February 28, 2009

Woodpeckers' morning visit

by winecountrydog

On this last day of February 2009, I was happy to awaken to the stereo sound of a pair of Downy Woodpeckers rat-a-tat-tatting in some backyard trees.

a male Downy Woodpecker
You might recall that I'm a Corgi who's said to be "inordinately concerned" with activities taking place over my head. So sez dog-ma. Well, I do take a few minutes a day to watch birds, but I rarely ask dog-ma to pull out her Audubon book.

I was so excited to hear the Downies tree-drumming. They don't often visit me. I love their dramatic coat designs — I mean, their lovely feather patterns.

What a beautiful morning and a nice way to begin counting down the days till spring.

February 22, 2009

Dog's eye view of wild mustard

by winecountrydog

Nice mellow day yesterday. A good day for walkies in the Russian River Valley.

old apples trees in field of blooming wild mustard
Jack Corgi and I did lots of sniffin'. Many pre-spring plants in the fields.

yellow blossoms of wild mustard
Bright yellow blossoms of wild mustard everywhere.

pretty field full of mustard
We find the apple orchards and mustard fields so arfully pretty.

old apple orchard with mustard blooming in the rows
Wild mustard — Synapis arvensis — is one of Sonoma County's most familiar signs that spring is around the corner.

how beautiful the blooming wild mustard on a late winter's day in West County!
After we enjoyed an afternoon snack at a farmers' market, we watched some birds out at the Laguna. Then we had a calming ride home.

Paw-note: Thanks to dog-ma for dooin' pics fur us.

February 20, 2009

Aussie Meerkat pups take a peek at public

by winecountrydog

Little Zanzibar and Nairobi Meerkat were born near the end of January at Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia. Seein' their darling faces in photos made me realize that, oh howl, I haven't seen any happy pics from Australia since before the Victoria bushfires.

So I'm smiling a big smile at these two arfully cute Meerkat pups who took their first peek at the human zoo public on February 20th.

Zanzibar and Nairobi Meerkat at 28 days old
Australian newspapers say that Zanzibar and Nairobi are the pride of the Taronga Zoo's nine-member Meerkat family. Meerkats are very intelligent and social little mammals, native to the Kalahari Desert and South Africa.

Taronga zookeeper Ms. Bobby-Jo Vial says she's "extremely thrilled" and feels very lucky to be the "Mamma Meerkat."

My best wishes to you, baby Meerkats!

Taronga's Meerkat precious pups!
I really like that there's a Taronga Conservation Society and Wildlife Hospitals at Taronga and Western Plains Zoos. The hospitals rehabilitate and release as many native Aussie animals as they can. Each year they care for about 1,500 native animals! These animals are brought to the hospitals by members of the community after being found sick, injured, or orphaned.

I wouldn't be surprised that Taronga's gotten a few rescued animals from Victoria to care for.

My paw-prayers go out to all the many Victoria animals who survived the bushfires and are trying to recover from injuries and burns.

February 14, 2009

Love me with all of your heart

by winecountrydog

I've been listening to sentimental love songs. Is that so arful? . . . I guess it depends on your pawspective.

I turned up the volume while listening to the pets' version of "Love me with all of your heart" on Youtube. Dog-ma overheard and had to hunt down a kleenex.

"Knock it off now, will ya?" dog-ma said. "I get your point. You've got to love your friends while you have 'em, because life is short."

See, dog-ma understands. She just doesn't like to get soppy.

Howl, I think it's appawpriate to be all mushy on Valentine's Day.

So here's a wee Valentine message. This is a classic Letterman show clip. It's of Odie, the late great talkin' Pittsburgh Pug!

Odie was a lucky dog with a family who loved him so very much. You can tell this when you read what Odie's human wrote on Odie's Dogster page a year after he passed away.

"Odiekins. You are missed every single day. I miss your sweet little face, your puggy kissses and especially your I Love You's. Until we meet again at The Bridge, my friend, you are forever in my heart."
All those dear ones who've traveled with us in this life are furever in our hearts.

Paw-note: Don't listen to dog-ma laughing at my sentimentality. I've not gone all soppy! Really.

February 12, 2009

Koala Sam has a lot of furriends who need help

by winecountrydog

You've seen photos of Koala Sam in Victoria, Australia. Now you've got to see the video of her rescue by CFA firefighter David Tree.

According to Koala Sam's website, firefighter Tree was at Mirboo North when he saw the stricken koala:

"I could see she had sore feet and was in trouble, so I pulled over the fire truck. She just plonked herself down, as if to say ‘I’m beat’. . . . I offered her a drink and she drank three bottles."

"The most amazing part was when she grabbed my hand," Tree said. "I will never forget that."

Koala Sam is being taken care of by Wildlife Rescue and Protection (WRAP) in Woorarra West, Victoria.

Another rescue organization caring for Vic wildlife is Wildlife Victoria. Other koalas have been rescued, as well as ringtail possums, wallabies, and eastern grey kangaroos.

Some Vic furriends who've been rescued, like Garfield here, won't want to be holding paws with anybody fur quite some time. Garfield, from Steels Creek, had severe burns covering his legs and feet. He was taken to Victoria Animal Aid at Coldstream.

Garfield the Vic cat gets a cooling bath for his burns
Animal Aid, which is overflowing with pets needing attention, took nice care of Garfield. The staff said that Garfield is "such a sweetheart and purred madly the whole time." (Purrsonally, I think that some cats purr when they're scared.

Paw-leeze, if you can, make a donation to these organizations to help them help all the domestic, farm, and wild animals who were burned and injured in the Victoria bushfires.

February 9, 2009

So many animals injured & homeless in Victoria bushfires

by pawlitico

"Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." – Albert Schweitzer

How many animals lost their lives in the Victoria, Australia, bushfires? How many survived? The overall impact on pets, wildlife, and farm animals is not yet fully known. Many of the traumatized and injured animals out in the blackened landscape haven't yet emerged to seek water and food.

In and around all the fire-affected areas are many animals who are burned, injured, homeless, ownerless, or lost, and animal welfare authorities are trying to rescue and medically treat them all.

Koala found in Vic fires
RSPCA Victoria captioned the above photo by Russell Vickery/Herald Sun: "Koala found in Vic fires . . . bless its beautiful heart."

RSCPA posted these comments on Facebook:

For all those wanting to donate to the RSPCA, we have a team on the ground around KingLake helping feed and treat animals as well as (hopefully) helping to reunite displaced stock and domestic animals with owners.

Go to www.rspcavic.org.au and click on the bushfire link.

There is an area you can donate money AS WELL as an area to explain how/what you can help. For instance a lady called here before saying she has a horse float that she will donate etc. If the RSPCA/victims DO need what you can offer (once everyone knows what they do and don't need), then the VIC RSPCA will then contact you and arrange how to make it happen.

Things they might need:

• Horse floats/all horse equipment
• Shearing gear for Sheep
• Hay for horses, sheep, goats etc. - there's obviously no grass to feed on... just charcoal
• Dog leads, collars
• Rabbit/guinea pig/bird food (some may have managed to grab their smaller animals)
• Cat and dog cages (portable transportation type cages)
• Cat and dog beds/toys
The Lost Dogs' Home, Australia's largest pet shelter, has also been in the field. They've delivered pet food and supplies for owned and lost pets, and have offered their Animal Ambulance fleet, as well as veterinary staff, portable cages, free animal boarding, and veterinary treatment — free of charge to injured dogs and cats affected by the fires.

Paw-prayers fur everybuddy.

February 4, 2009

Escape The Meatrix!

by pawlitico

Factory farming is a horrible thing!

As Moopheus, the star of The Meatrix, points out, "In the mid-twentieth century, greedy agriculture corporations began modifying sustainable family farming to maximize their profits at great cost to humans and animals."

Remember what Moopheus says: "It's you, the consumer, who has the real power. Don't support the factory-farming machine."

Paw-leeze, if you eat meat and dairy, shop for humanely-farmed food!