Phoebe read me stories and we had an Indian feast for dinner...

Poppy had a brush with Rosie's gear.

Poppy had two new friends to play with at home last night too...Sophie and Beau.

They finally all fell asleep.

Settling in for some Argentina vs All Blacks...
Go the AB's!

September 4, 2014

Road Cones of Christchurch

I might have posted this before but I cant find it.... so putting it up for the fourth anniversary.
They are still prolific. Life in Christchurch is all about Orange and high vis clothing,

I have two pet cones left over from our EQC repairs...

Four years.....

A peaceful morning, totally unlike the rude awakening of 2010 on September 4th.
Seems a lifetime ago.
Progress is happening, but so slowly and for many the stress of repairs, insurance battles, financial strain and uncertainty has been unimaginable.  

I found this picture and article in today's paper interesting...

Yesterday I read Deb's blog post.. "The heart expands when it is broken".  She makes some great observations and reflections...
Such as
In the last four years I have learned that everybody has a breaking point,
it is just that some people get there sooner.

I have learned to respect this and to make allowances for someone
who is not coping, instead of judging them as I may have in the past.
Do read her post for yourself at

So thinking of everyone here today as we rebuild our city, our lives, and cope with the changes together.


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