I wasn’t going to publish a post for today because I had to go to the dentist yesterday for an 11 am appointment. In the afternoon the aesthetic was still making my jaw a little ‘sleepy’. But then I saw this article about a particular dog loving blueberries and figured is was too good to overlook. The article was published in The Dodo.
You will undoubtedly agree with me!
Dog Has Cared For Every Blueberry Her Mom Has Ever Given Her
Ava is an incredibly sweet and caring dog, and one of her favorite things in life has always been toys.
“Any time anything happens, her answer is to bring over a toy,” Talia Henze, Ava’s mom, told The Dodo. “And I mean any time. If anyone laughs, if she sees anyone sad, she gets up and brings over a toy.”
One day, Ava was watching her mom snack on some blueberries. She looked so curious that Henze decided to give her one. She thought Ava would enjoy having a little treat, but instead, for some reason, she decided to treat the blueberry exactly like one of her toys.
“She’s been trained to only eat her treats and long-lasting chew stuff on her elevated bed or in her crate, so she naturally just brings new toys, treats, etc. to those places,” Henze said. “So it didn’t surprise me that she brought the berry to it. But she just never ate it.”
Instead, Ava gently carried the blueberry around, caring for it tenderly. She showed absolutely no interest in having it as a snack. Her mom thought maybe she just didn’t understand what it was and tried to show her, but it was no use. The blueberry had become Ava’s friend, and that was that.
“She kind of just carried it around to her different places for a while and snuggled it,” Henze said. “When she eventually got bored and left it in her crate, I tried showing her [how] to eat it by breaking it open … She wanted nothing to do with it when it was broken.”
Now, every time Henze gives Ava a blueberry, the same exact thing happens. They’ve become one of her favorite toys, and it’s the cutest quirky habit ever.
“So I know she doesn’t really like eating them, but every time I eat blueberries she seems to want one,” Henze said. “So I just give her one every time … She tried to eat one once when I really encouraged it, but she just spat it out.”
To Ava, blueberries are friends, not food. They’re her little buddies, and that’s never going to change.
No one has any idea why Ava loves playing with blueberries so much, or why she’s so opposed to actually eating them. Her mom doesn’t question it anymore, though. It’s just a part of who Ava is, and that’s perfectly OK with her.
Dogs are as much a mystery at times as they are pure companions. This is an example of a dog, Ava, who has set her mind on something and that is it! All of us dog carers know this about the animal. I guess there’s a logic to the way that a dog thinks even though that logic is beyond reach to us humans.
But that is one of the many characteristics that makes the dog so precious and so adorable.
For as long as I live I will never stop marvelling at dogs.
Dogs are many things. In a sense they have as many likes and dislikes as us humans. But the one thing that is unique to these beautiful animals is their unconditionality. That, especially, shows through in the way that they care and love the humans and dogs around them.
This story on The Dodo emphasised that special way they care for their fellow dogs. Read it and you will see what I mean.
Camera Catches Dog Bringing His Bed To His Sick Brother So He’s Comfy
“As he’s dragging it he’s looking at Roman almost to say, ‘This is for you’”
From the moment they became brothers, Spanky has always adored and looked up to his big brother Roman. He follows Roman everywhere he goes, and is always happiest whenever they’re together.
“Roman is definitely Spanky’s security blanket,” Jackie Rogers, Roman and Spanky’s aunt, told The Dodo. “Spanky will do nothing without Roman and always makes sure he is close to him and if he’s not he gets up and goes near him.”
About two weeks ago, Roman’s ear started looking a little puffy and infected, so his mom took him to the vet and discovered he has a hematoma on his ear. They scheduled a surgery to take care of it, but unfortunately, while he waited for the surgery, his ear kept getting worse and poor Roman got more and more uncomfortable.
At first, Spanky didn’t notice anything was different, but as Roman’s ear got worse, everyone noticed that Spanky was much more gentle and concerned about his best friend.
“We had to take him back to the vet to confirm he could wait five more days for surgery and I brought Spanky along for the ride, but due to COVID we couldn’t go inside with Roman and for 20 minutes Spanky sat in the car crying/whining/barking until Roman got back,” Rogers said.
With the surgery set, all the family could do for Roman was to let him rest. During the day while everyone is at work, the family has a Ring camera set up so they can check in on the dogs, which is especially important now so they can make sure Roman is OK. Rogers was checking the camera recently when she noticed Spanky watching his brother lying on the floor, looking very concerned — and then he did the cutest thing.
“I see Spanky pacing for a minute while looking at Roman and then the bed and then I see him dragging the bed to Roman and as he’s dragging it he’s looking at Roman almost to say, ‘This is for you,’ and then the next clip is them snuggling,” Rogers said. “I had to re-watch it multiple times, I was in disbelief that he did that!”
Spanky was worried about his brother and wanted him to be as comfortable as possible, so he brought his bed to him so he wouldn’t have to move — because that’s how much he loves his big brother.
Spanky brought the bed over to Roman around 10 a.m., and when Rogers got home that evening, they were still snuggled up there together. Spanky knows his brother isn’t feeling well, and he’s determined to stay by his side until he’s feeling better — and will do anything he can to make sure he’s safe and comfortable in the meantime.
There’s no real way that words can explain that. It’s beautiful, loving and caring and just goes to show how the loving bond works in practice.
Eruption of Taal Volcano in Philippines, January 2020
Volcanic lightning occurs when fragments of propelled ash (including glass, ice, and rock) spark against each other in the violent plume that rises above an erupting volcano. The First-Century Roman writer Pliny the Younger is credited with recording the earliest-extant account of a so-called ‘dirty thunderstorm’ after witnessing the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. “A dreadful black cloud,” Pliny observed in a letter to Tacitus, “was torn by gushing flames and great tongues of fire like much-magnified lightning.” Photos taken in January 2020 of a similar display near Manila, Philippines when Taal Volcano erupted captured the world’s attention. The intense gnashing of darkness and light preserved by the images recalls the cataclysmic beauty of The Destruction of Pompei and Herculaneum, the Romantic artist John Martin’s 1822 painterly recreation of the ancient dirty thunderstorm that Pliny the Younger saw with his own eyes.
This is a copyrighted photograph and I may have to remove it pretty damn quickly.
I am not saying anything new but just reiterating what has been said before: 2020 is going to go down as the year from hell! And I don’t think that is too strong a word!
Part of it are the news stories that sweep the world: Covid-19; Brexit; Climate change; up until yesterday what was President Trump going to do in his last few weeks; etc; etc.
Also part of it is the way that news and more news and, yes, more news is flashed around the globe. Most of it bad news as we all know that bad news sells!
Finally, part of it is the new world of social media especially messaging on a smartphone. President Trump isn’t the only one to communicate greatly via Twitter.
Now, speaking personally, I couldn’t have got through this year without Jeannie and our dogs.
But, nevertheless, something has changed and Mark Satta has written an article that tries to explain things.
Three reasons for information exhaustion – and what to do about it
By Mark Satta, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Wayne State University.
November 18th, 2020
An endless flow of information is coming at us constantly: It might be an article a friend shared on Facebook with a sensational headline or wrong information about the spread of the coronavirus. It could even be a call from a relative wanting to talk about a political issue.
All this information may leave many of us feeling as though we have no energy to engage.
As a philosopher who studies knowledge-sharing practices, I call this experience “epistemic exhaustion.” The term “epistemic” comes from the Greek word episteme, often translated as “knowledge.” So epistemic exhaustion is more of a knowledge-related exhaustion.
It is not knowledge itself that tires out many of us. Rather, it is the process of trying to gain or share knowledge under challenging circumstances.
Currently, there are at least three common sources that, from my perspective, are leading to such exhaustion. But there are also ways to deal with them.
For many, this year has been full of uncertainty. In particular, the coronavirus pandemic has generated uncertainty about health, about best practices and about the future.
Many writers have discussed the negative effects of polarization, such as how it can damage democracy. But discussions about the harms of polarization often overlook the toll polarization takes on our ability to gain and share knowledge.
For those inclined to take the views of others seriously, this can create additional cognitive work. And when the issues are heated or sensitive, this can create additional stress and emotional burdens, such as sadness over damaged friendships or anger over partisan rhetoric.
As chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov put it: “The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.”
Misinformation is often exhausting by design. For example, a video that went viral, “Plandemic,” featured a large number of false claims about COVID-19 in rapid succession. This flooding of misinformation in rapid succession, a tactic known as a Gish gallop, makes it challenging and time-consuming for fact checkers to refute the many falsehoods following one after another.
What to do?
With all this uncertainty, polarization and misinformation, feeling tired is understandable. But there are things one can do.
The American Psychological Association suggests coping with uncertainty through activities like limiting news consumption and focusing on things in one’s control. Another option is to work on becoming more comfortable with uncertainty through practices such as meditation and the cultivation of mindfulness.
To deal with polarization, consider communicating with the goal of creating empathetic understanding rather than “winning.” Philosopher Michael Hannon describes empathetic understanding as “the ability to take up another person’s perspective.”
As for limiting the spread of misinformation: Share only those news stories that you’ve read and verified. And you can prioritize outlets that meet high ethical journalistic or fact-checking standards.
These solutions are limited and imperfect, but that’s all right. Part of resisting epistemic exhaustion is learning to live with the limited and imperfect. No one has time to vet all the headlines, correct all the misinformation or gain all the relevant knowledge. To deny this is to set oneself up for exhaustion.
That last section, What to do?, is full of really sensible advice. In fact, the American Psychological Association has an article at the moment that appears to be freely available called Healing the political divide.
I intend to read it.
It finishes up saying:
Scientists must strive to share their research as broadly as possible. And they don’t have to do it alone. Organizations like More in Common work to conduct research and communicate findings to audiences where it can have the greatest impact.
Advocacy is essential as well. Other countries that have made strides in addressing the political divide relied heavily on government-led reconciliation efforts. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, for example, in South Africa, has been fundamental in addressing disparities and conflict around Apartheid.
Were the United States to consider similar, government-backed efforts, psychologists must be part of the call to do so. And the behavioral expertise of the field would be central to success.
“The collective mental health of the nation is at risk,” says Moghaddam. “Just as we should rely on epidemiological science to tell us when there is a vaccine ready for mass use, we have to rely on psychological science to guide us through these mental health issues.”
And following an election that, for many, has felt like the most polarized of a lifetime, this piece seems critical. “ This is what our profession is all about,” says Moghaddam.
Good advice especially if you can take time off just losing oneself in nature.
Ancient genomes reveal the common history of human and dog.
At the end of October, 2020 Science magazine published an article about the evolutionary genetics of humans and dogs.
I am not allowed to republish the full text, despite being an AAAS member, but I am sure that selected quotes will be alright.
The article was written by Pavlos Pavlidis and Mehmet Somel.
Dogs likely evolved from a wolf population that self-domesticated, scavenging for left-overs from Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers in Eurasia. However, the exact timing and geographic location where the dog lineage started remain unknown, owing to the scarcity of Palaeolithic dogs in the archaeological record. Analyses of genetic data suggest that dog-wolf divergence took place ~25,000 to 40,000 years ago, providing an earliest possible date for dog domestication.
The last paragraph in the short article is as follows:
For example, there is evidence that pigs were domesticated in both Anatolia and China. For dogs, however, the story is different. Dogs and modern-day Eurasian grey wolves appear as monophyletic groups; that is, any dog is genetically closer to another dog than to a wolf, and vice versa, Monophyly supports a single origin of dogs from a possible extinct wolf lineage.
A couple of photographs, courtesy of Pexels, to close the piece.
First of all I must again thank Pexels for providing these photographs. They are from a grouping called Man’s Best Friend.
This is the theme. That dogs are our closest and longest animal companions by far. Indeed, the era that humans befriended wolves is so long ago that an exact time is far from settled. Here’s a piece in the August 2020 issue of Scientific American magazine:
In the 14,000 to 40,000 years during which this domestication process occurred, wild wolves were probably doing better than dogs in terms of numbers – after all, our dogs were probably another food source for humans when times became lean. The first written record of a wolf hunt was recorded in the sixth century B.C.E., when Solon of Athens offered a bounty for every wolf killed.
So in all these photographs today there is a human with the dog!
This is an argument from John to consider dogs that are well past their prime.
It’s a good article. You will enjoy reading it and may learn something; I certainly did!
Here’s Why Senior Pets Have Lots To Offer
As you may or may not know, we’ve recently celebrated Adopt a Less-Adoptable Pet Week. During this week, animal rescues around the globe join together to raise awareness about the benefits of adopting pets that society deems as ‘less adoptable’ – and sadly, senior pets make the list.
We think that senior pets are just as loving, sweet and great companions as their ‘adoptable’ counterparts. But despite the many benefits of owning a senior pet, most families choose younger pets when adopting. With that in mind, here’s why we believe seniors deserve a second look and a fur-ever home.
Why you should consider a senior pet
Since the onset of the pandemic, the number of families adopting and fostering pets since the enforcement of COVID-19 restrictions has risen dramatically across the globe. Near the commencement of stay at home orders, RSPCA received 1,600 adoption applications in a single week of April—a 45% increase in dog adoptions and a 20% increase in cat adoptions compared to 2019.
Senior pets (and other less-adoptable animals) typically spend four times as long in a shelter as a healthy, younger pet. In the U.S. alone, about 400,000 senior pets die in a shelter. Though most people do seek a puppy or kitten when adopting, families would benefit in many ways from choosing an older pet. Here’s why.
Older pets are well past the playful, chew-everything, get-into-anything stage. Older dogs and cats sleep for 20 hours a day or more, rousing just long enough for a conversation, to greet visitors, or have a meal. They are also probably house-trained, dog-door trained, and have formal or informal obedience training.
They are much more likely to come when called, which means they are at less risk of danger younger pets encounter when escaping their yard and wandering the streets.
Easier to train
For the older dog with less than perfect manners, training is typically more straightforward. They are more focused and eager to please than puppies with short attention spans. Senior animals are smarter and more experienced, and this can mean they acclimate more quickly to the house and how the household operates.
One of the best parts about adopting a senior is they have finished growing, and the new family knows exactly how large the pet is. When adopting a puppy, owners are often surprised at how large the dog becomes or how little it grows. With an older dog, there will be no surprises.
Seniors make better companions for seniors
Senior pets usually move at a slower pace, which makes them a better choice for older people, especially those with limited mobility or disabilities. The new owner is less likely to be toppled by a dog jumping up. It’s also safer for those that allow their pets to sleep with them. An older dog is less likely to be rambunctious and cause injury to a sleeping adult.
Senior pets are content to stay close to home or in the house for the majority of the day. They are more likely to be found soaking up a sunbeam on a cosy patch of carpet than barking wildly at everything and everyone crossing past the front window.
Senior dogs are also far less distracted when out for a walk. Though they may perk up at the sight of another dog, they are less likely to drag the owner down the sidewalk in pursuit. They also walk slower, and at a pace their owner matches.
Gratitude and devotion
Senior dogs spend up to four times as long in a shelter, so when they finally find a furever home, their gratitude runs deep, and it shows. They give unconditional love and devotion and look after their families. Often they will attach to a family member and stay close at all times, moving with them from room to room. They take full responsibility for their welfare and provide comfort with a warm, wet kiss.
Years of happiness
At seven years old, most dogs and cats are considered senior. Cats often live to be 15 or even 20 years so that the owner can expect a long life with their new friend. Depending on the breed and size, dogs too can live 15 or more years. So while adopting a senior dog will mean you may spend slightly less birthdays together, you’ll still be blessed with some wonderful years and memories.
Despite the many benefits of owning a senior pet, families also worry about the costs associated with maintaining their pet’s health. Dental cleanings, blood work, and annual shots can quickly add up, but younger animals have just as many health risks and are more likely to be involved in accidents.
Fostering helps many people feel fulfilled because they are making a significant contribution to a pet’s life. For them, seeing their foster move on to their forever family is reward enough. Don’t be surprised though if fostering leads to adoption. That’s always a great outcome for all involved.
“In the U.S. alone, about 400,000 senior pets die in a shelter.“
Among the many interesting aspects of this post, for me the statement above that I have put into italics jumped off the page at me. What an appalling waste!
But coming back to the complete article it offers many aspects of something that I had hitherto not thought about. I suspect that I am not the only one!
We, too, have a senior foster dog. She is Sheena and is 12 years of age. We love her and there is no question of Sheena going back to the kennels.
Once again, let me offer a bit of background on John.
John Brooks is the Professional Content Marketer. He writes a lot of articles on his carrier. Last one year he is working with Orbeen.com as a digital marketing expert. The company provides various types of Digital Marketing services i.e, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Social Media Optimization (SMO), Web design & development, Link Building, Content Marketing & blogger outreach.