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Dr. Katie and Pokemon Go

A few days ago while driving home from work, I noticed a number of people wandering the sidewalks like zombies with their phones out in front of them.  Upon my arrival home, I found my teenage son wandering in the front yard with his phone in front of him.   Could this be the Zombie apocalypse? I asked my son what was going on…

Pokemon Go.

Apparently there are invisible Pokemon (little digital animals) wandering all over.  You can only see them through a GPS enabled smart phone and the appropriate Pokemon Go App.   Many children (and adults) are wandering around desperately trying to catch and train these little guys.  Gotta catch em all!

Upon learning about their existence, I had a number of questions.  Do we have Pokemon here at My Zoo Animal Hospital? When I was child, Pokemon games were all the rage.  I collected the cards, I watched the TV show, and I played the Gameboy game.  I dreamed of being Nurse Joy – helping animals.   How could I not know there could be Pokemon right here at work?  So I asked a customer who brought in her dog.  Sure enough there was a wild Pinsir.  Did you know arthropods have something called hemolymph instead of blood?  Since Pinsir is listed as a bug-type, I wonder if he has hemolymph?  I am rather glad I don’t actually have to get a sample as Pinsir looked rather imposing.

Dr. Katie examines her first Pokemon patient

Dr. Katie examines her first Pokemon patient

After asking this very kind customer a few more questions, I downloaded the app to try it out.   She told me to start the game, I should ignore the 3 pokemon that first show up and walk away.  Supposedly if you do this enough times (at least 4 or 5), you can start the game with a Pikachu!  As a chinchilla fan, a Pikachu sounds like the perfect start!  Pikachus look like electric chinchillas!  Her tip worked, and I now have a Pikachu in addition to my 2 chinchillas.  The My Zoo Team loves rodents!

Dr. Katie and her chinchilla (Bert).

Dr. Katie and her chinchilla (Bert).

Dr. Katie’s first Pokemon, Pikachu.

Dr. Katie’s first Pokemon, Pikachu.

It didn’t take me long to realize, Pokemon Go is a walking-intensive game.    What a great opportunity to get my patients moving more!  I have a few tips for you Pokemon Go players out there:

  1. Take your dog! Since this game requires a lot of moving and walking,  many dogs would really enjoy the extra walks!  It’s good for both of you!  Exercise is critical to a healthy life!
  2. If you take your dog, pay attention to him! Dogs (as well as people) can be severely affected by this heat!  Is he slowing down? Panting a lot?  Lagging behind you?  It’s time to get Fido back in doors and cool down!
  3. Drink lots of water. The game is so addictive, it’s easy to forget to stay hydrated.  This heat requires you to drink a lot of fluids to stay hydrated.  Be sure both you and your dog are hydrated!
  4. Pay attention to your surroundings! While staring at your phone, it would be easy to accidentally walk out in the street…or make yourself vulnerable to being mugged.  Look up from that phone!  OR better yet…take a human companion who doesn’t play with you – like a designated driver!  Parks and other public places would probably be safe places to play!
  5. Don’t trespass or go in areas that are restricted! This could really put you and Fido in danger!   Be sure you are capturing pokemon on public property!
  6. Don’t forget about your real pets! Most importantly, don’t forget that pokemon really are just digital creatures.  Your pets at home still need love and attention!

Just today, Dr. Debbie also met her first Pokemon, an Eevee.  Dr. Katie was jealous that Eevee was so much cuter than the Pinsir!

Dr. Debbie’s first Pokemon patient

Dr. Debbie’s first Pokemon patient was much cuter than Dr. Katie’s Pinsir.

Happy Pokemon catching to all of our clients!  Please remember to be safe, pay attention, and stay hydrated!  Also, please be sure to share any Pokemon Go tips and tricks you have with us.

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