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Protect pets from this deadly rodent-borne disease

Protect pets from this deadly rodent-borne disease
Protect pets from this deadly rodent-borne disease

The mouse plague ravaging large parts of Australia has led to a spike in the deadly rodent-borne bacterial disease, leptospirosis.

Increased mouse and rat populations following wet weather in eastern Australia could explain the 107 notified cases of the disease in the three months prior to May. The highest number of notifications occurred in Queensland (53), followed by NSW (46) and the Northern Territory (5).

This disease can affect both humans and pets, as Dr Magdoline Awad – SMARTdaily’s pet columnist and chief veterinary officer at Greencross The Pet Company – explains.


Hi Dr Mags, I was reading about the dangers of pets catching leptospirosis from mice. I often see mice running around at night and am feeling quite on edge about my dog catching it. What can I do to prevent this happening? Is there a vaccine and what would happen if my dog caught it? Lex

Dear Lex,

Over the past few months there have been several cases of leptospirosis reported in and around Sydney.

Leptospirosis, or lepto for short, is a bacteria that is shed in the urine of infected animals such as rats and mice.

For some reason we typically associate lepto more commonly with rats rather than mice.

We should be on the lookout for lepto and the potential risk of your dog catching it especially in areas where there have been rats (building sites, rubbish bins) in combination with stagnant water or puddles.

Dogs become infected and develop lepto primarily through ingestion of the urine from infected rats. This usually occurs through contaminated stagnant water or soil or even contaminated food.

Dogs that hunt and eat rodents can also become infected, so you are justified to be concerned. All dogs are at high risk if they swim or drink in slow-moving or stagnant water or come in contact with rodents or other animals that might be infected.

Common symptoms can include lethargy, fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive thirst, bloody urine and jaundice (yellow skin and gums).

You should take your pet to the vet as soon as possible as the chances of recovery depend on how severe the disease is and how quickly treatment is initiated.

Unfortunately, lepto can cause acute kidney and liver failure and when this happens many dogs will succumb to this disease.

It is best to vaccinate dogs especially in high risk areas. You should also avoid your dog swimming or drinking in waterways such as rivers, lakes and ponds and take measures to reduce the rodent population. Walk your dog on a leash in high risk areas, especially if they love chasing rats.

Remember that leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, so humans can become infected by urine of infected rats or dogs. That’s why it is so important to always wash your hands and seek medical advice if you suspect you have been exposed to lepto.



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Best Candles Scents for Summer: Best Smelling Scented Candles 2021

Best Candles Scents for Summer: Best Smelling Scented Candles 2021
Best Candles Scents for Summer: Best Smelling Scented Candles 2021

We found all the best candle scents that are perfect for summer. Julia Cherruault for Observer

Now that summer has arrived and you’ve switched out your winter apparel for your favorite warm weather attire, it’s time to give your home a little seasonal update, too. One of the best (and easiest!) ways to liven up your interior decor and adjust the ambiance in your home is by lighting a scented candle, as a new fragrance can entirely transform the atmosphere.

During the summer, we recommend selecting chic votives that will harmonize your interiors with the bright and sunny days outside. Even if you’re spending hours on end at the desk in your tiny apartment, you can still light a candle that immediately changes your mood and transports you to a whole new place.

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So even if you have to skip out on that trip to Italy this summer, you can still let the aroma of the Amalfi Coast sink into your living room. Missing out on that big beach weekend? Just light up your favorite sea salt and coconut votive. Don’t worry if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the many candle options out there, as we’ve found all the best, most luxurious and aromatic bougies to light at home this summer. Below, see our favorite candles for the season.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Anouche Scented Candle

You simply can’t go wrong with any Maison Francis Kurkdjian fragrances, but this particular rose and plum candle, which is inspired by the perfumer’s memories of his grandmother’s rose petal jam, is especially lovely for summer. $85, Neiman Marcus.


Apotheke Candy Store Candle

This votive smells of coconut, vanilla, patchouli and amber, in the prettiest iridescent rainbow vessel. $38, Apotheke.

Cire Trudon.

Cire Trudon Salta Candle

Cire Trudon is one of the oldest candlemakers in the world, and is up there with the most luxurious votive options out there today. All the candles are so chic, but we love the grapefruit fragrance for an unexpected citrus-y floral for these warm days. $40, Cire Trudon.

Hotel Collection.

Hotel Collection Sweetest Taboo Candle

We love the way the vanilla warms up the notes of pomegranate and peony in this indulgent fragrance. $39.95, Hotel Collection.

Carrière Frères.

Carrière Frères Orange Blossom

This orange blossom bougie is perfect for these hot summer months. $54, Carrière Frères.


Arôme Malibu Candle

Dreaming of picturesque days in Malibu? This fresh and citrusy votive was inspired by the California beach town, with a delightful fragrance of mandarin, lime, lemon, coconut and wood. $28, Arôme.


Literie I Have a House in the Hamptons Candle

Light this cheekily-named candle and the room will fill with the essentially summer scents of rosé and melon, because you should be able to take that beach weekend scent back into your everyday life. $35, Literie.

Nomad Noé.

Nomad Noé Pioneer In Tasmania Sea Salt and Coconut Candle

If all you ever want is for your home to permanently feel like a perfect warm day at the beach (and honestly, this is all we ever aspire to), then light up this dreamy votive, which smells of sea salt, coconut and laurel. $65, Nomad Noé.

Olivia Palermo x Sicily Hill.

Olivia Palermo x Sicily Hill Citrus Blossom Candle

Olivia Palermo and Sicily Hill’s new summer-inspired candle exudes the loveliest bouquet of lemon, peony and white blossom. $69, Sicily Hill.

L’or de Seraphine.

L’or de Seraphine Whitby Candle

Bring the ocean to you with this pretty beach-inspired candle, with its notes of sea salt, violet and vetiver, all in a chic wave-y vessel. $40, L’Or De Seraphine.

Acqua di Parma.

Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Fico di Amalfi Candle

Can’t get to Italy this summer? Well, you can still imagine you’re lazing about the Amalfi Coast thanks to this candle, with its mix of bergamot, italian, grapefruit, jasmine, fig and cedarwood. $75, Saks Fifth Avenue.

Naturally Drenched.

Naturally Drenched Juneteenth Candle

Founder Jamila Powell created this bergamot, citrus, cherry blossom, jasmine and amber-scented Juneteenth candle to symbolize the past and future within your home. $18.65, Naturally Drenched.

Area Home.

Area Candle #One

If you prefer smokier scents, you’ll love this citrus, oak moss and vetiver candle. $70, Area Home.


Diptyque Citronnelle Candle

Citronella candles are a necessity during the mosquito-filled summer months, but the scent isn’t always the most aromatic. Luckily, French fragrance house Diptyque released a brand-new citronella bougie for the season, with a lovely fragrance of lemongrass, verbena, neroli and orange blossoms, so you can still repel bugs, but in a cute way. $68, Diptyque.

Urban Apothecary.

Urban Apothecary London Fig Tree

Fig is one of our go-to candle fragrances no matter what the season, and we really love the way it mingles with the coconut, violet and cedarwood here. $52, Cie Luxe.


Aromatique Fresh Hydrangea Cube Glass Candle

Is there anything more quintessentially *summer* than fresh hydrangeas? There’s nothing like the view of pretty blue flowers framing a seaside shingled house, but even if you can’t make it the beach, you can still pretend you’re there with this floral hydrangea candle, with hints of honeysuckle, rose, green hyacinth, geranium, lily, bergamot and oak moss. $23.50, Aromatique.

Boy Smells.

Boy Smells Pride Extra Vert Candle

If you prefer fresh candle scents, you’ll love this mint, fig, daffodil, cypress, juniper berry, tarragon and basil-fragranced votive, in a shimmery green vessel. Your candle purchase also helps support a good cause, as the brand donates 10 percent of sales to The Trevor Project. $39, Boy Smells.

The Best Scented Candles You Need at Home This Summer

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Woolworths has introduced a round up feature to its checkout screen

Woolworths has introduced a round up feature to its checkout screen
Woolworths has introduced a round up feature to its checkout screen

Woolworths has introduced a round up feature to its self-service checkout process as part of a month-long fundraising initiative to help feed Aussies in need.

The supermarket has been prompting shoppers to round up the total of their spend and donate the difference to one of its charity partners.

As part of the campaign, called Feed Appeal, all money raised is distributed in grants to local charities in each of the country’s states and territories to increase their capacity to feed people.

By opting into the program, customers agree to their total spend being rounded up to the nearest dollar to be donated to the Feed Appeal.

RELATED: Servo worker reveals how to get 13 cents off per litre of fuel

The Feed Appeal campaign will be a feature on checkout screens until June 29.

A Woolworths spokesperson said the Feed Appeal was designed to help meet a 47 per cent increase in demand for food relief across Australia in the past year.

The retailer said the money raised through Feed Appeal, which also ran throughout July last year, helped charities buy essential equipment like fridges, freezers, ovens and vans.

RELATED: Woolworths shoppers lose minds over new bubble tea range

Woolworths would also be donating pre-made cooked meals, prepared by Australia’s largest food charity FareShare, directly to local charities.

Through its June appeal, the supermarket hoped to raise enough money to support the creation of three million meals.

Money raised in last year’s appeal exceeded $1.5 million and enabled 52 cash donations of up to $50,000 to be made to food relief charities.

The supermarket is the primary fundraising driver of the Feed Appeal, which was co-founded by News Corp and FareShare, and has raised $7.5 million since it began in 2009.

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Meghan Markle & Prince Harry’s Son Archie Loves Her Book ‘The Bench’

Meghan Markle & Prince Harry’s Son Archie Loves Her Book ‘The Bench’
Meghan Markle & Prince Harry’s Son Archie Loves Her Book ‘The Bench’

Prince Harry and Meghan’s son is already a true bookworm.

The Duchess of Sussex’s children’s book, The Bench, is now at the top of the New York Times Best Sellers list, and it’s also a big hit with her family at home. During Meghan Markle’s interview on NPR’s Weekend Edition on Sunday, the Duchess said that her son, Archie, whose relationship with Prince Harry inspired the book, is already a big fan of The Bench.

During the interview, Meghan spoke about how she knew Archie would take note of certain aspects of The Bench, including the image of the military dad coming home, with the bench in the background and a popsicle on the ground. “I knew out son would notice all these elements. And he loves it…he loves the book.”

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Archie already loves The Bench. The Duke of Sussex/@SaveChildrenUK via Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan’s son is already quite the little bookworm, as Meghan said, “He has a voracious appetite for books. And, constantly, when we read him a book he goes, ‘Again, again, again.’” She added, “Now the fact that he loves The Bench, and we can say, ‘Mommy wrote this for you,’ feels amazing.”

Duchess Meghan dedicated the book to Prince Harry and Archie; she wrote, “For the man and the boy who make my heart go pump-pump.” During the interview with NPR, the Duchess also shared what she gifted Prince Harry for his first Father’s Day after Archie’s birth. Meghan presented Prince Harry with a bench, which featured a poem she wrote him inscribed on a plaque on the back; the poem and bench helped inspire the book. “I just wanted something sentimental and a place for him to have as a bit of a home base with our son,” Meghan said.

The Bench.

Meghan, who gave birth to the couples’ second child, daughter Lilibet Diana, on June 4, also revealed that she left little easter eggs throughout The Bench, including a lovely nod to Princess Diana. “If people start digging, I think you can find sweet little moments that we’ve tucked in there,” including “my husband’s mom’s favorite flower, forget-me-nots.” And even though baby Lili wasn’t yet born when Meghan wrote the book, Duchess Meghan also made sure to include her daughter in The Bench, as the final two-page illustration is an image that appears to be of the Sussexes as a family of four, in the backyard of their Montecito home.

Meghan Markle’s Son Archie Already Loves ‘The Bench’

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A Cheerful Hedgehog Is 2021’s Summer Solstice Google Doodle Mascot

A Cheerful Hedgehog Is 2021’s Summer Solstice Google Doodle Mascot
A Cheerful Hedgehog Is 2021’s Summer Solstice Google Doodle Mascot

Today’s Google Doodle marks the official beginning of summer 2021. Google

In recent weeks in New York City, residents intoxicated by the improving weather and the vastly increased slate of post-pandemic things to do have certainly been acting like it’s summer. However, the official first day of summer unfolded on Sunday, June 20th, and today, Google is marking the occasion with a Google Doodle of a cheerful hedgehog wearing sunglasses who’s coated in shells and fruits. Even though from here on out, days in the Northern Hemisphere will continue to shorten, the Summer Solstice represents the date upon which the Earth’s Northern Hemisphere leans most towards the sun.

Google tends to commemorate major holidays and world events with Doodles of all kinds, but last year, the search engine marked the Summer Solstice with art depicting a flamingo taking a joy ride in a hot air balloon. These straightforwardly adorable aesthetic choices are obviously in keeping with the optimism of summer, but the Summer Solstice also has a rich and complicated history connected to different interesting traditions around the world. In Ottowa, Canada, the Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival takes place, and at Stonehenge, revelers gather to watch the sunrise.

Still more interestingly, in ancient Greece, the Summer Solstice represented an opportunity for the temporary abandonment of social hierarchies during the festival of Kronia. As part of this festival, class divisions were put aside and slaves were able to participate in revelry alongside the masters and lords; this festival was meant to emulate the so-called Golden Age of Kronos, a time in which all of humankind was considered to be equal and labor wasn’t necessary in order to maintain survival.

In 2021, the Summer Solstice has arrived during a time when many are conflicted about re-entering a post-pandemic world, while still others are chafing against work requirements that no longer seem tenable in the aftermath of a global health catastrophe. Perhaps the best move is to reflect on the Golden Age of Kronos and envision a better world.

A Cheerful Hedgehog Is 2021’s Summer Solstice Google Doodle Mascot

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Couple’s first visit to Sydney sex club

Couple’s first visit to Sydney sex club
Couple’s first visit to Sydney sex club

Genevieve wasn’t planning on getting naked – but everything changed when she got there.

I’m not an exhibitionist. And while I enjoy sex, I’m not into anything out there or over-the-top.

Which is why I was surprised to find myself, a few weeks ago, having sex with my husband while a group of strangers watched.

So how did it come to this?

Out on a dinner date a few weeks ago, my partner and I were cruising around the streets with a post-meal ice cream when we came across Sydney’s Couples Club.

Curious, we Googled it when we got home to see what that discreet unmarked door was hiding.

Turns out, it’s a sex club and its monthly First Time Friday night was coming up. On a whim, we decided to check it out.

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To swing, or not to swing?

We didn’t necessarily go with the intention of swinging, swapping partners or even “playing” (as the site described) with others – we were just curious and keen to explore something sexually new.

We love visiting strip clubs together (who doesn’t love a gorgeous woman dancing around?) so we knew we’d be comfortable with nudity, but laid out a few ground rules before we went.

For us, we decided if we felt like it, we would be game to have sex in front of others. We weren’t up for letting others join though, and agreed if it was something either of us wanted to do in the moment, we could talk about it afterwards and go back for another visit to possibly pursue.

Our first First Time Friday

The Friday finally rolled around, and I had a glass of wine while getting ready for the evening.

I put on a new set of Agent Provocateur lingerie and sent a selfie to my BFF (who is a psychologist and was also super curious to hear about our experience) before we grabbed a bottle of champagne and hopped in an Uber — the club is BYOB, but there’s a bar you bring your alcohol to so a bartender can serve it to you.

As soon as we arrived, we were buzzing. After climbing three flights of red carpeted stairs, were reached the entrance where we were told the house rules: simply approach others you’re interested in, but if they put up a palm, it signals “no”, and vice versa.

Other than that, the jacuzzi, outdoor terrace and play room were our proverbial oyster.

Setting the mood

We headed to the bar to have a glass or two of champagne first and take in the scene. Several screens showed various porn movies, there was a stripper pole in the middle of the room, and the bartender was in fishnets and underwear.

Several other couples were hanging around the bar, and within moments, a woman was bent over and being spanked. It was more humorous than sexy, and everyone seemed to be trying really hard to look natural and comfortable.

As we finished our drinks, a dancer entered and cleared the room to perform a striptease on the pole.

RELATED: Woman’s dilemma after ‘satisfying sex’

An older man loudly whooped and yelled throughout the entire performance, but it wasn’t anything crazy and we decided we wanted to go downstairs to see more.

Several open yet separate rooms had various beds and couches scattered about, and most were occupied with couples having sex or several people tangled up in each other.

Props like whips and paddles decorated the rooms, and there were attachments against some walls to tie someone up with.

Our turn

My partner and I saw a small, empty room containing one small bed and looked at each other and shrugged. “Why the hell not?” we thought.

I jumped on top, and during the time were we in there, a steady stream of people approached to try and join or just watch.

For me, I wasn’t particularly turned on by that, but wasn’t bothered either as obviously it came with the territory.

The verdict

After we got dressed and left, we agreed we were glad we went (and came), but did it more for a good story than it being something either of us were really into.

Every person and couple has their own preferences and fetishes, and if exploring with others is your thing, it’s definitely worth checking out.

This article was originally published on Body + Soul and was reproduced with permission

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Jeff Bezos’ Space Trip Leads to 60K People Asking to Deny His Return

Jeff Bezos’ Space Trip Leads to 60K People Asking to Deny His Return
Jeff Bezos’ Space Trip Leads to 60K People Asking to Deny His Return

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is going to space in less than a month as Blue Origin’s first passenger. The trip is supposed to be only a few minutes long at an altitude just beyond Earth’s atmosphere. But a lot of people already don’t want him back. Multiple internet petitions seeking to deny Bezos’s re-entry to Earth have collected tens of thousands of signatures in the weeks since he announced the big trip.

A frontrunner, titled “Do not allow Jeff Bezos to return to Earth,” launched on two weeks ago, has collected more than 44,000 signatures. “Billionaires should not exist,” the description read. “On Earth, or in space, but should they decide the latter they should stay there.”

A similar petition launched around the same time has gained over 20,000 signatures. “Jeff Bezos is actually Lex Luthor, disguised as the supposed owner of a super successful online retail store. However, he’s actually an evil overlord hellbent on global domination,” wrote the petition’s organizer, Jose Ortiz. “It’s the only way they’ll allow him to leave the atmosphere. Meanwhile, our government stands by and lets it happen.”

The momentum has even sparked unexpected interest in some truly bizarre campaigns. A trending petition on this week, backed by over 11,000 signatures, is calling for Bezos to purchase and eat the “Mona Lisa.” The petition was created over a year ago but didn’t start capturing attention until recently.

“Amazon was in the headlines again, and we started talking about how Jeff Bezos should buy the Mona Lisa, just because he has the money to do it, because that would make a huge statement,” the petition’s organizer, Kane Powell, told Vice in an interview.

Another old petition that has resurfaced lately is calling Bezos to pay off Puerto Rico’s national debt. “Puerto Rico has a $74 billion dollar debt,” the description read. “Jeff Bezos  can pay that in full and still be one of the world’s richest men.” The campaign has collected more than 3,000 signatures.

Bezos is set to ride on Blue Origin’s maiden crewed flight on July 20 aboard a New Shepard rocket. The rocket has been tested more than a dozen times but never with a passenger on board.

Bezos will be flying along with his younger brother, Mark Bezos, one auction winner who recently bought a seat on the flight for $28 million, and an unnamed fourth crew member.

Over 60,000 People Signed Petitions to Deny Jeff Bezos’ Return to Earth

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