Friday, August 26, 2011

The 7 x 7 Link Award

Hi everyone and firstly an apology for my absence last week - just too much to do and the blog simply didn't happen, so sorry to those who wait for their weekly dose of the roos!  The blog has won another award and I feel both proud and humble.  It's lovely to think you are thought of when these blog awards roll round cyberspace and I appreciate the thought very much.

Thanks to Jo of Chronicles of Illusions for the award.  Please go and say hello to my Aussie/NZ friend.

This award is fairly complex award and so it will occupy the space this week, but it gives me the chance to mention older posts that some of you newcomers won't have read and may be interested in. I first need to link you to seven previous posts:

1. Most Beautiful

In a very biased way I find any posting with an animal featured is beautiful, but if I have to chose one I'll go with the first part of Merrilyn's story.  Kangaroo Joey Arrives.  Long time readers know a bit more about Merrilyn, but this is where I decided to chronicle her life from the start.

2. Most Popular

Of recent times, (and it's really hard to call this one as readership grows) Gone in a Flash is the winner hands down. The Story of Merrilyn's overnight disappearance.

3. Most Controversial
Death after Sex caused a little controversy.  I certainly think it attracted people who wondered what they might find and the little antechinus has quite a story!

4. Most Helpful

I've had lots of thanks for my pumpkin soup recipe, which overcomes the problem of cutting through the tough skin of many pumpkins.  If you liked (like) this you might also like homemade mango ice cream.

5. Most Surprisingly Successful
Well many people find one snake off putting, let alone two - and two engrossed in fighting with each other! I used photos my father manged to capture quite a few years ago in the fighting snakes post.

6. Most Underrated.
Possibly because it was early on, but somehow this post didn't catch much attention and I find squirrel gliders simply irresistible!  Want to find out more - go to Not much bigger than a thumb!

7. Most Pride Worthy.
This was a tough one.  Awards are great and I often blog about things I'm proud of, but I settled on this post that I don't even recommend you visit now.  It had an oil leak meter on it showing how much damage the gulf oil spill was doing!  Oil continuing to spill took me away from here to another part of the world, but I think we need to speak up whenever our natural environment is threatened - after all we need it ourselves to survive!

So now to pass this award to 7 blogs!  I've decided to pass it to 7 blogs belonging to people who both follow me, and who also come over and leave comments regularly.  They each have unique blogs, but more than that, they are great human beings who have become, or are becoming my friends!  A welcome to some new followers too and be sure that I'll be over to follow you as long as your icon links me back to your blog!  So if you are looking for some new blogs to check out - here's the list!

Catbird Scout - some of the most beautiful writing you'll find around!

Whispering Pines - lovely family and lovely stories

The Untroubled Kingdom of Laila Knight - Go and share some of Laila's divine madness.

So You're A Writer - reasonably new but great writer's blog.

Shirley Wells - Dark Crimes, Deep Secrets, Powerful Stories.

Kiddothings - humorous stories of raising small children.

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded - again funny stories, this time of raising teenage girls.

So enjoy!  Thanks again to Jo of Chronicles of Illusions for the award.  Back to kangaroo stories next week!

Now added this to Lovelinks #21 Go and take a peep and join the fun!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Merrilyn Loses Another Life - Merrilyn Part 17

Do kangaroos have "lives" like cats do you think?  If so Merrilyn has already used up two.  The first when she survived the impact of the motor vehicle that killed her mother and the second when she chased a wild kangaroo and ended up out over night when very small. (Gone in a Flash) and now, for a third time her life was in danger.

There are many diseases that can kill a kangaroo joey in care, but the two I fear most are coccidiosis and the other is something we call the blood parasite disease.  I don't think you want in depth detail here, so suffice to say coccidiosis is caused by a parasite and it can result in a very painful death and I lost three beautiful joeys to it very early in my caring career.  They had come to me after being very distressed by a violent thunderstorm and the carer they were with adding to their distress by putting them under a shower as they had been covered in mud and then the further stress of finding themselves in a new place with a new carer.  I didn't know enough then to know it was a recipe for disaster.  They were all dead in two weeks - their bodies over whelmed by the parasites as their immunity was weakened by stress.  I still cry to think of them.

Not a great photo, but this is them the day they arrived.
They were very ill within hours of this photograph being taken.

The blood parasite disease is yet to be properly identified, and a diagnosis can only be confirmed by an autopsy, so survivors may or may not have had this particular disease.  Again I had two joeys struck down by it in my early caring life.  One I saved, the other had to be put down as the parasite had reached her brain and she lost all coordination. 

Merrilyn had always been feisty and fit, and her overnight escapade showed she was tough, so it was with some horror that I found her very subdued one morning and though she came for a walk with me her breathing seemed harder than it should be and there were none of the usual sprints.  I cut short the walk and returned home.  When the symptoms of coccidiosis appear it is often already too late, so I gave her a dose of the medicine just in case and added two products to her milk that help strengthen the immune system, and was happy when she did still drink, even if not as enthusiastically as normal. For some reason Merrilyn had burrowed into my heart more than any other joey I'd raised - maybe that first 3 weeks of tending to her every two hours, twenty-four hours a day?

Merrilyn at 4kg.
Despite the medicine she didn't pick up. She took on a hang dog type look and her breathing was still quite noisy.  I gave her rehydration fluid and her poo was definitely off, though showed no signs of blood, which is a tell tale sign of coccidiosis.  I did not sleep much that first night and the next day she was no better, but thankfully she was also not worse.  She was inside a shelter and so I could see she had eaten little of the grass that had been left for her.  I checked her gums and they seemed paler than the previous day and another dark shadow crossed my path - the blood parasite disease caused anemia.  Could I give her a shot of the medicine we use for the blood parasite disease on top of the coccidiosis medicine?  It's clear to me that kangaroos often deteriorate under modern medicine and I think it's because it can destroy the gut flora that they need to survive, so I am always hesitant to dose up unnecessarily, but there was no way to tell if her problem was the blood parasite and if it was...  I rang all the carers I could think of who might know and as usual advice varied.  One of the major problems we have is wildlife care is so much trial and error.  Yes we do know a lot, but there's so much more that remains a mystery.
Merrilyn would not eat grass and she would not take a bottle - something totally unheard of in this gorgeous creature who adored her bottle!

So what to do?  When some more poo arrived it was desiccated - something else I'd seen with the blood parasite and so now I didn't hesitate.  I took out the syringe and gave her the jab and then called to whoever the greater power is in this life to give this beautiful creature a chance to survive.

As big as she was I popped her back into a pouch and held her
and tried to think of other things I could do to bring her through.

It took a week of coaxing her to eat, a little at a time, and quiet care, and then her energy increased and I knew she'd make it through.  I don't believe it was coccidiosis.  Did she have the blood parasite disease?  I think it is likely, though we'll never know for sure.  I'm just pleased that she made it through!  Joeys - as they survive, years are taken off my life!

A request.  Please check your profile to make sure your blog shows up if I click on your follow icon or comment.  I have a few people I'd love to follow back and read their blogs but I cannot find my way to them.... help.  So if I seem rude drop me an email,, and let me know how to find you.  Many thanks and thanks so much for following and commenting - it makes my day!
Also the blog has collected another award.

The goal of the award is to spotlight up and coming bloggers who currently have less than 200 followers.(That's me though I have cracked the 100 mark now!)

The rules of the award are:
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
5. And most of all - have bloggity-blog fun!
So firstly my grateful thanks to Carrie Butler at So, You're a Writer  This is a great new blog that carries some seriously good information for writers as well as some very unique and fun posts.  Well worth a look.

And also to Lady Gwen of Run Gwen Run.  I think I first met Lady Gwen, who by the way combines running and writing to make for a very interesting blog, through the Favourite Book Blog Fest and as she approaches her first blogoversary she's creating a blog fest of her own that you may like to join in on. (It's a very clever judge and jury blog fest running in early September.    Here's her first post about it so you can join in the fun. As I was preparing to give this award to her, she gave it to me!

So who to pass the award on to?

 1) Bryce of The Bryce Daniels Preservation Society.  I always think of Bryce in red shoes - well he hails from Kansas!  He's gathered an amazing number of followers in his blog's short history and many of us want to see who wins out - the novelist or the poet!

2) Jo Bryant of Chronicles of Illusion. Now Jo lives across the ditch from me.  Which is Australian for saying she lives in New Zealand.  Quite a few interesting snippets to be found on this blog!

3) Ms Mouse of Ms Mouse Cleans House definitely deserves an award.  Anyone teaching cats to use a real toilet, instead of a litter box needs an award!

4) Mrs Catch of Catch is my fourth choice - and these come in no order of merit! With a tag line of "Catching the sweetness in life" this is a place to go to enjoy and be serene - well most of the time... (She's also a fellow Aussie!)

No number 5 as that was Lady Gwen and as I have two people to thank I think that's enough for you all to run round if you have the time.  Thanks again, to Carrie and Lady Gwen for the award!  "Talk" to you all next Friday with more adventures from Merrilyn and the musketeers! 

I've also attached this post to Lovelinks #19.  Take a peek.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Bob back in trouble - Merrilyn Part 16

If this is your first time here you can start this tale from the beginning here.  It's the story of Merrilyn, and her kangaroo friends.To my regulars, many thanks for all your comments, to new followers many thanks too and I will be round to join you and thank you soon but am just managing to keep the posts going whilst being very time poor at the moment.  A short post today as the story continues.

Poor Bob - never a dull moment for him!  Thankfully Merrilyn and Buster are all good news.  Merrilyn showed no signs of any ill effects from her overnight adventure, (Gone in a flash), once she over came the tiredness, and though Buster ended up with a slightly crooked foot (What else can go wrong and Foot and mouth disease ) it wasn't slowing him down. 
Buster on the left and Merrilyn on the right - firm friends and growing fast!

However Bob continued to get himself into trouble.  It was clear from the outset that this little kangaroo, either from genetics, or his early experiences, wasn't going to turn out to the be the brightest star in the sky.  We're still not sure exactly what happened.  One morning I looked out and somehow Bob looked different.  (I think if you have been following this story you'll see the clear differences between the kangaroos - they do look different and I can tell them apart).  Anyway I raced out and sure enough Bob did look different.

His little face was all swollen.

He was breathing fine and his eyes were fine and I kept my eye on him until he returned to normal.  I suspect one of two things - bull ants - we have some of the nastiest ants in the world in Australia and I find they can be one of the most painful things to be bitten by and I was put off my feet one day when trying to find a joey when I stepped on not one, but two, bull ant nests in quick succession and my ankle was swollen beyond belief.  The other alternative was a wasp or hornet or some kind.  Either way he had taken a close investigation of something that nature should have told him to leave well alone! 
All's well that ends well.
Until next week.  Take care of the animals!  Cheers Cheryl