Sunday, October 28, 2012

Giggling while using the gigli wire

After we closed on Saturday, I was sitting at my desk going through my stack of files. One of my clients called to say that his dog had got the bone she was chewing stuck in her mouth. I told him to come right over. I was picturing that the bone was caught in the hard palate. I hadn't pictured this. There was no way that the bone was coming off while she was awake.

So, under a general anesthetic she went. This way, I was able to use my gigli wire to get it off. The gigli wire is a surgical wire used to cut through bone smoothly. I was able to slide it through and start sawing. Her Dad, provided counter balance. It only took 10 seconds to saw through. I popped it off and woke her up. Another successful day at the office!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Years of Searching

Today was the day I found my paper!

COX, M.G., ANDERSON, D.M. and RYON, J. 1997. Comparative digestibility by wolves (Canis Iupus) and Coyotes (Canis Iatrans) fed feedstuffs of animal origin. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 77:560.

Doesn't it look official?!!? My first(long story) maiden name was Cox and I was thrilled when I got to work with the wolves and coyotes at the Canadian Wolf Research Centre in 1996-1997. This was during my final year at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (now known as the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus) and everyone in their last year had to do a research project. I was told later that the project I worked on could have qualified for a Masters program!!! What I also didn't know was that this project was going to take me out of class so much. When my professors wanted to let me know that I needed to study for a test, they would come find me in the lab where I basically lived for about 4 months.

Over the years I have looked for this paper as I have many fond memories of working with the animals. It was bitterly cold that winter and yet I had fun getting to know the animals. This is also the only time in my life that I was actually interested in picking up the scat (poop). Mom always had to nag me to clean up after the dogs and my mutterings about how I felt about it were not exactly positive!

Here is one of my test subjects. He looked forward to me coming with the food everyday. One day, he actually nipped at my butt to get me to move faster towards the area where I would place his food. I don't think he got the reaction he was looking for cause I started laughing so hard. Here I was, alone in the 1 acre pen with a wolf trying to herd me.

If you are bored, go to this link and find page 20. There you will find the abstract. Woohoooooo!!! I am published.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Panda hugs

Another item on the bucket list checked off! I got to go to China. We had been told by our fantastic travel agents, Dave and Arlene, of Pace Setter Travel, that we would be able to see the Pandas. I never dreamed that I would ever get to hold a Panda. Absolutely thrilling to put it mildly.

You can imagine the surprise when the Panda was brought in. I had been under the impression that we would be holding a baby. The baby basically dwarfed me.

I was exposed to the most extraordinary example of positive reinforecment while I was there. Panda bears are not the friendliest animals on earth. However, the way they are handled at this facility, they are completely comfortable with humans. Who wouldn't be when you have the association of sitting on an excited person's lap while eating your favorite bamboo shoots, honey and apples?