Wednesday, October 28, 2009

So, what have I learned so far?

We've started on our medical terminology.
I'm allergic to Guinea Pigs.
Learned of Flea Dust.
How to deep clean a cage.
How to bath kittens and rats.
How to clip wings and trim nails.
Who my group is and what we do together.
How to milk a goat.
That baby goats are like puppies.
Tell birds apart from their beak shapes and coloring.
Different types of animal training.
What bloat is, and how dogs get it.

(I'll add more as I think of them, you know.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Days go by pretty quick

Well, I haven't started clicker training Wynter yet. I'm planning on starting soon. I have a cheap halloween clicker that should do the trick. She's going to learn not to jump on the counter.. that's the only problem we've ever had with her.

Everyone is sick and miserble at my house. I hate the cold season.. it's only going to get colder though.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Clicker Training.

In class, we watched a video on “Clicker Training”. Clicker Training involves a clicker and a treat for reinforcement when training an animal.

Example: You want your puppy to learn to sit. When he sits down, you use the clicker to *click*, and give him a treat. The clicker helps him realize what he did to get a treat. Your puppy will learn that when he hears that Click, he gets a treat. When you add a cue, (saying “sit” when he sits) he will learn to sit on command. You must use treats as reinforcement, otherwise the puppy will not be motivated to do what you are training him to do.

Clicker Training can be used in veterinary fields in many ways. Clicker Training is much faster and more successful than simply using treats, so it can help with many behavioral problems, as in barking or attacking strangers quickly. You can train a dog to jump onto the exam table and then sit or lay down, or you can train a cat to stay calm when being administered medication.

Clicker Training can be used personally as well. You can train a fish to swim through a hoop, you can train a cat to use a toilet instead of litter, or you can train a nervous horse to load itself. Clicker training can be used for a wide variety of animals, ranging from lions to domestic cats to fish and ferrets. You can train any animal any trick that it is physically and mentally able to do. If you have a dog that jumps up on you every time you walk in the door, you can train her to stop. If you have a blind cat who keeps trying to get outside, you can train him to stop. The possibilities are endless.

My cat, Wynter, jumps onto the kitchen counter to lounge or when there’s food that she might like. My parents never mind unless they’re making dinner. (Or if there’s cookies covering every square inch of the counter with fresh icing on them). I plan to see if my cat is mentally able to learn not to jump on the counter when there is food on it. I do feed my cat on the counter when I make tuna, so this may be a difficult goal to attain.

Many of you might wonder why I won't simply stop letting Wynter on the counter at all, or stop feeding her on the counter. I want to see if my cat is mentally capable of deciding on whether or not she should be on the counter. If this proves to be too much for her, then I will stop feeding her on the counter. However, I don't want to take the counter away from her entirely, there are nice big patches of sun to lay in during the day.

I'm sure I will be posting updates on Clicker Training my cat, so keep checking back!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

So, since school started..

Well, it's been four and a half weeks since school started. I feel like I've been doing pretty good, and my grades reflect that.. but of course, it's still the beginning of the year. I ALWAYS feel like I'm doing good at the beginning. Doesn't everybody?

I've stayed home the past couple of days with the flu.. it's absolutely miserable. Staying home is always so stressful, though. There's so much work to be done, and yet, I don't want to get anyone else sick. Luckily, I have a wonderful boyfriend who brings me the work I miss at Southridge, while I can keep in contact with Ms. Lefevre with gmail. Of course, this means I get to at least attempt to keep my grades up. If there's one thing I'm exceling at, it's being sick and keeping all the work that I can done.

Speaking of excelling, have any of you had a chance to take a look at the notes I take during class? I do NOT understand how I can take 3 pages of notes when everyone else has a half page, and I still end up having a hard time on tests. I can tell you, though, if you missed a day and want to copy notes, hit me up. You'll get all the information you need, plus way more. Notes are a thing I take pride in, even if I end up with seven binders full of them at the end of the year.

On the other hand, I'm sure that no one has noticed yet, but I tend to try to keep to myself. The words "team" and "group"... they scare me. I don't mind the whole participation thing, but what I do mind is that I'm going to have to work together with other people. I've done this more than enough times to realize that it never quite works out. If we don't choose our groups, there's so many things that just won't happen for the group. There's groups that'll get together and sit there, quiet, even when we're not shy. There's groups that don't know what they're supposed to be doing, and decide not to ask what's going on and try to figure out what to do based on what other groups are doing. There's so many varibles. There's people who just can't get along, and that's my problem. I don't want to be around people who are going to argue. I don't want to be part of a team that can't do anything right without banning someone. Even if a bunch of people who end up getting together and just click.. Well, then I'm the odd one out. I don't want to mess up the synchronization. (Is that how you spell it? Microsoft Word locked on me... It won't even let me type in it.) Here's the issue when you get right to it: I don't want to screw anything up. I'm always so afraid it'll be me.

However, when there's something I'm knowledgable in when no one else has a clue, I can get right up and tell them what's going on. I'll let them all know and we'll all get it done. No problem. Done. I will do my best to get everyone doing something, and we'll exceed our own expectations. It's always about getting better, right?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Meine Katze; Wynter.

If any of you have read my first post, you'll have noticed me mention my cat, Wynter. I'll give you a bit of her history here.

Ever since I've known her until recently, my friend Leah (on the right) had a black cat named Midnight. (Leah went camping and Midnight was left outside, we're guessing Midnight figured they weren't coming back so she found someone else to take care of her.) Midnight had quite a few litters while living with Leah. One of the litters were around when I was spending some days at Leahs... and since cats are my favorite animal (although I wouldn't mind just having a zoo) I got hooked on the pure white one. Wynter!

As she grew, Wynter become as attached to me as I did to her. I went to Leahs as often as possible, hoping Wynter would someday come home with me. For some reason, dad agreed I could finally get a cat. (Everytime I asked before he would say no.) Right around my birthday 2007, Wynter was old enough for me to trap her in a cat carrier and listen sadly as she meowed frantically the whole four minutes home. Then she had full rein of.. my room. I didn't want my younger brothers to terrorize her at least until she was used to the house. She stayed in my room for about a week and a half until my stepmother, Stina, took pity on her and let her out of my room while I was in school.

I was not happy about this. I knew my younger brothers may or may not take kindly to a new pet. They, of course, were ecstatic when Stina got two Scottish Folds, even if they were shy and wouldn't let anyone near them. However, Vincent (age 6 at the time) got the idea that Wynter was a "bad cat" and took it upon himself to abuse her. He tought Oliver (age 4) to yank Wynter by the tail off the counter. During the summer they would spray her with the hose.

Wynter is no longer the friendly, loving cat that she was. She stays outside more often than I'd like. She does like attention, especially from me. She lets me and my dad hold her. She plays with us. Then she dissapears for a couple days. Wynter sleeps with my parents (she LOVES their comforter) and sometimes she'll cuddle up with me too. Then she's just gone. Everyday that I don't see her, I'm praying that she isn't out there, finding other people to take care of her, just like her mother.

Wynter is almost 2 years old now. Her life isn't horrible, but I wish I could have given her more. I actually wish that she had been born later, when I didn't live with these monsters that I must call my brothers. There is no excuse to abuse a cat. Nothing will justify what they've done to her, and I feel guilty for ever taking her in the first place. Now, I can't just let go of her. In that irratating human way, I've become attached to her. She's my best friend.

When you abuse a kitten, or a puppy, it affects their entire life. They learn to be afraid. They run away. They become defensive, and then no one wants them. They hide. You have ruined a perfectly harmless and wonderful animal, and you deserve to be treated the same way.

Remember to always treat others the way you want to be treated. You hit someone, someone needs to come hit you harder.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Observin' The Kittens!

So, I'll let you all know what PVT stands for first: Pre-Vet Technician. This is my blog for my PVT course at tritech, I'll update when I'm required too and when I feel like puttin' somethin' down. (Which may or may not be often, we'll see.)

On the second day at Tritech, Ms. Lefevre gave us all a little furry surprise: Kittens! My FAVORITE! Sissy looks just like my kitty, Wynter, did when she was a kitten. Sissy is the one girl out of three kittens. Sparky is mostly white, while Leo is that adorable orange/white striped.. He's going to a guy in the PM class. Crystal convinced her friend to take Sparky, while Sissy is going to Ms. Lefevre's brother.

The first day the kittens were in class, they hardly had a chance to explore as everyone fawned over them.. Leo seemed to like my bag and spent quite a long time on top of it. Crystal took an instant liking to Sparky, I believe, as she wouldn't (and still won't!) leave him alone. I'm glad she'll be able to watch Sparky grow into an adult at her friends house!

The second day the kittens were in class, they were meant to explore, however the dogs (Honey, Daisy, Foster and Charlie) may have intimidated them in the strange environment. They stayed inside their cage for the most part that day. However, the next day the kittens were everywhere! Under the tables, on top of tables, under chairs, on shoulders, on bags, you get the point. Over the past two weeks they've become more comfortable with the surroundings. I think that (if they recieve no abuse from their new owners/owners siblings) the kittens will be very social and friendly cats in the future. We can only hope!

Leo had some devolopmental issues. Leo refused to eat except from the bottle when younger, so he stopped growing for the most part. His head and penis continued growing, causing much laughter and partial disgust among the students. Sparky has fleas, and they all have worms, causing their bellys to be distended.

This blog is getting a little long, so I'll end it with a few pictures of two of the Guinea Pigs!

The first picture is Eclair and "Chester" (the baby, we're calling him Chester Cheeto for the time being). I can't remember who was holding them.

The second picture would be Heather holding Bismark.