Sunday, 13 September 2015

Penny chased her first rabbit

Walking in a fresh spot today, I was enjoying the newly-mown grass, and Penny was enjoying the longer patches that had been left to grow.

She was munching on some long leaves and smelling the smells, and didn't notice a rabbit sitting right near her, ignoring us. Fortunately, before Penny realised what was going on, the rabbit leaped into the long grass and hid.

 I won't be letting Penny into long grass in couple of weeks, because as soon as the weather warms up, the snakes will be out.

Because I'd already seen the rabbit, I wasn't too surprised when Penny dashed off from me in pursuit of another one - her first rabbit! I'm super pleased to report that when I called a sharp 'come!', she left the rabbit and headed back to me for her well-deserved reward.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

fruit bats, rabies and dogs

We found a new place to walk, yesterday. If we didn't have Penny to make us go exploring, we wouldn't find all the interesting things around us, I reckon.

As we walked along the Yarra River, we heard a chittering noise, and thought at first it was a flock of black cockatoos swirling through the air nearby. Of course, we headed in that direction to investigate. I love cockatoos.

But it was fruit bats. Hundreds of them, swooping from tree to tree. I thought bats slept in the daytime, but these ones seemed to be quite disturbed. Maybe it was our approach, but I don't think so, because at first we were a long way away, and it was their movement that attracted our attention.

Human Number Two kept Penny away while I went closer to snap these pictures with my phone, because we'd heard the rumours about bats spreading rabies.

But on this government site I read:

 It is assumed that any bat in Australia could potentially carry ABLV. The behaviour or appearance of a bat is not an accurate guide as to whether it is carrying the virus. The rabies and ABLV viruses are unlikely to survive outside the bat or animal for more than a few hours, especially in dry environments that are exposed to sunlight. Contact or exposures to bat faeces, urine or blood do not pose a risk of exposure to ABLV, nor do living, playing or walking near bat roosting areas as long as bats are not handled.

Well, we certainly wouldn't be handling them, because they were way up high.

Friday, 11 September 2015

vegetarianism for dogs

Once I had a falling-out with an acquaintance about her decision to rear her puppy as a vegan. I thought she was being cruel to her puppy and wouldn't be able to raise a healthy dog. Now I'm not so sure.

And just the other day, I noticed dog food labelled as 'vegetarian'. I wondered whether it would be as good for a dog as the labelling suggested it was.

So I was most interested to see this article suggesting that dogs can, indeed thrive on a vegetarian diet.

I'm still not convinced it's possible, but this may mostly be because I don't trust manufacturers of dog food. It seems to me it's not likely that feeding a dog one type of food exclusively would  be healthy. (After all, the manufacturers want us to choose their brand and feed only that.)

I'll continue to feed Penny a diet that is a mixture of commercial canned and dry food, as well as meals I cook myself, and a substantial amount of raw food - all of which is a combination of meat and vegetables or fruit.

It's all a bit of a conundrum, but so far we seem to have the right formula for feeding her.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

regular Bowen therapy

We are so lucky to be able to go to Deb at Bow-Rei-Me for regular Bowen therapy, because it keeps Penny active and happy.

Yesterday we noticed she had started to head-nod, always a sign that she is in some sort of pain, so I was glad she was already scheduled for a session with Deb today.

I'm not good at figuring out just where Penny's pain is, but I assumed it was at the 'front end', because of the head-bobbing. When we arrived, I told Deb that there was some pain but I didn't know where. Sure enough, Deb zeroed in straight away to the left shoulder, which is actually where I thought it might be.

We can usually tell how Penny's feeling by how she goes down the back stairs to the yard. If she's stiff, she bunny hops all the way down, and we feel bad to see that, I can tell you. If she's just a bit uncomfortable, she'll bunny hop a couple of steps and then left-right, left-right smoothly the rest of the way.

Well, I'm super pleased to report she just went outside for her evening visit to check the possums aren't getting away with anything, and she walked smoothly the whole way down.

Thanks, Deb!

Now, should I admit...

Yep, confession time...

Deb treats humans also, and I follow after Penny's session with a delicious, long Bowen session for myself, usually accompanied by soft woofs and snores as Penny relaxes beside the table.

Then it's off to Yarra Glen Cafe and Store to have a leisurely lunch. After all, if I'm going to drive forty kilometres to visit Bow-Rei-Me, why not make a day of it? If it's hot, Penny lies at my feet, seeing the outer part of the cafe is dog-friendly, but lately she's been happier to snooze in the car, because the weather is so cool. (Suits me fine, because I get to sit inside by the fire.)

On the way home, if Penny wants to get out of the car, we might go for a brief stroll along the river at Warrandyte, or even wander around the gardens of Heide Art Gallery. (Best kitchen garden in Melbourne, in my opinion.) Deb says it's important not to go beyond what Penny feels comfortable with, after a Bowen session.