OSCAR FISH PETS

Here are my 3 Oscar fish. The largest one is the Albino but it gets along pretty well with the Tiger Oscar. The Albino and Tiger Oscars, however kept attacking the Albino Red Oscar, so that one stays alone in it’s own aquarium. Oscars also have relatively large eyes and they often look like thy are staring at you.

 

I have a big dog (a Great Pyrenees) but I also have some big fish pets, too. Oscars can be found in the wild in Florida or other tropical habitats, but they are found many times much easier at pet shops. They are interesting colorful additions to an aquarium but there are some things you should know before getting one of these large species. Depending on the species type they can get up to 18 inches long and way up to 4 pounds. So ensure you have at least a 50 gallon aquarium to begin with, and a water heater strong enough to keep the temperature at 74-80 degrees. Of course Oscars eat smaller fish, but they will also attack other Oscars. But if you purchase a pair of Oscars or even more when they are still very small, they will usually get along very well. I have done some research and much to my surprise I found that they will eat grasshoppers, crickets, and mealworms, too. But the food I find easy to purchase at a pet shop and feed to them is Tetra Cichlid. A lot of research about this fish can be found online, but here a few other things that I have learned about Oscars after keeping them for a while: Make sure your aquarium has a secure top. I have had an Oscar jump out of its tank more than once. Over and over the Oscars I have raised knock over the decorations I have put in the aquarium, and move the gravel at the bottom to a surprising degree. When you first begin to clean the aquarium the Oscars are outraged, but they soon learn there is nothing to worry about and accept what you do. They also tend to crunch down on their food and this results in many tiny particles that end up in the gravel. Despite their size, Oscars do not eat gobs of food like goldfish do. You can tell when you have fed too much because a lot of it just floats around in the aquarium. I clean the aquariums once every 2 weeks and always surprises me how much I have to clean from the gravel. To keep thing very clean I also maintain 2 kinds of filters for each tank – a big one that sits under the aquarium and the other type that hangs on the side of the aquarium. This also ensures plenty of air in the water for them.

If you have an Oscar and have noticed any unique things about them please email me at [email protected]

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Enhancing Your Dog’s Life

Enhancing Your Dog’s Life: A Comprehensive Approach

Rebecca Moore

Owning a dog goes beyond merely providing food and shelter; it involves actively enriching their lives to ensure they achieve the highest levels of happiness and health. This holistic perspective on pet care fosters a thriving environment where your dog can flourish in both spirit and health. Here’s how you can transform your approach to ensure your furry friend thrives, shared below courtesy of Northwest Wildlife Online.

Exploring Diverse Play Options

Introducing varied forms of play can dramatically enrich your dog’s daily life. Engage your pet with puzzle games that challenge their problem-solving skills or scent work that taps into their natural instincts. These activities stimulate both their mind and body, moving beyond traditional games like fetch. Interactive play enhances the physical and mental well-being of your dog, ensuring they remain active and sharp.

Creating a Comfortable and Safe Home

Ensuring your dog enjoys a comfortable and safe living environment is crucial. It is helpful to consider utilizing a home maintenance and repair app to handle necessary repairs efficiently and affordably. This technology simplifies the process of scheduling service appointments and tracking repair statuses. It also connects you with service professionals who can offer competitive quotes for any maintenance work your home might need, ensuring your living space is always welcoming and safe for your pet.

Incorporating Positive Training Sessions

Regular, positive training sessions are fundamental in strengthening the bond between you and your dog. These sessions should be enjoyable and rewarding, emphasizing fun over rigor. Training provides not just discipline but also a learning experience that fosters a deeper connection between you both. It’s vital to use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, praises, or toys to encourage good behavior, making training sessions something your dog looks forward to, rather than fears.

Transforming Mealtime into an Engaging Activity

Mealtime offers another great opportunity for mental stimulation. Swap traditional feeding bowls for food puzzles or interactive feeders. Consider creating DIY treat scavenger hunts that encourage your dog to use their hunting instincts, turning an ordinary meal time into an exciting adventure that satisfies their intellectual curiosity. This not only entertains them but also slows down their eating pace, which is beneficial for their digestion.

Fostering Calm and Connection

Dedicating time to calm bonding activities like gentle grooming, massage, or quiet sitting can profoundly impact your dog’s emotional health. These moments are simple yet powerful, conveying love and security, and reinforcing the trust and bond you share. This quality time can help alleviate anxiety and stress in your pet, promoting a peaceful and harmonious living environment.

Engaging in Nose Work and Sensory Games

Take advantage of your dog’s keen sense of smell by engaging them in nose work and sensory games. These activities provide a fun way to exercise their brain and keep them entertained. It’s a fulfilling way to tap into their natural abilities and enhance their day-to-day experiences. By setting up simple scent trails or hiding favorite toys, you can turn these games into exciting challenges that stimulate their natural hunting skills.

Celebrating and Rewarding Individuality

Every dog has a unique personality and set of abilities. Celebrate these differences by acknowledging their achievements and rewarding their progress. Whether it’s with treats, new toys, or verbal praise, showing appreciation for their unique traits reinforces positive behaviors and encourages them to maintain good habits.

Utilizing Enrichment Toys and Gadgets

Numerous toys and gadgets are designed specifically to keep your dog engaged and mentally stimulated, even in your absence. From smart toys that react to your dog’s touch to gadgets that dispense treats, these tools can help ensure that your dog is entertained and active throughout the day. These gadgets can also help manage behaviors by keeping them occupied with constructive activities, reducing boredom and associated frustrations.

Caring for your dog extends beyond the essentials of food and shelter, focusing on enriching their overall life experience. Implementing these varied strategies promotes not just survival, but a thriving lifestyle, allowing your dog to enjoy a fulfilling and vibrant existence. By doing so, you contribute to their well-being, ensuring a shared life filled with health and happiness.

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Revolutionizing the Lives of Children with Learning Disabilities

 

Art as a Superpower: Revolutionizing the Lives of Children with Learning Disabilities (article by Rebecca Moore)

Especially for children with learning disabilities, art can serve as a powerful teaching instrument, offering distinctive modes of communication through the lens of artistic expression that open up pathways for their development. By employing customized strategies, we can amplify their explorative journey within the realm of art. This enables them to not only delve into but also thrive within the expansive terrain of creativity. Today, courtesy of Northwest Wildlife Online, this article takes a closer look at these ideas and how you can implement them.

Utilizing Visual Aids and Hands-On Activities

Using visual aids can significantly boost comprehension. These tools, when coupled with interactive activities, form a powerful duo for teaching art. By incorporating a hands-on method, children’s attention is kept captivated, making the learning process enjoyable. Consequently, this approach ensures that the teaching sessions are not only entertaining but also yield effective results. For instance, teaching kids how to make videos helps introduce them to technology while also teaching them concepts like editing, brevity, and revision – not to mention instilling them with greater belief in themselves!

Exploring Different Art Media

Encouraging a variety of art forms can ignite curiosity among children. It’s beneficial to motivate them to experiment with all kinds of mediums, ranging from painting to sculpting. This broad-based exposure aids them in discovering their genuine interest, thereby keeping them engaged in their artistic endeavors. As a result, this approach ensures they stay committed and invested in their journey towards artistic expression.

Integration of Music Therapy

The combination of art and music serves as a therapeutic companion. Integrating music therapy into art classes provides a comprehensive creative journey. This unique fusion stimulates creativity and facilitates emotional articulation, further enhancing the experience. Such a method proves to be especially beneficial for children grappling with learning disabilities. You can also help children learn more about music by investing in a karaoke machine, which is also a fun way to help them build confidence!

Entrepreneurial Ventures

Artistic talent can open doors to entrepreneurship. Children with a creative inclination should be motivated to investigate potential business opportunities. This could range from offering art classes to marketing their own creations. Such endeavors are not only to celebrate their artistic abilities but also to inculcate crucial life skills in the process. There are a number of different business ideas you and your child could explore, ranging from writing a collaborative ebook on a favorite subject to selling designs as printable files. Explore the different options available and find something that works for you and your child.

Cultivating Artistic Passion at Home

Having art spaces at home can significantly fuel a child’s passion. Establishing a specific area for artistic pursuits provides children with steady motivation. This dedicated space transforms into a haven for creative expression, supporting them in refining their talents. Moreover, it allows them to develop their skills in an environment that is comfortable and familiar to them. What’s more, transforming a part of your home into a studio space could help boost its value should you decide to sell (just make sure you keep receipts and good notes).

Emphasizing Effort and Progress

 The process of artistic creation holds greater value than the final product. Prioritizing effort and growth over just the finished piece aids in boosting self-confidence. The unwavering commitment, determination, and small victories acquired during the journey contribute significantly to shaping an emerging artist. Essentially, it’s these elements that truly define and refine an artist’s journey.

Adaptive Art Tools and Devices

Every child deserves the opportunity to engage in art without any constraints. The introduction of adaptive tools can make this a reality, even for those facing physical difficulties. Through the integration of these supportive devices, we can guarantee inclusivity within the artistic domain. Essentially, these efforts ensure that the world of art remains unrestricted and accessible to all.

Art serves as a potent medium of empowerment for children battling learning disabilities. When equipped with appropriate tools, proper guidance, and a conducive environment, the limits to their artistic prowess are virtually non-existent. Advocating for their creative pursuits does more than just fostering their talents. It sets them up for a future that’s ripe with self-assurance and brimming with imaginative expression!

Northwest Wildlife Online is here to instill a deeper respect for wildlife. If you have any questions, feel free to respond to a post!

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You Never Know

Many times while out looking for wildlife I see something odd some distance away that looks like it might be something. And usually it is not. Over and over it turns out to be a rock, weird tree leaves, or trash. But I always take the picture, just in case. And that is worthwhile because, You Never Know! From time to time it does turn out to be something. And here are a couple of examples. I was once taking a lunch break from my job while in Illinois. As I sat in my car eating lunch I saw what might have been something or a piece of white trash in a tree. So I took the picture and found this big white possum. Then, a few days ago, while out walking my dog I saw something way up a very narrow tree. That turned out to be a nice racoon. I’m glad I brought my camera with me, and glad I took that shot.

Tribute to Jack Hanna

Jack got this book published 1989. He has 8 other books still on Amazon. Long before that I was working for him at the Central Florida Zoo with the wonderful elephant named Sobik. One of the greatest times of my life. Thank you, Jack!

In the news a few days ago I read  disturbing report about Jack Hanna’s memory loss. I feel bad for that and I pray for his recovery. I worked for Jack many years ago at the Central Florida Zoo in Sanford, FL. Jack mentions his time there in his book “Monkeys’ and I happen to be in one of the pictures. While he ran that zoo it was wonderful. His ability to raise money and take care of the animals there was extraordinary, and what he did for me made my life wonderful. And that small zoo there totally depended on his ability to raise funds. He was so good at it enough money came in to give us the ability to create and move all animals to a much bigger location. After I volunteered at the zoo for a while, Jack interviewed and hired me as the Curator of Hoofed Stock animals. Then I was taking care of the wonderful elephant named Sobik, and Fat Boy the hippopotamus. My time there was one of the best years of my life, and I cannot thank Jack enough for it.

For any comments please email me at [email protected]

Great Pyrenees Dog

Like all other dogs, Pyrenees pups start off small and cute. Here you see ours several years ago becoming friendly with our cat. As he grew up he became more and more attracted to cooler weather and protection of our property.

 

This is a big feline that you’ve probably heard about, but have rarely seen. I’ve had one for almost 6 years now and I want to pass on my experience with this dog. So far it has been surprisingly good. Now that is not what I expected when first reading about this breed. They were bread to protect domestic animals like cows and sheep from predators, and due to their size I thought they might not be such a great pet.  My dog Pekgu (Korean word that means “White cloud”) is a strong woofer. We purchased him as a cute little 10 pound puppy. He started growing very quickly, gaining about 10 pounds every month. And during that first year his size and energy were hard to hold. But that changed. He is now full grown and up to about 170 pounds. He does “woof” extremely loud at any strange person, vehicle, or animal that approaches our home. But when I take him out for a walk and run into someone else walking their dog, Pekgu likes to just stop and sniff in a very friendly way. He is very good with our cat, too. He is also very friendly and lovable to all members of my family and anyone we allow into our home. He is also quite obedient to orders we give him. Pyrenees are not highly energetic dogs that scramble around when they get older, but they do like a large property in which they can wander. I recommend this breed for a pet but do it a place that has mainly cool temperatures and be ready for their powerful energy in the first couple of years. They are large enough to yank you off your feet, and it is important to socialize them as much as you can while they are young. Then, by age 3 or 4 you will be surprised at how much they calm down and are so easy to deal with.

Questions or comments? Email me at [email protected]

Hungry Birds

Yes, we have all witnessed birds eating from our feeders and on our property. But just to let you know, and to share photos of it, common species eat different things. Crows are happy with seeds and nuts, yet once in my backyard I saw a crow grab a small garter snake. Like many other people we have hummingbird feeders hanging over our deck normally populated by hummingbirds. One day, however, a very different bird showed up and sucked up the hummingbird food. I was surprised to find out it was a woodpecker. One other day, while strolling around one of my favorite places – the Ankenny National Wild Reserve in Oregon – I decided to stop and observe a large swamp. It was no surprise to see waterfowl swimming around there, but it was a surprise to see one snatch up a frog. I had never seen that before. I have seen bald eagles swoop down and catch small ducks, but once while my wife and I were walking along the Puyallup River we saw a bald eagle gobbling up something. That could be a bald eagle father showing his son what to eat.

Book Review – George by Frieda Hughes

Magpies are common birds that I have seen everywhere from Korea, Montana, Idaho, and Washington. The one I saw in Montana really surprised me as it turned around and showed the size of its tail and the blue feathers. Our American species, (Yellow Billed and Black Billed), are mostly on the west coast. The Yellow Billed species are reported to live mainly in California. Other world species include Eurasian and Australian Magpies. Part of the Corvidae bird family, their behavior is similar to crows. Magpies are also know to be very intelligent birds. Their food consists of everything from insects to small reptiles and amphibians, but if you leave your dog’s food out they will swoop down and grab that, too. Frieda Hughes verifies that, and the intelligence of Magpies in her book.

“GEORGE” by Frieda Hughes

This is another unexpectedly great book about animal behavior in regard to an unexpected animal. The author Frieda Hughes rescued a Magpie baby bird after it was blasted out of its nest by a storm. The new born was in bad shape but Frieda did a great job healing it. Thanks to her habit of keeping up a daily journal, she was then able to write about its day by day recovery and the behavior of the bird she named George. The bird’s adaptation to its new mom and location is a very interesting story. Of course we expect it to trust its new food provider but George also learned to like and play with Frieda’s dogs. And her the dogs learned to like George. The young Magpie loved and trusted Frieda so much it landed on her many times. Yet this trust did not end there; it also trusted other humans so much that it did the same with them, often landing on their heads. It also showed the ability to speak like a budgie, and collect small colorful things. Frieda Hughes has an interesting life too, and this is added to the story. But over and over you will be surprised at the things George does as it matures. Some of these things are the reasons many people do not like Magpies, but things that Frieda Hughes, and now me, find amazing.

Protect Your Pets From Coyotes

Coyotes are adaptable animals and have learned to survive very successfully around us humans. I have seen them in the woods and open farm areas, of course, but also in some very surprising locations like busy road intersections. They carry diseases as well. Rabies are the most dangerous to you and your pets. Mange is often found as well, a disease causes by mites that results in fur loss. Yes, they can be problematic and a lot of people think the best solution is to shoot them. I do not support that. I have found another way.

 

How to Protect Your Pets from Coyotes

BLUF: Build a good fence around your property and do not let your pets out at night. Over and over I read and hear complaints about the disturbing affect coyotes have had on people’s pets. Most of these negative comments are focused on the loss of cat pets. But there have been others. I have also experienced this. We may have lost three of our pet cats to them, and I have a photograph of a coyote on the far side of my property with a chicken in its mouth. The chicken was not mine, and I did not know who it belonged to. This occurred after moving from a suburban are to where we are now, and I did not realize what might happen. But since then we have had no coyote problems at all despite our rural area, forested property.  So how do you protect against them? The first and most common sense to do is to build as good fence around your property. Yet even with that if you have a cat, don’t let it stay out all night. Some people keep their pet cats indoors all day and all night. Yep, nothing better than that for their protection. But there is another way. Most cats love to be outdoors and it is good for their health. That’s the kitty I have now. I protect him, however, this way – I only feed him dinner at night, and he must come inside our home at evening time to get it. He gets treats during the day, but only the big meal in the evening. And he is not allowed out until the next morning. After several years of this he has been very safe and is now so used to the process he follows it without pause. Our dog, of course is also a big advantage. Our Great Pyrenees is always woofing and inspecting our property for invaders. He also gets along very well with our cat. He was raised with him since he was small puppy. And he is not allowed out at night either.

Grouse or Ptarmigan Birds

I identified the Ruffed Grouse based on its large size and those feather twinkles above its head. The Ptarmigan is identified due to the dark line behind the beak, its smaller size, and longer neck. The one I only identify as a Grouse bird is because I cannot yet determine the exact species. I could be wrong on the first two, but all of the above are commonly known as Grouse birds.

Have you seen Ptarmigans or Grouse birds yet ? I have only observed them 3 times in several years despite their commonality. Once up at Mount ST Helens, once while while hiking up Mount Rainier, and another at a hike near Mount Rainier. Each time it was at a fairly high altitude in a forested area, their standard habitat preference. I was quite surprised at the numbers and size of these birds. Generally known by the common name of Grouse and Ptarmigan there are several species under each of those common names, and a bit difficult to accurately identify. Why? Well, to begin with they are in the same Order and Family (Tetraonidae/Galliformes). And because you normally see them scrambling around in a dense forest area, and dark tree shade hides their real feather colors. Some also molt and change feather color between summer and winter. Chicken sized and larger, they will catch your attention. There are differences, of course. According to “BirdGuidance” The Grouse species are bigger with well rounded chest regions. The Ptarmigans are small but have longer necks. Now that gets you the difference between these two in general, but identifying the individual species sometimes remans a challenge depending on the time of year and the location you see them. I have identified the species above in connection to many pictures in my hard copy books and the ones on line.

Resources:

Birdguidance  https://birdguidance.com/grouse-vs-ptarmigan/

Audubon Society Filed Guide to North American Birds