Iva Animal Farm

Thoughts on pets, nutrition, and various conspiracy theories because the paper won't let me write a letter to the editor every day.

Sunday, September 18, 2005


Haven't posted for awhile, I've been swept up in my own way by the Katrina whirlwind. I have had so much mail to read and news to watch. Our clients have donated over $400 to CAAWS, an animal shelter in Baton Rouge, and we are in line to foster a dog or two at our shop. The reports I have been getting from other Borzoi people who are volunteering in these shelters describe hundreds of animals being moved through the rescue system daily. Mind-boggling.

On the lighter side... I went to the official hurricane website just to see how our family will fair in the coming years.
The Atlantic Storms
in 2005 we had Nate, he was much calmer than the one we know and love.
2006 will have a Michael and a Chris, but it is male so doesn't count
2008 will be mine, but as usual Sally will be followed by Sam in 2009
in 2010 we will be visited by Julia, Nicole and Walter

The Eastern Pacific
2006 has Kristy, closer, but spelled wrong so I guess it still doesn't count
2007 Will start with Barbara and then will be Erick (I guess we will accept Kristy after all)

Australia has a rotating schedule of names that includes the following:
Western AUS
wow a jackpot!
Northern AUS

But the winners by far are Chris, Julie, Mike, Sam and Walter who are also going to also visit Fiji in the next few years!

So Ariel, Ashlyn, Branden, Brianna, Carrie, Devon, Donna, Elizabeth, Jeff, Jonas, Keith, Kilyan, Marilyn, Megan, Ron and Savannah will be the ports for our storms.

Monday, August 29, 2005

The Beneful Syndrome

A few years ago, a dog food called Beneful hit the market. It claimed to be a "healthy, natural" food. so of course I couldn't wait to see the ingredients. It turned out that Beneful is actually chock full of grains, dangerous preservatives, artificial colors and sugar. I bought a bag so that I could show my clients the ingredients in comparison to the food we sell. At that time, I had two pet rats who loved a bit of high grain dry dog food every once in awhile, so I added the Beneful to their rat food and fresh veggies. Within 2 weeks both rats had large tumours. I took them off of the Beneful immediately, but it was too late. I felt terrible but what an experiment.
At least once a week, I have to repeat this story to someone who is bragging to me that their dog eats Beneful because it is the healthiest dog food on the market. After all, that's what they say on TV! I cringe when I see a Beneful commercial and hyperventilate if I accidently turn down the pet food aisle at the grocery store. This is false advertising at its worst and dogs are suffering for it.
The biggest lesson I have learned from Beneful is to look at ingredients, not advertising. The Beneful Syndrome is alive and well in all of our grocery store aisles. Ever looked at the ingredients in a granola bar, a loaf of multi-grain bread, a cup of yogurt, a carton of orange juice? High Fructose Corn Syrup, preservatives, artificial colors, why? And don't even get me started on Splenda and Nutrasweet! You can fill your kitchen with "healthy foods" that are actually junk foods in disguise. All I can say is buyer beware and READ the LABELS!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Migration of the Lemmings

It started already today, the migration of the lemmings. Classes start at ISU on Monday and already on Thursday it is impossible to get from one end of town to the other. In a few days they will be unconciously throwing themselves from every curb into oncoming traffic. Lemmings.

Brianna started her job at Michael's today, rah!

I took Faith to Dr. Becker (the greatest vet in the world) today and she put her on a muscle building supplement. She said it is what the body builders take since they can't take steroids. Soon she will be Arnold-kitty. She was very impressed with her progress so far, but said she will need to see the chiropractor a couple of times a year for the rest of her life.

We are still playing to catch a thief at work. We now know where the punks live, but the police need more evidence before they can search the place. Now I just need to replace the computer and spend an entire day or two putting everything back on it. Wish I got paid by the hour!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

I Have Been Violated!

Quite a day yesterday! I was the first one into work in the morning and when I got there, the back door was open. I walked in to find the place trashed. I called 911 and they told me to leave the building immediately and wait for the police. They went in with their guns drawn, it was pretty intense! The punks took our computer and about $300 cash. The evening before, these two kids came in asking about dog food and shampoo for their Pit Bull and low and behold the only other missing items were the food and shampoo that I had recommended for them! I wonder who the perps were? They had broken into the detailing shop next door and entered our shop through the adjoining door in the kitchen. They got their computer too. Oh the other thing they took was our poopy, hairy garbage can. It seems they rolled it away with the computers in it and then abandoned the can a block away. What an adventure, we had the CSI guy there and everything! Hope today is back to normal.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The real threat in Europe

Ariel is back from Europe safe and sound. It turns out that terrorist bombs were not a threat to her safety at all. The real threat was whether she and her father would kill each other before the flight home. At least she appreciates me more now. I think she had a good time when they weren't together, she made some new friends, absorbed a little culture.... She and her travelmates were grateful for her French classes when reading the menus at mealtimes.
Not much other news, still no job for Brianna. There was an ad in the paper this morning for the Geek Squad, she really likes their uniforms and little cars, so maybe she would qualify for that job!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

I just want healthy bread!

I really want to follow a healthy diet. I just joined an internet mailing list for people who feed their dogs better than they feed themselves. It's not that I haven't tried, I have a whole library of books on the subject, but usually don't last more than a few weeks on each plan. I finally decided that I was going about this the wrong way, rather than switching to healthy food cold turkey I would tackle one thing at a time. I gave up soda and learned to drink water instead. I gave up coffee and learned to drink organic Chai instead. I love sugar so I knew I would not be able to give it up completely so I chose to avoid high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup as well as artificial sweeteners are much more toxic to your body than raw sugar and honey, so I started reading labels.
I can not find a loaf of bread that doesn't have high fructose corn syrup! Why on earth do they have to put it in bread! The label will say "Whole wheat Healthy Homestyle Bread". I don't think any farmer's wives making their bread from scratch EVER used high fructose corn syrup in their recipes.
Today was the clincher though. I went to Schnucks to the health food department to get some kefir. Kefir is like drinkable yogurt, it is made from unpasturized milk to keep the probiotics intact, you would have to eat a gallon or so of yogurt to get enough probiotics to make a difference because it is pasturized. They had a rasberry flavored kefir which sounded good so as is my habit, I looked at the label. HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP!! I couldn't believe my eyes. Here is a product that only the most die-hard health food consumer even knows what it is and they put poison in it!
Really, if you can't get healthy food from the health food department, what is a person to do! I guess I do drive to Chicago to go to the vet for my dogs, I will have to make the commute once a week to shop at Whole Foods and get my REAL kefir for me.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Singin in the Rain

The rain is falling. The temperature is falling. My windows are open and I am breathing the cool fresh air. Blessed Be

I have not heard from Ariel but she is leaving for France tomorrow and there have been no more bombings in London. Blessed Be