Saturday, October 6, 2012

IT'S A GIRL! (First Vet Visit)

It's important for your pets to get to know their vet, and vice versa, so we took Thistle in today for his/her first vet visit. We had a few questions for the vet, like what is Thistle's gender and why does he/she favor his/her right side when rolling around? Did you know that a tumbleweed can roll in the wind with a limp? I didn't know either, but they can. Not sure if it's due to an injury or just Thistle acting cool.

Our vet, an expert on exotic pets (like Guinea Pigs, Snakes, and Tumbleweeds) knew quite a bit about our little addition to the menagerie. Living in North Carolina, I didn't think we'd find a tumbleweed expert so fast, but this is a very diverse state with most races, religions and species represented.

Jason: This is Thistle.
Doc: Ah, a Salsola tragus.
Jason: *wrinkles nose* No. It's a tumbleweed.
Doc: That's the scientific name. This one looks to be about two years old and female.
Jason: How can you tell?
Doc: About the age or the gender?
Jason: Yes.
Doc: I'm judging the age at about 24 months based on the diameter.
Jason: And the gender?
(Doc turns Thistle over, something Thistle doesn't like at all)
Doc: Do you see any external genitalia?
Jason: *shaking head* No.
Doc: Girl.

Notice the lack of external genitalia

The vet gave Thistle a full workup (Tasha was not going to be happy about the expense) and uncovered the cause of the limp. Apparently one of Thistle's limbs (arms/legs/tentacles/appendages) on her right side was sprained. He said it wasn't major and probably occurred during her capture when she was thrashing about. Poor thing. She's been injured for two weeks and just now finding relief. I felt horrible.

The sprain is mending

The doc wrapped Thistle's sprained arm/leg/thingy and told me we need to keep her from straining it further, which means she can't roll around in the wind for a couple days while it heals. I guess she'll be staying inside, which should be interesting considering she's not at all house trained. Now Thistle is on the road to recovery and we know what color collar to buy her… anything not boyish and certainly not pink!

Monday, September 17, 2012

I Caught One!

Halfway through a day of driving I stopped in a rest area on I-25 in New Mexico to stretch my legs. There, I found us THE MOST AWESOME PET EVER! After a short chase and a brief struggle, I managed to capture this wild creature and bring it back to the truck. Once inside it calmed down enough for me to call Tasha and let her know about the latest addition to our menagerie.

Jason: Hey babe, I just caught the GREATEST PET EVER.
Tasha: Oh my God. What did you do?
Jason: It's your next pet. Wanna guess what it is?
Tasha: I'm not sure I want to know. *sigh* What is it?
Jason: I caught a wild tumbleweed.
Tasha: You're insane.
Jason: You can take it for walks and house train it and everything.
Tasha: No, I can't. It's a plant. It can't walk.
Jason: When the wind blows it runs like crazy!

The conversation went on for a while like this with me trying to convince Tasha that a tumbleweed would make an awesome pet and her stubbornly denying it… because she's racist.

Anyway, I caught a wild tumbleweed and I think we're going to name it "Thistle", because we're not sure if it's a boy or a girl so we'll have to use a gender-neutral name. Well, I decided to name it Thistle because Tasha still denies that we can have a tumbleweed as a pet. But I've got news for her, I'll be home in a week and when I go back out on the road again, Thistle is staying home with her.