Category: Animal rescue

Lidl Recalls Orlando Brand Dog Food

Yet another dog food recall.

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Lidl Recalls Orlando Brand Dog Food

November 9, 2018

Lidl USA is voluntarily recalling specific lots of Orlando brand Grain Free Chicken & Chickpea Superfood Recipe Dog Food because the products may contain elevated levels of Vitamin D.

What’s Recalled?

The recalled Orlando brand products include the following lot numbers manufactured between March 3, 2018 and May 15, 2018:

  • TI1 3 Mar 2019
  • TB2 21 Mar 2019
  • TB3 21 Mar 2019
  • TA2 19 Apr 2019
  • TB1 15 May 2019
  • TB2 15 May 2019

Elevated Vitamin D Levels

Dogs consuming elevated levels of Vitamin D could exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, excessive drooling, and weight loss.

Customers with dogs who have consumed this product and are exhibiting these symptoms should contact their veterinarian as soon as possible.

No other products sold by Lidl are impacted by the recall.

This is a voluntary recall and is being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

What to Do?

Customers who have purchased this product with the affected lot codes should stop feeding it to their dogs and discard the product immediately or return it to their nearest Lidl store for a full refund.

Customers who have questions about this recall should call the Lidl US Customer Care Hotline at 844-747-5435, 8 AM to 9 PM Eastern time, 7 days a week.

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

Or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

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

Get Dog Food Recall Alerts by Email

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Dog Food Advisor’s emergency recall notification system.

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Please share this amongst all your friends.

Yet more dog food recalls

These are taking priority over the text for yesterday’s Picture Parade.

And there are two of them.

Nutrisca Dog Food Recall | November 2018

November 3, 2018 — Nutrisca, of Saint Louis, MO, is voluntarily recalling one formula of Nutrisca dry dog food because it contains elevated levels of vitamin D.

Nutrisca did not include an image with its FDA news release. So, the following image has been copied from the company’s website and provided in good faith by The Dog Food Advisor.

What’s Recalled?

  • Nutrisca Chicken and Chickpea Dry Dog Food
    Package Size: 4 pounds
    Bag UPC: 8-84244-12495-7
    Best By Dates: February 25, 2020 thru September 13, 2020
  • Nutrisca Chicken and Chickpea Dry Dog Food
    Package Size: 15 pounds
    Bag UPC: 8-84244-12795-8
    Best By Dates: February 25, 2020 thru September 13, 2020
  • Nutrisca Chicken and Chickpea Dry Dog Food
    Package Size: 28 pounds
    Bag UPC: 8-84244-12895-5
    Best By Dates: February 25, 2020 thru September 13, 2020

Bags affected have a Best By Date code of February 25, 2020 through September 13, 2020. The Best By Date code can be found on the back or bottom of each bag.

The products were distributed to retail stores nationwide.

What Caused the Recall?

Nutrisca became aware of the elevated levels of vitamin D after receiving complaints from three pet owners of vitamin D toxicity after consuming the product.

An investigation revealed a formulation error led to the elevated vitamin D in the product.

About Elevated Vitamin D

Dogs ingesting elevated levels of Vitamin D may exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, excessive drooling, and weight loss.

Vitamin D when consumed at very high levels can lead to serious health issues in dogs including renal dysfunction.

Consumers with dogs who have consumed any of the products listed above and are exhibiting these symptoms, should contact their veterinarian.

What to Do?

Consumers should stop feeding the products listed above.

Consumers who have purchased any of the products affected by this recall should dispose of it or return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Consumers with questions may contact Nutrisca at 888-279-9420 from 8 AM to 5 PM Central Standard time, Monday through Friday, or by email at consumerservices@nutrisca.com for more information.

No other Nutrisca products, including Nutrisca Chicken & Chickpea wet dog foods are impacted.

All other Nutrisca dog and cat food products are safe to feed to pets.

According to the company…

“This is a voluntary recall and is being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“We genuinely regret that this has occurred as we place the highest priority on the health of pets.”

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

Or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

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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Natural Life Pet Products Dog Food Recall

November 3, 2018 — Natural Life Pet Products of Saint Louis, MO, is voluntarily recalling its Chicken and Potato dry dog food due to it containing elevated levels of Vitamin D.

What’s Recalled?

No product image was included with the official news release.

  • Natural Life Chicken and Potato Dry Dog Food
    Package Size: 17.5 pounds
    Bag UPC: 0-12344-08175-1

Bags affected have a Best By Date code of May 29, 2020 through August 10, 2020. The Best By Date code can be found on the back or bottom of each bag.

The products were distributed to retail stores in:

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia

What Caused the Recall?

Natural Life Pet Products became aware of the elevated levels of vitamin D after receiving complaints from three pet owners of vitamin D toxicity after consuming the product.

An investigation revealed a formulation error led to the elevated vitamin D in the product.

About Elevated Vitamin D Levels

Consumers should stop feeding the product listed above.

Dogs ingesting elevated levels of Vitamin D may exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, excessive drooling, and weight loss.

Vitamin D when consumed at very high levels can lead to serious health issues in dogs including renal dysfunction.

Consumers with dogs who have consumed the product listed above and are exhibiting these symptoms, should contact their veterinarian.

What to Do?

Consumers who have purchased the product affected by this recall should dispose of it or return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Consumers with questions may contact Natural Life Pet Products at 888-279-9420 from 8 AM to 5 PM Central Standard time, Monday through Friday, or by email at consumerservices@nutrisca.com for more information.

This is a voluntary recall and is being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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

Or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

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Please, please good people, you take care of your dogs.

This is what dogs are all about!

A truly beautiful blog post.

I’m still struggling with WordPress but wanted to post the following rather than delay it.

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How a dog named Maybe saved the day

Not every happy-ending rescue story starts with love at first sight.

 By JO DILONARDO   October 29, 2018

Maybe Jade poses with her new family the day she was adopted. (Photo: Kerrieann Axt/KGA Photography)

Just a few months ago, Kerrieann Axt began searching for a puppy. The family dog was 16 years old and her three kids were itching to have a playful four-legged friend.

“I was looking at rescue dogs under the radar,” Axt tells MNN. She didn’t tell the kids, but each time she found a dog she liked, she would show her husband, Michael, who would just say no. That is, until she found a cute little waggly-tail boxer/hound/Lab mix going by the name of Twinkie.

“I showed him a picture of Twinkie and he said, well, maybe, and she kind of became the maybe baby,” she says. “I told the kids maybe we’ll go look at this one dog, but it’s just a maybe right now. We just don’t know if she’ll like us or if we’ll like her.”

They met her and then she met their other dog, Jackson Cade, and everyone got along just fine. So she moved to their Sandy Springs, Georgia, home.

“When she got here and she was staying, we thought now her name has to be Maybe,” Axt says.

Maybe’s middle name is Jade, a mashup of their other dog’s two names. Sometimes they call her MJ, but she is always the Maybe dog.

And that’s how it went for a while.

Not a snuggly pup, but a super-smart one

Eliot (left) and Townesend (right) work on Maybe’s training. (Photo: Kerrieann Axt/KGA Photography)

Maybe went to live with the excited Axt family in early July, but early on she wasn’t exactly the puppy the kids hoped for. Ten-year-old twins Owen and Eliot and 8-year-old Townesend wanted to hold and snuggle their new little girl. But Maybe wasn’t having it.

“She is very independent and very smart,” says Axt. She’s around you sometimes, but is perfectly content to go hang out on her bed and have some alone time.

The kids knew she was a wonderful dog, but they were somewhat disappointed, which prompted some family discussions. They knew this would be the one puppy their kids would grow up with, and they wanted it to be a great experience for everyone.

“We went back and forth, wondering if this is the right dog for us,” Axt says.

Axt talked to the puppy’s foster mom who was very supportive and was willing to take Maybe back, knowing she’d quickly get adopted again.

“She just wasn’t what we had in our heads of what a puppy was going to be,” Axt says. “But we said to the kids, we committed and she likes her life here. We are going to stick with her.”

So they started going to training classes as a family and even hired a trainer to come to the house. They found out Maybe couldn’t learn things fast enough. People couldn’t believe how smart she was and how much she loved mastering new tricks. The kids now read books on dog training and spend time every day teaching her new things and working with her on all the tricks she has already learned.

Maybe’s still not much of a snuggler, but the family loves working with her and this smart puppy enjoys all the attention. “That’s how we all show love to each other,” Axt says.

Maybe saves the day

When Maybe rang the bells to signal she had to go outside, Owen was smart enough to check why she was barking so much. (Photo: Kerrieann Axt/KGA Photography)

One of Maybe’s many talents is ringing bells on the back door when she needs to go potty. She did that one evening when Axt was getting Townesend ready for bed, so she asked Owen to let the puppy out.

He let her outside and Maybe — who rarely barks — started barking at the yard next door. A frustrated Owen tried to coax the puppy back inside, but she wouldn’t budge. Owen knew it must be important if the mostly silent pup was so insistent, so he checked and saw the neighbors’ yard in flames. It was a large fire, almost in a perfect circle like a massive fire pit, prompting him to call his mom.

When his mom went downstairs to look, she realized there was nothing intentional about the blaze. She texted her neighbor, who didn’t respond. Then when she saw a tree go up in flames, she called 911.

“It was very big. It was the start of a forest fire and trees were going up,” Axt says. “It was amazing how fast it moves when you’re watching something like that.”

The neighbor quickly replied. She had been tucking her kids in bed and was surprised when she heard Maybe’s unusual bark. But she didn’t realize there was a blaze in her backyard. Within a few minutes the firetruck arrived.

“Once they were there, Maybe rang the bells again,” Axt says. “I put her on a leash and I walked her out. She just went out very calmly, wagged her tail, looked at the firemen, sat down and never barked. It was as if she knew, ‘We’re going to be OK.'”

The kids are so excited about Maybe’s heroics, Axt says. They are convinced that someone from the fire department is going to come to their house and award Maybe a medal of honor.

At least the 6-month-old rescue pup did get a really good chewy that night and probably put up with a lot of hugs from the proud family. In the end, everyone knew that Maybe — for sure — was the perfect dog for them.

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There is no doubt about it Maybe is the perfect dog for this family.

Oh, P.S. – Welcome to November.

A complex relationship

Slowly getting back to normal!

And posts like this help.

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Wolves on Michigan’s Isle Royale reveal new info about predator-prey relationships

This we know: Top carnivores profoundly influence local ecosystems.

By STARRE VARTAN  October 26, 2018.

Dawn breaks over Moskey Basin, at Isle Royale National Park, Michigan. Canadian wolves colonized the island in 1949. (Photo: Steve Lagreca/Shutterstock)

The American people’s relationship with top predators — especially wolves — is complex and ever-evolving. About three decades ago, it was mostly just animal-rights groups and their supporters who fought for the wolves’ right to exist; they were often considered a nuisance. But now there’s plenty of scientific evidence proving what’s good for wolves is good for their prey, the plants those prey eat, and indeed, positively affects the entire ecosystem. That’s ultimately good for humans too — unless you’re competing with the wolves, like a rancher who grazes animals or a hunter who wants to shoot the same deer or moose that wolves need to eat. But at this point, even some ranchers and hunters have come over to the pro-predator side.

Much of that change in the perception of predators is down to studies that have proven how precisely cougars, wolves, bears, tigers, lions, bald eagles, alligators and other apex predators affect the land around them. None have been studied longer than the wolves and moose in Isle Royale National Park, a Guam-sized island in Lake Superior. For almost 60 years, the populations of these two groups have been tracked — as well as their effects on the plants and other animal communities on the island. (You can read the reports here, including the recent 59th annual report.)

As the video above explains, there used to be as many as 50 wolves on Isle Royale; however, that number has dwindled, mostly due to inbreeding that caused a debilitating spinal condition to proliferate among the too-closely-related wolves. Just 10 years ago, there were still around 30 wolves but by 2015, there were only three wolves left. Now, there are just two, a closely related male-female pair that probably won’t breed. (The female of the pair has aggressively fought back when the male attempted to breed with her.)

Already, the moose population on the island has boomed, “undoubtably because of lack of predation,” John Vucetich, a wildlife ecologist from Michigan Technological University told Science magazine, adding that the two remaining wolves are now “… swimming in moose.” Despite the wolves’ regular predation on moose, there’s been a 20 percent increase in moose in just one year, which scientists estimate is about five to 10 times higher than on mainland areas. Beaver populations have also risen sharply. There’s just not enough wolves to keep either population in check.

So what’s so bad about so many moose? Well, as most ungulates do, moose spend their days browsing on vegetation, so the more moose, the more food they need — and the plants on the island can only take so much nibbling. An aquatic plant, which was found in abundance just six years ago, is now only found in places where moose are not. Long-term, this means the island will soon run out of food to keep the ever-larger moose population alive, and many will starve once food becomes scarce. Previously, the wolves have kept moose populations low enough so they didn’t overeat the vegetation, keeping the system in balance.

A plan to rebalance the ecosystem

This female wolf arrived at Isle Royale on Oct. 2, 2018. (Photo: NPS/Jim Peaco)

This is why some people think the best solution is to bring a fresh influx of wolves to Isle Royale National Park. The plan is to release 25-30 wolves over the next three to five years. So far, park officials have trapped four wolves on the mainland beginning in late September and released them on the island. Three of the wolves are female — with the hope they will successfully breed.

This new blood would potentially rebalance the predator-prey relationship and the idea is that the rest of the ecosystem would follow. Introducing so many wolves over several years is hardly natural either, others argue, saying that humans should just be hands off and let nature take its course. The original 50 wolves had found their way to the island on their own, having moved in from Canada; perhaps they could do so again if given the chance.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated since it was originally published in April 2017.

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This is the real news!

What a way to spend a Sunday!

Poor little Sweeny!

Last Sunday, Sweeny not having eaten for 3 days, it was felt that we could not leave it any longer and decided to take Sweeny to Southern Oregon Veterinary Specialty Center.  They are an emergency 24-hour a day service.  It turned out to be a longer day that we had anticipated.

For we arrived at 9:15 am and didn’t leave until 5:15 pm.

Even then we were still left with some uncertainty.

For the long rigmarole of tests didn’t come to a firm conclusion.

A part of the SOVMC invoice.

Luckily we could leave taking dear Sweeny back with us but the results from the Fine needle aspirate won’t be through until Tuesday or Wednesday. (P.S. Just heard by phone that the results should be through in the next hour. Ergo: Monday evening.)

If it is Tuesday that will be better than Wednesday.

For on Wednesday we leave for a short holiday in Mexico.

In fairness, the house is being looked after by Jana Stewart but it will still be better to know before we leave.

That leads me to say that for the next ten days the regularity of blogging is going to be variable; to say the least.

Bet they are wrong!

It seems to me, that although the science is good it can’t be perfect!

I saw this recently and, ….. well you decide!

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Dogs may not be as exceptionally smart as we think they are

Mary Jo DiLonardo

MARY JO DILONARDO

October 3rd, 2018.

Dogs have a scientific reputation for being rather brainy, but a new study says that may not be deserved. (Photo: Shevs/Shutterstock)

I know I’m biased, but I think my dog is brilliant. I’ve been bringing home animals all my life — from parakeets to ducks, cats to horses. But of all my feathered and furry pets, it’s no contest: Dogs are by far the brainiest. They are quick learners and great communicators with an incredible ability to solve problems.

But a new paper in the journal Learning & Behavior finds dog intelligence is “not exceptional.”

Although animal smarts have long been the subject of scientific research, recently there’s been a lot of focus on canine cognition. And that’s what triggered Stephen Lea, professor emeritus at the University of Exeter, to take a closer look. He was editor of the journal Animal Behavior, where he saw so many papers dealing with the mental abilities of dogs.

“Through the process of working as an editor [and] seeing all this research, I definitely got a sense that we as a collective had gotten a bit overexcited about dog intelligence,” Lea told Popular Science.

History of studying dog smarts

Dogs can learn problem solving, but raccoons often solve puzzles more easily. (Photo: Joerg Huettenhoelscher/Shutterstock)

Dogs and their brains have been studied for centuries (remember Pavlov and his bell?), but then were pushed aside for more popular studies with primates and other species. It wasn’t until the 1990s when dogs came back into focus. Lea wondered whether humans were giving dogs too much credit.

Lea and his coauthor, Britta Osthaus of Canterbury Christ Church University, studied more than 300 papers on the intelligence of dogs and other animals. They looked at research that covered three groups: carnivorans (another name for carnivores), social hunters and domesticated animals. Dogs fall into all three groups.

They discovered that when it comes to brainpower, dogs don’t particularly excel in any of the groups. There were species in each that were on par with or better than dogs in cognition comparisons. Raccoons, for example, seem to solve puzzles more easily, and hyenas seem to follow the cues of their pack more handily.

“Taking all three groups (domestic animals, social hunters and carnivorans) into account, dog cognition does not look exceptional,” said Osthaus in a statement. “We are doing dogs no favor by expecting too much of them. Dogs are dogs, and we need to take their needs and true abilities into account when considering how we treat them.”

Dogs do, however, stand out from their smart counterparts because they perform well in all three categories.

“Every species has unique intelligence,” Lea told Popular Science. “Their intelligence is what you would expect of an animal that is … recently descended from social hunters … that are carnivores and that have [also] been domesticated …There’s no other animal that fits all three of those criteria.”

Sounds pretty brilliant to me.

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It seems to me that science it taking far to narrow a look at our dogs.

For if one expands the range of qualities then one can include:

  • Unconditional love,
  • Companionship,
  • Sensitivity,
  • Consciousness,
  • Spirituality,
  • Bravery,
  • and a whole lot more besides.

Returning to Sabrina.

These next couple of weeks are going to be challenging!

So ….. I am returning to a post I published a year ago.

Sabrina’s Loyalty

Lisa Mae DeMasi offers you all a beautiful guest post.

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How this Handler and Service Dog Nurture One Another

by Lisa Mae DeMasi

At two years old, Lady’s ribs protruded from her coat and her belly was swollen with milk.

Like the thirteen other Labs that had arrived at a rest stop in Union, CT on the straight 12½-hour drive from Muncie, IN, she was presented to us on a crisp autumn day amid the chaos of respective adopters.

My husband Dennis had never experienced the warmth and companionship of having a dog and well, I surprised him with Lady, who we quickly renamed to Sabrina. The very afternoon we picked her up, we raced to the park, wanting her to feel the joy of freedom and play. My husband’s face lit up and while I was thrilled at the opportunity to befriend and care for Sabrina; it meant closing the 20-year gap since our beloved German Shepard from my childhood passed away.

Until laying my eyes on Sabrina’s profile, my heart couldn’t entertain loving another dog.

And what canine isn’t after the same love?

 In Sabrina’s case, she couldn’t know of the family members that awaited to embrace her presence. Within days of the initial hair-raising excitement, the cat sought out occasions to groom her ears. Our pet rat was free to waddle the kitchen floor un-bothered, and the pair of bonded bunnies in want of company stretched out beside her on the living room floor.

Dog, cat, rat, rabbit?
You bet.
And Dennis and me?
Like kids again.
Sabrina settled into the folds of our lives, well-nourished and exercised in Boston’s epic snowfall in the winter of 2009-2010, taking careful watch over all of us. The fear expressed in her eyes pre-adoption disappeared.

Eight years later, she watches over me in particular. Thirty years ago, I was struck and thrown from the passenger side of a car until my abdomen collided with the steering wheel—blunt force that called for iterative repair to my digestive system  and caused permanent damage to the nerves that signal my bladder is full.

Today when I’m busy working away, Sabrina will alert me to get up every couple of hours to make a trip to the restroom by gently placing her head in my lap.

When I suffer acute intestinal cramping, Crohns-like symptoms, she’ll sit at my side and lean her body against mine. Her calm and steady source of nurturing, helps me to relax and mitigates the cramps.

In 2008, the Department of Justice amended the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This was amended to include digestive, bowel and bladder impairments that limit major life activities as the disabled, calling for employers to make reasonable accommodations and if the individual elects, to allow task-oriented service animals [dog or miniature horse] to accompany them on the job.

Sabrina, serving in the capacity of a sensory/medical assist – alerting me to get up and take care of myself –  qualifies.

The HR Director, Debra Susler of Reputation Institute in Cambridge, MA this past April would not allow Sabrina to accompany me on-the-job. I sent her an elaborate email explaining my condition and Sabrina’s certification. She did not reply to me but to my supervisor.

She said “no”.

My response?

I walked out of the place

Sabrina: rescue dog to devoted helper dog.

Respectively, Sabrina’s competencies and understanding of language cease to astound us and her behavior on-the-job at Dell EMC is so well-mannered, coworkers never run out of compliments.

And bystanders in public? The grocery store, pharmacy, gym, dentist, doctor?

Gazes from cell phones are broken, conversations fall short.

Then, come the smiles. A question. Praises. The feel-good moment.

Sabrina brings people together.

I recently read a distressing post from a woman who said every time she looks into a service dog’s eyes, she sees sadness. Even Ingrid Newkirk, CEO and Co-Founder of PETA, has told me, “the life of a typical service dog is a terrible one.”

It’s true. Any canine enslaved to servitude is doomed a dog’s life unlived.

Service animals are working animals, not pets.

The ADA confirms it.

But that’s not the relationship Sabrina and I share [and I understand it can’t be the same with other handlers and service dogs]. In addition to being my devoted helper, Sabrina teaches me to exist in the moment — just like she does. To enjoy the sight of the sun shimmering through the trees, the call of the birds, the fragrance of wildflowers, the feel of the soft soil I tread a few yards behind her when we’re on our hikes.

What more could a dog do for a girl?

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There is something rather special about Lisa’s guest post; special in an introspective way!

That will be better appreciated if you go across to Lisa’s blog site at Nurture Is My Nature.
In particular when you read, via her ‘About’ link, what Lisa offers about herself. Republished here in full.

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As time goes by and you’re getting older and stuff like that—getting older sucks. You know, I hear all this crap about, ‘Oh, you can age with dignity.’ Really? —Mickey Rourke

Lisa’s creative work has recently placed second in Fiftiness’s 2017 Writing Contest (Why I Love Bike Commuting in Boston) and been featured in the anthologies, Unmasked, Women Write About Sex & Intimacy After Fifty (9/17, print) and The Best of Vine Leaves Literary Journal (11/17, print). Her essays have been published in the lit journals and several other media outlets. She considers Massachusetts her home, but has lived in Connecticut, Vermont, New York State and two other planets called Wyoming and Arizona. She earned a B.A. from Regis College and an MBA from Babson College, and holds a Master certificate in Reiki.

Lisa is seeking a development editor [that gets her] to work on her collection of essays and her memoir.

Published work:

Contests:

Why I Love Bike Commuting in Boston, Fiftiness, Second Place Winner, 5/23/17

Anthologies:

  1. The Kickass Formula that Restored My Libido, Unmasked, Women Write About Sex & Intimacy After Fifty, print, 9/17
  2. Grievances, Vine Leaves Vignette Collection (coffee table book), 11/1/17

Literary journals:

  1. This Writer’s Secret (Fiction Southeast, 11/1/170
  2. Snowflake (Crux Magazine, 9/17) [FINALLY got picked up!]
  3. Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Gravel, 12/4/16)
  4. T-boned (Gravel, 12/4/16)
  5. Forgive Me (Slippery Elm, 12/16)
  6. What More Is There to Ask? (Foliate Oak, 9/1/16)
  7. Becoming Our Fathers (East Bay Review, 2/23/16)
  8. The Subversive Writer (Shark Reef, 7/9/14)

Media Outlets:

  1. Not Having Children Was My Perfect Path (Fiftiness, 12/16)
  2. What More Is There to Ask? (Huffpost, 9/16)
  3. The Secret to Doing What You Love (The Artist Unleashed 9/16; HuffPost 3/15)
  4. The Kickass Formula That Restored My Libido (HuffPost 2/16; Rebelle Society 4/15)
  5. My Dear Friend, the Dirty (HuffPost 1/16; Elephant Journal, 12/14)
  6. She, Mother. Me, Daughter. (Huffpost 2/16; Elephant Journal, 1/15)
  7. What the Wrong Job Can Teach You (HuffPost 1/16)
  8. What Happened When I Performed Reiki on My Conservative Mother (Elephant Journal, 1/15)
  9. Why Regret Is So Deliciously Fun (HuffPost 1/16; Midlife Boulevard 8/15)

 Write to me at lisa dot demasi at gmail

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Now please watch “Just Like Heaven,” the video Lisa filmed of Sabrina, post-adoption in 2009.

Not only beautiful …….

……. but also intelligent.

There is something about a Huskie that takes one’s breath away. Not only because of the grace and wit with which they conduct their lives but also because the majority of them are working dogs.

So it was with interest that I read recently about the Huskies and wanted to share it with you all.

Here it is.

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Why do huskies have blue eyes?

New genetic study finally solves the mystery.

BRYAN NELSON,   October 4, 2018.

A happy husky with its characteristic blue eyes. (Photo: Nancy Wong/Wiki Commons)

A dog DNA startup company called Embark, based out of Boston, Massachusetts, and Ithaca, New York, appears to have finally solved the mystery as to why huskies sport their beautiful blue eyes. The study is the first consumer genomics study ever conducted in a non-human model, as well as the largest canine genome-wide association study to date, reports Phys.org.

The key, it turns out, lies in the dogs’ 18th chromosome. A duplication on chromosome 18, near the ALX4 gene, was found to be strongly associated with blue eye color. The ALX4 gene plays an important role in mammalian eye development, so this association is not entirely out of left field. And interestingly, the study also found this same genetic quirk in non-merle Australian shepherds, which also tend to have blue eyes.

This flies in the face of how eye color is usually thought to be determined in dogs. For instance, two genetic variants are known to underlie blue eye color in many dogs, but scientists have long known that these variants do not explain the blue eyes of huskies, thus the mystery.

In fact, even though we’re seemingly in a genomic scientific age, the genetic underpinnings of many traits in non-human animals are still largely unknown, even for humans’ best friends. Embark aims to change that.

For the study, which was performed in partnership with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, researchers used a diverse panel of 6,070 genetically tested dogs, with owners who contributed phenotype data — physical traits of the dogs — via web-based surveys and photo uploads. A comprehensive, consumer-driven survey of this size is largely unprecedented.

“Using genetic data from the pets of our customers, combined with eye colors reported by customers for those same animals, we have discovered a genetic duplication that is strongly associated with blue eye color. This study demonstrates the power of the approach that Embark is taking towards improving canine health,” explained Aaron J. Sams of Embark. “In a single year, we collected enough data to conduct the largest canine study of its kind. Embark is currently pursuing similar research projects in a range of morphological and health-related traits and we hope to continue to use our platform to move canine genetics and health forward in a very real way.”

It’s all in the name of improved health care options for our canine companions, as well as helping curious human owners better understand the origins of their pets. Answering why huskies have blue eyes is just the first such mystery they hope to solve.

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What can one say! They are such beautiful dogs!

Picture Parade Two Hundred and Fifty-Nine

Taken from the world’s most smartest dogs.

From this site,

Herding dogs are often considered some of the smartest breeds.

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The Border Collie

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The Poodle combines brain and brawn.

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The gorgeous German Shepherd Dog

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My heart goes out to a Golden Retriever

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The keenest eyes in this Doberman Pinscher.

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Have you seen such a face in this Shetland Sheepdog Sheltie.

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Three Labrador Retrievers

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The enchanting face of the Papillion.

Onward and upwards to another set.