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Yours *TrulyJuly*

I do everything content.

 

Whether you’re a brand, company or person, in order to be recognised your voice needs to be consistent. That’s why I recommend to develop a Copy Strategy.

 

If you do so, you have a much greater chance of letting your unique voice shine through.

 

There you go! Terms don't have to be boring.

There you go! Terms don’t have to be boring.

 

Like in this example, where they could have referred you to the usual terms and conditions, but decided to rather let you agree to the fascinating terms of service.

 

If this is ironic, sarcastic or even true, at least there is some personality coming through, making this a more personal and less officious experience.

 

The BBC Comedy of the Week podcast is not only hilarious, but also really informative.

The BBC Comedy of the Week podcast is not only hilarious, but also really informative.

 

I’m not into news. They’re too depressing. And now they turn out to be fake.

Instead, because I used to be interested in global affairs, I listen to topical comedy podcasts from the BBC.

They have a new feature that allows to download their podcasts at low kbps, so the download goes quick.

Some time ago I decided to rather laugh than cry at the craziness of nowadays times. This podcast helps. 🙂

 

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This shows that notes of your work do not belong in your work. 

This shows that notes of your work do not belong in your work.

 

I’m sure the person who included notes in the title of this job posting had all the best intentions of removing them before posting.

But we’re all only human.

 

That is why following good practices is so important:

Never meddle with the original copy and rather message yourself your notes and reminders.

 

We can do the best job possible, unfortunately human error is a constant threat.

So don’t make your job more difficult by adding room for blunders.

A streamlined process is one that leaves no chance for a mess-up.

And that should very well include proofreading!

 

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Comfort blanket for our puppies: the orange kanga.

Comfort blanket for our puppies: the orange kanga.

 

My parents brought this kanga back from Kenya before I was born. So it means a lot to me.

 

It’s also an incredibly versatile cloth: From provisional mushroom gathering net to sick rescue puppy sling to scarf, hoodie and blankie, this fabric’s cherished.

 

It holds so many memories, it’s as if the bright orange is fuelled with great moments. While the light blue just along the outer edge is the perfect balancing complementary colour of freshness.

 

Now this comfort cloth has gone missing. If you have seen this sarong, kindly get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de 🙂

 

Because searching ‘rat’ is too unlikely according to Facebook, I'm being presented search results for 'ray'.

Because searching ‘rat’ is too unlikely according to Facebook, I’m being presented search results for ‘ray’.

 

When Facebook autocorrects your search from ‘rat’ to ‘ray’ it can feel very lonely, having pet rats.

Of course, this is just one of their predictable algorithmically calculated assumptions – and it’s working badly at that because I have ‘rats‘, ‘pet rats‘ and ‘wild rats‘ as my interests.
But it shows how the majority of Facebook users tick: They misspell ‘Ray’ with ‘rat’.

Pity they never get to find out that rats make great pets. 😮

 

Follow Rats Make Great Pets on Facebook and on Google+. 🙂

 

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When I open up Facebook I have gazillions of notifications, and it’s pretty clear that these are in Facebook’s – and not in my – interest:

 

Facebook tells me my friends are interested in going to events. While this information comes to no surprise, it's the fact that I get alerted about it, which turns this into a FOMO trigger.

Facebook tells me my friends are interested in going to events.
While this information comes to no surprise, it’s the fact that I get alerted about it, which turns this into a FOMO trigger.

 

Today I was informed that a couple of my contacts “are interested in going to an event in Cape Town tomorrow”. What a surprise.

Clicking on this ‘notification’ I land on the events page of a club night. Really not something I’m interested in.

Facebook will regard my click as a success, whereas I find this incredibly annoying. Facebook is not my AI diary. In fact, it offers me such predictable content – like the update to being married leads to ads about babies – that I’m simply frustrated.

 

But now I’m not just bombarded with consumerism, I’m also pressured to be hip and cool and constantly know what everyone else is doing and on top of it best participate in it.

Facebook fuels FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

Just another reason to switch off and appreciate JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out)!

 

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What’s going on next door?

I think they’re having a braai.

Yes, I saw, but what’s the commotion?

I don’t know?

It sounds more like an argument.

Shall we have a look?

Yes, that’s like, they’re shouting.

But wait.

What?

It has stopped.

Gosh, that silence is more worrying than the shouting. Please take a look.

Okay.

What is it?

No way. It looks like…

What?

I think they’re busy taking a selfie.

 

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Better view with the naked eye: My camera only managed to capture this crooked looking full moon...

Better view with the naked eye: My camera only managed to capture this crooked looking full moon…

 

This full moon had been building up over the last couple of days and because Cape Town has such clear air, the visibility of it is amazing.

From the dog park the views over Cape Town, Table Mountain and the Harbour are stunning. But yesterday night the moon outshone all of that: Huge and massive it rose over the Hottentots Holland Mountains, so close to earth, as if it was possible to pluck it from the sky.

Because of the angle of the moon to the earth, in South Africa it looks like a bunny sits in the crescent rather than the face of the ‘man in the moon’. The detail was incredible. Fat and round sat the moon like a big cheese looking down from heaven. The moonlight was so bright, it lit up the scenery in a silver shimmer.

The more astonished I was to see this wonderful full moon crooked by the time I showed it to my husband at home.

I blinked my eyes, and then some more, because there was something covering the moon.

The night sky was clear and the wind was still strong, so it couldn’t be a cloud.

It puzzled my brain: I knew we had a full moon, yet, I couldn’t see it because it was partially blocked, by what?

A quick Google search revealed that it was earth’s shadow, creating a partial lunar eclipse, visible from Cape Town at excellent conditions.

 

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We managed to find two of Lola's puppy teeth.

We managed to find two of Lola’s puppy teeth.

 

Time is flying, and life nowadays is often defined by what we’re missing out on.

While having a puppy is pure bliss, it’s also over quicker than you expect. Yes, even if you wish they’d grow up already, because you’re mopping up the puppy pee.

A clear signal that every puppy grows up one day is when they grow their adult teeth.

At the dog park I got a great tip from a friend: Collect your pup’s teeth. You can find them in their toys.

Puppy teeth are like a piece of frozen time from your dog’s childhood. When they start falling out, watch out for them. It is very likely they get swallowed, but you might be lucky and find them if you check the toys your pup has chewed on.

It’s already hard to think back how small your pet was in the beginning. Having something as lasting as a tooth remain from their babyhood is a real treasure. Accordingly, you can find creative ways to preserve puppy teeth.

 

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When you encounter an exhibitionist: Don’t let his problem become yours.

In case you encounter an exhibitionist:
Don’t let his problem become yours.

 

I was only a teenager when someone decided to expose himself to my friend and I.

 

He asked for the way, one of the many tricks how they get close to you.

 

While we were distracted about how he could best get there, he was already presenting himself to us.

 

What’s so mean about it is that you can’t help it but look, so even if involuntarily, you give him what he wants.

 

Not so in our case however:

 

My friend, only one year older than me, had the wits to point at it, laugh out loud and shout: “That small thing? Really not worth showing!” With that she linked arms with me and we walked off.

 

The mere satisfaction that we did not react liked stunned deer, but like empowered women, who embrace the situation they’re thrown into and have something witty to say about it, shrugging it off like the dirt these scumbags are, and not taking any of it!

 

Knowing that this person did not get out of it what had motivated him in the first place: Shocking someone who’d otherwise never even notice him, and having that moment of power.

 

Don’t give him the reaction of a victim.

 

Instead, prepare to have a good laugh at it!

 

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The Evolution of the Light Bulb

The Evolution of the Light Bulb

 

As incandescent light bulbs are banned and fluorescent light bulbs are poisonous, LED lights are the way forward.

However, prices vary greatly.

 

What to watch out for when buying LED lights:

 

Fitting:

Check first if you need a Bayonet or Edison screw base.

 

Lumens:

Lumens are the amount of light emitted per second. The more lumens, the brighter the light.

If you’re used to watts for determining the brightness of the light, consult a conversion calculator.

 

Lifetime:

The better the quality of the LED, the longer the lifespan. But also, the higher the cost.

 

Dimmable:

Dimmable LEDs cost about 40% more than non-dimmable LEDs of similar wattage. Alternatively the switch can be replaced.

 

Light colour

LED light bulbs are mainly available in ‘warm / soft white’ or ‘cool / bright white’, meaning you can choose between comfy accent and daylight task lighting.

 

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Good morning M’am, please sign the register.

 

Of course.

 

‘Ranzani’? Are you Venda?

 

Sorry? A vendor?

 

No, I mean Venda.

 

Sorry, I’m not selling anything.

 

No, I mean ‘Ranzani’, is that Venda?

 

Well yes, you could say so, my husband runs Ranzani Design, a product design and manufacturing company.

 

So, is your husband Venda?

 

Ja well, he sells his products.

 

No, no. You know, ‘Ranzani’ means something like ‘Loving’ in Venda.

 

Ah! … Oh! … Wow!

 

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#LocalisationFail: When the Translation Add-on needs to be translated...

#LocalisationFail: When the Translation Add-on needs to be translated…

 

I’d like my mom to read my blog, so I’m researching Translation Add-ons for Firefox.

Unlike Chrome, Firefox doesn’t automatically detect and translate languages. An Add-on is required. This alone makes things highly complicated for my mom, who is technophobic.

To make matters worse, most resources for Firefox are in English, even the ‘About’ section (= ‘Über dieses Add-on’) of this translation tool!

While this Add-on has a good rating, it is completely useless for non-English speakers if the instructions are not provided in their language.

So ideally my mom would have this Add-on installed in order to read how to install this Add-on…

#LocalisationFail

 

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Our handshower did everything for us: dishes, dogs, rugs, clothes...

Our handshower did everything for us: dishes, dogs, rugs, clothes…

 

Decisions, decisions!

Do we need a bath, isn’t that just a water waster? Should we have the shower in the bath or stand-alone? And if we go for a separate shower cubicle, can we at least have a handshower in the bath tub?

The handshower it is, and thank goodness!

Who would’ve thought we end up with this one handshower as the only water point in the entire house besides the showers, meaning we washed our hands, did our dishes, brushed our teeth, all with this one handshower.

It was like doing an AfrikaBurn in our own house.

Turns out also my mum ended up doing the dishes in their bath tub when they got a new kitchen.

So this is just another one of those bizarre experiences that weirdly enough some people you’d never expected share with you and totally understand what you’re going through.

 

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Wheatgrass is one of those superfoods that all of a sudden we have to consume to stay healthy.

I thought you need 4 stomachs to digest grass, otherwise it’s impossible to derive any nutrition from it.

I’m quite sceptic towards these food fads and at the prospect of wheatgrass simply thought: Now we need to eat grass, what comes next? Bark? Soil? Pebbles?

However, I can’t judge things before trying them myself, so I looked deeper into this wheatgrass craze.

 

Is wheatgrass a health food?

Wikipedia simply dismisses this as “Health claims”:

“Proponents of wheatgrass make many claims for its health properties, ranging from promotion of general well-being to cancer prevention. However, according to the American Cancer Society, “available scientific evidence does not support the idea that wheatgrass or the wheatgrass diet can cure or prevent disease”.[9]

Wheatgrass proponent Charles Schnabel claimed in the 1940s that “fifteen pounds of wheatgrass is equal in overall nutritional value to 350 pounds of ordinary garden vegetables”,[4] a ratio of 1:23.[7] Despite claims of vitamin and mineral content disproportional to other vegetables, the nutrient content of wheatgrass juice is roughly equivalent to that of dark leafy vegetables.“

So you can also just eat a bunch of spinach and be done with your health boost for the day.

 

Is wheatgrass tasty?

Wheatgrass is full of cellulose and thus stringy and fibrous unless you strain it through a cheesecloth which is messy.

In addition wheatgrass tastes as green as it looks, and while I love the smell of freshly cut grass, its not a palatable flavour.

So with wheatgrass you have to find a recipe that actually masks its overpowering grassy taste.

I tried a couple of wheatgrass juice recipes and in the end had to come up with my own: #Wheatgrass #Smoothie

Its very zesty tang might make you pucker, but at least it helps to finish that one wheatgrass portion.

 

Is wheatgrass worth your money?

To my own surprise I liked the wheatgrass smoothie: It filled me up like a sandwich would have, without the sluggishness. It kept me light, as it’s a small portion of already ground up goodness. My sensitive IBS tummy felt good loaded with freshness and energy.

Given that there is no scientific evidence that wheatgrass is more effective than a placebo, I would not waste my money on it.

But if you really believe in the benefits of wheatgrass, why not grow your own: It is so easy, my pet rats get fresh wheatgrass all the time from our rattie garden.

 

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Need a nut milk bag? A cotton or linen handkerchief can work well to strain liquids.

A cotton or linen handkerchief can work well to strain liquids.

 

Depending on the complexity of your cooking, you might come across the requirement to strain a liquid free from solids.

For making nut milk for example, it is suggested to use a nut milk bag. – Although I found a much simpler method to strain coconut milk:  #HowTo make coconut milk yourself at home. –

A nut milk bag sounds complicated, but all that’s actually required is a cheesecloth.

So a cloth napkin or handkerchief can easily work. 🙂

Bonus Tip: If you treat yourself to buying a new cheesecloth, do yourself a favour and cut it round. That way there won’t be any edges flopping out, which can leak and cause a mess.

 

 

I don’t understand: Why even mention the person’s skin colour? It is not needed for the context of the story?

 

You wouldn’t know, you’re not from here, you’re an alien.

 

Well, I’m still from the same planet!

 

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Our puppies sleep like humans. While Lola is an above the duvet dog, Gigi loves to crawl under the sheets. It is I who covers Lola so she's warm and digs out Gigi's nose so she has access to fresh air.

Our puppies sleep like humans. While Lola is an above the duvet dog, Gigi loves to crawl under the sheets. It is I who covers Lola so she’s warm and digs out Gigi’s nose so she has access to fresh air.

 

Fostering a tiny little rescue puppy who could be stricken by a seizure any given moment, it was clear she’d sleep with me in the bed.

But while that keeps her close to me for observation, I’m plagued by other irrational fears:

I already researched that it’s highly unlikely to ever accidentally crush your pet while you’re asleep.

The other silly worry I have is:

 

Could my pet suffocate under the duvet?

No. There are no known cases of this happening.

What makes us uncomfortable being fully covered under the blankets is hypercapnia, a condition of abnormally high carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the blood resulting from rebreathing exhaled CO2.

Hypercapnia normally triggers a reflex which increases breathing and access to oxygen (O2), such as waking up and turning the head during sleep.

Pets however seem to love digging their nose into the sheets and can sleep right through the night under heavy covers.

So you can rest assured next time your critter clambers into your bed.

 

Please note:

These fears are not unfounded: While animal babies are equipped with instincts to keep them protected even when asleep, human babies are not!

As the Lullaby Trust states: “The safest place for your baby to sleep for the first 6 months is in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you.”

 

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Am I seeing double? Also Gigi pops up only one ear, the same as Lola.

Am I seeing double? Also Gigi pops up only one ear, the same as Lola.

One of Lola’s unique traits is that she’s got one ear up:
It’s her right ear, and it stands up most of the time, while her left ear is mostly floppy. I guess she’s right eared then?

Fostering Gigi we jokingly referred to her as Lola’s Mini-Me:
Although she’s very different, there are a few characteristics that are so identical with Lola, they make her look like Lola when she was a puppy.

Now that Gigi stays with us we get to see how well she develops.

And every now and then I wonder if I’m seeing double:
Also Gigi has only one ear that pops up, and it’s her right ear, too.

Little Gigi only pops up one ear, and looks ridiculously cute!

Little Gigi only pops up one ear, and looks ridiculously cute!

 

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In today’s information overload it’s difficult to get people to do something without giving them a reason why.

 

Here’s a great example how to present an attractive hook and bulletpoint the very convincing reasons why right away:

 

A great hook together with a reason why list make a convincing case.

A great hook with a list of reasons why make a convincing case.

 

The “I’m in” button leads to a donation page. Making a contribution allows access to exclusive content.

 

This email was the last chance, so this campaign has now ended.

 

It’ll be interesting to see how successful this sponsorship drive was.

 

According to my theory of Quality over Quantity Common Sense Media deserve to fare well.

 

Oops, too many 'o' around!

Oops, too many ‘o’ around!

 

Here’s an easy to slip through mistake, as the spell checker won’t necessarily pick up on it.

 

Despite that ending a question with a preposition is not the best grammar choice, misspelling ‘to’ with ‘too’ is an obvious blunder.

 

It’s not like I want to be bothered by this.

 

I can’t help it, these spelling mistakes jump into my eyes like little grammar gremlins.

 

It’s as if an obstacle was placed in the middle of the page that my eyes simply can’t move over. They involuntarily jump back and my brain will scream a grammar nerd alert that this is wrong!

 

I just think a bit of respect for your mother tongue and the meaning of words is missing here, and with that so much depth.

 

Or, some bloody proofreading! 😉

 

 

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Illegal Dumping on the corner of Greatmore and York Street.

Illegal Dumping on the corner of Greatmore and York Street.

 

Every Friday, as it’s bin day, I clean up all the rubbish in our neighbourhood.

The more frustrating it is to find someone dumped their waste on the otherwise relatively clean abandoned plot.

It seems empty property in Cape Town attracts crime.

In the meantime the kids have nowhere to play soccer and are forced to kick their ball around next to used pampers and condoms.

Why not kill two birds with one stone and turn neglected areas into much needed green space?

Where children have nowhere but the streets to play, it should be a crime to leave public space to rot.

 

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Marked CGCB Jurbise, Made in Belgium, this tile could be close to 100 years old.

Marked “CGCB Jurbise, Made in Belgium” this tile could be close to 100 years old.

 

According to The Antique Floor Company:
CGCB is the inscription for the Compagnie Générale de la Céramique du Batiment (commonly shortened to Cerabati), a period ceramic tile producer which were an amalgamation of some of the older companies in Paray-le-Monial, Bourgogne and other usines around France.

 

As per Mario Baeck‘ doctoral thesis “The Flourishing of Belgian Ornamental Tiles and Tile Panels in the Art Nouveau Period”:
In addition to these floor tile factories there were a few earlier established factories, which made fireproof fireplace tiles, floor quarries and tiles for other forms of heavy use, such as the S.A. de Produits Réfractaires et Céramiques de Baudour and Utzschneider, Jaunez et Cie in Jurbise, established in 1876 by Charles Michelet.

 

As researched for GR-Atlas all these different factories united under one name in 1921:
En 1921, les différentes usines de la société Utzschneider et Edouard Jaunez deviennent La Compagnie Générale de la céramique de bâtiment ou Cerabati.

It also states that due to difficulties this factory closed in 1985:
Cependant, dans les années 1980, le site connaît des difficultés et l’usine ferme définitivement en 1985.

 

So this tile could date back as far as 1921, but it is definitely from before 1985. Even if it’s not antique that still makes it vintage.

Was this maybe a tile in the fire place of The Broken Palace? And was it common practice to use imported tiles from Europe?

 

If you know more about Woodstock’s unique history, please get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de

 

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Our puppy licks her mouth in anticipation of this tasty treat.

Our puppy licks her mouth in anticipation of this tasty treat.

 

Researching how I can help our foster puppy outgrow her rickety legs, I always came across one food that seems to be only good for dogs: Sardines!

 

I like adding real food to my puppies’ diet, and already feed an egg a day.

 

Looking for a dietary source of vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus, sardines kept on popping up.

 

In addition, sardines are not a risk of high heavy metal contents like mercury.

 

I was interested what others say about sardines and found that the internet is raving about the benefits:

 

Can I Give My Dog…?
“Sardines help regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation, particularly if your dog has joint issues. It’s also good for the brin and may even protect against allergies.”

 

Dogster
“Sardines are full of omega-3 fatty acids and Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10),” Kutcher says. “The fatty acids have many health benefits, like cancer prevention, reducing inflammation, and keeping the immune system strong. CoQ10 supports a healthy heart and circulation. The fatty acids also help brain development, which makes them good for puppies and kittens.”

 

It is even recommended to feed double the amount of sardines to puppies than to adult dogs.

 

This is perfect for our little sickly rescue puppy. Hopefully eating sardines will help her catch up in her development.

 

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One of the tiles we found in our garden dates back to 1901 - 1911.

One of the tiles we found in our garden dates back to 1901 – 1911.

 

Marked “De Baudour, Oscar Gerard, Directeur” on the inside, and “Ste ANme de Produits Refractaires & Ceramiques” around the outside of the circular emblem.

According to the Western Australian Museum: refractory, dark grey ceramic, made in Belgium.

As per iCollector.com: De Baudour opened as a pottery factory in southern Belgium in 1842 under Francois Declercq. Oscar Gerard was Director from 1901 to 1911, dating these tiles to that time period.

The question is when did these tiles make it to South Africa?

And: Are these tiles relics from The Broken Palace?

If you know more, please get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de 🙂

 

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Can you spot the spelling mistake?

Can you spot the spelling mistake?

 

Here we have an advertisement for a copywriting course, which is referred to as ‘copyright course’. An easy to make writing mistake with this homophone.

 

Of course the quotes could suggest someone else said this and the blunder was copied over from them, except that this someone else isn’t quoted, making the quotes pretty pointless. The missing punctuation also doesn’t help.

 

I’d go as far as saying for SEO purposes it could very well make sense to include a spelling error probably many people make when typing their search into Google.

 

However, I cringe at such rookie mistake and wonder if they are following good practices such as proofreading their copy. 😮

 

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#RattieSitting the Louna clan: Welcome back you cutsie schmoopies!

#RattieSitting the Louna clan: Welcome back you cutsie schmoopies!

 

I’m #RatSitting and am seriously thinking of starting up a Rat Hotel.

 

That is purely because looking after pet rats is a very special matter and reminds me of VIP services at five star hotels:

 

From special dietary requirements to medical treatment for illnesses to room temperature regulation, the requests are nothing short of celebrity demands. 😉

 

And why not: Rats might look small but their personalities are big. For such tiny creatures it is amazing how much love they have to give.

 

That’s why the relationship with a pet rat is very close. Ratties can leave a huge gap in their owners’ life and are sorely missed even if it’s just for the duration of a vacation.

 

So it is only understandable that everything needs to be perfect for the ratoots, after all they deserve a holiday, too. 🙂

 

Hence the Rat Hotel, that comes complete with Activity Programme and #RattieTreats. No five star deluxe suite yet, but cage swap and Rat City provide just as much entertainment of new spaces to explore.

 

If you’d like to give the Rat Hotel a try and book in your pet rat for #RattieSitting, please get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de

 

Follow Rats Make Great Pets on Facebook and on Google+. 🙂

 

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Peaches is so adorably cute. :)

Peaches is so adorably cute. 🙂

 

I’m happily #RattieSitting and decide to give a round of treats, which also gives me an opportunity to check up on everyone.

 

During the day pet rats sleep most of the time, so they’re all hidden away in their nests.

 

A #RattieTreat is a welcomed addition to a lazy sunny afternoon.

 

I portion the treats and place them in each cage. The ratties smell the new food right away, but some of them only slowly wake up, yawning and stretching their arms.

 

As one by one comes out to take their share, I watch and count: Peaches, where’s Peaches?

 

I look in every box, nest and hammock, which is now possible as they’re all empty. I can’t see Peaches. I look again.

 

A slight panic is starting to creep up as my mind races: When did I last see Peaches? When did I last open the cage? And: Hang on, wouldn’t she be close by anyhow?

 

So I call her: “Peaches!”

 

Behind me, inside the cage, a box rattles that I had forgotten about, it’s a flat cereal box, tucked away right beneath the hammock.

 

Out comes Peaches.

 

🙂

 

 

Follow Rats Make Great Pets on Facebook and on Google+. 🙂

 

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As a puppy Lola wanted to sleep in our bed and always found a way to squeeze in there.

As a puppy Lola wanted to sleep in our bed and always found a way to squeeze in there.

 

Our rescue puppies were both so small when we got them it wasn’t even a question if they’re allowed to sleep in the bed, it was a matter of survival.

And because of that I find myself checking up on the pup, driven by the worry that something might have happened while I was asleep:

 

Could I squash my pet in my sleep?

I also have pet rats, and while most will go back to their cage for a good night’s rest, some of them enjoy sleeping in my bed. It’s really wonderful, they cuddle up around my feet and keep me nice and snug and warm.

But they are tiny and fragile, and for a while I was worried I could somehow squash them in my sleep.

When however in the very unlikely event of an earthquake my pet rat decided to wake me, I realised that we forget how much more animals are in tune with their environment:

If my pet rat can sense an earthquake coming, early enough to clamber onto the bed and wake me, surely they can sense if I’m about to turn around in my sleep.

 

Puppies too will simply move out of the way. As they tend to squeak ahead of potential danger, they probably wake you if they’re in any discomfort.

I learned to wake up right away if there are any puppy noises, usually it means it’s time for a toilet break.

But at least when it’s about falling asleep again, I can rest assured that it is very unlikely to accidentally harm your pet while sleeping. 🙂

 

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While waiting for the page to load, Flickr reassures you:

While waiting for the page to load, Flickr reassures you: “This is the web page you are looking for.”

In South Africa internet is a joke and most fancy designed websites take ages to load.

Waiting for a web page to load is not only irritating, it’s also confusing if you don’t know what’s going on: Should you reload? Should you start over? How long do you have to wait?

Good Practice is to inform your users where they are and what to expect, so there are no unwanted surprises.

Flickr is doing an excellent job keeping you reassured you are doing the right thing, and they go a step further and make it entertaining.

From “Firing up the engines” to “Questioning the Magic Donkey” to “Herding pandas”, you’ll get all sorts of fun announcements while the page is loading, making it just a little more bearable having to wait. 🙂

Furthermore, Flickr keeps you entertained while waiting for their page to load:

Flickr keeps you entertained while their page is loading: “Questioning the Magic Donkey”. – Certainly something to do when waiting. 😉

 

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Lola is turning into a beautiful dog.

Lola is turning into a beautiful dog.

 

I grew up with dogs and couldn’t wait to have my own.

 

But life does not always allow for a dog, so I have pet rats instead. 🙂

 

Moving into a house finally meant realising the dream of owning a dog.

 

But if you had asked me what dog I wanted, you’d gotten a blank stare as an answer.

 

Still now I cannot name a breed I’d prefer.

 

That’s why a rescue puppy was perfect for me: Let destiny decide.

 

Because you don’t know exactly how your rescue puppy will turn out, the relationship is formed on the dog’s character, their energy level, how you gel with them, how they get on with other family members.

 

Then of course it doesn’t matter what your dog will look like.

 

So it is more surprising when they grow into a stunning and beautiful hound.

 

I could’ve not wished for a better dog than Lola.

 

And now with the next unidentifiable rescue puppy, we can see if my “I’m open for any surprises” attitude pans out so well the second time around. 😉

 

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The whole soil is covered in water like a glass sheet.

The whole soil is covered in water like a glass sheet.

 

After some heavy rainfall our garden is completely under water.

That’s because we have clay and other things in our soil.

In times of water restrictions maybe a blessing in disguise: Clay, because of its density, retains moisture well.

Clay soil has very good fertility and needs less fertiliser than other soils. Simply adding organic material can maintain that fertility, improve drainage and lighten heavy soil.

A good idea is to build raised flower beds, where the water can freely drain off.

So it’s going to be a lot of hard work, but we’ll make the best out of our clay soil garden.

 

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Hello Gigi, welcome to your new home.

Hello Gigi, welcome to your new home.

 

I never puppy fostered before, and when I venture to do something new, I first ask Google.

 

So when I researched “foster dog” and one of the first posts that came up was “How to Let Go of Your Foster Dog”, I knew I was moving on dangerous grounds. 😉

 

And of course, this tiny handful of puppy managed to cute herself into our hearts.

 

We had been thinking about getting a second dog, so this does not come as a complete surprise.

 

The surprise was more how well she develops and how great she gets on with Lola.

 

Big thanks to Observatory Animal Clinic for giving this cutie a chance! They could see the zest for life in her and helped her survive. 🙂

 

Welcome to your new home, Gigi!

 

#AdoptDontShop

 

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A second dog, twice as much love! ♥

A second dog, twice as much love! ♥

 

Puppy fostering gave me the opportunity to experience having a second dog.

 

I thought it’d be a lot of work again:

Lola is a very vivid, energetic, clever and strong dog and as a puppy destroyed my long sleeve tops together with my arms beneath it. I just wasn’t sure if I was ready for that. 😉

 

Instead, having a second dog is half the work!

Lola is an excellent puppy sitter: She leads by example, shows how it’s done, teaches new games and has a lot of patience. Luckily she’s puppy enough herself to enjoy the puppy play.

 

So when the little one is attacking my socks and pierces my toes, it won’t be long until Lola gets involved. All I got to do then is divert the attention to a better toy, and soon the two are engaged in a new game.

 

They play so beautifully together I wish Lola could’ve had the joys of a big sister when she was a puppy. At least she’s got a Mini-Me now. 🙂

 

A second dog, twice as much fun! :)

A second dog, twice as much fun! 😀

 

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A new dog, a whole new dynamic in the family!

A new dog, a whole new dynamic! 🙂

 

Is your dog up for it?

Your dog will probably be spending most of the time with the new addition to the family, so it’s really important that your dog appreciates a playmate and doesn’t see the puppy as a nuisance.

 

Is your space big enough?

It’s not just finding room for another dog bed. Can your space cope with twice the energy running around? How about twice the amount of fur and muddy dog paws?

 

Budget times two

Can you afford another dog? Maybe buying food in bulk can keep the cost down, but potentially it’s your current dog expenses times two.

 

Love times two

The more love you give the more love you have, right? And how do you do that for quality time, cuddles and grooming? Can you multitask enough to do it all for two at once?

 

But only half the work

If you trained your first dog well, this is when it really pays off: All the good – but also all the bad – behaviour gets passed on to the new dog. Is your dog a good example for the new dog?

 

Be boss

Depending on the characters of your dogs they might challenge each other or take it a step further and challenge you. Are you leader enough to keep the two at peace and at ease with each other?

 

Adopt Don’t Shop

Especially as an experienced dog owner, give a rescue dog a chance: #AdoptDontShop

 

Chances are your dog will enjoy the companionship of a second dog. Just like Lola loves her Mini-Me. :)

Chances are your dog will enjoy the companionship of a second dog. Just like Lola loves her Mini-Me. 🙂

 

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This foster puppy is almost an ugly duckling story:

I was given her as a scroungy, sickly, deformed mini puppy,

and day by day she surprises us, turning into an absolute cutie!

 

After her first bath, a shiny fresh coat emerged which revealed lovely markings:

Besides her obviously cute milk beard on her chin, and her endearing white splash on her chest, her paws look quite remarkable:

 

Her front legs have one white nail, on the second toe of the right paw, and

1 white nail on the front paws.

1 white nail on the front paws.

 

her hind legs have one black nail, on the second toe of the left paw.

1 black nail on her back paws.

1 black nail on her back paws.

 

Some interesting symmetry and dualism going on there, making this puppy only more endearing. 🙂

 

#AdoptDontShop

 

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Note: Washing your rescue dog for the first time might result in change of colour, temporary shrinkage, and sudden whitening of areas previously thought to be mutt brown. 😉

 

Lola's first bath was in the bathtub, but this foster puppy is so tiny, she can get washed in the sink.

Lola’s first bath was in the bathtub, but this foster puppy is so tiny, she can get washed in the sink.

 

Et voilà! A new dog: All fresh and happy emerges a clean puppy.

Et voilà! A new dog: All fresh and happy emerges a clean puppy.

 

Before she can get to play, she's got to get rubbed dry.

Before she can get to play, she’s got to get rubbed dry.

 

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Really amazing that these two, who are so different in size and strength, play so well balanced together, that they can even pull off a tug of war. 🙂

 

Lola has a very gentle way of teaching the little puppy a new game.

Lola has a very gentle way of teaching the little puppy a new game.

 

Let’s just take a step back and remember how small this foster puppy is.

Let’s just take a step back and remember how small this foster puppy is.

 

Right in the action! Here we have some serious tug of war going on.

Right in the action! Here we have some serious tug of war going on.

 

It looks like Lola is not really putting in her weight.

It looks like Lola is not really putting in her weight.

 

Indeed: Lola is actually just taking it easy. Does the little one know?

Indeed: Lola is actually just taking it easy. Does the little one know?

 

Fostering this little rescued dog is so much fun! She’s like Lola’s personal Mini-Me whose mission is to cute herself into your heart! ♥

 

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This poor rescue pup has frog legs, a sign of rickets.

This poor rescue pup has frog legs, a sign of rickets.

 

Rickets is a nutritional deficiency that hinders the proper development of bones, leading to potential fractures and deformity. The predominant cause is a vitamin D deficiency, and lack of adequate calcium and phosphorus.

Symptoms include delayed growth, bow legs, weakness and pain in the spine, pelvis and legs.

Treatment consists of feeding the missing nutrition. If detected early enough, the pup can grow up healthy and strong. However, once the disease has progressed to a stage where the dog’s movements are hampered, the possibilities of a successful treatment are slight.

Many rescued dogs have had no adequate food which can lead to severe malnutrition to the point of starvation. For a chance to catch up on their development, feed them a highly nutritional diet, complete with all needed vitamins and minerals.

 

To prevent rickets disease, provide a diet sufficient in vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus.

 

Beware though that an overdose of vitamin D is just as harmful:
If there’s too much vitamin D in the diet, life-threatening levels of calcium (hypercalcemia) and phosphorus can occur. The result is hardening or calcification of body tissues.
Vitamin D Poisoning can occur when a dog takes more than 4,000 iu per kg of bodyweight.

Also note:  If you only use calcium without phosphorus / zinc and vitamin D, C and other minor minerals, the condition will get worse.

 

Dietary sources of vitamin D for your pup

– Fatty fish: salmon, mackerel, tuna, halibut, canned sardines

– Fish liver oils: cod liver oil

Egg yolk

Liver: beef, lamb, chicken, pork

 

Dietary sources of calcium for your pup

– Fish: salmon, tuna, sardines

– Yoghurt

– Low fat cheese: cottage, mozzarella

– Egg shells, cuttlefish bone

– Vegetables: spinach, broccoli, sweet potato

 

Dietary sources of phosphorus for your pup

Seeds: pumpkin, sunflower, chia, sesame

– Fish: salmon, carp, whitefish, cod, tuna, sardines, mackerel

– Meat: pork (lean sirloin), beef and veal (lean beef)

– Low fat dairy: yoghurt

– Legumes: lentils, chickpeas

 

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This little rescue came with bobbing head, frog legs and mild seizures. She is improving remarkably well.

This little rescue came with bobbing head, frog legs and mild seizures. She is improving remarkably well.

 

This little munchkin has seizures.

 

She is a true rescued dog, handed in from the streets to Observatory Animal Clinic.

 

So we don’t know much about her, only this: She was so full of worms that they might have affected her brain.

 

About once a day she could experience a seizure, which is manageable: It’s like a cramp gets hold of her entire body, sometimes overwhelming her that her eyes go blank and her mind goes into hiding. Giving her comfort helps and can even pull her out.

 

The question is: Will it get better?

 

When I picked her up for fostering, she looked so scroungy and tiny, like a Chihuahua puppy with frog legs. Within a couple of days she’s doubled in size, stretched her legs, we’ve cleaned her up and now she’s grooming herself, she is bouncy and jumpy and hops about like a wind-up toy. A remarkable improvement, giving hope that she can outgrow her seizures.

 

But even if she keeps on having seizures for the rest of her life, it’s not like it’s seriously affecting her: All we’ve got to do, is make sure she doesn’t drive or work heavy machinery. 😉

 

Seriously though: Minutes after a seizure she’s up again and playing in the most endearing way like nothing had happened.

 

Her zest for life is so strong, she certainly deserves a chance.

 

#AdoptDontShop

 

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In times where it seems it’s all about getting home to netflix, it might be odd not to have a TV.

But who would miss watching telly when you can have the most hilarious entertainment watching your pets.

Fostering an 8 week old rescue dog, means lots of fun during puppy play:

This little foster puppy got her priorities straight: The hoof is mouthwatering.

This little foster puppy got her priorities straight: The hoof is mouthwatering.

Challenging the big dog requires extraordinary means such as attacking with all fours up in the air.

Challenging the big dog requires extraordinary means such as attacking with all fours up in the air.

Seeing eye to eye, or well, eye to hoof.

Seeing eye to eye, or well, eye to hoof.

Such a different dynamic with a little one around! How can it be that they know exactly how to cute themselves into your heart. 😉

 

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Lola and her Mini-Me

Lola and her Mini-Me

 

A miniature Africanis!

That’s what this little munchkin looks like. 😉

Coming from the Woodstock streets, she could certainly qualify.

Furthermore, she has enough attitude to challenge our Africanis, even though Lola is like 10 times her size!

She growls and barks at Lola to get her to play and goes as far as nipping her in the hind legs!

Luckily Lola is a very generous and caring dog, so these two end up in the funniest puppy play. 🙂

 

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Puppy Bliss!

#Gratitude - one of the rewards that come with puppy fostering.

#Gratitude – one of the rewards that come with puppy fostering.

This little munchkin is looking for a forever home. She’s such a cutie!

Recovering well, this adorable puppy goes straight to playtime.

Recovering well, this adorable puppy goes straight to playtime.

As with all rescued dogs, she has a story of hardship, but couldn’t be a more cheerful pup! She really is a happy chappy! 🙂

#AdoptDontShop

 

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Rats typically own the place. You’ll find quick enough that pet rats have no qualm being in charge of your home if you let them free roam – just make sure you ratproof your place first.

 

And as they go about their daily duty to check up on their territory, they get to know your place inside and out. This includes – and I guess we all, including the ratties, agree on this – the best place to sleep: The bed!

 

When I see ratties running about on the bed, I want to be a rat!

Just imagine this giant duvet that when you jump about it just lets you sink in like a fluffy cloud.

 

However, there is a downside to it: Rats gnaw.

They can’t help themselves, they have ever growing teeth and need to grind them down regularly.

 

And if your sheet gets in the way it simply gets shredded:

That’s why when I’m #RatSitting I put on the rattie duvet – the sheets that have already been perforated by my pet rats. ;)

That’s why when I’m #RattieSitting I put on the rattie duvet – the sheets that have already been perforated by my pet rats. 😉

 

So make sure you put on some old sheets when you want your ratties to have access to your bed. You might also be lucky and your rats don’t shred.

 

Either way you’re going to be in for a treat: Ratties snuggling up to you under the duvet is just too adorable to miss!

 

 

Follow Rats Make Great Pets on Facebook and on Google+. 🙂

 

 

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Do you need a plastic bag?

 

No thanks. I do need a clear bag though for the chicken.

 

Please help yourself.

 

Would you know if this chicken was frozen?

 

Frozen? I don’t think so.

 

It’s just, it’s really cold.

 

Maybe it got cold on its way here, it’s so cold out there!

 

Lol, like it got frozen when they were driving over the mountains, there is currently snow up there!

 

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Signing up to a social network without uploading a profile pic mostly leads to a default picture being displayed.

Often this is a stylised form of a portrait photo, one with long hair for female and one with short hair for male.

Why such stereotyped gender differentiation?

Here’s a neat solution to keep things simple:

Good idea: Simply convert the first letter of the name into a profile pic.

Good idea: Simply turn the first letter of a name into a profile pic.

Convert the first letter of the name into a profile pic.

This is personalised yet completely neutral way to let users sign up without even getting close to touchy topics such as gender.

 

 

In my Indiana Jones quest to clean out our garden so we can grow veggies, I came across this apartheid relic: Two coins from the 1950s.

 

South African coins from the apartheid era. Left: 3 Pence from 1951, and Right: Quarter Penny from 1953.

South African coins from the apartheid era. Left: 3 Pence from 1951, and Right: Quarter Penny from 1953.

 

Left: 3 Pence coin from 1951, Silver, King George VI third series (1951–52).

 

Right: Quarter Penny coin from 1953, Brass, Queen Elizabeth II series (1953–60).

 

Could this be a time reference? Was it maybe in the 1950s that The Broken Palace got destroyed? If you know more, please get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de 🙂

 

 

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Guys, check out the photos from our office do!

 

Oh gosh, I look terrible! I really should lose some weight, I’m so fat!

 

No, you’re not!

 

Yes I am, look at this!

 

Well, would you ever say this to a friend?

 

What? Of course not!

 

Then why would you talk like that about yourself.

 

 

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Pet rat Rosie decides the quickest way is straight up the wall. ;-)

Pet rat Rosie decides the quickest way is straight up the wall. 😉

 

Pet rats are clever little munchkins and stubborn, too: There’s hardly a place they can’t get to, especially if they’ve set their mind to it.

A lot of my pet rats particularly like climbing up and sitting on top of the highest piece of furniture. The way to get there varies and can include all sorts of interesting stunts.

One option to get up is simply running up the wall, and as most furniture sits slightly away from the wall, the space in between makes this feat quite possible for rats.

 

One of the most enjoyable pastimes with pet rats is simply watching them:

Their acrobatic skills are impressive, their clever tricks to overcome hurdles inspirational, and their sheer will and determination are humbling.

Rats make great pets! 🙂

 

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