Local Artist Showcase
By: Roxanne Govari
Recently my team and I sold a house that was housing a dog and a cat. I was on call to go and take the dog out every time a buyer would call to view the house. After couple of visits the dog was so happy to see me since every time I appeared, she went for a walk!! I was also developing a soft heart since she was always so enthusiastic to see me!! Once it got closer to the closing date, my
client informed me that she couldn’t take the dog with her to her new location due to the size of her new place and the restrictions on pets. Well, it was hard to imagine letting the dog to anywhere else but our house!! So now we are proud parents of a nine-year-old German shepherd, Labrador mix dog. She is loving, sweet, mellow and very BIG. She is mellow with our cats and very gentle with our kids. In short, we couldn’t have picked a more suitable dog for our household. The moral of my story: older pets needs home too. They are loving and wonderful to be with. If you are thinking of adopting a pet, consider a senior one. They might just surprise you!
The Possum In Your Yard
By: Sanam Govari
A few weeks ago as my boyfriend and I were just waking up in the morning, we heard our dog race through the bedroom in a way we’ve never heard him done before. We jumped out of bed to see what was going on and saw a small ball of fur right by the bathroom entrance, I started crying in fear that my dog had just killed some creature. A few seconds later, I turned my head and the ball was gone. Gone not far, but under the cabinet where I kneeled and saw a tiny, scared baby possum staring right at me from the floor of my bathroom. How this little thing got into my house past three cats and a dog is beyond me. We put a cat carrier in front of the cabinet with some cat food in it and not long after, he was in the carrier chewing loudly on the cat food.
I took him outside and left him in the shade for a time while I got on line and researched what to do. I was surprised by many facts I learned about these creature that I seem to encounter very often since I’ve lived in UH. I now think of these “giant rats” as misunderstood friends and feel eager to share some facts with my neighbors about them.
The opossum, as this noble beast is called is actually not a rodent at all. We tend to think of possums as rats, because of the long tail and their habit of rooting through neighborhood trash cans. The opossum is the only marsupial in North America. This means the animal carries its young in a pouch, much the same, as does the Australian kangaroo. Once a female opossum mates, she gives birth a mere 13 days later to a litter of roughly a dozen baby opossums that are each no bigger than a honeybee. These tiny, blind, and naked babies crawl on their own all the way to their mother’s pouch. There they each latch on to a teat from which they receive milk. They remain there for nearly three months. Once the young opossums leave the pouch, they’re still not ready to face the world on their own. For the next 10 to 15 days they go about clinging to mother’s fur. Eventually they become too heavy to hang on during these trips and one by one fall off. By the time this happens, the young opossum is fully weaned and able to forage for himself. At this time they face attacks from other animals, even outdoor cats and dogs.
The opossum is perhaps best known for faking death as a means of defense when attacked. While he is capable of falling over on his side, his mouth open in a death-like grin with saliva running out, from which state he cannot be roused until the danger is past, this is usually done only as a last resort. More likely a threatened opossum will look for the nearest exit and waddle. They will also sometimes bare their teeth, hiss, or even growl. With such displays they appear quite fierce, but actually they are not accomplished fighters and are very rarely aggressive.
Opossums are not picky eaters and will consume almost anything, including table scraps and carrion. Opossums are rather lazy and will always seek out readily available food whenever possible. They do seem to have a particular fondness for cat food, however. Their normal diet consists of carrion, rodents, insects, frogs, and plants including fruits and grains. A surprising fact that I learned was that the opossum is one of the cleanest animals around. They groom and bathe themselves meticulously, as scrupulously as the most finicky house cat. Not raptly at all!!!
Another myth that I busted that day about these creatures is that they are highly resistant to rabies. It is extremely rare to encounter a rabid opossum. Although if bitten or scratched by one, it is advisable to see a physician immediately.
Lastly I was happy to learn that it is never necessary to kill the animal. Opossums are normally transient animals, staying only 2-3 days in an area before moving on. Removal is neither necessary nor desirable. If opossums were eliminated from an area, the population of roof rats and other pests would proliferate. Opossums serve an important role by controlling the unwanted, harmful pest population around our neighborhoods. So after learning about the benefits opossums provide, I opened the cat carrier and let the little guy go about his life.
However, here are some steps to take to make sure the possum does not camp out in your yard.
- DO NOT leave pet food out at nigh
- DO NOT leave garage doors, pet doors or unscreened windows open at night.
- Do pick up fruit that has fallen from trees.
- Do cover garbage cans at night.