Two days ago, just 3 miles down the road, someone reported seeing two dogs dumped in a yard and the culprit driving off at high speed. It was on the corner of Hugo Rd and Barker Rd, and Barker I know well because when I ride my bike I do an extra mile along Barker. (And we live on Hugo Rd.)
Then there’s the attitude adopted by the person who took puppies to a shelter. “… the breeder told her the coyotes can always use a meal.” As seen on the website Treehugger. Have a read.
Rescued Blind and Deaf Puppies Are Incredibly Joyful
As I write this, it sounds like there are hyenas battling it out in my basement. Yelps and screams and torturous cries are storming up the stairs along with a few barks and high-pitched squeals.
It’s just another day in fostering some rambunctious blind and deaf puppies who happen to play very, very loudly.
Trudy and Zane are 9-week-old Australian shepherd mixes, maybe Aussiedoodles. They were dropped off at a rural shelter somewhere in Illinois by a breeder. When the beleaguered shelter worker asked what would happen to the puppies if she couldn’t take them, the breeder told her the coyotes can always use a meal. She couldn’t believe it.
The shelter, of course, took them. And Speak! St. Louis, the rescue I volunteer with, of course, stepped up. And somehow the puppies ended up here in Atlanta, playing “WWF Smackdown” in my basement.
Trudy and Zane are double merles like the Treehugger puppies. Merle is a swirly pattern in a dog’s coat that is very lovely and highly prized by breeders and people who want a pretty dog. When two dogs with the merle gene are bred together, there’s a 25% chance that their puppies will be blind, deaf, or both.
Sometimes this happens by accident, but it seems that it happens too often on purpose. In any case, there sure are plenty of puppies that end up needing homes. At least those are the ones that rescue groups hear about. Others just quietly disappear.
I’m pretty sure that Zane and Trudy weren’t handled much by their owner when they got here. They were awfully squirmy and bitey and didn’t want to be held or touched. They wouldn’t eat unless they were touching each other.
So I’ve been working on it. Hold one for a few seconds and put them down before they fidget. Pet them all over a little at a time. Feed them just a little farther apart at each meal.
In just a couple of weeks, they’ve learned that people are pretty cool.
Navigating the World
I’ve fostered a blind puppy, several deaf puppies, and two blind and deaf puppies including the famous Whibble Magoo, who is now competing in agility contests and is smarter than most people I know.
It’s just amazing to watch how they navigate the world. They quickly map out their area, learning where the walls, bushes, and furniture are. Sure, they bounce off a few things at first but puppy heads are pretty hard. They do a little bit of a cartoon-like head shake where the world, no doubt, spins a little bit inside their heads. Then they jump up and go back to exploring and running and being happy.
And, boy, are they happy.
People often say they feel sorry when they see blind or deaf puppies. They talk about how awful it must be for them.
But this is the only life they know and they are so joyful! When they go outside, they bounce in the grass like it is the best, most wonderful place in the world. When they play with a toy, it’s the coolest toy ever. When they find my dog, their tails wag so hard because they are ecstatic to be around him.
And when they find a person, they are elated because people are amazing, fun, and they give snuggles and treats.
They’ve come a long way from being just a step away from coyote dinner. Now they’ve learned to sit with two taps on their bottom and they are learning “down” is a tap on the front foot.
They are getting ready to look for their forever homes where their new people will appreciate that they aren’t just deaf and blind puppies. Instead, they are brilliant, silly, playful, gorgeous puppies with wonderful loving, sweet personalities.
They just happen to play and live with the volume turned up loud.
Regarding that dog dump in Barker Road, I managed to find out which house it was and later on in the day went for a bike ride that took me that way. There was no sign of anything unusual.
But to get to the matter of today’s post that is all about puppies that are blind or deaf. As I am sure you are aware, dogs are very different to us humans when it comes to their senses. I have written before about the great power of their sense of smell. This is many ways is their leading sense and I have no doubt that in the case of dogs that are blind or deaf their smell allows them to function pretty well.
There are many, many good people in the world. Some are outstanding. But I regret that there are quite a few low lights. Shame but there it is.
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.
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.
“[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.”
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Midwestern Pet Foods Recalls Multiple Dog and Cat Food Brands
March 27, 2021 — Midwestern Pet Foods of Evansville, Indiana is recalling multiple brands of dog and cat food because they have the potential to be contaminated with disease-causing Salmonella bacteria.
Recalled products include specific lots of CanineX, Earthborn Holistic, Venture, Unrefined, Sportmix Wholesomes, Pro Pac, Pro Pac Ultimates, Sportstrail, Sportmix and Meridian produced at its production facility in Monmouth, Illinois.
Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and 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 Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever.
Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms.
Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.
Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting.
Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain.
Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans.
If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.
No human or pet illnesses have been reported to date.
Where Were the Products Sold?
Products were distributed to retail store nationwide and to online retailers.
Lot code information may be found on the back of the bags with the following format: “EXP AUG/02/22/M1/L#”
This recall covers only certain products manufactured at Midwestern Pet Foods Monmouth, Illinois facility.
The unique Monmouth Facility identifier is located in the date code as an “M”.
What Caused the Recall?
The recall was as the result of a routine sampling program by the company which revealed that the finished products may contain the bacteria.
What to Do?
Retailers and distributors should immediately pull recalled lots from their inventory and shelves.
Do not sell or donate the recalled products.
Retailers are encouraged to contact consumers that have purchased the recalled products if the means to do so exists.
Do not feed the recalled products to pets or any other animals.
Destroy the food in a way that children, pets and wildlife cannot access them.
Wash and sanitize pet food bowls, cups and storage containers.
Always ensure you wash and sanitize your hands after handling recalled food or any utensils that come in contact with recalled food.
For more information, contact Midwestern Pet Foods Consumer Affairs at email@example.com. Or call 800-474-4163, ext 455, from 8 AM to 5 PM CT, Monday through Friday.
This voluntary recall is being conducted in cooperation with the US Food and Drug Administration. All other Midwestern Pet Foods products are unaffected by this recall.
This was a story that appeared in my ‘in box’ yesterday afternoon but I didn’t want all the clutter that came with it. No problem because there were a number of videos on YouTube and I selected one that seemed to capture the essence of the story.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Nothing to do with dogs but everything to do with the future!
An item in The Conversation recently was not only interesting from a scientific point-of-view but also it had real lessons for the way that we humans are interfering with the planet.
As The Conversation introduced the article:
A mile below the surface of the Greenland ice sheet, an ancient Arctic ecosystem is preserved in the frozen soil. How scientists discovered its leaves, twigs and mosses is a story in itself. It starts with a secret military base built into the northern Greenland ice.
So, for a change, read something that has nothing to do with our furry friends.
Ancient leaves preserved under a mile of Greenland’s ice – and lost in a freezer for years – hold lessons about climate change
In 1963, inside a covert U.S. military base in northern Greenland, a team of scientists began drilling down through the Greenland ice sheet. Piece by piece, they extracted an ice core 4 inches across and nearly a mile long. At the very end, they pulled up something else – 12 feet of frozen soil.
The ice told a story of Earth’s climate history. The frozen soil was examined, set aside and then forgotten.
Half a century later, scientists rediscovered that soil in a Danish freezer. It is now revealing its secrets.
Using lab techniques unimaginable in the 1960s when the core was drilled, we and an international team of fellow scientists were able to show that Greenland’s massive ice sheet had melted to the ground there within the past million years. Radiocarbon dating shows that it would have happened more than 50,000 years ago. It most likely happened during times when the climate was warm and sea level was high, possibly 400,000 years ago.
And there was more. As we explored the soil under a microscope, we were stunned to discover the remnants of a tundra ecosystem – twigs, leaves and moss. We were looking at northern Greenland as it existed the last time the region was ice-free. Our peer-reviewed study was published on March 15 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
With no ice sheet, sunlight would have warmed the soil enough for tundra vegetation to cover the landscape. The oceans around the globe would have been more than 10 feet higher, and maybe even 20 feet. The land on which Boston, London and Shanghai sit today would have been under the ocean waves.
All of this happened before humans began warming the Earth’s climate. The atmosphere at that time contained far less carbon dioxide than it does today, and it wasn’t rising as quickly. The ice core and the soil below are something of a Rosetta Stone for understanding how durable the Greenland ice sheet has been during past warm periods – and how quickly it might melt again as the climate heats up.
Secret military bases and Danish freezers
The story of the ice core begins during the Cold War with a military mission dubbed Project Iceworm. Starting around 1959, the U.S. Army hauled hundreds of soldiers, heavy equipment and even a nuclear reactor across the ice sheet in northwest Greenland and dug a base of tunnels inside the ice. They called it Camp Century.
It was part of a secret plan to hide nuclear weapons from the Soviets. The public knew it as an Arctic research laboratory. Walter Cronkite even paid a visit and filed a report.
One of the original scientists, glaciologist Chester Langway, kept the core and soil samples frozen at the University at Buffalo for years, then he shipped them to a Danish archive in the 1990s, where the soil was soon forgotten.
A few years ago, our Danish colleagues found the soil samples in a box of glass cookie jars with faded labels: “Camp Century Sub-Ice.”
On a hot July day in 2019, two samples of soil arrived at our lab at the University of Vermont frozen solid. We began the painstaking process of splitting the precious few ounces of frozen mud and sand for different analyses.
First, we photographed the layering in the soil before it was lost forever. Then we chiseled off small bits to examine under the microscope. We melted the rest and saved the ancient water.
Then came the biggest surprise. While we were washing the soil, we spotted something floating in the rinse water. Paul grabbed a pipette and some filter paper, Drew grabbed tweezers and turned on the microscope. We were absolutely stunned as we looked down the eyepiece.
Staring back at us were leaves, twigs and mosses. This wasn’t just soil. This was an ancient ecosystem perfectly preserved in Greenland’s natural deep freeze.
How old were these plants?
Over the last million years, Earth’s climate was punctuated by relatively short warm periods, typically lasting about 10,000 years, called interglacials, when there was less ice at the poles and sea level was higher. The Greenland ice sheet survived through all of human history during the Holocene, the present interglacial period of the last 12,000 years, and most of the interglacials in the last million years.
But our research shows that at least one of these interglacial periods was warm enough for a long enough period of time to melt large portions of the Greenland ice sheet, allowing a tundra ecosystem to emerge in northwestern Greenland.
We used two techniques to determine the age of the soil and the plants. First, we used clean room chemistry and a particle accelerator to count atoms that form in rocks and sediment when exposed to natural radiation that bombards Earth. Then, a colleague used an ultra-sensitive method for measuring light emitted from grains of sand to determine the last time they were exposed to sunlight.
Lessons for a world facing rapid climate change
Losing the Greenland ice sheet would be catastrophic to humanity today. The melted ice would raise sea level by more than 20 feet. That would redraw coastlines worldwide.
About 40% of the global population lives within 60 miles of a coast, and 600 million people live within 30 feet of sea level. If warming continues, ice melt from Greenland and Antarctica will pour more water into the oceans. Communities will be forced to relocate, climate refugees will become more common, and costly infrastructure will be abandoned. Already, sea level rise has amplified flooding from coastal storms, causing hundreds of billions of dollars of damage every year.
The article is republished with the full permission of The Conversation.
I hope you read it because the way the climate is changing is affecting all of us now and sooner rather than later we have all got to amend our ways. Indeed, when I look at anyone who has potentially thirty or more years of life in them I ponder what their future is going to be like. And, of course, it won’t be a drastic change in thirty years it is already happening now albeit at times difficult to see.
But there is not one scintilla of doubt that we humans are the cause and we humans have to be the solution!
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.
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.
That evening, Ortiz offered the dog a free meal, made just for her.
And thus began an adorable tradition that continues to this day.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
“Thankfully, our clients have reacted well to the dogs,” Ortiz said. “They are affectionate toward them.”
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.
“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.”
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.
Very sweet memories and the start of a loving era in our lives.