True or false: The World Vets Technical Animal Course rocked

“What time does your flight land?”

My husband asks me this every time I go to Nicaragua (OK, it’s only been twice, but still.) He asks because the State Department brief on Nicaragua mentions armed robberies along the highways at night, and he is worried that this will happen to me. And I appreciate his concern, I do, but I sometimes wonder what the State Department would say if it were telling travelers what to do when travelling out of LAX, an airport I lived by for 5 years, or what he would have said had he known I was hopping into a taxi by myself at 1 am in Nairobi, something he didn’t think twice about when I mentioned it after the fact but everyone who has actually BEEN to Nairobi thought was a particularly gutsy stupid thing to do.

The point is, you take calculated risks all the time in life, and do the best you can to protect yourself, because at the end of the day the coolest things in life require that tiny element of risk. Why did the chicken cross the road and all of that. Despite wanting to be able to talk about my mad danger cred, I have to be honest: not all countries in Central and South America can say the same, but Nicaragua was not a worrisome destination for me. At all.

For those who don’t recall why I am talking about Nicaragua, I was there a few weeks ago as part of the Inaugural Technical Animal Rescue course with World Vets. I didn’t talk about it too much beforehand for the simple fact that I really didn’t know what we were going to be doing, other than ‘learning technical animal rescue’ and that I would need a life preserver, but the element of surprise is what makes these adventures so great. And because I ended the course with a test, you get one too. That’s how we roll here. That’s how you LEARN, people.

True or false: Most travelers to Nicaragua end up robbed, jailed, or otherwise victimized.

The area of Nicaragua we were in (Granada) feels very safe. Violent crime is certainly more rare than it is here in San Diego, and the only assault I had was on my dignity during that awkward massage (but I digress). All that stuff you hear about the terrible Nicaraguan jails on Locked Up Abroad? Told by people who were smuggling drugs. Don’t do that. This place is crawling with tourists, who come with money to spend, and the community doesn’t want to jeopardize that by showing people a bad time.

True or false: Granada is ugly.

Granada is gorgeous. It is one of the oldest cities in the Americas, founded in 1542. That means there are lots of old, old churches;

Strange incongruous city blocks whose architecture depends on what century it was built in and which pirate burned it down;

And walls stretching to the horizon, punctuated by doors that lead into the unknown; could be a pharmacy. Could be a pile of rubble. Or it could be a beautifully manicured courtyard, such as that at Casa la Merced, where we were fortunate enough to stay.

I opened my bedroom door to this every day. Hideous.

True or false: World Vets hired some random bozo to teach the course as a front because we all just wanted to go to Granada.

On the first day of the course, we met our instructor, Kim Little from Rescue 3. The first thing we learned about him is that he has been teaching rescue courses professionally for three decades.

The second thing I learned is that he is teaching us the same material taught to the HSUS Disaster Response team and all the other big players you see on the news when disasters happen domestically. So we learned the real deal, FEMA certified, official course. By the way, if you ever invite Kim over for dinner, which you should, ask him to tell you stories from his rescue work during Hurricane Katrina. There’s a story with a tiger, and another story involving a massive pig, a crate, and a film crew.

And the third thing I learned was:

SAFETY FIRST

This is important, as I will get to when I talk about how during lake practice I accidentally demonstrated how one might accidentally kill both oneself and one’s victim during a water rescue, if one forgets this cardinal law.

True or false: Technical Animal Rescue involves the most complicated and expensive elaborate machinery that exists.

After our first day doing classwork, reviewing the hydrodynamics of swift water rescue and me getting to gleefully nerd out on vectors and flow diagrams, we sat down with the meat and potatoes of any rescue team: bags of ropes and carabiners.

It’s amazing what you can do with rope. No, really.

We spent more time doing knots than anything else in this course. Knots, and knots, and more knots. Knots that swivel and knots that pull and knots with two loops and knots that lay flat.

Those who have done climbing fared better than the others, but we all got it eventually. Dr. Augusto Barragan from Panama, seen here with Dr. Lester Tapia from Granada, was particularly adept. He spent a lot of time sitting opposite me trying to explain in his non-native language what I was doing wrong.

Answer: taking too many pictures.

Jen, having quickly mastered the lessons due to her climbing experience, started to freestyle.

Kim had but three precious days to whip this motley bunch of veterinary do-gooders into cool, calm rescue pros who could grab a duffle bag of ropes and clips, look over the edge of a ravine at a dog and human in distress, and figure out how to magically transform those tools into a successful rescue. After that first day of tumbled knots, things were looking grim, but we persevered.

Day One: The newly formed team gathers at the defunct Granada train station, wondering what we had in store.

But did we learn enough? Stay tuned.

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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Flea demonstrates how to “Slap” on a Fleabass!

Flea demonstrates his slapping technique on his new custom bass, Fleabass! Head to www.Fleabass.com for more info!
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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Chilly Dog Wool Cable Sweaters 100% Wool Xlarge Red

Chilly Dog Wool Cable Sweaters 100% wool XLarge Red

Our sweaters are hand-knit and 100% wool. The dyes we use for our wool come from plants and are natural. The sheep who provide the wool live great lives and are mostly free range. Because our natural wool is not treated with chemicals they are both warm and dogs love them on their bodies.

* No wasteful, useless plastic packaging, ever.
* No electricity is used to knit our sweaters.

Small things do make a difference.

Chilly Dog Sweaters is the original Eco -friendy hand-knit dog sweaters.
Don’t let your dog be left out in the cold! Chilly Dog HANDMADE WOOL Dog Swe
ater

Size Back Lenght Inch Weight Back Lenght in Cm
XXSmall 8-9 2-6lb 20-22.5
XSmall 12-13 5-10Lb 30.5-33
Small 15-17 9-18Lb 38-43
Medium 19-21 17-29Lb 48-53
Large 23-25 28-40lb 58-63.5
XLarge 27-29 40-60Lb 68.5-73.5
XXLarge 30-33 60-80Lb 76-83.5

For the customer’s safety This item can not be returned or Exchanged Please make sure to measure yor dog

Source: Chilly Dog Wool Cable Sweaters 100% Wool Xlarge Red

FunnyDogsVideos.com

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Grown Pup Loses Sense of Shelf

Grown Pup Loses Sense of Shelf


The Daily Treat: Animal Planet

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A GRANDMOTHER AND HER CAT: A STORY IN PHOTOS

For the last nine years, Japanese photographer, Miyoko Ihara, has been taking photos of her grandmother, Misao Ihara, and her white, odd-eyed cat, Fukumaru.

Misao and Fukumaru share a special bond and go everywhere together. Although Misao is 88 years old, she still works in the fields, planting and weeding under the sun, with Fukumaru always at her side.

“When I see the way my grandmother is living her life, I really feel that she has a kind of strength that my generation simply can’t match,” Miyoko tells Nippon.com. “She gets up with the sun, and goes to bed when it sets. She loves her cat and the vegetables in her field like her own children.”

Click here to read the complete story.

Halo

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Pet of the Week: Clarke, 10021899

Some cool Pet Scratch images:

Pet of the Week: Clarke, 10021899
Pet Scratch

Image by LollypopFarm
Clarke is a 1.5-year-old male cat, who is all black with a touch of white under his chin and on his belly. He’s a very playful cat, which has earned him the nickname Sparky!

This sweet boy loves to be scratched is under his chin and neck, as well as on his head. He can be very talkative, especially when it’s time to eat. He loves food! Clarke is extremely affectionate with people and other cats. He will give you lots of kisses and hang out with you, wherever you are, just to have your company.

Clarke would prefer a dog-free home; it takes him a long time to warm up to them. He would also do best in a home with older children, or children with great kitty experience. Clarke can’t wait to meet you!

SCRATCHiNG POST & A BED iN ONE??!?!
Pet Scratch

Image by aJ GAZMEN ツ GucciBeaR

Mewchaz gracias, senor helicopter scientist!

o^_________^o
NiNJA & KOGA
showcases a gift from one of "the guys."
Instead of fLowers for me, he gave my babies this.
Purrty sweet =]

Pet of the Week: Jake, 7409839
Pet Scratch

Image by LollypopFarm
Jake is a 10-year-old male longhaired cat who was brought to Lollypop Farm after being abandoned.

We don’t know much about Jake’s history, but here at the shelter he has become a staff favorite!

Jake is one fluffy and friendly cat. This regal looking guy really likes getting attention from people. He enjoys being petted and getting head scratches. When you pet him, you’ll notice that Jake has a beautiful, soft coat.

Jake is eligible for our Seniors-for-Seniors program, so approved adopters age 60 and over can bring him home free of charge!

Jake can’t wait to meet you.

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ZooToo

Someone alerted us on the forum to a pet-people social network, so I went and looked at it.

This lady had no idea what kind of tool she had stumbled upon, but I did, and I knew right how to use it. It’s like Facebook, of which I am a huge fan.

They allow free classified ads so I posted a nice one about the pet food. You can do product reviews so I reviewed Life’s Abundance and Instinctive Choice and the supplements. You can write little journal stories so I wrote a story about Mr. Tree Kitty. People request friendships with you so I accepted. There was SO MUCH I could do in this forum, legitimately, just to network and connect with other pet people without really saying anything about pet food!

This business is all about just connecting with people. So this was a great little tool. Makes me want to go out and find other forums like this one and join them.

http://www.ZooToo.com

A day in the life of a HealthyPetNet Rep

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Sep 12, My doggie doesn’t take dry dog foods

My puppy doesn’t take dry dog food and I’m very upset for cuty health. Suggest me. Answer by Barbara: My dog was the same way. He didn’t eat dry dog
Dog Food Blog | Best Dog Food Guide

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ABC News with Dr. Day – Skin Allergies

Dr. Doris Day talks with ABC about skin allergies.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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Winners: “Santa Paws 2″ DVDs

It’s always fun to start Monday off with winners! Today we have two winners to announce for the Disney’s Santa Paws 2 DVD giveaway. Out of 5274 entries, our winners are Adam H. and…



[[ This is a summary only. Click the title for the full post, photos, videos, giveaways, and more! ]]


DogTipper: Saving $ and Saving Dogs with America’s Pet Economist

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