Category: Culture

Saving lives!

Saving the lives of our dogs and their owner/carers!

The Smithsonian website recently featured a dog rescue centre in Costa Rica that has the odd dog or one thousand being cared for!

I kid you not!

This Costa Rican Paradise Shelters Over 1,000 Stray Dogs

A photographer documents scenes from Territorio De Zaguates, a converted farm in the Santa Bárbara mountains that’s giving abandoned dogs a second chance
By Jennifer Billock, smithsonian.com, March 6, 2018

The article also includes a range of incredible photographs. I have ‘borrowed’ a couple to share with you.

oooo

What rescuing a dog means to thousands of gentle-hearted people is no better spoken about than in the words of a poem that Colin published over on his blog A Dog’s Life.

It is republished here with Colin’s very kind permission.

ooOOoo

“A Stray they named Ray”

The following is one of the poems in my book “Just Thinking”, which is available direct from Friesen Press, Amazon, and other on-line book retailers.

https://books.friesenpress.com/store/title/119734000032944229/Colin-Chappell-Just-Thinking

This is such a sweet collection of beautiful thoughts and sentiments and reflections. The people and stories and memories are so real and tangible, easy to connect with, easy to read. For each poem I have read so far, it’s like he is talking about someone I know… or someone I would want to know 🙂 This books explores so many things, takes you on so many journeys.. the good and the bad and the beauty in between. This book was given as a gift, and it’s one I will treasure!” (Amazon review)

 “A Stray they named Ray”

They were found on a farm

Not too far away,

But… where was their home?

Two dogs, frightened, hungry,

So very tired and,

Surviving somehow on their own.

***

The rescue van arrived,

And the crew discussed

How best to capture this pair.

Traps were determined

To be the most humane,

But… so many questions were there.

***

Why were these two dogs

Having to scavenge for food?

Why were they out on their own?

The treats in the traps,

Put an end to all that,

And they were captured, scared… and alone.

***

They had no collars; no tags;

No microchips were found.

They were just two dogs without names.

Their faces were expressionless,

And their fur in poor condition.

Were they siblings? Perhaps their mother was the same?

***

Once back at the shelter

They were caged together,

But then a fight ensued.

Trainers intervened,

And gave them separate cages,

But then had to decide what to do.

***

One (they later named Ray) was not unfriendly,

Although cautious and rather aloof.

He seemed to know he was no longer alone.

He was given a bath and a bowl of food

And, with some loving care (they thought),

He could possibly adapt to a home.

***

He was a sorry sight,

And no doubt a once proud dog.

Clearly a German Shepherd cross,

Just managing to survive,

By eating scraps to stay alive.

To explain him, they were quite at a loss.

***

They tried to find his owners.

They checked the Missing Pets files,

But there only seemed one option.

He now belonged to the shelter

And… as he was neither reported lost, nor stolen,

He would be trained for adoption.

***

Four months later he was ready.

His adoption photo was published,

And all were looking for a sign.

He needed a family,

To love… and be loved by.

This will, hopefully, be his time.

***

Eventually a couple arrived

Who clearly were drawn to him,

And regular walks were arranged.

It was soon to be seen

That his life, as it had been,

Was quickly going to change.

***

His day of adoption came.

The staff all said their farewells.

Smiles, and tears, were all around,

For the life of a stray;

Of a dog they named Ray;

A life almost lost… had been found.

*

ooOOoo

I am finishing today’s post with another photograph from the Costa Rican Paradise Shelter.

Then my final words are those in that Smithsonian article:

Now, more than 1,000 dogs roam the countryside of the Costa Rican estate. They go on daily walks in the mountains and eat roughly 858 pounds of food per day. They’re bathed and treated on-site for illness or injury (though more intense cases go to a specialist vet in San Jose). And most importantly, they’re given a better quality of life than they’d experience on the streets.

“There is a major problem with stray and abandoned dogs in Costa Rica,” Dan Giannopoulos, a photographer who recently visited the shelter, told Smithsonian.com. “The government line on [the] treatment of strays is to destroy them. This is the only shelter of its kind in Costa Rica. It offers a new lease [on] life to the dogs, many of whom have lived terrible lives and have terminal illnesses.”

Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/these-photos-transport-you-dogs-central-american-paradise-180968018/#v9xZpKmRadL5JHeA.99
Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

Dogs and allergies

Again and again I feel so privileged to be writing this blog!

For so many reasons! But the top reasons are that I feel part of an enormous family of dog lovers and that so frequently I am approached by a person who has valuable information to share with me and you.

Such as it was when back last September in came an email from Zara Lewis.

Hi Paul,
As you probably already know, all the pet stories you are sharing are super interesting and, most importantly, super useful to the entire community of us, pet parents.
Professionally, I am a regular contributor at highstylife.com magazine, while personally I am very interested in pet topics, as I am a proud mom of two + one. I say “+one” because I can hardly separate my foster dog from my children 😀

I have no book to publish, but I was wondering if you are willing to add guest content to your blog. Here you can check my style and previous posts:

https://caninecupcakes.com/the-essential-guide-to-going-green-with-your-dogs-diet-this-spring/
http://tinpaw.com/everything-need-know-preventing-heartworm-cat/

Here are some topic suggestions that I believe can be useful for your community:

-Teaching your child responsibility with animals
-The Latest Trends in Pet Care
Looking forward to your response.
Regards from me & furry Joey,

Zara

You will not be surprised to hear me say that I replied to Zara saying that I would be delighted to receive an essay from her.

The weeks slipped by, as they do, but on the 6th March Zara sent the following.

It’s a wonderful essay!

ooOOoo

Dog Allergies 101: What Are the Most Common Ones & What to Do About Them

by Zara Lewis, March 6th, 2018.

Allergies are a very common ailment, so it’s not unusual for your dog to have one. Even though people have the ability to describe the symptoms to the last detail, dogs tend to show different ones, so it’s very important for us to know and recognize them. Unless you have some kind of a super dog breed, your four-legged friend might start developing certain allergies. This mostly happens because their bodies mistakenly believe a certain type of food is bad for them, or they use it too much or too often, so their immune system responds by releasing antibodies that can cause serious problems. Take a look at the most common symptoms and allergens:

What could the symptoms be?

So before starting with the most common allergens, it’s very important to know what the most common symptoms of food allergies in dogs are. So, if you happen to notice that your dog is experiencing one of the following, make sure to get them checked by a vet as it’s very probable they have a certain food allergy:

  • Itching
  • Poor fur quality
  • Nausea
  • Obsessive Licking
  • Vomiting
  • Chronic diarrhoea
  • Chronic gas
  • Chronic ear inflammation

What are the most common allergens?

Eggs
It’s a well-known fact that eggs (more specifically egg yolks) are very rich in protein, so your dog can easily become allergic to them. On the positive side, avoiding eggs is not difficult; just make sure to check dog food labels to see if there’s any danger for your four-legged friend. Even though one of the most common symptoms of this type of allergy in your dog is the appearance of bald spots, egg allergy can manifest in other ways as well.

Beef, chicken and lamb
Beef is also known to have high amounts of protein, which means that your dog can become intolerant to this kind of meat as well. This usually happens if you’ve been feeding your dog a certain type of food for a very long time, so your dog becomes intolerant or allergic to that specific food. Due to this reason, beef allergies are very common, as most dog foods contain this type of meat. The same rule applies to chicken as well. Dog foods are most commonly made of beef and chicken, so it would be best to feed your dog with all possible meats – beef, pork, chicken and lamb, and rotate them as much as you can. On the other hand, lamb is very often regarded as a ‘safe haven’ for dogs with meat allergies. However, if you don’t pay attention to rotating your dog’s diet, your dog can also become allergic to lamb.

Grain
Another thing that most types of dog food contain is grains, which means that this is also one of the most common allergens. If you happen to notice itchy and dry skin or hair loss, make sure to check if your dog is allergic to grain. Mind that finding completely grain-free food can be quite tricky, so there might be a chance you have to cook everything by yourself. Luckily, for all those who don’t have the time to do this daily, there are certain products that can help with that, such as the grain-free line of Ivory Coat dog food. Always check your dog – if they’re allergic to grain, the sooner you discover it, the better.

Dairy products

It’s not only people who can be lactose intolerant – dogs can be as well. This means they are not allowed to eat or drink any dairy products, such as cheese or milk. Otherwise, they’ll end up with gas problems, diarrhoea and vomiting. As far as dairy products are concerned, there is one tricky thing you need to pay attention to – a dog can actually develop an allergy towards them, so it’s crucial for you to be able to tell the allergy apart from the intolerance. If you notice itchiness or redness on your dog, make sure to have it checked by the vet as soon as possible. If it’s only diarrhoea or vomiting, it’s probably only intolerance, but a check-up won’t hurt.
Soy
There’s an ongoing debate whether soy is good for your dog or not, but it’s definitely true that soy food is very common. Soy can cause many health problems that can be more serious than simple allergies, including reproductive and growth problems, and diseases of the liver. Furthermore, soy is the second most genetically modified crop that is grown, so it would be the most advisable to avoid this product.

It’s not for nothing that they say dogs are people’s best friends. And we treat our best friends nicely, don’t we? This is why we should all (especially if we’re the owners) make sure to treat them the best we can. The first step is making sure our little furry friends are not allergic to anything, and discovering this quickly won’t make only our lives easier, but those of our dogs as well.

ooOOoo

Great email from Zara! Great guest essay with great pictures and loads and loads of valuable advice, and great links to other websites.

You see why I like running this blog!!

Beat the blues!

As seen on the photography forum UglyHedgehog.

That, by the way, is an excellent forum for all those with an interest in photography!

This really made Jean and me laugh out loud!

ooOOoo

An old geezer became very bored in retirement and decided to open a medical clinic. He put a sign up outside that said: “Dr. Geezer’s clinic. Get your treatment for $500, if not cured, get back $1,000.”

Doctor “Young,” who was positive that this old geezer didn’t know beans about medicine, thought this would be a great opportunity to get $1,000. So he went to Dr.Geezer’s clinic.

Dr. Young: “Dr. Geezer, I have lost all taste in my mouth. Can you please help me?

Dr. Geezer: “Nurse, please bring medicine from box 22 and put 3 drops in Dr. Young’s mouth.”

Dr. Young: Aaagh !! — “This is Gasoline!”

Dr. Geezer: “Congratulations! You’ve got your taste back. That will be $500.”

Dr. Young gets annoyed and goes back after a couple of days figuring to recover his money.

Dr. Young: “I have lost my memory, I cannot remember anything.”

Dr. Geezer: “Nurse, please bring medicine from box 22 and put 3 drops in the patient’s mouth.”

Dr. Young: “Oh, no you don’t, — that is Gasoline!”

Dr. Geezer: “Congratulations! You’ve got your memory back. That will be $500.”

Dr. Young (after having lost $1000) leaves angrily and comes back after several more days.

Dr. Young: “My eyesight has become weak — I can hardly see anything!!!

Dr. Geezer: “Well, I don’t have any medicine for that so, “Here’s your $1000 back.” (giving him a $10 bill)

Dr. Young: “But this is only $10!

Dr. Geezer: “Congratulations! You got your vision back! That will be $500.”

Moral of story — Just because you’re “Young” doesn’t mean that you can outsmart an “old Geezer”

Remember: Don’t make old people mad. We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to tick us off.

Dr. Geezer’s Clinic – ENJOY YOUR DAY !!

ooOOoo

Have a great week, everyone!

Loving our ex-shelter dogs!

So often ex-shelter dogs are the most loving dogs that can be.

When we moved here to Oregon back in 2012 we came with 12 dogs. All but two of them were dogs that had been rescued either from a shelter or an unwanted home. Then there’s Ruby who is the last of the dogs that Jean rescued off the streets of Mexico.

Jean and Ruby asleep on the couch.

All of which is an appropriate introduction to Jenny Perkins who is an Animal Behavior Specialist and a passionate writer. Jenny adds that: “She loves to write about the nutrition, health, and care of dogs. She aims at providing tips to dog owners that can help them become better pet parents. She writes for the blog Here Pup.”

I am grateful for Jenny’s permission to republish her article here.

ooOOoo

How to Make a Rescue Dog Settle in Your Home

Adopting a dog especially one from the shelter is a serious commitment. Although it is one of the best decisions to make it can get difficult. Therefore it requires you to be prepared to face the upcoming challenges; both mentally and physically.

At times people do adopt rescue dogs but end up giving them up as they get overwhelmed. What we need to understand is that it is equally difficult for the dog too. We don’t know what abuse or emotional trauma he has been through. Maybe he lost his actual house and since had been bumping from shelter to shelter. These incidents have a substantial impact on the dog’s personality, and the new home and people may scare him. Don’t worry it gets better and its worth the sparkle you’ll see in his eyes once he gets used to the new atmosphere.

As a smart dog-parent, you need to know some basics so you can help your rescue dog settle in quickly. One advantage of adopting an adult rescue is that they may already be housetrained and know basic manners. However, you need to make-up your mind that you have to start from scratch. Here is a list of the things you need to do before bringing your new pup home

Things You Need to Have

You need to have all the necessary supplies in your home beforehand, so you don’t have to run to the store now and then. Get some good quality dog food, whatever brand the vet recommends according to the dog’s age, size, and breed. Also buy a crate, a good quality no-pull leash or harness, a collar, an ID, gloves, and waste bags. As for comfort buy a dog bed according to the dog’s size and bowls for the food and water. Get him some interactive and fun chew toys, so he doesn’t get bored when you aren’t around. Keep a first-aid box in case of emergencies. For now just get the essentials such as gauze, scissors, tape, wet wipes, and an antibiotic ointment. Okay so that’s about it, and yes training treats are a must!

Proofing the House

Now since you’ve done all the shopping, let’s discuss the in-house preparation. Dog-proofing your house is vital not just for the safety of your pooch but you as well. First and foremost, remove everything that may be toxic to the dog. Canines are an inquisitive creature, so your dog will start sniffing around the house, exploring places he isn’t supposed to. Chocolates, raisins, nuts, and grapes are common foods that may be poisonous to the dog. Same goes for cleaners, chemicals, medicines, and pesticides. Keep all such products locked in cabinets and secure them with a latch.

Establish Routine

The next task is to prepare yourself for the journey mentally. Remember it is going to be exhilarating but may also frustrate you. Tell yourself that patience is critical; gradually the pooch will learn everything and get accustomed to the house. Dogs feel secure when they have a proper routine and rules that they will follow. Begin by deciding where you will place his bed. It’s better to keep his movement restricted to a small room at first, so he treats it as his home. Next up, decide timings for walks and food. Limit the interactions in the first few days, as that may overwhelm the dog. If possible, take a few days off to spend time with your furry friend and getting to know him better.

When the Dog Comes Home

Once you bring your new friend home, give him a tour of the house. He may be scared so try your best to keep him away from scary situations. If he wants to hide in a corner, let him. Don’t force him to learn everything rapidly and work with him at his pace.

Show him the love and care he deserves. Training will help him adjust better, start teaching him specific behaviors and commands. Only use positive reinforcement methods and teach him the basics like “sit,” “stay.” Keep treats with you to reward him, take him out for short walks, and let him socialize with other dogs. Most importantly work on developing a bond, once it does your dog will never leave your side!

ooOOoo

That bond that so many thousands and thousands of us humans have with our dogs never, ever leaves us!

Steve’s Real Food recall

The following arrived late Saturday evening.

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.

Steve’s Real Food of Salt Lake City, UT, is recalling one lot of its raw frozen dog food due to possible contamination with Salmonella.

To learn which products are affected, please visit the following link:

Steve’s Real Food Recalls Raw Frozen Dog Food

Please share the news of this alert with other pet owners.

Mike Sagman, Editor
The Dog Food Advisor

P.S. Not already on our dog food recall notification list yet? Sign up to get critical dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. There’s no cost for this service.

If you click on that link in the above recall email then one goes here, and reads:

ooOOoo

Steve’s Real Food Recalls Raw Frozen Dog Food

March 2, 2018 — Steve’s Real Food of Salt Lake City, Utah is voluntarily recalling one lot of its Raw Frozen Dog Food Turkey Canine Recipe due to the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

What’s Recalled?

The affected product was sold frozen in 5-pound bags.

Bags affected by this recall are identified with the following UPC codes and “Best by” date located on the package.

  • Raw Frozen Dog Food Turkey Canine Recipe
  • 5-pound bag
  • Lot # E178
  • Best By Date: 9/27/18

Where Was the Product Distributed?

Fifty two cases of this product was distributed between 6/27/17 – 7/15/17.

The potentially affected lot of 5-pound frozen turkey nuggets were distributed to retail pet food stores in the following states: CA, CO, CT, IA, KS, FL, MD, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, NJ, NV, NY, OR, PA, TX, UT, VA, and WA.

About Salmonella

Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products.

Symptoms of infection in people include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever.

Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms.

Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting.

Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain.

Infected, but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans.

If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

What Caused the Recall?

This recall is being initiated after the firm was notified by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture that a retail sample was collected and tested positive for Salmonella.

No pet or consumer illnesses from this product have been reported to date.

Because of their commitment to overall safety and quality, Steve’s Real Food is conducting a voluntary recall of this product.

Consumers should also follow the safe handling tips published on the Steve’s Real Food packaging, when disposing of the affected product.

This recall is being made with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

What to Do?

Consumers are encouraged to check the lot code of any 5-pound frozen turkey nuggets.

Any product with the noted lot code should be returned to the specialty retailer where product was purchased for a full refund.

Consumers with questions may contact Steve’s Real Food at 888-526-1900, Monday thru Friday 9 AM to 4 PM MT.

U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.

Get Dog Food Recall Alerts by Email

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Dog Food Advisor’s emergency recall notification system.

ooOOoo

As always, please share this as far and wide as you can and, hopefully, no dog will be affected by this contaminated product.

Travelling with your dog!

So welcome to the first day of March!! Holidays in the offing? Here is some useful advice!

Inevitably, with so many followers (big hugs to you all) I receive emails from people who have a commercial interest in the readership of this blog.

As I did earlier in January.

Hi,

Hope you had a great weekend!

My name is Emma from BestCarSeatHub.com. I’m wondering if we can contribute a fresh and original post about pets (traveling with pets or safety of dogs) to your site Learning from Dogs. It’ll be 100% neutral and written based on your site’s tone.

In return, we’ll be sharing that post to all our networks… helping you gain new and more readers.

Let me know if you’re interested. I’m also willing to discuss any other options you have. Thanks a lot.


Sincerely yours, Emma Lachey.

My reply was:

Emma,
Thanks for writing me.

In principle, I am happy to receive your guest post so long as you are happy for me to introduce your company as a firm of which I have no personal knowledge.

Does that work for you?

Paul H.

Emma then sent me the following guest post. It’s very useful advice in my opinion.

ooOOoo

Traveling With Your Dog – A How To Guide

Are you planning to travel with your dog in the future? While it is a great experience and you will certainly have many memories, it will also add a few new levels to your traveling experience. You will have to plan a lot more, make sure your dog is allowed everywhere you go, and make concessions on what you can do.

For most people, boarding their dogs turns out to be the better option – but it doesn’t have to be if you take these tips into consideration. For now, we will focus on traveling with your dog in the car.

Plan Ahead

The first thing you want to do is really plan ahead for your travels. Think about where you may need to take a break for your dog to go to the bathroom – and he will need to go much more frequently than he will just at home. Make sure to have some time set aside so that he can get out and walk around – a dog that wares off some energy will be much easier to deal with in the car.

Finally, make sure that you have places you can go so that your dog doesn’t have to be stuck inside the car when you go to eat. There are plenty of places that either offer outdoor seating or will be happy to pack your food up for you so that you can eat it somewhere where your dog can as well – of course, weather will dictate much of this.

Consider Medication

If your dog has severe anxiety when he or she is in the car, you might want to consider getting medication for your dog. This is something you should only use sparingly, but it is something you want to consider.

Bring Toys and Familiar Items

Does your dog have a favorite toy? How about a familiar bed or blanket? If he does, you want to bring some of those with you, just to make him more comfortable. With toys, you want to get something that he will sit and play with for a long time while you are travelling – this can take away much of the stress.

Use a Dog Car Seat

Dogs get pretty excited about going in the car, especially if they aren’t the type of dogs that get to go for a ride all that often. There are plenty of dog car seats on the market today, from simple tethers or harnesses to high-tech dog booster seats that have all you can ever imagine.

Some other items you want to have?

  1. Leash
  2. Water bowl and water
  3. Treats
  4. Busy Toys
  5. Doggie Bags
  6. Medication
  7. All your dog’s tags
  8. The name and number of a local vet

The car seat won’t only keep your dog safe, which of course is important, but it will keep you safe as well. Dogs running around the car can really distract you from your surroundings and can put everyone in danger.

Be Prepared for Emergencies

Emergencies will happen, and while you hope that you won’t encounter one, you do have to be prepared for anything. Planning in advance will ensure that you can tackle anything that might happen. Before you go on a trip, talk to your vet about anyone that he or she may know near where you are staying. It should be a priority to take your dog to the vet before you leave for your trip anyway. You also want to have the phone number of your vet so that you can call in a pinch. Always make sure that your phone has a full battery so you can look up vets in the car.

If your dog is acting quiet and a little “off,” it could be nothing – your dog could just be adjusting to life this way. However, you want to ensure that your dog has enough time out of the car and has enough water. Once your dog shows sudden signs of illness, then you want to get to work.

If you are driving, you want to map out any vets on the pathway, set an alarm for medications, bring only the highest quality dog food, give your dog adequate bathroom time, and bring all medical records with you.

Make Sure ID Is Always on Your Dog

Make sure that your dog always has a collar on when you are traveling. Make sure the collar has your phone number and your name on it as well. If your dog does get away when you are traveling, this is the best way to ensure that your dog will get back to you.

You might want to consider a microchip as well. You’ll want to have a recent photo of your dog on your phone so that, if the worst does happen, you will have a way to make flyers.

Traveling with your dog doesn’t have to be a terrible experience. Instead, you want to make the most of it by being prepared, taking many photos of your pup, and having the times of your lives.

ooOOoo

Now all that Jean and I need to work out is how to take our six dogs with us when next month we travel to Europe for a couple of weeks!!

Any ideas, Emma?

Ghosts

Here’s that article I wanted to share with you.

But then I got sucked back to memories of sailing!!

Oregon’s lighthouses as recently published over on Mother Nature Network!

ooOOoo

The tallest lighthouse in Oregon has a haunted history

Yet there is more to Yaquina Head Lighthouse in Newport than these ghostly stories.


JAYMI HEIMBUCH   February 16, 2018

The Yaquina Head Lighthouse in Newport, Oregon has a long history, which of course means rumors of ghosts and hauntings. (Photo: P Meybruck/Shutterstock)

On a scenic basalt rock headland that juts almost a mile into the Pacific Ocean stands a beautiful white lighthouse. At 93 feet tall, the Yaquina Head Lighthouse, located in Newport, Oregon, is the state’s tallest lighthouse. It’s been guiding ships for 145 years.

First lit on August 20, 1873, the lighthouse has gained quite the storied history. And that includes two ghost stories.

The Yaquina Head Lighthouse is one of two in Newport, Oregon. (Photo: Dee Browning/Shutterstock)

One tale tells of a construction worker helping to build the tower who fell to his death. His body lodged between the double walls, never to be retrieved. He — and his ghost — have been sealed in ever since.

The second story is that in the 1920s, Keeper Smith went into town and left Keeper Higgins in charge. But Higgins fell sick and asked Keeper Story to take over. When Smith saw from Newport that the lighthouse beacon wasn’t lit, he rushed back to find Higgins dead and Story drunk. Story, overtaken with guilt, feared the ghost of Higgins and from then on would take his bulldog up the tower with him.

A view from the northern side of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. (Photo: Jeremy Klager/Shutterstock)

As with most ghost stories, the authenticity of these is highly doubted. The first story is unauthenticated, and the second story is impossible. As Lighthouse Friends clarifies:

A great tale, but unfortunately not supported by the facts that Story and Higgins didn’t serve at the same time at Yaquina Head and Higgins didn’t meet his demise in the tower. Rather, Higgins left the Lighthouse Service before 1920 and returned to live with his mother in Portland. Second Assistant Keeper did die of a heart attack in the watchroom atop the tower in March 1921, but he too served before the arrival of Frank Story.

aquina Head Lighthouse stands tall under big cloudy skies. (Photo: haveseen/Shutterstock)

Fortunately, much more than ghosts can be seen at Yaquina Head Lighthouse. The lighthouse stands on what is now the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, one of the most spectacular

spots on the coast for viewing ocean wildlife such as sea birds and harbor seals at close range, as well as traipsing through tide pools at low tide. An interpretive center highlights information about these wild inhabitants and features exhibits on the historical details of the lighthouse.

Yaquina Head lighthouse by the Oregon Coast during a beautiful sunset. (Photo: RuthChoi/Shutterstock)

The original oil-powered light has given way to an automated first-order Fresnel lens and a 1,000-watt globe. It flashes with its own specific pattern: two seconds on, two off, two on, and 14 off. The pattern is repeated around the clock.

May the lighthouse stand tall for generations to come. (Photo: Tomas Nevesely/Shutterstock)

While a little illumination causes the ghost stories to fade, visitors can still see a lot with a visit to Yaquina Head. Whether it’s grey whales at close range during their migration, or the sun setting over the ocean and silhouetting the tall structure, visitors are always happy they stopped to take in both the scene and the history of this special place.

ooOOoo

I really hope that despite the advance of digital GPS navigation systems it will still be a very long time before these magnificent lighthouses are turned off!

Beating depression without pills!

The value of a loving dog is not to be over estimated!

Returning to the theme of how dogs can help us humans fight off depression.

A delightful guest post from Taylor who recently asked if she could share a post from her own blog. I was delighted to have been asked.

oooooh

Dogs Can Help Decrease Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression.

by Taylor G. February 23rd. 2018.

I have always been a huge animal person. But mostly, a dog person/mom. I have two pups, and I am a dog walker in my neighboring towns. But I also suffer from depression and anxiety. Doctors always rush to prescribe medicine, but I have found that dogs can help as well. This post will be describing how dogs can help people suffering with depression and anxiety.

  1. Exercise- For all you dog owners out there, you know how much exercise your furry friends require. Since becoming a dog walker, I am forced to exercise and walk everyday. While it hasn’t cured my mental illnesses, it has decreased some of my symptoms. I am forced to get out of bed and do something. In recent studies, they have found that dog owners are a lot more likely to meet daily exercise requirements then none dog owners!
  2. Sense of Purpose- When you know that there is another living being that relies solely on you,
    Koda and I on a walk.

    you get a sense of worthiness. I know I struggle with feeling needed, but as soon as I schedule a dog walk, I know that that dog needs me. That the dog is waiting for me to walk it. It makes me feel needed in this world. It has increased my self worth and makes me feel like I have a purpose.

  3. Structure/Daily Routine- Many people who suffer with depression and anxiety know the struggle of having a routine. All we want is structure in our lives in a world where everything is hectic and last minute. Having a dog/being a dog walker, gives you a routine. Most dogs get up to do their business at the same time every morning and they know when its walk/feeding time. Trust me 🙂 It has given me a set schedule and has helped me feel more structured and less crazy!
  4. Forever Companion- Dogs will steal your heart, but you will also steal theirs. They are one of the most loving and caring animals out there. They sense your emotions and will be there for you through your good and bad days. I know that when I have a bad day, I always have my happy little furry babies to come home to. They are my friends when my depression tells me I have none.
  5. Petting Reduces Stress- It is proven, that the ‘motion’ and the ’emotion’ the goes into petting,
    Chloe with my Guinea Pig Daisy

    actually releases oxytocin (hormone related to anxiety relief), which can help reduce blood pressure!

  6. Mindfullness- For people who are trying to practice mindfulness (anxiety/depression technique that keeps you in the current moment), having a dog will help you do that! They keep you distracted from the bad things that are going on, and make you concentrate on their cute shenanigans.
  7. Koda with a cup on his head.

    Help with Isolation- For those days when your depression gets the best of you, they help you feel less lonely and less isolated. They will be there for you when no one else is, and knowing that always makes me feel better.

  8. They allow me to smile- Last year, when my depression and anxiety were at its peak, I forgot how to smile. The only time I smiled was when I was in the presence of my dogs. They taught me how to smile again, and I am so grateful to them.

My dogs have helped give me my life back. While I am still fighting my

Koda smiling.

depression and anxiety, I am definitely proof that dogs can help in this fight against mental illness. While they also may be a huge responsibility, they are also a huge help in the war with mental illness.

ooOOoo

I will close by stating the obvious.

That is that everyone who has a dog or two in their life and has times of feeling depressed knows without question what it means to hug a dog.

Those who do not have a dog in their life and have experienced depression should find their own dog to hug – pronto!