Thursday, July 28, 2011

Attention all Pet Parents!

"The second worst thing that can happen to a pet is for it to get sick or injured; the worst thing is when that pet's caregiver has no clue what to do."

American Red Cross volunteer Sara Beavin and her husband rescue animals with special needs, so she first became interested in Pet First Aid to help take care of her own pets. When she discovered that the Louisville Area Chapter didn't offer the course, she took it upon herself to become an instructor and develop the program. In 2005, Sara obtained instructor certification and has been running the local program ever since. In addition to being an instructor, she has also invested in training materials including canine and cat mannequins for students to practice CPR and rescue breathing.

On Saturday, I had the opportunity to take the class with Sara and learned quite a few things that will come in handy as a pet parent. For instance, in case of a head, neck or back injury, a cookie sheet can serve as a backboard to transport your cat or small dog. And plastic wrap is a great way to keep them in place without damaging their fur—something your pet will definitely appreciate.

In this video, Sara discusses why it's important for pet parents to learn how to care for their pets in case of an emergency, and also offers a few tips to prepare just in case Milo or Otis get into trouble.

The Louisville Area Chapter 2011 Pet First Aid Schedule
Aug. 23 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Sept. 28 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Oct. 11 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Nov. 5 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Dec. 28 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Call 1-877-519-5967 to register for a Pet First Aid class. Also, prepare yourself and your pets before disaster strikes using this Pets and Disaster Safety Checklist.

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Little Orphan Gaffney

Stowaway Gaffney tries to tag along on vacation by hiding in my overnight bag.

Monday June 6th was, for the most part, an ordinary day. After work, cooking dinner and wheezing through Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, my fiance and I settled in for a night of clearing out the DVR. Little did we know, it would be the last time it would be just the two of us hanging out.

Just after 8pm, our new bundle of joy arrived in the form of a tiny, white, blue-eyed kitten whom we later named Gaffney (see D2: The Mighty Ducks in Vol. 4 of the Dictionary for Obscure 90s references). She had been abandoned on a door step along with the rest of her litter. A friend of ours took her in, but Gaffney was not a fan of said friend's pups.

Less than an hour later, she was the Little Orphan Gaffney no more, and we were the proud adoptive parents of a crazy, rambunctious, "inquisitive" 4-week-old kitten. Aside from the obvious benefit of having a new companion that loves unconditionally (oh wait; that's dogs) we also have an alarm clock that we never have to set, an organized closet and a cleaner house in general since Gaffney is unopposed to ingesting anything she finds on the floor.

It is for this reason that I thought now might be a good time to take the Red Cross Pet First Aid class, you know, just in case Gaffney decides to eat something she shouldn't or for some odd reason, doesn't land on her feet when jumping from table to chair to bookshelf.

This Saturday, July 23, the Louisville Area Chapter is offering a Pet First Aid Course from 10am-3pm. I will be in attendance, and you can be too. Call 1-877-519-5967 to sign-up. Deadline to register is today, June 19. If you don't have time this Saturday, you can register for the next Pet First Aid class on August 23. I hope to see you Saturday!

Actress Colombe Jacobsen-Derstine as Julie "The Cat" Gaffney in D2: The Mighty Ducks.

Area Red Cross Aquatics Programs

Hot summer days can be unbearable, but there are ways to find relief. One popular refuge is, of course, the swimming pool! We have an entire week of high temperatures coming our way, and what better way to spend it than by hanging out poolside or at the lake.

For those of you looking for swimming lessons, the American Red Cross offers a variety of aquatic programs including Learn-to-Swim courses and lifeguarding. Here is a list of authorized providers in the Louisville region.

  • Baptist East/Milestone Wellness Center, 750 Cypress Station Dr. - (502) 896-3900 x132

  • Aquatics Management Corp., Website - (502) 471-0826

  • Jewish Community Center, 3600 Dutchmans Ln. - (502) 238-2740

  • Kentuckiana Pool Management, Website - (502) 394-9759

  • Lakeside Swim Club, 2010 Trevilian Way - (502) 454-4585 x225

  • Metro Parks Mary T. Meagher Aquatic Center, 201 Reservoir Rd. - (502) 897-9949

  • Ralph Wright Natatorium at U of L, 2216 S. Floyd St. - (502) 852-3691 OR (502) 419-3959

  • Anderson Aquatics, 7962 Wilson Rd. - (502) 624-6217

  • Shelby Co. Parks & Recreation, 717 Burks Branch Rd., Shelbyville, KY - (502) 633-5059

  • YMCA Floyd Co. Branch, 33 State Street., New Albany, IN - (812) 283-9622

  • YMCA of Harrison Co., 198 Jenkins Court N.E., Corydon, IN - (812) 734-0770

Enjoy the water, and don't forget to take a look at these Red Cross water safety tips before jumping in.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Last Midnight Show

Last November, I blogged about the convenience of a wand when it comes to preparedness. (A fashionable beaded handbag with an extendable curse doesn't hurt to have around either. Talk about the world's best disaster kit.) Along with millions of other Harry Potter fanatics, I braved the midnight show one last time to see the conclusion of the series.

While it was likely the last midnight show I'll ever attend, I figured I would pass on a few preparedness tips for those who are filling theaters across the world this afternoon and evening. Here are a few things you should bring along when attending a Harry Potter movie.

~Tissues. I will stop there just in case you haven't read the books. Note: Guys included. You know, to get that salt out of your eyes.
~Water Bottle. Let's face it. Unless you arrive over an hour early and hop into the concession line first thing, you're going to risk missing the show for that half gallon-refillable fountain drink. Pack some water instead. (small enough to fit in your bag of course.) Toss in a bag of M&M's or trail mix while you're at it.
~Sweater. While it is 90 degrees outside, that usually means it's about 50 in the theatre or any other public location.
~Pack of cards. Unless you have a smart phone--I think I'm the only person in the world who doesn't--you will likely get bored standing in line for an hour. Personally, I prefer Phase10. This of course is not as critical if you have . . .
~A friend. or 2 or 3. One of the best parts of the movie is sharing your reactions and opinions afterward.

And, without further ado, the most important thing to bring along . . .
~Common Courtesy. Proclamation Theatre Decree No. 1 :
No line cutting, cell phone ringing, bright lights from texting, or unecessary loud chatter will be tolerated. Perhaps Umbridge should take up ushering at the movies.