A Sad Farewell to the Boo

Hi there…

I have some sad news to report, but first some folks may need a little context…

Those of you who know me know that I’m married to a veterinarian and she’s always had pets. I went through a long spell between the end of high school and living on my own where I didn’t have any – but as my relationship with Ev grew, I became attached to her collection of pets. And over the last 10 years, though we’ve lost some and gained some, one of the constants has been our cats – Montana Sunshine (aka “Boo”) and Tigger (aka Tiggy, Tiggy-butt, Fat thing, etc.).

Of all our animals since losing Lobo (a wolf hybrid) and Dakota (a Corgi-mutt) to cancer while living in Phoenix, I have come to love the Boo best. Yes, I know you’re not supposed to favor one “kid” over another – but it happens. Boo comes first in my mind as far as our animals go.

As my wife puts it, Boo is a “’93 model” making her about 17 years old. And for the last 4 or 5 years, we’ve been dealing with her diabetes. I make an ok vet tech in a pinch (which means that I follow directions well) and have been trained to give insulin shots twice a day, hold off while drawing blood, help while testing blood sugar, and even serve as a halfway decent IV stand now and then.

But when the Boo had a bad diabetes-related crash back in March, we were worried. She recovered after a few days in the animal emergency hospital, but never quite got back to where she was before. And every day we could see her slowly fade away. Sure she had good days and bad, but the bad days were getting more and more frequent.

Today we finally had to put her to sleep. Though it’s tough to let her go, her general quality of life was not good. She could barely walk after missing a few jumps from the table to the counter or even from a lower chair, slept most of the day, and she just wasn’t the same perky Siamese kitty we all knew and loved.

It’s a sad day. She’s been a family member, not a pet, for me for ten years. And she will be missed.

What will I miss? The 7am howling from the kitchen table announcing that she’d like her breakfast please. The attitude when boxing the dogs on the nose if they get too close. And most of all, her flopping on the living room floor so I could rub her belly and give her a good dose of lovin’.

Farewell Boo, we will miss you.

–Fitz

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

PC Game Review: Pet Pals: New Leash on Life

Greetings!

Being married to a veterinarian and having two young girls fascinated by animals of all types, I decided to check out Legacy Interactive‘s Pet Pals: New Leash on Life a couple of months ago. Aimed squarely at the teenage crowd looking to become vets themselves, I thought the game was more than a little tedious. My daughters on the other hand were fascinated and wanted to play.

When you start out, you are a new veterinarian at the Pet Pals Animal Shelter. The goal is to work through 35 different cases based on real animals and nurse the critters back to health. Everything from rabbits and kitties to rabbits and iguanas. Strictly small animals here, which is great to get kids to play who have their own pets at home.

What is immediately apparent is the level of detail in this game. I worked a few nights as an “emergency vet tech” with my wife and have to admit I think they made this game about as real as it can get. The tutorial walks you through a checkup for a stray kitten and you have to check its ears, draw blood, and so on.

The graphics are simplified, but work in the context of a virtual veterinarian’s office for kids I think. But the gameplay would become very boring and repetitive quickly. Where the game really succeeds however is to provide practical knowledge of some of the tests and procedures that happen at your local vet or animal shelter. At the end of case, you’ve made sure that each pet is healthy and has a new home. You just have to hope you don’t get buried in the details as you work through each case…

If you’re looking for a taste of what it’s like to be a real vet, minus the blood and other bodily excretions, I think this is probably a great introduction. It removes the fantasy of being a small animal vet and adds some reality back into the mix. I would caution parents not to let their children base their career choices totally on this game, but it’s a great way to see how interested they actually are. Once they’re old enough, have them volunteer in the local animal shelter or at a local vet clinic to get some hands-on experience.

Though I didn’t really enjoy the game, my daughters did and I can appreciate the care and work that went into it. If you have a pre-teen or teen child interested in becoming a veterinarian or who wants to learn more about pet care, Pet Pals: New Leash on Life would provide a great introduction to those topics.

–Fitz

p.s. Pick this and other Pet Pals titles up at Amazon:

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

New T-shirts – show love for your designated furry napping friends!!

Hi all…

It’s been forever since I created any new t-shirts or bumper stickers and thought it was about time I did something about that. 🙂

As a pet owner, I have always felt like any cats and dogs I have had are operating as my “designated nappers…” What does this mean? Well, when you can’t take a nap, you can be sure that your cat or dog is probably taking a nap at that very moment. And though I’m sure they mean well and it doesn’t help, it’s still quite cute. 🙂

So I present the “designated napper” series of t-shirts and bumper stickers…

designated_napper_dog_bumper_sticker_edited-2

designated_napper_cat_bumper_sticker_edited-2

designated-napper-dog_edited-1-640x480

designated-napper-cat_edited-1-640x480

Be sure to check out the other t-shirts and products in my Cafepress store HERE

Enjoy and I hope you like them!

–Fitz

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]