Category Archives: Volunteers

Bath Day

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Bath Day

It’s easier and more fun to bathe the guinea pigs when you have a volunteer to help. Still, there is quite a bit of equipment to round up, the kitchen has to be cleared, and you have to have a plan for getting them all wet and then dry efficiently. Once you have your ducks in a row (Yes, I have bathed ducks before, too.) Eventually, you take a deep breath, say “Okay!” and dive in.

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“Why did I have to go first?”- Frederick of Hollywood

The shampoo and bath part goes fairly quickly. The hair drying takes FOREVER. Fred has the shortest fur, so he goes first. When you are bathing several pigs, it is easy to get ahead of yourself and end up with a bunch of soggy pigs. I’ve learned not to bathe the second pig until the first one is dry.

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Jillian was on drying detail this time.

Meanwhile, #2 pig, Carl Sagan, is sweating bullets. Wait a minute! That’s not sweat and those aren’t bullets!

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Bean maker extraordinaire

Stevie Ray is such a handful, he’s been asked to wait in the other room. He’s last for a variety of reasons.

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Still drying.

Even short-haired guinea pigs take forever and a day to dry.

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“Oh no!”

Little Carl is next. Like the others, he enjoys the warm water until he realizes he is wet, and then he panics a little and tries to jump out.

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“Aaaah! So nice and warm!”

I pour a bit more warm water on and he relaxes. Then he realizes he is wet, and then he panics a little and tries to jump out.

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“I think I can get out of here!”

Repeat.

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“What’s that noise?”

Carl’s fur is a bit longer, so we have to keep fluffing it up to get it dry underneath.

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“I like this part!”

They all seem to like the hair drying part. It’s noisy, but it’s warm, and they all want to be the center of attention.

Stevie Ray Vaughn has to be last because his fur is so long it takes a couple forevers and then another week to get it dry. Plus, he’s a snippy little guy with a lot of attitude, and it’s good to practice on the NICE guinea pigs first. Stevie Ray is such a handful that I was unable to get any photos of him in the tub. Between the shampoo and the voluminous hair slowly expanding to fill the entire tub and the constant bean removal and the frantic jumping from one side to the other, there will probably never be any photos of this guy in the tub.

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“I’m hot stuff.”

Stevie Ray likes the hair dryer, but it takes a long, long time and he gets bored. After a while he starts horsing around. He spins and slashes at us with the toenails on his hind feet, and the beans start flying. He stands up in the drying box- good! We can dry his belly fur! But no, he drops and spins. We get a dry clean towel. I hold him on his back like a baby, the way he loves to be held. Jillian takes advantage of the new damp exposed areas and he lets us dry him for another minute and a half.

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He looks good in the photos, though.

We take a break, but all-in-all it probably takes over half an hour to dry this turkey. We’re wet, now. The kitchen is wet. I’m thinking ahead to dinner, maybe we’ll go out.

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So handsome, Stevie Ray!

Meanwhile, back at the Dude Ranch, snacks are served. I wonder if they have noticed that they smell like raspberry shampoo.

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“Go away, we’re busy.”

Right.

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Our Brochure

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Our Brochure

The Funny Farm suddenly has brochures! Not only that, but we have business cards, too!

For several years, Dobby has participated in fund-raising for a local bunny organization and shelter, Special Bunny.  Visits with Dobby have been a popular auction item, and I usually include a Super Capy plush and a Dobby the Capybara card with the contact information. This year, I included brochures, business cards, and even postcards!

This is what the “outside” of the brochure looks like (when you tri-fold it, Prince Dobalob ends up inside):

2014 brochure (outside)

inside right flap | back | front

It’s kind of a spatial recognition test. In your mind, tri-fold it and then stick this information on the inside:

2014 brochure (inside)

inside left | inside middle | inside right

Here’s a link to a pdf version if you want to print one out:

2014 brochure SFF

 

Daily Drama 22 (Death and Destruction)

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Daily Drama 22 (Death and Destruction)

What is Dobby looking at? Why did he park himself at the gate to the aviary?

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We have had a visitor

It’s raccoon season. I have a love-hate relationship with raccoons. As long as they stay out of my aviary and leave us alone, I’m okay with them. But they are clever, vicious, disease-ridden, and a constant reminder for me to be ever-vigilant.

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Right outside the gate, but outside is better than inside!

It’s great having volunteers! Look at Kim, pretending to be a guinea pig!

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Kim is actually up in the cage.

The cage needed a tune-up. I’m not willing to leave the walls unprotected to see if the guinea pigs try to eat them like my rabbits and parakeets do. However, the back panels protecting the wall were odd colors, and were slipping down. They’re all white now, and attached to the horizontal red ones for support.

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Thank you, Kim!

Kim is especially partial to Carl Sagan.

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Kim and Carl, BFF’s Forever!

We had a big windstorm and 14 hour power failure. Because Connor trimmed back all those branches last summer, we didn’t have any damage to the aviary. I was surprised to discover that the old mailboxes, now relocated as birdhouses to the front yard, had taken a hit.

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Three boxes are open, the far left one is askew, and Dobby’s flag is drooping.

In the photo above, please also notice the horizontal branch to the left of the mailboxes. That was not my tree until it fell into my yard Saturday night.

 

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Poor ickle mailbox

Here’s that tree, or rather, what’s left of the treetop after it shattered itself on the old mailboxes.

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Thank you for the tree, neighbor!

In the photo below, you can see where the tree “crossed the line.”

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Maybe it was trying to escape.

The last tree that tried to escape onto my property was a full-sized weeping willow. When it fell over, the roots turned skyward, breaking the edge of the pond, causing a bit of a flood. This attempted escape was very subtle.

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Neighbor’s property                 |              My Property

The photo below looks back at their property from mine, toward the newly created stump. That’s Scamp’s turtle pond to the right. A second tree broke off near this one and is still laying in the middle of his pond. My neighbor lost 6 trees altogether. It’s all wetland over there, and the dead fallen trees make excellent habitat for amphibians.

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Scamp’s turtle pond

My neighbor is very efficient and has already removed the tree off our fence. The larger bent pipe is the top rail of the fence. It’s still high enough to keep curious capybaras out of his pond. (Yes, I should take him over there, but I’m not confident I would ever get him to come back. Plus, from the pond next door he would readily find the creek that leads to nearby Lake Washington.) The smaller pipe, not so bent, is electrical conduit leading out to the greenhouse. Maybe I should get that checked out someday.

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  Larger darker pipe: top rail to chain link fence                Smaller lighter pipe: electrical conduit to greenhouse

Earlier in the week, tragedy strikes. The graveyard has a new resident.

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Dobby pays his respect.

Little Krumpit, my handicapped Sparrow, died abruptly at the age of 5 years. This has been a year of many losses, but I am surprised at how much I miss this tiny bird. My little indoor flock has also been affected by his departure.

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Krumpit the Sparrow, in the garden, with the prayer flags that adorned his summer-afternoon-outdoor-visiting cage

Dobby has been allowed to carve his own pumpkin. He has gashed a couple jagged scars in it. Now that Halloween has passed, we’ll see if he’s interested in sharing it with the guinea pigs, rabbits, and chickens. Or whether the squirrels will haul it up a tree, to join those decoys!

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Scarface and Scarface