Author: Paul Handover

Now this is good behaviour!

An article in The Dodo describes good dogs perfectly.

When we came up from Mexico to Arizona back in 2010 we had 16 dogs. They were all pretty well behaved. When we came to Oregon in 2012 we were down to 12 dogs and, again, pretty well behaved.

But having said that getting all 12 dogs to sit still and look at the camera would have been impossible! I’m not sure I could manage it now and we have only 6 dogs.

Which makes the following article recently published in The Dodo most remarkable.

Have a read!

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Dogs Have The Most Well-Behaved Birthday Party Ever

They literally know the phrase ‘picture time!’

By Lily Feinn Published on 9/24/2020

Throwing a party for 12 dogs can get pretty wild, but the pups at Lending Paws Pet Care are the goodest boys and girls you’ll ever meet.

Whenever a dog at the doggy day care has a birthday, Aubrey Thweatt makes sure they get a special party with all their best friends. The celebration includes goodies, party hats and cute photos to commemorate the day.

FACEBOOK/LENDING PAWS PET CARE

“I started doing birthday pics and goodies with my own dogs and so when one of my client’s pups would have a birthday … they would send goodies for the group,” Thweatt, owner of Lending Paws Pet Care, told The Dodo. “It just sort of evolved from there.”

And when it comes to posing for the birthday party photo, these dogs are pros. They don’t even mind wearing a party hat.

FACEBOOK/LENDING PAWS PET CARE

When a gray pittie named Rosemary celebrated her 4th birthday, Thweatt snapped a photo, never expecting it to go viral. But after one of the dog owners posted it on Twitter, people couldn’t get over the dogs’ unique expressions and expert sitting skills.

“They have been coming for years. We do group pictures daily so they are used to it,” Thweatt said. “We do ‘sit and stay’ for everything.”

“We have lots of fun and they literally know the phrase ‘picture time!’” Thweatt added. “They will all run in the direction I’m walking to get to a spot to sit.”

FACEBOOK/LENDING PAWS PET CARE

While at doggy day care, the pups have the run of the house. They can play in the backyard, or relax and recharge during naptime, and always get plenty of praise and treats. After spending so many years together, the pups are all best friends and look forward to spending the day with Thweatt.

“Everything I do is for them,” Thweatt said. “They have the entire house and I am just here to constantly clean up after them and make sure they have lots of playtime and socializing!”

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 Aubrey Thweatt knows perfectly how her dogs are to be treated. That is they are loved for being the animals that they are. Dogs are smart. They know their own names. They have a sense of smell that is literally millions of times better than ours. They are very observant of our behaviours.

And this is the result. Dogs that may be photographed in a group perfectly.

This pandemic and your dogs

These are tough times.

Recently I was contacted by Harsh and I thought it was a scammer. My mistake entirely but Harsh is an unusual name; well it was to me!

As it happens Harsh not only writes well but does it for a job! It shows.

Because millions of people have cats and dogs and a very large percentage of those will be concerned as to what to do. Over to Harsh!

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How to look after your pet during the pandemic

By Harsh Arora, Tuesday, 29th September, 2020

The world is going through a really tough time, and everybody is concerned about their loved ones. A little virus has taken over the world, where no one can find out how and when things will get better. The virus is affecting humans quickly; it is still unclear how it will affect the pets we have at our home. The World Health Authority (WHO) has stated that it is still not confirmed that pets can get infected by the virus or spread it among other animals or humans. Taking care of yourself and your pet in situations like these has become crucial and difficult. The supplies are short, taking your pet to the vet, and then for walks where there are many people; everything has a different perspective now. Here are a few dos and don’ts that will help you take better care of your dog during the Pandemic.

1. Hydration and nutrition should never be neglected

Keeping healthy is important for you as well as for your pet, and these times are no different. You have to make sure that your pet eats well and has appropriate water amounts during the day. It is best to give your pet the usual food he eats but, make sure that you stock up his nutritional requirements for more than one month. This way, you don’t have to move out often.
2. Don’t forget to play with them!
Taking our pets out in the park has been difficult during these times, and you might be thinking ways that could keep your pet active! You might have seen many cool videos on the internet and surely be a great idea to interact and keep close with your pet. Try to indulge him at home itself by playing some pet games or making him exercise in a fun way.
It is a must that you take your pet out for a short run to get him a toilet break! When you take him out for a walk, make sure it is quick, and you take all the precautions before heading out. Also, make sure that he doesn’t sniff or eat anything from the floor. That is unhygienic for sure and also has chances of carrying the virus along.

3. Keep in touch with your pet’s veteran
Times are tough, and taking your pet to the vet is something you have to think about these days! Social distancing and the virus being anywhere has made the world a stressful place. You know vet consultations and vaccinations are an important part of keeping your pet safe, so you can be in touch with him on call and go if necessary! That can be the best way to stay connected and take good care of your dog.
If there is an emergency, call your vet and ask him if things can be handled from within the home only, and if not, you must take your pet to the vet. Make sure you take care of all the precautionary measures while you move out.

4. Clean your pets well

Hygiene is very important, no matter what! Your pet can stay away from a lot of problems if he stays clean and hygienic. Always wash your hands before and after touching your pet and make sure that you clean his paws whenever you take him out. Make sure that you do not use any chemical disinfectant to clean them up! It is not good for them. You can clean the paws simply with a wet cloth or some water. Alcohol in the sanitizers can not only irritate their skin but also make it dry. It is also poisonous for them, so avoid chemicals no matter what. Wash your pets’ utensils nicely before and after serving them food. It has a lot to do with hygiene.

5. Keep your house clean

Keeping your house clean is another way to take care of you and your family members, including your pet. If you keep your house well sanitized, your pet will never catch bacteria’s and viruses and will keep him super safe. Now that you are working from these days, you can personally take good care of the house and your pet throughout the day. Trust us, and he is the happiest one to know you are going to work from home!

6. Don’t abandon them when they need you
We all know that these times are very difficult and that the entire human race is suffering but, your pets are no different than humans! They also need your care and love during these tough times. However, it is still not clear that animals can contain Coronavirus. Dogs, Horse and Cats cannot spread the infection, but there is a possibility that an infected human might spread the droplets in the air, which might get stuck on your pet’s fur. In this case, you need to follow all kinds of precautionary measures that have been listed by WHO and keep you and your pet away from people with the help of social distancing and wearing a mask.

Getting worried about the fact that your pet might spread the virus is no reason you can abandon them. These pets love you unconditionally, and in return, you must take care of them. They won’t abandon you when you get sick. What if they do the same with you? It will be very heart-breaking!

Treat them like one of your family members and help them out if they are in any trouble. Treat them right and give them your time. They are the most innocent creatures on earth, they might not speak, but their love language makes you fall in love with them. Whenever a family member is in trouble, you take good care of them and make sure they feel fine.
Similarly, pets are a part of your own family, and they deserve the same attention, love, and care as any other family member in your house.

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I would take issue with Harsh over one tiny point. I think, but I have no medical experience on this, that worrying that your dogs and cats may be somehow a carrier for Covid-19 is worrying too far.

Nevertheless, this is a good guest post.

I asked Harsh if he could supply a bio and this is what he wrote:

Harsh has worked in publishing and marketing since 2012. He started his career at Journal and has since worked and written for several top equestrian publications and Technology websites. Most recently, he worked in corporate marketing with a focus on strategic and digital planning. A lifelong dog and horse owner, Harsh currently writes for Stallion.house . A website that provides complete details of products like saddle, girth, etc., which can provide maximum comfort to your horse. He is also a certified therapeutic riding instructor and previously managed the care and training of a 12-horse therapy herd. Harsh holds a B. SC in Hospitality, Travel, and Tourism.

Simply in awe!

It’s both beautiful and yet beyond comprehension.

When we have a clear night there are two occasions for me to gaze upwards and become lost in thought. One is in the evening when the dogs are outside just before going to bed. The other is in the morning because we are usually awake well before sunrise.

We are very lucky in that there is no light pollution locally.

So, in the evening, while I look at the broad expanse of stars, my eyes are drawn to the Big Dipper and to Orion.

In the morning, when we look to the East there is Venus sparkling bright in the night-sky over the hills.

I still vividly remember all those years ago when I was sailing in the Western Mediterranean coming on deck in the middle of the night to find the stars down to the horizon all 360 degrees about me. I am sure it will be one of the last memories of mine just before I die! I hope so!

But I speak of the solar system. Here’s an article that was recently published by EarthSky that goes way beyond the solar system. It is a wonderful essay and almost mystical.

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What is a galaxy?

Posted by in ASTRONOMY ESSENTIALS, September 25, 2020

We live in a galaxy called the Milky Way. But there is so much more to know about these grand and glorious star islands in space! Click in here, and prepare to have your mind expanded.

This is a giant galaxy cluster known as Abell 2744, aka Pandora’s Cluster, located in the direction of the constellation Sculptor. The cluster is about 4 million light-years across and has the mass of 4 trillion suns. It appears to be the result of a simultaneous pile-up of at least 4 separate, smaller galaxy clusters that took place over a span of 350 million years. Read more about this image at HubbleSite. Image via NASA/ ESA/ J. Lotz/ M. Mountain/ A. Koekemoer/ the Hubble Frontier Fields Team.

A galaxy is a vast island of stars in an ocean of space. Galaxies are typically separated from one another by huge distances measured in millions of light-years. Galaxies are sometimes said to be the building blocks of our universe. Their distribution isn’t random, as one might suppose: galaxies are strung out along unimaginably long filaments across the universe, a cosmic web of star cities.

A galaxy can contain hundreds of billions of stars and be many thousands of light-years across. Our own galaxy, the Milky Way, is around 100,000 light-years in diameter. That’s about 587,900 trillion miles, nearly a million trillion kilometers.

Galaxies are of widely varying sizes, too.

There are an estimated two trillion galaxies in the universe.

Illustration showing snapshots from a simulation by astrophysicist Volker Springel of the Max Planck Institute in Germany. It represents the growth of cosmic structure (galaxies and voids) when the universe was 0.9 billion, 3.2 billion and 13.7 billion years old (now). Image via Volker Springel / MPE/ Kavli Foundation.

Galaxies group together in clusters. Our own galaxy is part of what is called the Local Group, for example: a cluster comprising 55 galaxies that we know of so far.

In turn, galaxy clusters themselves group into superclusters. Our Local Group is part of the Virgo Supercluster.

The “glue” that binds stars into galaxies, galaxies into clusters, clusters into superclusters and superclusters into filaments is – of course – gravity, the universe’s construction worker, which sculpts all the structures we see in the cosmos.

Distances from the Local Group for selected groups and clusters within the Local Supercluster, which is called the Virgo Supercluster.

There are several basic types of galaxy, each containing sub-types. Galaxies were first systematically classified, based on their visual appearance, by the famous astronomer Edwin P. Hubble in the late 1920s and 30s, during years of painstaking observations. Hubble’s Classification of Galaxies, as it is known, is still very much in use today, although, since Hubble’s time, like any good classification system it has been updated and amended in the light of new observations.

Before Hubble’s study of galaxies, it was believed that our galaxy was the only one in the universe. Astronomers thought that the smudges of light they saw in their telescopes were in fact nebulae within our own galaxy and not, as Hubble discovered, galaxies in their own right. It was Hubble who demonstrated, by measuring their velocities, that they lie at great distances from us, millions of light-years beyond the Milky Way, distances so huge that they appear tiny in all but the largest telescopes. Moreover, he demonstrated that, wherever he looked, galaxies are receding from us in all directions, and the further away they are, the faster they are receding. Hubble had discovered that the universe is expanding.

A diagrammatic representation of Edwin Hubble’s “tuning fork diagram.” In the late 1920s and 30s, Hubble conducted the laborious observations needed to begin to classify galaxies. His original classification scheme was published in 1936 in a book called “The Realm of the Nebulae.” His original scheme is – like all scientific work – continually being modified. But his idea of a “tuning fork diagram” has continued to be useful. Image via Las Cumbres Observatory.

The most common type of galaxy is the one most people are familiar with: the spiral galaxy. The Milky Way is of this family. Spiral galaxies have majestic, sweeping arms, thousands of light years long, made up of millions upon millions of stars. Our solar system is situated about 2/3 of the way out from the galactic center towards the periphery of the galaxy, embedded in one of these spiral arms.

Spiral galaxies are also characterised by having a bright center, made up of a dense concentration of stars, so tightly packed that from a distance the galaxy’s center looks like a solid ball. This ball of stars is known as the galactic bulge. At the center of the Milky Way – within the galactic bulge – the density of stars has been calculated at 1 million per 34 cubic light-years, for example.

Meanwhile, in the vicinity of our sun, the stellar density has been estimated as 0.004 stars per cubic light-year. Big difference!

A stunning view of the center of our Milky Way galaxy as seen by the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) telescope in Australia in 2019. Image via Natasha Hurley-Walker (ICRAR/ Curtin)/ GLEAM Team/ Phys.org.

The Milky Way is, in fact, in one of Hubble’s spiral galaxy sub-types: it’s a barred spiral, which means it has a bar of stars protruding out from either side of the center. The ends of the bar form the anchors of the spiral arms, the place from where they sweep out in their graceful and enormous arcs. This is a fairly recent discovery: how the bar forms in a galaxy is not yet understood.

Also established recently is the fact that the disk of the Milky Way is not, as most diagrams depict, flat: it is warped, like a long-playing vinyl record left too long in the sun. Exactly why is not known, but it is thought to be the result of a gravitational encounter with another galaxy early in the Milky Way’s history.

Artist’s illustration of our warped Milky Way. Image via Ogle/ Warsaw University/ BBC.

Elliptical galaxies are the universe’s largest galaxies. They are huge and football-shaped.

They come to be because – although most galaxies are flying apart from each other – those astronomically close to each other will be mutually gravitationally attracted. Caught in an inexorable gravitational dance, eventually they merge, passing through each other over millions of years, eventually forming a single, amorphous elliptical galaxy. Such mergers may result in the birth of new generations of stars as gravity’s shock-wave compresses huge clouds of interstellar gas and dust.

The Milky Way is caught in such a gravitational embrace with M31, aka the Andromeda galaxy, which is 2 1/2 million light-years distant. Both galaxies are moving toward each other because of gravitational attraction: they will merge in about 6 billion years from now. However, both galaxies are surrounded by huge halos of gas which may extend for millions of light-years, and it was recently discovered that the halos of the Milky Way and M31 have started to touch.

The two galaxies have had their first kiss.

Galaxy mergers are not uncommon: the universe is filled with examples of galaxies in various stages of merging together, their structures disrupted and distorted by gravity, forming bizarre and beautiful shapes.

Galaxies may take billions of years to fully merge into a single galaxy. As astronomers look outward in space, they can see only “snapshots” of this long merger process. Located 300 million light-years away in the constellation Coma Berenices, these 2 colliding galaxies have been nicknamed The Mice because of the long tails of stars and gas emanating from each galaxy. Otherwise known as NGC 4676, the pair will eventually merge into a single giant galaxy. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

At the lower end of the galactic size scale, there are the so-called dwarf galaxies, consisting of a few hundred to up to several billion stars. Their origin is not clear. Usually they have no clearly defined structure. Astronomers believe they were born in the same way as larger galaxies like the Milky Way, but for whatever reason they stopped growing. Ensnared by the gravity of a larger galaxy, they orbit its periphery. The Milky Way has around 20 dwarf galaxies orbiting it that we know of, although some models predict there should be many more.

The two most famous dwarf galaxies for us earthlings are, of course, the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds, visible to the unaided eye in Earth’s Southern Hemisphere sky.

Eventually, these and other dwarf galaxies will be ripped apart by the titanic maw of the Milky Way’s gravity, leaving behind a barely noticeable stream of stars across the sky, slowly dissipating over eons.

Lynton Brown captured this beautiful image of the Milky Way over Taylor’s Lake near Horsham, Australia, on April 22, 2019. The 2 objects on the right are the Magellanic Clouds. Thank you, Lynton!

It is believed that all galaxies rotate: the Milky Way takes 226 million years to spin around once, for example. Since its birth, therefore, the Earth has travelled 20 times around the galaxy.

At the center of most galaxies lurks a supermassive black hole, of millions or even billions of solar masses. The record holder, TON 618, has a mass 66 billion times that of our sun.

The origin and evolution of supermassive black holes are not well understood. A few years ago, astronomers uncovered a surprising fact: in spiral galaxies, the mass of the supermassive black hole has a direct linear relationship with the mass of the galactic bulge. The more mass the black hole has, the more stars there are in the bulge. No one knows exactly what the significance of this relationship is, but its existence seems to indicate that the growth of a galaxy’s stellar population and that of its supermassive black hole are inextricably linked.

This discovery comes at a time when astronomers are beginning to realize that a supermassive black hole may control the fate of its host galaxy: the copious amounts of electromagnetic radiation emitted from the maelstrom of material orbiting the central black hole, known as the accretion disk, may push away and dissipate the clouds of interstellar hydrogen from which new stars form. This acts as a throttle on the galaxy’s ability to give birth to new stars. Ultimately, the emergence of life itself may be tied to the activity of supermassive black holes. This is an area of much ongoing research.

While astronomers still know very little about exactly how galaxies formed in the first place – we see them in their nascent forms existing only a few hundred million years after the Big Bang – the study of galaxies is an endless voyage of discovery.

Less than a hundred years after it was realized that other galaxies beside our own exist, we have learned so much about these grand, majestic star cities. And there is still much to learn.

Bottom line: What is a galaxy? Learn about these starry islands in space.

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There are an estimated two trillion galaxies out there. It is beyond comprehension. Well it is to this mind sitting in front of his Mac in a rural part of Oregon. Two trillion! I can’t even get my mind around the fact that our local galaxy, our Milky Way, is 100,000 light years across. Although some would say that it is even larger; about 150,000 light years across. And what is a light year?

Here’s NASA to answer that:

A light-year is a unit of distance. It is the distance that light can travel in one year. Light moves at a velocity of about 300,000 kilometers (km) each second. So in one year, it can travel about 10 trillion km. More precisely, one light-year is equal to 9,500,000,000,000 kilometers.

Why would you want such a big unit of distance? Well, on Earth, a kilometer may be just fine. It is a few hundred kilometers from New York City to Washington, DC; it is a few thousand kilometers from California to Maine. In the universe, the kilometer is just too small to be useful. For example, the distance to the next nearest big galaxy, the Andromeda Galaxy, is 21 quintillion km. That’s 21,000,000,000,000,000,000 km. This is a number so large that it becomes hard to write and hard to interpret. So astronomers use other units of distance.

In our solar system, we tend to describe distances in terms of the Astronomical Unit (AU). The AU is defined as the average distance between the Earth and the Sun. It is approximately 150 million km (93 million miles). Mercury can be said to be about 1/3 of an AU from the Sun and Pluto averages about 40 AU from the Sun. The AU, however, is not big enough of a unit when we start talking about distances to objects outside our solar system.

For distances to other parts of the Milky Way Galaxy (or even further), astronomers use units of the light-year or the parsec . The light-year we have already defined. The parsec is equal to 3.3 light-years. Using the light-year, we can say that :

  • The Crab supernova remnant is about 4,000 light-years away.
  • The Milky Way Galaxy is about 150,000 light-years across.
  • The Andromeda Galaxy is 2.3 million light-years away.

So here we are. In a remote part of our galaxy, the Milky Way, far, far from everywhere, on a pale blue dot. As Carl Sagan put it in his talk from The Age of Exploration given in 1994:

On it, everyone you ever heard of… The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam. …
Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Carl Sagan, Cornell lecture in 1994

It all seems impossible for us mortals to understand.

But it won’t stop me from peering up into the night sky and wondering about the universe with total awe.

And thank goodness for dogs!

Saturday Snooze!

This is an older post that for some reason wasn’t published until now!

Apparently dogs can teach us to sleep better!

If you can hear a note of skepticism in my voice then you are not mistaken.

For I am writing this post during the afternoon of Tuesday last. Jeannie and I were going out to dinner with neighbours in the evening and I was wondering if I could squeeze in a siesta fairly soon. Why?

Well last night [Ed. Back in 2017] (as in early on Tuesday morning), at 3am to be exact, a wet nose belonging to a German Shepherd, namely Cleo, was gently pushed into my face. Even in the dark I could sense that Cleo had an upset tummy. I quickly got up and opened our bedroom door; the one that opens onto the deck behind our house.

Five minutes later Cleo was back in the room and a few minutes more saw me back asleep.

At 4am on that same early Tuesday morning I received the second greeting of the day from a wet nose. This time it was Oliver and, yes, he too had an upset tummy. Oliver is not so self-disciplined as Cleo and I had to put on my dressing-gown and take Oliver outside via the front door.

Do you understand why I was so tired that afternoon!

But according to a recent article over on the Care2 site dogs can help us sleep.

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Your Dog Can Help You Sleep Better if You Follow These Simple Tips

By: Paula Jones   September 18, 2017

About Paula   Follow Paula at @PaulaDJWrites

We all know that dogs are the best of friends. They’re more than happy to greet you with excitement when you get home from work, and they’re thrilled to go on adventures with you, too. But dogs are more than just friends. They’re good for your health—in more ways than one.

First, good dog owners know that exercise is the name of the game. If you live on a small property or in an apartment, then it’s necessary to walk your dog regularly. And at the bare minimum, you most likely play tug-o-war inside or wrestle on the floor together. Your dog needs the exercise to stay happy and healthy—and so do you.

Second, your pup doesn’t just keep you active but she lowers your blood pressure. It’s hard to measure if you’ve never been one with blood pressure issues. But if you’re hypertensive, then maybe getting a dog isn’t such a bad idea.

Beyond keeping you active and your heart healthy, science shows that dogs help you sleep better. And sleep, as we know, is a huge part of being healthy. In a recent study of 40 healthy adults without sleeping disorders, scientists discovered that dogs aided in better sleep efficiency. That means you get more out of your sleep time with a fun-loving pet at your side.

And let’s not get this confused with sleeping with your dog in your bed. The same study indicated that people who let their pets sleep on the bed actually had worse sleep, not better. Which makes sense, right? If your pup continually crowds you out of the little space you have, you’re bound to be tirelessly stopping yourself from falling off the bed all night long. Not to mention if the dog needs to be let down for water or to use the bathroom. Your best bet for better sleep is to leave your pooch on the floor.

How to have the best night of sleep ever with your dog

As any dog owner knows, it’s not fun getting up the middle of the night to open doors, fill water bowls or take the dog out to pee. If you want to ensure that you’ll reap all the benefits of better sleep, then try these tips right before bed.

  1. Prepare your dog for bed: Welcome the dog into the room, snuggle for a bit on the bed or floor, and then place your pup on the floor in his bed.
  2. Open a door: Your pup might get restless at night, or scared. Leave a door open for the pup to roam or hide. Unless, of course, your pup can’t handle the freedom of nighttime roaming.
  3. Fill the water bowl: Be sure to always have fresh water nearby. It’s an easy and simple fix when you know your pup likes to get up for a midnight drink.
  4. Create space to borrow: Some dogs like to hide under the bed, in the closet beneath clothes or in the bathroom. The dog might be scared of thunder or lightning or simply find it cozier than out in the open. Ensure your dog’s comfort by keeping these options open.
  5. Don’t forget the dog: Bedtime is often a haze. You’re tired and just want to sleep. Before rushing off to sleep, make sure your dog hasn’t been left outside on the patio or in the backyard.
  6. Does Rocko eat dinner?: Make sure your dog eats a regularly scheduled meal in the evening.
  7. Unexpected events: There are some things you just can’t plan for, like vomiting or diarrhea. Dogs eat strange things when you’re not looking. Respond as compassionately as possible.

Dogs can help you sleep better by making you feel more safe and secure. But if you don’t prepare you and your loyal friend for a good night sleep, then you’ll find yourself waking up in the middle of the night—more than once. Get the most out of your sleep by being prepared, and remember to put your dog on the ground not on the bed for the best night’s sleep possible.

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Now I’m bound to say that since that night in September, 2017 we have not had a problem with our six dogs. I can’t remember  since then one of our dogs having an upset tummy that kept us awake.

But I’m sure that there are dog owners who from time to time do have this problem and I hope you find this post useful and interesting, albeit three years late!

Friendships!

Some dogs make incredible friendships!

Having six dogs here at home we are used to many of them making extra-special relationships.

It’s often the dogs that are extremely different, and I thinking of size here, that form the closest bonds.

More of that later.

But the reason I refer to our dogs here is to endorse in spades what is covered in this article from The Dodo.

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Shelter Dog Separated From His Best Friend Won’t Stop Calling For Him

“Rocky makes him happy.”
By Lily Feinn
Published on 9/18/2020

At Miami Dade animal services, a dog named Schwabo cried for days in his kennel. He missed his family, and most importantly, his best friend Rocky.

The lonely howls pulled at the heartstrings of shelter volunteer Jani Bradford, who watched him stare out the glass divider searching for his friend.

Facebook/Jani Bradford

9-year-old Schwabo and 11-year-old Rocky had spent their lives together until their owner surrendered them due to landlord issues. Without Rocky, Schwabo seemed lost and refused to eat.

“He grew up looking up to Rocky and now, even though he’s older, Rocky is like his big brother,” Bradford said. “He’s very, very attached to Rocky.”

When Schwabo and Rocky first arrived at the shelter, Rocky was placed on the adoption floor while Shwabo, who was limping due to arthritis, was sent to the back for observation. Rocky quickly received an application, but the potential adopter never showed up, so the two dogs were reunited — and Schwabo couldn’t have been happier.

“Schwabo was a different dog from the moment he saw Rocky,” Bradford said.

FACEBOOK/JANI BRADFORD

Though the two are bonded, they couldn’t be more different. “Rocky’s older but he acts like a puppy. He loves playing with the ball, he can play all day long,” Bradford said. “Schwabo acts a little older … He’s very calm, very low maintenance.”

While Rocky likes to live a more active lifestyle, Schwabo just wants to hang out and watch his best friend play.

“Schwabo doesn’t do much — he lays in his bed and loves watching Rocky doing all his goofy stuff,” Bradford said. “Schwabo needs Rocky. He just loves being around him, watching him play all day. Rocky makes him happy.”

FACEBOOK/JANI BRADFORD

Thankfully, the two dogs will never need to worry about being separated again.

FACEBOOK/JANI BRADFORD

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All I can say is well done Jani!

This is a very beautiful story.

And to come back to our own experiences here at home, here is a picture of Oliver (LHS) and Pedi.

Pedi is wonderful at forming very close bonds with all our larger dogs. That is Brandy and Cleo as well as Oliver above.

Billy + Margot Dog Food Recall

Thank goodness for these recall notices.

Some may think that there are too many such dog food recalls but I would say thank goodness there is a system for reporting them.

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Real Pet Food Company Recalls Billy + Margot Dog Food

September 22, 2020 — Real Pet Food Company of Phoenix, Arizona, is voluntarily recalling Billy+Margot Wild Kangaroo and Superfoods Recipe because it may be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.

What’s Being Recalled?

The following product has been recalled:

  • Billy + Margot Wild Kangaroo and Superfoods Recipe
  • Package: 4-pound bag
  • Lot code: V 07 Feb 2022

This recall does not affect any other Billy + Margot products or those sold outside of the USA.

What Caused the Recall?

The recall is a result of a routine sampling program by state officials which revealed that the finished products contained the bacteria.

The company has ceased the production and distribution of the product.

The FDA and the company will continue their investigation as to what caused the problem.

About Salmonella

Salmonella can affect animals eating the products… and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products.

While no illnesses have been reported, healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever.

Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms.

Owners exhibiting any signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare provider.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea, fever, vomiting and or abdominal pain.

Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans.

If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

What to Do?

Retailers who have received product from the affected lot code have been asked to remove this product from shelves immediately and dispose of the product with care.

If you have purchased Billy + Margot Wild Kangaroo and Superfoods Recipe in a 4 lb bag, with lot code V 07 Feb 2022 from any retail store nationally, please stop feeding the product to your dogs, dispose of this product immediately, wash your hands accordingly, and sanitize affected surfaces.

Consumers who have purchased the recalled products may call Real Pet Food between 8 am and 10 pm EST immediately for a refund or for additional information at : 1-800-467-5494.

Consumers with questions may contact the company at 800-467-5494 during the above times.

U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to the FDA’s “Report a Pet Food Complaint” page.

Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.

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Please share this post if you are able to do so.

And please keep your dogs safe and sound!

 

The fate of the world!

Whichever way you look there are substantial challenges.

This post is largely a republication of a recent post from Patrice Ayme. Because when I read it I was profoundly affected. I thought that it needed to be shared with all you good people because if nothing is done then life as we know it is going to come to an end. Period! That includes our gorgeous dogs as well as us humans! So, please, please read it all the way through!

But before Patrice’s post is presented The Economist this last week came out with a special report entitled Business and climate change. I offer a small extract:


For most of the world, this year will be remembered mainly for covid-19. Starting in Asia, then spreading across Europe and America before taking hold in the emerging world, the pandemic has infected millions and killed hundreds of thousands. And it has devastated economies even more severely that did the global financial crisis which erupted in 2008.

But the impact of covid-19 has also given a sense of just how hard it will be to deal with climate change. As economic activity has stalled, energy-related CO2 emissions have fallen sharply. This year the drop will be between 4% and 7%. But to have a decent chance of keeping Earth’s mean temperature less than 2 deg C above pre-industrial levels, net emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases must fall to more or less zero by mid-century. And such a drop needs to be achieved not by halting the world economy in its tracks, but by rewiring it.

The next section in the special report was A grim outlook and it was, indeed, a very grim read.

So onto Patrice’s article.

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Back To The Jurassic In A Hurry: 500 Part Per Million Of Greenhouse Gases

Greenhouse gases (GHG) used to be 280 parts per million. Now they are around 500 ppm (including CH4, Nitrogen oxides, chlorofluorocarbons, etc.). This is more GHG than in at least thirty  million years, when the Earth was much warmer, and it is similar to CO2 densities during the Jurassic.

So we are presently transiting to a Jurassic climate. The transition to the Jurassic climate is happening at a rate many orders of magnitude faster than changes in the past. This implies that most forests of the Earth , desiccating and incapable to adapt fast enough, are going to burn… worldwide. This generalized combustion has a drastic potential consequence: generalized hypoxia.

So we should talk about climate catastrophe rather than climate change, and global heating rather than global warming: recent fires got helped by temperatures dozen of degrees higher than normal, in part from compression of the air due to record breaking winds. This is why parts of the Pacific Northwest which never burn are now burning. This will extend to Canada, Alaska, Siberia and already did in recent years. The catastrophic massive release of frozen methane hydrates could happen any time (it already does, but not as bad as it is going to get). It has up to one hundred times more warming power than CO2 (fires release it by billions of tons).

What is the way out? Well, hydrogen is the solution, in two ways, but has not been deployed as it could be. A decade ago, thermonuclear fusion, on the verge of becoming a solution, was starved for funding, and so was green hydrogen (the then energy secretary, Obama’s Steven Chu, prefered investing in batteries, it was more lucrative for his little greedy self).

Green hydrogen enables to store energy for renewables, avoiding blackouts which cut electricity to pumps to fight fires.

We, Spaceship Earth, went from 275 ppm of GreenHouse Gases (GHG) in 1750 CE to 500 ppm in 2020. That doesn’t mean we double the Greenhouse, because the main GHG gas is… water vapor (H2O). What we can guess the best at this point is the EXCESS radiative forcing since 1750 CE, and that’s already nearly 3 Watts per square meter… Equivalent to a million and a half nuclear reactors at full power…

Climate forcing is a fascinating subject, with vast areas without a high level of scientific understanding (LOSU). However we know enough to realize forceful mitigation has to be engaged in immediately.

Joan Katsareas from Philadelphia, PA wrote back: “Thank you @Patrice Ayme for sharing your knowledge of the causes and extent of the climate crisis. I will be seeking out more information on hydrogen as a solution.”

@Joan Katsareas Thank you for thanking me, that is much appreciated. Hydrogen is indeed the overall solution we need at this point. Actually Australia, in collaboration with Japan, is building a gigantic, 15 Gigawatts, project in north west Australia, AREH, the Asian Renewable Energy Hub, to convert renewables from sun and wind into hydrogen products which will then be shipped to Japan. The same needs to be done all over, it would collapse the price of “green hydrogen” (99% of the US hydrogen is from fossil fuels).

In the case of thermonuclear fusion, the  international thermonuclear experimental reactor (ITER) being built in France was slowed down by ten years, from reduced funding, and uses obsolete magnets (superconducting, but not High Temperature Superconductors, which can now be engineered with more compact and powerful fields). A massive effort would bring a positive energy thermonuclear reactor within 10 years… But that effort has not been made… except in China, the usual suspect, where a project, the China Fusion Engineering Test Reactor (CFETR), aims at an energy gain of 12 and a total power equivalent to a fission nuclear reactor. Its detailed engineering has been launched for a while (it’s supposedly symbiotic with the European DEMO project, which will produced as much as a large power station and will be connected to the grid. That too has been delayed, to the 2050s, although it’s feasible now).  The USA needs to launch a similar project, right away.

We face ecological constraints incomparably more severe than those of the Roman state. Rome did not solve its paltry problems, and let them fester: they had to do mostly with a dearth of metals, and the Franks solved them readily. This hindered the Roman economy. The situation we are facing, the threat of a runaway greenhouse is a terminal existential threat.

Look at Venus, we can look at our sparkling neighbor when the forests have finished burning, and the smoke dissipates (we were told it could be months). Once Venus probably had a vast ocean, and probably, life. But it died from a brutal greenhouse generated by Large Igneous Provinces (LIP). The same happened on Earth, on a smaller scale, more than once, in particular with the Permian Triassic mass extinction, which destroyed 95% of known species..

Now the rumor has it that indeed some life may have survived in the atmosphere.  This is not a joke. Consider: Life on Venus? Astronomers See a Signal in Its Clouds. The detection of a gas in the planet’s atmosphere could turn scientists’ gaze to a planet long overlooked in the search for extraterrestrial life.

Life on Venus? Ah, science, all those possibilities… We never imagined we would ever think possible.

Patrice Ayme

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P/S: I argued in the past, before anybody else, that the dinosaur-pterosaurs-plesiosaurs extinction, and extinction of anything bigger than 20 kilograms was due to volcanism (I was at UC Berkeley when the two Alvarez were, and they seemed too full of themselves with the iridium layer, and I like to contradict certainties…)

How would LIP volcanism set forests on fire? Well, by the same exact mechanism as now: through a massive CO2 driven greenhouse, what may have terminated the Venusians…

In this perspective climate cooling, for millions of years, visible in the graph above, would have disrupted those species which were not equipped to generate enough heat, and then the LIP accelerated into a vast holocaust…

The end with general burning and acidic oceans is hard to duplicate with a bolide, so the impactophiles have argued that the bolide magically impacted the most CO2 generating rock imaginable… Maybe. But an enormous LIP does all that CO2 production/destruction of the oceans, effortlessly… A friend of mine who is the biggest of the big in this academic domain, he decides who publishes, replied to me that the 66 million year old Dekkan LIP is too small… To which I replied that we don’t know what lays below the ocean…

Picture Parade Three Hundred and Fifty-Five

No rain and for the time much being clearer air!

I have turned to The Dodo for this week’s Picture Parade. For although it was an article, and I shall briefly refer to it, the photos were magnificent.

By Lily Feinn
Published on 8/28/2020

Agnieszka Ciszyńska loves doing photo shoots with her three Swiss shepherds. And normally, the adorable pups are down for any activity their mom throws their way.

Fenris, Björn and Walkiria have traveled the world with Ciszyńska, giving the family plenty of bonding time and beautiful backdrops for their photos.

Here are the photographs.

AGNIESZKA CISZYŃSKA

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AGNIESZKA CISZYŃSKA

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AGNIESZKA CISZYŃSKA

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AGNIESZKA CISZYŃSKA

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AGNIESZKA CISZYŃSKA

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AGNIESZKA CISZYŃSKA

These are incredibly beautiful photographs.

That last photograph is proof that Fenris, Björn and Walkiria (and I don’t know which of the lovely dogs this is) love Ciszyńska, following on from yesterday’s post.

Doggie love?

We humans love to be loved and, especially, by our dogs.

I am certain that all of the people who read Learning from Dogs on a regular basis are dog lovers and, just as important, your love for your dogs means that they in turn love you.

But unfortunately not everyone thinks of dogs in such a beautiful manner. For example, not far from here on Hugo Rd are a group of dogs, 4 or 5 I think, that I cycle past, and they live in outside kennels.

If you are an uncertain owner or a new owner you may want to understand more about your dog’s behaviour, or more accurately, whether your dog loves you. This article on The Dodo explains this very well.

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Does My Dog Love Me?

How to tell what those happy wiggles really mean ❤️️

By DANIELLE ESPOSITO
PUBLISHED ON 8/19/2020

Humans loveeee love. Which means we want the people — or animals — we love to show us they love us back.

But it’s sometimes hard for us to tell whether or not our dogs truly, deeply, madly love us — especially if you’re a new pet owner.

Who doesn’t want to feel all warm, fuzzy and loved by our pets?

To help you get that confirmation you’re looking for, The Dodo turned to Dr. Vanessa Spano, a veterinarian at Behavior Vets in New York City, to understand how dogs show their love.

“It is so important to understand your pets’ body language, as that is their way of communicating with us,” Dr. Spano said.

Here are some of the most common ways to tell that your dog, in fact, abso-freakin’-lutely loves you.

Your dog has a relaxed, wiggly body

“When interacting with your dog, body language signs to look out for that may indicate comfort and positivity include a relaxed body (or wiggly body during times of excitement, like play or you coming home), soft, forward ears and soft, rounded eyes,” Dr. Spano said.

He wiggles his eyebrows at you

You read that right! Doggos in love are known to raise their eyebrows when they see their owner. In fact, a 2013 Japanese study used a high-speed camera to record dogs’ faces when their humans walked into the room. It found that dogs raised their eyebrows when they saw their owners, but not when strangers walked in. *happy cry*

He wants your attention

“It is also a good sign if your dog is soliciting attention from you, such as with a play bow,” Dr. Spano said.

This can also be seen when he brings you one of his favorite toys.

He leans against you

A dog will lean on humans for a few different reasons — sometimes it’s because he’s anxious or he wants you to do something — but it’s also a sign of affection. And regardless — even if your dog is leaning against you because he’s nervous — it still indicates that he thinks of you as someone who can protect him and keep him safe.

Confusing body language to look out for

According to Dr. Spano, there are some things dogs do that humans typically consider to be signs of affection, but aren’t always.

“Confusing signs include wagging tails and exposed bellies,” Dr. Spano said. “A dog wagging his tail simply means he is aroused by the situation. This can be a good thing, but not necessarily; it depends on the context of the situation.”

This means that it’s good to notice the situations that cause each of your dog’s behaviors and begin to build an understanding of your individual dog’s moods.

For example, maybe you notice your dog always wags her tail when you walk into a room — you can equate that situation with her being happy in those moments. On the other hand, maybe you’ve also noticed she wags her tail just a bit stiffer when she sees a strange dog, and it’s almost always followed by raising her hair and growling. While she is wagging her tail in both of these situations, it’s not the same kind of tail wag.

“Similarly, a dog showing his belly may be asking for belly rubs, but it can also indicate fear,” Dr. Spano said. “Dogs do have the capability of trusting and loving you, but depending on their own fears, stress level and past experiences, it may take some time.”

So in general, look for those relaxed and wiggly bodies to know how happy your dog is to see you. Other behaviors you’ll learn over time — and it’ll just help your bond grow even stronger since you’ll be the only one who can truly detect your dog’s moods and emotions.

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Yes, it certainly takes time to really get to know a dog. Although one might think that having a number of dogs in the household makes it easier, and generally that is the case, even in a largish group one can have tensions that exist between a couple of the dogs. Knowing both dogs as well as you can enables one to adjust things so that the tension no longer exists or it becomes a very rare event.

But it is rare and, luckily, loving dogs is the normal!

I will close with a photograph of dear Oliver who is one of the most loving dogs I have come across.

Oliver. Taken at home, 17th May, 2020.