Friday, October 30, 2009

On hunting season and flu season

I'm just getting over a mild bout with the flu and don't think that I have a fever, but boy is my blood boiling. Its a very good thing that I took my own advice by decking myself and the dawgs out in orange this morning.
One of the great blessings of my life is that my very best friend has acres of wonderful wood trails. I've been walking my dogs there for seventeen years and this is the first time I have ever encountered a hunter in there.
We were just cresting a hill and there he was with his gun, not even properly geared out in orange. Not even smart enough to understand that he should be carrying his weapon properly. Not even bright enough not to lie to me and try to suggest he had permission.
I may have been retired for five years, but the ability to strip the hide off boys of any size when the need arises is a skill that never leaves you. I was never one of those sgts who used to scream and swear .... but I've been told by the troops that they would rather have been yelled at than scolded by myself.
I might go another seventeen years before we meet another neanderthal without respect for private property ... but I'll still keep wearing orange, just in case.
Sound really carries out here. On a quiet night, I can hear the falls a couple of km up the mountain behind my place. When my brother comes to visit, if I'm outside I can hear my brother's bike well down the road. So it should be no surprise that with all the big wooded areas around here and the crown land back up behind us on the mountain that it sounds a bit like a battlezone here on this first day of hunting season.
For whatever reason in her past, Miss Ruby is very very gunshy. She is as fearful of the sound of a gun as she is of fireworks and thunder, so my sweet girl was having a tough time today until I turned on the TV to provide a bit of white noise. Its not a normal daytime noise in this house, but at least she is relaxed and sleeping now.
Its on the news channel ... so its hard not to be aware of a few things to do with the already well publicized H1N1 virus. Today's particular flavour seems to be the fact that there isn't going to be enough vaccine for everyone who wants it until the end of the year. (the subject of whether those in a planning position were banking on earlier surveys suggesting that only a third of Canadians planned on getting vaccinated is an interesting topic to remember for another day.)
So today's question ...boys and girls .... is what will happen to your pets if you get H1N1? Do you have a back up plan? If you live by yourself, is there someone who can walk your dogs for you? Feed them? Go out to buy food for you? If you have to go into the hospital, who will look after your pets?
Its time for people to stop waiting for the government to pony up... its a really good time to have a plan in place.
And its also a really good time to pay attention to what's going on in your own neighbourhood. If you know that there are folks around who live by themselves, make the time to check that they are ok.
And last but not least, if you have to hand over your pets temporarily to anyone for whatever reason, have a Foster Care Agreement signed by all parties and witnessed so that everything is crystal clear. In that spirit, I found one on petfinder that can be accessed through a link on the front door of the homeless pet site.

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