February 2012
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postheadericon So now you’ve purchased some tropical fish

So now you’ve purchased some tropical fish. You’ve made sure you have selected healthy fish and you have done your homework to make sure the fish that you have will go together.

Your fish should have been packed in a plastic bag with oxygen and then put into a dark bag or polystyrene box to keep the heat in.

You should try and buy fish no longer than a couple of hours away. Fish can last over 24 hours if packed right but the longer you keep them in transit the more stress they go through. You should try and keep stress to a minimum to make sure the fish remain healthy.

Once you get them home you should float the bags in the water and then open the bags up. This will help equalize the temperature between the water in the tank and the water in the bag. You should also keep adding little bits of tank water to the bag. Add just a little and then leave for five minutes before adding more. This will help acclimatize the fish to the water chemistry of the tank and even the ph and water hardness out.

After doing this for about 20 to 30 minutes you should then gently release the fish to the tank and let them swim out of the bag on there own. Then you should leave them with the aquarium light on overnight. This will reduce stress because the fish can see where they are swimming and there surroundings and they will also see that there are no predators around.

You should not feed them for around 24 hours to let them settle in and then over the next few days only feed sparingly. It will take them a couple of days to get used to the tank and feeding.

It is a good technique to add the smallest and weakest fish to the tank first. This will prevent bullying in the aquarium between the fish. Please follow these keeps to keep the stress of your new tropical fish to a minimum. This will help the fish settle in faster and in the end cause you less stress.

postheadericon If your dog is about fifteen weeks old or more than that, then he should not be having this habit of biting or nipping

If your dog is about fifteen weeks old or more than that, then he should not be having this habit of biting or nipping. A lot of dog owners are still striving to curtail this issue of biting of their dogs which are more than fifteen weeks old, such that most of them have gone to the extent of putting a muzzle over their dogs mouth in order to deal with the biting. Before your dog reaches fifteen weeks, you should give appropriate training and basic common commands so that it stops this irritating habit of mouthing. However, if this habit persists or you have taken in a dog that is over 15 weeks old or the dog is new to its home, you can try out the following to make it stop biting the hand and fingers.

a) The very first thing to do to curb this habit is to stop immediately all the dog games involving rough play. Whenever a new puppy or dog is in the home, we generally play games like wrestling and tug-of-war which are sadly not good for the dogs. As, if the dog still bites, it is imperative to stop the above game activities. These games send a wrong signal to the dog that it is okay to indulge in rough play with anyone whenever it wishes. You need to be extremely cautious not to let your dog become hostile to young kids and strangers.

b) It may be okay to allow gentle and soft biting from the puppies which are still very young. But for dog over 15 weeks, biting of all forms should stop at all cost, even if it is a simple harmless nibble on your hand or finger tips. You need to stop the dog by commanding it to stop biting firmly and at once take away your arm.

c) You can try out a method that will shock your pet dog to refrain from biting. This method is quite harmless and involves a spray bottle by which you can spray water quickly on the head or body of the dog while it is biting or nibbling. This shall startle the dog to stop this habit. This ploy is very effective and is many times the only thing needed to stop this mouthing issue.

d) A method of putting across your message is through disciplinary and firm commands. It can be applied to puppies or dogs of all ages and for all purposes too. Hence, whenever you feel the dog is going to bite your hand, it is okay to quickly say firmly and loudly No Bite! command to your dog while staring at the dog. You need to remember two things while using this method. Firstly, you should not say the command loudly such that the dog gets scared and misses the point. Secondly, you should stare at the dog for sometime only as you are trying to make the dog focus on you. If you stare for long, the dog will think that you are confronting it.

postheadericon Hip dysplasia in dogs is a very common disease, especially in young dogs, and happens as a result to an abnormal development of the hip joints

Hip dysplasia in dogs is a very common disease, especially in young dogs, and happens as a result to an abnormal development of the hip joints. The most affected breeds are the large and the medium ones, but it can also affect the small breeds. The most cases of hip dysplasia can be found in breeds like German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers, Great Danes, Golden Retrievers, and Saint Bernards. Hip dysplasia is usually caused by your dog genetic heritage. Studies have shown that if your dog has hip dysplasia then your future puppies may be developing hip dysplasia. If you want to buy a puppy you have to select the one whose parents and grandparents haven’t been treated for hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia can also be found on humans, cats.


Finding out that the dog you love so much suffers from hip dysplasia has the potential of confusing or upsetting you. If you know at least a few things about this disease that affects dogs, you can give your dog a much better care. The first thing you should know is that hip dysplasia is a type of joint disease that is degenerative and affects the hip joints of the dog. The purpose of the hip joint is to connect the body of the dog with the hind leg, with the help of the socket and ball joint. The head part of the femur bone is the one that forms the ball part. The connective tissue and the ligaments are those that keep the bones together, with a cartilage that is tough but smooth acting as a cushion. If your dog is healthy, the pelvic and femur bones will fit together perfectly, which means that the joint will work as it should.

But, if the dog suffers from hip dysplasia, the joints from the hip will not fit, since they don’t develop normally. Dysplasia actually means that the growth process is abnormal or impaired. In some cases, the hip dysplasia will cause the joint’s ball not to fit the socket of the pelvic bone as it should. In most cases, this happens when the pelvic bone is shallow. In such a case, the femur will sometimes slip out of the socket, since the joint is loose, which cases the hip to dislocate. In other situations, the connective tissue and the ligaments are to blame for the abnormal development. In this case, the joint may become instable, because the support is insufficient. When this happens, the pelvic bones and the femur can become separated. Hip dysplasia is caused in most cases by one of these problems. The end result is that the hips of the dogs become deteriorated, weak and arthritic.

Hip dysplasia doesn’t always appear in both hips. Sometimes only one hip will be affected. The effects will vary from the most severe to the mildly crippling. In most cases, hip dysplasia will start to influence dogs at a younger age, but its effects might not show up until later in the dog’s life. Doctors can’t identify the age even at puppies that are four months old, but the symptoms might only show up when he becomes an adult.

postheadericon I found a rugged quartz crystal in our garden yesterday and brought it to my writing table, to gaze at its beauty and reveal its mystery as i write, like gazing into a crystal ball

I found a rugged quartz crystal in our garden yesterday and brought it to my writing table, to gaze at its beauty and reveal its mystery as I write, like gazing into a crystal ball.

The five crystals in the center of it are perfect, in their own wild way, like the days I spent in total conflict with myself, with society and the world.

It brings to mind one of my favorite Alphia stories, my golden German Shepard Collie of the 1960’s, the pre-Funk commune years, occurring several months after the communal caravan arrived in San Francisco.

We found our large Victorian house after several weeks of illegal camping around the jagged Pacific shore hideaways and in the many untamed parks for which the city is famous.

The caravan people had remained disgruntled in spite of the constant dog/God guidance surrounding us.

A chasm developed between those who wanted to join the ranks of the work-a-day world, and the four of us who went on to establish the Funky Farm community and knew that going to work was antithetical to living creatively by the seat of our pants.

I had come to a place within myself where I needed to live outside of the mainstream, established 9-5 ho-hum I’m beaten down, kill me now style of existence I imagined my father ascribing to for his thirty-five working years, at the same place, doing the same job, everyday. I’d think of an exhilarating alternative, bet on that.

My life as a rip off artist now began in earnest.

One day, I took Alphia Lee for a walk in Golden Gate park. A squirrel distracted her from the beloved stick, and damn it if she didn’t run in front of a fast moving car. She crawled back to the side of the road.

I remember crying and kneeling beside her, going over her body, getting a sense of how badly she was hurt. A car pulled over and a young man asked to take me where ever I wished to go.

He had an old blanket and we carefully laid her on it.

Then he drove Alphia and me to the big rambling Victorian house that was our temporary abode.

We prepared a bed for her with old blankets and rags.

She’d look at us with a forlorn Muki eye, the dog who joined me 28 years later to show me true love.

That look inspired me to slip into the meat department of a local Safeway, and steal one steak a day for her, and for her only.

Then we’d sit with her for hours, stroking her neck and body and encouraging her to come back to us.

The long intimate times we spent with her were patient and happy. We did not desperately plead with her to live rather than die. Rather, we coaxed her gently, showing her our love, and gave her the great option of living with a handful of rogues completely alienated from society.

She opted to spend a few more years with us in our experiment of living–dangerously.

postheadericon Potty training for puppies a new puppy has arrived home, lovely, furry and tiny

Potty Training For Puppies

A new puppy has arrived home, lovely, furry and tiny. He is so much fun with his never ending supply of energy and enthusiasm. Your new dog is almost perfect, except for the puddles he leaves on the floor.

Potty training is one of the most important things that you will need to do with your new puppy.

First, you must realize that your new puppy has a very small bladder, and is unable to hold it for very long.

To successfully house train your puppy, you will need a good deal of patience for a few weeks at least..House training your puppy requires consistence, patience, and a lot of dedication.

Try to start potty training as early as you can.Remember though, that the younger the dog is, the smaller his bladder will be so there shouldn’t be much time between bathroom breaks.

Always praise and reward your puppy when he does something right, do not choose the opposite route and punish him when he does wrong. Dogs learn much better from praise, than punishment. They are not humans and do not have the same thought processes that we do. Sometimes, you just have to think for them.Just like any other type of training, potty training will require some specific steps for your dog to know what is expected from him.

First, observe your puppy’s regular routine and note that he will probably need to go out right after eating, and at certain times of the day. Watch carefully so that you can catch what he does right before he goes. If he starts sniffing in a specific area, circling, or squatting, it is time to take action.

When you are pretty sure that you have identified his routine, all dogs will develop this prior to relieving themselves, you can then use a specific term or word, that stops him and then you take him outside. He will quickly associate that term or word with his need to go to the toilet.
Put him down and wait for him to go. When he does, be ready with a treat and lots of praise.

It is not wise to punish a puppy for soiling in the house, this is quite cruel and not necessary, after all he is only doing what is natural to him and knows no different. It is your responsibility to teach him what he needs to know.Try to catch him before he goes and if he does go in the wrong place, simply clean it up and wait for the next time. Potty training for Puppies doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does require consistency.

Get more facts about potty training for puppies today.