Monday, 27 June 2011

Skunks make great pets!

From ERIC SHACKLE in Sydney, Australia. <ericshackle*> 

Skunks (de-odorised, of course), may not be your idea of a pet, but hundreds of skunklovers around the world think they're cute and lovable.

These clever critters are popular pets in the US, Canada, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

Citizens of North Ridgeville,  a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, are eagerly preparing to hold the 10th annual Skunkfest there on Saturday, September 10.

Judges will select a King Skunk, a Queen Skunk, and Prince and Princess Skunks.

The official website says it will be "a friendly gathering for skunk lovers and skunk owners from everywhere to share some fun and discussionsabout skunks."

Most skunks are black with a white stripe, but others are white, gray, brown, beige or pale lavender.
A skunk's stink comes from a gland under its tail. It can squirt a vile-smelling but harmless oily liquid as far as 10 feet (three metres).

"Skunk spray causes no real damage
to its victims, but it sure makes them uncomfortable," says an anonymous writer in National Geographic.

"It can linger for many days and defy attempts to remove it. As a defensive technique, the spray is very effective.

"Predators typically give skunks a wide berth unless little other food is available."


Sunday, 19 June 2011

Does your pet feel lonely?

From ERIC SJACKLE in Sydney, Australia. <ericshackle*>
You call yourself a petlover, but have you ever thought how lonesome your pet must feel when you are away from home? Don't fret, my pet. Sydney Pet Sitters provides professional pet minding and dog walking services in the lower north shore.

 "We will send a qualified and compassionate sitter to visit your home where your pet is most comfortable", says its website.

"Whether your pet needs regular walking or just a quick visit, Sydney Pet Sitters guarantees friendly, reliable service that will meet your needs. Ask us about our new companionship visits that last 2.5 hours".

A cattery in the Sydney suburb of Arcadia  says "
Our Sydney cattery offers the best luxury cat minding service available "If you're looking for a Sydney cattery that will treat your feline like royalty, you've come to the right place. Aragon Cattery prides itself on providing Sydney's best cat minding service.

"Our cattery stands out from the rest when it comes to cat sitting because we offer luxury five star facilities which boast reverse cycle air conditioning and oversized verandah penthouse suites to house your loved ones while you escape Sydney for a short or long break.

"We also have large apartment condos and soon new villa suites which are set in peaceful rural surroundings even though our cattery is located only 45 minutes from Sydney's CBD."

Melbourne's Happy House Sitters offers a free in home house and pet sitting service to all pet owners anywhere in Australia.

"Save big $$$ on kennels/catteries and dog walkers.," it says on its website. "We have hundreds of registered pet loving house and pet sitters who would love to look after your house and pet while you are away, and they will do it for free. It doesn't matter if you are away for a week or a year."

What if you are away for only a few hours?  Well, in the UK, there are carers who will happily look after lonely humans, or their pets - dogs, cats, even goldfish (how lonely a solitary goldfish must feel, swimming around and around in his bowl).

First London Pet Sitting and its sister businesses "provide a loving alternative to boarding your pets outside the home. We are a family business and our priority is to provide first class care for your pets. Whether it is a dog, cat, turtle or ferret, we would love to care for them."

...And we used to think that only  another ferret could love a ferret!

In Downey, California, Uncle Denny's Critter Sitters website says, "With Uncle Denny’s help your pets will stay in the secure comfort of their own home amidst the familiar sights, sounds and smells of their own environment."


Sunday, 12 June 2011

Bicycle Art Display in Sydney

From ERIC SHACKLE in Sydney, Australia. <ericshackle*>

My friend Mike Rubbo, a talented film maker and artist, spends much of his time riding an electric-powered bicycle.

He believes more people ought to ride bikes, both to improve their health and to lessen pollution.

He also thinks most Australian cyclists adopt the wrong posture when they lean forward; he says
they should sit upright, as practised in Europe.

Mike has put togther a large collection of photos, drawings and some of his own sketches and lino
cuts, for an exhibition in Sydney.

It will be held in the TAP Gallery, 278 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst, from July 4 (12 to 6pm daily).

You can preview some of the exhibits by visiting Mike's website: