Category Archives: Posts Elsewhere

Making Your Gerbil Your Best Friend (And Valentine) (Originally for the American Gerbil Society)

One of the comments I get from people, and by “people” I mean both people who own gerbils and people who don’t, is how tame and human my two gerbils seem. “They really think you’re a gerbil,” they’ll say in surprise. “I didn’t know gerbils acted like that!”

Until I started being more involved with the American Gerbil Society, I genuinely thought all gerbils did act like that and people either didn’t know much about gerbils or were flattering me. But when I joined and still had people messaging me going “I know someone who wants to have a relationship with their gerbils like you do, can I give them your contact info?” I realized I might have a tendency to raise unusually friendly gerbils.

For this Valentine’s Day and Tutorial Tuesday, I’ll be sharing with you my rules of socializing gerbils. As a disclaimer, though, I should say this – there is no single right way to socialize your gerbils. Gerbils are significantly less complicated to raise than dogs or children, but like dogs and children, they do have distinct personalities, and those personalities mean that what works on won’t necessarily work on another. If you raise gerbils the way I suggest, you will end up with unnaturally friendly gerbils, but they will also be much, much more needy and reliant on you. If part of what you prize about your gerbils is their independence, socializing gerbils the way I socialize gerbils is not for you. But if you want a gerbil who is deeply bonded to you, here are my rules for how to get there:

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How To Make Holiday Toys For Gerbils (Originally for the American Gerbil Society)

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah, which means it’s officially gift-giving season! Don’t forget to include your gerbils in all the fun with these easy holiday gift ideas.

(Original post here)

Gerbils as Classroom Pets, An Interview with Wendy Pavlicek (Originally for the American Gerbil Society)

Now that we’re all back to school, does your or your child’s classroom feel a little empty? Almost like it’s missing a tiny, fuzzy, wiggle-nosed something? Like, say, a gerbil?

My first gerbils, Napoleon and Perkins, were biology class pets that I doted on until I graduated, when my teacher gave me Napoleon – by then elderly, single, and my constant companion – to live out his twilight months. Once he died, I found I couldn’t go back to a gerbil-free life, and ten years later, here I am. While most students aren’t going to find a lifelong passion just from having gerbils in the classroom the way I did, gerbils are fantastic companions for students. I talked to Wendy Pavlicek, animal curator at the Burlington Science Center, about why she’s been bringing gerbils to classrooms for over 15 years.

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How To Take Gerbil Portraits (Originally for the American Gerbil Society)

Hello and welcome to #TutorialTuesday, where every Tuesday we at the American Gerbil Society will be helping you learn fun new ways to care for or things to do with your gerbils. Today (a day late, with apologies from the management) in preparation for our upcoming Virtual Show, I’m going to walk you through how best to take pet portraits of your gerbils.

Please note, this is not a tutorial for how to best take pictures of show gerbils – you can find a wonderful tutorial of that here. Today we’re going over how to best take pictures of gerbils for entering our Pet Class, putting up pictures of to show off for adoption or your kennel’s website, or just to share on social media.

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The Case For Keeping Marc-Andre Fleury (Originally for Pensburgh)

It’s generally assumed by everyone who knows anything about hockey that the Pittsburgh Penguins will be trading Marc-Andre Fleury instead of protecting him and losing goaltender Matt Murray to the expansion draft. And while I agree that losing Matt Murray for nothing would be terrible, I also feel that, if I were GM Jim Rutherford, I’d trade Matt Murray over trading Marc-Andre Fleury.

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More Than A Feeling, or: Thoughts Before the Stanley Cup (Originally for Pensburgh)

The first time I went to a Pittsburgh Penguins game in person it was March 15, 2015, an afternoon game against the Red Wings. It was the second of back-to-back afternoon games, and Evgeni Malkin had been injured the game before against the Bruins. The whole team was injured and trying to battle through it – that game, Patric Hornqvist would crack his ribs but play through them to the end of the season.

I hardly remember the game, honestly. I was in such a haze of overwhelmed excitement that unless I had pictures, I’d think going to it was all some weirdly vivid dream I had. One of the pictures I took was of this guy:

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If The Penguins Settled Catan (Orignally for Pensburgh)

2571261975_f079a04a32_oThe bond between athletes and popular board game Settlers of Catan is not a new one. But until now, we didn’t know that it had spread into hockey.

This Tuesday, the Penguins posted the annual holiday gift baskets that each player creates and then is auctioned off for charity. While most Penguins fans don’t have a cool $500 to drop at minimum, it’s always amusing to browse them and see what each player considers “important”. (Nick Bonino’s basket, for example, is all for dogs. Good man, Nick Bonino.) And Eric Fehr apparently considers Settlers of Catan essential to the “spend a day like Eric Fehr” starter pack.

Which begs the question – what would it be like if the rest of the Penguins players all picked up Settlers of Catan the way the Green Bay Packers did? After much thorough research and investigative journalism, I was able to determine that this is how games between the team would go:

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