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Bichon Poodle as Pet

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If I would eventually have another puppy, I would like it to be a Bichon Poodle, and I would name it Mindy. As you may have noticed already, what with all my posts and pictures of them in here, I have a love for dogs and anything related to them. In fact I have two of them right now, a Teacup Pomeranian named Molly and a Dachshund named Missy; yes we are all girls, the three of us. I would have wished for more, and I know Molly and Missy wouldn’t have minded, but if I did get another, I would have to move as my apartment is just enough for the three of us.

Bichon Poodles are relatively small dogs probably the size of a miniature poodle, and is a product of the cross breeding between a Bichon Frise and a regular Poodle. The most common characteristic traits of Bichon Poodles are their coat and also their ears. Their coats are both curly and loose which always tends to look scruffily fluffy most of the time, and owing to the Poodle’s inherent trait, their hair rarely sheds. Their ears meanwhile are long and generally tend to always hang loosely on the sides of their heads which is a common trait of the Bichon.

Bichon Poodles, like other poodle mixes, come in a variety of colors, usually depending on which breed’s blood is dominant during breeding, but it is the Poodle’s traits that is much more commonly obtained. Colors are diverse and may range from brown, red, beige, apricot, and most predominantly, white and it’s other variants. Their weight on the other hand may range anywhere from eight to fifteen pounds and Bichon Poodles usually have a lifespan of about fifteen years.

Bichon Poodles are also like the common poodle with regards to the way they act and behave. They are very intelligent kinds of dogs that are easily disciplined and also respond well to training. They are also dogs brimming with energy and are very suitable with houses that have backyards, as they love to always romp around. Their relationship with children is a perfect match as Bichon Poodles are very good natured and loves to always fool around.

With regards to their health concerns, Bichon Poodles are also affected with sickness typical with their breeds. Poodles are known to have weak hearts and are always at risk for various kinds of heart ailments, they are also prone to diabetes and several other genetic disorders, while the Frise are known to commonly suffer from eye problems such as always watery eyes and cataracts.

But if ever I get my hands on one of these kinds of dogs, my three little lady musketeers would be finally completed. Yes, I know I have to move as my apartments not too big for the four of us, and I think the land lord is already on to me, and is giving me the eye, as the common practice here is only one dog per apartment but was relaxed for me because my dogs are just teeny ones. We’ll see about that in the coming days.

A Bit of Tattoo History from Japan

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I was immersed in the local culture of tattooing in Japan last year when I toured there. My host, as luck would put it, was a master tattoo artist and is very well respected there. He does not have any shop or tattoo parlor in the literal sense, and does much of his tattooing at the back of his house, under a very old and very large cherry tree. He does not accept many customers anymore, only a select chosen few, from a list kept by his assistant. His assistant does accept future reservations, but it is not a sure thing of when you will be entertained, or if ever. I caught a stolen glance at his list and I was dumbfounded that it was long, a couple of pages long in fact.

I don’t know the reason why it is that way, and was afraid to ask, I only assumed that it is because of his old age or his frail arms. Or maybe some belief, or the name of who is in the list, yeah, maybe that and other things I know nothing about.

They call their art Irezumi , roughly translated in the English language, it means the introduction of ink beneath the skin to leave an enduring mark. He has been performing Irezumi for many years since he was young. I asked him if he ever remembered or recounted exactly how many he had done, as many as the flowers that bloom on this tree, along with a sly grin, was the only answer that I got, and I knew it was true somewhat.

He was tattooing a man that day, and it seems that it has been a number of times the man has been under his needles, because the whole of his back was covered in tattoos and only a part of his chest was bare. Some of the tattoos were almost fresh, as signs of tattoo scabbing was still clearly visible on them. And upon seeing my curiosity piqued, he asked me a question. Do you know that Irezumi, beautiful as it is, was once considered as punishment? I kept silent and un-answering as he narrated how it was so.

Tattooing, considered permanent and visible, was used during the Edo period to identify lowlifes during that time. Criminals were marked on their forehead so people would be able to know that they had committed a crime. Japanese characters such as “dog” were inscribed atop their brows signifying the thieves as such, several tattooed lines or dots, also on the criminal’s forehead indicated how many times they have committed crimes, and tattooed crosses, which means bad or evil, were also used to brand them.

Then he said that it was also during that time, that the Irezumi got its distinctive and intricate kind of art form. Because the same criminals who have tattoos stamped all over their bodies, began covering them up with several layers of tattooed art, so it will not show anymore their true meanings and their true identity.

But seeing through the ruse, the common people was on to the criminals and knew what they were trying to do. Therefore unconsciously, starting from that time then until now, tattoos has always been equated to criminals, gangsters and in general, people who do bad things. I nodded in complete agreement.

I learned many things from him during my month long stay there. I really would like to have a chance to visit him again.

What Spring Brings

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springYikes, spring is almost upon us sooner than expected. With the way the earth’s climate behaving nowadays, it’s no wonder the seasons are all getting erratic and stuff. I have not yet gotten around to building my snowman and now winter is ending? What is happening to the world?

Anyway, the reason I am getting a little bit apprehensive about the upcoming spring, is the large amount of almost invisible, yet so very potent pollen that comes with it. Oh how I hate those things and the sickness that it brings to the people susceptible to it. I am talking about the onset of the allergy season, and I also better get my handkerchiefs ready just in case I start to wheeze earlier and bark like crazy.

I don’t know why I am so allergic to pollen yet never to dander, is there any reason for it? I own and am very much in love with dogs, and anyone who had spent even a little time with them, knows the amount of loose hair involved in that kind of relationship. Not unless you own Poodles which only rarely sheds it hair and stuff, but still, the question remains of why am I so very allergic to pollen and never to dog hair, heck I sometimes even sleep with my dogs.

You see I’m like this during spring; I wake up in the morning thinking of going jogging, or at least walk my dog around the block, but when I smell a whiff of the spring air, my eyes starts to get watery and my nose suddenly got the idea of being itchy out of nowhere. Some days I develop a productive cough coupled with a feeling of fluid in lungs, for more about it click here. It is the kind that even if you try to cough it out, you won’t, and it’s hard feeling like that.

It’s funny because during winter I stock up and eat foods known to be natural antihistamines, food items like onions, fishes that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids and also foods rich in vitamin C in anticipation of spring. While most wait for warmth of the sun and all things springy, I am here preparing for battle.

Good thing allergy season does not last very long, maybe a couple of weeks and all those airborne stuffs have settled down or I have managed to inhale them all off the face of the earth or something, but those few weeks are really terrible. It feels like as if you are in constant stupor, afraid of going out in the sunshine, somehow like what a zombie would feel if he ever managed to get feelings that is, oh and come to think of it, you also would look like one to boot.

So much ado for something so insignificant, that’s what I always tell myself every time I get allergies. It’s true the little things really always get the best of us. Anyway, so much for this, I think I still got time for that snowman of mine.

Free Living

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exerciseExercise is an existential part of my life, that I would be similar to a fish out of water, if ever I have gone a long time not doing it. I also believe in the mantra of healthy living which encompasses a healthy diet, an active mind and regular exercise among other things. This was inculcated to me while I was young, and was lucky enough to be born into a family that is conscious to such things.

Healthy living today has already gained a huge following, owing to the many benefits and advantages it brings to its followers, it has moved from just a fad into a way of life for many of us. What manner of person does not really want to live a long life, and who would not love, to live that long life free from sickness and worry? That is the general adage of living healthy and is relatively true.

My typical day consists of a brief jog around the block in the morning, usually before breakfast, which is also a good thing for my dogs as they get to jog with me every day, so that’s like hitting two birds with one stone, me getting my exercise and the pets get their daily walk. Breakfast food is nothing unusual and consists of ordinary breakfast fare like eggs, bread, juices and others, depending on what I like that day. I make it a point not to miss breakfast as it is, as far as I am concerned, the most important meal of the day. Eating or not eating breakfast really dictates your energy and mood for the rest of the day, believe me it really does affect your body in various ways.

Lunch is another thing. Because I have eaten a good breakfast, I am not that much hungry during lunch time. But I do make it a point never to skip meals as that may mean that I might get hungry at inopportune times, which might lead to snacks and other not so very healthy choices just to pacify my stomach. Skipping meals also tends to wreak havoc on your blood sugar and metabolism, which is not a good thing as it may lead to sickness.

Dinner is somewhat light and not filling in preparation for rest and sleep. Dinner fare, among other things, usually contains low carb vegetables and sometimes fruit to take care of our bodies much needed fiber. No meat and poultry for me during dinner is my rule, fish is sometimes allowed but only in small amounts.

I do not believe in dieting per se, as I do not really want to deprive myself of anything good and tasty. No Atkins, South Beach or even the 1000 Calorie Diet, would ever get their hands on me, nope, not ever. I just remind myself to always practice restraint in everything that I eat, because too much of anything, even a good one, is bad. Besides, I always go to the gym every other day to burn those pesky flabs and work on my muscles at the same time. I’m no superman or anything different from you or the next person, I just like to live well.

To Tattoo or Not

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I have always wanted to have my own tattoo. I don’t really know why but I just like to have one. Probably like one of those typical side tattoos for girls that go from the legs up to the mid part of the ribs, or maybe a little one, right at my shoulder blades. I like little fluttering butterflies and flowers in bloom, maybe those are the images that I will eventually use in my soon to be tattoo.

But am I really ready for one, and is it the right time to have one made? Probably it is, as there is no better time than the present and I am also not getting any younger, so what better time than now, right? So there really is no sense in procrastinating on it, or so they say.

I am also of the thinking that if I really want one, then I will do anything possible for it to come to fruition and that if I really don’t want it, then I will also do anything possible to delay it. And that seems to be the crux of my problem that I am not very sure of really having it, which can also be translated as me not wanting it, and am always thinking of reasons to postpone it. Those delays only points to one thing, that I really don’t want one, but I truly, really want to have one. What now?

Pardon my inanities, its just that I am currently in a dilemma of sorts. I want to have a tattoo but I also don’t. I want it because of some reason I can’t seem to explain, let’s just say that it is a form of self-expression on my part. I have wanted to have it for a long time, since the first time I saw my cousin’s tattoo of a cross with a crushed snake at its base, which was an excellent example of the kinds of chest tattoos for men that was typical back when I was young, I keep imagining myself with my own tattoo, and convinced myself of how cool it was to have one. Maybe it was just a kind of infatuation of sorts, the way I wanted it.

On the other side of the coin, I do not want a tattoo on me for several reasons. For one, it might affect the way people think of me in general. Tattoos in the past are synonymous to burly bikers, gang men, drunken sailors, criminals and other miscreants, and although the current view on tattooing is generally improving and is becoming accepted in society, you still can’t help discriminating on persons who have tattoos, as even I am guilty of it sometimes.

Another reason that I have that keeps me from having tattoos is my mom. My mom is very old fashioned and has old world views regarding things, especially on tattooing. She believes that our body is the Lord’s vessel and anything unnatural done to it is tantamount to desecrating it. So how can I honestly get through that? You might say that it is my body and I can do anything I wanted with it, but that’s not how I think. For me, family is always first and I value their beliefs, even if it is already passé.

Now you know the situation I am in. Yes, I am kind of leaning to the “not having it” but a part of me still wants to get it. Yolo you say? I am interested in what would you do if you were placed in my shoes.

What You Should know About Neutropenic Precautions

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Having a dog when you have neutropenia can be a difficult experience. As much as I love dogs, I also like reading materials about these animals. Recently, I have encountered an article about a neutropenic person wanting to take care of his dog but was advised to be more cautious about it. I was not aware that there is a health condition aside from allergies which could possibly affect a person’s desire to own or take care of dogs. I would like to understand more about this condition so that I could research about neutropenia.

Neutropenia is a condition where a person has a low level of white blood cells called neutrophil. Neutrophils are responsible for fighting off harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses that attack the body. If neutrophils are abnormally low, the body will be at risk of suffering from infections. Anybody could be affected with neutropenia. Even a completely healthy person may suffer from neutropenia. But patients who are undergoing radiation or chemotherapy are more at risk with this condition. Also at risk are people in their advanced age or those who do have an unhealthy lifestyle.

Symptoms of infection in a person with neutropenia include irritation in the mouth, diarrhea and fever. Fever can be potentially serious because the patient may suffer from septic shock, a deadly condition where the bacteria have already spread to the blood.

doctors adviceTo lower the risk of infection among patients with neutropenia, doctors normally require them to observe neutropenic precautions. These involve avoiding certain foods especially those that are raw or undercooked which are a potential source of bacterial infection. If you have neutropenia, you should also avoid contact with people who have a contagious disease such as flu, measles or chickenpox, as well as children who have just received live virus vaccines for these diseases. You should also avoid going to construction sites and hospitals; if you have to, wear a face mask. Observing personal and dental hygiene is also important as well as proper hand washing after touching animals and using the bathroom.

For animal lovers, especially those who are caring for dogs, special precaution must be observed at all times. Avoid playing with your dog to prevent scratches or cuts that may be an entry point of bacteria to the body. Also avoid exposure to litters because they will expose you to bacteria. And if your dog is sick, avoid contact with the animal. It can be hard for a dog lover to observe all these tips. That is why most neutropenic patients just opt not to have pets at all.

Aside from certain precautions, your doctor may also recommend certain medications for fighting off infections before they actually develop. Antibiotics are also commonly prescribed as preventive treatment. Fighting the infections is especially important for patients undergoing radiation or chemotherapy treatment because infections may cause delays in the treatment process.

Understanding neutropenia, its causes and preventive measures can help people suffering from this condition to avoid the infection. And if you have neutropenia and would like to care for your pet, it is important to know the precautions to observe so as to avoid infection. It is ultimately your personal decision whether or not you should or should not own a pet at all.

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