Thursday, May 26, 2011

new video!!

I just uploaded a video to youtube to show you guys a photo book that I made on shutterfly of Munchkin. If you want to see it click the link to my youtube channel under Critter Corner's Favorite sites!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Four new videos!!!

I just uploaded four new videos. Two of them are of Munchkin and two of them are videos that I took of Squirt the first when he was still around. If you want to see them click the link to my youtube channel under Critter Corner's Favorite Sites.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

updates and this week's shelter profile

So I have some updates.

My first update is about the fish tank. The cycling is going well, I am now just waiting for the ammonia level to get back to zero, and the nitrite to spike and get back to zero, which hopefully shouldn't take long now. I got the new cave for it so I will put up either a video of picture of how it looks now soon.

Update on my critters:

Pipsqueaks is doing well. Her new favorite thing to do is squeak excitedly when I give her sunflower seeds. Or just squeak when she sees me. It is very cute!

Munchkin is doing well. I just made a shutterfly hardcover photo book of him, so I may do a video to show you all what it looks like. And... he may be getting a bath soon. He managed to clean himself up from his messiness last week pretty well, but he still has a bit of staining on his back feet so I will probably be doing a bath video soon!

The cat apparently loves me like crazy lately. Her new thing is coming downstairs right before I got to bed to get me and she brings me upstairs and waits on my bed for me and then goes to sleep either curled up with me or sitting on my nightstand watching me. It is very funny.

Sheba and Lacey are doing very well. Lacey has gotten used to wet walks with this rainy weather and she seems to like going for walks when it is wet out. Sheba on the other hand doesn't like the rain very much.

And here is my shelter profile for this week: ( I am going to just do one profile instead of all of the bunch I was doing before because that was taking me a long time, so I am just going to do one per week so I give myself more time for other posts too.)

This week's shelter pet profile:

Name: King Tut
Species: Dog
Breed: Belgain Malinois/ Akita mix
Age: aprox. 1 year

More about King Tut:

King Tut is a great dog that just needs a bit of work. He needs some training and should be an only pet until he gets some socialization. I have been doing some training with him and he is a very smart dog. He knows how to sit very well, and today I taught him how to lie down. He learns very fast. I also did some loose-leash walking with him. After just a few minutes he was walking by my side with a loose leash very well. He will be a great dog. He just needs a little training and plenty of exercise. He is very active and loves to play. His favorite toys are squeaker toys. He likes to squeak them like crazy and rip them apart. He also loves to play with tennis balls and chew on bones. He loves treats too. (what dog doesn't?)

To see more information and pictures of King Tut check out his petfinder page:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New video!!

I just uploaded a new video to my youtube channel of Pipsqueak being really cute! If you want to see it, click the link to my youtube channel under "Critter Corner's Favorite Sites"

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My favorite animal-related TV shows

Here is something a little different from my usual posts. I thought it would be fun to do. 

So here is a list of my favorite animal-related TV shows:

Pitbulls and Parolees

This is a really cool TV show. You can watch it on Animal Planet. I don't think there are any new seasons of it right now though. Anyway, Pitbulls and Parolees is a show all about this pit bull rescue in California. It is called Villalobos Pitbull Rescue and it is run by this woman, her two daughters, and a whole bunch of parolees. It is cool to watch a rescue organization and see how it functions. I also like that the rescue gives both the pitbulls and the parolees a second chance.

It's Me or the Dog

This is definitely one of my favorite shows. It is a very popular show on Animal Planet. It is a dog-training show. Victoria Stilwell, a dog trainer, teaches people and their problem pooches. I like seeing all the training techniques and the progress the dogs (and the people) make. New episodes are airing every Saturday night at eight right now if you want to check it out.

The Dog Whisperer

Most of you have probably heard of this one. You can watch it on National Geographic. In this show Cesar Millan (aka the dog whisperer) rehabilitates dogs that have some serious problems like aggression, fear, obsession, etc. It is pretty amazing seeing these extreme cases becoming  well-behaved dogs.

My Cat from Hell

This is sort of like "the cat whisperer". It is a brand new TV show on Animal Planet, so I have only seen one episode so far. It is fun to watch. The cat behaviorist plays guitar in a band at night and helps cat owners with their "evil" cats during the day. On the show I watched last night just by doing a few simple things helped this cat who was like a demon to be a happy cat. Basically he just had the family provide a way for the cat to navigate their living room from off the floor, by putting in perches and clearing off the tops of bookcases. Then he taught the family to play with him a lot, and taught them better ways of handling the cat. And just like that the cat went from snarling demon attack cat to a very friendly happy cat. I learned a lot from the show last night like:

Cats that hide or lay in their litter boxes are stressed so they are surrounding themselves in their own stink. (which as a human I will never understand) Now I know why so many cats do that at the shelter.

When cats "wag" their tails back and forth frequently it means they are overstimulated and could easily become stressed out. 

The best place to pet a cat is their cheeks, under their chin, and behind their ears (I knew that but I never knew why) because in all those places the cat produces pheromones so when you pet them there you get their scent all over you, and they like that I guess. (that is also why cats like to rub their heads on things)

So those are my current favorite animal-related TV shows. I have had other favorites, mostly on Animal Planet like:

The Monks of New Skete (they were dog training monks, it was a cool show.)

A petfinder TV show, I can't remember the name, but it was a fun show.

And Underdog to Wonderdog (a team would take shelter dogs and find them a home, and train and groom the dog etc. to get them ready for their new home. It was a super awesome TV show)

However, as far as I know, Animal Planet does not show these three TV shows anymore.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


This time my updates aren't all fish related! I thought I should update you on some of my other pets.

So the dogs, Lacey and Sheba, are doing pretty well. Lacey just got over a bacteria infection in her ears. We had to put these special drops in her ears twice a day for ten days. And Sheba just got a checkup at the vet, and she is very healthy. She is getting old, but she is in pretty good shape for being thirteen years old. She was very happy, as my mom puts it, the vet is like Sheba's Disneyland.

To Lacey the vet is the most horrific and terrifying place to be. And of course, she is the one that gets bacteria infections in her ear and stuff like that. (because of spaniel's droopy ears, moisture gets trapped in there more often so they tend to be prone to infections and such in her ears, so it is important to regularly check and clean out their ears.)

Agatha (the cat) has been her usual self, sitting on my school books, meowing at everything, and going crazy in the night. Last night she was flying around the house at warp speed. It was really funny.

Pipsqueak has been very happy and healthy. She has been doing the cutest thing when she sleeps. She likes to sleep with her head sticking out of her igloo and it is so cute. I will post some pictures of it at the end of this post. I got her some new treats which she loves. It has peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, dried pasta noodles, peas, and some puffed corn things. She loves them all, but her favorites are definitely the peanuts and the sunflower seeds.

And Munchkin has been very cute lately. He has been giving lots of kisses and likes to touch noses a lot lately. It is very cute (that is how rabbits say they are friends). He has also been very messy. Those of you who wanted to see a video of Munchkin getting a bath may be in luck! He likes to sometimes use his towel in his kennel sometimes instead of his litterbox. I don't really mind it isn't very often and I just throw the towel in the wash. But he did that today but he missed his towel and then he must have hopped through it, so his back feet and the bottom of his tail are a little messy and stained now. I got most of it off, but unless he cleans that off himself, I may give him a little bath and I will be sure to take a video of it. (I wouldn't be giving him a full bath only the his dirty feet and etc, but I will definitely do a video of it). So you might get to see that soon!

Oh yes, Munchkin's new favorite thing to do is to sit on top of the box that I store his cardboard in. He does that when I clean his cage in the morning. I took a video of it with my new camera, but it may take a while before I get it uploaded, since I am still figuring out how my camera works etc.

As for fish updates, the tank is in the process of cycling right now, and probably sometime next week I will get a new cave for it and try to figure out how I am supposed to attach the background that didn't come with instructions. Once I get the new cave I will show you how the updated set up with new plant and new cave look.

Here are the pictures of pipsqueak:

Isn't Pipsqueak cute? Yes, the last one is of Lacey, I couldn't remember if I had posted it or not, but I don't think I have, so here it is.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fish Update/shopping trip

So, I have a few fish updates. I am going to try to do a fully fishless cycle on my fish tank before I get my next betta fish. This way Squirt the Second should hopefully experience as little stress as possible. 

I have read that fishless cycles don't always work and you might need the fish to finish the cycle, but I got some better bacteria (it is the exact specific kind of bacteria that turns ammonia into less toxic nitrogen compounds). So I will try to completely cycle the tank before I get my next betta, just to be on the safe side. 

So I am putting off getting Squirt the second for a little while. I don't know how long because cycling the tank with fishless cycling could take as little as a couple of days or it may never actually fully cycle in which case I would have to have a fish to get the cycle to complete. 

Basically I am going to wait till I see a spike in the ammonia levels, followed by a spike in nitrite, followed by a spike in nitrate, at which time the ammonia and nitrite levels should be going down to safe amounts. So eventually I want to end up with no ammonia or nitrite, but I want to have a little nitrate. (cycling a tank can be confusing and information on the internet often fails to tell you that you need to see the spikes and then have some nitrate to know that the tank was cycled) (I thought that you just had to wait for it all to be at zero, so I thought that Squirt the firsts tank was fully cycled but it was not. ) 

My other fish update is that I am getting a different cave. This one I have is very nice except that the paint is peeling off inside. The paint should be non-toxic to the fish, but it is going to look nasty and make a mess. Not to mention a piece broke off of it and I have no idea how, because all I have done with it is set in a fish tank and rinse it in some water, which is hardly rough. So I am going to get a new cave, possibly a slightly smaller one and one that I can see into better. 

Since I had some more fish stuff I needed to get now, I went shopping at Petco today. (I usually prefer Petsmart, but Petsmart doesn't have the good bacteria that I want for the tank). I ended up getting the bacteria, and I also got some aquarium salt. The kind I got is meant to be added in very small amounts to freshwater aquariums when the fish need a health boost. This way if Squirt the second gets too stressed out when I get him I will have some of the health-boosting, stress-reducing salt ready to go. (the salt adds electrolytes to the tank which the fish need for proper health and gill function).

I also got a background for my tank, but it didn't come with anything to attach it to the tank with and no directions so I have to figure that out. I also got another silk plant. 

While I was at Petco I was looking at their bettas. Around here I definitely like the conditions of the Petsmart bettas better than Petco. Which kind of stinks, because Petco has some really cool varieties of bettas. I even saw a hard to find variety of plakat tailed bettas it looked something looked really cool, but I couldn't really find a good picture of one. So I can't show you. but it was GORGEOUS!!!

But that was pretty much the only healthy looking one. I saw a beautiful aqua blue and white halfmoon betta which looks like this:

Except its fins did not look very healthy at all.

I also saw two dead bettas and one that had a fungus infection. (it basically had fluffy white fungus growing on it) And the rest had fairly dull coloration which means they were definitely stressed and unhealthy.

Generally the Petsmart bettas I see (in my Petsmart) all have bright colors with healthy looking fins. They all seem fairly disease-free. Their worst problem is being lethargic (which generally comes with living in a cup) Of course, obviously Squirt had some kind of issue, but I think it was mostly just stress.

So my tip for you all today, is that when you see a pet store that has dead bettas, unhealthy bettas, and bettas growing fungus, you might not want to purchase from them. (the best source of a pet betta would be a betta breeder that keeps their bettas in tanks not cups, however I don't know of any around here : ( )

So I wish that Petsmart would get some of the really cool varieties of bettas, or that Petco would take better care of their bettas. I think the reason is that Petsmart actually uses better water that has stuff to remove ammonia and nitrites in it, and they either don't sell bettas with obvious diseases (like fluffy stuff growing on the betta) or they treat them. 

 I think the veiltails and crown tails sold at Petsmart are really pretty too, but some of the varieties Petco stocks are really gorgeous and somewhat hard to find. So I wish the Petco near me would take better care of them. If they did, I would go there for a fish.

Oh, and on the note of where to find bettas, avoid Walmart bettas. Walmart generally takes horrible care of their fish. The cups aren't even full of water usually, and most of the bettas that are there are usually dead, and if they aren't they are probably pretty close to dead.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Update on Squirt

Unfortunately, I have sad news. Squirt died.

 I have absolutely no idea what caused his death. He was swimming around and happily blowing bubble nests just yesterday. I checked the thermometer everyday so the water temperature was fine, and I tested the water yesterday and the water was fine too.

 He did have some somewhat clamped fins (they were stuck together on the ends) which indicates stress or disease, but he had no other symptoms so he didn't have a disease, and by itself clamped fins cannot be treated. He was very quiet the second day but yesterday he seemed very happy and perky and he had no lack of appetite definitely! He kept chasing my finger around to see if I had more bloodworms (those were definitely his favorite)

He blew a TON of bubble nests over the few days I had him so I at least know he was happy. (betta fish blow bubble nests only when they are happy and healthy and ready to breed).

 He may just not have been able to cope with the stress of moving to a new tank. Or it could be that he was just not very healthy from having to live in a pet store cup situation. He may have been old too. 

Since he didn't show any signs of diseases, the tank should still be fine, I am going to do a big water change and get some better bacteria for the tank tomorrow, and then in a few days I will try again with Squirt the second.

I thought that maybe it could be because that the tank is not fully cycled yet, but the ammonia is still right around zero so it couldn't have been that, but I am still getting some better bacteria/bacteria supplement for the tank just in case. 

I will miss Squirt. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011


I apologize if any of you saw my new video post right when I posted it and weren't able to see the video, because I accidently posted the post before the video finished processing. You should be able to see the video of squirt now, by clicking the link to my youtube channel under critter corner's favorite sites on the sidebar.

Shelter profile updates

Just thought I would let you guys know, that Gus the pet of the week, was adopted yesterday! Yay!

New video!!

I just uploaded a video of Squirt!!! If you want to see it click the link to my youtube channel under "Critter Corner's Favorite Sites" which is over to the right on the sidebar.

Meet Squirt!!!

Everybody meet Squirt!

He is a red male veiltail betta. I just brought him home today!

He is loving his new tank. He has tons of room in there. He wore himself out exploring everything. Right now he is resting in his cave.

So here is a little bit more about Squirts personality (from what I know from observing him today):

He is very brave. He checked out everything in his new surroundings, and even fearlessly swam right up to where the flow of water comes out of the filter (which scares most bettas).

He is very happy already and blowing a lot of bubbles. He started making bubble nests in two corners of the tank.

He likes to rest on top of things like the thermometer and his betta bed leaf hammock.

His favorite spots are: being squished in between the heater and the side of the tank, on top of the thermometer, his betta bed, and in the top hollow part of his cave where he can barely be seen.

He likes to swim very fast in a zig zagging sort of way going up and down in the front right corner of the tank.

He loves the food I bought for him. I got the Aqueon brand betta pellets, and Topfin freeze-dried bloodworms. He already ate two pellets and two bloodworms today. He ate the bloodworms out of my hand which was pretty cool. He pretty much attacks his food and chomps down on it so hard you can actually hear it.

He likes to take naps, and when he is napping he kind of looks dead, so I have to check him for eye or gill movement to reassure myself. (fish sleep with their eyes open because they do not have any eyelids, so they cannot close their eyes.

He is still pretty small right now, he could either stay this small or he could possibly grow up to an inch more.

Here are some more pictures of him. I will try to get some better ones soon.

Squirt swimming

Squirt swimming some more.

Squirt coming up for air.

Squirt in one of his favorite places, with his head resting on top of the thermometer.

Kind of hard to see, but right above him and below the blue part, is his big line of bubbles he was blowing.

I will be posting a video of him soon!