Over the years we have been asked what breed Harper is, which, every time, made me shake my head in disbelief as she is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. We bought her as a Staffy and over the years we have had no reason not to believe that she is a Staffy. To us, she has all the traits and looks how a Staffy should look. 6 years after getting her we decided to have her DNA mapped, not for any real reason but curiosity and to see if she had any genetic conditions that could be a problem. Today the results came in and I am happy to say that she is a Staffy, but somewhere in the deep deep history of her mother’s line of ancestry, there is 4% Dalmation DNA, which is bizarre but could explain why she is a little taller than other Staffies. The tests were also 100% with her description of colour, tan points and what they call a “mask” which is that she has a blue face. They also said that she had Hind Dewclaws, which was true, but we had them removed due to them catching on things.
Purely due to the genetic conditions that they scan for, I am going to get Mazikeen’s DNA done. She is a pure breed English Springer Spaniel, we got her ancestry records though the Kennel Club which was presented on a huge certificate showing all the champion gun dogs she is descended from.
Today is Mazikeen’s 3rd Birthday. I cannot believe how fast the time has passed since we got her as a little puppy aged just 8 weeks. Since we always spoil our dogs on their birthday, and the others always get present too as they would not understand, off M and I went with the girls to the pet store to spend a fortune, then off for a walk. Both of them had a great day with all the treats and toys and are totally exhausted.
As most will know, I keep a few aquariums in the house. My large tank has African Cichlids in it. Quite a few of them go through the routine of the mating dance, but nothing happens. I have giraffe cichlids in there and the male had gone from brown to a lovely electric blue with a yellow stripe on his dorsal fin. He has mated twice with one female who unfortunately died after laying eggs (she keeps them in her mouth until hatched) due to a swim bladder problem, however, one baby survived being eaten by the other fish and is getting quite big, he was from her first clutch. The other female mated with him and for the last 30 days she has not eaten and I know that she had the eggs/fry in her mouth. Two days ago she seemed to look like she was listing to one side, so I put her in the breeding net to watch her. This afternoon I check in on her and saw that the breeding net was full of baby fry. Most in the bottom away from her, not that she would eat them. I quickly get her out and into the main tank and fed her as she needed sustenance. She and the male keep looking in on their fry, but all seems well with her and the babies.
I took a quick video of the fry in their temporary home and thought I would share them with you all. I am amazed at how many fry there are, I estimate about 60, although she could have had as many as 100+. For a sense of scale, they are about 2mm long and the video is taken through the side of the tank, but as they get bigger I will record from above.
Here we go, or should I say There She Goes, a hit for the La’s back in 1990. If you are not from Liverpool or the surrounding areas you may not know that people, lads mainly call each other La (pronounced lar), and definitely a Scouse thing.
Thought I would share some photos of Jack M’s dad’s dog. He is gorgeous, but I feel, starved of affection. He was great company for M whilst he was there. We will miss him loads, and were quite tempted to sneak him back with us, our girls would have loved him. His KC name is Topaz Blue Bear, in case you were wondering, and Jack is his pet name. Although we would have either called him Badger or Bear.
I have mentioned in the past that I have several aquariums, and with that, lots of fish. On Saturday I bought two Tiger Hillstream Loaches. However, on Sunday, both were dead, no reason for this as my water was perfect, all filters were working, the water was fully oxygenated, and there are no diseases present, so I was at a loss. I have fish in the same tank that needs perfect conditions. These fish, however, are quite tough and only need a flowing tank, mine is medium flowing, so that should not be a problem. I took them back to the aquatics shop and they were at a loss as they tested my water and said that it was fine too. They gave me a credit to use for the cost of the fish as I did not want to get another two and the same happen. I may get some at a later date, but for now, I will give it a miss. If I do get some later, I could always set up another small tank for just them to thrive.
I keep meaning to do a post, and then something comes up, and later I realise that I didn’t do my post, and think I will do it now, but manage somehow to get myself sidetracked and BOOM! Forgot to post again. I do not know what is going on with me. So, forgive me for my tardiness!
Since last we “spoke” as it were, I finally got rid of my large tank in the lounge. Part of me was glad to get rid of it, and part of me was sad to see it go. The fish love their new smaller home and my Cameroon shrimp seems happy too. Although it was a great tank it took up quite a lot of room, being so massive. We have a unit that we moved into one of the halls when we got the tank, so that is now back in the lounge. My thoughts for getting rid of the tank was to move the smaller tank onto the said unit and get another small tank and finally do a nano reef tank. However, the cost of doing a reef tank is high. I have found a nano tank I like which is £150, but then I need a skimmer and a heater so that’s another £90. Add sand, live rock and all the other bits I need to get it started and I am close to £500 without even adding fish or coral. So, before I take the plunge I have downloaded and printed a book on the subject and intend to read it in full before I decided on what to do. Having spoken to a few people the jury really is out. Some say it is easier than tropical, some say get a large tank as a nano can have problems being small, and others rave on about nano tanks, so there is no real help chatting to others LOL.
I bought an external 12-litre canister filter for my other large tank which works like a treat, but today I added on an extra 2-litre filter canister to that. In essence, water is drawn out of the tank to the small sub canister then passed into the large canister and finally put back into the other end of the tank. I did manage to make a bit of a watery mess as I had not fastened one of the inlet pipes properly oops! I had lost a few fish over the last few weeks, so thought the canister filter would help sort the water quality out. It has UV inside so sterilises the water as it filters. The lighting I have on the tank also decided to die, only 6 weeks after it being exchanged after the first one died after 4 months. Thankfully the aquatic centre where I get most of my equipment and livestock were very understanding and spoke to Fluval who admitted there was a problem that they have now sorted out and to exchange it for me.
It was Harpers 5th Birthday on Sunday. As always we took them to McDonald’s for hamburgers, then to the pet store so Harper could pick a toy, which this year was a rather large monkey, and two packs of balls. Needless to say, they both had a great time.
Thought about it, even mentally made a pattern for a hat for winter, but that was it, but it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it?
I was reading The Massacre of Mankind which is a sequel to War of the Worlds and in the end, I gave up as it was so slow and the author was trying to write in the style of H. G. Wells but failed page after page. As most of my readers will know I love classical literature, so have no problem with ancient writing and old English, but this bad, if he had written it in current English it would have been a good read.
I went to a joint Christening and Communion party a few weeks ago, got very drunk and had a ball.
Last week we went to Delamere Forest again, which for some reason driving there we managed to take all the wrong turns. I came off the motorway/highway onto the expressway in order to go over the Mersey Gateway Bridge, which when you get to the end of the expressway is straight over the roundabout, however, when you follow this, you end up in an industrial estate and nowhere near the bridge. It would seem the directions for the bridge do not exist, and when you get to the end of said expressway you turn left and ignore the signs. But as I managed to turn the wrong was we ended up back on the motorway heading in the direction of home. Time though was on our hands. My satnav said we would get there at 11:15 when we left home and although I managed to go on a long diversion of 20 minutes we got there at 11:22 thus proving that time travel can be achieved.
The degree is now on hold. I was so undecided about doing it that I thought it best to put the thought to one side until I was 100% committed to doing it.
After returning from Ireland I had tests and a cardiac assessment done. My blood results came back reporting a lack of vitamin D, which is about right living so far north and the general lack of sun. But I also did not have enough of the good cholesterol either, but this could be due to coeliacs disease. The doctors’ office suggestion was to take vitamin D tablets and eat more oily fish etc. Luckily I found a company that sells vitamins on Amazon and they do a vitamin D that is 4000iu, and when you buy a product they thank you by letting you pick another one for free. I decided on Hemp oil tablets as they are for omega 3 and 6, so that’s the bloods sorted.
The scarecrow festival came and went, and I managed to take exactly zero photos of it. I mean, what is the point of having a great camera, living in the country, and having festivals if I do not record it? Answers on a postcard, please!
We bought new garden furniture, namely a table, chairs and a parasol, just in time for the monsoon season to hit us. Yes, my luck/timing really is in at the moment.
I have managed to have a few barbeques lately, between showers that is.
I finally took the leap into meditation after dipping my toes off and on into it over the last few weeks. I have joined Headspace for a year, and am finding it quite good and just have to add it into my daily routine.
In other news, I had a puncture in one of the rear tyres on the car.