Friday, September 11, 2015

Abbey Animal Blog
A Day of Remembrance
9-11 was a day that is hard to forget.  We should never forget the innocent victims and the first responders that sacrificed so much.  I remember watching with horror on the television that was set up in the back of the clinic.  We were in disbelief about the events of the day.  Was this a bad joke?  Then it dawned on all of us that things were changing in the world.  No longer were we isolated from the rest of the countries.  The oceans were no longer the barriers they once were.  The world became much smaller.

Remember:  Live by the Golden Rule.  Practice good will and hope that it catches on to the person next to you.  Don’t be a “Hater” and remember “mean people suck”!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Abbey Animal Blog
Renewed Interest
It’s been a while since I have contributed to this blog.  I have recently been contacted by team FixIt the organization that we worked with for the St. Croix spay and neuter program in 2012.  Some of the people that were involved have made progress on allowing another push for repeating the success of the last program.  Brad texted me last night with some interest in making a repeat trip.  I hope to make the trip again.  We did a lot of good down there.

Tune in on this Blog to keep track of our progress.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pet Holiday Hazards

I just want to thank everyone who helped in the Fixit Project and please go to Alli's blog to get the rest of the story (Alli's Blog).  I will be introducing some of the helpful FBOs in the future.

One thing about this time of year is that the political adds are off the air!  I don't think I could take one more "I approve this add" add.  I am also glad that its the holy time of year.  With all the festivities we have to be careful to keep our pets out of trouble.  From the Christmas tree to the Holiday Ham these things can pose a threat to our furry friends.

Christmas trees have several things that we need to be aware of.  If you have a live tree then that means watering and sometimes adding some type of chemical or preservative.  Many of these additives are toxic to our pets so take precautions by covering the base to prevent drinking. Please make sure there is free choice clean and fresh water available.  Also with trees there are ornaments.  Cats have a particular affinity for anything sparkly.  Tinsel and Garlands are very damaging to the digestive track and many times needs to be surgically removed.  Glass ornaments can fall off the tree and break creating a sharp hazard for pets and humans.  Electric lights can present a hazard to any pet chewing on them.  Rabbits are especially susceptible to cord chewing injurys.   Most of the lights are of the twinkle variety but there may be some of the older lights still out there.  These are especially dangerous as they get hot and can burn skin as well as catch the tree on fire!  Check all lights for broken bulbs or frayed wires.

Holiday foods are very tasty but usually also very high in fat and sugar.  These ingredients are hard on pets' digestive systems.  Pork is also very hard on dogs.  The old "Ham Bone" or fat trimmings can send your pet to the emergency hospital with vomiting and diarrhea as well as pancreatitis.  This can be life threatening, or at the very least cause quite the mess.  Also steak bones can get chewed up and end up in the colon where the fragments react and becomes an impaction.  These may have to be surgically removed.  Some of the sharp bones can pierce the intestines and also cause an expensive trip to the hospital for surgical repair.  Baker's Chocolate is toxic in relatively small quantities.  Milk chocolate is less toxic but can cause diarrhea and vomiting.  Raisins and Grapes are also toxic to our dogs and cats.  They can be the main ingredients in cakes and pastries.

This is a great time of year but lets keep our pets safe from some of these hidden hazards.  Back to work and a second cup of coffee... Bye for now, Robin.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Alli's first Post of our Fixit Adventure (re-pub)

This is a re published post due to technical issues with the first post... therefore it's out of order... check the date to put in its proper order:  Due to some technical problems, click on this link to get to |Alli's blog ( Alli's Blog )

The Following is My Daughter Alli's perspective as a Passanger, Assistant and Young person..... enjoy:
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Today was long and treacherous. 1st off, let me start with a couple recommendations for you:
# 2.) IF YOU CAN AVOID TRAVELING ON A SUNDAY, DO SO. Everything closes early.

Passport?  What Passport?
     So to start out our adventurous day, we woke up around 5:00 AM. I called our airport in Ft. Lauderdale around 5:15 and they said they would pick us up in 15 minutes. We strolled downstairs to grab some quick breakfast and noticed the weather was playing on the TV. The newscaster was telling everyone how a cold front had pushed the clouds and rain towards the island so Florida would be clear. Problem is, that is exactly where we are headed.

Around 6:00, we began to worry about our courtesy ride so I called the airport again. Turns out they had gone to the wrong hotel. After hanging up the phone, I hear Dad whispering obscenities under his breath. When I ask him what is wrong, he looks over at me with frustration in his eyes and mutters, "Guess what I forgot… my passport."
After a few minutes of panic, we try to come up with a ground plan. Dad gets on the phone to mom and I jump on the courtesy computer and google it. While surfing the web, Mom confirms that Dad did indeed leave his passport behind. I come across several articles, including one published in USA TODAY in January, of a Canadian who was able to get entry into the USA by pulling up a digital copy of his passport on his IPAD. I fill Dad in on my findings an he asks Mom to scan or take a picture of his passport and send it to him.
Meanwhile, our ride has finally shown up and we start piling our luggage into the van. Dad receives a few unreadable texts from Mom and finally one legible one. Apparently she is unable to scan it.
We pile up the plane and take off… now an hour behind schedule. It was very cloudy and over the radio hazardous weather was reported "heading East over Nassau". Kind of in the same direction we were heading. Dad clicks his Spot Locator GPS to alert everyone at home that we were okay. Meanwhile dark clouds are starting to appear all around us.

Our first refuel stop is in Exuma, Bahamas. It is a nice big airport. They direct us to customs and we unpack our luggage. Dark clouds were still rolling in and we even heard a distant clap of thunder. We hoped it would pass while we were inside.
Once inside the lobby, we were discouraged by how empty it was. We waited and another group went in and walked behind the yellow line and around the corner. Brad decided to follow suit and charged around the corner as well. He returns with a stack of paperwork for us to fill out. He makes a few more trips and finally Dad follows his around the corner.
I wait patiently with the luggage and then Brad comes back and begins picking up his bags. He tells me not to worry about the paperwork and informs me that we are good to go. I ask where Dad was and Brad replies that he is coming. Concerned about how easy things appeared, I consciously decided to wait and see where Dad was.
Dad then tells us we need to pull all the luggage around to the other side. We oblige and Dad is in deep conversation with a man at a desk and still filling out some forms. The man asks to see our passports and Brad and I whip ours out. Dad shows the man the picture Mom had texted and starts explaining his story. This is where things got complicated. The man, unconfident about what to do next, tells us we have to wait for immigration to get here but not to worry that she would only be 10 minutes. We step aside to wait patiently.
Brad seeming irritated, asks Dad what he had said. I guess if we were headed straight to St. Croix, we'd be fine. However, Dad's small plane would have to make stops to refuel. He had told the man about our flight plan to stop in Inagua and Puerto Rico to refuel and grab a meal.
It takes about an hour for immigration to arrive and Brad starts the talking, stating that our destination is St. Croix. The woman seems annoyed and asks us if we are planning to make any stops in between. Brad says "Just to re-fuel" and is very adamant about it. Finally she clears us and we packed up and left.
As we begin to taxi to the runway, there is a sudden bumpy thump! Dad and Brad turn to see what has happened and somehow we accidentally had knocked against a runway light with the plane.
Our windshields and windows begin to sprinkle with raindrops and we wonder what it will be like in the air.  Once in the blue, Dad makes quite the maneuver to avoid flying into any of the enormous clouds.  In the distance we could see endless clouds that seemed to stretch from “floor to ceiling” per Brad.  Brad and I weren’t worried.  We had full faith in Dad’s flying ability.  Dad, however, later admits to being a little bit nervous.  We made it, considering, and it actually was a very smooth ride, believe it or not.

Our next stop is Inagua.  Now let me tell you about Inagua.  We landed in the very small, falling apart airport that is Inagua.  No one to greet us we walked up to a small “T” shaped building with screen doors rusting on the hinges.  Inside there were 2 women: One who is slumped down on a torn up chair bench and another leaning on the doorway of a very small office door.
There is two other offices I can see, one located in the middle of the main room with shaded windows and another where I can just make out the bottom half of a TV screen showing some Juliet Roberts movie.  Across from the shaded office is a door leading to the middle of the “T”.  This long room has double -doors on either side that are torn open.  Then at the base of the “T” are the bathrooms.

There was no air condition just a few fans randomly hanging throughout the building.  I hurry to the bathroom and when I come out Dad has been chauffeured to the shaded office to pay a landing tax fee and order fuel.  He also asks if there is anywhere close by where we can get lunch.  Unfortunately, there isn’t.  Dad doesn’t want to push his luck without a passport so he pays the tax fee and then we head outside to wait for the fuel truck.
Outside, we try to be patient while standing in the blazing sun.  When a richety old truck comes around the corner, Brad and Dad exchange glances.  A man and a woman hop out of the vehicle and the woman starts to unroll the fuel hose while the man hooks up the battery of the truck to the fuel pump to power it.
The woman tells Dad that there is a fee for fueling the gas on top of the price for the fuel itself.  We have no choice so onward the woman goes to pumping the gas.  It seems to take forever to fill up.  As Brad says, it “trickled out”.
Once we were on our way, we started discussing not stopping in Puerto Rico and heading straight on to St. Croix.  Dad is a little hesitant about whether or not his plane can go without the extra stop for fuel.  There is some more maneuvering around some thunder boomers: very high and build-ups on clouds.  The closer we get to Puerto Rico, we also notice that more than half the calls on the radio were in Spanish.

It is near dusk when we approach Puerto Rico.  Dad and Brad had continue discussing whether or not to stop and where, and the plan decided was that we were going to stay the night in Puerto Rico.  Dad, being very anxious about figuring out where he was going to land, was worried about landing in Puerto Rico (foreign territory) without his passport.
“The winds were with us, weather was holding, and St. Croix is American territory, and I’m an American citizen,” Dad made the conscious decision, called up on the radio and changed his flight plan to go straight to St. Croix.
The trip from Puerto Rico to St. Croix tested Dad’s instruments, he later tells me.  For 60 miles it was completely dark with no land marks.  Dad admits to being more than a little nervous during this time.
Approaching St. Croix, Dad had words with the radio tower.  Since customs closed on Sundays at 6:00 PM and we had stopped in the Bahamas for gas, “we are in trouble”.  Dad’s response was “I’m an American citizen”.
After landing in St. Croix, Brad leapt out of the plane to great an airport staff member.  Dad stayed behind a bit to update his flight log.  Brad comes back to the plan to let us know staff member, “Susan” with the airport’s fire department is bringing over a truck and will be transporting us to customs where they called in a woman from home.

While waiting for Susan to bring back a truck to transport us, Dad called his contact “Kellie” to let her know we arrived while I called Mom and Mark to tell them we were safe and sound and on the ground.
Susan was very nice and helped load up her pick-up truck.  The two men hopped into the bed of the truck and I climbed into the passenger seat.  The cool air condition felt great inside but I did find it odd to see 3 air fresheners hung up all around the passenger side of the vehicle.
Inside the customs building it was empty.  I felt a strange sensation of déjà vu.  Luckily, this time we only waited a few minutes for someone to arrive.  During these few minutes, having skipped lunch and not had dinner, I gulped down my leftover sub I had gotten from Brunswick, GA the previous day for lunch.  Dad and Brad warned me that once customs arrived, it would be tossed.  Sure enough, they were right. 
The customs woman had short dark curly hair and wore reading glasses on the tip of her nose, reminding me of a librarian. The stern look on her face didn’t mask her annoyance of being called in after hours.
The woman dons her latex gloves and wrapped the remains of my sandwich in a clear plastic bag like she was collecting evidence for the police.  She took the bag into the back around the corner to dispose of it.  She handed us a stack of paperwork to work on before she left.  When she returned, she then asked us for our passports.  Dad went into his speal of forgetting it and showed the picture on his phone.  She laughed a little and said she’s get to that part later.  We followed her to the customs desk where she pulled up her computer.  Raising a judgmental eyebrow, she asked if we had a flight plan.
Dad pulled out his “manifest copy” as she called it, which I guess wasn’t official paperwork.  She said it wasn’t in the computer, therefore it didn’t exist and we were an “unplanned arrival”.  Very obviously annoyed, the woman was actually very professional throughout the entire conversation.

Stay Tuned for the Rest of the Story!  Thanks for your support.  Bye for now... Robin