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!
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.
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.
“She’d wrapped her dog up and brought him to me on her back” ❤️
The other day, Ogün Öztürk was called to a small village in Turkey to attend to a client’s cow. He hadn’t planned on staying long.
But what began as just a routine visit ended as one Ogün won’t soon forget.
After wrapping up the job he’d come for, Ogün was about to leave the village. Before he did, however, something in the distance caught his eye.
There, trudging toward him on a path thick with snow, was a little girl. And she was not alone.
On her back was a pup.
Evidently, word had gotten around that a vet was in town — and that presented an opportunity which the girl, 8-year-old Cemre Su Türköz, refused to pass up.
Cemre’s dog, named Pamuk, had fallen sick. Desperate to get him help, she decided to carry Pamuk more than a mile from her home to the spot she’d heard that Ogün would be.
“When I first saw them, I was very surprised and touched,” Ogün told The Dodo. “She’d wrapped her dog up and brought him to me on her back.”
Ogün, of course, couldn’t turn Cemre and Pamuk away. While the little girl looked on, concerned, Ogün performed a checkup.
Fortunately, the dog’s sickness wasn’t all too serious. Ogün found Pamuk just had some minor skin issues that were making him uncomfortable, but which could easily be treated.
“When Cemre heard that her dog would be fine, she was very happy,” Ogün said. “I applied external parasite medications to Pamuk. He is now enjoying himself again, healthy and happily.”
The little girl and her dog had gotten help. But they also got a friend.
Ogün has been back to the village to check in on Cemre and Pamuk, ensuring that they never need to brave the snow again to get whatever help he can provide. It’s the least he could do, considering the effort she’d put in to find him.
“It made me very happy that an 8-year-old girl behaved in this way with such a loving heart,” Ogün said.
Ogün didn’t charge Cemre for his services that day. Just seeing her love and devotion to Pamuk was the best payment he could ask for.
“The fact that a person at such a young age exhibits this behavior gives hope to humanity,” Ogün said. “With all that’s going on in the world, there’s still hope. Cemre showed us that the only truth in the world is love.”
Let me pick up on that last paragraph for it is so full of things that we know in our hearts are correct.
The first thing is that this eight-year-old girl, Cemre, knows what is right. To be honest, most young people of either gender more often than not know the right thing to do. Then Ogün was reported as saying: “With all that’s going on in the world …”. But there has always been so much going on. It is just that modern communications makes the world’s news to come in at us; wherever we are!
But the most important observation is that the only truth in the world is love!
“Life is the flower for which love is the honey.” Victor Hugo.
“Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” Franklin P. Jones
The above two quotes are just a fraction of what may be seen if one Googles love quotes!
I don’t think I had considered it before now, or rather at the end of January this year, that women across many cultures have an extra special relationship with dogs. It came from an article published in Treehugger on the 27th January and I hope it is alright to share it with you today.
Why Women Have Had a Great Impact on Dog-Human Relationships
Dogs were more likely to be seen as a type of “person” when bonded with women.
Sure, they’re called man’s best friend, but it’s women who likely had a bigger impact on the evolutionary relationship between dogs and their humans.
In a new analysis published in the Journal of Ethnobiology, researchers found that several factors probably played a part in creating the beneficial bonds between canines and people. One of those key factors, they found, is gender.
“Both men and women were important for the care and status of dogs across societies, but women had a stronger influence,” Robert Quinlan, Washington State University anthropology professor and corresponding author on the paper, tells Treehugger.
The researchers analyzed documents in the Human Relations Area Files, an anthropological database of collections covering cultural and social life. They sorted through thousands of mentions of dogs, ultimately finding data from 844 ethnographers (researchers who study human culture) writing in 144 societies.>They studied these cultures hoping to get insight into how the beneficial relationship between dogs and humans developed, the researchers said. They tracked traits associated with what they called dogs’ “personhood” across cultures.
“In some cultures, that idea is quite explicit: Dogs are defined as a type of ‘person,’ with human-like qualities. But it also can look like treating dogs in ‘person’-like ways — including giving dogs names, allowing to sleep in humans’ beds, viewing them as beings with souls, or burying and mourning them upon death,” Jaime Chambers, a WSU anthropology PhD student and first author on the paper, tells Treehugger.
They found accounts of the Toraja Indigenous People in Indonesia describing dogs as “equals,” the Sri Lankan Vedda referring to dogs as “four-footed persons,” and the Kapauku in Papua New Guinea calling dogs the only non-human animals with souls, Chambers says.
“We also tracked instances where ethnographers mentioned dogs having a special relationship to women, versus a relationship to men. When it came to dogs’ usefulness to humans, we didn’t detect either gender having more of an influence than the other,” Chambers says. “But in cultures where women and dogs shared a special bond, humans were more likely to be useful to dogs (providing things like affection, food, shelter, and healing) and to regard dogs as ‘person-like.’”
They found that in societies where men were observed interacting with dogs, the likelihood of dogs receiving care and other benefits from humans increased by 37%, and the likelihood that they were treated like people increased by 63%.
In contrast, in societies where dogs were observed interacting with women, the likelihood that they received care and other benefits from humans increased by 127%, and the likelihood that they were treated like people increased by 220%.
“The influence of men and women were additive so that in societies where dogs interacted with both men and women, their benefits and status were increased even more than in societies where dogs tended to interact with only men or only women,” Quinlan points out.
How Women Interact with Dogs
When sifting through the documents, researchers found examples of how women interacted differently with dogs than did men.
“We found women playing a notable role in welcoming dogs into the family sphere. Among the Munduruku from the Amazon and Tiwi from Australia, ethnographers describe women caring for dogs like their own children — literally allowing them to feed and sleep alongside their own human kids,” Chambers says.
“In some cultures, dogs serve as women’s companions in their daily work, such as Amazonian Tukano women who tend their gardens and hunt small game with their dog by their side. In Scandinavia, Saami women play a key role in controlling dogs’ breeding, keeping both male and female dogs and distributing the puppies to their human friends and relatives.”
But dogs aren’t revered everywhere.
“Among the Rwala Bedouin, there’s ambivalence around dogs — they’re seen as an unclean, polluting source, forbidden from eating from cooking vessels — yet they’re still valued as watchdogs and kept close to particular households via women (who sleep near them at night, and feed them via tossed scraps),” Chambers says.
Heat and Hunting
Gender isn’t the only thing that appears to have played a role in the coevolution of dogs and humans. Researchers also found that the warmer the climate, the less useful dogs were to people as hunting partners.
Humans evolved in tropical environments and are pretty good at keeping cool, Quinlan says. However, canine ancestors evolved in cold environments in northern latitudes.
“Dogs burn a lot of energy quickly when they are very active, like chasing prey and so forth, and that can make keeping cool a big problem. Anyone who has taken their dog for a run on a chilly day versus a hot day can easily see the difference,” Quinlan says.
“So, in hot environments dogs can overheat really quickly, making them less useful as hunting partners, herders, etc. ”There are some breeds in some hot environments that have better heat tolerance, yet those are the exceptions.”
Hunting also seemed to strengthen the ties between humans and dogs. In societies where people hunted with their dogs, the animals were more valued. That benefit appeared to decline when food production increased through agriculture or keeping livestock and dogs weren’t as necessary anymore.
Mutual Cooperation Theory
There have been many theories about how dog domestication happened. Some think that humans directly tamed the animals, while others think that people and dogs were mutually attracted to each other and discovered benefits from working together.
“We will never be able to precisely identify the chain of events and conditions leading to dog domestication, but shifting our emphasis like this allows us to rethink the relationship between humans and nature by moving away from a sense of complete human dominance to a kind of cooperation between humans and other beings where the other beings are on a more equal footing,” Quinlan says.
“A mutual cooperation scenario is probably more realistic, and it suggests that we all might benefit from thinking of humans as just one important player among many when we think about humans and the natural world. For us, this rethinking allowed us to approach dog-human relationships from multiple interrelated angles, and the insights we hoped to get from viewing the relationships from multiple angles was a big motivator for this research.”
I don’t know about you but we found this a very interesting and fascinating theory.
I would love to say more but despite me being the publisher of this blog I am still an individual with lots to learn about dog domestication.
The streets were empty during a recent snowstorm in Romania.
But, while most people were staying warm at home, one little boy and his dog decided to go for a “walk.”
To make the most of the snow, 12-year-old Andrei attached a sled to his bicycle and his dog Pufi hopped on. True to Pufi’s name, the dog’s fluffy coat protects him from inclement weather, but the little pup seemed grateful to play with his human and not have to get his paws wet.
As Andrei started to cycle home, Pufi was a very good boy, balancing on the sled like a pro.
“Andrei and Pufi puppy conquered us hopelessly and reminded us of childhood when the simple things brought us the greatest joys: snow, a sled and a reliable friend next to you,” CERT Transilvania wrote on Facebook. “Today we also gave Andrei joy by giving him a brand-new bike, equipped with everything he needs for many years to come on the road to school or racing with Pufi.”
Now, Andrei and Pufi can safely sled and bike wherever they want together, through whatever weather comes their way.
This time via Facebook from Sally McCarthy in England.
Greenland Chocolate Labradors
February 7th, 2021
We wanted to share this sad and scary experience one of our puppy owners had after collecting their puppy. Picture for reference, not puppy in question. Sharing to hopefully help others.
I had quite an unsettling experience yesterday on my way home with our puppy yesterday. I stopped at a service station to give her a cuddle and a break out of her crate and while I was standing at the back of my car with the boot open with the puppy in my arms a van with Polish numberplates pulled up really close behind me. The man leaned out of his window and said in a tone of voice that came across as really threatening “what a nice little doggy” then “can I ask some advice?”
At that point I thought I heard the passenger door of the van open (I couldn’t see the passenger side because of how he had parked). I put puppy back in her travelling crate, slammed my boot and locked my car as fast as I could, and walked to the driver’s side. At that point I realised I couldn’t get into the car, where my phone was, without unlocking the car so had a standoff with the man obviously waiting for me to unlock the car, which I was not willing to do in case he opened my boot.
After what felt like forever, especially as I was parked at the back of the car park away from any other cars, he gave up and sped off through the car park towards the exit with his phone in his hand. I didn’t want to wait around to see if he had called anyone to come so got in my car to drive off only to find him waiting for me at the exit and he started following me.
Fortunately within about 10 minutes the weather was awful so with the reduced visibility on my side I managed to lose him although my heartbeat and breathing didn’t return to normal for quite a while afterwards! As he hadn’t actually managed to take the puppy I wasn’t sure whether to report it to the police however I did submit an online report this morning as I am in no doubt that was his intention and that had I allowed him to distract me it would have given his accomplice enough time to corner me.
I just wanted to share as I have heard the stories of dog nappings and a friend of mine had a dog stolen 2 years ago during a walk but I am really shocked that anyone would consider attempting it in a public place that was hopefully covered with CCTV.
I have had dogs all of my life and have never worried about dog nappers before but now I have come face to face with them I just wanted to let you know that it does appear to be as bad as the media are saying so please keep your little ones close when they are allowed out for walks. I am going to buy a rape alarm to carry with me on dog walks from now on and my sons, who quite often walk our older dog alone, have been told the dog walks have to be done in pairs now and will be carrying an alarm too.x
What a frightening experience for Sally.
But at least she had the sense in writing this up and I am republishing the event so as to inform the maximum of people.
I was thinking yesterday morning that it was about time for me to publish a post.
Tuesday was a busy day with us in the morning going to collect the tractor from Runaway Tractors where it had been in for a service. Then in the afternoon I decided to go for a bike ride, something I try and do every other day. It was grand and I clocked up 18 miles.
The forecast for Wednesday was grim. And we awoke to a morning with much land covered in snow.
Dogs have been companions to humans for many millennia, but exactly when this relationship started is highly debated among scientists.
A study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals that canine domestication may have first occurred in Siberia 23,000 years ago when humans and wolves were isolated together during the Last Glacial Maximum. After this initial domestication event, dogs most likely followed humans when they migrated across the Bering Land Bridge from East Asia to the Americas 15,000 years ago, reports Megan Marples for CNN.
“Wolves likely learned that scavenging from humans regularly was an easy free meal, while humans allowed this to happen so long as wolves were not aggressive or threatening,” Angela Perri, an archaeologist at Durham University and lead author of the study tells CNN.
The study was brought to fruition after Perri and her co-authors—David Meltzer, an archeologist at Southern Methodist University, and Gregor Larson, a scientist from Oxford University—were brainstorming how DNA evidence tells the story of migrating humans and dogs, reports James Gorman for the New York Times. After the authors scribbled down ideas on a whiteboard, they saw that both humans and canines had similar migration patterns and divergence that could explain how dogs and humans began their bond, reports the New York Times.
To see if the similarities between the timelines linked up with archeological evidence, Perri and her team analyzed the genome of 200 ancient dogs from around the world. They found that the canines had one genetic signature, A2b, in common. Once they reached the New World 15,000 years ago, they dispersed into four groups, reports David Grimm for Science.
The researchers found this dispersal matched a similar migration pattern of ancestral Native Americans that descended from Northern Siberia about 21,000 years ago. Connecting these timeline events between humans and dogs, the researchers concluded that humans must have brought dogs into the Americas somewhere around 15,000 years ago.
“Dogs are not going to go to the new world without people,” Meltzer tells the New York Times.
Further exploring the dogs’ genetic evidence, the team found all dogs with the genetic signature A2b descended from the same Siberian canines roughly 23,000 years ago, Science reports.
Looking back at human’s ancestral timeline and genetic evidence, the researchers found that ancient Northern Siberians intermingled with ancestral Native Americans before crossing the land bridge into the Americas. These meetings could have resulted in the two groups of people trading pups.
“People are exchanging information, they’re exchanging mates, they’re maybe exchanging their wolf pups,” Meltzer tells the New York Times.
While there is strong evidence that the initial domestication event occurred 23,000 years ago, the study relied only on mitochondrial DNA and could be missing the complete picture of domestication events, explains Pontus Skoglund, an ancient canine DNA expert from Crick Institute in London who was not involved in the study, to the New York Times. Likewise, Peter Savolainen, a geneticist at the Royal Institute of Technology, tells Science that the A2b signature has been found in other places in the world and is not unique to dogs in the Americas as the researchers suggested.
Still, the study reveals how the relationship between humans and dogs may have begun and how it may have dispersed across the globe. Perri and her team plan on looking at older dog fossils to gather more evidence.
“We have long known that the first Americans must have possessed well-honed hunting skills, the geological know-how to find stone and other necessary materials and been ready for new challenges,” Meltzer tells Peter Dockrill for Science Alert. “The dogs that accompanied them as they entered this completely new world may have been as much a part of their cultural repertoire as the stone tools they carried.”
There is a huge number of dogs throughout the world. The exact figure is impossible to determine. Here’s an extract from WoofDog’s piece on the global population:
Determining the exact number of pups that inhabit our planet is a bit of a challenge. The fact that many of them live on their own, rather than side by side with people, presents the main obstacle to providing accurate figures.
According to 2012 data, there were around 525 million canines in the world. This figure has grown considerably until the present day, so today, it is estimated to be about 900 million pooches.
And from the same website, here is an estimate of the global population of owned dogs:
Statistics related to canine ownership vary across different countries. Nevertheless, the task of calculating the number of canines owned by people around the globe is far less complicated than it is the case with free-range ones.
The reason for this lies in the fact that many countries have introduced legal regulations on mandatory registration of household animals.
My analysis is that the USA is second in the league of owned dogs.
But wherever there are dogs they are a rich and bountiful addition to the ambitions of humans.