Things that make me sad, that I can’t change.

Sorry if this seems like a negative post. I don’t want my blog to be about complaining! This is just something I want to get off my chest, and hopefully it can be seen in a postive light by raising some awareness.

Imagine if someone granted you with the power to change anything about the world we live in? What one thing would you change?
I strongly admire people who want to make a difference and impact positive change. I want to be one of those people. However, I realised that there are just some things that are out of my control, no matter how much I work to change it. For me that’s (and I hate the term), road kill.

Nothing breaks my heart more than when I’m driving and see an animal that has been hit. In no way do I blame the driver, as more times than not it is simply an accident, and that’s probably the most frustrating thing about it – there is really nothing we can do to change this. Kangaroos jump out of nowhere, wombats come out during the dark, echidnas can be slow moving, the list goes on.
I used to think “why don’t we just put up a fence around all our roads?” Probably not the most well-thought idea.

 

There is one incident that will always stick with me. My parents were driving me to the train station, and on one of the windy roads there were a few cars that had stopped. A poor kangaroo had been hit (the lady felt so bad and was quite distraught, I felt sorry for her). My dad and I got out the check on the kangaroo, who was still alive. We didn’t know if it was a male or female, I think I was so concerned about the poor thing and didn’t even think to check for a pouch. The kangaroo was shaking from both pain and fear, and it’s back foot had snapped and was only hanging by its skin. My dad got a blanket from the car to cover it with, to help it calm down. It was letting me pat it, and I wished that I had the power to make everything better for the poor thing.
We were told there was nothing we could do about it, and the police came and had to put it down 😦

To this day I still regret not taking the poor thing in. I know you have to be a registered wildlife carer, but I believe after some veterinary care, the kangaroo could have a had a chance, and I could have helped rehabilitate it. I also regret not even thinking to check the pouch.

This incident made me determined to help injured wildlife, and I am hoping to undertake training to become a wildlife carer one day soon.

 

There are so many things I want to change about the world, such as animal cruelty and disrespect for the planet we live on, which can be done through education and hard work. This however is something that will probably never change.

The only thing we can do is be alert when driving, and check pouches where you can.
As I live in Australia, a lot of the animals I see on the side of the road are marsupials, especially kangaroos and wombats. If you are in a situation when one of these animals has been hit, please check if it is a female – it could be carrying a baby in it’s pouch, and you could save a life.
There is also help you can call, obviously depending on what state/country you live in, which can be found by a simple google search. I’ve linked the information for Victoria below.

 

On a happier note, here’s a photo of a wallaby I often see grazing on our property 🙂

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If you had the power to change one thing about the world, what would it be? Let me know comment section below 🙂

RIP beautiful kangaroo ❤

Jess xx

 

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Melbourne Zoo – Photographs

Not that I need an excuse to go, but I recently went to Melbourne Zoo in order to take some photos for a photography competition they are holding in collaboration with their Photo Ark Exhibition. It was really hard to narrow it down on what to enter, but I thought why not share some on here! I am no photography expert, but I always have enjoyed it, and am a fan of animal photography. Here are some of my favourite photographs 🙂 (although all the credit needs to go to the gorgeous subjects!)
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You can also view my entry soon on my here and here

Jess xx

Homemade Guinea-Pig Pouches

After bringing Newt and Hazel home, I purchased two little beds for them to cozy up in – a cavy cuddle sack and cavy cuddle cup. This was obviously no longer going to be enough when I got the surprise of three extra piggies! I initially put in some towels and old pillow cases, but once I knew that two was turning into five, I needed something more comfortable and permanent.

 

Taking inspiration from the cavy snuggle sacks available to purchase in pet shops and online, as well as the old pillow cases and leftover fleece from the lining of their cage, I decided to just make my own!

I’m basing these for my guinea pigs, but of course these can be used for any small pets.

 


 

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You will Need:

  • An old pillow case
  • Fleece (enough to cover the whole inside of the pillow case)
  • Needle and thread (or a sewing machine)
  • Scissors

 

Step 1

Cut you pillow case in half, as this gives the perfect size for the guinea pig to snuggle up into, but not get lost in the fabric! For each of the halves, if needed, sew up one end so that there is only one opening.

I like to use old pillow protector covers from Manchester Collection, as they are a little thicker than normal pillow cases, and adds that extra warmth. I believe I got these for around $5 each.

Step 2

Turn your pillow case inside out, so that the side you want as the outer of the pouch is now on the inside.

Measure and cut enough fleece so that it covers both sides of the inner of the pillow case. Fleece is great to use for small animals, as the urine soaks right through it, which stops it from becoming wet. I picked up my fleece from Spotlight, and around $20 covered enough for 4 pouches. Plus they have so many designs to choose from –  from plain colours to cute little patterns that I could match to my guinea pigs (I had to get the watermelon pattern, one of their favourite treats!)

Step 3

Match the side of the fleece you don’t want on DSC_0098display against the inside of the pillow case. Start by sewing the edge of the fleece to one side of the case opening. A sewing machine would be much more efficient here, but if you don’t have one like me, a needle and thread is fine (it may not look as neat, but it still does the job).

Continue sewing around all the edges – you can either cut the fleece in half again, and sew the edges in a square pattern on each side of the case.
Or keep it whole, not having to sew the fleece to the middle edge. Make sure you sew all corners of the fleece directly to the case, as it stops the fabric from being pulled out too much.
(The only negative for these ways is that it makes it harder to dry, as the bed is a lot thicker. Alternatively, you can stitch it so that the fleece is only sewn on at the opening, and can be fully turned inside out and made thinner)

 

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Step 4

Once all the fleece as been sewed on, turn the case inside out so that the fleece is on the inside and pillow case is in it’s original form.

Fold back the inside of the case just around the edges, so that the fleece is showing around the opening of the pouch – this helps it to keep it in this shape, and is easier for the animal to get inside.


And that’s it!

(I do hope my instructions made sense – it might sound confusing, but once you get it, it’s super easy!)

Care –
Each morning and evening I spot clean any mess from the guinea pigs cage, such as wet hay, droppings, urine, etc. This includes inside their beds.

While it’s easier to keep cages clean with fleece, t’s also important to wash this bedding regularly. I tend to do this once a week in summer, and every 2 weeks in winter (as it takes longer to dry in the colder weather, and I don’t want them to be without beds – however, I still like to air them out for a bit).

After shaking out any excess hair, I soak the bedding/cage lining in warm water and a guinea pig safe washing powder (something that is non irritant to skin). I then wash it in cool water to remove any excess soap. Then I hang it out dry, and if it’s quite warm this should only take a couple of hours.
Make sure it’s completely dry before placing back in the cage, as you don’t want the guinea pigs to get sick from a cold.

 

I think that the cavy snuggle sacks available for purchase are really cute (and much better crafted than mine), but the thing I like about the homemade ones is that they are much larger. So if more than one guinea pig wants to get inside, they can snuggle up together 🙂
Plus, I was able to save money.

Here’s a little photo shoot of my piggies enjoying their warm pouches. Once they settled in the pouches together they turned into such models!

 

 

 

Let me know in the comments what sort of bedding you use for your small animals – do you purchase it, or make your own?

Jess xx