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Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Sam the Koala’s Continued Story…

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Sam the Koala Recovering In Australian Wildlife Centre

“Sam” the koala has been rescued from the bushfires near Mirboo North in Gippsland, and is now recovering at the Southern Ash Wildlife Shelter in Rawson, Victoria.  Photo courtesy: AFP.

SYDNEY: YouTube star Sam the koala was slowly recovering Thursday from severe burns received in Australia’s devastating bushfires, thanks to a little tender love and care from her new boyfriend Bob.

Animal rescue workers said the two marsupial fire survivors were doing well but it would be four or five months before they would be ready for release back into the mountain ranges of southeastern Australia.

“He puts his arm around her and comforts her. They’re very sociable,” Jenny Shaw of the Southern Ash Wildlife Shelter in Rawson, Victoria state, told AFP.

Sam and Bob were united at the shelter earlier this week when a firefighter found a thirsty Sam wandering in the ashes of a eucalypt forest consumed by the worst wildfires in the country’s history.

Video of Sam eagerly drinking water from a bottle offered by helmeted firefighter Dave Tree has scored almost 150,000 hits in two days on Internet site YouTube, making her the unofficial mascot of hope for fire victims.

More than 180 people died in the firestorm on the weekend, but the toll on the region’s unique wildlife is believed to be in the millions–including kangaroos, koalas, tree gliders, lyrebirds, wombats and reptiles.

Shaw said the animals at the shelter, one of dozens of centres inundated with injured wildlife since the weekend, seemed to gladly accept human help.

“They know they’re being helped, they’re so cooperative,” she said.

“Sam has just taken it all in her stride. She’s improving but she has been very badly burned.”

She said the koalas were a unique breed from the Strzelecki Ranges in southeast Victoria, and were larger and more furry than other types of koalas found elsewhere in Australia.

Koalas live high in the branches of eucalypt trees and usually escape fires by simply climbing higher out of reach of the flames.

But the fires that razed more than 1,000 homes and 450,000 hectares (1.1 million acres) of bushland on the weekend were so intense whole trees were bursting into flames at once, leaving little hope for tree-dwelling marsupials.

Firefighter Tree described Sam as “looking pretty bewildered” when he found her at the foot of a blackened stump.

“Things do survive the bushfire… are you alright buddy?” he says in the footage captured by a fellow volunteer on a mobile phone.

“This is amazing… how much can a koala bear?” he said as he poured two bottles of water into her mouth.

Wildlife experts fear thousands and possibly millions of native animals may have perished in the firestorm, threatening the genetic diversity of species already suffering from loss of habitat and climate change.

“There are literally thousands of Australian native animals who have been killed or orphaned and who are suffering from dehydration, smoke inhalation and severe burns, as well as serious injuries suffered as a result of attempting to flee the fires,” said Carmen Welss from the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife.

“With their environment now devastated our koalas are also at high risk of starvation with multiple koala communities at threat of being completely wiped out.”

Gayle Chappell from the Hepburn wildlife shelter told the national AAP news agency on Wednesday that the toll of wildlife from the fires “will be in the hundreds of thousands, possibly millions.”

“We are not just talking the animals we are familiar with, there are gliders and all sorts of possums, antechinus (a mouse-like marsupial), bandicoots, birds–there is so much wildlife,” she said. 

(By STEPHEN COATES/AFP)

 

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March 5, 2009 Posted by | Animal Rescues, Just One More Pet, Success Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The New Breed of Baker

 

 

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Homemade Dog Breed Cookies

Who doesn’t love a homemade cookie? Nobody, that’s who. Not your mail carrier, not your groomer, not your dog walker, not your dog sitter, not your vet and these people all deserve them too. So we thought it was high time we indulge the people in your pampered pooches’ lives. So dust off your cookie sheets…  Here is a recession-ready gift idea including (including recipes) fresh from your kitchen.

But wait, it gets better: Dog Breed Cookie Cutters! We couldn’t resist them. Positively baker’s bliss, choose from over 80 stainless steel dog breed cutters and other pup-centric shapes like bones, paws, doghouses and fire hydrants that make the baking part seem well, boring. And for those of you who are not bakers or are just time tapped, you can roll out the pre-made cookie dough and get to work with the cutters? We’ve even got a tasty icing recipe to top them off.  Yum!

Here’s what you need:

  • An assortment of doggie cookie cutters.
  • Sugar cookie dough. Make it yourself or purchase pre-made cookie dough.
  • Icing. Find pre-made icing in tubes from Williams-Sonoma or baking supply shops (the tips should be the thinnest you can find) or experienced bakers, whip up Royal Icing and use #2 and #3 tips with your pastry bag.
  • Optional jimmies, colored sugar and other “fur” candy decorations.

Bake Your Cookies
Roll dough to desired thickness and cut into shapes with your cookie cutters. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges.

Decorate
Once your cookies have cooled, it’s time to decorate. Keep it simple and just outline your dog shapes with a fine line: Touch the tip of the icing tube or pastry bag to the cookie and gently squeeze, raising the tip a bit and outlining the entire edge of the cookie. To seal the seam and make it disappear, dip a paintbrush in some water, dab it on a paper towel to release some water and then gently touch the seam. Allow the outline to dry. Then add your pup’s eyes, nose, a smile and maybe a collar too for color.

Take it up a notch by filling in the outline with frosting and adding decorative “fur.” Use Royal Icing or for easy icing, take a few spoonfuls of pre-made vanilla frosting, microwave it until it’s runny and add a few drops of food color. Then choose to add jimmies or colored sugar decorations before the icing dries.

Allow the icing to dry completely before packaging your cookies to give as a gift or eat them with wild abandon.

The Scoop:

Dog Breed Cookie Cutters
Over 80 breeds, plus other fun shapes, $2 each.
www.thelittlefoxfactory.com

 

And for those of you who would rather pay than bake and play:  Elenis    www.elenis.com

Cookie Decorating Supplies and Tools 
www.kitchengifts.com

Thank you to ArtGirlCookies.com for the photo and your inspiration!.

 

 

NO FAIL SUGAR COOKIES

This recipe is GREAT when using complex cookie cutters.  The dough holds its’ shape and won’t spread during baking.  Make sure you let your oven preheat for at least 1/2 hour before baking these or any other cookies.

6 cups flour 
3 tsp. baking powder 
2 cups butter 
2 cups sugar 
2 eggs 
2 tsp. vanilla extract or desired flavoring (I like almond myself)
1 tsp. salt

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix well. Mix dry ingredients and add a little at a time to butter mixture.  Mix until flour is completely incorporated and the dough comes together.             

Chill for 1 to 2 hours (or see Hint below) 

Roll to desired thickness and cut into desired shapes.  Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges.  This recipe can make up to 5-dozen 3” cookies. 

HINT: Rolling Out Dough Without the Mess — Rather than wait for your cookie dough to chill, take the freshly made dough and place a glob between two sheets of parchment paper.  

 

 

 

Roll it out to the desired thickness then place the dough and paper on a cookie sheet and pop it into the refrigerator.  Continue rolling out your dough between sheets of paper until you have used it all.  By the time you are finished, the first batch will be completely chilled and ready to cut.  Reroll leftover dough and repeat the process!  An added bonus is that you are not adding any additional flour to your cookies.

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Lick the Bowl

What better way to say “I love you” then homebaked treats. Spoil your pooch with a little fresh-baked love from your kitchen. These peanut butter goodies are fun to make (get out the cookie cutters) and so adorable you’ll want to share them with your other doggie friends.

Peanut Butter Dog Treats

2 tbsp corn oil
1/2 cup peanut butter (make sure you are using organic or non-tainted peanut butter)
1 cup water
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine oil, peanut butter, and water. Add flour 1 cup at a time, then knead into firm dough. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with small bone shaped cookie cutter. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. For hard and crunchy treats, leave them in the oven for a few hours after baking.  Makes about 3 dozen. 

Photo of Kaweah courtesy of Jennifer Yu. Recipe from http://www.dogaware.com.

 

Dogwise, All Things Dog! 

Monthly Feature: BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS IN DOGS

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March 5, 2009 Posted by | Just One More Pet, On The Lighter Side, Pet Events, Pet Friendship and Love, pet fun, Pet Travel, Pets, Success Stories, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments