It is the last day of January and we have a post about dogs today.
I found all the non-doggie articles a bit depressing and this item seemed a delightful alternative. It is from the Curious Kids section of The Conversation but, to my mind, of interest to adults as well.
Do dogs really see in just black and white? – Oscar V., age 9, Somerville, Massachusetts
While most people see a full spectrum of colors from red to violet, dogs lack some of the light receptors in their eyes that allow human beings to see certain colors, particularly in the red and green range. But canines can still see yellow and blue.
What you see as red or orange, to a dog may just be another shade of tan. To my dog, Sparky, a bright orange ball lying in the green grass may look like a tan ball in another shade of tan grass. But his bright blue ball will look similar to both of us. An online image processing tool lets you see for yourself what a particular picture looks like to your pet.
Animals can’t use spoken language to describe what they see, but researchers easily trained dogs to touch a lit-up color disc with their nose to get a treat. Then they trained the dogs to touch a disc that was a different color than some others. When the well-trained dogs couldn’t figure out which disc to press, the scientists knew that they couldn’t see the differences in color. These experiments showed that dogs could see only yellow and blue.
In the back of our eyeballs, human beings’ retinas contain three types of special cone-shaped cells that are responsible for all the colors we can see. When scientists used a technique called electroretinography to measure the way dogs’ eyes react to light, they found that canines have fewer kinds of these cone cells. Compared to people’s three kinds, dogs only have two types of cone receptors.
Not only can dogs see fewer colors than we do, they probably don’t see as clearly as we do either. Tests show that both the structure and function of the dog eye leads them to see things at a distance as more blurry. While we think of perfect vision in humans as being 20/20, typical vision in dogs is probably closer to 20/75. This means that what a person with normal vision could see from 75 feet away, a dog would need to be just 20 feet away to see as clearly. Since dogs don’t read the newspaper, their visual acuity probably doesn’t interfere with their way of life.
There’s likely a lot of difference in visual ability between breeds. Over the years, breeders have selected sight-hunting dogs like greyhounds to have better vision than dogs like bulldogs.
But that’s not the end of the story. While people have a tough time seeing clearly in dim light, scientists believe dogs can probably see as well at dusk or dawn as they can in the bright middle of the day. This is because compared to humans’, dog retinas have a higher percentage and type of another kind of visual receptor. Called rod cells because of their shape, they function better in low light than cone cells do.
Dogs also have a reflective tissue layer at the back of their eyes that helps them see in less light. This mirror-like tapetum lucidum collects and concentrates the available light to help them see when it’s dark. The tapetum lucidum is what gives dogs and other mammals that glowing eye reflection when caught in your headlights at night or when you try to take a flash photo.
Dogs share their type of vision with many other animals, including catsand foxes. Scientists think it’s important for these hunters to be able to detect the motion of their nocturnal prey, and that’s why their vision evolved in this way. As many mammals developed the ability to forage and hunt in twilight or dark conditions, they gave up the ability to see the variety of colors that most birds, reptiles and primates have. People didn’t evolve to be active all night, so we kept the color vision and better visual acuity.
Penny Martin has previously written some guest posts for Learning from Dogs and here she is again with today’s post. The subject is not directly about dogs but trying to turn around one’s life; and that is something that most of us have faced up to at some point in their past.
(I think the references to Learning from Dogs are not needed but I’m not Penny!)
Six Simple Self-Improvement Strategies for Your Health and Career
By Penny Martin,
Published 24th January, 2023.
Are you trying to turn your life around? Focusing on improving your self-care habits, your relationships, and your career prospects can yield change your life for the better. Furthermore, Learning From Dogs can introduce you to all of the benefits of becoming a dog owner! Here’s how to invest in your education, upgrade your resume, explore business ownership, and adopt healthy routines.
Advance Your Education
If you’re looking to move up in your career, you may want to head back to school to earn another degree. It’s okay if you’re not able to commit to attending courses at a physical campus – instead, consider studying through an online degree program. This will allow you to simultaneously work and care for your family. Double-check that any online programs you’re considering are accredited and that you can easily afford the tuition. You can choose a major like marketing, education, information technology, business, healthcare administration, and more.
Update Your Resume
Perhaps you’re hunting for a new job. Make sure to revise and update your resume prior to sending out applications! To make the process easier, just pick out a free resume template from an online library – this free resume may help. Then, you’ll input your work history. Finally, you can spruce up this document with a photo or a color scheme.
What if you’re frustrated with your boss, and you feel like working at a traditional 9-to-5 job is holding you back? If you’ve got a business idea, you can always register for LLC status for limited liability and tax breaks. Remember, if you form an LLC, you’ll have to choose a registered agent who can handle communications regarding your formation documents with law firms, tax agencies, and the government. You can hire a registered agent or service for help in this area.
Health and Fitness
Even as you prioritize your career, it’s still important to take care of your physical and emotional well-being. As you plan out meals each week, The Every Girl recommends cooking with lots of leafy greens and incorporating plant-based protein into your diet. Furthermore, try to block off a few workout sessions per week in your schedule. You might want to sign up for a gym membership.
Pick Up a Good Book
Reading is a great use of your downtime, especially if you’re on a self-improvement journey! Healthline states that reading can reduce your stress levels, prevent cognitive decline, and even alleviate symptoms of depression. Plus, you’ll be able to learn more about topics that you’re interested in! You might want to choose books that cover subjects related to self-help, like nutrition, fitness, meditation, or time management.
If you feel like you don’t have time to read, consider how you could cut down on screen time. Alternatively, you could listen to audiobooks while you commute to work or do chores around the house.
Self-improvement is a lifelong process. When you take small steps in the right direction, you’ll be able to look back in a year and feel proud of how far you’ve come. With these tips, you can earn another degree, put together an impressive resume, become a pet owner, open your own business, and more!
Are you thinking about getting a dog? Read all about the benefits on Learning from Dogs! Visit the blog today to find out why getting a dog might be right for you.
Let me publish again the opening remarks that are on the home page of this blog:
Dogs live in the present – they just are! Dogs make the best of each moment uncluttered by the sorts of complex fears and feelings that we humans have. They don’t judge, they simply take the world around them at face value. Yet they have been part of man’s world for an unimaginable time, at least 30,000 years. That makes the domesticated dog the longest animal companion to man, by far!
A dog that was stranded near a frozen waterfall in Utah on Christmas Eve was saved by search and rescue officials and reunited with her owner.
According to the Weber County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue, a local man was hiking near Waterfall Canyon on Saturday when he became separated from his dog Nala.
The unidentified hiker couldn’t find Nala by nightfall and resumed his search the morning of Christmas Day, the sheriff’s office wrote on its Facebook page.
The hiker’s family members contacted authorities around 1:00 p.m., local time, saying he wasn’t responding to their calls or text messages, officials said.
Nala’s owner answered one of the phone calls once he regained cellphone service and was able to let people know that Nala was around the waterfall, but couldn’t reach her because of the steepness and the icy condition of the terrain, according to Weber County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue.
A grab from video posted by Weber County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue shows the dog Nala at Waterfall Canyon in Ogden, Utah, Dec. 25, 2022.
Weber County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue
The search and rescue team responded to the call and were able to save a skittish Nala after a little coaxing, officials said.
“Nala was cold with a few minor injuries, but was able to hike down with the rescuers,” officials wrote. “She is one tough puppy! Once reaching the trailhead parking lot, both human and canine couldn’t have been happier to be reunited.”
According to Waterfall Canyon it is a “moderately challenging,” 2.4-mile trail near Ogden, Utah, according to AllTrails. Ogden is around 38 miles north of Salt Lake City.
I’m sure you read that the human and the dog were very grateful to be reunited.
The first time Donna Lochmann searched a crumbling, abandoned apartment building in St. Louis, Missouri, she couldn’t find who she was looking for. A Good Samaritan called Stray Rescue of St. Louis (SRSL) to report a dog sighting, but Lochmann, the shelter’s chief life saving officer, came out empty-handed.
“We searched every floor and never saw anything,” Lochmann told The Dodo. “There was not one dog, nothing.”
With temperatures dropping and more calls coming in about a dog barking from inside the building, Lochmann decided to go back again and keep searching. This time, she found someone.
“When I got to the backside of the building, I saw a dog lying in the grass,” Lochmann said. “I saw her run towards the back of the building and she went in, so I followed her.”
Unfortunately, by the time Lochmann made it inside the building, the dog had already disappeared into one of the many empty apartments. She couldn’t find the pup on her own, so Lochmann went back to the shelter and recruited the help of other staff members.
Lochmann and her team went back to the building the next day, and as they went from room to room searching for the scared pup, they suddenly heard barking coming from inside.
“I got over there and there was a poor dog just lying in the rubble of this building,” Lochmann said. “She was absolutely trembling, her legs were shaking so hard.”
The weather was cold that day, but Lochmann knew that the dog’s shaking was caused by fear more so than lack of warmth.
“I felt so bad for her,” Lochmann said. “It’s been a while since I’ve seen one shaking that hard, and it’s just gut-wrenching to see them so scared of you.”
To get the dog out of the building, Lochmann decided to use a plastic crate instead of attempting to walk her out on a leash. Not only would it be physically difficult to lead the pup out of the crumbling building on a leash, but Lochmann feared it would stress her out even more.
So Lochmann used the leash she had to guide the dog into the plastic crate, then quickly closed the door behind her.
“Once she was in the crate, she was calm,” Lochmann said.
Lochmann and her team carried the crate out of the building, then gently loaded it into her Jeep. They brought her back to the shelter, where she underwent a medical evaluation. Luckily for the pup, she passed with flying colors.
The dog, whom Lochmann named Habenero, was OK physically, but she was still a little nervous when she first got to the shelter.
“She was still pretty scared at first,” Lochmann said. “But she came around fairly quickly. Within a few days, she wasn’t growling anymore and she stopped shaking when we would talk to her.”
Habanero has since been spending time with Lochmann and her crew at the shelter, slowly getting used to her surroundings. Together, they go on walks around the neighborhoods surrounding the shelter and enjoy plenty of snuggles throughout the day.
Now that Habanero is feeling more comfortable, Lochmann believes that she’s finally ready to go into a foster home. It’ll be yet another change for the 7-year-old pup, but Lochmann is confident that she’ll thrive.
“Once she gets into a home, she’s gonna have a bit of adjustment to do,” Lochmann said. “But she’ll do great. I’m just glad she’s not trembling anymore.”
All images by STRAY RESCUE OF ST. LOUIS with whom copyright rests.
The thing about dogs is the way that we, as in humans, bond so well with the majority of dogs, and that the majority of dogs bond so well with us.
I was just saying this to Jeannie yesterday morning when Oliver jumped up on to the three-seat settee, admittedly onto his special cushion, next to me and proceeded to snooze with his head on my thigh. Dogs are the perfect companions and they are incredibly conscious of the states of mind of their loving humans.
A friend of the blog recently sent me the following; I quote:
How dogs became our best friend
There are plenty of reasons why we love our dogs – and now science has turned its eye on our furry companions to better understand why we can’t live without them. Animal expert Jules Howard joins host Krys Boyd to discuss advancements in dog research, what we know about dog cognition and emotion, and the decades of study that brought us to where we are today. His book is called “Wonderdog: The Science of Dogs and Their Unique Friendship with Humans.“
The friend included a link to the radio broadcast in which Jules Howard talked on Jefferson Public Radio and you can go there by clicking here and scrolling down the list of podcasts. It is just over 34 minutes long and you can find it from both the title and the date: NOVEMBER 23, 2022.
However, there is a longer video from Jules Howard on YouTube. It is 53 minutes long but, boy oh boy, Jules provides so much evidence that dogs are in tune with us in ways that one can hardly believe. Yes, he is sort of promoting his book Wonderdog but so what! So sit oneself down in an easy chair in front of your large screen and watch the following:
So let me close this post by repeating the introduction that I posted on November 4th that included the photograph of Oliver.
I love all our three dogs but Oliver, below, is so in tune with me that I swear he practically understands what I say!
What a beautiful gaze and something that Jules speaks of in his video
Countless numbers of people have dreamt that they can communicate with animals and I would imagine an enormous percentage of those would have dreamt that they can communicate with dogs.
Certainly of the three dogs we have alive still here at home (we had in the past some fifteen dogs) Oliver below appears to understand much of what is said to him by me and Jean
If one goes to the YouTube website then one is introduced to Anna Breytenbach who has made it her life’s passion to better communicate with animals. Here’s a small piece from the extensive WikiPedia entry:
In her twenties she decided to pursue her passion for wildlife (big cats in particular) by becoming a cheetah handler at a conservation education project. On moving to America, she explored wolf and other predator conservation. She has also served on committees for wolf, snow leopard, cheetah and mountain lion conservation.
Anna Breytenbach and friend
So now we come to this video of Anna and Diablo, more properly called Spirit, (and the video will make that clear).
Arjan Postma explains the background to the film:
I just want to share this message as much as possible without any commercial intent, personal benefit or whatsoever. All used materials and therefore copyrights do not belong to me. I hope you enjoy discovering and watching this story and skill as much as I did: What if you could talk to animals and have them talk back to you? Anna Breytenbach has dedicated her life to what she calls interspecies communication. She sends detailed messages to animals through pictures and thoughts. She then receives messages of remarkable clarity back from the animals. In this section, Anna transforms a deadly snarling leopard into a relaxed content cat. The amazing story of how leopard Diabolo became Spirit… I found the source of this amazing documentary here: http://www.cultureunplugged.com/docum… This is the first full length documentary film on the art of animal communication. Nominated for Best Long Documentary, Best Director of “Jade Kunlun” Awards of 2012 World Mountain Documentary Festival of Qinghai China. Director: Craig Foster | Producer: Vyv Simson | Narrator: Swati Thiyagarajan Genre: Documentary | Produced In: 2012.
As recently as 50 years ago, the pit bull was America’s favorite dog. Pit bulls were everywhere. They were popular in advertising and used to promote the joys of pet-and-human friendship. Nipper on the RCA Victor label, Pete the Pup in the “Our Gang” comedy short films, and the flag-wrapped dog on a classic World War I poster all were pit bulls.
Starting around 1990, multiple features of American life converged to inspire widespread bans that made pit bulls outlaws, called “four-legged guns” or “lethal weapons.” The drivers included some dog attacks, excessive parental caution, fearful insurance companies and a tie to the sport of dog fighting.
As a professor of humanities and law, I have studied the legal history of slaves, vagrants, criminals, terror suspects and others deemed threats to civilized society. For my books “The Law is a White Dog” and “With Dogs at the Edge of Life,” I explored human-dog relationships and how laws and regulations can deny equal protection to entire classes of beings.
In my experience with these dogs – including nearly 12 years living with Stella, the daughter of champion fighting dogs – I have learned that pit bulls are not inherently dangerous. Like other dogs, they can become dangerous in certain situations, and at the hands of certain owners. But in my view, there is no defensible rationale for condemning not only all pit bulls, but any dog with a single pit bull gene, as some laws do.
I see such action as canine profiling, which recalls another legal fiction: the taint or stain of blood that ordained human degradation and race hatred in the United States.
For decades pit bulls’ tenacity encouraged the sport of dogfighting, with the dogs “pitted” against each other. Fights often went to the death, and winning animals earned huge sums for those who bet on them.
But betting on dogs is not a high-class sport. Dogs are not horses; they cost little to acquire and maintain. Pit bulls easily and quickly became associated with the poor, and especially with Black men, in a narrative that connected pit bulls with gang violence and crime.
In 1987 Sports Illustrated put a pit bull, teeth bared, on its cover, with the headline “Beware of this Dog,” which it characterized as born with “a will to kill.” Time magazine published “Time Bombs on Legs” featuring this “vicious hound of the Baskervilles” that “seized small children like rag dolls and mauled them to death in a frenzy of bloodletting.”
If a dog has “vicious propensities,” the owner is assumed to share in this projected violence, both legally and generally in public perception. And once deemed “contraband,” both property and people are at risk.
This 2010 report describes the successful rehabilitation of dogs rescued from Michael Vick’s Bad Newz dogfighting operation.
Debating breed bans
Pit bulls still suffer more than any other dogs from the fact that they are a type of dog, not a distinct breed. Once recognized by the American Kennel Club as an American Staffordshire terrier, popularly known as an Amstaff, and registered with the United Kennel Club and the American Dog Breeders Association as an American pit bull terrier, now any dog characterized as a “pit bull type” can be considered an outlaw in many communities.
For example, in its 2012 Tracey v. Solesky ruling, the Maryland Court of Appeals modified the state’s common law in cases involving dog injuries. Any dog containing pit bull genes was “inherently dangerous” as a matter of law.
This subjected owners and landlords to what the courts call “strict liability.” As the court declared: “When an attack involves pit bulls, it is no longer necessary to prove that the particular pit bull or pit bulls are dangerous.”
Dissenting from the ruling, Judge Clayton Greene recognized the absurdity of the majority opinion’s “unworkable rule”: “How much ‘pit bull,’” he asked, “must there be in a dog to bring it within the strict liability edict?”
It’s equally unanswerable how to tell when a dog is a pit bull mix. From the shape of its head? Its stance? The way it looks at you?
Conundrums like these call into question statistics that show pit bulls to be more dangerous than other breeds. These figures vary a great deal depending on their sources.
Any statistics about pit bull attacks depend on the definition of a pit bull – yet it’s really hard to get good dog bite data that accurately IDs the breed
Prince George’s County, Md., is negotiating with advocates suing to revoke the county’s pit bull ban.
Pit bulls demand a great deal more from humans than some dogs, but alongside their bracing way of being in the world, we humans learn another way of thinking and loving. Compared with many other breeds, they offer a more demanding but always affecting communion.