Category: Dogs

Looking for a dog?

A recent article on Mother Nature News is a great reference.

The article appeared on March 16th. But rather than cover all nine breeds in a single day I am going to start with one breed today and then follow on at a steady pace.

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9 of the easiest dogs to add to your family

By: Mary Jo DiLonardo on March 16, 2019

No-hassle breeds

Some dogs are a lot of work. Maybe they’re psychologically challenging and require a lot of training because they are stubborn or just need to be learning all the time. Others are physically demanding because they need a ton of exercise or an inordinate amount of grooming.

If you’re looking for a more hassle-free pup, there are certain breeds that might be appealing. Here’s a look at some dogs that may be easier to own — and keep in mind that we’re talking about breed traits to look for. (We stick by our mantra that rescue dogs are the best dogs.) Every dog is different, but when you’re thinking of adding a pet to your family, you may want to look for some of this DNA in the mix.

1. Labrador retriever

There’s a reason the Labrador retriever has been the most popular dog breed in the U.S. for more than two dozen years, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). The breed is “famously friendly” and is good around people and other dogs. With their easygoing personality, Labs tend to bond with all members of the family.
These sweet and kind dogs come in three colors: yellow, black and chocolate. They are sturdy, medium sized and relatively easy to train. But they do have a lot of energy so they require lots of exercise like long, daily games of fetch.

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I will stay with this theme, off and on, over the next couple of weeks.

A dog food advisory.

This came in late yesterday.

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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.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition is expanding its recall of specific lots of its Prescription Diet and Science Diet dog foods due to elevated levels of vitamin D.

Very high levels of vitamin D can lead to serious health issues in dogs, including kidney dysfunction.

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

Hill’s Prescription Diet and Science Diet Dog Food Recall Expands

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

Mike Sagman, Editor
The Dog Food Advisor

If one then follows up that link then you will see this:

Hill’s Prescription Diet and Science Diet Dog Food Recall Expands

March 20, 2019 — Hill’s Pet Nutrition is expanding its voluntary recall of canned dog food products due to elevated levels of vitamin D.

This recall expansion relates to the same vitamin premix that led to the January 31 voluntary recall previously announced on The Dog Food Advisor website.

Vitamin D, when consumed at very high levels, can lead to serious health issues in dogs including kidney dysfunction.

What’s Recalled?

The following products and lot numbers are affected by the recall.

Items marked in blue are new SKUs that were added to the list on March 20, 2019.

About Excessive Levels of Vitamin D

While vitamin D is an essential nutrient for dogs, ingestion of elevated levels can lead to potential health issues depending on the level of vitamin D and the length of exposure.

Dogs may exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, excessive drooling, and weight loss.

Pet parents with dogs who have consumed any of the products listed and are exhibiting any of these signs should contact their veterinarian.

In most cases, complete recovery is expected after discontinuation of feeding.

What to Do?

If your SKU, Date and Lot codes are found in the list above, you have an affected product.

You should stop feeding it and should return to the place of purchase for a full refund.

If you have questions, you may contact Hill’s Consumer Affairs at 800-445-5777.

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

Or go to https://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.

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Hopefully, there are not people that are affected by this alert. But, nonetheless, it needs promulgating.

Living harmoniously together!

Another guest post from Emily Parker.

I can’t believe that the last time we had a post from Emily was back in July, 2016.

You may not recall but Emily’s background is a cat parent to 2 lovely cats, Gus and Louis “Gus only has one eye, but we love him all the same!”. She has lived with dogs in the past and can’t wait to add a dog to the family again. She writes about all things cats at her blog, Catological.com.

OK, that’s enough from me.

Here is Emily’s guest post.

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Adapting and Overcoming Stereotypes: How Dogs and Cats Can Live Harmoniously Together

By Emily Parker, Catological.com

For a dog and a cat to live harmoniously in one home is a goal that many pet owners want to achieve. Before this happens, some variables need to be considered to make a good relationship between pets work.

As the pet parent, it’s important to be in tune with the tendencies and personalities of your pre-existing pet, be it a dog or a cat, and the inclinations of your new pet if you want them to live harmoniously together.

Personality is More Important than Breed

While most people pay attention to the breeds of dogs and cats when it comes to the aspect of getting along, experts argue that taking their energy and personalities into account is more important. For example, if you already have a dog that’s known for its aggressive ways don’t adopt a skittish cat. In a similar manner, an aging dog may not enjoy living in one household with a lively and playful kitten who is always interrupting the peace.

If you already have pets whose personalities don’t match, this is where your backup plan should be used. You should set up a living arrangement wherein they are separated as much as possible, while providing them each with as much loving attention as possible.

If you’re adopting a new pet, do your research and ask the caretakers if it has lived with other pets before or if the pet has a hard time getting along with others.

Give a Cat its Own Space Before Introducing it to the Dog

While most dogs are quite extroverted animals, cats need space – something that they can call their own. It’s just their nature, and you should respect that. Make sure that you provide a space that your dog won’t be allowed to navigate, so your cat can confidently mind her own business without triggering a fight with her canine brother.

Cats are natural climbers, so it should be easy to take advantage of your home’s vertical space. Prepare a cat bed atop a shelf or a bookcase, or install a cat tree that your dog can’t reach. This will allow your cat to observe your dog from across a room or from a distance.

Make sure the cat’s litter box is away from the dog, too. Cats have long been observed to hide while doing their business, and there’s also the tendency of dogs to chew on cat poo that you should be concerned about.

You can install baby gates if you must – just make sure to do everything in your power to keep a dog away from a pooping cat!

Make Sure Your Dog Has Plenty of Physical and Mental Exercise

It’s important for dogs to have their energy released someplace else other than your home so they can slow their brains down and practice restraint whenever they’re around your cat.

These are creatures that require a lot of stimulation; otherwise, they might end up chasing the cat. To prevent this from happening, practice high-intensity trick training, lure coursing, or herding-type activities with your dog.

Don’t settle for just walking, if you can help it. You can do a sit several times on each block and do direction changes now and then. You can also practice speed changes.

Dogs should be able to let go of their herding instincts around cats, and you can help them achieve this by ensuring that your pet is always active, both in mind and in body.

Should you lack time for these activities, you can always enroll your dog in daycare or hire a dog walker instead.

Allow Your Pets to Follow Their Noses

Before introducing the dog and the cat to each other, allow them to sniff each other’s toys or beddings first.

This will satisfy their curiosity as to who the other pet is in the house, and serve as an introduction. It can also prevent turf wars in the future.

While your new pet is safely tucked away in a spare room, rub him down with a clean towel, and then present it to your existing pet to sniff, and vice versa.

Plan the First Meeting Properly

As with most humans, first impressions count, so make sure it all turns out well for the dog and the cat.

After you’ve introduced scents, you can have a visual meeting, preferably behind the safety of a baby gate or most-closed door.

After they’ve been able to smell and see each other a few times, it’s time for the main event.

Your cat should always have a clear escape route during this meeting, and you should not force the issue. If possible, take control of your dog without being aggressive about it, to ensure that he doesn’t chase the cat.

You may have to do this multiple times before everyone is comfortable with each other, always making sure you praise your dog for calm behavior, while ensuring the cat isn’t forced into a meeting from which she has no escape.

When it comes to food, the choice you make may depend on how well the two pets get along together, though I’d recommend having meal time in separate places or times if possible.

Separate Each Other’s Toys and Food

Always keep your pets’ separate. Some cats are known to be nonchalant with the company of an eating dog, even walking around the dog while he’s eating to try to eat from the bowl. Many dogs will allow this, but don’t be so sure on your pet. Don’t assume that your dog won’t get overprotective with his food bowl. (Not to mention dog food is not appropriate for cats to eat.) You can prevent mealtime wars by scheduling regular mealtimes and place the bowls in separate parts of the house.
While some pets won’t make an issue of this, you can give yourself the best chance of a peaceful home by making sure their toys don’t get mixed up. Competition over toys can start a fight. Some dogs have taken into catnip as well. So always segregate.

Consider Raising a Cat and Dog Together

Compared to introducing them to each other as adults, it’s easier if each pet meets each other at a young age

Puppies are typically easier to train than adult dogs who have become set in their ways, and they can be taught to not harm a kitten or just to leave it to its own devices. Kittens are incredibly curious and playful, and will associate the dog as a friend and will get used to its company as she grows into a mature cat.

But then again, it never hurts to be cautious!

At the end of the day, your duty as a pet parent is to keep watch over your pets and make sure they’re well fed and safe within your home. With proper guidance, training, and a whole lot of patience, it’s not impossible for a dog and cat to live together peacefully.

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Now I took the following picture from another blog and when you visit that page you can read another account of cats and dogs living together.

But I will close with that image because it is so perfect!

The equinox!

Have you seen the moon?

It’s a particularly beautiful moon and more so because it coincides with the equinox.

Taken from here.

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Full supermoon at March 2019 equinox

By in

Photo above: Bruce Tennant captured the March 2014 full moon rising over Santiago Peak, Alamitos Bay, Long Beach, California.

The March 20-21, 2019, full moon ushers in the first full moon of spring for the Northern Hemisphere, and the first full moon of autumn for the Southern Hemisphere. This full moon is also a supermoon, particularly close to Earth. It comes less than four hours after the arrival of the March 20 equinox.

This is the closest coincidence of a full moon with the March equinox since March 2000 – 19 years ago. The full moon and March equinox won’t happen less than one day apart again for another 11 years, or until March 2030.

March 2000 full Moon: March 20 at 4:44 UTC
March 2000 equinox: March 20 at 7:35 UTC

March 2030 full moon: March 19 at 17:56 UTC
March 2030 equinox: March 20 at 13:51 UTC

This month’s full moon also presents the third and final supermoon of 2019. Will it appear bigger in your sky? No, not unless you happen to catch the moon just after it has risen in the east, around sunset. Then its larger-than-usual size has less to do with the supermoon, but more from a psychological effect known as the moon illusion.

Supermoons don’t look bigger to the eye to most people, but they do look significantly brighter. If you’re in the suburbs or a rural area, notice the bright moonlight cast on the landscape at this full moon.

Also, supermoons have a stronger-than-usual effect on Earth’s oceans. Watch for higher-than-usual tides to follow the supermoon by a day or so, especially if a coastal storm is happening in your part of the world.

This March supermoon isn’t 2019’s closest supermoon, by the way. That happened last month. See photos of last month’s supermoon.

The Virtual Telescope Project will show the March 20 supermoon live, as it rises above the skyline of Rome. Click here for more info.

At U.S. time zones, the equinox arrives on March 20, at 5:58 p.m. EDT, 4:58 p.m. CDT, 3:58 p.m. MDT, 2:58 p.m. PDT, 1:58 p.m. AKDT and 11:58 a.m. HST.

At U.S. time zones, the full moon falls on March 20, at 9:43 p.m. EDT, 8:43 p.m. CDT, 7:43 p.m. MDT, 6:43 p.m. PDT, 5:43 p.m. AKDT and 3:43 p.m. HST.

In Universal Time, the equinox arrives on March 20, at 21:58 UTC, and the full moon comes on March 21, at 1:43 UTC. Here’s how to convert Universal Time to your local time.

At the equinox, the sun is at zenith (straight overhead) at the Earth’s equator. Because the Earth’s atmosphere refracts (bends) sunlight, a tiny bit more than half of the globe is covered over in daylight.Generally, the first full moon of a Northern Hemisphere spring heralds the imminent coming of the Christian celebration of Easter. Since Easter Sunday – by proclamation – occurs on the first Sunday after the first full moon in spring, some of us might expect the upcoming Sunday on March 24 to be Easter Sunday. However, by ecclesiastical rules, the equinox is fixed on March 21, so that places this year’s Easter Sunday (for Western Christendom) on April 21, 2019.

By the Gregorian calendar, the last time that an ecclesiastical Easter and an astronomical Easter didn’t occur on the same date was 38 years ago, in 1981. The next time won’t be until 19 years from now, in 2038.

(Easter Sunday for Eastern or Orthodox Christendom actually falls on April 28, 2019. That’s because the Eastern Church bases Easter on the old style Julian calendar, instead of the revised Gregorian calendar used by Western Christianity and most of the world.)

For our friends in the Southern Hemisphere, this March full moon counts as your Harvest Moon. The Harvest Moon is the full moon occurring closest to the autumnal equinox. On the average, the moon rises about 50 minutes later with each passing day. But for several days around the time of the Harvest Moon, the lag time between successive moonrises is reduced to a yearly minimum. For instance, at 40 degrees south latitude, the moon now rises some 30 to 35 minutes later (instead of the average 50 minutes later) each day for the next several days.

Like Earth, Saturn has equinoxes too! The ringed planet last had an equinox in 2009, and will have its next equinox in 2025. From Earth, Saturn’s rings disappear from view at a Saturn equinox, because these rings are then edge-on from our vantage point. But this near-equinox view of Saturn’s rings is readily visible from the Cassini spacecraft, because it’s 20 degrees above the ring plane. Image via NASA.

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, where it’s the closest full moon to the spring equinox, the lag time between successive moonrises is at a yearly maximum. At 40 degrees north latitude, the moon now rises around 70 to 75 minutes later daily. In the Northern Hemisphere, we ‘ll have to wait for the September full moon to bring forth our procession of early evening moonrises.

Last but hardly least, this March 2019 full moon gives us the first of four full moons in one season (between the March equinox and June solstice). Most of the time, a season – the time period between an equinox and a solstice, or vice versa – only harbors three full moons. But since this March full moon comes very early in the season, that allows for a fourth full moon to take place before the season’s end.

March 2019 equinox: March 20 at 21:58 UTC

March 2019 full moon: March 21 at 1:43 UTC
April 2019 full moon: April 19 at 11:12 UTC
May 2019 full moon: May 18 at 21:11 UTC
June 2019 full moon: June 17 at 8:31 UTC

June 2019 solstice: June 21 at 15:54 UTC

Some people call the third of four full moons in one season a Blue Moon. So our next Blue Moon (by the seasonal definition of the term) will fall on May 18, 2019.

The next Blue Moon by the monthly definition – second of two full moons in one calendar month – will come on October 31, 2020.

Resources:

Astronomical and Gregorian Easter Sunday
Phases of the moon: 1901 to 2000
Phases of the moon: 2001 to 2100
Solstices and equinoxes: 2001 to 2100
Equinox and solstice calculator

Bottom line: Enjoy the equinox full moon on March 20-21, 2019. It’s the third and final full supermoon of 2019, and the first of four full moons in the upcoming season (spring for the Northern Hemisphere, autumn for the Southern Hemisphere).

Bruce McClure has served as lead writer for EarthSky’s popular Tonight pages since 2004. He’s a sundial aficionado, whose love for the heavens has taken him to Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and sailing in the North Atlantic, where he earned his celestial navigation certificate through the School of Ocean Sailing and Navigation. He also writes and hosts public astronomy programs and planetarium programs in and around his home in upstate New York.

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It’s not about dogs. But then again maybe it is. For I’m thinking of dogs howling at the moon.

This is the essence of the man-dog relationship

A recent story from The Dodo.

This is so good. As good as it gets. It’s the account of a man and his dog who don’t have second thoughts in rescuing two elderly Labradors.

But let the story speak for itself.

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Man And His Dog Leap Into Water To Save Pups Trapped In Icy Lake

“I knew she was going to follow me. We were going to do it together.”

PUBLISHED ON 03/14/2019

Since meeting one another last year, Timofey Yuriev and his faithful dog Kira have been inseparable companions. Indeed, the happy duo do just about everything together.

And that includes saving lives.

Photo Credit: Timofey Yuriev

Last Saturday, Yuriev, his wife and Kira headed out for a sunset stroll around an ice-covered lake near their home in New York. It’s a tranquil spot, but on this chilly early evening, the quiet, peaceful air was shattered by the sound of a tragedy unfolding.

“We heard a woman screaming something across the lake, so we went to see what was happening,” Yuriev told The Dodo. “Her two old Labradors were crossing the lake, when they got to a spot where the ice is much thinner. One fell in, then the second. They tried to climb out but they couldn’t.”

Photo Credit: Timofey Yuriev

Yuriev watched as the dogs’ energy was quickly sapped by the freezing water — and he knew time was of the essence.

Having experience swimming in icy waters, Yuriev decided to take the plunge in order to save the two dogs himself — but he was not alone.

After Yuriev undressed and leapt into the freezing lake, he looked and saw Kira by his side entering the water as well to lend him her paw in the rescue effort.

“I knew she was going to follow me,” Yuriev said. “We were going to do it together.”

Here’s video taken by Yuriev’s wife showing him and Kira reaching the nearest dog first:

“She was great moral support; I was not alone,” Yuriev said. “There was my little helper.”

After leading the first dog safely to the shore, Yuriev and Kira headed out for the second:

“She came to each dog and touched them with her nose, then helped guide them back.”

Once back on dry land, both of the rescued dogs were frazzled but in good health.

Yuriev and Kira had saved the day.

“The owner, of course, was in tears,” Yuriev said. “She was so thankful.”

Photo Credit: Timofey Yuriev

Kira has always been a kindhearted and intelligent dog, able to assess situations and sense when she’s needed.

And on this day, it was clear for all to see.

Timofey Yuriev

“We told her that she’s a dog-saving dog. I’m sure she understood that something was happening. She could see the dogs were in distress. I’m positive about it,” Yuriev said, adding that he’s just happy they were able to help.

“It was pure luck that we were at that place at that time. It was like the universe smiled at us.”

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This is a glorious post that was taken from here.

I have said it before and no doubt I shall repeat this many times more: Dogs are the most special creature going!

This is rather close to home!

Walking your dog as one grows older!

We don’t walk our dogs. Well, not in the traditional fashion. I can’t recall the last time we put a leash on a dog, and that would have been for a vet’s visit anyway. But that doesn’t stop me from republishing this advice. I think some of you will find it invaluable.

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How senior dog owners can avoid injury

New study reveals the risks, but these tips will keep you on track

By MARY JO DILONARDO
March 8, 2019

Having a dog can motivate seniors to go for a walk, which is smart for overall health — but there’s a risk of serious injury, too. (Photo: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock)

Dogs are awesome. There’s so much scientific evidence about the health benefits of having a dog in your life. Dog owners live longer, healthier lives than people who are pet-free. Dogs can help ease stress and loneliness — particularly for seniors. Dog owners have a lower risk of heart disease, including lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

So many of these health benefits come from the exercise people get when they take their four-legged friends for walks. However, new research finds that injuries linked to dog walking are very common and can lead to serious life-changing issues for older adults.
The research looked at patients 65 and older who made visits to emergency departments in the U.S. from 2004 through 2017. Researchers identified more than 32,000 cases of fall-related fractures linked to leash-walking dogs. In 2004, there were an estimated 1,671 visits, but that number jumped to 4,396 in 2017 — a 163 percent increase. The research was published in the journal JAMA Surgery.

The paper’s authors have an idea why the numbers jumped, and it has to do with good intentions.

“People intuitively know many of the benefits of animal companionship,” Dr. Jaimo Ahn, an associate professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, told Time. “Not surprisingly, pet ownership has increased over time, including among the elderly, who are living longer and taking efforts to live healthier — all good things.”

Because nearly 79 percent of the fractures in the study occurred in women, the researchers write, “older women considering dog ownership must be made aware of this risk.”

The researchers conclude, “For older adults — especially those living alone and with decreased bone mineral density — the risks associated with walking leashed dogs merit consideration. Even one such injury could result in a potentially lethal hip fracture, lifelong complications, or loss of independence.”

Balance exercises

Exercises like yoga and tai chi can help improve balance. (Photo: kudla/Shutterstock)

Dog-walking injuries can happen to anyone, but they are likely more common among older people because of balance issues that can start when people hit their fifties. “Strength, balance, and coordination can deteriorate if they are not being challenged and practiced each day. Loss of these abilities can make it difficult or painful to perform your everyday activities,” according to the American Physical Therapy Association.

Strength exercises like yoga and tai chi can help improve balance and prevent falls. The group recommends several specific exercises to help with balance, strength and agility. We’ve listed two exercises below that can help with balance, and you can find many more on the APTA website.

Sidewalking — This helps you keep your balance while walking by strengthening the hip muscles on the side of the pelvis.

How to do it: Step 10 times to the right, then 10 times to the left. Keep hands on a counter or long table if you need the support. Add an exercise band around your thighs, above the knees to make it more challenging. Do this several times a day.

Balancing — Good balance helps prevent falls.

How to do it: Stand on both feet with your hands on a counter or a sturdy table. Slowly lift one foot, and balance on the other for 10-15 seconds. Repeat on the other foot. Do this five times on each foot. If this is easy for you to do, close your eyes while standing on both feet. If that is also easy, close your eyes while standing on one foot. Have someone nearby to help you avoid falling.

Dog-walking advice

Training a dog to walk in the heel position can help you avoid injury. (Photo: TeamDAF/Shutterstock)

The study’s authors mention preventative measures to avoid injuries such as going through obedience training for better behavior on the leash. They also suggest that seniors who have never owned a dog get a smaller breed.

Probably the best thing you can do to help prevent injuries when you walk your dog is to make sure your dog is well-behaved on the leash, says certified dog trainer and behaviorist Susie Aga, owner of Atlanta Dog Trainer.

She suggests teaching your dog a very clear “heel” command so he knows to stay on your side with his head even with your thigh. Similarly, to avoid falls at home, teach your dog to “wait” at the top or the bottom of the stairs until you go up or down.

Although equipment isn’t a magical fix, Aga says front-clip harnesses typically keep a dog from pulling more than a back-clip harness or just a leash clipped to a collar.

It’s also a good idea to let the dog run around the backyard or play catch first before a walk to expend some energy before you head out.

If an older person doesn’t own a dog yet, Aga tries to steer them to an older, quieter dog without a ton of energy. She suggests a dog that is at least 4 years old and maybe one that has been in a foster home so you can find out how he walks on a leash and learn his general personality.

“I wouldn’t get a high-drive, working herding breed or even a really small dog that would always be getting under their feet,” she says. “Some of the greatest ones are rescue greyhounds. They want to run for about five minutes and are couch potatoes the rest of the time.”

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As I said, some of you would have found this interesting.

And a reminder of the wonderful health benefits of dogs.

Dogs are awesome. There’s so much scientific evidence about the health benefits of having a dog in your life. Dog owners live longer, healthier lives than people who are pet-free. Dogs can help ease stress and loneliness — particularly for seniors. Dog owners have a lower risk of heart disease, including lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Mera, a peak dog!

This is an astounding story of bonding.

This is an amazing story. Utterly amazing! Taken from Mother Nature Network.

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This stray tagged along with mountain climbers and set an elevation record for dogs

Mera, a street dog, climbed 23,389 feet to the top of Baruntse in Nepal.

By MARY JO DILONARDO

March 6, 2019

Mera seemed to have little trouble in the snow and ice. (Photo: Don Wargowsky)

When Seattle-based mountain guide Don Wargowsky was leading an expedition to Mera Peak and Baruntse in Nepal’s Himalayas last November, he picked up an extra member on his team. A stray dog noticed the climbers somewhere around 17,500 feet and decided to stick around with the group.

The climbers had just summited Mera Peak, and when they were coming down around Mera La pass, they saw the pup going up.

“What struck me was to get to that pass, there were a few hundred feet of fixed rope which means the terrain was so difficult that most climbers need rope to help themselves up,” Wargowsky tells MNN. “To see a dog up there just running by all these climbers in their $2,000 down suits and crampons was very unusual. When she came up to me, I gave her a bit of beef jerky and she didn’t leave for 3 1/2 weeks.”

The team dubbed their newest four-legged member “Mera” and she tagged along on the way back down the mountain. Wargowsky realized he had seen her in the town of Kare a few days earlier, but she had made no effort then to get close. He thinks that’s because street dogs aren’t treated very well in Nepal due to the fear of rabies.

“Dogs are shooed away pretty aggressively,” he says. “So, she was naturally pretty shy.”

A new climbing partner

Climbing is hard work. (Photo: Don Wargowsky)

But once Mera decided to join the expedition, she gradually lowered her guard. The first night, Wargowsky tried to encourage her to sleep in his tent, but she wouldn’t come inside. The next morning, he found her curled up outside the flaps covered in a layer of snow. After that, he was able to coax her inside. He gave her one of his sleeping pads and a coat to keep her warm.

Wargowsky was in a difficult position with his uninvited guest. The elements were unforgiving, and he was worried about the dog who had no protection for her paws or her body in conditions that likely reached minus 20 or minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit at times. But he had no luck getting her to leave … and where would she go?

“Obviously my responsibility was to the group, but I was super happy to have her with us. I didn’t encourage her to come along, but I wasn’t going to have her starve, so I would feed her,” he says. “I really tried to persuade her to stay at camp as we got into steeper and more dangerous terrain. Where we were was a more remote part of Nepal. If we didn’t feed her, she was going to starve.”

Mera stuck with the expedition the entire time, never venturing far from Wargowsky’s side. Or technically, his knee.

“She would walk with her nose almost in the back of my knee when we would walk,” he says. “But she wanted to be up front. If I would drop back to hang out with a slower client, she would go up and walk with whoever was up front. She didn’t get out of sight pretty much the entire time we were there.”

‘No clue what her motivation was’

Mera celebrates with her fellow climbers. (Photo: Don Wargowsky)

There was only one time when Mera was gone for several days.

While Wargowsky was working on training with some members of the expedition, showing them how to climb the ice with rope, Mera followed the team’s sherpas instead. They were working to set up ropes to “camp one” at around 20,000 feet. She scrambled up the steep terrain but seemed afraid to go back down and wouldn’t return with them to base camp.

“She ended up spending two nights alone on a glacier at 20,000 feet. I really thought she was going to freeze to death,” Wargowsky says. The sherpas went up to continue working and she was there. But instead of going back down right away, she followed them to 22,000 feet as they continued working before going back to base camp.

The next day when the entire team went to make the climb, Wargowsky tried to keep her at base camp because he didn’t want her to make the steep climb again. He tied her up but she got out of her rope and quickly caught up with them. Wargowsky couldn’t leave his human clients to take her back, so Mera was allowed to stay with the group.

“I have no clue what her motivation was,” he says. “We were feeding her at base camp, so it wasn’t the food. It’s not like there was anything up there for her, but it was amazing to see.”

Tackling the ice and snow

Mera often trotted ahead of the climbers, waiting for them to catch up. The temperatures didn’t seem to faze her. (Photo: Don Wargowsky)

Early on, Mera started to slide and Wargowsky was able to catch her and save her from what could’ve been a dangerous fall. When the team moved to camp two at around 21,000 feet, they were sidelined there for four days because of bad weather. Mera stayed with Wargowsky, who shared his tent and his food with the pup.

“I split all my meals with her 50/50 so we both lost weight,” he says. He guesses the scruffy brown-and-tan stray weighed probably 45 pounds to start with but lost maybe five or 10 pounds during the trip. Wargowsky says Mera looked like a combination of a Tibetan mastiff and a Nepali sheepdog.

Wargowsky was impressed with how well Mera navigated the snow and ice and handled the cold.

“She did very very well like 98 percent of the time. There were certain slopes very early in the morning or late at night when the snow was very crusty and icy when it was very slippery and you could see her kind of struggle with it,” he says. “Her paws got beat up and it was hard to see her paws bleeding a little. But everything healed up that evening and it was all superficial.”

He says it was also hard to believe she didn’t go snow-blind. The humans were all wearing expensive glacier goggles while she trotted along with no protection.

The highest a dog has ever climbed

In one particularly harrowing descent, Mera was clipped to a rope to keep her safe. (Photo: Don Wargowsky)

There was only one part of the descent where she was assisted by a rope. Somehow, she had climbed the vertical 15-foot-tall section without incident but when it was time to go back down, she didn’t want to do it. The humans were rappelling, so to coax the dog down safely, they tied a rope harness to her so she could half-run, half tumble. You can see it in the photo above, but Wargowsky points out that the truly harrowing part of the mountain isn’t even visible in the shot.

In the end, when the team — along with their canine mascot — had come down from their completed 23,389-foot climb of Baruntse, Mera was hailed as a bit of a hero. Word had spread about her alleged feat and Wargowsky had to show off photos from his phone to prove she had been with them.

“She was the first dog to ever have climbed that mountain,” he says. “We can’t find anything that says a dog has ever been that high. I believe that is the highest that a dog has ever climbed ever at any point in the world.”

“I am not aware of a dog actually summiting an expedition peak in Nepal,” Billi Bierling of the Himalayan Database, an organization that documents climbing expeditions in Nepal, told Outside. “I just hope that she won’t get into trouble for having climbed Baruntse without a permit.” Bierling told Outside that there have been a few reported cases of dogs at Everest Base Camp (17,600 feet) and some who’ve trailed teams through the Khumbu Icefall up to Camp II (21,300 feet) on Mount Everest, but Mera’s adventure is perhaps the highest-recorded elevation by a dog anywhere in the world.

‘This dog wants to climb mountains’

Wargowsky shares his food with his climbing buddy. (Photo: Don Wargowsky)

After all that climbing and bonding, Wargowsky was tempted to bring his new friend home with him to the U.S.

“I really would’ve loved to adopt her. But I live in a 700-square-foot unit in Seattle and this dog wants to climb mountains. I gave it a lot of consideration. I didn’t care what it cost. Despite how much I loved this dog, I thought it would’ve been a very selfish thing to do to bring her to such a small space.”

But he didn’t want to leave what he calls “this hero of a dog” out on the streets. Fortunately, the expedition’s base camp manager was also smitten with the adventurous dog. Because dogs can’t fly, NirKaji Tamang paid someone $100 to walk three days to pick her up until they could get her on a bus and get her to his home in Kathmandu.

After what she had accomplished on Baruntse, Tamang changed the athletic dog’s name to Baru. He took her to the vet to make sure she was healthy. Her injuries quickly healed, and she gained weight.

Wargowsky, who told his remarkable Mera story online, was thrilled recently to receive photos of her. He will be back in Nepal several times this year for expeditions, and he plans on visiting his canine climbing partner.

“With what we had available, I don’t know what more I could’ve done to prevent her from climbing. She was definitely there of her own free will,” he says. “I truly loved that dog.”

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This is such a wonderful account of a stray dog coming into contact with a group of such loving people. Plus, the photographs are wonderful especially the fourth one; just following the Tackling the Ice and Snow sub-heading. I could look at that photograph for ever!

Dogs are the most amazing creatures ever!

A dog poem for you!

A beautiful poem and a guest post at that!

This poem arrived during the last two days.

I have real pleasure in posting it!

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A DOG CONNECTION POEM FROM THE HEART

We can learn so much from our dogs. I have written about it and we can feel it. So many of us are lucky enough live with that special dog connection. They can help us through hard times and we feel like our dogs came into our lives for a reason. Here is a little poem dedicated to Jesse.

Ode To My Dog

Jesse- Yellow Labrador, 12 years old

My dog and I have a connection like no other. Unconditional love. She is my shadow and winks at me as I talk to her from above.

Although she is deaf, she knows what I am saying, and wags her tail around. She remembers my voice and can hear it in her head while her tail is pounding on the ground.

My dog is getting older although she still has a youthful mind. Her body tries to keep up when she asks me to throw the ball for her to find.

Even though Dogs only live on Earth about a decade or so. The work they do while they are here will stay with us after they go.

So hold them tight, treat them right and give them your attention while they are here. You never know when the time is up and it’s their last year.

I cherish the moments I have with my furry soul mate and I am excited to see her everyday. To spend time with her and show her love because she can’t hear what I say.

Dogs come into our lives for a reason and that reason is love. To guide us and teach us those important lessons we need to learn from above.

Everyday with your dog is a blessing. Take time to feel the positive influence and give them a great life. You are here for each other not only on Earth but in the afterlife.

The Dog Connection~

Dog Bless!

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As Holli so aptly says, “So many of us are lucky enough to live with that special dog connection.”

They are the most precious animals of all!

Aren’t they just wonderful!

I’m speaking about dogs!

I am indebted to The Dodo for this next item.

Recently discovered it has a wealth of wonderful stories about animals.

So, I am happy to share this with you.

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Lonely Dog Gets To Go To Shelter To Pick Out Her Very Own Playmate

“I swear, she totally had a smile on her face the whole ride home!”

By  03/01/2019

Liza was born in a shelter after her mother was abandoned on the streets while she was pregnant. Both the mama and all of her puppies were very sick at first, and it was an uphill battle to get them all to a point where they were healthy and thriving. Finally, when she was 13 weeks old, Liza was adopted by Debi Kolak and her other dog Mona, and Liza and Mona quickly became the best of friends.

For two years, Mona and Liza did absolutely everything together — until Mona passed away suddenly this past fall, leaving poor Liza completely heartbroken.

Mona and Liza |

Kolak could see that poor Liza was clearly very lonely without Mona, so when she moved in with her boyfriend and his two senior Jack Russell terriers in December, she hoped that the company of other dogs would help to cheer Liza up. Unfortunately, though, the two terriers weren’t huge fans of Liza, as she was too energetic and playful for them, and so Liza was still left without anyone to play with. Kolak discussed the possibility of adopting a playmate for Liza with her boyfriend, but he was skeptical that they could handle a fourth dog, and therefore put off the idea.

Debi Kolak

Despite her boyfriend’s hesitations, Kolak began researching different animal shelters in the area until she found one that had some dogs up for adoption who seemed like they could be good matches for Liza. She took Liza with her to the shelter and talked to the volunteers there about the kind of dog they were looking for. They showed her a few different dogs — and one of them was Murphy.

Murphy was one of the shelter’s longest residents, and had been there for five months. He was found as a stray, and during his time at the shelter had been adopted by three different families and returned every time. He seemed so defeated, and didn’t strike Kolak as the kind of dog that she and Liza were looking for. Liza needed an active, cheerful playmate, and when she first met him in his kennel, Murphy seemed to be anything but that.

Debi Kolak