Friday, November 27, 2009

FW: Kildare Chamber of Commerce , letter to editor.

This weeks entry is another passionate plea for the rural economy!

Subject: Kildare Chamber of Commerce , letter to editor.
Date: Fri, 27 Nov 2009 18:10:13 +0000

Dear Editor,

How do you persuade people that saving a few Euro on the Christmas Nintendo and Booze is the wrong thing to do? You cant- its only possible to fight fire with fire and fight a price war on price.

Throughout 2009 the small and medium business sector has cut prices, cut costs and adopted lean and innovative survival skills to keep the door to commerce open. Almost every business in Kildare, including mine, has made workers redundant, merged job descriptions, and added to the queues of the unemployed.

Those who remain in work are working longer and are filling broader roles. 40 hour jobs are cut to 32 and evenings or Saturdays are now worked without complaint. The private sector are now very close to the vision of the improved competitive economy which the ESRI and McCarthy report recommended.

Yet the queues northward get longer as we near Christmas. The local economy which is currently holding out for an upturn in trade will shed more jobs in the New Year if trade remains flat throughout Christmas.

Kildare Chamber of Commerce organised and funded an extended shop local campaign this year featuring a soldier fighting to keep Private Euro in our local economy and featuring the iconic uncle Sam's patriotic recruiting message "I want You" (to spend euros locally).

Any effective shop local campaign needs to achieve three aims. The first aim is to convince consumers that support for local business is essential to community life. The second is to inform shoppers of the value on offer locally and fight the myth that small local shops are dearer. The third aim of persuading businesses to provide better value can be achieved by rallying businesses into a group loyalty scheme, discount scheme or innovative PR campaign.

Kildare has everything to offer. A well stocked man's shop on the square with hidden discounts and Italian suits that could come from Louis Copeland. The everything shop on Station Road which challenges you to find cheaper. Christmas shops and pet shops and gift shops fly the flag for enterprise and service. Kildare farm foods have bigger and better turkeys than a Eurovision Semi-final. Retailers now compete transparently on price. Pubs and Restaurants now give group deals and two/three course specials so that no one should have reason to party out of town.

I am blowing the trumpet for Kildare. But there isn't a town in the county now that hasn't got it's act together and blown off the complacency and excesses of the so-called tiger decade. In my line of work I see plenty of Garfields. The Celtic Garfield is using up her nine lives and rapidly turning lean and fit for business.

We can win the economic battle, if we spend our hard earned euro at home. But if another half billion leaves the southern Irish economy in 2010, as it has so far in 2009, we can all play the blame game together on the dole queue.

Des Groome,

Chairman, Kildare Chamber of Commerce.

Kildare Vet Surgery,

Kildare Town.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Take a walk on the wild side

Exotic pets are a growing niche market in the Irish pet owning sector. We now see a greater range of species than ever before in our clinics. Rabbits are an easy starter pet for a family of young children. Parrots can be entertaining companions, in particular the African Grey which is a social, talkative and easily handled bird. These are great mimics and pick up swear words because their ear picks up the words we emphasise when speaking.
Fish are perceived as low maintenance pets and will be low maintenance when the set-up is right.
Hamsters, Gerbils, Guinea pigs can all be bought in pet shops along with the hutch, cage, beding, toys, food, drinker and often a care guide. They also rarely need to see a Vet.
Snakes and reptiles require a special interest and background learning. From Terrarium to feeding habits you will need to know what to do before you leave the shop.
Aquatic turtles and terrapins can come small but rapidly will out grow a small tank.
Outdoor tortoises are as of yet rarely seen in Ireland.

Tomorrows VETSLOT on midlands 103 at 10.45 followed by KFM's PETSLOT at 11.05 will deal exclusively with the exotics phenomenon tomorrow. TUNE IN

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tigers, Leopards and political animals...

The circus has left town but animals of the mythological variety, the bearded barking, as well as the purring nine-lived variety still occcupy centre stage in the 2009 pantomime of Irish life.

The Celtic tiger is to blame for the whole thing of course. A once sleek and fit for purpose feline which started life as a lean sophistocat with an engine that purred like an Asian car plant. Softly- padded and sure of foot, the tiger negotiated Brussels bureaux and summit tables and always got the cream. The tiger had circus high wire skills. The tiger deftly walked the tight rope of fiscal generosity for a decade and relied only on the safety net of property taxes. A safety net which the circus ring masters of global banking dismantled. An extended cast of bull markets and bear traders grace the stage alongside pantomime characters with unlikely names like fannie mae, freddie mac and the biggest villian of all; seanie fitz.

The celtic tiger had many litters. But the tiger cubs were too well fed. This now presents all sorts of problems for the tiger herself. Firstly the cubs are now too costly to feed. Secondly, like many kittens who have never needed to learn to hunt, their teeth and claws are not fit for the pecking order of the global jungle. Which now means they are too difficult to rehome. The ailing tiger herself has lost a few lives, though strong survival instincts have activated chameleon qualities; proud euro-spots grown to show monsieur trichet et les autres bureauchats. Stars and stripes on the soft furry underbelly of the celtic tiger, turned purring Garfield, to show Top Cat Uncle Obama.

The tiger is now unrecognizable. Not merely a domestic long hair in need of a financial haircut, nor is she simply a leopard losing spots, nor a fat cat shedding toxic fluffy equity. Now, battered and one-eyed, the still game tiger is growling defiantly as she awaits 77bn euro surgery.
SPVs ( special purpose vets) and spindoctors are working to amputate her gangrenous and clubbed construction limb. Eurochats in the waiting room lap up watery stimulus packages as they watch the tricky surgery. Sagely, these mandarins all agree with the consensus that the tiger must grow a few diversified extra limbs if she rises phoenix-like from the bonfire of the celtic vanities. Former memories of the once proud tiger may soon belong to mythology. Consigned to cautionary nursery tales, like the one-eyed yellow idol on the pass at Kathmandu and Macavity the mystery cat.

The tiger cubs continue to cause trouble. These toothless kittens were reared on a diet of tuna, sardines and cream. The fluffy malcontents are growling in the alleys as they face cheaper kit e kat and lidl kibbles. Even Alberts famous high end pet food factory burned to the ground as the circus left town. Defiantly the cubs soiled their own litter trays and turned their tails on Lisbon one. Returning a no vote to the urbane eurochats was understandably seen as biting the hands that fed them. Mercifully, the cubs put tail between their legs and accepted what was on offer the next time.

Now that the circus has left town the story tellers of media have unleashed a whole host of other circus animals.Lisbon one began as serious cliff hanger. There was a brief cameo by neo-con Libertas Eagle. But no twist in the tale this time as radical tail failed to wag the dogged consensus!The NAMA factor featured a battle scene with thorny birds Joan of ArkBurton and Prince Richard the brut-on against assorted shylocks, fatcats and soldiers of destiny. By now tired and bloated, the Fianna sought the salmon of knowledge through the NAMA debate as the Druids read the tea leaves.

Tangential subplots amused the worn audience. The Bull ODonoghue and his crock of gold; the old bull was just full of bull as limousines and party hats and cheltenham horses trotted across stage. The bull mistook his invisibility cloak for an invincibility cloak as the media pursued him into the owner's and trainer's bar at Listowel. The Ceann Comhairle, no longer sacred cow, was gleefully butchered.

Through all the caricature slow starter and dark horse Lenihan has refused typecasting.

The budget is now looming and defies panto scriptwriters.The outcome depends on Dark horse Lenihan, heavily handicapped, hobbled yet determined as the remaining circus animals jockey for position. Cue left, the last creature of the tiger era emerges to do battle. The slowest and largest animal will trumpet the final act towards curtain fall and hopeful sequel. Costs must fall, productivity must rise, overtime must be cut, services must deliver value. Pigs might fly. Take a bow Lenihan and face the elephant in the corner!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mysteries of the animal kingdom!

As the bearded brethren and their misguided trade union membership march the streets of Dublin this afternoon I write to distract, entertain and perhaps even inform. I could fill the blogosphere with an angry tirade against the self-serving greed of the Trade Union Leaders who negotiated improbable pay rises for their members every year under the social partnership. I could echo the analysis of every economist that pay cuts are needed now to rebalance an overheated economy. I could opine that our inflated scale of wages, cost of energy and cost of consumer goods will all fall by deflation if prices and business costs could only start to fall now in balanced equitable fashion. But better political minds than mine have analysed the empty treasure chest of Irelands credit plunder to reach the same conclusions.
I have begun this October an MA in Communications in DCU which I am finding deeply rewarding and diverse after a decade in the trenches of animal health care. A colourful, bohemian and bearded Professor of journalism whose lectures I attend said that angry little epistles belong on the blogosphere but facts speak for themselves. I will let the economic facts speak then and may the rain spill on the marchers! Forearmed in future with formal communications skills I hope to maintain the upper hand in jousts with Clem Ryan on my Friday morning KFM VetSlot. This afternoon I would like to cover questions we didnt get to answer this morning and, with apologies to dear frankie, answers I would love to give- but cant- on air;
Mary from Coill Dubh has a sheepdog with an itchy ear and is wondering what Des would suggest-
Well Mary I would suggest you bring the poor dog to a Vet. Contrary to popular belief these things dont get better being watched. Otodectes Cyanotis or ear mites left untreated can render your dog deafer than a snoozing monsignor, more lobsided than a PPP negotiation and with bigger cauliflower ears than Paul OConnell.

Pauline in Nurney has a goldfish that seems to be turning white and she is wondering what is wrong with him?
Pauline, your goldfish is faced with an identity crisis more serious than a Towers man who togs out for Ellistown and a questioning of his raison d'etre on a par with that of the Moorefield man who crosses town to Sarsfields.Clearly a Goldfish needs to be golden. Jacksonesque colour-change is as good a reason as any to visit your local struggling Vet.

Ann in Kildare's son wants pet mice and she is wondering are they difficult to look after?
Ann! Yes they are difficult to look after, never more so than when they make a break for freedom and discover the cosy sanctuary of your back kitchen. Send your son up to me for a few saturdays to figure out what type of pet he really wants.

Margaret just had a baby and her terrier that she has for about five years seems to be very jealous and is always trying to jump up on her when she's holding the baby and keeps barking at the baby. What can she do?
Margaret, Your terrier is deeply psychotic and determined to check out just how closely baby flesh resembles the taste of chicken. Your terrier invisages a baby free resumption of the status quo where he will have you to himself again under the assumption that eaten baby is soon forgotten. Your dog is five plus. Professional dog trainers can teach old dogs new tricks- but you havent a chance of doing so. Its gonna be either the terrier or the baby- not exactly a dilemma of Solomon-like proportions.

Remember folks- your pet is a member of the family- but not a human member!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Commercial Announcement- Pet Food!

Last October Interchem, who are based locally near Naas came to me with a new range of Dogfood called PROPAK. Their timing was perfect as I had resolved to seek an alternative specialist range of food to recommend to clients. We had stocked royal canin for four years previously but I just found their 4% price increase last Oct to be the last straw and knew I could no longer promote over-priced product to clients in the year ahead. I gave the PROPAK range a trial and have had no regrets since.
PROPAK have a diet to meet any dogs need, whether it is a medical need, a breed requirement, or a special need of growth or pregnancy. The colour coded range comes in a range of sizes to suit any size of dog and owner's pocket. The puppy trial size is especially popular.
We retail PROPAK at 40 to 50 % cheaper than any other specialist food range.
I can Guarantee also that you will not find PROPAK cheaper in the county.
As Vets we stand over PROPAK and are using this diet range successfully to manage diabetes, obesity, pancreatitis, irritable bowel disease and dermatitis.

Moreover we will always support local providers when we have an opportunity to do so.

You can buy your food at rock bottom discount on our website using paypal