Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cuteness Overload

Take a look at Mocha Barney, our wire haired dachsund.

Ok, I suffer from cuteness overload...this is actually my screensaver.

Three quarter body shot...

Panting long tongue shot. She drinks A LOT of water. And now, machine gun CUTENESS.

 That's Winniechurchill in the back.

 But she was LESS cute when she bit the desk....

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Talking Doberman!

"Merry Christmas" can be said in many languages, as Ramsey the articulate doberman has shown.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Lovingly Looking Chihuahuas

By: Ed Gonzalez

The Chihuahuas are the oldest dog breeds in the whole North American Continent.and said to be be the smallest dog breed in the world. People say that these dogs were brought to this region by the Chinese. These pet dogs are commonly natives of Mexico. Their names originated from the Mexican State of Chihuahua. The Pre- Colombian Nations considered these dogs to be holy. Chihuahuas were known to be pet dogs for those in the upper crust of society. Dog experts are not sure how these pet dogs were created but others say that these dog's ancestral roots can be traced to the Fennec Fox.

These are teensy - weensy little sized dogs but they are strongly built. Chihuahuas have well defined features. Their bodies are figuratively heavy and lengthier than their tails,. They have straight limbs These little sized dogs have tails that are similarly formed like sickles and it is curled over the chihuahuas back. The tails go to either of it's sides. Their heads are formed like apples. These pet dogs have short and pointed muzzles. Their large eyes are dark and rounded.Sometimes,  they may have ruby and clear colored eyes. These pet dogs are known for their big and triangular formed ears. They do have claws that are touching the ground and this can be taken out. Chihuahuas have tender spots on top of their heads that eventually shuts up when they are adults. These pet dogs come in two kinds, some are long haired and others are short haired. The typical types that we see around are the short haired chihuahuas. Chihuahuas also have various types of colored coats like: light yellowish brown, browny yellowish, light yellowish, browny yellowish, light reddish, reddish brown silver and medium grayish blue. These pet dogs can have coats that are colored black, tan and tri – colored.

Chihuahua sare known to be friendly and they do make good companion dogs. They are very lively, always on the lookout, respected, brave and adventurous dogs. They like it when you caress and display your affectionate ways to them. They are fun vivacious pet dogs. These dogs can be quite begrudging and they will always be behind their owners if there are strangers near them. Chihuahuas are faithful and dependable dogs. They can bond well with their owners, These pet dogs can be quite stubborn, it is important for their owners to show their chihuahuas that they are the leaders If not these dogs will display disturbing behaviors..Owners must have a set of rules that their dogs must follow. Their pet chihuahuas must know what is permissible and what is not. Owners must be decisive and in control but it must be done in very calm ways. These dogs don’t like being nudged at or teased and they will snap at children who do this to them. If they are threatened they will bite anyone with their teeth.

Chihuahuas must be acquainted with other family members so that they will get used to them If they are given the proper time to socialize, they won't develop forceful behaviors

These little pint sized pet dogs are not easy to train. They are smart and after awhile they will learn their lessons quickly. They must not be allowed to do the things that bigger dogs do or else their dogs can develop a dominant attitude that might be difficult to deal with later on. Because they are so tiny, they are treated just like babies.

These dogs must be given time to walk at least one day a week. Walking is exercise for them but more important is that walking stimulates their mind and it brings satisfaction to them. Constant weekly walks will appease their migration instincts. This is so important to these types of pet dogs. Denying their Chihuahuas this opportunity will change the behavioral patterns of their pet dogs. It will make them snappy,yappy and unfaithful.withh children and people they are not acquainted with. If these pet dogs become the leaders of their pack, they will be boldly forceful, cocky and domineering. Owners must treat their Chihuahuas the same way they treat their other bigger dogs. If they do this, their little pet dogs will have well managed tempers and they will become good playful companions for their children.

These dogs will reach heights of 6 – 9 inches .They will weigh 3 – 6 pounds . Chihuahuas are known to live for at least 14 – 18 years.

These dogs are liable to develop rheumatism, slipped stifle, colds, gum problems, corneal dryness and secondary glaucoma. They must not be given chocolates or even fertilizers, these elements can kill them. These dogs have big heads that is why it is necessary for them to go through a caesarian operation when they are born. During their early ages they are susceptible to fractures and accidents Som chihuahuas develop moleras. These are the unclosed parts of their skulls that stay tat way for as long as they live. This makes them liable to injuries. Chihuahuas have short noses that is the reason why they are known to wheeze and snore. They are also liable to develop epilepsy and seizures. Medicines for these dogs cause sixty dollars. These sicknesses  are very common for Chihuahuas just turned two years old and have been poorly bred. These dogs are proned to have styes in their eyes.The smaller bred Chihuahuas are liable to many more diseases. These little pet dogs can develop low blood sugars.and they must take in small meals to maintain their strong little bodies. They are known to get into sugar shocks very quickly and if this is not taken cared of immediately, these little and cute pet dogs will perish.. In emergency cases , their sugar levels can be restored by using Nutra Cal ( puppy vitamin gels or even maple syrup ( a little bit can pull it off ).

These dogs are adequate for apartment living. They like normal warm weather and they are not meant for cold weather. Just like other dogs they do need to be given space.

They must be given time to enjoy themselves and play around. Be sure that they are given time to walk because if not they will display disturbing behaviors. If their owners have yards that are adequateky fenced, owners must give their dogs their dogs time to run around and exercise.

Make them feel wanted and they can be your best friends forever

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Independent Minded Pomeranians

By: Ed Gonzalez

Pomeranians are known to come from the lineage of wolf – spitz dogs that came from the northern parts of Russia and Siberia, then they migrated to the German province of Pomerania. The forerunners of these dogs were large dogs and they weighed 30 pounds. Many famous persons like the following owned pomeranians and some of them were: Mozart Marie Antoinette, Queen Victoria and Emile Zola. They were recognized as as full breeds in the year 1870 by the Kennel Club of England. The person who was responsible for breeding the pomeranians into smaller sizes was Queen Victoria.

These dogs are known to assert themselves. Pomeranians are rather comical and they do like the outdoors. These little creatures are quite inquisitive and they know what is happening around them. They have fox – like expressions.  Pomeranians are best known for being excellent companions. They are often seen in dog competitions.. These dogs are known to have very common colors like red and orange,  although they may also have other types of color variations.

Pomeranians have solidified, and short - backed bodies. These type of dog likes to keep associating with people. They are very observant regarding things happening around their vicinity. Pomeranians  are highly intelligent, cheerful and easy going dogs  They are like detectives,  always investigating things and objects they find lingering around their areas.

These dogs weigh between 3 -7 pounds and the accurate weights for show dogs are from 4 – 6 pounds.

Their heights may differ from 7 – 11 inches. They have lifespans of 15 years..

Their heads are appropriate for their whole outlook. The muzzleof these pet dogs are slim and stunted. They have the right sizes of lips but they are prone to biting. They have skulls that are somewhat rounded but they are not well formed like semi - circles. When looking at the front and sides of these dogs you will see immediately that the ears of the pomeranians stand highly erected. These Pomeranians have dark average looking eyes. The color of their noses are different than that of their coats..Owners can remove the claws that are not touching the ground. The tail feathers of these dogs lay evenly and aligned on their backs These dogs have teeth that are entangled in scissor like bite formations. Their double coats are quite thick. They have soft but densed undercoats. Their outer coats are not nice to stare at and are rough looking. The coats surrounding their necks and chests are larger than the coats on their other body parts.. Their thickly plumed tails are rather elevated and are seen lying across their backs.

These dogs are intelligent, alert and easy to please .They are well loved by people because they are so adorable. Pomeranians are calm looking dogs and they are not difficult to train.. Dogs of this kind need firm and patient persons to take hold them. They are so enjoyable to be with because they do show a lot of hearty interest. Pomeranians display attitudes that are well appreciated by owners and other people who do not possess this kind of dog. They are watch dogs but they must be trained to bark at strangers when they are still young.

Pomeranians are known for their well pleasing personalities. At time, s these dogs can be forceful especially if they like a particular thing. Be sure not to spoil them or else you may regret owning these pet dogs. You must take control of them. Owners must be decisive domineering and confident. This they must do in a patient manner, Pomeranians must know that their owners are not equals and they must be reminded that their owners are the boss. Their pet dogs must understand this because if not they will show disturbing behavior. These pet dogs must be trained to follow a set pattern of rules so that a lot of problems can be removed.

These dogs need to exercise and walking them is the best way to do it. This will relieve the owners of behavioral concerns. They can be allowed to run around the yard but this must be well secured and they must have fences.

These dogs will be the right dogs for people living in apartments. Pomeranians must be kept busy or else they will feel bored and a lot of unfortunate things can happen if they do not have anything to do. These are good dogs for senior citizens.

Pomeranians are liable to acquire such sicknesses like dislocated patellas ( Knee – Caps ), slipped stiffle ( slipping knee joints), heart problems, eye infections and skin irritations. Crispy milk bones and dry dog food are just right for their dog's daily meal. Giving them crispy milk bones and dry dog food will keep their teeth and gums healthy. Some pomeranians are just too small. If they are pregnant they must deliver their babies by using the caesarean method. Old pomeranians usually develop bald spots because of shedding.

Brush their coats often. These pet dogs usually shed once or two times during a year, Clean their eyes everyday and they must go to the vets on a constant basis to check on their teeth.

Keep these pet dogs happy and they will remain loyal to you.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Superiorly Formed Miniature Poodles

By: Eduardo C. Gonzalez

There are many who say that Miniature Poodles emanated from France. There are others who believe that these dogs have been around since the early Egyptian era. Still others claim that these Miniature Poodles came from Germany They claim that their ancestors are the nearly defunct French Water dogs. The word name poodle was derived from the German word pudel, which means plays in water. They are well appreciated for being perfomers. These dogs are good in doing tricks and are adept in making pranks. Miniature Poodles are superb performers and they were favorites in circuses then.

They have medium built bodies and they are majestic in the way they appear. Miniature Poodles have round faces. Their heads are long and so are their muzzles. These dogs have rounded eyes that are dark and broad.. The tails of the Miniature Poodles are docked and densed. They are known for their web like feet. Some of these Miniature Poodles have curly and firm like colors.

There are so many ways in grooming these kinds of dogs. When they style this dog in the Pet clip way, these pet dogs will have short hair on every part of their bodies. By using the Continental Clip, their rear ends are shaved, half of their tails are shaved so are the upper part of their legs. The English saddle Clip is almost like the Continental Clip except that their rear ends must not be shaved. Most of these pet dogs have the Continental Clip look.

Miniature Poodles have a lot of talent and these dogs do display fervor to their owners and people close to them. Dogs of these kind like to take daily walks and play outdoors. Just be careful and be precautious. Your yards must be properly fenced. Give these pet dogs the the needed attention or else they will become irritated and they can show unwanted behaviors. Let them frolic around a pool of water. When they are doing this, you must keep an eye on them.

These Pet Dogs are not difficult to train and they can be rather entertaining. They are nice dogs to spend time with because they are quite fun.

Pet Dogs like these love hanging around with people and this is the reason why they should not be left alone for long periods of time. These dogs do form strong bonds with their owners and other members of the family. Miniature Poodles are great pet dogs to have around your homes. These are patient and funny little pet dogs. and they can act like this especially when they are with children. They are more patient with older children than younger ones. They are superb watchdogs and these dogs will bark time and time again at strangers who are approaching their owner's home. These dogs are quite particular and simple pet dogs. Although they may seem to be small, these dogs do pack a lot of energy. These dogs are agile and submissive pets. They are well suited for dog shows and they can be quite competitive in dog sports,

They will reach as much as 11 – 15 inches in height .. These dogs can weigh as much as twenty pounds and these Miniature poodles have a lifespan of at least 14 years.

They are the ideal companions for singles and old folks. These .dogs are just right for families that have older children. Miniature Poodles are active and they can excel in dog competitions.

Owners must watch the health of their Miniature Poodles because they are vulnerable to such illnesses like: progressive retinal atrophy, leg – perthes diease, patellar luxation, epilepsy, trichiasis,entropion, lacimal duct atresia, glaucoma, distichiasis, urinary stones and intervertebral disk degenaeration.

These are fascinating, friendly and lovely looking dogs to have around your vicinity.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Actively Energetic JacK Russell Terrriers

By: Eduardo C. Gonzalez

The Jack Russell  Terriers were first bred by an English man named Jack Russell and they do come from England. Thees dogs were used to hunt foxes and they were very good at digging holes and were known for getting out foxes from their hiding places. They were primarily bred to be used for small game hunting,

These dogs need to live in homes that have bigger spaces and with yards. Jack Russell Terriers are not suitable fer people living in apartments. If these dogs are living with their owners in apartments or condominiums, they must be given enough exercise to compensate for the lack of space. These dogs are rather inquisitive dogs. They do like to check things out, run and do a lot of chasing. Jack RussellTerrier  dogs are very active and they must be kept preoccupied, If their owners have yards, they must have the correct type of fences in order to keep their dogs in their yards. These dogs are well regarded for their climbing abilities. Owners must be on the look out when these dogs are running in open areas like their yards. Walking and strolling are a must for these dogs, It's part of their daily regimen of exercises. Jack Russell are rather inquisitive dogs.

These dogs are assertive, powerful but  quite  joyful dogs to have as pets,. Jack Russell Terrier dogs are intelligent and loyal pet dogs, Although they are well known for running after foxes, these dogs are efficient rat killers.  Jack Russell Terrier pet dogs can amuse anyone with their array of funny acts. Dogs belonging to this breed are very entertaining. They seem to possess never ending energies and they can be overwhelming. Owners must understand their dog and they can do this by giving their dogs adequate attention. Do not keep these dogs with other dogs because they can be very assertive. If Owners have a  pair of Jack Russell pet dogs, these dogs must never be left alone unattended,.There have been cases of them  killing their partners or severely wounding one of them The owners of these dogs must recognize their capabilities to  hunt.Prospective owners must learn about thire qualities of these JackRussell  Terriers before acquiring them. Jack Russell  Terrier puppies must have regular check ups upon reaching the age of eight weeks. This is an important matter that owners must know about. These dogs will go after cats and other smaller animals vigorously because it's their instinct to hunt.

These dogs are very strong and they have been known to fight animals twice their sizes. It's an important factor for owners to have a firm grip on their dogs. These are dogs who don't know the meaning of fear and they will not yield until they accomplish what they are doing. Jack Russell Terrriers are ntelligent dogs and their owners must realize this. Do not leave them outside of your homes because these dogs will keep on hunting. These dogs are so focused and they can stay without food for several days when they are in their hunting mode. Owners will have a dreadful experience if they can't find their dogs and this could be disastrous for their pet dogs.

These great pet dogs adapt so well with older children because these are friendly dogs. Smaller children must learn to handle their Jack Russell Terriers.They can do this by getting to know them in a tender manner These children  must be assisted by the owners of these dogs.These are wonderful pet dogs for older children. They are calm and friendly dogs. They can be friendly with smaller children as long as these children are familiar with handling Jack Russell Terriers. If their Jack Russell Terriers  are teased too much, they will snap. Owners must be extra careful if they have children six years of age and under.

These dogs will reach as much as 10 – 12 inches in height and will weigh 14 – 18 pounds. Their lifespan is fifteen years.

Owners must take notice of their coats and take care for it by brushing their hair at least once a week. If they have rough coats, their rough coats must be removed.

These dogs are liable for having their kneecaps dislocated. They do encounter health problems such as eye diseases, epilepsy, hip dysplasia and deafness.

Train these dogs at their early age because they will be difficult to do so as they get older.

Be good to these dogs and they will amuse you for a long time.

soure of image:,r:5,s:0

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Funny French Bulldogs


By: Eduardo C .Gonzalez

The French Bulldogs roots originated from England and they were considered as a different kind of English bulldog because of their miniature sizes. It was in Nottingham where some lace makers took it upon themselves to create these diminutive kind of English Bulldogs. Later they were called” toy bulldogs.”In the 1860's these lace makers decided to go to France and they tagged along their dogs. These dogs became so popular and then their name was changed. They were now known as French Bulldogs .These dogs became instant hits and were being constantly used in dog shows. Later, these dogs were re – introduced in England because they were popular gdos and were well suited for dog shows. British dog admirers did not appreciate the new name given to these dogs but they could not do anything about it and the name remained the same.

The French Bulldogs are compact miniature and are sturdily built. They have square heads that are rather big and and their foreheads are nicely rounded. These types of bull dogs have muzzles that extend very far and are quite large in sizes. Most French Bulldogs are black colored but a few of them have a lighter shade of black.. These dogs have rounded eminent dark eyes which are distantly separated.

Their teeth have been joined together in under bites and they possess square - like lower jaws that are quite deep. .French Bull dogs have upper lips that hang over their lower lips. They have bat – like ears that stand erect but their bases are quite big, it does become smaller and triangle – like in its shape. The frontal parts of these dogs are wider than the back ends of their bodies. Their bodies appear to be like pears.. The length of their bodies are almost the same. They have straight - like .tails just like cork screws. Their claws don't touch the ground and can be taken out. French Bulldogs have average but fragile coats that are short and fine. They have loose skins on their heads and shoulders that form hollow lines on their head. Dogs of this kind have combinations of light yellowish colors together with gray, brown and a bit of white colors. These type of bulldogs are not burdensome to care for. French Bulldogs are friendly, funny and loving dogs. These dogs are always on the move and they do understand the things happening around them..

They can get rather emotional over their human masters, as seen by this video:

French Bulldogs are not yappers and they are not noted for being noisy or loud, but there are always exceptions. These dogs like to keep themselves busy because they possess a lot of energy in them. They do display keen interests in different things they like doing and these dogs are quite curious. These dogs can make you laugh because of their entertaining personalities. French Bulldogs will do fine with other dogs in your homes as long as they are the primary dog of their owners. They must be given the needed attention or else they will act stubborn. In training their French Bulldogs, owners must remember to be amiable, mild - mannered and dependable. Owners must correct their dogs if they are mischievous but this must be done in a calm manner.

French Bulldogs will reach heights of 12 inches and they will weigh between 19 – 28 pounds. They have a lifespan of 10 – 14 years,

These dogs are great for people living in apartments. They are quite busy and active when they are indoors. The good thing about these dogs is that owners won't need a large yard for them to do their exercises. Their owners must walk with their dogs and short walks will do. They must remember that their dogs must walk alongside them and not ahead of their masters. This will remind their dogs of who are their the bosses,

Owners can brush these dogs regularly because they are not heavy shedders.Their coats must be minimally cared for..

French Bulldogs are vulnerable to respiratory and eye sicknesses. Because of the shape of their faces, they can be affected by excessively warm climates. .At times, these dogs do snore.

French Bulldogs are adorable little pet dogs. Care for them regularly and they will remain loyal..

source of image:,r:4,s:0

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Energetic And Loveable Mini Schnauzers

By: Eduardo C. Gonzalez

These are great pet dogs to have around your homes. They are very popular and and are regarded to be superb show dogs.. They are quite known for their wonderful qualities. Mini Schnauzers are well established and they are considered to be one of the top ten pen pet dogs in the United States today. because of their likeable personalities.

These dogs have tremendous amount of energy packed in their miniature sizes. They must be given space and time to exercise. If they are not given this opportunity, they will become absolutely restless and bored. Mini Schnauzers must be given daily exercises so that they will not encounter weight problems. Doing daily exercises will keep their weight down. Weight gain is not good for them, it will slow them down and can cause them to become sick.

These are spirited pet dogs and these dogs strongly bond with just person and it's most probably their owners. At times, these dogs will mix around with other persons known to them, like other members of their owner's family. It's just like having a very special friend and others are considered as casual friends.

Mini Schnauzers have peculiar traits that sometime can annoy anyone. These dogs like to bark  and they do this to get your attention. By doing this, they want everyone to notice them and know where they are. These dogs need to be trained properly so that they will not do this often. If owners do not do anything to stop this kind of behavior, they will do this constantly. Mini Schnauzers are excellent watchdogs because they become wary of people they do not know, like strangers.

They are delightful pet dogs to have around you. They are astounding dogs whom children will like. Mini Schnauzers must get properly acquainted with the children and this must be done calmly. If the children create more noise than their pet dogs, their mini schnauzers might bark or bite at them. There will be no concerns if their owners will take time out to do this and they will get along quite fine. Owners must teach their children the right way to pick up their and this must done carefully. In doing so, their dogs will not get hurt nor will they react insubordinately. Generally, these pet dogs have fine relationships living with their owners and their families

These are smart dogs. Owners will have fun while training their dogs themselves. Mini Schnauzers are the type of dogs who like to learn new things and do them for their owners. They are the type of dogs that can be trained for agility performances. They like to run an a lot and take walks with their owners. They must be given persistent attention so that they will not become lonely and feel melancholic. If they acquire depression , they can develop, physical, mental and other health problems.

Mini Schnauzers have usual heights of 12 – 15 inches and they will weight at least 15 pounds.

Small as they are, these dogs will do everything in their capacity to keep their families safe. They are brave and are not fearful dogs.

Never give them greasy food because it is bad for their health. Chocolates are a not appropriate food for them because they contain toxic elements that are harmful to their health.

Mini Schnauzers are kind pet dogs and they just need to be treated appropriately.

source of image:

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Insightful Beagles

By Eduardo C. Gonzalez

Beagles are dogs that exude warmth and are very affectionate dogs. They are superb dogs to have for your families. They have so much energy in them and they need to have daily exercises to keep them in shape. These dogs need a lot of of space so that they can roam around and release their excess energy. Having a nice big yard will be good for these dogs. These dogs like to search for things and they are really excellent dogs when it comes to hunting. Their intuition for hunting is superb. Beagles will never cease to fascinate their owners.

Their sense of smell is quite powerful. Beagles come in two distinct sizes. There are beagles measuring under thirteen inches and the others measure thirteen to fifteen inches. Though their sizes may be different but their character and other attributes remain the same. The Beagles are relatively short and commonly they have color mixtures of black, white and tan colors. Experienced pet dog owners can easily notice beagles that are either colored black or tan with white markings,

These dogs have exceptional attitudes that make them so loveable. They are very loyal and they do exhibit a lot of playfulness. These are the characteristics that their owners admire in them. They need to have regular walks with their owners but they do not need much socialization. When taking their dogs for a walk, their beagles must be properly leashed so that they will not stray away from the path their owners are taking. You have to remember that these are hunting dogs and they will instinctively hunt. They need to have a lot of playing time,. For this reason, it is necessary for their owners to let them loose in their yards. Their yards must be fenced properly so that their dogs will not escape. If you want watchdogs, then the beagles will be suitable for your needs. They will keep on barking as soon as they see anyone approaching your homes. Though they are good watchdogs, beagles are not meant to be guard dogs, since they are so friendly even towards people they do not know.

Beagles hail from England and were known for their hunting skills and they did hunt in groups or pairs. Initially, they were used to hunt down rabbits and that is the main reason why they were bred as pack hounds. In the 1700's, they were primarily used to hunt down foxes, because this type of sport was quite famous at that time. The Beagles we see today were those that were developed in the 1800's and they first came to the United States in1876.. Others claim that these dogs came from the lineage of the talbot hounds owned by William “ The Conqueror.”The Beagles are quite popular in the United States.

Beagles weigh usually between 18 – 30 pounds and they live for at least 12 – 13 years.

Give them affection and they will remain faithful to their owners.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mariculture Parks

By Mona Sabalones Gonzalez

Raising fish in underwater cages may seem mean, especially if one is a vegetarian. But it does have a benevolent side. The fish are protected from strong winds, mean ocean currents, overfishing and dynamite fishing, ensuring the continuity of many fish species.

Overfishing and dynamite fishing also affect the income source of many small fishermen, who go out to sea and discover at the end of the day that there is no catch. By mariculture--raising them in cages--the fish win, and the small fisher folk, too, at a profit margin of up to P90,000 per cage (some U.S. $2,000) in a four month period.
Mariculture used to be something only rich people could afford. A 100 square meter fish cage costs P300,000, (just short of U.S. $7,000) and financing an operation costs another P200,000 (a little over U.S. $4,600).

Now the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources is making it accessible to small fishermen and medium investors. Small fishermen can rent a cage from the government and pay for it during harvest. Affordable credit can also be had from the Land Bank and other financial institutions.

Fish raised in cages include bangus, seabass, snapper, apahap, lapu-lapu, pompano, seargent fish, rabbit fish and others. Mariculture is also used to farm seaweeds, crabs, lobsters, abalone, sea cucumber and more.
A 100 square-foot cage filled with up to 20,000 fingerling bangus can harvest up to 20 tons of fish each weighing an average of half a kilo in four months. A mariculture farm needs just 100 hectares of water space. The mariculture park in Laoang, Northern Samar has 2,500 hectares.

BFAR is pushing this project aggressively with local government units, the DENR and NGOs among others. Some 60 mariculture parks are set to be launched soon. 

Fishermen are trained by government-provided experts including training the caretakers, product development and environmental monitoring. Each park is governed by a management council chaired by the mayor of the city or town, and co-chaired by the BFAR regional director.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

New Findings in the Ocean Depths

Sea Cucumber
By Mona Sabalones Gonzalez

In this age of information we tend to presume (even though common sense belies it) that mankind has already learned it all. We presume that what we personally don’t know, someone else does, and the information is stored in some library somewhere in the world or on some website. Not.

In fact it is only now that the first Census of Marine Life was made in this world. It took place over the past 10 years and just got finished now. It involved some 2,700 scientists, 670 institutions, 540 underwater expeditions, and 9,000 days at sea, an AFP article said.

The cost was $650 million dollars and—wait for it--there are more than one million species in the ocean, from microbes to whales, and we only know one-quarter of them. Ninety percent of marine life is microbial.

We have—wait for it—16,764 known species of fish and some 5,000 more to discover. Some of the species were presumed to have been extinct for 50 million years. We also need to get to know some 750,000 more fish species and to figure out what their ecological job is.

Sea Whip
The ocean has borne the consequence of global warming. Some 40 percent of plankton has disappeared with the rise in ocean temperatures. And in 99 percent of areas that they used to inhabit, sharks have disappeared.

It’s like a whole different planet down there. And—wait for it--some 6,000 new species were discovered, while some species that what were presumed to be rare are actually common. There were a lot of changes of species documented, too. (Creationists, evolutionists, extrapolate what you will from this but please don’t kill the messenger).

The reason the census was taken was so there could be a baseline against which the next census that will be taken further down the road can compare changes in the ocean.

Sand Fleas Alaska
The ocean, like land, has marine highways, areas of rest, and vibrant neighborhoods and communities in extreme locations from the tropics to the ice poles to the deepest, darkest depths. Wait for it. We get half our oxygen from the deep and a lot of our food comes from down there.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The ant, the elephant, the tree and the fungi

By Mona Sabalones Gonzalez

When I heard this story about the ant, the tree, the elephant and the fungi I came to think about the choices we make in relationships.

Once there was a savannah tree in Africa. It was always safe despite the prevalence of elephants that loved to eat trees, felling one after another, but always leaving the savannah alone. This is a true story from Live Science. A lot of savannah trees are avoided by elephants because if they eat the tree the ants that live in the tree and enjoy the tree’s nectar will crawl on the elephant’s eyes and inner gums and bite like crazy.
Now the fungi cometh.

One there was an ant on a tree in Thailand. It seemed to be drawn to a fungi and felt compelled to eat it. For real--I got this from Scientific American. The fungi (in the photo above, letter "P") made the ant into a zombie, inhabiting its brain and using its body to go exactly where the fungi needed to be--on a leaf that had up to 95 percent humidity with temperatures between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius. Once there the fungi would always emerge from the exact same part of the ant’s body--the back of its head, so it could multiply.

You wonder sometimes if horror stories are made by natural scientists.

Now, I am not elephantophobic, I love elephants and know they have their role in the food chain. I am not fungiophobic although I don’t know what good it does. Everything in due time finds its heroism, I like to think.

But think of the choices we make. Marry the right guy and you lead a long sweet life of good quality, like the ant and the savannah tree. Marry the wrong guy and you can be controlled, your spirit killed and your body slowly expiring. I am so glad I never married a fungi.

Monday, October 4, 2010

World Animal Day

By Mona Sabalones Gonzalez

One thing I enjoyed growing up as a Catholic was the stories of saints. I had a little book as a child with the stories of different saints, and I used to read comic books about them. One saint I liked was St. Francis of Assisi, because he could, as the story goes, talk to birds.

Now, THAT was a miracle to my little eyes. Someone the birds would fly down to and talk to? But then, with years comes wisdom and I know that wild birds can be made friends with people, can be trained. Pigeons can be kept as pets and join pigeon races. Parakeets when domesticated go on your finger. Leave bread on your front lawn at a certain time every day and the birds will politely stand around your fence waiting as you drop the bread everywhere. 

Catching wild birds is another thing. I had a maid who was quite good at that. One time she caught five wild birds when she was on a roll. So it was probably no miracle, and saints being made saints hundreds of years after they died, makes it quite likely the story evolved and no one was alive to challenge it.

 The idea of blessing pets was at first sacrilegious to me. As a child I had a much loved pusakal (stray cat) that died. We buried it on an empty lot next door and I asked my uncle, a priest (who later became Archbishop of Lipa) to bless the pet’s grave. He told me that that is something one just doesn’t do. At that time man was placed higher than pets, you see.
But now pets are being reviewed as part of God’s creation and scholars are wondering what spiritual role they may play in the life of man. The focus is still man, but then all of creation is subject to God, the creator. Personally, I think God gave us pets so we could feel a closer link even to wild animals and to the rest of our earthly home.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Ludong is the most expensive fish in the Philippines

By Mona Sabalones Gonzalez
Meet the most expensive fish in the Philippines--the choice of presidents, senators, congressmen, royalty, socialites and Hollywood stars. It was the favorite dish of the late President Marcos. Meet the Ludong fish.
Also called “banak,” the “president’s fish,” lobed river mullet and Cestraeus plicatilis,it costs P10,000 for 2 kg., or some US $200 if you would like to try the ludong’s special taste and unique aroma.
The Ludong is prevalent in the Cagayan Valley region which is in Luzon and along the Pacific Ocean. In fact, Cagayan is the single known habitation of the Ludong in the world.
This fish was once believed to be an annual gift from the river goddess to the Ibanags, the people who, as the joke goes, have the darkest elbows in the Philippines and who live by the Cagayan River.
The Ludong is endangered and may become extinct. The more rare it becomes, the more expensive it gets. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources said that from 2002 to 2003, no Ludong were caught at all. Poachers are paid in advance to get the fish when they are spawning, giving mature Ludong less time to breed.
The weight of the Ludong these days is smaller, only 8.9 ounces compared to 5.5 pounds just a few years ago.
The Philippine BFAR has imposed a five-year ban on Ludong fishing. They are also experimenting on breeding the valuable fish in captivity, and educating the local people on the need to preserve it.
So if someone says to you, “Ludong, anyone?”  Just say no.
Manila Bulletin

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dolphin Saved by Eight-Year-Old Boy

 By Mona Sabalones Gonzalez

September is the time when dolphins are hunted in a Japanese town called Taiji. It is legal and has been going on since before the 17th century. Some 2000 dolphins are killed. A few are captured and sold to sea parks. The 2009 Oscar winning documentary, “The Cove” dwells on this.

But perhaps one of the dolphins got away, namely the 2.5 meter Risso dolphin, which was big as a whale, that eight-year-old Carl Andre Leuterio spotted while he was playing with his friends along the shore.

This happened in Barangay Poblacion, San Teodoro in Mindoro, an island near Luzon and northeast of Palawan. Through the heavy rain Carl saw the red eyes, and the dolphin’s heavy skin secretions. He knew the dolphin was weak.

Carl decided the sea animal wasn’t a shark because this dolphin came to the shore. It was large as a whale, but it was not likely to harm him. He spontaneously embraced the dolphin, and then he informed the authorities.

A third-grader from San Teodoro Central School, Carl has grown up by the sea. Just the month before, he closely watched as fisher folk freed a turtle that was caught in their nets, and sent the sea animal back into the deep.

Terence Panado of Bantay Dagat, and Jacinto Abdon of the Municipal Fishery Management were the first to reach the scene. As others arrived, they slowly guided the dolphin to deeper waters where he was released. The procedure took three hours.

The International Whaling Commission does not protect porpoises and dolphins. However, they oppose Taiji dolphin drive hunts which are not motivated by sustenance or culture. Dolphin and whale watching are good alternatives. Even better, photograph sea creatures as Poulsen does so others can appreciate the deep through a blog.  

For a poor family, a sick dolphin is also a tempting source for a lot of meals in the next few days. Kudos to little Carl. WWF Philippines gave him a “hero of the environment award” and P10,000.  Also awarded an equal amount of money were Panado and Abdon.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

10 Brahminy Kites aka Lawin sent home

By Mona Sabalones-Gonzalez

In the Philippines they are called “lawin” but in other countries they are Brahminy Kites. For those who are not too picky about bird specifics they are simply eagles. The good news is, 10 of them were recently sent back home. “Home” being the forest and the skies.

The 10 lawin are endangered species, and they had been kept at the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) animal rescue center in Quezon City. They were brought there by private citizens. At any rate, PAWB brought them to Mt. Banahaw, which is a protected area, making it a suitable habitat for them.

These birds are amazing kings of the sky. They eat dead animals, fish and insects and when they swoop low over the ground, or over tree tops or close to the waters it can be a breathtaking site. They are not doing acrobatics for us, they are catching live food and keeping the food chain in place.

The Philippines has a Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, otherwise known as R.A. 9147. The villagers who live among Mt. Banahaw were asked to help keep all the lawin safe so they may “be fruitful and multiply” as the Bible says.

Not all the birds wanted to go back home. One of them had gotten used to the bamboo cage and was reluctant to leave. Perhaps, it was worried about its food source. PAWB plans to watch over the cage for a couple of days because the birds may go to it during meal times. Even home needs some getting used to.   

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dog Poop Power

By Mona Sabalones Gonzalez

An interesting piece from the AP was featured today in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. It was just a small filler about how dog poop can be recycled to power street lamps. There is one such lamp in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the article said, and it is part of a project to let people have a new view about dog poop.

So once the dog poops, you use biodegradable bags to get the poop and put it into the left tank, turn a wheel and the insides get mixed together--waste and water. The methane is then produced--a gas with no odor--that energizes the lamp. Dog poop power.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Eating Dog Meat is Dangerous for People

By Mona Sabalones Gonzalez

It would be a mistake to presume that eating dog meat is a way to address hunger and poverty among humans; or to view it a delicacy for the wealthy. It would be a mistake to say that dogs raised as cattle to be eaten (as happens in China) are different from the dogs one keeps in one’s home as pets.

Dog meat can kill people. An article by Kathleen E. McLaughlin in the Global Post warned that China has an alarming rabies problem. In 2007 there were 3,302 confirmed human rabies cases, 21 times as much as in the entire period from 1990 to 1996

The source of the problem is not among dogs as pets or dogs on the streets--but among dogs raised as cattle. This is because the dogs are crowded together in cages too small to accommodate all of them and they are abusively transported from place to place. An overcrowded cage full of dogs makes viruses spread easily. When handling these dogs, one is vulnerable to rabies which spreads through bites, scratches and saliva.

It is not just rabies that cattle-raised dogs are vulnerable to. In Guangdong some 149 dogs were rescued from meat markets—where they were about to be sold for consumption. Some 100 of those rescued dogs had to be euthanized because of distemper.

In two cases of human rabies in Hanoi, the patients were infected by butchering a rabid animal. In the Philippines, two people died of rabies after eating dog meat, the Global Post reported.

According to the Animal Kingdom Foundation Inc., the average annual human death toll from rabies is from 200 to 500 in the Philippines. Rabies is the most serious public health hazard in the country.

The Philippines ranks sixth among countries with the highest incidence of rabies. Some 10,000 dogs are infected with rabies every year.

R.A. 8485 is the Animal Welfare Act of 1998. Section 6 says:

It is unlawful to neglect to provide adequate care, sustenance, shelter or to maltreat any animal; to buy animals to torture; to kill any animal for human consumption except cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, rabbits, carabaos, horses, deer and crocodiles.

The R.A. 9482 Anti-Rabies Act of 2007 section 11 says any person found guilty of trading dog meat will be fined at least five thousand pesos (P5,000) per dog and face imprisonment for one to four years.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Laws Protecting Askals

By Mona Sabalones Gonzalez

At a recent dog event I ran into Greg Quimpo of Animal Kingdom Foundation. I saw something interesting in the AKF display—a poster that was translated in both Korean and English. I asked him why AKF did that, and he explained, “Koreans are fond of dog meat as food, especially in Baguio where Filipinos, especially Igorots, also eat dog food.”

Do not let this be misinterpreted as Koreanophobia. There are many Koreans now in the Philippines, and the truth is, it seems to me that their blending in with the Philippine community has been a lot easier than that of other waves of nationals who had come in previously. I tried at one point to understand why, and my theory is that it is because there were initially so many Korean students who came in to study English.

Young people tend to be very accepting and open and in my daughter’s high school there was one year when a whole group of Koreans suddenly came in. The friendships lasted and they go to each other’s parties. It is as if there is no distinction at all.

Koreans are very polite and helpful. In a coffee shop I recall one student offering his help to a group of Filipino women who seemed to have trouble starting their laptop. I think integration should always start with young people.

But where dog meat is concerned, this is something that is common among Chinese, Koreans and Filipinos. In China it is a delicacy and dogs are raised as cattle. In Europe dogs were eaten in war times, especially in France. So AKF made a poster against dog eating half in Korean because of their very quick growing population in our country, and half in English for Filipinos.

Here is the Philippine law on dog food: Buying or selling dog meat for human consumption is illegal. A violator can be jailed or deported.

Republic Act 9482 “Anti-Rabies Act of 2007” states: Any person who engages in buying or selling (trading) of dogs for meat for human consumption will be penalized and subjected to imprisonment for one to four years.

If the violation is committed by an alien, he or she shall be immediately deported after serving of sentence without any further proceedings.

Beware, too, of the fatal rabies virus! Dogs are the main carrier of rabies, and once the virus enters your body, you will die!

Report Violators Immediately.

Call PNP 02-723-0401 to 20 or Animal Kingdom Foundation: AKF Center: 045-6150895; AKF text: 0920-9835109 or


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Space, Their Space

By Mona Sabalones Gonzalez

Where and how we live places an enormous impact on the living animal, insect and reptile life around us. I saw this while dwelling on the surrounding life around us each day. Our pets are the overwhelming thing, dogs and cats, but what of the dragonfly I saw outside my window on a twig, or the birds that sing animatedly every morning? What of the frogs that I only heard after 14 years of living in my village when they croaked frantically after a typhoon uprooted trees and felled electric post lines, rendered chaos in the mud and beneath the ground where the frogs croaked.

At another time I remember a tree that fell in the park across a pathway. Anyone who walked down the path was attacked by hordes of ants crawling between toes, up one’s legs and into one’s pants in a nanosecond. It hurt and itched, but they were more frantic than we, as thousands of ants considered the felled tree home.
A human home takes up 40 percent of the world’s energy consumption, 50 percent if we consider the energy used to make the cement, steel, glass and aluminum. But our homes can be made in a way to save their homes, and can be built in a way that saves energy, draws less electric power, poses less harm to the air and addresses in its own small way global warming.
Some info on the house above;  it is, they say, purely concrete 2,500 psi, no wood, well ventilated, saves rain water, recycled roof, no need for insulation, transferable, expandable, no scaffolds, no forms, flexible, solar panels on flat room, no need for aircon--just an exhaust fan to circulate air. They supply and install in these houses in 2-3 months only, anywhere in the world, according to Green Architecture Advocacy Philippines.

This is what Architect Miguel Guerrero, deputy chair of the Green Forum says. This is to be tackled in the 2010 Manila Construction Show, organized by Green Architecture Advocacy Philippines (or Green AP) and LA Ducut and Co. Inc. (Ladci). It will run at the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia from Sept. 2 to 5.

Green AP is an NGO composed of architects and civic minded individuals. In this exhibit they want architects and experts to see what the ecological options are in building homes and show that any house can be built to require minimal energy, be comfortable and healthy.

The Green Forum theme, “Green Extremes: Master Planning to Neighborhood Developments” will focus on sustainability of barangays and neighborhoods. By starting at the lower level of society, it will translate to less problems at the higher levels. Green urban planning can be used in towns, municipalities and cities.

I personally like the fact that this time, the poor get it first.

I am excited to see what this forum has to offer, as there are whisperings in its midst that what seems to be green need not always be. More companies simply adopt the term in their marketing campaigns.

In discerning how green is green, one must ask:

1. Will the homes be livable without energy sucking appliances like air conditioners?

2. Are development projects factoring in future changes like population, traffic, et al?

3. Will foreign designers and materials have to be flown in for the construction? Beware the carbon footprint.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

By Eduardo Gonzalez

Love birds are diminutive but quite aggressive, and they come in eight different breeds. Seven of those breeds are from Africa, and one is native to Madagascar. They measure from five to seven inches in length and weigh as much as one and a half to two and a half ounces.

Don’t be deceived by their smallness--they tiny but can be chubby and are definitely sturdy. Their short beaks are hooked, and their feathers are muted. In the wild, love birds abound in groups.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Refining Your Lovebirds: Train them up

By Eduardo Gonzalez

Love birds make good, lovable companions for people. However, some traits that they have are less lovable than others, and they could use a little polish.

Train your love birds to follow rules and know what you expect from them. Love birds must respect, for example, the fact that their humans cannot be with them all the time. They must accept this fact. The reason is because love birds want to have a lot of attention, and if they don’t get it, they may become hot heads.

Training them is the only way to minimize any behavioral problems of love birds. By training them, the lovebirds will learn what their humans will permit, and what they won’t permit.

Training begins with the humans making a pledge and a commitment to their pets. It must be a sincere commitment, for everyone to benefit from it. Once this commitment has been made, humans and lovebirds can come together, understand each other, and truly bond.

Screeching. When lovebirds screech, they might be hurt emotionally because their humans are disregarding and neglecting them. Humans must give them attention, but don’t overdo it, or else the lovebirds will be spoiled. If the lovebirds are demanding too much attention, leave them alone. Then, go back when they are not noisy. Withhold their treats for a while. Once they acknowledge that you, their human, are the leader of the flock, then you will have achieved success.
Biting. Lovebirds do bite. It may not be as painful as the bites of bigger parrots, however. Biting is sometimes a way of by which they tell their humans something. Perhaps they want to play. In such case, they can be taken out of their perches, but their humans must not forget that they lead the flock, and the lovebirds must follow their command. Humans must not react excessively to their bites, but must remain calm and composed. When they do this, their lovebirds become aware of the things that they do. It reminds them that they cannot expect to get everything that they desire.
Feather plucking. This may indicate that they may have an illness. Bring them to the vet. The behavior could be the result of emotional problems that they are encountering. Perhaps they are not getting the right amount of interaction with their humans. Start playing with and training your lovebirds, and their problems can be resolved.

Training your lovebirds properly is the best method by which you can refine a love bird’s behavior. It teaches your lovebirds what kinds of behavior are acceptable to you, and it boosts sincerity and trust between lovebirds and owners.