Showing posts with label animal_rescue. Show all posts
Showing posts with label animal_rescue. Show all posts

Monday, July 16, 2012

The 2012 Taipei Pet Expo

Taipei's annual Pet Expo was held this year at Nangang Exhibition Center - not sure if this year kicked of with a "parade of 100 poodles" as last year's did, because I didn't make it until Sunday, but the pet expo (along with the travel and book expos - but not Computex, not yet) are my favorite annual expo events in Taiwan. And by "favorite" I mean "the only ones I go to".



I don't have much to say about the pet expo - except that if you have a pet and are looking to pick up some discount goods, or just want to take friendly Fido out for a fun day sniffing other dogs' butts, it's worthwhile. We have our cat, Stupidface (just kidding, his name is 招財) and did want to price new carriers and buy him a longer-lasting scratch pad that wouldn't leave cardboard bits all over the floor, and were successful (although we didn't buy a carrier - the one we wanted wasn't actually for sale that day). It's also a good chance to drop by Animals Taiwan's booth and donate, or any of the other rescue organizations there.

The expo mostly has booths catering to dogs, but people did bring other pets - cats, rabbits, gerbils, guinea pigs, a sable (pictured below) - I don't know how they got their cats to tolerate it. Our Stupidface would have freaked out in that sort of setting, so we left him at home. He freaks out on the short walk to the vet's office.

And, of course, many of the dogs are either ridiculously gussied up (above), or preternaturally cute (below).

I got tickets for free because one of my corporate clients is Merial, a manufacturer of animal medicines, and they gave me two free entry passes. I stopped by to say hi, saw the showgirls, browsed, petted cute animals, bought a wooden cat scratch pad, and took photos.

Seriously, none of the cats we saw looked even remotely happy. The dogs were, however, delighted to be there.

It was extremely crowded - actual traffic jams, not unlike Computex, made it hard to get around (plus all the dogs underfoot). I also found it hard, as it usually is. to take good photos of animals who aren't necessarily interested in cooperating - especially when I am the least interesting thing in their field of vision.

Even the pet expo has booth babes - these ladies worked for my client's booth.

Adorable sleeping sable. I was all "I could make a coat out of you!!" and the owner was all "Nooo!"

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Parrot of Da'an Park

With the recent warm, sunny weather, I figured it was timely to write a post about Da'an Park, as half of Taipei seems to be hanging out there over the long weekend (the other half is either on Yangmingshan or "sleeping and watching TV" as always).

If you hang out around the amphitheater, the one about halfway up the park on the Xinsheng side, you might notice a bright green bird flitting around and cawing.

You're not hallucinating: it is in fact a green, red-beaked parrot (or parakeet - it's hard to tell: the coloring is more similar to a parakeet, but green parrots do exist, and the size is more akin to a young parrot).

Are parrots local to Taipei? Uh, no.

I can't find any information on a native, even an accidental, population of parrots in Taipei (or Taiwan). There are several feral populations worldwide - there's one in San Francisco - formed from escaped parrots - and it's fairly clear that this little fella is an escapee and has settled in Da'an Park as being the most tree-dense part of the city. Polly got out of his cage, didn't he?

What with all the people who see him digging into their picnic bags to throw him crackers and crumbs, he seems alright for food now, and summer is coming. I just hope he makes it through next winter.

On a slightly different note, Da'an Park is great for seeing all sorts of still-captured species:

Of course the park abounds with dogs of all sizes being taken out to play (apparently they're starting to enforce leash laws, though - a woman with a huge fluffy white mound of dog was getting a citation as we arrived), but you'd be a fool to miss the cats and rabbits, not to mention the occasional guinea pig, ferret, large lizard or flying squirrel on a tiny chain.

These fuzzballs were born and raised housecats, and this was their first foray outside. You can see that they're, uh, taking it pretty well.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sick Puppies

As I mentioned on here recently, I was quite sick last week, to the point of taking Friday off and basically sleeping through it. On Sunday, after taking the copious medication given to me by the eccentric old Indonesian doctor at Jingmei Hospital, I was starting to feel better, so we set a small goal for the day: take a quick stroll through the Taipei Pet Fair (an annual event).

Catherine also has a post with funny pictures about the fair.

This fuzzy creature cracks me up.

I've volunteered at this event for Animals Taiwan, stumbled upon it by accident and come just to enjoy the adowwable cats, dogs, rabbits, fur creatures, flying squirrels and whatever else people bring along.

See? Some people bring rabbits.

I also have students who work for a veterinary medicine company who often host a booth here, so I'll sometimes go to see if anyone I know is representing their company.

This little guy reminds me of John Yossarian from Catch-22. Somewhat insane but not really, in the army, floppy hair.

We never bring along our cat; to do so would only invite disaster. He's sociable but that would have simply not ended well. He hates being in his carrier and squirms too much when you try to hold him against his will. You know, as cats do. In fact, I am not sure how the people who brought cats managed to control them. I've never had a cat as placid as the ones I see at the pet fairs.

Seriously, how is this calico so calm?

Two adorable rat things - or as Brendan says, "more mosquito than dog"!

Another reason I like to come here is to donate to the animal rescue organizations. My volunteering has fallen off since we adopted Stupidface (sorry - Zhao Cai), but I do like to help where I can, and I suggest that if you want to do something of immediate benefit in Taiwan, do donate to Animals Taiwan or one of the other rescue/CNR/pet ownership education organizations (there are a few). You may even want to consider adopting a rescued animal; sure, it won't be a purebreed (though some are, as most strays rescued and placed for adoption were abandoned by families who bought them in pet stores) but it'll be an animal who truly needs a loving home.

You know you want to.

We didn't adopt Zhao Cai from an organization; my sister basically found him begging for food outside the Zhengda girls' dormitory. He was healthy, friendly and house-trained, if bone-thin (we call him Stupidface because he seems to be mentally incapable of hunting). It'll be hard moving around the world with him, but never a day goes by when we're not happy we have him.

Even if his food, left out, did attract mice.

That he can't, or won't, kill.

Meaning we're the first people in the world for whom getting a cat attracts the cat's natural prey.

Now you see why we call him Stupidface?

"I don't kill my natural prey, but I do whine a lot and cuddle in your microfiber blankets."

I bet this colorful fuzzball could kill a mouse. Or maybe not. He(?) might just play with it to death.

Hee hee, double decker dog stroller for the win!

I'll leave you with this happy fellow. Doesn't he just look so pleased at the world?