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October 30, 2010

Pawhaus Pet Boutique Christmas Shopping Contest!

Yes we all know that Christmas is fast approaching! It seems we're just getting past the summer months and little reminders start popping up everywhere you look.

The first reminder the holidays are fast approaching is that campaign Staples Office Supplies runs every year for back to school. You know the one, "It's the most wonderful time of the year". I seriously think they really play that commercial just to get us thinking about Christmas as early as August.

And I noticed Costco seems to stock Christmas stuff quite early too. Can we not at least get past the September long weekend before any mention of the year-end holidays?

Having said that, what am I writing about today? A Christmas promotion in November!

But it's one where you get free stuff! Our very good friends at The Pawhaus Pet Boutique have generously offered up two $50 Gift Certificates to their online pet store. Fifty bucks towards some cool swag for your pet would make a nice holiday gift I think!

You may be asking yourself, so what do I have to do?

It's a scavenger hunt and here's how the contest works:
  • Go to the website
  • Cruise the site and look for the Poooh Busters paw logo (shown below)
  • Look hard, it could be anywhere
  • When you find the logo, click on it
  • An email message will open
  • In the body of the email write your name and a contact phone number
  • Click send

Look for this image

It's that easy! Each Monday a new paw logo will be hidden somewhere else on the Pawhaus website. Find the new one and click it to enter again. The contest runs the entire month of November so you will have four chances to to enter your name.

The draw will take place on Saturday, December 4th and two names will be drawn to win a Pawhaus Pet Boutique $50 Gift Certificate each.

The first paw has been placed and you can start hunting right away. I'll give you a clue to get you started on the right path.

Clue #1: I was on vacation in the Carribean, it was a real treat drinking my Pina Colada from a coconut.

Poooh Busters wants to thank Amanda from Pawhaus for giving the Poooh Busters clientelle a chance to take part in such a fun and rewarding contest!

Email me at if you have any questions about the contest.

Happy hunting!

October 21, 2010

What If You Can't Afford The Vet?

I was crusing my Facebook news like I do every 50 seconds of every day and I saw an update from my friend Melaina. She works at the Calgary Humane Society and she hears all the excuses under the sun why folks surrender their pets to the shelter. Her update this morning went something like this: "Nothing gets to me more than when people email the shelter from their Blackberrys and iPhones saying they need financial assistance to spay/neuter their pet."

I can see her point. If you can afford a cell phone and can pay for a 3G data package, why can't you afford the care required for responsible pet guardianship? Or if you can't afford both, don't have a pet in your care.

Not all folks are this irresponsible though. Some truly do care well for their pets but sometimes things happen that can cause us to face some pretty hefty vet bills. Like the time a friend's dog ate a poisonous plant. Now that was crazy!

It’s necessary for all pet parents to be prepared in case emergencies arise. Knowing your vet and the services they provide is a great place to start. Finding out the answers to the following questions will assist you in knowing what to expect so you can plan ahead:

- What are your vet’s payment policies?
- Are payment plans available?
- Does your vet offer emergency hours at their practice?
- If they don’t, where would you be referred to for emergency care?

The internet is a great source of information, but it’s not the appropriate place to find a cure to your dog’s sickness. Your sick dog will need to be examined and treated as soon as possible. Delaying care can add to the expenses considerably.

If your dog is ill and you’re unable to pay for your vet visit, there are some possible solutions to consider:

Veterinary Pet Insurance
Even though pet insurance has been available for many years, it’s being more commonly used by pet owners today. The best time to sign your pet up is in their early years. It's nice to have comfort in knowing that if an emergency does occur, the expenses could be considerably less.

Pet Emergency Credit Card
Maintaining a pet emergency credit card allows pet guardians to pay the vet bill in full, and make payments on the credit card as able.

Payment Plans Offered Through Your Vet
Many pet parents don’t even bother calling their veterinarian when money is an issue, assuming the vet will refuse them outright. You may be surprised. Many vets do offer some sort of payment plan on a case-by-case basis. It never hurts to ask.

Check Your Local Humane Society or Shelter
Your local Humane Society or animal shelter may be able to offer you low-cost veterinary care or vouchers to use at your vet’s office. But send an email from your smart phone! A phone call might be a better solution.

Veterinary Schools
Many veterinary schools take on unique cases as learning tools. This will usually be at no cost to the pet owner.

The important thing to remember is the quicker treatment is provided to a sick or injured dog, the better. Also, planning ahead will help lessen the stress that an emergency situation brings.

Don’t forget to “paw it forward.” If you’re not in a financially tough situation, consider donating money to your favorite animal charity to help future animals in need.

October 13, 2010

Is Calgary Going To Vote?

Mrs. Big Nate and I will be taking time out of our Monday night on October 18th to take part in the Calgary Civic Election. I never used to care much about voting for any type of election; provincial, civic or federal. Like most young people I just never thought it was worth my time, especially since I wasn’t even really following politics in any way. I always had the mind that it just wouldn’t make a difference anyway, nothing ever changes, all politicians are the same, etc, etc.

Now that I’m older, I see the value in taking the time to vote. I still don’t really follow politics and I admit I haven’t really looked at the platforms of those running for the office of mayor. What I do care about is pets and pet care. Unfortunately I doubt animal welfare is a big priority for those looking at the problems of a huge city. Traffic, property taxes, economy, development, education, healthcare, etc, etc, etc. These all take a much more important place over what is going on in the pet world. I know human problems will always be more important than animal ones but I wonder what our candidates would say if we asked them their position on animal rescues and the plights they face each and every day.

What questions would you like to ask our mayoral candidates when it comes to pet care and their well-being?

Ms. Higgins, would you as mayor ever look at using the city coffers to provide some much needed funding to the Calgary Humane Society or the Animal Rescue Foundation?

Mr. McIver, would you as mayor ever consider increasing the budget our city spends on educating pet owners about the importance of registering and licensing their animals or on spaying / neutering their pets?

Without considering our pets as a platform issue, my real dilemma is who to vote for. I’m not a Ric McIver fan and I’m not sure Barb Higgins is the right choice either. In my opinion either Naheed Nenshi or Craig Burrows are good candidates. The problem is if I vote for either one of these guys, I feel my vote is basically a wasted one. I suspect neither of them will come close to Barb or Ric. So unfortunately the reality is it comes down to the two of them. I have to ask myself, of the two, who would I rather see in office?

It’s too bad that most elections always come down to two candidates. Voting for anyone else is pretty much a wasted vote. So my strategy is to put an X beside the name of the one I dislike the least and hope for the best.

What’s your plan? Do you have a strategy and know the platforms? Or are you just going with your gut?

Either way, I hope everyone gets out there on Monday and makes their vote count!

Please note that Big Nate's opinions are his own and not necessarily those of Poooh Busters Inc.

October 4, 2010

The Black Carts Are Coming!

I believe one of the very first blogs I ever posted on the Poooh Busters blog was about Calgary's new Blue Bin Recycling Program. I had a little rant about the lack of people using their blue bins in my neighbourhood when they first came out.

Poooh Busters tries its best to be environmentally responsible and every once in a while I'll blog or add some info about environmental issues. It's not always about dogs or pets. We can discuss other things too!

Well as I was cruising around Facebook, I saw a side ad for the City of Calgary Black Bin Program. I had no idea this was happening! Did anyone else know about it? I guess Mrs. Nate and I really should watch the news or read newspapers more often. We are bad for not keeping up on our news.

Anyway, I just wanted to write this quick blog about the Black Bin Program in case there were other folks out there, like me, who were oblivious to this new initiative that our fine City is about to implement. The following is some info I found on their website.

This fall, The City will start rolling out Black Cart Garbage Collection to households across Calgary.

Black carts will improve garbage collection service by reducing litter in lanes and streets, increasing efficiency, and making things safer for collectors and residents.

What is Black Cart Garbage Collection?
Black Cart Garbage Collection uses trucks with mechanical arms to collect garbage from wheeled carts, a lot like the way blue cart recycling is collected now. Homes that currently have garbage collected by hand will receive a black cart. Residents will put their regular household garbage in the cart instead of in a trash bag or can.

Black carts will improve garbage collection in a number of ways:

  • The carts keep garbage from getting scattered by animals or wind, and keeps neighbourhoods cleaner. Garbage stays in and pests stay out.

  • Black Cart Garbage Collection is more efficient, because it is collected using one-person trucks instead of two person crews.

  • The carts are safer for residents and our collectors, because they reduce heavy lifting and contact with sharp objects.

There is no extra fee for Black Cart Garbage Collection, and additional bags will still be collected. The City encourages home owners to reduce and recycle as much material as possible. However, garbage that does not fit in the cart can be put in bags or cans and set next to it.

About the Black Cart Garbage Collection Pilot
Waste & Recycling Services began providing Black Cart Garbage Collection in six communities in the fall of 2008 – Cedarbrae, Citadel, Deer Run, Dover, Huntington Hills and Mount Pleasant. The pilot was very successful. In a survey of residents, 93 per cent said they were satisfied with the service. No garbage collectors involved in the pilot have lost time due to injury on the job. There were over 100 injuries to traditional garbage collectors during the same period. The communities were chosen based on the need to test various combinations of service such as front set outs and back lanes in established inner city locations and suburban areas. Cedarbrae, Huntington Hills and Mount Pleasant were also involved in the successful pilot for Blue Cart recycling in 2005. This pilot gave Waste & Recycling Services the opportunity to test automated collection in various scenarios in order to evaluate the benefits of applying automated collection city-wide.

So there you have it! If you want more info please be sure to visit the City's website. It's got a lot of great tips on what to trash, what to recycle and what to do with your old trash can if you have one.