Category: Business

Rattlesnake Aversion Training

Following on from yesterday’s post.

In yesterday’s post that was about Dan’s dog, Lexi, Dan offered:

She had Rattlesnake aversion training last year in Palm Springs and did very well. She ran a gauntlet of four snakes to learn sound, site and smell.

The company that Dan used was Natural Solutions in Palm Springs.

I haven’t had the time yet to contact them to see if they can provide material of general interest to you.

But I did find the following video on YouTube that seemed to be interesting. (But note that I have no knowledge good or bad about the company and there are many other companies offering aversion training.)

Raw Dog and Cat Food recall

This was received yesterday afternoon regarding G and C Raw Dog and Cat Food Recall

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G and C Raw Dog and Cat Food Recall

August 3, 2018 — G & C Raw of Versailles, OH is recalling 30 1–pound containers of Pat’s Cat Turkey Cat Food and 40 2-pound containers of Ground Lamb Dog Food because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

About Listeria Infections

Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in animals eating the products.

Furthermore, there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Healthy people infected with Listeria monocytogenes should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, aches, fever, and diarrhea.

Listeria monocytogenes infections can also spread through the bloodstream to the nervous system (including the brain), resulting in meningitis and other potentially fatal problems.

Pregnant women are especially susceptible to Listeria infection, which can result in abortion.

The young, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems also are more vulnerable.

Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Listeria monocytogenes infections are rare, and pets may display symptoms such as mild to severe diarrhea, anorexia, fever, nervous, muscular and respiratory signs, abortion, depression, shock, and death.

In addition to the possibility of becoming sick, such infected animals can shed Listeria monocytogenes through their feces onto their coats and into the home environment and thus serve as sources of infection to humans and other animals in the household.

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

Where Was the Product Sold?

Pat’s Cat Turkey and Ground Lamb Dog Food products were distributed in OH, MI, IN, PAN, KY, NC, and GA.

They were also distributed by direct delivery by G & C Raw, LLC.

What’s Being Recalled?

The Pat’s Cat Turkey is sold in 1-pound clear plastic containers with the Lot number WWPKTF051618.

The Ground Lamb product is sold in a 2-pound plastic container with the Lot number MFF022718.

The Lot number codes are listed on the bottom right corner of the label.

No illnesses have been reported to date.

About the Recall

The recall was as the result of a routine sampling program by the Ohio Department of Agriculture which revealed that the finished products contained the bacteria

The company has ceased the production and distribution of the product as the company continues its investigation as to what caused the problem.

What to Do?

Consumers who have purchased Pat’s Cat Turkey Cat Food with the lot number, WWPKTF051618, OR Ground Lamb Dog Food with the lot number MFF022718 are urged to return it to G & C Raw, 225 N. West Street, Versailles, OH, for a full refund.

Consumers with questions may contact: G & C Raw, LLC at 937-827-0010 ET, or by email at gcrawdogfood@yahoo.com.

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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Sincerely hope that no-one out there has a dog or cat that has eaten this potentially suspect food.

 

The slippery food slope.

The second in this three-part focus on food; both for us and our dogs!

A republication, within the terms of The Conversation site, of an article that was originally published on June 26th, 2018.

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Why it’s time to curb widespread use of neonicotinoid pesticides

By  Associate Professor of Entomology and Extension Specialist, Pennsylvania State University

Planting season for corn and soybeans across the U.S. corn belt is drawing to a close. As they plant, farmers are participating in what is likely to be one of the largest deployments of insecticides in United States history.

Almost every field corn seed planted this year in the United States – approximately 90 million acres’ worth – will be coated with neonicotinoid insecticides, the most widely used class of insecticides in the world. The same is true for seeds in about half of U.S. soybeans – roughly 45 million acres and nearly all cotton – about 14 million acres. In total, by my estimate, these insecticides will be used across at least 150 million acres of cropland, an area about the size the Texas.

Neonicotinoids are very good at killing insects. In many cases they require only parts per billion, equivalent to a few drops of insecticide in a swimming pool of water.

In recent years, concerns have been raised about the influence of neonicotinoids on bee populations. As an applied insect ecologist and extension specialist who works with farmers on pest control, I believe the focus on bees has obscured larger concerns. In my view, U.S. farmers are using these pesticides far more heavily than necessary, with potential negative impacts on ecosystems that are poorly understood.

Pesticides on seeds 

Most neonicotinoids in the United States are used to coat field crop seeds. Their role is to protect against a relatively small suite of secondary insect pests – that is, not the main pests that tend to cause yield loss. National companies or seed suppliers apply these coatings, so that when farmers buy seed, they just have to plant it.

The percentage of corn and soybean acreage planted with neonicotinoid seed coatings has increased dramatically since 2004. By 2011, over 90 percent of field corn and 40 percent of soybeans planted were treated with a neonicotinoid. Between 2011 and 2014, the area treated crept toward 100 percent for corn and 50 percent for soybeans. And the mass of neonicotinoids deployed in each crop doubled, indicating that seed suppliers applied about twice as much insecticide per seed. Unfortunately, many farmers are unaware of what is coated on their seeds, while others like the peace of mind that comes from an apparently better protected seed.

Unlike most insecticides, neonicotinoids are water soluble. This means that when a seedling grows from a treated seed, its roots can absorb some of the insecticide that coated the seed. This can protect the seedling for a limited time from insects. But only a small fraction of the insecticide applied to seeds is actually taken up by seedlings. For example, corn seedlings only take up about 2 percent, and it only persists in the plant for two to three weeks. The critical question is where the rest goes.

Clothianidin is a neonicotinoid used almost exclusively as a coating on seed corn. Maps from USGS.

Pervading the environment

Because neonicotinoids are water soluble, the leftover insecticide not taken up by plants can easily wash into nearby waterways. Neonicotinoids from seed coatings are now routinely found polluting streams and rivers around the country.

Here it is likely that they are poisoning and killing off some of the aquatic insects that are vital food sources for fishes, birds and other wildlife. In the Netherlands, neonicotinoids in surface waters have been associated with widespread declines in insectivorous bird populations – a sign that concentrations of these insecticides are having strong effects on food webs.

Neonicotinoids also can strongly influence pest and predator populations in crop fields. My lab’s research has revealed that use of coated seeds can indirectly reduce crop yield by poisoning insect predators that usually kill slugs, which are important crop pests in mid-Atlantic corn and soybeans fields.

More broadly, planting coated seeds generally decreases populations of insect predators in crop fields by 15 to 20 percent. These predatory insects can eat insect pests, such as black cutworm and armyworm, that can reduce yield. Crop fields with fewer resident predators are more vulnerable to pest infestations.

Slugs, shown here on a soybean plant, are unaffected by neonicotinoids, but can transmit the insecticides to beetles that are important slug predators. Nick Sloff/Penn State University, CC BY-ND

An exaggerated need

Neonicotinoid advocates point to reports – often funded by industry – which argue that these products provide value to field crop agriculture and farmers. However, these sources typically assume that insecticides of some type are needed on every acre of corn and soybeans. Therefore, their value calculations rest on comparing neonicotinoid seed coatings to the cost of other available insecticides.

History shows that this assumption is clearly faulty. In the decade before neonicotinoid seed coatings entered the market, only about 35 percent of U.S. corn acres and 5 percent of soybean acres were treated with insecticides. In other words, pest populations did not cause economically significant harm very often.

Importantly, the pest complex attacking corn today is more or less the same as it was in the 1990s. This suggests that it is not necessary to treat hundreds of millions of acres of crops with neonicotinoid seed coatings.

Neonicotinoids can harm birds via multiple pathways, sometimes in very small quantities.

From overkill to moderation

Should the United States follow the European Union’s lead and pass a broad ban on neonicotinoids? In my view, action this drastic is not necessary. Neonicotinoids provide good value in controlling critical pest species, particularly in vegetable and fruit production. However, their use on field crops needs to be reined in.

In the Canadian province of Ontario, growers can only use neonicotinoid seed treatments on 20 percent of their acres. This seems like a good start, but does not accommodate farmers’ needs very well.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a control strategy based on using pesticides only when they are economically justified, offers valuable guidelines. It was introduced in the late 1950s in response to issues stemming from overuse of insecticides, including environmental damage and pest populations that had evolved resistance. Field-crop growers have a good history of using IPM, but current use of neonicotinoids ignores pest risk and conflicts with this approach.

To implement IPM in field crops with neonicotinoids, seed companies need to acknowledge that the current approach is overkill and poses serious environmental hazards. Extension entomologists will then need to provide growers with unbiased information on strengths and limitations of neonicotinoids, and help farmers identify crop acres that will benefit from their use. Finally, the agricultural industry needs to eliminate practices that encourage unnecessary use of seed coatings, such as bundling together various seed-based pest management products, and provide more uncoated seeds in their catalogs.

These steps could end the ongoing escalation of neonicotinoid use and change the goal from “wherever possible” to “just enough.”

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It’s enough to make one give up!!

On plant-based diets!

Serendipity!

Last Friday I published a post under the title of On Veganism. Earlier that same day I opened up an email promoting the latest essay from George Monbiot. It had been published in The Guardian newspaper two days previously.

I am delighted to republish it here with George Monbiot’s kind permission.

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Butchery of the Planet

Defending the living world and its people requires a shift from meat to a plant-based diet

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 8th June 2018

Whether human beings survive this century and the next, whether other lifeforms can live alongside us: above all this depends on the way we eat. We can cut our consumption of everything else close to zero and still drive living systems to collapse, unless we change our diets.

All the evidence now points in one direction: the crucial shift is from an animal to a plant-based diet. A paper published last week in Science reveals that while some kinds of meat and dairy production are more damaging than others, all are more harmful to the living world than growing plant protein. It shows that animal farming takes up 83% of the world’s agricultural land, but delivers only 18% of our calories. A plant-based diet cuts the use of land by 76% and halves the greenhouse gases and other pollution caused by food production.

Part of the reason is the extreme inefficiency of feeding livestock on grain: most of its nutritional value is lost in conversion from plant protein to animal protein. This reinforces my contention that if you want to eat less soya, you should eat soya: most of the world’s production of this crop, and the accompanying destruction of forest, savannah and marshland, is driven by the wasteful practice of feeding animals on food that humans can eat.

More damaging still is free range meat: the environmental impacts of converting grass into flesh, the paper remarks, “are immense under any production method practiced today”. This is because so much land is required to produce every grass-fed steak or lamb chop. Though roughly twice as much land is used for grazing worldwide than for crop production, it provides just 1.2% of the protein we eat. While much of this pastureland cannot be used to grow crops, it can be used for rewilding: allowing the many rich ecosystems destroyed by livestock farming to recover, absorbing carbon from the atmosphere, protecting watersheds and halting the sixth great extinction in its tracks. The land that should be devoted to the preservation of human life and the rest of the living world is used instead to produce a tiny amount of meat.

Whenever I raise the crucial issue of yield per hectare, I receive a barrage of vituperation and abuse. But I’m not having a go at farmers, just pointing out that the figures don’t add up. We can neither feed the world’s growing population nor protect its living systems through animal farming. Meat and dairy are an extravagance we can no longer afford.

There is no way out of this. Those who claim that “regenerative” or “holistic” ranching mimics nature deceive themselves. It relies on fencing, while in nature wild herbivores roam freely, often across vast distances. It excludes or eradicates predators, crucial to the healthy functioning of all living systems. It tends to eliminate tree seedlings, ensuring that the complex mosaics of woody vegetation found in many natural systems – essential to support a wide range of wildlife – are absent.

The animal industry demands ever greater assaults on the living world. Witness the badger slaughter in the UK, now spreading across the country in response to the misguided requests of dairy farmers. People ask how I would justify the return of wolves, knowing that they will kill some sheep. I ask how they justify the eradication of wolves and a vast range of other wildlife to make way for sheep. The most important environmental action we can take is to reduce the amount of land used by farming.

Unless you can cook well – and many people have neither the skills nor the space – a plant-based diet can be either boring or expensive. We need better and cheaper vegan ready meals and quick and easy meat substitutes. The big shift will come with the mass production of cultured meat. There are three main objections. The first is that the idea of artificial meat is disgusting. If you feel this way, I invite you to look at how your sausages, burgers and chicken nuggets are currently raised, slaughtered and processed. Having worked on an intensive pig farm, I’m more aware than most of what disgusting looks like.

The second objection is that cultured meat undermines local food production. Perhaps those who make this claim are unaware of where animal feed comes from. Passing Argentinian soya through a nearby pig before it reaches you does not make it any more local than turning it directly into food for humans. The third objection has greater merit: cultured meat lends itself to corporate concentration. Again, the animal feed industry (and, increasingly, livestock production) has been captured by giant conglomerates. But we should fight to ensure that cultured meat does not go the same way: in this sector as in all others, we need strong anti-trust laws.

This could also be a chance to break our complete dependence on artificial nitrogen. Traditionally, animal and plant farming were integrated through the use of manure. Losses from this system led to a gradual decline in soil fertility. The development of industrial fertilisers saved us from starvation, but at a high environmental cost. Today, the link between livestock and crops has mostly been broken: crops are grown with industrial chemicals while animal slurry stacks up, unused, in stinking lagoons, wipes out rivers and creates dead zones at sea. When it is applied to the land, it threatens to accelerate antibiotic resistance.

In switching to a plant-based diet, we could make use of a neat synergy. Most protein crops – peas and beans – capture nitrogen from the air, fertilising themselves and raising nitrate levels in the soil that subsequent crops, such as cereals and oilseeds, can use. While the transition to plant protein is unlikely to eliminate the global system’s need for artificial fertiliser, the pioneering work of vegan organic growers, using only plant-based composts and importing as little fertility as possible from elsewhere, should be supported by research, that governments have so far conspicuously failed to fund.

Understandably, the livestock industry will resist all this, using the bucolic images and pastoral fantasies that have beguiled us for so long. But they can’t force us to eat meat. The shift is ours to make. It becomes easier every year.

http://www.monbiot.com

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Thus, along with the argument presented last Friday that a vegan diet is critically important for one’s health and long-term fitness, Mr. Monbiot presents another argument: “Whether human beings survive this century and the next, whether other lifeforms can live alongside us: above all this depends on the way we eat.

Back in business!

Of trees and internet services!

The weather at 6am didn’t bode well with a brisk wind blowing clouds across the summit of Mt. Sexton.

Lyman from Liberty Tree Enterprises arrived bright and early on Wednesday morning to set about felling the dead fir close to the North-East corner of our rear deck.

It was this dead fir, pictured to the left, that had had the wireless antenna installed on it soon after we moved in to Merlin, OR, back in 2012.

How the day would go was a bit of a guessing game: Would we need a new antenna because it would be broken when the tree hit the ground?; Would Outreach be out to see us reasonably soon after we called them to say that the tree was down?; Would there be complications that were unforeseen at this early stage of the ‘project’?

Well we wouldn’t have long to find out.

Lyman and his assistant were very careful in ensuring that the face of the cut, that would direct exactly where the tree fell, was aligned perfectly. I was very impressed with the care and attention put into this aspect of the felling process.

Then it was time to make the cut on the other side of the trunk and hammer in the wedges that would cause the tree to fall. At one point there was a gust of wind that had the tall trunk rocking on the base. We all held our breath.

But at 09:33 down it came!

Down it came perfectly. (Later I counted the rings to discover that the tree was 65 years old!)

Then it was a case of cutting off all the limbs and shredding them up on site. Inevitably the dogs took an interest!

Here’s Cleo making friends with Lyman.

On to stage two.

Outreach had been called and to our great relief we were told that Doug and Jennifer, the Outreach rigging crew, should be along later in the afternoon.

The two of them arrived and quickly established that the existing antenna had survived the drop!

Therefore, it wasn’t long before Doug was climbing another fir also conveniently close to the deck.

Doug earning his living big time!

And within the hour it was time to power up the router, switch on my iMAC and test for a signal!

The old antenna installed in its new home!

Yes!

All was working and working well.

As you good people will understand it was too late in the day to sort out a post for yesterday.

Plus I needed a few hours to catch up on emails and stuff and then sort out the photographs that I had taken that day.

Then, yesterday afternoon, I sat down and ‘penned’ today’s post for you all.

 

Well done Liberty Tree and well done Outreach!

That new EU law regarding data compliance!

Sorry but I need to join the crowd!

That is the crowd of emails that you and I have been receiving regarding the new GDPR law. The new law that is effective from today.

As a recent BBC video explains:

What is GDPR? Technology explained

A new EU law that changes how companies use our personal information kicks in on 25 May.

The BBC’s Chris Foxx explains what GDPR is and how it will affect you.

Then there is this YouTube video:

Finally, here’s an extract from a recent Firefox blog post:

1. The General Data Protection Regulation gives the European Union the power to hold businesses and organizations accountable for how they collect and handle personal data — your data.

Businesses and organizations have had two years to get ready. This wasn’t a sneak attack by the European institutions. The GDPR went on the books in May 2016, giving anyone who collects customer data plenty of time to prepare.

2. Even though it’s driven out of Europe, the GDPR impacts the whole world.

If you live outside of Europe, you’re probably wondering what a European law has to do with you. Thanks to something called “territorial scope,” any organization that deals with data of EU residents must comply with the GDPR for those individuals, which impacts global organizations like Apple and Facebook. Even though they are not strictly required, some organizations are taking a principled (and perhaps easier) approach, providing the same set of controls and protections to non-EU residents.

3. It’s filling up in your inbox.

We’ve all been bombarded with emails about updated privacy policies and terms of service. It’s (mostly) not fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it’s because organizations are getting their policies and practices into GDPR compliance. Bonus points: All those emails are a hint to disconnect from services you’ve forgotten about.

Now this is where it gets complicated.

For while there is a WordPress plugin that is supposed to ensure that this WordPress blog conforms, whatever that implies, to the requirements of the new law I am not able to download it without upgrading the blog to Business Plan. As I am already paying to be a Premium WordPress user I object to shelling out more money just now.

So if there is any aspect of being a subscriber to Learning from Dogs that you do not like then please unsubscribe.

As I learn how other blog authors are dealing with the issue then I will let you know if there are any changes that I need to make.

Any advice or suggestions regarding this new law would be most welcome!

Best laid plans!

Our tree work is now set for Wednesday, 30th!

Our arborist called early afternoon yesterday to say that they had ended up too late with their prior job for them to fell our tree that day. It has been re-scheduled for next Wednesday.

Conveniently, there was another dog food recall notice issued yesterday and that is the topic of today’s post.

Dear Fellow Dog Lover,Because you signed up on our website and asked to be notified, I’m sending you this special recall alert. If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please click the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of this message.
Merrick Pet Care of Amarillo, Texas, is voluntarily recalling a limited amount of its dog treats due to elevated levels of naturally occurring beef thyroid hormone.

To learn which products are affected, please visit the following link:
Merrick Recalls Multiple Dog Treats

Please share the news of this alert with other pet owners.

Mike Sagman, Editor
The Dog Food Advisor

P.S. Get instant access to a list of The Dog Food Advisor’s safest and most recommended dog food brands. Click here for details.

That link offers much more information that is re-published here.

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Merrick Recalls Multiple Dog Treats

May 23, 2018 – Merrick Pet Care, of Amarillo, Texas, is initiating a voluntary recall of a limited amount of beef dog treat varieties due to the potential that they contain elevated levels of a naturally-occurring beef thyroid hormone.

What’s Recalled?

Batch Information

The voluntary recall is limited to the production codes listed below.

To locate the production code, consumers should look on the lower back of the treat bag.

No other production codes, sizes or varieties of these products are affected. The voluntary recall covers only specific production codes of the following beef treat products:

About Beef Thyroid

Dogs consuming high levels of beef thyroid hormone may exhibit the following symptoms: increased thirst and urination, weight loss, increased heart rate and restlessness.

These symptoms may resolve when consumption decreases.

If a dog consumes high levels for a long period of time, these symptoms may increase in severity and may include vomiting, diarrhea and rapid or labored breathing.

If your pet has consumed the product listed and has exhibited any of these symptoms, please discontinue feeding and contact your veterinarian.

What Caused the Recall?

This potential health risk was brought to Merrick’s attention as a result of the FDA sharing one consumer complaint where the dog’s health was temporarily impacted while eating Merrick Backcountry Great Plains Real Beef Jerky 4.5 ounce.

The dog’s health improved and fully recovered after discontinuing consumption of the treat.

Message from Merrick

Pet owners should know there is limited risk given treats are not intended for full nutrition and should only be occasionally consumed.

However, out of an abundance of caution and to maintain trust with our consumers, we are withdrawing all potentially impacted product.

We have not received any similar reports to date from consumers about issues with these products.

As a company of pet owners and pet lovers, we know our consumers place a tremendous amount of trust in us when their pet uses our products.

The quality and safety of our products are the top priority for our company.

We apologize to our retail customers and consumers and sincerely regret any inconvenience and concerns caused by this voluntary recall.

We are working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on this voluntary recall and will cooperate with them fully.

What to Do?

If you have product, please contact Merrick at 800-664-7387 from 8 am to 5 pm Central Time Monday through Friday.

Or by email at customerservice@merrickpetcare.com so we can provide a refund.

Or visit Merrick’s website and fill out a form: http://www.merrickpetcare.com/customerrelations.

No other Merrick or Castor & Pollux products are impacted. These treats are distributed in the U.S. through pet specialty, grocery and online retailers with limited distribution in Canada.

For more information visit http://www.MerrickPetCare.com.

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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As I always say, do share this post as much as you can because we all care so much for the health of our dogs!

Moving trees!

The tree that houses our internet connection has died!

Our local arborist from Liberty Tree Enterprises is on the property tomorrow, Wednesday, to fell a dead tree. It is the tree that has our Outreach Internet wireless antenna attached to it very close to its top.

Outreach are standing by to re-install the antenna in another tree close by but it’s reasonable to plan for being off-line for a couple of days.

Thus, the following article that recently appeared on Mother Nature Network seems a most appropriate item to share with you all.

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How to tell if a tree is dead or dying.

by NOEL KIRKPATRICK, May 19, 2018.

A sick tree can infect the other trees in your yard. (Photo: Jannarong/Shutterstock)

A dying tree in a forest is nature simply running its course and eventually giving back to its ecosystem. A dying tree in a well-landscaped yard, however, can pose problems for other trees and everything else around it.

If you have trees near your home, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on their health and to take action if you think a tree is dying or dead.

But first it’s important to be sure your tree is actually sick. This may seem like common sense, but some trees will exhibit signs of illness as part of their usual seasonal cycles. Kevin Zobrist, a Washington State University extension forestry educator, explains that some trees, like the western red cedar, will temporarily appear sick “due to normal seasonal dieback.” So the first step to identifying if a tree is dying is to identify the tree to make sure it’s not just behaving like it’s supposed to.

It’s also important to remember that not all causes of tree sickness are insect-related. Ailments can be the result of improper planting, diseases and weather-related events, like severe storms, winds and drought.

5 signs your tree may be dying

Strong winds can cause trees to lean out of their original shape. (Photo: kenkistler/Shutterstock)

1. Too much leaning or an otherwise odd shape. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), trees leaning 15 degrees away from their original vertical position aren’t doing so well. Trees that were originally straight that are leaning like this are likely the victims of strong winds or root damage. The InterNACHI says that large trees that are leaning due to wind “seldom recover.”

2. Cracks in the tree. These are deep splits in the bark of the tree that can be difficult to identify. Some trees are supposed to have cracks. But deep cracks and gashes can lead to serious issues and “indicate the tree is presently failing,” per the InterNACHI.

Trees aren’t big fans of cankers, either. (Photo: Ngukiaw/Shutterstock)

3. Trees can get cankers, too. Cankers are deeply unpleasant things for both humans and trees. In the case of our arboreal friends, cankers are areas of dead bark, the result of a bacterial or fungal infection, according to the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), a trade group for tree professionals. These infections get inside the tree through an open wound, and the stress of the infection causes the bark to become sunken or fall off the tree. A tree is more likely to break apart near a canker.

4. Wood shows signs of decay. Decay is often hard to spot because it often starts on the inside of the tree, according to TCIA. There are still signs of decay that you can see, however. Mushroom-like spores on the visible roots, stems or branches are clear signs of decay, and cavities where wood is missing also indicate that the tree isn’t healthy.

5. The tree has deadwood. This is exactly what it sounds like: It’s wood that’s dead. When a tree starts dropping branches or limbs, it’s a sign it’s trying to conserve resources by making itself smaller. In addition to being dry and easy to break, deadwood can also be identified by the color of the wood. If it’s bright green, the tree is still healthy. If it’s dull green, it’s dying, and if it’s brown, it’s deadwood. Be sure to test other branches from around the tree as it is possible that only that section of the tree is dying.

Arborists can help

Arborists can help you with many of your tree-related needs, including tree removal. (Photo: Evgeniy Zhukov/Shutterstock)

If you don’t feel comfortable making the call regarding your tree’s health, consult the professionals. Agricultural extensions organized through universities can help you determine the state of your tree, and let you know if trees in your county or state are experiencing problems. If you’re not sure how to contact your extension, the National Pesticide Information Center maintains a list of extensions in each state and U.S. territory.

You can also reach out to an arborist, also referred to as a tree surgeon. These individuals can help you determine the health of your tree and if a removal is necessary. If it is, many arborists can help you with that as well. The International Society of Arboriculture has an easy-to-use tool to help you locate ISA-certified arborists in your area.

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I hope that the above article has been informative and that you will understand why there may be a pause from this end.

So I will close the post by including another photograph taken on Monday afternoon of our tree that confirms that it has come to the end of its natural life and that if not felled could be a danger to the house.

See you soon (fingers crossed!)

More dog food recall notices

The following came in while we were away.

On the 13th April:

K9 Natural is recalling 4 batches of its raw frozen dog food due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in humans and animals.

To learn which products are affected, please visit the following link:

K9 Natural Dog Food Recall

Please share the news of this alert with other pet owners.

April 13, 2018 — K9 Natural Ltd is voluntarily recalling 4 batches of its K9 Natural Frozen Chicken Feast that were imported into the US in June 2017 because they have the potential to be contaminatedwith Listeria monocytogenes.

Then on April 16th.

April 16, 2018 — Carnivore Meat Company of Green Bay, WI, is voluntarily recalling two of its Vital Essentials freeze-dried dog foods because they may be contaminated with Salmonella.

What’s Recalled?

The following affected products were distributed in the continental USA through independent retailers and via online retailers Chewys.com and Amazon.com through direct delivery.

  • Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Beef Toppers
  • 6 oounce (170 g) package size
  • Best by date: 06/04/2019 or 06/20/2019
  • Lot #: 13815
  • Product UPC: 033211006059
  • Vital Essentials Frozen Beef Chub Entrée for Dogs
  • 5 pound (2.27 kg) package size
  • Best by date: 12/27/18
  • Lot #: 13816
  • Product UPC: 033211008817

There’s more to see about this recall so please, please go here to read the details.

Then two days later, April 18th, in came this:

April 18, 2018 — TruDog is withdrawing one lot of its freeze-dried dog food from the market because it may be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.

What’s Recalled?

The affected products were distributed in the continental USA via online retailer Chewy.com and TruDog.com through direct delivery.

The recall is limited to 400 cases and appears to include a single batch of TruDog BoostMe Mighty Meaty Beef Topper Meal Enhancer identified only as Lot #20190531 13815.

Full details here.

Then more came through on the 21st April. As in:

Dear Fellow Dog Lover,
Because you signed up on our website and asked to be notified, I’m sending you this special recall alert. If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please click the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of this message.

Important: This email alert includes 2 different recalls.

OC Raw Dog is recalling one lot of its Freeze-Dried dog treats product because it has the potential to cause botulism poisoning.

To learn which products are affected, please visit the following link:OC Raw Dog Recalls Dog Treats | April 2018

In addition…

OC Raw Dog is also recalling one lot of its raw frozen dog food due to potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.

To learn which products are affected, please visit the following link:

OC Raw Dog Recalls Dog Food Due to Risk of Listeria

Please share the news of this alert with other pet owners.

Mike Sagman, Editor

The Dog Food Advisor

P.S. Get instant access to a list of The Dog Food Advisor’s safest and most recommended dog food brands. Click here for details.

As in:

April 20, 2018 — OC Raw Dog, LLC of Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, is recalling its OC Raw Dog Freeze Dried Sardines product because it has the potential to cause botulism.

Botulism is a deadly disease caused by a toxin-producing bacterium known as Clostridium botulinum.

The toxin itself is one of the most potent poisons known and can be fatal to both pets and humans.

Further details here.

Plus:

April 20, 2018 — OC Raw Dog, LLC of Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, is recalling a specific lot of its raw frozen dog food due to potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.

Further details of this one here.

But apart from that nothing in particular really happened!!

Please share these details with as many other dog lovers as you can! Thank you!!

 

Dogs and Humans!

Great to be back to blogging again!

Jean and I flew back into Portland last Thursday evening and after a motel stay near to the airport arrived back home last Friday a little before mid-day.

It was an incredible trip covering family in both England and France and I will start writing up the details of where we went and who we stayed with over the coming days; sing out if this is not want you want to read!!

But as good as the vacation was it was fabulous to be home and I wanted to share with you a few sights of home taken over the last couple of days.

Mother Goose now has her goslings!

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I will never tire of looking at Mount Sexton!

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Nor of the beauty of where we live!

OK!

I can think of no better way of re-starting my blog posts than to republish an item that Dan shared with me back in early April.

ooOOoo

“Dogs Welcome”

A man wrote in a letter to a small hotel in a Midwest town he planned to visit on his vacation:

“I would very much like to bring my dog with me. He is well-groomed and very well behaved. Would you be willing to permit me to keep him in my room with me at night?”

An immediate reply came from the hotel owner, who wrote:

“SIR: I’ve been operating this hotel for many years. In all that time, I’ve never had a dog steal towels, bedclothes, silverware or steal pictures off the walls or use them as a coloring book.

I’ve never had to evict a dog in the middle of the night for being drunk and disorderly. And I’ve never had a dog run out on a hotel bill. Yes, indeed, your dog is welcome at my hotel. And, if your dog will vouch for you, you’re welcome to stay here, too.”

ooOOoo

Dan also shared some really gorgeous photographs that can be seen on the next two Sundays.