Category: Culture

More tips for healthy dogs

Another interesting article from Susan Combs.

It’s self-explanatory and needs no further introduction from me save to say that this is the third guest post from Susan.

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Four Essential Tips to Make Your Dog Healthy and Active Round the Year

Dogs have been living with us for tens of thousands of years. This evolutionary relationship and a special chemistry with us have made them our best friends. Their affection for us makes them extraordinarily attentive with which they uncannily predict what we are going to do. They are so attuned to our emotional state that whenever we get annoyed, they even express contrition. As stated by a Harris poll, as many as 90 percent of parents consider their cats and dogs to be part of their family.

If you are a dog owner, you surely are treating him as your family member and you also want him to live as long as possible. Living and playing with your dog gives you immense pleasure and also keeps you stress free. However, sometimes your canine friend may go through health issues, which can render him inactive as well as distressed.

So how are you going to take care of your dog’s health?

Usually dogs are happiest when they are healthy; you need to ensure your dog’s physical and mental well-being by keeping him active and stimulated, even when you are not at home.

The following tips will help you make your dog happy and active always:
1. Training and socialization is vital

First of all, your dog needs to know that humans are important and their company is quite enjoyable. Unfortunately, many pets are not properly socialized and are fearful of strangers. You need to expose your dog to a wide variety of people so that he can get accustomed to the presence of people. As a matter of fact, if your dog hangs out with only one person, he may get wary of anybody else. Therefore it’s important to diversify your dog’s attention and make time for ‘meets and greets’. A dog that is confident of his training and routine also becomes highly socialized. Take your dog to training classes because they are a great place to meet other dogs and people in a safe and controlled environment. Stop rewarding dogs for displaying submissive behavior as it can turn them into a nervous wreck.

2. Take care of his diet and nutrition

A nutritious and balanced diet is highly essential to keep your dog healthy. Everything that your dog eats affects him – from weight, to the wear on his teeth, to the luster of her eyes and to the health of their fur. The food that you are giving to your dog can even change his moods. Many cheap packaged dog foods do not contain the necessary nutrient profile to be deemed as healthy.

Your dog also needs a healthy source of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

As suggested by a reputed pet care website, read the label and package for AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) labels such as “complete” and “balanced”.

3. Play with him like a friend

Playing and having fun with your dog eliminates stress from your life – the same holds true for your dog as well. Playing games keep your dog’s heart healthy and its joints well-lubricated. Games that have rules end up honing your dog’s analytical skills. When playing with your pet it’s crucial to realize that you are the boss. You get to decide what boundaries to set for your dog. Both of you also need to learn to communicate better with each other. Moreover, playtime can be an excellent opportunity to teach your dog good manners. When you teach him new games, reward him if he does well. Rewards don’t necessarily have to be treats; you can hug him and give him his favorite toys.

4. Make friends with your vet

Your pet should more often visit vets even if they seem to be fine. Much like humans, dogs need to be kept under a close watch by conducting regular health checkups to keep aging-related health problems at bay. Even if your pet may appear perfectly healthy, he might be sick without you ever knowing about it. Based on data provided by Nationwide pet insurance, one of the primary reasons why their customers seek veterinarian treatment is to treat skin allergies in pets. Dogs with hairy ears are prone to ear infection since germs build up in humid and warm parts of the body. Dogs with allergies also tend to scratch the affected area which aggravates the infection. Visiting the vet is also important for your dog because he can get used to whenever being poked and prodded.

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Susan also included the following graphic that I will leave you with.

We all love our dogs too much to take any risks with them!

Taking our dogs out and about.

Another great article from Mary Jo of MNN

On Monday I published an article written by Wendy Lipscomb about summer heat for dogs, especially for long-haired dogs. It was well-received!

That article implied that our dogs frequently go out with us more often than not.

Summer brings in many outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, running and going for a picnic or maybe going out just for a walk. There is nothing wrong with taking your dog out with you if you know how to regulate your pet’s body temperature.

But Mary Jo of Mother Nature Network published an article just a few days ago that offers another perspective. Here it is!

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Please don’t take your dog everywhere

Not all dogs are happy at public events.

by MARY JO DILONARDO, May 11, 2018.

Always be in tune to your dog’s body language when you take him to a public event. (Photo: Arina P Habich/Shutterstock)

Whether it’s a farmers market or a summer art festival, when the weather warms up, people head outside. And when they go outdoors, many people take their dogs. But while plenty of pups are happy to browse the produce stands and mingle with hundreds of strange people and their pets, there are many who are stressed by the adventure.

Some owners just assume that if they’re having fun, their dogs are happy, too. But not all dogs love the noises and smells, people and activity that come with going to outdoor events or restaurants. They get nervous and maybe even cranky when faced with scary or new situations.

Chicago trainer Greg Raub suggests asking yourself a few questions before snapping on the leash and taking your pup with you:
  • Will my dog be comfortable at the event or would he be happier at home?
  • Can I be sure my dog won’t react aggressively if a stranger rushes up to him?
  • Can I make sure my dog won’t get into something like dropped food or trash?
  • Even though my dog is harmless, could he scare little kids because of his size or looks?
  • Will it get too hot for my dog if I can’t find a spot in the shade?

Tips for a good outing

If you decide to take your dog to a public event, it’s key to set him up for success, says Maryland trainer Juliana Willems.

First up, she says, don’t use a retractable leash.

“There is hardly any control with these leashes, and in high activity environments you need all the control you can get,” she writes on her blog. “For the sake of all other dogs and owners at the event, I encourage you to stick to 4′ or 6′ standard leashes.”

Then, make sure to stuff your pockets with treats.

“I understand that shoving a bunch of treats in your dog’s mouth won’t solve real problems, but it can sure help manage some when you’re out in a distracting environment,” she says. “Oftentimes when there is an overwhelming amount of stimuli, your dog will only pay attention to you if you’ve got something they want: yummy food. In new environments it is essential to be able to capture your dog’s focus. Treats will help enormously for this, especially if they are high value.”

Pick and choose

Some dogs might be very stressed at an outdoor cafe, while other might enjoy watching the people go by. (Photo: Budimir Jevtic/Shutterstock)

Just be smart about when your pet tags along, suggests veterinarian Patty Khuly, V.M.D.

“Over time, I’ve learned that your life has to be 100 percent dog-friendly if your dog is going to tag along 100 percent of the time. And precious few of our lives are that accommodating,” she writes in Vetstreet.

For example, Khuly says that she only takes one of her four dogs to outdoor restaurants because her other three don’t have the right dispositions.

“There’s no point in taking your dog to a restaurant if he doesn’t have the temperament for it, won’t enjoy it or if it will cause a lot of disruption. But smaller, well-behaved and socialized dogs may be just fine.”

Look for signs of stress

Wherever you go with your pup, it’s key that you always pay attention to him. That’s not only so his leash doesn’t get tangled in a stroller, but it’s primarily so you can sense his mood.

Be aware of the signs and symptoms of stress so you know when it’s time to take off. Here are some of the most common things to look for, according to veterinarian Lynn Buzhardt, D.V.M. of VCA Hospitals.

  • Yawning
  • Nose or lip licking
  • Pacing or shaking
  • Whining, barking or howling
  • Pulled or pinned-back ears
  • Tail lowered or tucked
  • Cowering
  • Panting
  • Diarrhea
  • Avoidance or displacement (focusing on something else like sniffing the ground or turning away)
  • Hiding or escape behaviors (hiding behind you, digging, running away)

If you notice any of these stress signs, take your dog home or at least give him a break from all the activity.

“Dogs are extremely sensitive and can go from being fine to absolutely not fine in a matter of minutes. It is essential that you stay in tune to how your dog is reacting to other dogs or people, and the minute things start getting hairy, you skedaddle,” says Willems. “Your dog might not necessarily need to leave all together, but a time out away from all the hubbub can really help a dog’s mentality.”

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Must close by including the following:

Mary Jo DiLonardo writes about everything from health to parenting — and anything that helps explain why her dog does what he does.

We are on the verge of a thunderstorm arriving so please forgive me for signing off without delay.

To England and France, Part Five

Beautiful, peaceful and relaxing days!

We were in Reggie and Chris’s villa in the village of La Croix des Luques inland from the Cote d’Azur, Southern France.

I quickly realised that their villa was not far from the world-famous sailplaning airfield at Fayence. Or LES PLANEURS DE FAYENCE as it is known. Reggie gladly offered to take Jean and me across to the airfield.

Many years ago, when I was living and working in Colchester, Essex, I became a very keen and active pilot with the Rattlesden Gliding Club in Suffolk eventually qualifying as a gliding instructor. So when Reggie suggested that I see about getting a dual flight at the Fayence Club I didn’t need asking twice.

Unfortunately, they couldn’t accommodate my wishes before we had to leave France so that opportunity had to be let go.

Another opportunity, this time for Jeannie, was taken advantage of. Chris was a member of a local art class and while we were going to be there the class would be meeting at the villa. Would Jean like to take part?

Jean is a good amateur artist, as many of her paintings and sketches around our house attest to. So that did take place and it was a wonderful afternoon for all concerned.

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Stella, Christine’s sister, working alongside my Jeannie.

Then on a subsequent day Reggie and Chris took us for a drive along the beautiful coastline that is the essence of the Cote d’Azur.

To reach the coast Reggie took a route that went down towards Frejus and Saint-Raphael and then joined the coast road just west of Le Dramont.

I found this was stirring up very old memories. For my father, a Chartered Architect, had a passion for this part of France and every summer back in the 1950s took the four of us (Mum, Dad, me and my sister Elizabeth) for a month’s holiday. Thus many of the coastal town names had echoes from over 60 years ago. (Father died in December, 1956 of cancer.)

As we drove along, I reminisced aloud to Reggie and Chris that when I was 15 my mother decided that it would be a good thing for me to do a student exchange with a French boy. It was arranged and in the early part of the summer of 1959 in to our house in Preston Road, Wembley came Philippe, whose home was in Paris.

Then in about 4 weeks it was my turn to accompany Philippe back to Paris. It was a very ornate apartment with an air of luxury living and I felt very lost in the place. Apparently, Philippe’s father was a director with Air France.

Anyway, the father announced just a couple of days after I had arrived that all the family the following day would be flying from Paris to Nice airport, (with Air France, of course!) to then spend a month at the family’s French villa in the coastal town of Antheor.

On me mentioning Antheor Reggie immediately exclaimed that we were just a few miles from going through Antheor and that we should stop there. I wondered if I would remember anything of the place.

Well I did!! To my amazement when we stopped to look down at the beaches below the level of the road I thought that we were very close to the beach in front of the villa at Antheor where I used to swim, frequently on my own, every day that I stayed there.

I told everyone to stay where they were and ran on to the next beach.

Bingo!!

It was the same beach that I now recalled so clearly.

Swimming memories from 1959!

Even more amazing for me was that the iron gate and steep stone steps down to the beach were still there, albeit no longer being used as a more modern set of steps was in place.

By this time, the others had arrived at the head of the new steps and were looking down at me as I became truly lost in days so very long ago.

 

I have no recollection why back then the rest of the family so rarely came down to the beach that was so close to where their villa was. Indeed, it was just a case of crossing the coast road, much quieter in those years, and descending the steps to the beach.

But for this London boy it was bliss beyond measure. Maybe at some level it reminded me of family holidays for our, as in sister Elizabeth and me, father’s death was still a painful memory.

I stood still and just looked at the beach and at the sea and was transported so very clearly back to the times when I swam around the rocks, wearing a face mask and snorkel, just lost forever in what one could see underwater.

Then it was time to return to the car and resume our delightful drive.

Soon after we stopped at a small beach cafe for an afternoon drink of something cool.

Everything, well for me at least, still seemed a little unreal; a little larger than life! I think that’s what inspired me to take the photograph above of the cafe proprietor and her cat!

Then we moved on again.

In due course, to another delightful evening meal somewhere local. The French expression “en famille” says it all!

These wonderful days were going by far too quickly!

In a flash it was Tuesday and Jean and I were being driven to Nice airport for another easyJet flight. But instead of returning to Bristol we had booked an easyJet flight into Gatwick. Because the last 36-hours of our vacation were being spent with my daughter’s family.

Maija’s husband, Marius, who is employed by The Royal National Theatre, near Waterloo Bridge on the south bank of the River Thames in London, frequently is working evenings but in order to spend time with me and Jeannie he had taken a day’s holiday on the 25th.

Our last day of our vacation dawned bright and sunny. It was a school day for Morten and after he had left for school Marius and Maija suggested going for a walk along the South Downs. Perfect!

For those unfamiliar with the South Downs let me quote a little of what may be read on Wikipedia.

The South Downs are a range of chalk hills that extends for about 260 square miles (670 km2)[1] across the south-eastern coastal counties of England from the Itchen Valley of Hampshire in the west to Beachy Head, near Eastbourne, East Sussex, in the east. The Downs are bounded on the northern side by a steep escarpment, from whose crest there are extensive views northwards across the Weald. The South Downs National Park forms a much larger area than the chalk range of the South Downs and includes large parts of the Weald.

The South Downs are characterised by rolling chalk downland with close-cropped turf and dry valleys, and are recognised as one of the most important chalk landscapes in England.[2] The range is one of the four main areas of chalk downland in southern England.[3]

It is a beautiful place to walk.

It was a magical way of spending our last day.

Again, I was aware of stirrings in my old memory box from many years ago, possibly when I might have taken young Alex and Maija for a walk along the Downs, or something along those lines.

But today it meant so much for Jeannie and me to be with Maija and Marius for this gorgeous walk.

A couple of hours later we found a place to have a late lunch and asked the lady serving our table to take a photograph of all four of us!

Obviously, we had to be home in time for Morten’s return from school.

Those last hours of that day were focussed on keeping Morten company. What else mattered!

So the last photograph of the whole vacation is the one below. A picture taken of Morten planting some seeds that were bought while we were out that day.

We arrived back in Portland, Oregon around 6pm on the 26th and too late to drive all the way back to Merlin.

So after we had collected the car from the long-term parking we stopped off at the first motel that we saw heading though southern Portland.

Then around 11am on Friday, 27th April we pulled up in front of the house to be greeted by six very loving and contented dogs. Well done, Jana!

That evening those contented dogs demonstrating their happiness did more than anything to communicate a precious message.

Oliver and Pedi

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Brandy.

Welcome Home Jeannie and Paul!

The End!

To England and France, Part Four.

On to the South of France!

Alex drove us across to Bristol airport mid-morning on the 18th April for our flight, courtesy of easyJet, from Bristol to Nice.

The days with Alex and Lisa had been so wonderful yet had gone by so very quickly. Thank goodness that Alex and Lisa had already made plans to come and see us again in Merlin sometime during August. It made the parting a little less painful.

Our flight was a good one and departed on time and quickly climbed into a beautiful Spring sky.

Looking down on the beautiful planet underneath us I tried very hard not to think of the 8,000 or so litres of aviation fuel that Alex estimated our Airbus would burn on this 90-minute flight. (Alex is a Commercial pilot flying for an airline out of Bristol.)

But no time to get too introspective about the wake we humans are leaving on the face of Planet Earth because before Jean and I had really got our heads around the fact that we would shortly be seeing Reggie and his wife, Chris, our aircraft was positioning itself over Nice in readiness for landing at Nice airport.

The metropolis that is present-day Nice.

Reggie and Christine’s house was situated at La Croix des Luques, about an hour’s drive from Nice and up in the beautiful countryside that lay inland from the Cote d’Azur; that famous coastal region to the East of Toulon that boasted such places as Cannes, St. Tropez, Monaco and, of course, Nice itself. It was glorious countryside and in some ways familiar with the forested country back in Merlin, Oregon.

By 5pm French time we were at the house and Jean and Reggie were catching up in earnest!

I had a very strong sense that the next six days were going to be very relaxing and very entertaining.

Merlin curled up on the carpet below Hugo.

Plus Reggie and Chris had two dogs; two wonderful dogs. But talk about the fickle finger of fate. For their two dogs were named Merlin and Hugo! And, I should hasten to add, named before we moved from Arizona to Oregon in 2012.

Seriously!

To put that into context for any new readers of this place, where Jean and I live in Southern Oregon is on Hugo Road, Merlin!

Tomorrow will be the last day of sharing the details with you all of our vacation.

It will cover the balance of the time that we spent with Reggie and Chris in the South of France, a most amazing ‘blast from the past’ for yours truly, our return to England and another stay, just for 36 hours this time with Maija, Marius and Morten, then on the 26th our return flight to Portland.

See you tomorrow!

To England and France, Part Two.

Fun days with my daughter’s family!

We had arrived in England, via Gatwick airport, yesterday, as in Monday the 9th April, and were staying with Maija and family until Friday when Jean and I travelled up to London to meet my sister Eleanor.

So these three days were to be spent doing as many fun things as we could; it being the Easter school holiday week so Morten was at home each day.

Thus today’s post is a fairly quick run through of all the things that we did.

First thing on Tuesday morning was to see how adept young Morten was in riding his bike.

Thankfully it was dry but still overcast. The forecast was for the weather to improve over the coming days. But whatever the weather we were not going to let it get in the way.

Maija mentioned that Wakehurst, part of Kew Royal Botanical Gardens was close by and we readily agreed to go there. As the Kew website explains:

Our wild botanic garden on the High Weald of West Sussex has over 500 acres of beautiful ornamental gardens, woodlands and a nature reserve. Wakehurst is also home to the Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild seed conservation project in the world.

Morten got it into his head to ‘dress up’!

He is a very lively young man!

Wakehurst was a very tranquil place.

 

 

 

 

 

As well as the beautiful grounds it was possible to buy plants.

Slowly the weather improved.

In the blink of an eye it was Wednesday and the plan that day was a visit to the Bluebell Railway. As the website offers:

The volunteer-run Bluebell Line was the UK’s first preserved standard gauge passenger railway, re-opening part of the Lewes to East Grinstead line of the old London Brighton & South Coast Railway in 1960. Since then it has developed into one of the largest tourist attractions in Sussex, yet it still remains true to its objectives of the preservation for posterity of a country branch line, its steam locomotives, coaches and goods stock, signalling systems, stations and operating practices.

One’s never too old to go on a steam railway!

Sheffield Park Station, East Sussex

As the above photograph shows it was another day of intermittent rain and low clouds.

But did that stop four people having a fun time???

A ‘self-pic’ of four happy faces aboard the Bluebell train.

On the Thursday, the 12th, Maija had an engagement in London in connection with her company, SOUND UK, and Jeannie and I were in charge of Morten for the day.

Well I think that was the arrangement although Morten woke up with very clear ideas as to how the day was to be spent. Primarily walking into Lindfield village so he could show Jean and me all the places of note!

Lindfield is the classic English village complete with cricket field, village pond and a pub or two. As Wikipedia offers:

The village stands on high ground above the upper reaches of the River Ouse. It is situated close to both the natural beauty of the High Weald and to Haywards Heath with its amenities and station on the main London-Brighton railway line.

Lindfield has a rich historic and architectural heritage. The ancient High Street, lined with lime trees, has over forty medieval and post medieval timber-framed houses, with many individual shops. At the bottom of the High Street is a natural spring-fed pond with fish, ducks, and herons. Beyond lies the Common which, over the centuries, has witnessed many events – fairs, festivals, bonfire celebrations and sporting activities; cricket has been played there since 1747. Today, it is still central to village celebrations and leisure activities. In addition to the Common there is Pickers’ Green, providing pitches for cricket, football, stoolball and a children’s play area.

History

The High Street follows an ancient north-south track that has existed for thousands of years, long before the Romans built a major road, the London to Brighton Way, a mile to the west of the village.

Lindfield first appeared as Lindefeldia, ‘open land with lime trees’, in a Saxon charter of 765 AD, in which King Ealdwulf granted lands for the building of a Minster church. When the Domesday Book was compiled the lands were held by the Archbishop of Canterbury.[4]

King Edward III recognised the importance of medieval Lindfield and in 1343 granted the town a royal charter to hold a market every Thursday and two annual eight-day fairs. For centuries the fairs continued each April and August with the summer fair becoming one of the largest sheep sales in Sussex.[5]

Lindfield was once part of the thriving Wealden iron industry. As early as 1539, William Levett of Buxted, a county curate with a thriving sideline in iron and armaments, was recorded as extracting iron ore at Lindfield. Later the Henslowe family of Lindfield were actively engaged in the iron milling business in association with Ralph Hogge, parson Levett’s former servant and later a major ironmaster in his own right.

In 1841 the London-Brighton railway opened, passing to the west of the parish with a ‘Station for Cuckfield and Lindfield Towns’ on open land that was to become the town of Haywards Heath. The construction of the Ouse Valley branch line reached Lindfield in 1866 with a proposed station to the north of All Saints’ Church but the line was abandoned for financial reasons.

Charles Eamer Kempe, a leading church stained glass designer and manufacturer lived at Lindfield until his death in 1907. Kempe renovated and redecorated an Elizabethan manor house near the village which he renamed Old Place,[6] from where he entertained clients and professional partners. Internally the house was appointed to the highest standard of Victorian splendour. After his death in the 1930s, the house was partitioned into six individual residences, with the main reception rooms forming part of the new “East Wing”.[7]

Lindfield also had a children’s play area which is where I snapped this photograph of Morten on that Thursday.

Then before we knew it the morning of Friday, 13th was upon us and it was time to catch the train up to London.

However these days with Morten had put in place a precious bond that was one of the primary reasons for us coming to England.

In tomorrow’s post I offer the experiences of meeting Eleanor, Richard and my son Alex.

To England and France, part one

Our recent vacation to see family in England and France.

Dear friends, I have my fingers tightly crossed that today’s post and the posts for the rest of the week aren’t going to come across as too indulgent!

For what I have planned this week is to share the experiences that Jean and I had when we flew from Oregon to Europe, leaving on 8th April and returning on the 26th.

Come the day of our departure the morning presented low clouds and persistent rain. It was a four-hour drive North on Highway I-5 and our plan was to be away by 8am. Our home-sitter cum pet-sitter, Jana, would be arriving around 9:30.

Inevitably, I couldn’t sleep that well and it was not long after 7:30am that Jean and I drove down our driveway to start the journey to Portland International Airport. It was rain the whole way and not an easy drive; to say the least. Especially when overtaking the many trucks when the spray was pretty grim!

The Portland skies were just as wet and dreary as the drive up had been.

Anyway, we had arrived without any hitches and it was time to forget about the car for nearly three weeks and start getting ourselves into holiday mood.

Then on the very dot of the scheduled time for departure, as in 15:40, our Icelandic Air flight FI664 rotated skywards en route for London Gatwick via a short stop at Reykjavik.

Airborne!

To our great amazement the total flight time of over ten hours passed reasonably smoothly and before we knew it we were catching a taxi from London Gatwick to my daughter’s house in the village of Lindfield just 20 minutes away from the airport.

By mid-day on Monday the 12th we were at my daughter’s house and sitting down to a lunch snack with Maija, my daughter, and Morten, my seven-year-old grandson.

The plan was to spend a few days with Maija, and her husband Marius, and above all with Morten and I will cover what we did over those days in tomorrow’s post.

Wolves and Rivers

Connections!

Just a few days ago, on May 1st to be precise, I published the post Dogs and Humans.

Colin Reynolds, he of the blog Wibble, left the following comment:

Good to see you back, glad to hear you had an enjoyable trip.
Those goslings are really cute 🙂
At risk of self-promotion: I was thinking of you when I wrote my latest blog post. Granted, wolves aren’t dogs, but they almost are… 🙂

I went across to Colin’s latest blog post and immediately wanted to share it with you all in this place.

It also seemed appropriate to ask Colin for his introduction. But here’s what he offered: “When Paul asked me if I would be willing to turn this post into a guest post for Learning from Dogs, I was more puzzled than anything else. The only words here that aren’t my own are those where I explain that all I did was transcribe George Monbiot’s words from the video.” I’m bound to say that the transcription was a grand job!

Anyway, here is Colin’s post.

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How Wolves Change Rivers

by Colin Reynolds

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” — John Muir

When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent for nearly 70 years, the most remarkable ‘trophic cascade‘ occurred. In this short film, George Monbiot explains what a trophic cascade is, and how wolves do actually change rivers.

I found this so remarkable that I took the time to transcribe George’s words:

One of the most exciting scientific findings of the past half century has been the discovery of widespread ‘trophic cascades’. A trophic cascade is an ecological process which starts at the top of the food chain and tumbles all the way down to the bottom, and the classic example is what happened in the Yellowstone National Park in the United States when wolves were reintroduced in 1995. Now, we all know that wolves kill various species of animals, but perhaps we’re slightly less aware that they give life to many others.

Before the wolves turned up, they’d been absent for seventy years, but the numbers of deer — because there’d been nothing to hunt them — had built up and built up in the Yellowstone Park and despite the efforts by humans to control them, they’d reduced much of the vegetation there to almost nothing; they’d just grazed it away. But as soon as the wolves arrived, even though they were few in number, they started to have the most remarkable effects.

First, of course, they killed some of the deer. But that wasn’t the major thing: much more significantly, they radically changed the behaviour of the deer. The deer started avoiding certain parts of the park: the places where they could be trapped most easily, particularly the valleys and the gorges — and immediately, those places started to regenerate. In some areas, the height of the trees quintupled in just six years; bare valley sides quickly became forests of aspen, and willow, and cottonwood.

And as soon as that happened, the birds started moving in. The number of songbirds and migratory birds started to increase greatly. The number of beavers started to increase because beavers liked to eat the trees; and beavers, like wolves, are ecosystem engineers, they create niches for other species. And the dams they built in the rivers provided habitats for otters and musk-rats and ducks and fish and reptiles and amphibians.

The wolves killed coyotes, and as a result of that, the number of rabbits and mice began to rise, which meant more hawks, more weasels, more foxes, more badgers. Ravens and bald eagles came down to feed on the carrion that the wolves had left. Bears fed on it too, and their population began to rise as well, partly also because there were more berries growing on the regenerating shrubs. And the bears reinforced the impact of the wolves by killing some of the calves of the deer.

But here’s where it gets really interesting: the wolves changed the behaviour of the rivers. They began to meander less, there was less erosion, the channels narrowed, more pools formed, more riffle sections, all of which was great for wildlife habitats. The rivers changed in response to the wolves. And the reason was that the regenerating forests stabilised the banks so that they collapsed less often, so that the rivers became more fixed in their course. Similarly, by driving the deer out of some places and the vegetation recovering on the valley sides there was less soil erosion, because the vegetation stabilised that as well.

So the wolves, small in number, transformed not just the ecosystem of the Yellowstone National Park, this huge area of land, but also its physical geography.

Note from the video’s publisher (Sustainable Human): “There are ‘elk’ pictured in this video when the narrator is referring to ‘deer.’ This is because the narrator is British and the British word for ‘elk’ is ‘red deer’, or ‘deer’ for short. The scientific report this is based on refers to elk so we wanted to be accurate with the truth of the story.”

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As that quote from John Muir infers, we are all connected. No better illustrated by a very sad piece of research news that will be the topic for tomorrow’s post.

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!!