Welcome!

Beloved Pharaoh. Born: June 3rd., 2003 – Died: June 19th., 2017. A very special dog that will never be forgotten.

Dogs live in the present – they just are!  Dogs make the best of each moment uncluttered by the sorts of complex fears and feelings that we humans have. They don’t judge, they simply take the world around them at face value.  Yet they have been part of man’s world for an unimaginable time, at least 30,000 years.  That makes the domesticated dog the longest animal companion to man, by far!

As man’s companion, protector and helper, history suggests that dogs were critically important in man achieving success as a hunter-gatherer.  Dogs ‘teaching’ man to be so successful a hunter enabled evolution, some 20,000 years later, to farming,  thence the long journey to modern man.  But in the last, say 100 years, that farming spirit has become corrupted to the point where we see the planet’s plant and mineral resources as infinite.  Mankind is close to the edge of extinction, literally and spiritually.

Dogs know better, much better!  Time again for man to learn from dogs!

Welcome to Learning from Dogs

The dog world!

A fascinating account of the differences and similarities between dogs and ourselves.

I couldn’t believe it but three days ago The Conversation published a post about dogs that told me something that I didn’t know. That there was the similarity between dogs and humans when it came to the brain and love!

I can’t wait for you to read it!

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Your dog’s nose knows no bounds – and neither does its love for you.

By

Associate Professor of Psychology, Illinois Wesleyan University.

October 26th, 2020

I have discovered one positive amid the pandemic: I love working with two dogs at my feet.

As someone who studies dog cognition, I often wonder: What is Charlie learning when he stops to sniff the crisp fall air? What is Cleo thinking when she stares at me while I write? Are my dogs happy?

I’m not alone in finding myself suddenly spending more time with my pups and contemplating what’s on their minds. More people in the U.S. are working from home now than are working in the workplace, and many now share home offices with their canine companions. What’s more, many are finding their lives enriched with the addition of a new pet, as people started adopting dogs at massive rates during the pandemic.

This uptick in dog time means I have been fielding questions from new and experienced dog owners alike about their companions’ mentalities. Many questions center on the same themes I ponder: What is my dog thinking? Am I doing everything I can to ensure my pup is content?

Fortunately, research on dog cognition can help unravel what is on their minds and provide insight into what they need for psychologically fulfilling and happy lives.

Smelling superstars

Dogs are both familiar and yet fascinatingly alien. To appreciate their “otherness” all you need to do is consider their sensory world.

My dogs and I have very different experiences when we walk a trail. I marvel at the beautiful autumn day, but my dogs have their heads to the ground, seemingly ignoring the wonders around them.

However, they are appreciating something I can’t perceive: the scent of the fox who scampered through last night, the lingering odor of the dogs who’ve walked this way and the footsteps of my neighbor, who last wore her hiking shoes in woods my dogs have never visited.

You’ve probably heard about dogs who sniff out cancer, weapons or even coronavirus. These dogs are not special in their nose power: Your dog could do the same thing. In fact, the first dog to sniff out cancer sniffed a mole on his owner’s leg so frequently that she went to the dermatologist, where she was diagnosed with melanoma.

A dog’s sense of smell is estimated to be 10,000 to 100,000 times better than that of a human. This is due, in large part, to staggering differences in odor processing in humans and dogs.

While we have about 6 million olfactory receptors, dogs have a staggering 300 million. Their epithelium, or nasal tissue, is about 30 times larger than ours. And while people have between 12 million and 40 million olfactory neurons – specialized cells involved in transmitting odor information to the brain – dogs, depending on the breed, can have 220 million to 2 billion!

How can you even conceptualize this breathtaking difference in abilities? This disparity is like detecting one teaspoon of sugar in enough water to fill two Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Now that your mind has been blown about your dog’s incredible sense of smell, you can use this information to make your dog happier by taking it on the occasional “sniffy walk” – letting it lead the way and take as much time to smell as it would like. Such walks can make dogs happier by allowing them to gain lots of information about the world around them.

The love is mutual

While there are parts of a dog’s mind that are alien, there are also parts that feel very familiar. Chances are, your dog occupies a special place in your heart. Recent research suggests your dog feels the same way about you. Your dog adores you.

The average dog spends a lot of time gazing at its owner – creating a ‘love-loop.’ Murat Natan/EyeEm via Getty Images

Dogs attach to their owners in much the same way human infants attach to their parents. Like babies, dogs show distress when left with a stranger and rush to reunite upon their person’s return.

A recent study found that dogs that have been deprived of food and owners choose to greet their owners before eating. Further, their brain’s reward centers “light up” upon smelling their owners. And, when your eyes meet your dog’s, both your brains release oxytocin, also know as the “cuddle hormone.”

All of this research shows that you can make your dog happier with just one ingredient: you. Make more eye contact to release that cuddle hormone. Touch it more – dogs like pats better than treats! Go ahead and “baby talk” to your dog – it draws the dog’s attention to you more and may strengthen your bond.

Understanding your dog’s mind can not only satiate your curiosity about your companion, but can also help you ensure your pup lives a good, happy life. The more you know about your furry friends the more you can do to meet their needs.

And now I am off to gaze into Cleo’s bright blue eyes, give Charlie a belly rub, and then let them take me on a “sniffy” walk.

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How many of you also learnt something about our dogs when it comes to love?

This was a fascinating report of the research that was carried out by Illinois Wesleyan University.

When one quietly reflects on the span of time that dogs and humans have been together, something in the order of 40,000 years, it’s no surprise that dogs have evolved to be our closest companion. Indeed, the initial connection between man and wolf had a profound impact on man. We went from eating crops and nuts to eating meat. It was the first human-animal relationship, and it is still extremely special.

Yes, the dog’s nose and heart know no bounds!

A dog’s nose dominates its face for good reason. Capuski/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Want a few more dogs? Try 300!

Another wonderful account!

The one thing that goes on forever and, incidentally, has been going on for a long, long time, is the human devotion to dogs. Whether it is one or two dogs being walked every day without fail or, in this case, a Mexican who opened his heart and his house to a tad more than a couple of dogs.

Read it, it is a fabulous story.

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Man Brings 300 Dogs Into His House To Protect Them From Hurricane

“I would do it again one million more times if necessary” ❤️

By Lily Feinn
Published on 10/23/2020

In early October, Hurricane Delta roared toward the shores of Cancun, Mexico, leaving Ricardo Pimentel with few options.

Pimentel runs Tierra de Animales, an animal sanctuary on the outskirts of Cancun, surrounded by jungle. For nine years, he has cared for over 500 animals — including stray cats, dogs, chickens, turkeys, horses, sheep, pigs, cows and donkeys.

INSTAGRAM/TIERRADEANIMALES

He knew the dog shelters weren’t strong enough to stand up to a Category 4 storm, so he did what any animal lover would do — he invited the pups into his home for a sleepover.

“We have two bedrooms, one kitchen and one bathroom available for volunteers who want to come and stay here to help us with all the things that we have to do,” Pimentel told The Dodo. “We decided to put almost all the dogs inside the house, simply because we don’t fully trust in the shelters that we currently have because they aren’t hurricane-proof.”

FACEBOOK/TIERRA DE ANIMALES

But bringing 300 dogs inside was no easy feat. For five hours, Pimentel and his volunteers rounded up the pups and helped them inside before the hurricane made landfall.

“We had to bring them in on leash two by two,” Pimentel said. “Some of them are afraid or don’t know how to walk on a leash, so we had to carry them to the house, but in the end, it was worth it because they are all safe.”

FACEBOOK/TIERRA DE ANIMALES

With so many animals in such a small house, Pimentel expected that they’d make a bit of a mess. But he was pleased when everyone seemed to get along.

“They were actually very well-behaved all night,” he said.

Luckily, by the time the hurricane reached the sanctuary, it was only a Category 2 storm — though the strong winds still damaged the property.

“The next morning when the hurricane finished, we had to do a lot of repairs and clean all [the animals’] areas from trees and branches,” Pimentel said. “So they stayed in the house the next day until 5 or 6 p.m.”

“Of course, there was a horrible smell in the house and they broke a few things, but there’s nothing to regret,” he added. “I would do it again one million more times if necessary.”

FACEBOOK/TIERRA DE ANIMALES

Pimentel is now working to build hurricane-proof shelters on his 10-acre property so all the animals can have adequate protection. And he hopes to take in even more animals so that no one has to spend another night on the streets.

To help Tierra De Animales build their hurricane-proof shelters, you can make a donation here.

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Here’s a YouTube video. Even if you don’t understand the vocabulary the pictures are inspiring!

I find this story both amazing and wonderful. For Ricardo to offer such protection from the weather and to do it in his home is staggering. Hats off to Ricardo and if a few of you can make a donation that would be perfect.

There’s no limit to the smartness of dogs!

Dog wants to go to daycare? Then off she goes!

Back when I started this blog, back in July, 2009, I had no idea that there were so many stories about dogs. I mean many stories each day! I called the blog Learning from Dogs simply because when I first met Jean in 2007 she had upwards of 16 dogs. When I went out to be with her in 2008, together with my Pharaoh from England, I very quickly saw there was a huge potential in writing about them.

For example, how about this gorgeous article.

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Clever Dog Walks Herself To Doggy Day Care

“She just couldn’t wait for mom and dad to get up, so she came here herself.”

By Lily Feinn
Published on 10/21/2020

Early Saturday morning, Marty Carriere was getting ready for a busy day at Happy Tails Pet Resort and Spa when he saw someone at the door. He wasn’t expecting anyone quite so early, so he waited — then a wet nose pushed through the gates.

“It was 6:30ish when I saw her nose poking through the gate there,” Carriere told The Dodo. “Normally, I wait for the owners to come in with the dogs and see what happens but she was just poking around out there.”

HAPPY TAILS PET RESORT AND SPA

When Carriere didn’t see any cars or people outside, he wandered over to the door to check things out and found Jem, a 5-year-old shepherd mix, waiting outside. Jem used to visit the day care three to four times a week before quarantine and was clearly eager to see her friends.

“I was pretty shocked when I opened the door and there was a dog there — and one of our regulars, too. So I was like, ‘Come on in, Jem. Let’s play,’” Carriere said. “I opened up the door and she ran right in — tail wagging and she was ready to go.”

HAPPY TAILS PET RESORT AND SPA

Carriere called Jem’s parents, who rushed over to pick her up. It seems the independent pup had broken out of her yard when guests from the night before didn’t close the gate properly.

Jem’s parents brought her home and gave her breakfast, then drove her right back to day care since that was clearly how she wanted to spend the rest of her day. “She was definitely pretty anxious to get here,” Carriere said.

HAPPY TAILS PET RESORT AND SPA

According to Carriere, Jem is a big goofball at day care and loves playing with all the other dogs.

“She comes in and does this little howling thing that not a lot of the other dogs do. She gets in and starts howling right away, she’s just so excited to be here,” he said. “I guess that morning she just couldn’t wait for Mom and Dad to get up, so she came here herself.”

HAPPY TAILS PET RESORT AND SPA

In the three years that Carriere has worked for Happy Tails, he’s never experienced or heard of something like this happening before. But then again, Jem is one of a kind.

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Jem is special. But so are many, many other dogs.

But that doesn’t stop us in the slightest enjoying this story.

Ageing gracefully applies to our dogs as well.

Another guest post from John Brooks.

This is an argument from John to consider dogs that are well past their prime.

It’s a good article. You will enjoy reading it and may learn something; I certainly did!

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Here’s Why Senior Pets Have Lots To Offer

As you may or may not know, we’ve recently celebrated Adopt a Less-Adoptable Pet Week. During this week, animal rescues around the globe join together to raise awareness about the benefits of adopting pets that society deems as ‘less adoptable’ – and sadly, senior pets make the list.

We think that senior pets are just as loving, sweet and great companions as their ‘adoptable’ counterparts. But despite the many benefits of owning a senior pet, most families choose younger pets when adopting. With that in mind, here’s why we believe seniors deserve a second look and a fur-ever home.

Why you should consider a senior pet
Since the onset of the pandemic, the number of families adopting and fostering pets since the enforcement of COVID-19 restrictions has risen dramatically across the globe. Near the commencement of stay at home orders, RSPCA received 1,600 adoption applications in a single week of April—a 45% increase in dog adoptions and a 20% increase in cat adoptions compared to 2019.

Senior pets (and other less-adoptable animals) typically spend four times as long in a shelter as a healthy, younger pet. In the U.S. alone, about 400,000 senior pets die in a shelter. Though most people do seek a puppy or kitten when adopting, families would benefit in many ways from choosing an older pet. Here’s why.

Better manners
Older pets are well past the playful, chew-everything, get-into-anything stage. Older dogs and cats sleep for 20 hours a day or more, rousing just long enough for a conversation, to greet visitors, or have a meal. They are also probably house-trained, dog-door trained, and have formal or informal obedience training.

They are much more likely to come when called, which means they are at less risk of danger younger pets encounter when escaping their yard and wandering the streets.

Easier to train
For the older dog with less than perfect manners, training is typically more straightforward. They are more focused and eager to please than puppies with short attention spans. Senior animals are smarter and more experienced, and this can mean they acclimate more quickly to the house and how the household operates.

Done growing
One of the best parts about adopting a senior is they have finished growing, and the new family knows exactly how large the pet is. When adopting a puppy, owners are often surprised at how large the dog becomes or how little it grows. With an older dog, there will be no surprises.

Seniors make better companions for seniors
Senior pets usually move at a slower pace, which makes them a better choice for older people, especially those with limited mobility or disabilities. The new owner is less likely to be toppled by a dog jumping up. It’s also safer for those that allow their pets to sleep with them. An older dog is less likely to be rambunctious and cause injury to a sleeping adult.

Laid-back company
Senior pets are content to stay close to home or in the house for the majority of the day. They are more likely to be found soaking up a sunbeam on a cosy patch of carpet than barking wildly at everything and everyone crossing past the front window.

Senior dogs are also far less distracted when out for a walk. Though they may perk up at the sight of another dog, they are less likely to drag the owner down the sidewalk in pursuit. They also walk slower, and at a pace their owner matches.

Gratitude and devotion
Senior dogs spend up to four times as long in a shelter, so when they finally find a furever home, their gratitude runs deep, and it shows. They give unconditional love and devotion and look after their families. Often they will attach to a family member and stay close at all times, moving with them from room to room. They take full responsibility for their welfare and provide comfort with a warm, wet kiss.

Years of happiness
At seven years old, most dogs and cats are considered senior. Cats often live to be 15 or even 20 years so that the owner can expect a long life with their new friend. Depending on the breed and size, dogs too can live 15 or more years. So while adopting a senior dog will mean you may spend slightly less birthdays together, you’ll still be blessed with some wonderful years and memories.

Despite the many benefits of owning a senior pet, families also worry about the costs associated with maintaining their pet’s health. Dental cleanings, blood work, and annual shots can quickly add up, but younger animals have just as many health risks and are more likely to be involved in accidents.

Final thoughts
Fostering helps many people feel fulfilled because they are making a significant contribution to a pet’s life. For them, seeing their foster move on to their forever family is reward enough. Don’t be surprised though if fostering leads to adoption. That’s always a great outcome for all involved.

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In the U.S. alone, about 400,000 senior pets die in a shelter.

Among the many interesting aspects of this post, for me the statement above that I have put into italics jumped off the page at me. What an appalling waste!

But coming back to the complete article it offers many aspects of something that I had hitherto not thought about. I suspect that I am not the only one!

We, too, have a senior foster dog. She is Sheena and is 12 years of age. We love her and there is no question of Sheena going back to the kennels.

Once again, let me offer a bit of background on John.

John Brooks is the Professional Content Marketer. He writes a lot of articles on his carrier. Last one year he is working with Orbeen.com as a digital marketing expert. The company provides various types of Digital Marketing services i.e, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Social Media Optimization (SMO), Web design & development, Link Building, Content Marketing & blogger outreach.

Fabulous!

 

The fireman!

This is a guest post from Doug.

Not that long ago, in came an email from Doug Goodman, an author, wanting to offer a guest post. Of course, I said ‘Yes’. This is a little bit about Doug.

Doug Goodman is the writer of the Zombie Dog Series, which was inspired by his time as a cadaver dog handler. The fourth book is Ghost Dog. For similar stories, you can follow him at his dog-owning, horror-writing, family life blog is dgoodman1.wordpress.com.

Anyway, I guarantee you will enjoy his post.

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The Fireman

They call me the Fireman, that’s my name. Making my rounds all over town, putting out all flames.” – George Strait

Most people don’t realize it, but I co-habitate with a Fire Marshall. He is the unauthorized, unknown Fire Marshall of Kemah Oaks. He seeks out all fires, whether they are barbecues or fire pits, and he tells people they should put out the flames. It’s hot! It’s dangerous! You could get hurt!

He doesn’t yell or shout, either. No, he isn’t the kind of fire marshall who is going to raise a ruckus about codes and dictates. He will walk around you back and forth and stare at you, and if that doesn’t work he will whine. The whine can be annoying, but it’s better than kicking the fire over or barking at you.

Yes, my fire marshall is Koda. All dogs have eccentricities. Some dogs don’t like the touch of grass on their paws. Mine doesn’t like fire in any sort. I’d say something bad happened with his previous owner, but my brother is his previous owner, and he never burned the dog.

Still, my fire marshal is willing to help out the neighborhood at any time, day or night. He has warned me about the dangers of every brisket I’ve ever smoked, even when it was pecan wood and he was slathering over it.

My wife’s fire pit is the worst. He HATES and FEARS the fire pit. I think it’s the open flame. Smoke is one thing, but those yellow and orange tongues are another. Last year I was able to buy birch wood. It smelled really good, and it made this beautiful crackling sound. I wanted to sit outside every night burning birch. Koda knew that was against code and fought me on it. Poor guy. His owner’s too dumb to know the danger of a fire. I’d remind him I once earned a Fireman Chit in Boy Scouts, but he can’t read printed language.

Today is no different. Our backyard neighbors are burning something. They don’t realize how lucky they are. The top photo shows him doing his duty, protecting them from the confines of our backyard. This one is even better:

You know he means business when he sits down. That’s not irony or sarcasm. Things get important to him when he sits.

I bet he’d love to go over and stare and whine at them until they put out their fire.

So if anybody needs me to bring Koda to their house to check on a fire, let me know. I won’t charge anything, but if you want to repay him, he really likes mint dog treats.

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I have said it many times before and hopefully I will have the chance to say it many times in the future: Our dogs are the epitome of friendship, companionship and even unconditional love to us. 

This wonderful story from Doug underlines the relationship that millions have with their dogs!

Dogs are not just cuddly companions.

They give us humans extra longevity.

I have long followed Tony and his blog One Regular Guy Writing About Food, Exercise and Living Past 100. Not only because he writes so well but also because he and I are in the same camp age wise (OK, Tony is just a tad older.)

So when this post came along I just had to share it with you because we know about dogs and the great things that they do for us.

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22 Ways Dogs Make Humans Better

By Tony,
As a dog lover and fitness enthusiast, I had to love this poster and share it with you.
Regular readers know that my dog Gabi has been my companion for 14 years. She is my first dog in over 50 years. You can read the peculiar story of how I came to own her in this post: Anatomy of an Act of Kindness.

In case some of these benefits seem nebulous, check out my post What is the Value of Hugging? and also 10 Reasons Why Oxytocin Is The Most Amazing Molecule In The World for some documentation.

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I hope you can read it.

If you have any problems let me know and I will try and find a clearer version.

Meantime, you all stay fit and healthy with your dogs!