Category: Animal rescue

More serendipity

The continuing story of Alfie.

Stop Press

Alfie has had his operation and all is well! I don’t know more than that at the moment but I do want to share the journey from New York to Minneapolis with you. Because it is such a story of love and devotion.

(And I have just heard that Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, has died – oh, dear.)

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New York to Minneapolis road trip

April 5, 2021 By Mr Coyne

The week we travelled to the US, the East Coast was experiencing one of its winter storms. Snow threatening our progress overland to our destination. With this in mind, we worked with James Gallagher at Enterprise close to Westhampton Private Airport near Maine just outside NY, we arranged for a Jeep Gladiator to be waiting on the tarmac for us. The plan was to land, walk down the steps and into the Jeep, then drive around 20 hours across 9 States (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota) taking it in turns, and stopping only when tiredness took hold to sleep. When I say drive around 20 hours, that’s just driving, not stopping to fuel, use a bathroom, eat, rest. Over 1,300 miles. A mammoth task.

At this point I’d already not slept in almost 24 hours

The plan hit the rocks as the jet approached Westhampton and were told the runway closed due to snow. We were diverted to JFK, and then Ubëred two hours back to our original airport. We could have tried to get a four wheel drive from JFK but we already knew getting something in the middle of a bad storm would be near impossible. Trying to fly internally from JFK to Minneapolis was off the table too as we had bought a lot of luggage with us, which we intended to leave in the US. Trying to get this through JFK, with all of this and a dog, a dog that potentially could have been turned away at the gate for being too big, was not worth trying to modify our plan.

Somehow our route through the Bronx is the Mayor of London’s fault

Snow on the ground we got our Jeep, and just had James had said when he sourced it for us – it looked unstoppable. He’d kindly shovelled out most of the snow from the pick-up bed. We headed out through rush hour NYC traffic towards Minnesota following the quickest route on Google Maps. Surprisingly through the Bronx. We made it through the other side and eventually stopped somewhere on the outskirts in search of a toilet and food. A Gladiator sits high off the ground, and we were already tired. As we pulled up outside a potential watering hole Renée opened the door and fell out, hitting the ground audibly so. Alfie was in her arms but had the foresight to recognise trouble and jump to safety. We went inside, one of us limping, to check ourselves over and eat. Luckily just bruising; limbs and pride. We were there a couple of hours, much longer than we intended, but the food and rest needed. It was a big, clean hotel and would have been a good place to stop, at the expense of making the next day even harder. We pushed on. Before doing so I looked at Google maps and realised I’d made a schoolboy error. Living in London and owning old cars is a constant maze avoiding paying the Congestion Charge and ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone). My phone was still set to avoid these tolls, hence our route through the the centre on New York. Worse, the fastest route would now see us backtrack some of the way we’d just driven.

Enjoying a meal after avoiding disaster falling from the truck

The Gladiator proved its worth as the elevation climbed and snowfall increased. We kept going until tiredness eventually became too dangerous to ignore and we stopped somewhere, somewhere being my best guess at where as I was so tired. A room at a Holiday Inn. Alfie making friends with the front desk saw the $80 dog fee waved. We didn’t sleep long, maybe three hours and returned to the Jeep early around sunrise. Throughout the entire trip Alfie had sat up front on Renée’s lap as the rear seats of our crew cab style truck full of luggage (the pick up bed empty so our stuff remained dry and safe). I’d read that these Jeeps were not great over long distances, and my previous longest time in one, a Rubicon, was between Fargo and Minneapolis on roads closed due to snow. It was cold and as a passenger I got leg ache. From the driver’s seat it wasn’t too bad. I’m sure most people buy slab sided trucks like this, original Land Rover Defenders and G Wagons simply because they look good, but there is no denying when the conditions get tough they are incredibly capable. Well, maybe not the G Wagon as that’s simply a fashion accessory.

Moments before a face plant. Ouch

“Watching a sleeping poorly dog, all of us crammed up front with the heater blowing full pelt to keep warm, hour after hour, made me question my original judgement of travelling this way

Watching Alfred, a poorly dog, asleep on Renée’s lap, all of us crammed up front with the heater blowing full pelt to keep warm, hour after hour, made me question my original judgement of travelling this way. My thinking was to have Alfred in the air for the minimum time and then get him the rest of the way by road where he would not be squashed in a bag, could go pee whenever he needed, and I could deal easily with any seizures. The whole private jet decision happened very fast and I hadn’t really adjusted to the revised plan. Also the plan had been to land at Westhampton, not JFK where we could have easily boarded a domestic flight to Minneapolis. Hindsight always great, and beating yourself up over something already done when tired completely pointless. The important think was we were in the USA, and on our way to get Alfred the help he needed. Given the obstacles in our way just two days ago we really should be patting ourselves n the back.

Give us all ya got. Nothing could stop the Gladiator

Eventually, around three hours out from our destination, I could drive no more and we stopped in one of the fantastic US rest areas. These places are free from gas stations, usually have vending machines, and clean toilet facilities. They feel safe and good places to stop for a snooze. It was cold though, with a lot of snow and ice on the ground. We slept a while with the engine running and heater keeping us warm. When it is this cold, global warming is the last thing on your agenda.

Errrr, drive through donuts? I LOVE America guys
Why is there a sportsman on this packaging? Is it a race to get diabetes?

“We slept a while with the engine running and heater keeping us warm. When it is this cold, global warming is the last thing on your agenda.

I’ve been in this situation before. Driving while tired is super dangerous. I suspect more so than alcohol (within reason) and up there with texting. As a pilot once said over the tannoy of a flight to Bahrain years ago: better to get there late than not at all. But before long, Renée woke me and wanted to carry on. I managed the next hour before handing over the driving to her to get us the rest of the way. The two of us had dug really deep to make it.

Not the most economical, but fuel is cheap so we don’t care

Arriving at the Canopy in Minneapolis was a welcome sight. Alfred’s surgery was scheduled 10 days from now but we had an option to bring it forward should he deteriorate rapidly. We were where we needed to be. A huge victory and I could literally feel the stress lifting from me. 

Of course, we were only actually part way there, the real challenge was to come.

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And of course, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, little Alfie has arrived in Minneapolis and has had his operation. In due coarse I will bring you the latest.

Serendipity

Funny how things fall out!

My son, Alex, recently sent me a link to a blog he had come across. It was to a website called https://aircooledbug.co.uk

It was about Andrew Coyne who with his wife, Renée, had come across to America in order to have an operation on his dog, Alfred. It was very moving. I then made contact with Andrew and asked him if I could have permission to republish. It was granted. Furthermore, Andrew went on to say:

Hi Paul,

The only place we could find to perform surgery and give him immunotherapy was the US. Getting to the US a massive challenge as the lock down restrictions and freedom of movement issues implemented by governments here and in the EU stopped us being able to travel. Hence chartering a private jet direct to New York.

Alfred is currently doing well with us here in the US and will not return to the UK. We will move here with him permanently and make our home in the one place that gave him a chance. 

Kind regards,
Anthony

So I am going to devote my next two posts to republishing two posts from Andrew’s blog. The first today is Coming to America.

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Coming to America

April 3, 2021 By Mr Coyne

The relief that knowing we would travel brought was unmeasurable. Private jets don’t come cheap, even discounted empty legs, but in this instance it didn’t matter. It was a welcome solution.

Up until the world was introduced to Covid-19, I had been a regular traveller to the US both with Renée who’s American, and on business as thinkerdoer work with a lot of US companies. I had an ESTA in place and checked it was still valid on Monday after we decided to take the flight to NYC.  On Tuesday morning it was pulled! I’m still not sure why but it would seem to be a response from the Biden Administration to control the recently announced ‘UK variant’. Mark at Charter-A and his team scrambled to get clearance for me from the US using our marriage certificate from Cornwall to prove I was a spouse of a US citizen and this initially appeared to satisfy them and clearance given.

The most unusual thing I have ever seen at airport security

On Wednesday morning we set off to Stansted. Somewhere on the M11 the phone rang, it was Mark saying the US had pulled my clearance again due to me visiting ‘red list’ countries in the last few months. Utter nonsense, and I explained the last place I had travelled was the US just prior to the lockdown when I visited North Dakota and Arizona. I even volunteered my bank statements to prove my case. We waited at the Inflite Executive Jet Centre at Stansted with our luggage already loaded for clearance. Eventually the US backed down and removed their marker, but this now meant reapplying for entry. The decision was made to leave the jet on the tarmac overnight and return the following day to give us time to organise it. Partly this was because the crew had already started logging hours and by the time a clear to fly issued we’d need a new crew. Not that it would have mattered, but I thought I would not be flying and the one time in my life I have paid for a private jet it would be the dog flying on it, not me. And Renée of course.

America, we are coming in hot!

“The best part was we were truly on our way to get Alfred some help, a chance to save him

Thursday went smoothly. We turned up, parked the car, got on the jet, flew to NYC. On a commercial flight there are little increments of comfort between Economy, Premium Economy, Business and First. Compared to flying private those classes of travel are all the same. No difference. It’s all cattle class. The whole aircraft to ourselves, big luxurious seats, a sofa, your own bathroom with Diptyque toiletries. Want a lay flat bed? Just tell your own crew and they make you one up.  And Alfred was free to sit where he wanted, roam around, was fed a chicken dinner off a china plate, and was even able to chase a ball along the aisle. The best part was we were truly on our way to get Alfred some help, a chance to save him.

We were arriving just in time

We didn’t need reminding of the difficulties ahead. The novelty of traveling like rock stars soon faded when mid flight he suffered a seizure. By now I am well versed in how to deal with this, and Renée is able to spot the warning signs with incredible accuracy. I  got him to the bathroom with a soft towel and comforted him just as his little body went into a full grand mal seizure. Since his diagnosis Alfie had been on strong barbiturate and steroid medication which had suppressed the seizures. Something that would only last so long. We were 10 days without a seizure and this a clear indication the efficacy of the medication was reducing, and the tumour growing. We were arriving just in time.

I LOVE this!

Carry on allowance an improvement over commercial.

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I am going to reproduce the contents of an email that I sent Anthony yesterday morning. It sums up how we feel about what Anthony and Renée are doing.

Dear Anthony,

I have now read very carefully your blog especially your posts of the last few weeks.

They are beautiful. In the sense of describing what you feel towards Alfred. Dogs bond to humans unconditionally. You love Alfred unconditionally.

It’s a little after 5am here in Southern Oregon. Jean and I are sitting back on top of our bed having had recently our first morning coffees. On the bed is also Oliver, an ex-rescue Labrador crossed with a Border Collie. Oliver’s bond with me is so precious. Beyond words but not beyond feelings!

I am going to write a couple of posts that essentially republish your posts about you getting Alfred to Minneapolis. But beyond that Jean and I want to wish you every success in Alfred’s treatment. Is there anything more practical that we can do to help? We are in our 70s. We are both English. We met in Mexico in December, 2007. Jean was rescuing dogs, spay or neutering them, then finding homes for them mainly in Arizona. I flew with my GSD, Pharaoh, to LAX from London, in 2008. Then down to Mexico. We came to the USA in 2010 to be married and to live with our then 16 dogs. Subsequently we came to Oregon in 2012.

I am so grateful for my son highlighting your blog.

With very best wishes,

Paul

Our very own Oliver!

Another country but still the familiar dog

A dog nicks a large bone

This is a delightful story about a dog in the country of Columbia. It just goes to show that dogs are, in the main, universally admired and loved. The story was originally published on The Dodo.

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Clever Dog Sneaks Into Pet Store And Makes Off With A Giant Bone

The cutest little criminal 🐶

By Stephen Messenger

Published on 19th March, 2021

This is Agroveterinaria Los Paisas, a pet store and animal clinic in the town of Andalucia, Colombia.

It’s also the scene of a rather adorable crime.

VICTORIA ANDREA VIVIANA

The other day, Victoria Andrea Viviana was working in the shop, helping customers, when a certain someone evidently saw her distraction as a golden opportunity.

It was a dog. A dog with a plan.

While no one was looking, the dog quietly snuck into the store and slipped behind the counter. Then the object of his little mission became clear. He’d come to slyly steal a giant bone — but his getaway didn’t go unnoticed.

Here’s that scene on video:

“I was surprised by the cunning with which the dog took the bone,” Viviana told The Dodo. “One of our clients wanted to stop him, but he was very agile.”

The store had been robbed. But the culprit behind the crime was soon found out.

It was the dog’s own mom who turned him in.

VICTORIA ANDREA VIVIANA

“[The woman who owns the dog] came in to pay for the bone he stole, but we obviously didn’t take her money,” Vivian said. “It is something that happened unexpectedly, and the dog was able to amuse many people who watched the video.”

In the end, there were no hard feelings.

“The dog will always be welcome here,” Vivian said, “as well as any other animal who wants to visit.”

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Not much more to say except that our dogs everywhere are extraordinary in their similarity.

In fact, I am composing a post about the evolution of dogs and humans to show how far back we all go. I am not sure when it will see the light of day!

Service dogs

The unconditional love of dogs put to a very beneficial human use!

Yesterday while we were waiting to pay for a few food items in Winco we stopped behind a woman with a small service dog. The dog was a Dachshund and had a jacket on which were sewn badges saying that this was a service dog and not to make contact.

The woman suffered from panic attacks and strongly recommended an organisation that was called ADA. In fact it is a government organisation and ADA stands for Americans with Disabilities Act.

All of which makes a nice introduction to this next item that was published on The Conversation blog site.

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Service dogs can help veterans with PTSD – growing evidence shows they may reduce anxiety in practical ways

Training for service dogs starts very early.

By

March 26th, 2021

As many as 1 in 5 of the roughly 2.7 million Americans deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 are experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder.

PTSD, a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening traumatic event, is a complex condition and can be hard to treat. Our lab is studying whether service dogs can help these military veterans, who may also have depression and anxiety – and run an elevated risk of death by suicide – in addition to having PTSD. 

We’ve been finding that once veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder get service dogs, they tend to feel less depressed and less anxious and miss work less frequently.

Complementing other forms of treatment

The traditional treatments for PTSD, such as talk therapy and medication, do work for many veterans. But these approaches do not alleviate the symptoms for all veterans, so a growing number of them are seeking additional help from PTSD service dogs.

The nation’s estimated 500,000 service dogs aid people experiencing a wide array of conditions that include visual or hearing impairments, psychological challenges, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.

For our PTSD research, we partner with K9s For Warriors and Canine Companions for Independence, two of many nonprofits that train service dogs to work with veterans with PTSD.

There is no single breed that can help people this way. These dogs can be anything from purebred Labrador retrievers to shelter mixes.

Unlike emotional support dogs or therapy dogs, service dogs must be trained to do specific tasks – in this case, helping alleviate PTSD symptoms. In keeping with the Americans with Disabilities Act, service dogs are allowed in public places where other dogs are not.

Reducing anxiety

Service dogs can help vets with PTSD in many ways. The most common tasks include helping veterans remain calm and interrupting their anxiety. The veterans said they are asking their dogs to calm or comfort them from anxiety five times per day and that their dogs independently interrupted their anxiety three times per day on average.

For example, a dog may “cover” a veteran at a supermarket, allowing its owner to calmly turn to take something off the shelf, because veterans with PTSD can get startled if they don’t know if someone is approaching and benefit if their dogs signal that this is happening. If a veteran starts to have a panic attack, a service dog can nudge its owner to “alert” and interrupt the anxiety. At that point, the veteran can focus on petting the dog to re-center on the present – ideally preventing or minimizing the panic attack.

Service dogs can help veterans with PTSD relax when they’re shopping for groceries, a common trigger for their symptoms of this condition. Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Service dogs can help veterans with PTSD relax when they’re shopping for groceries, a common trigger for their symptoms of this condition. Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Aside from the tasks that their dogs are trained to do, veterans also shared that the love and companionship they get from simply being with their dogs is helping make their PTSD easier to manage.

Once veterans got service dogs, they described themselves in surveys as more satisfied with their lives, said they felt a greater sense of well-being and deemed themselves as having better relationships with friends and loved ones.

We have also measured levels of cortisol, commonly called the “stress hormone,” in veterans with service dogs. We found they had patterns closer to adults without PTSD.

Challenges and extra responsibilities

Not all veterans are willing or able to benefit from having their own service dogs.

Being accompanied by dogs in public can draw attention to the veterans. Some veterans appreciate this attention and the way it encourages them to get out of their shell, while others dread having to avoid well-meaning, dog-loving strangers. We’ve found that veterans do not expect this challenge, but often experience it.

Service dogs can also make it harder to travel, since bringing a dog along can require more planning and effort, especially because many people don’t understand the legal rights of people with service dogs and may ask inappropriate questions or create barriers that they aren’t legally allowed to do. Many experts believe educating the public about service dogs could alleviate these challenges.

What’s more, feeding, walking, grooming and otherwise taking care of a dog also entails additional responsibilities, including making sure they see a veterinarian from time to time.

There can also be a new sense of stigma that goes along with making a disability that might otherwise be hidden readily apparent. Someone who has PTSD might not stick out until they get a service dog that is always present.

Most veterans say it’s worth it because the benefits tend to outweigh the challenges, especially when appropriate expectations are set. Clinicians can play a role in helping veterans realize in advance what caring for the animal entails, to make the intervention positive for both the veterans and the dogs.

We are now completing the first registered clinical trial comparing what happens when these veterans get the usual PTSD interventions with what happens when they get that same treatment in addition to a trained service dog.

As our research proceeds, we are trying to see how the effects of a service dog last over time, how the service dogs affect veterans’ families and how we can support the partnership between veterans and their service dogs.

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I am still struggling with WordPress. For example I haven’t yet worked out how to place the credit for the photograph underneath the picture. (It did it all on its own!) And there doesn’t seem to be a ‘blockquote’ command.

But coming back to the article it was a perfect description of the way that dogs are so, so good to us humans whether we have a medical need for a service dog or not.

The Dog Food Advisor.

A good summary of all that matters.

The Dog and Cat Food update was announced two days ago.

In the covering email they said:

Dear Fellow Dog Lover,

You’re getting this email because you signed up on our website and asked to be notified. If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please click the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of this message.

Bravo Packing of Carney’s Point, NJ, is expanding its recall to now include multiple dog and cat food products due to possible contamination with Salmonella and Listeria bacteria.

For full details, please visit the following link: Bravo Packing Expands Dog and Cat Food Recall

Best Dog Food for March 2021

The Dog Food Advisor has recently updated the following best dog food pages:

  • Best Dry Dog Foods
  • Best Puppy Foods
  • Best Large Breed Puppy Foods
  • Best Dog Foods for Small Dogs
  • Best Dog Food for Allergies
  • Best Grain-Free Dog Foods
  • Best Dog Foods Made with Grain
  • Best Budget-Friendly Dog Foods
  • Best Dog Food for Specific Breeds
  • Best Senior Dog Foods

Click here to see our Best Dog Foods for March 2021

Please be sure to share this news with other dog and cat owners.

Mike Sagman, Editor
The Dog Food Advisor
Saving Good Dogs From Bad Dog Food

Now onto the Bravo Packing recall.

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Bravo Packing Expands Dog and Cat Food Recall

March 16, 2021 — Bravo Packing, Inc., of Carneys Point, New Jersey, is expandingits previously announced voluntary recall of two pet food products to now include all pet food and bones in all package sizes… because they may be contaminated with disease-causing bacteria.

During an FDA inspection, samples collected tested positive for Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes and resulted in a recall due to the potential health risks to humans and pets.

See The Dog Food Advisor’s previous announcement here.

What’s Recalled?

Bravo Packing, Inc. is expanding the recall due to potential cross contamination of the following dog and cat food products.

Label Images of Recalled Products

The following label images are included in the FDA bulletin. No other photographs were provided by the company.

About Salmonella

Salmonella can cause illness in pets eating the products, as well as people who handle contaminated pet food products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products, infected pets, or any surfaces exposed to these products.

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 (an infection of the heart muscle), arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms.

People who have these symptoms after having contact with the products identified in this recall or with a pet that has eaten these products should contact their healthcare providers.

A pet with a Salmonella infection may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting.

Some pets will have decreased appetite, fever, and abdominal pain.

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

Pets exposed to contaminated food can be infected without showing symptoms.

Infected pets, including those without symptoms, can also shed Salmonella through their feces and saliva, spreading pathogens into the home environment and to humans and other animals nearby.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, Listeria monocytogenes infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

No human or animal illnesses related to the identified products have been reported to date.

Where Were the Products Sold?

Bravo Packing Inc. generally works with distributors that fill orders to retail storesand to consumers directly nationwide.

What to Do?

Consumers with any of the affected products should handle them with caution, discard products in a secure container, and wash hands and surfaces properly.

Consumers with questions should contact Bravo Packing, Inc. at 856-299-1044 (Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, ET).

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.

Get Lifesaving 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.
There’s no cost. No spam ever. Cancel any time.

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As always, please share this around as much as you can.

Because even just one dog owner being informed of this Dog Food Recall makes it all worthwhile.

What’s a stray dog need? Food and caring!

Another international story of love and caring for our dogs.

This time about homeless or stray dogs and in Peru. Again it was written by Stephen Messenger and was shared on The Dodo website. Again it is about the fundamental goodness that is in a great many humans spanning continents.

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Nice Restaurant Owner Prepares A Free Meal For Every Stray Dog Who Visits

“They pay us with their happiness and wagging tails” ❤️
By Stephen Messenger
Published on the 26th February, 2021

One evening five years ago, an unexpected customer dropped by Gerardo Ortiz’s restaurant, Ajilalo, in Peru. It was a stray dog, a look of hunger in her eyes.

Ortiz could have easily turned the dog away. But he didn’t.

Restaurante – Ajilalo

That evening, Ortiz offered the dog a free meal, made just for her.

And thus began an adorable tradition that continues to this day.

Restaurante – Ajilalo

Each evening, from then on, the hungry dog came and received a free meal from Ortiz’s restaurant.

But it didn’t take long for word of Ortiz’s kindness and generosity to spread among the community of local stray pups.

More dogs began to arrive with that first visitor— and Ortiz welcomed them all with a meal.

Restaurante – Ajilalo

Nowadays, numerous stray dogs arrive to the doors of Ortiz’s restaurant each night. Many are regular “customers,” while others are first-timers — all hoping to fill their bellies thanks to Ortiz’s kindness.

Restaurante – Ajilalo

Often, as Ortiz is working, he’ll look up and see a new dog’s face at the front — waiting politely to see if the rumor that free food can found there is true.

It always is.

Restaurante – Ajilalo

“For me, they are the best customers,” Ortiz told The Dodo.

And his human customers hardly take that as a slight. Inspired by Ortiz, they often bring food for the visiting dogs as well.

Restaurante – Ajilalo

“Thankfully, our clients have reacted well to the dogs,” Ortiz said. “They are affectionate toward them.”

Restaurante – Ajilalo

Ultimately, Ortiz’s sweet routine of feeding all the stray dogs who visit does more than keep them from being hungry. It lets them know that their lives matter — a truth that Ortiz is happy to prove to them each and every day.

Restaurante – Ajilalo

“They do not pay us with money, but they pay us with their happiness and wagging tails,” Ortiz said. “They are very grateful, and we enjoy giving more than receiving. Since I was a child, I have loved animals. My mother always taught us to help others, both people and animals. She’s my inspiration.”

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This is such a wonderful share. Snr Ortiz confirms what we know absolutely. That people who care for animals care for so much more. As Gerardo says: “It lets them know that their lives matter.

I am minded to remember when I first met Jean in December, 2007. Jean was living in San Carlos, Northern Mexico, and had been for many years. Her husband, Ben, had died in 2005.

Jean was rescuing street dogs off the streets of San Carlos and surrounding areas, caring for them, neutering or spaying them, and then finding homes for them mainly in Arizona, USA. Many, many dogs owed their lives to Jean’s love for those dogs. In 2010, after I had gone out to San Carlos with my Pharaoh to live with Jean and her dogs in 2008, we came North to Arizona to find a U.S. home and be married. We came through the Mexican-US border with 16 dogs, all of them with their paperwork in order. I will always recall the American border agent, after I had approached him with all the paperwork, leaning out of his booth and calling to the agent in the next booth: “Hey Jake, there’s a guy here with sixteen dogs!

Jean and I were married in Payson, AZ on the 20th November, 2010.

Mr and Mrs Handover

Very sweet memories and the start of a loving era in our lives.

Loving each other and loving our dogs!

Across the world people care for dogs!

This is a marvellous story from Turkey.

It is an account of how a young girl went to seek help for a dog.

It is on The Dodo website and just shows how the caring for a dog crosses all boundaries.

Yet this young girl is just one of millions, literally, who care for our precious dogs.

Here’s the story:

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Little Girl Trudges Through Heavy Snow To Get Help For Her Sick Dog

By Stephen Messenger
Published on 2/26/2021

“She’d wrapped her dog up and brought him to me on her back” ❤️

The other day, Ogün Öztürk was called to a small village in Turkey to attend to a client’s cow. He hadn’t planned on staying long.

But what began as just a routine visit ended as one Ogün won’t soon forget.

Ogün Öztürk

After wrapping up the job he’d come for, Ogün was about to leave the village. Before he did, however, something in the distance caught his eye.

There, trudging toward him on a path thick with snow, was a little girl. And she was not alone.

On her back was a pup.

Ogün Öztürk

Evidently, word had gotten around that a vet was in town — and that presented an opportunity which the girl, 8-year-old Cemre Su Türköz, refused to pass up.

Cemre’s dog, named Pamuk, had fallen sick. Desperate to get him help, she decided to carry Pamuk more than a mile from her home to the spot she’d heard that Ogün would be.

“When I first saw them, I was very surprised and touched,” Ogün told The Dodo. “She’d wrapped her dog up and brought him to me on her back.”

Ogün Öztürk

Ogün, of course, couldn’t turn Cemre and Pamuk away. While the little girl looked on, concerned, Ogün performed a checkup.

Fortunately, the dog’s sickness wasn’t all too serious. Ogün found Pamuk just had some minor skin issues that were making him uncomfortable, but which could easily be treated.

“When Cemre heard that her dog would be fine, she was very happy,” Ogün said. “I applied external parasite medications to Pamuk. He is now enjoying himself again, healthy and happily.”

Ogün Öztürk

The little girl and her dog had gotten help. But they also got a friend.

Ogün has been back to the village to check in on Cemre and Pamuk, ensuring that they never need to brave the snow again to get whatever help he can provide. It’s the least he could do, considering the effort she’d put in to find him.

“It made me very happy that an 8-year-old girl behaved in this way with such a loving heart,” Ogün said.

Ogün Öztürk

Ogün didn’t charge Cemre for his services that day. Just seeing her love and devotion to Pamuk was the best payment he could ask for.

“The fact that a person at such a young age exhibits this behavior gives hope to humanity,” Ogün said. “With all that’s going on in the world, there’s still hope. Cemre showed us that the only truth in the world is love.”

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Let me pick up on that last paragraph for it is so full of things that we know in our hearts are correct.

The first thing is that this eight-year-old girl, Cemre, knows what is right. To be honest, most young people of either gender more often than not know the right thing to do. Then Ogün was reported as saying: “With all that’s going on in the world …”. But there has always been so much going on. It is just that modern communications makes the world’s news to come in at us; wherever we are!

But the most important observation is that the only truth in the world is love!

Life is the flower for which love is the honey.”  Victor Hugo.

or

Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.”  Franklin P. Jones

The above two quotes are just a fraction of what may be seen if one Googles love quotes!

Maybe there is a difference?

Between the genders!

I don’t think I had considered it before now, or rather at the end of January this year, that women across many cultures have an extra special relationship with dogs. It came from an article published in Treehugger on the 27th January and I hope it is alright to share it with you today.

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Why Women Have Had a Great Impact on Dog-Human Relationships

Dogs were more likely to be seen as a type of “person” when bonded with women.

By

Mary Jo DiLonardo

Throughout cultures, women often have closer relationships with dogs. GM Visuals / Getty Images

Sure, they’re called man’s best friend, but it’s women who likely had a bigger impact on the evolutionary relationship between dogs and their humans.

In a new analysis published in the Journal of Ethnobiology, researchers found that several factors probably played a part in creating the beneficial bonds between canines and people. One of those key factors, they found, is gender.

“Both men and women were important for the care and status of dogs across societies, but women had a stronger influence,” Robert Quinlan, Washington State University anthropology professor and corresponding author on the paper, tells Treehugger.

The researchers analyzed documents in the Human Relations Area Files, an anthropological database of collections covering cultural and social life. They sorted through thousands of mentions of dogs, ultimately finding data from 844 ethnographers (researchers who study human culture) writing in 144 societies.>They studied these cultures hoping to get insight into how the beneficial relationship between dogs and humans developed, the researchers said. They tracked traits associated with what they called dogs’ “personhood” across cultures.

“In some cultures, that idea is quite explicit: Dogs are defined as a type of ‘person,’ with human-like qualities. But it also can look like treating dogs in ‘person’-like ways — including giving dogs names, allowing to sleep in humans’ beds, viewing them as beings with souls, or burying and mourning them upon death,” Jaime Chambers, a WSU anthropology PhD student and first author on the paper, tells Treehugger.

They found accounts of the Toraja Indigenous People in Indonesia describing dogs as “equals,” the Sri Lankan Vedda referring to dogs as “four-footed persons,” and the Kapauku in Papua New Guinea calling dogs the only non-human animals with souls, Chambers says.

“We also tracked instances where ethnographers mentioned dogs having a special relationship to women, versus a relationship to men. When it came to dogs’ usefulness to humans, we didn’t detect either gender having more of an influence than the other,” Chambers says. “But in cultures where women and dogs shared a special bond, humans were more likely to be useful to dogs (providing things like affection, food, shelter, and healing) and to regard dogs as ‘person-like.’”

They found that in societies where men were observed interacting with dogs, the likelihood of dogs receiving care and other benefits from humans increased by 37%, and the likelihood that they were treated like people increased by 63%.

In contrast, in societies where dogs were observed interacting with women, the likelihood that they received care and other benefits from humans increased by 127%, and the likelihood that they were treated like people increased by 220%.

“The influence of men and women were additive so that in societies where dogs interacted with both men and women, their benefits and status were increased even more than in societies where dogs tended to interact with only men or only women,” Quinlan points out.

How Women Interact with Dogs

When sifting through the documents, researchers found examples of how women interacted differently with dogs than did men.

“We found women playing a notable role in welcoming dogs into the family sphere. Among the Munduruku from the Amazon and Tiwi from Australia, ethnographers describe women caring for dogs like their own children — literally allowing them to feed and sleep alongside their own human kids,” Chambers says.

“In some cultures, dogs serve as women’s companions in their daily work, such as Amazonian Tukano women who tend their gardens and hunt small game with their dog by their side. In Scandinavia, Saami women play a key role in controlling dogs’ breeding, keeping both male and female dogs and distributing the puppies to their human friends and relatives.”

But dogs aren’t revered everywhere.

“Among the Rwala Bedouin, there’s ambivalence around dogs — they’re seen as an unclean, polluting source, forbidden from eating from cooking vessels — yet they’re still valued as watchdogs and kept close to particular households via women (who sleep near them at night, and feed them via tossed scraps),” Chambers says.

Heat and Hunting

Gender isn’t the only thing that appears to have played a role in the coevolution of dogs and humans. Researchers also found that the warmer the climate, the less useful dogs were to people as hunting partners.

Humans evolved in tropical environments and are pretty good at keeping cool, Quinlan says. However, canine ancestors evolved in cold environments in northern latitudes.

“Dogs burn a lot of energy quickly when they are very active, like chasing prey and so forth, and that can make keeping cool a big problem. Anyone who has taken their dog for a run on a chilly day versus a hot day can easily see the difference,” Quinlan says.
“So, in hot environments dogs can overheat really quickly, making them less useful as hunting partners, herders, etc. ”There are some breeds in some hot environments that have better heat tolerance, yet those are the exceptions.”

Hunting also seemed to strengthen the ties between humans and dogs. In societies where people hunted with their dogs, the animals were more valued. That benefit appeared to decline when food production increased through agriculture or keeping livestock and dogs weren’t as necessary anymore.

Mutual Cooperation Theory

There have been many theories about how dog domestication happened. Some think that humans directly tamed the animals, while others think that people and dogs were mutually attracted to each other and discovered benefits from working together.

“We will never be able to precisely identify the chain of events and conditions leading to dog domestication, but shifting our emphasis like this allows us to rethink the relationship between humans and nature by moving away from a sense of complete human dominance to a kind of cooperation between humans and other beings where the other beings are on a more equal footing,” Quinlan says.

“A mutual cooperation scenario is probably more realistic, and it suggests that we all might benefit from thinking of humans as just one important player among many when we think about humans and the natural world. For us, this rethinking allowed us to approach dog-human relationships from multiple interrelated angles, and the insights we hoped to get from viewing the relationships from multiple angles was a big motivator for this research.”

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I don’t know about you but we found this a very interesting and fascinating theory.

I would love to say more but despite me being the publisher of this blog I am still an individual with lots to learn about dog domestication.

Almost the Ice Age again!

Just joking!

I was thinking yesterday morning that it was about time for me to publish a post.

Tuesday was a busy day with us in the morning going to collect the tractor from Runaway Tractors where it had been in for a service. Then in the afternoon I decided to go for a bike ride, something I try and do every other day. It was grand and I clocked up 18 miles.

The forecast for Wednesday was grim. And we awoke to a morning with much land covered in snow.

Looking to the North-East.

So my item that I wanted to republish from The Smithsonian Magazine seemed apt. It is about the history of dogs.

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How Dogs Migrated to America From Ice Age Siberia 15,000 Years Ago

Northern Siberians and ancestral native Americans may have traded pups at the time

By Elizabeth Gamillo
SMITHSONIANMAG.COM
FEBRUARY 1, 2021

All dogs with the genetic signature A2b descended from the same Siberian canines roughly 23,000 years ago (Jim Peaco; Photo has been cropped for article purposes by ZeWrestler, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Dogs have been companions to humans for many millennia, but exactly when this relationship started is highly debated among scientists.

A study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals that canine domestication may have first occurred in Siberia 23,000 years ago when humans and wolves were isolated together during the Last Glacial Maximum. After this initial domestication event, dogs most likely followed humans when they migrated across the Bering Land Bridge from East Asia to the Americas 15,000 years ago, reports Megan Marples for CNN.

“Wolves likely learned that scavenging from humans regularly was an easy free meal, while humans allowed this to happen so long as wolves were not aggressive or threatening,” Angela Perri, an archaeologist at Durham University and lead author of the study tells CNN.

The study was brought to fruition after Perri and her co-authors—David Meltzer, an archeologist at Southern Methodist University, and Gregor Larson, a scientist from Oxford University—were brainstorming how DNA evidence tells the story of migrating humans and dogs, reports James Gorman for the New York Times. After the authors scribbled down ideas on a whiteboard, they saw that both humans and canines had similar migration patterns and divergence that could explain how dogs and humans began their bond, reports the New York Times.

To see if the similarities between the timelines linked up with archeological evidence, Perri and her team analyzed the genome of 200 ancient dogs from around the world. They found that the canines had one genetic signature, A2b, in common. Once they reached the New World 15,000 years ago, they dispersed into four groups, reports David Grimm for Science.

The researchers found this dispersal matched a similar migration pattern of ancestral Native Americans that descended from Northern Siberia about 21,000 years ago. Connecting these timeline events between humans and dogs, the researchers concluded that humans must have brought dogs into the Americas somewhere around 15,000 years ago.

“Dogs are not going to go to the new world without people,” Meltzer tells the New York Times.

Further exploring the dogs’ genetic evidence, the team found all dogs with the genetic signature A2b descended from the same Siberian canines roughly 23,000 years ago, Science reports.

Looking back at human’s ancestral timeline and genetic evidence, the researchers found that ancient Northern Siberians intermingled with ancestral Native Americans before crossing the land bridge into the Americas. These meetings could have resulted in the two groups of people trading pups.

“People are exchanging information, they’re exchanging mates, they’re maybe exchanging their wolf pups,” Meltzer tells the New York Times.

While there is strong evidence that the initial domestication event occurred 23,000 years ago, the study relied only on mitochondrial DNA and could be missing the complete picture of domestication events, explains Pontus Skoglund, an ancient canine DNA expert from Crick Institute in London who was not involved in the study, to the New York Times. Likewise, Peter Savolainen, a geneticist at the Royal Institute of Technology, tells Science that the A2b signature has been found in other places in the world and is not unique to dogs in the Americas as the researchers suggested.

Still, the study reveals how the relationship between humans and dogs may have begun and how it may have dispersed across the globe. Perri and her team plan on looking at older dog fossils to gather more evidence.

“We have long known that the first Americans must have possessed well-honed hunting skills, the geological know-how to find stone and other necessary materials and been ready for new challenges,” Meltzer tells Peter Dockrill for Science Alert. “The dogs that accompanied them as they entered this completely new world may have been as much a part of their cultural repertoire as the stone tools they carried.”

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There is a huge number of dogs throughout the world. The exact figure is impossible to determine. Here’s an extract from WoofDog’s piece on the global population:

Determining the exact number of pups that inhabit our planet is a bit of a challenge. The fact that many of them live on their own, rather than side by side with people, presents the main obstacle to providing accurate figures.

According to 2012 data, there were around 525 million canines in the world. This figure has grown considerably until the present day, so today, it is estimated to be about 900 million pooches.

And from the same website, here is an estimate of the global population of owned dogs:

Statistics related to canine ownership vary across different countries. Nevertheless, the task of calculating the number of canines owned by people around the globe is far less complicated than it is the case with free-range ones.

The reason for this lies in the fact that many countries have introduced legal regulations on mandatory registration of household animals.

My analysis is that the USA is second in the league of owned dogs.

But wherever there are dogs they are a rich and bountiful addition to the ambitions of humans.

There’s no substitute to rescuing a dog!

Meet the family that has many dogs!

The joy that comes from rescuing a dog from a shelter, especially a shelter that can’t guarantee a no-kill policy, is beyond measure.

This post by Shelley Blount covers that in spades!

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Woman Goes To Adopt One Dog From Shelter — And Comes Out With Three

Group freedom ride 👏🤗💕

By Caitlin Jill Anders
Published on 10/31/2019.

When Shelly Blount saw a post online last week about a dog who was about to be put down in North Carolina, she called the shelter immediately. To her relief, they told her the dog had just been adopted, but it got her thinking about the other dogs who might be in danger. She asked if there were other dogs scheduled to be put down and they told her a dog named Caleb was next on the list — so Blount got in her car.

Accompanied by a friend, Blount drove four hours from Virginia to the shelter, determined to rescue Caleb. When she arrived, she realized two other dogs were about to be put down as well. Despite having three other rescue dogs already at home, Blount suddenly knew what she had to do.

Shelley Blount

“I asked the limit on how many you could adopt,” Blount told The Dodo. “They said there wasn’t one. So I decided to get all three.”

Blount had arrived at the shelter that day expecting to leave with just Caleb — and instead she left with Caleb, Charisma and Bella.

Shelley Blount

As they began the long drive home, all three dogs were so excited and couldn’t contain their happiness, and Blount knew she had absolutely done the right thing.

Shelley Blount

“Caleb was sooo excited — kept giving kisses from the back seat, and his tail was wagging so fast,” Blount said. “Bella was so content being held so she sat in my friend’s lap and literally didn’t move. Charisma, my sweet little angel, was literally hugging me and slept the entire ride.”

Shelley Blount

When Blount decided to adopt all three dogs, she hadn’t really had a plan. She knew she couldn’t leave them at the shelter to be put down, but she also didn’t have room for three more dogs at home — but luckily, within days, she’d already found the best new homes for both Caleb and Bella.

Shelley Blount

“Caleb is super happy in his new home with a friend of mine,” Blount said. “She has another Lab who he loves. Bella went to my boyfriend and let’s just say they are inseparable.”

Shelley Blount

Blount is likely going to keep Charisma, as the pair have bonded quite a bit in the days since the rescue. Either way, Charisma would need to stay with Blount for a while — because after a vet visit, she realized the sweet little dog was pregnant.

Shelley Blount

No one at the shelter had told Blount that Charisma was pregnant with five to six puppies, and later said they hadn’t known. Not only did Blount save Charisma that day, but she also saved the lives of her puppies, and for that Charisma is continuously grateful.

“My Charisma girl is very attached to me and we take lots of cat naps because she’s so sleepy,” Blount said.

Shelley Blount

Charisma is due to give birth within the next week, and her new family is so excited for her. In the meantime, she’s enjoying spending lots of time cuddling with her new mom and best friend, thanking her every day for saving her life.

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Shelley is a real star and, indeed, so are all the other people that rescue dogs.

At the risk of blowing our own trumpet, and I don’t intend to, here’s a photograph from home to finish today’s post.

Brandy, to the left, and Pedi. Two ex-rescue dogs that are now so happy.

The above photograph was taken in 2019!