Monthly Archives: January 2008

Open Questions to Harlan-Teklad

Harlan-Teklad arguably manufactures one of the best, if not the best, rodent diets available. I use the word available very loosely here as it is not sold, to the best of my knowledge, in a retail environment approved by Harlan-Teklad.

The big-box pet stores do not sell it; feed stores do not sell it; small independent pet shops do not sell it; and, yet it still makes it way into the homes and mouths of pet rats throughout North America.

There are great organizations that have managed to create a service to their “customers” so they are able to provide this best in market food. There are great individuals that go out of their way to help others acquire this manna for their “babies”.

I find it truly amazing that there is a major distribution center for Harlan-Teklad diets (and other products?) less than 10 minutes drive from where I live, yet I cannot find anywhere that sells it. Granted this diet was designed for laboratory rats, but it is the best food I can feed to my rats, IMHO. I see no reason why I should want anything less than the best.

So, I ask these questions:

Why is it, with a market that is readily available, a manufacturer would create a selling practice to practically exclude sales from a specific sector? This sector shows one of the fastest growing spending metrics in current retail trends. (*Hint: Pet related purchases, especially premium items.)

Why, after many years, would a manufacturer decide that a product made on a regular production schedule would require it’s minimum purchase to be increased 10 times?

These questions are only two that I am asking, but throughout the Internet on various forums and other postings similar questions are being posed. Rat keepers and other rodent aficionados are trying to develop plans of action to meet these extreme measures the manufacturer apparently is applying to a great product.

Again, I ask: Why?

When a "Sale" Price is More Not Less

It seems the french have it right … it seems a particular Canadian “big-box” retail furniture store’s name, in french, is a four-letter word, and I think I know why.

OK, so this isn’t really rat related, but I’ve stewed on this long enough and something needs to be said. Mrs.Rattitude and I were looking to buy a small freezer, not just for our own uses, but also to use for stock-piling some dry foods for our little ones … this would lead to another ponderance about Harlan-Teklad, but not in this particular blogging.

We were shopping online at the various big-box and larger department style stores near were we live to get an idea for prices. We checked all of the ones we could think of and found a relative small range of prices, but when we heard that our french four-letter word store was have a big sales event (for at least this week) I decided to check the price again thinking: Great! I’m good to buy something from this “Canadian” store and it just so happens that I work for a company that supplies equipment to the freezer’s manufacturer as well so this would be a great win-win scenario all around.

Well, it ain’t gonna happen!!!

I checked the prices on the retailer’s web site. I saw they actually raised their prices 10 percent then put them on “sale” by taking 10 dollars off, so I would actually have to pay 20 percent more to buy the particular freezer on sale now!

If for no other reason than this, I have no intention to even window shop online at this retailer ever again, nor will I ever venture into one of their supposed SuperStores, again … and I “could throw a stone and hit one” from where I work.

Since I cannot condone this kind of business practice I will make sure to tell everyone I know how this french four-letter word store sets “sales” prices … with this specific example.

Even a New Year’s Pet is Forever, Too!

As important as anything else one must always be aware of what they are doing. Be aware of where you are going, be aware of what you are saying, and be aware of what you give …

I bring this to light, yet again, the significance of giving a pet to an individual that may not necessarily want the pet. It is truly a shame when an innocent animal is left, or more specifically neglected by an owner that does not want it. This is the real travesty of giving a pet as a gift.

I only ask one thing of those individuals that are giving, or have recently given, a pet as a gift to another person … be prepared to accept the pet into your own life and be prepared to keep it and care for it as you the giver are ultimately responsible for the health and welfare of the animal.

An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don’t.
~~ Anatole France

The education I am referring to here is the knowledge needed to ensure this new pet will be cared for with compassion and love, and not as some sort of temporary toy, or novelty of the new year.

Happy New Year of the Brown Rat!

The year 2008 brings us the New Year of the Rat, and if you follow the Chinese horoscope you will see that it is an Earth year as well.

The Earth adds solidity to the Rat’s personality. An Earth Rat is conventional and a good achiever who likes to establish roots early in order to make a secure future for himself and his family. These Rats have the typical Rat ingenuity and mental capacity, but a strong sense of reality often alludes them preventing them from going after anything that could be impromptu. Earth Rats are honorable and love to be stabilized. Slowly and steadily acquiring wealth gives them a sense of inner peace. Although they are capable of being stingy with their finances, they do possess warm feelings for their family and friends.~~ as borrowed from here

The Japanese are observing January 1, 2008 as the beginning of the Year of the Rat to coincide with western calendars. The Chinese are recognizing February 4, 2008 as the actual beginning of the Year of the Brown Rat. The Chinese New Year Day exact time is at 11:44 on 07-Feb-08 in China time zone (more details can be read here).

May the year 2008 bring everyone times of prosperity, health, happiness, and love, especially for and from our little furry friends … our rats.