Category Archives: animals

Short night ahead with an injured hound


Well, it’s going to be a short night. A few hours ago our greyhound Ruby was accidentally caught in the door to our latticed-in back porch {the used-to-be screen door has plastic lattice attached to it instead of screen}. As she was coming in, I came out the sliding glass door and Pip darted out, because she loves to be on the porch and find ways to escape into the back yard. My step-son saw Pip coming out and slammed the latticed door shut to keep her on the porch—but Ruby was half-way through it.

Ruby screamed and jumped back into the yard, stumbling. I thought she was just scared, because she’s the most skittish, sensitive soul I know, but I felt along her body for any injuries, just in case. I picked up all her feet, felt them, bent her legs, ran my hands along her torso. She seemed fine. It took 5 minutes or so to convince her to come back through the porch and into the house. She then went to lay down in her downstairs bed.

Later, I called her upstairs and she jumped on the bed. There were several of us hanging out in the room and going in and out, and I even sat down to read while waiting to check on dinner. Somewhere in there I went to give Ruby some love, and discovered a huge gash in the underside of her right thigh, right in the crease. It had hardly bled at all, but looked deep and was gaping open. Thankfully, my husband was able to locate supplies to clean the wound as I wrestled a very unhappy greyhound. We grabbed her loose plastic muzzle, which was nearby—I’d been using it lately to aid me in trimming her nails since she’s become increasingly cranky about that over the years {she’s 12}. Finally, we got her cleaned, wrapped, and stabilized and after a while we helped her lay down. Eventually, she calmed down enough to get a little sleep. But she’s obviously very uncomfortable. She’s going to have to wear the track muzzle all night, because we can’t risk her waking up and messing with the bandages.

Poor sweet thing. I’m not looking forward to getting up at 8a to call the vet to see if they can squeeze her in—she’s probably going to need a bunch of stitches. And I’m not sure how we’re going to get her downstairs.

Greyhounds have such thin skin! Our other greyhound, Deimos, injured himself on multiple occasions resulting in large open wounds. They always looked terrible but eventually healed up just fine with good care on our end, without stitches. This one might be tricky though, because of the location. I sure hope our favorite vet friend is in tomorrow.

Kale chips {deer version}


So I’ve been watering very conservatively this summer, trying to save money. Instead of leaving the sprinklers to come on automatically, I’ve been manually turning them on every few days.

Well, we’ve had a nice long stretch of hot weather—and I didn’t water enough. As a result, the garden is looking rather wilty/baked—especially the kale. What’s left of it. I checked on everything today, only to find that a deer has eaten the tops off of almost every single kale! Deer version of kale chips, I guess. I don’t mind sharing. There was way too much kale growing with what I planted this year and the volunteers from last year. It was hard to keep up.

I’m pretty sure it’s a deer, because: big bites! And also, I hadn’t seen many deer this summer, but a few days ago my step-daughter found one in our front yard {where the veggies are}. My step-daughter accidentally scared her away, but obviously she came back. Makes me happy. Really.

Humans helping bears / Gorillas helping themselves


Why I agreed to let somebody schedule their first Driver’s Ed behind the wheel day at 8 a.m. tomorrow, I have no idea.

But, have you seen this video of people selflessly helping some fellow creatures? I don’t know the background story, but it restores a little faith in humanity. Also, see this article (which I cover in the news segment of my latest All Things Vegan show—show notes should be up this weekend) to have a little faith restored in animals learning to protect each other from inhumanity.

12-year-old birthday party, Take 1: Girls!


12-year-old birthday party, Take 1: Girls!

Whose idea was this, anyway?

There are 5 extra girls here camped out in the living room, which looks like a tornado went through it. So far: Water balloon fights, bike rides, make-your-own pizzas, girls being bossy, vegan teal velvet cupcakes {instead of red, and thanks to older sister}, movies, popcorn, dogs eating popcorn, and silly phone videos.

Tomorrow, Take 2: Boys!

Still stoked about the worm bin


I’m still pretty stoked about our worm bin. It’s amazing the amount of veggie waste that we generate weekly—in spite of my best efforts—and now it’s all going in the bin! Also, the kids have been shredding boxes of expired paperwork in the garage, so we have kept the worm bin well stocked with shreds over the last 3 weeks.

Every once in a while I carefully dig down in there to verify that, yep, the worms are still alive and pooping. We’ve had some pretty hot days over the last week or so, and I’m also keeping an eye on them to make sure it doesn’t get too hot in the garage. 

The bin level keeps going down and we keep adding more on top, so they must be doing some major work. I hope they multiply well enough that I can eventually transplant some of them to my new compost piles we’ve started this summer adjacent to the veggie garden. Would they thrive in that environment as well? Or should I leave the native worms to the outside stuff?

Need some inspiration?


Need some inspiration? Watch this.

Then read this.

In my opinion, the most beautiful word ever written, in any country, in any language, at any time, came from India, from the Upanishads, 5,000 years ago. “Ahimsa. …non-violence to any living being”. I love this word and I want it to become a truly global phenomenon.

So I don’t see myself simply as vegan, Australian, male, or whatever arbitrary label others put on me. I am “Ahimsan”. An overarching noun which best captures most of my beliefs. I reject violence, not just in what I eat and wear. But I also (try to) do so in what I say, and what I think. We may be American, Indian, Australian, German, English, or Palestinian. We may be Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain or Jew (or no religion at all). But if we are to live a truly authentic life we can easily share common ground – without sacrificing our other beliefs. That beautiful meeting place is “Ahimsa”. Because it describes our character. Period. It says we oppose violence in everything we do.

Philip Wollen