Quantum Forest

notes in a shoebox

Why you shouldn’t entrust your pet to Glenstar Kennels

Travel is part of life and if you have pets, allergy finding appropriate boarding for them is a must. This is my explanation for why you should not entrust your dog to Glenstar Kennels, in Canterbury, New Zealand.

At the end of 2016 I had work approval for a two-month trip overseas. Normally I would book accommodation for my dog at the SPCA boarding kennels (as when we had two-months repairs to our house following Christchurch’s earthquake). However, as this trip included Christmas/New Year, it was impossible to find a vacancy. I was happy to find a spot for my dog at Glenstar Kennels spanning the whole end of year period.

Sadly, after 2 months travelling I found a sad surprise when I went to pick up my dog. He was almost 5 kg overweight, which for a 27 kg dog is 20% of weight gain in 2 months. As an illustration, imagine if you were 75 kg and gained 15 kg in only 2 months.

I immediately wrote to the owner of Glenstar Kennels, who stated that “Whilst I do agree he has put on weight had he fed a cheap food and lost weight in the kennels I feel you would be more upset”. Well, a dog becoming overweight is not any better than a dog losing weight! Both situations lead to reduced animal lifespan. While I believe the quality of the food provided was probably appropriate, the combination of physical activity and food quantity was clearly inappropriate.

The New Zealand Animal Welfare Act 1999 and the Code of Welfare for Dogs 2010 (administered by the Ministry for Primary Industries), establish a series of minimum standards for dog care:

  1. Dogs need a balanced daily diet in quantities that meet their requirements for health and welfare and to maintain their ideal bodyweight.
  2. The amount of food offered needs to be increased if a dog is losing condition, or decreased if it is becoming overweight.
  3. The code of welfare for dogs applies in all situations, including temporary housing such as shelters, doggy daycares or day boarding facilities, and kennels

According to the schedule sent to me by Glenstar Kennels, there were 12 hours of contact a day when someone had access to my dog and 65 days to figure out that he was becoming overweight and take appropriate action. The photo below shows my dog’s increased girth as I tried to fit his harness as per the size when I drop him off at Glenstar’s facility on 9th December and his size on 12th February (after gaining 5 kg). There is a dramatic difference, well explained by the term negligence.

Poor doggio showing his change of girth after two months in Glenstar Kennels.

Poor doggio showing his change of girth after two months in Glenstar Kennels.

I am very unhappy with the level of care provided by Glenstar Kennels and the lack of a satisfactory reply to my written complaints. After 2 months away I had to take my dog to his usual veterinary to discuss his overweight, with the associated cost, so I could bring him back to good health. Dog and I have been doing our usual daily walks (as we did before the trip), and I have been very careful about his nutrition, so he can go slowly back to his optimal 27 kg.

Unfortunately, there is no compulsory regulatory body for dog boarding kennels that could enforce the Code of Welfare for Dogs. However, I feel that I have to write this review and make Glenstar Kennels negligence public, so other dog owners (and potential customers) are aware of their extremely poor service.

P.S. The owners of Glenstar Kennels also have another company: Star Pet Travel for pet relocations. They use Glenstar Kennels for their temporary accommodation. I wouldn’t use them either.

Jetsam 33: 1:51″ in the backyard

I was testing the Zoom H4n with a couple of external omni microphones while walking in the backyard. It was quite windy, anaemia picking up around 30″ and then the dog coming and sniffing the mics at around 45″.

Jetsam 32: self-portrait between bars

Self-portrait in shopping mall carpark (Photo: Luis, <a href=

viagra click to enlarge).” width=”2000″ height=”1500″ class=”size-full wp-image-2778″ /> Self-portrait in shopping mall carpark (Photo: Luis, click to enlarge).

Jetsam 31: The dance asthmatics

Taken in Chinatown, <a href=

sanitary Christchurch (Photo: Luis)” width=”1500″ height=”2000″ class=”size-full wp-image-2715″ /> Taken in Chinatown, Christchurch (Photo: Luis, click to enlarge)

Jetsam 30: butterfly in Otago Museum.

Butterfly in Otago Museum (Dunedin, <a href=

endocrinologist NZ. Photo: Luis).” width=”2040″ height=”1530″ class=”size-full wp-image-2707″ /> Butterfly in Otago Museum, Dunedin, NZ (Photo: Luis, click to enlarge).

Cute Gibbs sampling for rounded observations

I was attending a course of Bayesian Statistics where this problem showed up:

There is a number of individuals, viagra sale say 12, viagra 100mg who take a pass/fail test 15 times. For each individual we have recorded the number of passes, which can go from 0 to 15. Because of confidentiality issues, we are presented with rounded-to-the-closest-multiple-of-3 data (\(mathbf{R}\)). We are interested on estimating \( heta\) of the Binomial distribution behind the data.

Rounding is probabilistic, with probability 2/3 if you are one count away from a multiple of 3 and probability 1/3 if the count is you are two counts away. Multiples of 3 are not rounded.

We can use Gibbs sampling to alternate between sampling the posterior for the unrounded \(mathbf{Y}\) and \( heta\). In the case of \(mathbf{Y}\) I used:

While for \( heta\) we are assuming a vague \(mbox{Beta}(alpha, eta)\), with \(alpha\) and \(eta\) equal to 1, as prior density function for \( heta\), so the posterior density is a \(mbox{Beta}(alpha + sum Y_i, eta + 12*15 – sum Y_i)\).

I then implemented the sampler as:

And plotted the results as:

Posterior density for Binomials's theta.

Posterior density for [latex] heta[/latex].

Posterior mass for each rounded observation.

Posterior mass for each rounded observation.

I thought it was a nice, cute example of simultaneously estimating a latent variable and, based on that, estimating the parameter behind it.

You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant—Harlan Ellison

Jetsam 29: Belonging

Citizenship ceremony in Onuku marae, <a href=

shop Akaroa.” width=”895″ height=”1600″ class=”size-full wp-image-2679″ /> Citizenship ceremony in Onuku marae, Akaroa (Photo: Luis, click to enlarge).

The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera—Dorothea Lange

Jetsam 28: 200 m breast

Kids competing 200 m breaststroke for the first time, <a href=

prothesis Timaru, New Zealand, January 2016.” width=”1575″ height=”886″ class=”size-full wp-image-2667″ /> Kids competing 200 m breaststroke for the first time (Photo: Luis, click to enlarge).

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