Category: Culture

Our beautiful planet.

It is the only lovely planet that we all have.

That ‘we’ being all the animals, plants, insects and humans there are.

I’m not saying anything new and not making this plea for the first time in this place.

But just take a few minutes out of your busy day to reflect that for you, for me, for everyone wherever they are in the world, physically and culturally, doing nothing is not an option.

More of that in a minute.

First I want to share with you a few autumnal photographs of our home here in Oregon.

Below was taken at 9am on October 24th showing the  mountain mist right down to the tops of our trees that mark the edge of our driveway from the house to our Hugo Road entrance.

Next, a sunrise photograph with the camera pointing to the East. The tree line follows the ridge of some hills the other side of Hugo Road. The picture taken on the 19th October at 07:20.
Now a close-up of the remains of a very old tree trunk with the trees that border Bummer Creek, that runs through our land, just showing through the morning mist. Taken on the 24th October at 09:05.

Final photograph I wanted to share with you is this beautiful sight of the moon taken from our property at 16:05 on the 25th. October.

Regular readers will know that Jean and I are not believers in any religion; we are atheists. But to my way of thinking that puts even more pressure on me and Jean to try to make a difference. We do all that we can but there’s no doubt that we can do more.

Yesterday, I referred to Bill Ripple, or to give him his full signature: William J. Ripple, Distinguished Professor of Ecology, Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.

I sent Bill an email:

Dear Bill (and forgive the over familiarity if that offends),
I am a Brit, just turned 73, living with my beautiful wife, Jean, London-born as I was, down in Merlin, Oregon.

We live on 13 wonderful acres of rural property with 6 dogs (down from 12 when we moved here 5 years ago) and 4 horses, the majority of whom are ex-rescues.

I am the author of the blog Learning from Dogs and want to publish a post highlighting that viewpoint article. Because I believe with every neuron left in my ageing brain that the political changes that this world so urgently needs can only come when 99.9% of the public are screaming out “enough is enough”!

But there’s another saying that comes to mind, the one about being the change you want to see or something like that.

Is there information anywhere online that spells out, almost in words of one syllable, what lifestyle changes each of us can and need to commit to today? Changes that are as appropriate for elderly authors living in the country as young people seeking their first job or those up to their necks in working and raising families?

For that is what I want to publish on my blog!

If it would be easier for me to make an appointment to call you and take notes over the phone then I am just as happy to do that.

Sincerely,

Paul Handover
Hugo Road, Merlin,

Bill promptly replied:

Hi Paul, how long of a list of lifestyle changes do you want to make? Would three or four be enough? Bill

then followed that up with another email:

Paul, Consider suggesting that if people want to help, they could have fewer children, reduce energy consumption such as driving autos and flying, avoid meat and eat mostly plant-based foods and avoid wasting food. Below are quotes from our paper. Bill

“It is also time to re-examine and change our individual behaviors, including limiting our own reproduction (ideally to replacement level at most) and drastically diminishing our per capita consumption of fossil fuels, meat, and other resources ….

… reducing food waste through education and better infrastructure; promoting dietary shifts towards mostly plant-based foods

Now watch this video

I will close this post by listing out all the things that you and I can do now!

  • Set a target for reducing your car mileage next year compared to 2017,
  • If you are a regular aircraft passenger, then set a target for flying fewer hours in 2018 compared to 2017,
  • reduce or stop eating meat,
  • do not waste food,
  • reduce the use of heating and cooling in your home/s for next year,
  • commit to a dietary change away from meats and processed foods to a plant-based diet.

Then for younger couples who want a family around them, limit the number of children to a “replacement level” at most. Adopt??

A plea for this planet!

I feel compelled to ‘bang the drum’!

The recent news that many scientists have signed an open letter warning about how soon it will be too late to “save Earth” has been widely broadcast; not that this stops me from republishing the version of the news story that I read on the EarthSky blog site.

Here it is.

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Scientists warn: Soon it will be too late to save Earth

By Eleanor Imster in EARTH | HUMAN WORLD | November 16, 2017
More than 15,000 scientists in 184 countries have signed a letter urging the world to address major environmental concerns. “Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out.”

A letter to all of us, signed by more than 15,000 scientists (and counting) in 184 countries, warns that human well-being will be severely jeopardized by continuing trends in environmental harm, including our changing climate, deforestation, loss of access to fresh water, species extinctions and human population growth.

Entitled World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice, it was published in the international journal Bioscience on November 13, 2017.

In 1992, more than 1,700 scientists signed a World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity published by the Union of Concerned Scientists. But global trends have worsened since 1992, the authors wrote in the new letter. In the last 25 years, trends in nine environmental issues suggest that humanity is continuing to risk its future.

Read the letter here.

The scientists wrote:

Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out. We must recognize, in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions, that Earth with all its life is our only home.

The letter also says …

By failing to adequately limit population growth, reassess the role of an economy rooted in growth, reduce greenhouse gases, incentivize renewable energy, protect habitat, restore ecosystems, curb pollution, halt defaunation, and constrain invasive alien species, humanity is not taking the urgent steps needed to safeguard our imperiled biosphere.

The article was written by an international team led by William Ripple of Oregon State University led the international team of scientists who created the letter. Ripple said in a statement:

Some people might be tempted to dismiss this evidence and think we are just being alarmist. Scientists are in the business of analyzing data and looking at the long-term consequences. Those who signed this second warning aren’t just raising a false alarm. They are acknowledging the obvious signs that we are heading down an unsustainable path. We are hoping that our paper will ignite a wide-spread public debate about the global environment and climate.

Progress in some areas — such as a reduction in ozone-depleting chemicals and an increase in energy generated from renewable sources — shows that positive changes can be made, the authors wrote. There has been a rapid decline in fertility rates in some regions, which can be attributed to investments in education for women, they added. The rate of deforestation in some regions has also slowed.

The warning came with steps that can be taken to reverse negative trends, but the authors suggested that it may take a groundswell of public pressure to convince political leaders to take the right corrective actions. Such activities could include establishing more terrestrial and marine reserves, strengthening enforcement of anti-poaching laws and restraints on wildlife trade, expanding family planning and educational programs for women, promoting a dietary shift toward plant-based foods and massively adopting renewable energy and other “green” technologies.

Scientists who did not sign the warning prior to publication can endorse the published warning here.

Bottom line: A letter entitled World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice, urging the world to address major environmental concerns. was signed by more than 15,000 scientists in 184 countries.

Read more from Oregon State University

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As is the way with this modern inter-connected world it was but a moment to track down said William Ripple, find his email address and ask him what he recommended as the top things that you and I should be doing now.

Not just for you and me but for all the animals as well on this very beautiful planet.

Bill’s reply is part of tomorrow’ post. See you then!

Memories, dear memories

A republication of a post from earlier times.

(I came across this when researching my posts for my second book.)

It was published on the 18th June, 2016.

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A Eulogy For Hazel

This dear, precious dog!

Back in March, 2014 when I was writing a series of posts about our dogs, I published a Meet the dogs – Hazel post. This eulogy consist mainly of what I wrote then, with a few minor changes to bring it up to date, and a closing thought.

Hazel

I first met Jean in Mexico; namely, in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico to be precise. Just a few days before Christmas, 2007. At that time, Jean had 16 dogs, all of them rescues off the streets in and around San Carlos. Jean was well-known for rescuing Mexican feral dogs.

In September, 2008 I travelled out to Mexico, via London-Los Angeles, with my Pharaoh. Jean and I have been together ever since. In February, 2010, because we wanted to be married and to be married in the USA, we moved from San Carlos to Payson, in Arizona; some 80 miles North-East of Phoenix.

One morning, just a few days before we were due permanently to leave San Carlos and move our animals and belongings the 513 miles (827 km) to Payson, AZ, Jean went outside the front of the San Carlos house to find a very lost and disorientated black dog alone on the dusty street. The dog was a female who in the last few weeks had given birth to puppies that had been weaned. Obvious to Jean because the dog’s teats were still somewhat extended.

The dog had been abandoned outside in the street. A not uncommon happening because many of the local Mexicans knew of Jean’s rescues over many years and when they wanted to abandon a dog it was done outside Jean’s house. The poor people of San Carlos sometimes resorted to selling the puppies for a few Pesos and casting the mother dog adrift.

Of course the dog was taken in and we named her Hazel. Right from Day One Hazel was the most delightful, loving dog and quickly attached herself to me.

The truest of love between a man and a dog!
The truest of love between a man and a dog!

Of all the dogs that we have here at home, and, trust me, many are extremely loving, my relationship with Hazel was precious beyond description. She was in Pharaoh’s ‘group’ (Pharaoh, Cleo, Sweeny, Pedy and Brandy) so slept in our bedroom at night. Most nights Hazel was tucked up against me.

Plus frequently during the day Hazel would take an interest in what I was doing, as the next photograph illustrates.

Hazel taking an interest in my potterings.
Hazel taking an interest in my potterings; March 2014.

If ever one wanted an example of the unconditional love that a dog can offer a human, then Hazel was that example. Precious creature.

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Just stay with me for a little longer.

Recently there was a documentary on the BBC about Koko the gorilla and how many hand signs Koko had learnt. As Wikipedia explains (in part):

Hanabiko “Koko” (born July 4, 1971) is a female western lowland gorilla who is known for having learned a large number of hand signs from a modified version of American Sign Language (ASL).

Her caregiver, Francine “Penny” Patterson, reports that Koko is able to understand more than 1,000 signs of what Patterson calls “Gorilla Sign Language” (GSL). In contrast to other experiments attempting to teach sign language to non-human primates, Patterson simultaneously exposed Koko to spoken English from an early age. Reports state that Koko understands approximately 2,000 words of spoken English, in addition to the signs.

The reason why I mention this is at the end of the programme it is stated that Koko’s ability to communicate shows very clearly that she is capable of feelings and emotions. Indeed, the way that Koko hugs Penny is very moving.

The presenter of the BBC programme concludes how things have changed over all the years from the birth of Koko some 45 years ago to today. As in back in the ’70s’ the idea that animals had emotions was just not accepted whereas nowadays there is mounting evidence that many warm-blooded animals have emotions; are capable of emotional feelings.

Why do I mention this?

For there isn’t one shred of doubt in the minds of Jean and me that Hazel was full of feelings of love and affection towards her human friends.

That is the epitaph with which Hazel will be remembered! This is her legacy.

Picture of Hazel taken in the last twenty-four hours.
Picture of Hazel taken in March, 2014.

Eating for health

This time nothing to do with our dogs!

In a reply to Colette following my post of last week Caring for animals, I wrote:

Jean is on a diet that is predominantly fruit and vegetables as part of slowing down the progression of her Parkinson’s disease. The diet is essentially a no-dairy, no-grain, no-meat diet to eliminate the risk of any gut inflammation. She is advised by a professional nutritionist here in Grants Pass, OR. I follow along with Jean motivated to slow down my own cognitive decline.

Colette then responded to my reply with quite extensive details of her own diet. Her reply opening:

I have some food sensitivities that started my dietary changes a number of years ago. I found I was allergic to eggs after struggling with severe joint pain that doctors couldn’t explain. Then I began to find that a few other things were problematic including gluten, also prompting dietary change. The animal protein side came into sharper focus during a moment of epiphany at an elephant sanctuary and I started a vegetarian diet. However, I soon switched to a completely (almost except for some contamination in the odd thing now and again) vegan diet.

I am healthier, my cholesterol dropped from a total of 212 mg/dlto 135mg/dl and I have more stamina, fewer infections, colds and illness. (Nothing terrible to put me to bed since I became Vegan).

I do try to get a balance of a variety of fresh fruit and veg, protein and fats in my diet.

… that was then followed by her describing what a typical day looked like in terms of what she eat.

I offered to describe what Jean and I eat.

Fundamentally, Jean was advised to have a diet that reduced the chance of her having any gut inflammation but, if she did, a diet that would bring that inflammation to a close. All to do with Leaky Gut Syndrome and how the brain can be negatively affected.

So …

Breakfast

  • Two tablespoons of milled flax,
  • One tablespoon of hemp hearts,
  • A sprinkling of chia seed,
  • Prunes, banana, dried apricots, walnuts, berries when available,
  • Coconut milk or almond milk

Lunch

  • Mainly salad greens, raw vegetables, tomatoes, avocado, some canned herring,
  • Mixed fruits, as in oranges, apples,
  • ‘Naked Green’ smoothie

Dinner

  • Mixed vegetables,
  • Baked chicken breast,
  • Green salad with tomatoes and avocado,
  • Almonds or other nuts

Drinks during the day

  • Herb teas, ‘V8’ juice, green tea, ‘Naked Green’ smoothies, almond milk.

We are also taking a course of Juice-Plus tablets; a recommendation from our local nutritionist.

Anyway, that’s enough from me for today.

If there’s good interest in me sharing some of the many links to this whole area of diet, the gut and how it can affect the brain, then do sing out! (But I have no professional knowledge; will just report our findings!)

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Wow! What an incredibly useful link thanks to Colette. I am referring to the NutritionFacts website.

Then how easy it was on that site to find a video specifically about diet and PD.

Jean and I are removing chicken and fish from our diet immediately; in other words going vegan.

THANK YOU!

Unconditional love

Another powerful guest post from Linley.

Last October 11th, I published a guest post that had been sent in by Linley Achtenhagen. The published post was called Life with Luna and was incredibly well-received.

So here’s another guest post from Linley that I have no doubt will be equally well-received.

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Unconditional Love

by Linley Achtenhagen, October 29th, 2017.

Up until January 12, 2017, I had never lost a loved one.  I grew up with three grandparents, one grandpa passing away shortly after I was born, so I was pretty lucky to grow up with three out of four grandparents.  Sure, I had been to funerals for distant relatives I had met once or twice or my friend’s grandparents, and I grieved for them because they were hurting and I hate seeing people hurt.  I, however, had no idea what that pain felt like until one of my best friends passed away in a tragic accident while she was on a family vacation in Mexico.

Abbey Connor, my sweetest, sassiest, most beautiful friend and fellow UW-Whitewater student, taken away far too soon.  Getting the news that she was gone rocked me to the core.  I had just celebrated New Year’s Eve with her a few short weeks ago, and now I was never going to see her again.  How is that possible?  Why would this happen to her?  I had absolutely no idea how to handle this.  Going from losing no one to losing one of my best friends so suddenly was something I was not prepared to deal with but is anyone?  I cried and cried and cried and listened to people tell me it was going to be okay, but those words didn’t mean anything.  Of course, I appreciated the support of my friends and family, but nothing made the pain in my chest go away when I thought of Abbey.  I hurt so much for her family, if I felt this horrible, I couldn’t imagine how her family felt.  The only thing that I found comfort in was the one thing that couldn’t tell me they were sorry and that it was going to be okay, Luna.

There is no doubt in my mind that Luna knew I was hurting.  I am convinced that dogs have a 6th sense and are much more aware of our emotions than we give them credit.  Luna would just lay with me while I cried and her presence alone eased that pain.  My crazy and energetic dog would just sit and let me pet her for as long as I needed to.

Not even a month later, February 11th, our family dog, Will, passed away after a long battle with cancer.   For fellow dog lovers, you know how hard it is to let your furry companions go.  We had Will since he was a puppy, so he grew up with my siblings and me.  He was my four-legged brother and letting him go ripped my healing heart wide open again.  This time, my whole family was hurting, including Will’s sister, Grace.  Will and Grace had never spent a day apart; they slept in their dog crate together, chased chipmunks together, protected my family together, and she just couldn’t understand where he went.  We couldn’t explain to her that he wasn’t coming back and that made the pain that much worse.  The one thing that brought a smile to everyone’s face in the days, weeks, and months to come was Luna.  She would grab her squeaker toy and run up to everyone shaking and squeaking it just begging for someone to play tug with her. She would light up the room and bring a smile, even if only for a second, to our faces. She was helping us cope, and she didn’t realize it.

Two months later, April 13th, my grandma passed away.  I couldn’t believe that I had to deal with another death.  I was still grieving Abbey and Will’s passing, and now I had another death to try and cope with.  My grandma lived in Florida for half of the year, so while we weren’t the closest, she was my grandma, my dad’s mother, and of course, I loved her.  I hurt for my dad as he had to say goodbye to his mom.  I hurt for all of my cousins, aunts, and uncles.  I hurt for my mom and my siblings and I.  We had never lost a grandparent, and now we had to deal with this while still grieving Will’s passing, I still grieving Abbey’s.  It was such an overwhelming and stressful time, and once again the one thing that got me through each day was Luna.  No matter how hard of a day it was, each night when I crawled into bed, Luna would lay right next to me, her head on my chest and just be there.  I cannot put into words what that feeling is like.

John Grogan, author of Marley and Me, (if you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, add it to your list) wrote one of my favorite quotes.  He said, “A dog doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull.  Give him your heart, and he will give you his.”  This quote is undeniably accurate and I saw this proof in the months to come after I lost all of these loved ones.  Luna didn’t care if I didn’t have time to take her for a long walk, or I didn’t want to get out of bed, or I didn’t have the energy to play fetch with her that day, she was there for me and comforted me every moment.  She knew I loved her, and that was enough.  The most comforting part of all of this is that Luna didn’t even know she was doing it.  If more people loved each other like dogs love their humans, this world would be a much better place.

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Linley’s closing sentence is perfect and requires nothing more from me to close today’s post than for me to repeat her words: “If more people loved each other like dogs love their humans, this world would be a much better place.

Caring for animals.

Some humans seem to care more about pets than people … but why?

This intriguing headline was the title to a recent post published by Mother Nature Network.

Coincidentally there was some useful material in the article that I could use in a chapter in the new book. But I did think the whole article should be shared with you good people.

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Some humans seem to care more about pets than people … but why?

Mary Jo DiLonardo   November 3, 2017

Unconditional love is one things pets can give us that humans can’t — but that’s only part of the story. (Photo: Soloviova Liudmyla/Shutterstock)

A Facebook acquaintance of mine recently posted about walking past a pet store where volunteers were outside pleading for pet rescue donations. They pointed out how many dogs and cats were euthanized each year, which made her wonder how people could be so fervent about animals when there are so many sick babies in the world.

It’s not that those volunteers dislike babies — or grown-up humans, for that matter — but in some cases, they might simply like animals more.

You know the type, and you may even be one yourself. Some say it’s due to unconditional love. Your cat doesn’t care if you are in your pajamas all day. Your dog doesn’t talk about you behind your back. But when it comes right down to it, does anyone really value animals above humans?

The story of two shootings

A photo posted by supporters on the ‘Justice For Arfee’ Facebook page. (Photo: Justice for Arfee)

Psychology professor and author Hal Herzog looks at the “humanization of pets” in an editorial for Wired. Herzog is the author of “Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard To Think Straight About Animals.”

“Newspaper editors tell me stories about animal abuse often generate more responses from upset readers than articles about violence directed toward humans. But do Americans really care more about pets than people?” Herzog asks.

He tells the story of two shootings that happened within 50 miles of each other in Idaho in 2014. One was Jeanetta Riley, a pregnant mother of two who was shot by police outside of a hospital while she incoherently waved a knife. The story didn’t make much of a blip on the news radar.

Less than 14 hours later, police in another Idaho town were called about a report of a barking dog locked in a van. An officer claimed when he approached the vehicle the dog (which he misidentified as a pit bull) lunged at him, so he pulled the trigger. Turns out “Arfee” was a Lab and people became incensed at the shooting, which made national news. There was a “Justice for Arfee” Facebook page and a rally. In the end, the shooting was ruled unjustified, and the police department issued an official apology.

“The bottom line is that, at least in some circumstances, we do value animals over people,” Herzog writes. “But the differences in public outrage over the deaths of Jeanetta Riley and Arfee illustrate a more general point. It is that our attitudes to other species are fraught with inconsistency. We share the earth with roughly 40,000 other kinds of vertebrate animals, but most of us only get bent out of shape over the treatment of a handful of species. You know the ones: the big-eye baby seals, circus elephants, chimpanzees, killer whales at Sea World, etc. And while we deeply love our pets, there is little hue and cry over the 24 horses that die on race tracks in the United States each week, let alone the horrific treatment of the nine billion broiler chickens American consume annually.”

Creating a moral dilemma

We obviously love our pets. But to what extent?

Researchers set up a moral dilemma where they asked 573 participants what they would do if they had to choose between saving a dog or a person who had darted in front of a bus. The answers varied depending on the relationship they had with the dog and with the person.

In some scenarios, the dog was the participant’s own personal dog versus a random canine. And the person was either a foreign tourist, a local stranger, distant cousin, best friend, grandparent or sibling.

The dilemma is something along the lines of, “A bus is traveling down the street. Your dog darts in front of it. At the same time, a foreign tourist steps in the path of the bus. Neither your dog nor the tourist has enough time to get out of the way and it’s clear the bus will kill whichever one it hits. You only have time to save one. Which will you save?”

The subjects were much more likely to save the pet over a foreign tourist, versus someone closer to them. People were also much more likely to save their own dog versus a random dog. And women were twice as likely as men to save a dog over a person.

The study was published in the journal Anthrozoos.

Empathy for animals versus people

Researchers hypothesized that people would feel more empathy towards babies and puppies because they were vulnerable. (Photo: Africa Studio/Shutterstock)

In another study, sociologists at Northeastern University had college students read made-up news stories in which a victim was attacked by a baseball bat “by an unknown assailant” and left unconscious with a broken leg and other injuries.

The participants were all given the same news story, but the victim in each case was either a 1-year-old baby, a 30-year-old adult, a puppy or a 6-year-old dog. They were asked to rate their feelings of empathy toward the victim after reading the story.

The researchers hypothesized that the victims’ vulnerability — determined by their age, not species —would be the key factor in triggering the most concern in the participants.

The baby elicited the most empathy, with the puppy and adult dog not far behind. The adult person came in last.

“Contrary to popular thinking, we are not necessarily more disturbed by animal rather than human suffering,” said study co-author Jack Levin, professor of sociology and criminology at Northeastern University, in a statement.

“Our results indicate a much more complex situation with respect to the age and species of victims, with age being the more important component. The fact that adult human crime victims receive less empathy than do child, puppy, and full-grown dog victims suggests that adult dogs are regarded as dependent and vulnerable not unlike their younger canine counterparts and kids.”

The research was first presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in 2013 and has recently been published in the journal Society & Animals.

Although the study focused on cats, Levin says he thinks the findings would be similar for cats versus people.

“Dogs and cats are family pets,” he said. “These are animals to which many individuals attribute human characteristics.”


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


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So all you wonderful followers of this place – what do you think of some humans seeming to care more for animals?

Settling in to a new home

Anyone who emails me this is impossible to resist!

Hi,
I work on behalf of petsbyplane.com, and I recently noticed your blog while I was looking around for a few resources on pets and taking pets by plane!

I know sometimes it’s hard to create new content all the time and sometimes you probably find yourself needing blog content at learningfromdogs.com

I’m looking for high-quality sites like yours that I can contribute quality articles to in order to continue to build my profile, win a Pulitzer Prize and eventually take over the Universe.

Well another person trying to take over the Universe seems to fit the pattern of these present times so what the hell!

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Seven Techniques to Create a Safe New Home for Your Dog

by John Stuart.

Whether you are moving houses and you have to transport your dog or you are bringing a new dog into your house, you have to be prepared. Dogs can easily be stressed out by changes. They can become anxious, which will impact their behavior and even their eating habits. By doing your research beforehand and knowing how to handle various situations, you can be fully prepared on moving day and you can ensure your dog will enjoy his new home from the very first day.

1. Think about Transportation
If you’re bringing a dog home from a shelter, you will need to pick him up with a car and a dog crate. It’s strongly recommended to put your dog in a crate while you are driving since you don’t know yet how it will react to so many new things and environments. This way, you will be able to focus on driving and getting to your destination safely.

If, on the other hand, you are moving houses with your pet, you have to decide if you want to use a professional pet moving company or do it all by yourself. Moving to a different state or country will imply travelling by car or plane. Depending on the situation, you have to get informed about vaccines, plane tickets and necessary documents.

2. Keep Your Dog away from the Commotion on Moving Day
To keep your dog stress-free, consider taking him to a friend’s house while you pack up your last things or move out furniture. By keeping him away from the commotion, you are shielding him from unnecessary stress. Make sure not to pack all of your dog’s favorite toys. Keep a few around at all times as these will comfort and soothe your dog during anxious hours.

3. Make Sure the New Home Is Ready to Receive Your Dog
Moving with your pet is stressful. You have to take care of dozens of things at the same time. An important thing you shouldn’t forget to do is to check the new house is prepared for your dog. If you are renting, make sure the landlord accepts pets. You will probably have to make a deposit and even pay monthly rent for your dog. If the house has a backyard, ensure there are no gaps in the fence or other hazardous plants or objects. Inspect the rooms as well and eliminate dangerous things such as exposed wires, shabby furniture, old cans of paint or cleaning products.

4. Keep a Schedule
Dogs thrive on routine, so keep that in mind even when moving houses. You might not be able to go back to your schedule on the first day, but try to get back on track as soon as possible. Feed your dog at the same hours and take him for walks as you used to before.

5. Take it Easy
New surroundings can be overwhelming for your dog. There are new places, smells, sounds and people to get used to. He might be anxious at first, and even refuse to eat, but he will easily adjust to the new settings in his own time. The best thing you can do through this entire experience is to be very patient and talk encouragingly to him. If you want to start training him, start on day one. Be generous with the treats and occasionally repay good behavior with a new toy.

When you’re introducing your dog to the neighbors and showing him around new places, always keep him on a leash. He might be too excited to contain his happiness and you never know how he will react.

6. Find a Veterinarian Before Moving
You should ask your veterinarian for recommendations before moving. Get in touch with your new vet prior to the move and make sure they are fully equipped to take care of your pet. It’s essential to find a trustworthy vet before moving so you can have the peace of mind that your dog will be in good hands no matter what happens.

7. Give Your Dog a Lot of Attention and Love
Even if moving occupies your whole time, you should always make time to play with your dog and show him that he is loved. This will help him cope better with the situation and will help calm him down. If you would like to train your dog but don’t know how, reach out to a professional trainer. Give your dog the attention he needs and he will have a smoother transition and adjust to the new environment in no time.

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So what part of the Universe do you intend to start taking over first, John?

The Echoes Within

This is so fabulous!

Republished from here with Sue’s very kind permission.

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Listening to The Echoes Within

Nov 2nd, 2017 by Sue Dreamwalker

Can you hear the echo of Silence Within?

Is it shattering through this chaotic din?

Of political missiles of control and power

What kind of thoughts do you launch within an hour

~~

Do you wonder where those thoughts might land

As you create ‘Matter’ from the ‘Force’ at hand

Projected missiles each moment we send

As out into the Universe our thoughts do blend.

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Creating our future, we constantly weave

Each thought born, with intent conceived

Which side of the pendulum do your thoughts swing?

Is it positive or negative energy you bring?

~~

What noises are you sending out?

Is it Peace and Calm or do you want to shout

Remember the Echo rebounds to bounce back

What thoughts are you sending, is it Love or Lack?

~~

Have you felt the change, or don’t you care?

Are you breathing in deep, Natures air?

Are you listening to the echoes of your heart?

If you are then you’ve perhaps made a start.

~~

Are you listening to your Inner Chatter?

What you are focused upon really matters

The power of your thoughts is what we create

Take a moment, to Pause, and Meditate.

~~

What outcomes to you wish for this world?

Is it Peace or War you wish to unfurl

Now is the time we Humans Must Unite

To envisage Peace, we must reach for the light.

~~

© Sue Dreamwalker 2017

Within today’s world, we are seeing many truths now being exposed, as those whom we are supposed to look up to, are now finding their own Lies, echoing back to find them out.

We  all of us at times join in the gossip train, that travels out, gaining momentum and speed, stopping at various destinations, it gathers on board more passengers, who add their own little flourish to the journey.

I caught myself on this journey only the other week, which led me to stop my inner chatter, for our thoughts, like our words, are also powerful, and travel out, to create their vibration.. Which is why I wrote 

Are you listening to your Inner Chatter?

What you are focused upon really matters

The power of your thoughts is what we create

Take a moment, to Pause, and Meditate.

I hope you pause, and take a moment to see what thoughts are being sent out.. For believe me.. They Echo right back to the source of their creation, it may not be straight away.. As the train timetables vary.. So Listen to the Echoes of your  Heart..  I hope we have all made a start…  Hold your vision for the World.. 

Love and Blessings

~Sue~

The Photo I took  At Whitby Abbey in 2010.

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Profoundly beautiful!

Thank you, Sue.

Picture Parade Two Hundred and Nineteen

Endless wonderful photographs of our pets!

I was going to offer more of Tanja Brandt’s photos for you today but during the week Belinda, who lives here on Hugo Road, sent me some pictures that I couldn’t wait to share with you.

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Aren’t we so very lucky to have these wonderful creatures in our lives!

Healthy dogs!

15 Research Backed Health Benefits Of Having A Dog

In so many walks of life there are so many competing claims as to this or that and trying to get to the truth is so frequently hard work. No more so than understanding the essence of what to do to stay fit and healthy. Yes, I had in mind you and me when I wrote that last sentence but it applies equally as well to our beloved dogs.

So of course I welcomed this email that came to me not that long ago.

Hi Paul,

I’m Mat Coulton (the owner of Wileypup.com).

I won’t waste your time and get straight to the point, we recently released a kickarse blog post: ’15 Research Backed Health Benefits Of Having A Dog’ AND I was checking out your site and noticed you are linking to an article from wikipedia.org on the same topic in your article Pets – Learning from Dogs: https://learningfromdogs.com/tag/pets/
Our guide goes into much more detail. It’s up to date and quotes more trustable sources. It’s littered with cool custom graphics and images. It would be a great addition to your page, and add value to your readers.

Now, of course, Wileypup is a commercial business about which I have no knowledge or experience but that’s no reason not to share Mat’s article. I asked Mat to pen a few words about himself:

Mat Coulton has worked with dogs for just under a decade and is the founder of WileyPup, a doggy lover’s website that provides great tips and advice for paw parents everywhere.

Here is that article.

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15 Research Backed Health Benefits Of Having A Dog

Is this fur ball that follows me around like a shadow, constantly looking at me with those puppy dog eyes no matter what age they are, really that healthy for me? Routine situations like leaving them at home is an everyday mini heartbreak.
Don’t even start us on holidays where we try and think of any possible way to bring them with us and instead feel guilty as hell when they give us that aforementioned puppy eyes when we slowly close the door behind us, hearts breaking ever so slightly again.

BUT!!! We all know that’s just because we love them so much! Read on…

[Ed: You will have to go here to go through each of those benefits. Please do for the benefits are comprehensive and well researched.]

It is a popularly held belief that dogs make our lives better, especially if you ask a dog owner! We wanted to take some time to look into this concept a little deeper to see if there is scientific research to support the idea that there are actual health benefits from canine companionship.

What we found was surprising, even to us! We found 15 ways in which research has shown positive health effects from time spent with dogs!

Although much of the research on how pups effect our health has been done in clinical settings with therapy and companion dogs, there is plenty of reason to believe that dog ownership can have positive effects on our health as well (1, 2, 3).

With rising healthcare costs, the positive effects of dogs on our overall health and their role in assisting in the work of healthcare professionals continue to be avid areas of scientific study (4, 5, 6). In this article, we will be breaking down some of that research for you.

We will start by looking at the physical health benefits of dog ownership and companionship followed by a look at their contribution to better mental and emotional health outcomes. Then we will look at the special contribution dogs are making in the quality of life for a variety of special needs populations. Finally, we will look at the larger social impact of canine companions in our lives.

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I must say that many, many of you who have dogs in their lives will not be surprised by the findings spelled out by Mat.