Worms and Flowers

Avocado:Latex Fruit Allergy-Part 5 of 5

Posted in Avocado by Lzyjo on June 19, 2009

Avocados are delicious anyway you choose to eat them, guacamole, Monterey burgers, or even on their own. Unfortunately some people, like my DH, are allergic of avocados. Our little furry friends are also vulnerable to Persin, a fungus-inhibiting toxin in the avocados that can harm pets if consumed in large quantities. People can also be allergic to this substance, but latex fruit allergy is more common.

Latex fruit allergy is triggered by the protein enzyme chitinase. In sensitive people it creates an allergic response by releasing histamine. For people like DH, symptoms set in immediately after ingestion, or up to one hour after ingestion as the body digests the proteins. Symptoms include severe stomach pain, nausea, skin irritation, breathing problems, and in the worst cases, anaphylactic shock. The ripening process, using ethylene gas, also increases the quantity of chitinase in the fruit, possibly increasing the chances for an allergic reaction. Other fruits that can cause the same type of allergic reaction are bananas, mangoes, papayas, and  chestnuts. Melons and tomatoes are also suspected. It’s also common to hear of people developing a reaction after increased consumption of certain fruits, for instance I’ve read posts about people becoming violently ill after eating one or more bananas for a number of consecutive days. The good news is, if you are allergic to the triggering fruits the reaction is usually abundantly clear and does not require a diagnoses to confirm.

On Monday I will be posting about growing avocados from seed. Stay tuned!

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Hopper – – The Devil in Disguise

Posted in Pets by Lzyjo on December 27, 2008

Hopper is our dearly beloved dog. He is a little more than a year old and still 10% puppy and 100% crazy. We found him in the Craigslist pet section advertised as a Chi/Dotson (I think that is like Datsun, the predecessor of Nissan) and bought him for $50 in a Krystal’s parking lot.( if you’re from the North you may not known Krystal’s, they serve small White-Castlesque burgers called Krystal’s, as well as, corn dogs, etc.,) We brought our little smelly six-pound flea bag home for a bath. He was promptly named Hopper (no, not like Dennis Hopper) because he happily hops wherever his goes. He looks innocent, but looks can be deceiving.

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Age: 1.3
Sex:Male
Weight:20 Lbs

Nicknames: El Pendejo, Chorizo, Veinte, Loco, El Camino, Short and Long, Noodle-doodle, and Black and brown.

Biography: Dachshund/Chihuahua, German/Mexican Heritage, Viva Futbol.

Favorite Activities: chasing rabbits, eating poop.

Dislikes:Cows, calves, dish towels, and children.

Favorite Toy: Smelly socks, newspapers, anything that can be unstuffed.

Best Trick: Impatiently barking at bank teller for treat.

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After we got Hopper, we read the AKC breed descriptions, they really hit the nail on the head with all of the characteristics, including calling the Dachshund a big dog in a small package. The German name Dachshund literally translates to Badger dog. The Dachshund’s length and low height makes it invaluable for retrieving quarry from underground burrows. Dachshunds were also used to hunt wild boars. It is the dog’s natural instinct to roll on its back, waiting to attack the boar’s vulnerable underbelly and genital area. Dachshunds are excellent watchdogs, Hopper barks when anything is out of place, I mean ANYTHING out of the usual. We wanted a watchdog when we lived in the city, but before the dog even started barking we decided it would be better if the dog could range around in the country.

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Is it really wrong to personify your pet by forcing it to wear humiliating clothing?

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Even though Chihuahuas and Dachshunds are tenacious and spirited hunters, Hopper is especially friendly and affectionate, if only to DH and I. Hopper’s favorite possession of all are his sleep bags that I made for him. Burrowing dogs just love to sleep in bags. I’ve seen expensive doggie sleeping bags, as well as, sleep sacks for pet charities, but I made these from a cheap drug store comforter, the kind they have in the big bins near the front of the store. Hopper even tucks himself in at night, he just decides when he is tired and crawls into his sack, like a good dog.

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