Category: Education

And the other guest post!

This time from Penny Martin.

Penny wanted me to post this guest post from her a little earlier than the ‘chosen’ date. So, I am publishing it today!

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Tips and Tricks for Multistate Living with a Pet

As a senior, you get the best of both worlds by spending half the year in one state and half in another.  But sometimes, things can get a little hectic along the way, especially when you own two homes in independent living communities and a pet on top of it. There may be days when your stress levels rise as you try to cope with everything. That’s why Learning from Dogs has assembled some handy tips and tricks to smooth out multistate living for you and your pet.

Saving Money

One of your first considerations may be to save some money as you switch from one home to the other. You might, for instance, register your cars and purchase auto insurance in a state that is less expensive. Do the same for health insurance and even pet insurance to save extra money. You might also stock up on nonperishable and freezer items for each house when your budget allows so that you’ll have supplies on hand when you transfer between homes. Finally, consider replacing double cable services with streaming options. This way, you can watch all your favorite shows whenever and wherever you want without paying for access in two states.

Staying Organized

It can be quite difficult to stay organized when you’re splitting your time between two different homes, but you can if you get in the habit of making lists. Keep a running tab of your possessions and current supplies, like food and cleaning products, at both homes. This way, you’ll know what you have and what you need to bring with you. If you find yourself overwhelmed by clutter, don’t be afraid to use a storage unit. There are plenty of self-storage options in San Diego, and you can check prices and reviews in advance.

When it comes to your pet’s needs, you might do well to have a set of care items like harnesses, crates, cat trees, and litter boxes at both homes. This way, you won’t have to drag things back and forth. When you’re shopping for pet supplies, be sure to read online reviews from customers but also from veterinarians and other animal experts so that you can ensure the quality of the products and the health and safety of your pet. 

Keeping Your Pet Healthy

Dividing time between two homes in two different states can be stressful for your pet, so make sure you take care of your pet’s health. Find a trustworthy veterinarian in both locations, and take your pet for frequent checkups each time you settle into a new place. Make sure your pet has proper flea and tick prevention for both environments, and find a good pet sitter in both locations, too. 

Also, consider pet insurance to help defray vet costs. One state may actually offer less expensive pet insurance policies than another — although you may find it more expensive in many ways — so shop around for the best policy. Research coverage options, prices, deductibles, limitations, and provider reputations before choosing a policy that is right for you and your pet. 

Living Well in Two States

Multistate living can be a challenge, but it can also be a delightful experience for you and your pet. Use the tips above to save money, stay organized, keep your pet healthy, and enjoy the best of both worlds.

Learning from Dogs serves as a reminder of the values of life and the power of unconditional love – as so many, many dogs prove each and every day. Click here to get involved!

Image via Pexels

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It was exceedingly kind of Penny to promote this blog and I am grateful for the links.

It is a very useful guest post and I hope that many people find it of value. It would be nice to hear from people who have read Penny’s post.

That’s all from me!

Educational Support Animals

Today and tomorrow there are guest posts for you. I must say that I really appreciate these guest articles. So without any more delay, here is today’s post.

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A guest post by Indiana Lee.

How To Effectively Discuss Your ESA With Your Employer

If you have — or want to obtain — an emotional support animal (ESA), it’s natural that you may want to bring it to work. If this is the case, you need to discuss your ESA with your employer. Yet, doing so is often easier said than done.

For some people, bringing an ESA to work may seem problematic. Your ESA helps you feel and perform your best. However, you may be concerned that your emotional support animal will be a distraction. Even worse, you may be worried that your ESA may disrupt your relationship with your employer.

When it comes to ESAs at work, it is important to keep in mind that you and your employer share a common goal: to achieve the best-possible results at work. If you know how to discuss your needs with your employer, you can highlight the benefits for all parties involved. 

Now, let’s look at five tips to help you effectively bring up an ESA with your employer. 

1. Have a Face-to-face Conversation With Your Employer

Schedule a date and time to meet with your employer to discuss your ESA. Once you set up the meeting, plan accordingly.

Consider how you will deliver your message to your employer. It can be beneficial to illustrate the health benefits of having a pet for emotional support. You can also provide details about how you’ll manage the animal while you work and ensure it does not hamper your and your colleagues’ productivity. 

2. Respond to Your Employer’s Concerns and Questions About Your ESA

Give your employer plenty of time to share their concerns and questions about your emotional support animal. If your employer has concerns or questions about why you need an animal at work, you should be ready to address them. 

The most common emotional support animals are dogs. Complete any paperwork required by your employer so you can take a dog or other type of emotional support animal to work. They will perhaps already have a policy on bringing dogs to work, but if it is a cat or other type of pet, you should make this clear in the meeting. 

Employers are also allowed to request medical documentation if you want to bring an ESA to work due to a disability. You can meet with a medical professional to get this documentation.

3. Let Your Employer Share Your ESA’s Story

Encourage your employer to use your ESA to promote its workplace culture. This can help your employer attract top talent and keep its staff happy. 

For instance, your employer can share the story of your ESA with job candidates and employees. This can show job candidates that your employer is committed to do what it can to accommodate its workers. Giving the background of the pet and how it has helped you be a productive, happy employee can be heartwarming and aid in their search for top performers.

Meanwhile, your coworkers can see that your employer wants them to feel comfortable. This can lead to a positive work culture in which all employees are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. After all, workplace efficiency is improved when employees feel valued and comfortable in the work environment.

4. Keep Your Employer Up to Date About Your ESA

Communicate with your employer about your ESA. If any problems arise that involve the animal, you can share them with your employer immediately. That way, you and your employer can address any issues before they escalate. For example, if your emotional support dog contracts an infectious disease, let your employer know. You can make accommodations to work from home or not bring the animal during that period to keep others safe.

5. Explore Alternatives to Bringing Your ESA to Work

If your employer will not allow you to bring your ESA to work, try not to stress about it. Rather, continue to work with your employer to explore alternatives. For example, your employer may let you work remotely so you can have your ESA by your side while you work. Or, your employer may allow you to work a flexible schedule. If this isn’t possible, it’s entirely okay to look for a job that accommodates your needs.

Don’t Wait To Discuss Your ESA With Your Employer 

An emotional support animal can provide a great source of comfort and companionship. If you feel having an ESA at work would be beneficial, you should discuss this topic with your employer right away.

Many employers are more willing than ever before to let their employees have an ESA at work. By discussing the topic with your employer, you can find out what it can offer. From here, you and your employer can work together to ensure you receive the support you need to thrive at work.

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That is very good advice and I am grateful to Indiana for writing it and then offering it to Learning from Dogs. Thank you, Indiana.

Goodbye to Facebook.

Our reaction to a video by Carole Cadwalladr.

I have been a user of Facebook for some time. Persons in my family use it but not Jeannie. In fact, Jean is a very low user of all things computing and that has turned out to be a very good act.

Here is the summary of what the talk is all about:

Facebook’s role in Brexit — and the threat to democracy

In an unmissable talk, journalist Carole Cadwalladr digs into one of the most perplexing events in recent times: the UK’s super-close 2016 vote to leave the European Union. Tracking the result to a barrage of misleading Facebook ads targeted at vulnerable Brexit swing voters — and linking the same players and tactics to the 2016 US presidential election — Cadwalladr calls out the “gods of Silicon Valley” for being on the wrong side of history and asks: Are free and fair election…

Here is the talk:

So by the time you watch this I shall have deleted my Facebook account. Then it is on to finding a good alternative to WhatsApp!

The Dog Ageing Project.

Yes, you heard that correctly!

I was just idly browsing dog websites a couple of days ago and came across the Dog Aging Project. As their About page reports:

The goal of the Dog Aging Project is to understand how genes, lifestyle, and environment influence aging. We want to use that information to help pets and people increase healthspan, the period of life spent free from disease.

I have taken the liberty of sharing one of their blog posts with you (I can’t see that isn’t allowed!)

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Longer, healthier lives. Together.

Dog and Human Genetics: Similarity and Difference

July 26th, 2022

Your pup may be your “fur baby,” but how similar are you genetically? You may be surprised!

Did you know that dogs and people share over 17,000 special genes called orthologs? Each pair of orthologs is derived from the same common ancestor via vertical descent (speciation) and they tend to have similar functions. They are one of the main reasons why your pup is such an invaluable comparative animal model for studying human health. In fact, humans and dogs have numerous similarities even in those parts of the genome that aren’t genes (the noncoding part of the genome). When it comes to better understanding human health, your pup is our best friend!

Sometimes, the effects of a gene are identical between dogs and people. For example, the same version of EPAS1, a gene triggered by low-oxygen conditions, is shared by people living in the Tibetan Plateau and the dog lineages that developed there. Genetic changes in this gene have taken place to help kickstart the body’s responses to hypoxia, or low oxygen levels, at high altitudes.

In other cases, the effects of a gene may be similar but not identical. For instance, the gene SCN3A is important to brain function and affects the development of speech. In children, mutations in SCN3A have been reported to cause disorders like epilepsy. But in dogs, genetic changes near the canine ortholog of SCN3A are associated with the frequency of howling in dogs.[1] The functions of this gene seem distinct (speech versus howling) but related!

For other health conditions shared by dogs and people, the same genes may not be responsible, but that doesn’t mean that research on those conditions in dogs isn’t helpful for humans! By learning more about how a dog’s genes are connected with a shared health condition, we can investigate the biological mechanisms involved and potentially make links to human health.

For example, people long suggested that narcolepsy might be a disease of the immune system: an autoimmune attack that causes daytime drowsiness and sudden sleep. In human studies, it was difficult to confirm the immune system link. It wasn’t until 1999[2] that this connection was discovered in a lineage of Doberman pinscher dogs. The researchers discovered a gene that is involved in the interface between the nervous system and immune system.

Finally, you and your pup share more than just genetics. Your environments are also very similar! You sleep in the same house—maybe even the same bed!—go on walks together, and breathe the same air. Interactions between these environmental variables and your genetics (called gene by environment interactions) can have an important impact on health. For example, smoking is well known to increase risk of bladder cancer in humans[3], but it is still unknown how secondhand smoke affects risk of bladder cancer in dogs.[4]

Data from the Dog Aging Project should help us answer important questions like these!

1. Kathleen Morrill et al. 2022. Ancestry-inclusive dog genomics challenges popular breed stereotypes. Science 376: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abk0639

2. Ling Lin et al. 1999. The Sleep Disorder Canine Narcolepsy Is Caused by a Mutation in the Hypocretin (Orexin) Receptor 2 Gene. Cell 98 (3): 365-376. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0092-8674(00)81965-0

3. JD Figueroa et al. 2014. Genome-wide interaction study of smoking and bladder cancer risk. Carcinogenesis 35 (8):1737-44. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24662972/

4. Deborah Knapp. Canine Bladder Cancer. https://www.vet.purdue.edu/pcop/files/docs/CanineUrinaryBladderCancer.pdf (PDF)

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This is, in my opinion, an important project.

Many may want to nominate their own dog and there is a page where a number of FAQ’s are addressed. If you wish to proceed then go to this page.

As was said, this seems like an important project.

What a difference a week makes!

It all makes sense now.

Photo by Salmen Bejaoui

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” “Believe you can and you’re halfway there. It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.”

This famous quotation by Teddy Roosevelt (1858-1919), the 26th President of the USA, seems apt for today’s post.

Exactly one week ago I published a post called Musings from a 77 year old! I wrote that the future was uncertain. Summed up at one point by me writing: “I have no idea of the global changes that are afoot and how they will affect us in Merlin. Indeed, I have no idea how long I have to live.

Margaret (from Tasmania) was one of the many people who responded. She included a video interview of Meg Wheatley by Michael Shaw. It is an hour long. Last Friday afternoon Jean and I watched it in full and it was incredibly interesting. Thank you very much, dear Margaret.

But before I present Meg’s video again I want to show you another video. It is a talk by Richard Grannon about the collapse of our civilisation. Now Richard Grannon is an author, YouTuber and life coach so one needs to remain impartial to his views, certainly before one does further research. But in the 46-minute talk I think there is much sense in what he says. See for yourself:

Moving on! The interview of Meg Wheatley is very good indeed. It’s a broad look at the issues and problems governing society but done in such a way that the people who watch her will also take away a number of tools for avoiding depression and anxiety. Meg places great store on the Hopi Native American Indians: “The Hopi maintain a complex religious and mythological tradition stretching back over centuries.

Meg quotes one of the more famous Hopi prophecies, that is reproduced below:

This could be a good time! There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water.

And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey come to a halt.

The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word ’struggle’ from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

Photo by Lucas Ludwig 

Here is that Meg Wheatley interview. (It is an hour long but very interesting; please watch it!)

I want to pick up the topic that was at the end of her interview; that of societal collapse. How would one define it? I chose Wikipedia for a reference.

Societal collapse (also known as civilizational collapse) is the fall of a complex human society characterized by the loss of cultural identity and of socioeconomic complexity, the downfall of government, and the rise of violence.[1]Possible causes of a societal collapse include natural catastrophe, war, pestilence, famine,  economic collapse,  population decline, and mass migration. A collapsed society may revert to a more primitive state, be absorbed into a stronger society, or completely disappear.

Virtually all civilizations have suffered such a fate, regardless of their size or complexity, but some of them later revived and transformed, such as China, India, and Egypt. However, others never recovered, such as the Western and Eastern Roman Empires, the Maya civilization, and the Easter Island civilization.[1] Societal collapse is generally quick[1] but rarely abrupt.[2] However, some cases involve not a collapse but only a gradual fading away, such as the British Empire since 1918.[3]

Anthropologists, (quantitative) historians, and sociologists have proposed a variety of explanations for the collapse of civilizations involving causative factors such as environmental change, depletion of resources, unsustainable complexity, invasion, disease, decay of social cohesion, rising inequality, secular decline of cognitive abilities, loss of creativity, and misfortune.[1][4] However, complete extinction of a culture is not inevitable, and in some cases, the new societies that arise from the ashes of the old one are evidently its offspring, despite a dramatic reduction in sophistication.[4] Moreover, the influence of a collapsed society, such as the Western Roman Empire, may linger on long after its death.[5]

The study of societal collapse, collapsology, is a topic for specialists of historyanthropologysociology, and political science. More recently, they are joined by experts in cliodynamics and study of complex systems.[6][4]

The article is much more extensive than I have quoted above and for anyone deeply interested then I do recommend you going to the article and reading it extensively.

Now Meg is of the opinion that it is too late to turn back but next Tuesday I want to talk to you about Sir David Attenborough’s film A Life on our Planet. That he believes there is a chance to undo the harm we are causing to the planet; through rewilding.

Until then!

Volunteering at animal shelters.

Another great post from Penny Martin.

Once again I am delighted to publish another post from Penny. This is a relatively short post but nevertheless of supreme importance.

With no more ado from me, here it is:

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Protecting Our Pets: Resources for Volunteering at Animal Shelters

By Penny Martin

August 10th, 2022

If animal welfare is close to your heart, you might want to consider helping out at a pet shelter for abandoned or unwanted animals. There are always a number of charities in the USA and beyond looking for eager volunteers. 

Before You Apply

Animal welfare work can be challenging for an individual, even if you’re just volunteering. It’s important to take precautions before you commit to your decision.

  • Read about the experience of working at a shelter to better understand the challenges and obstacles you might encounter.
  • Often, volunteers need to undergo training, orientation, and background checks before they’re allowed to contribute.
  • Connect with your local shelters on social media to see the kind of work they do and whether there are opportunities to volunteer.

Organizations

Shelters for abandoned and neglected pets are frequently found throughout the country. If you want to do your part, the logical first step is to locate one close to you.

  • Institutions like Guide Star have been established to hold animal rescue services accountable and ensure they are being maintained properly.
  • Take some time to learn about the listed charities in your area.
  • If you find an abandoned pet and you’re not aware of shelters in your area, try reaching out to American Humane.

Ways to Help

If you’re unable to volunteer in person, there are still plenty of ways to get involved and do your part.

  • There’s good work to be done online via social media and you can help out by engaging in discussion and sharing posts about missing or unwanted pets.
  • If you have any spare supplies that you’re willing to donate, these can make a profound impact on the lives of animals. 
  • If you’re purchasing supplies to donate, read expert reviews to choose the highest-quality products.
  • If the existing organizations don’t meet your concerns, you could try forming your own nonprofit.
  • You can create Facebook ads for free to secure donations and get the word out about your nonprofit. 

Unfortunately, across the USA and beyond, there are a great many pets in need of our help but even small acts of kindness can take us a significant way towards eradicating the problem altogether. Reach out to your local shelter and see how you can help.

Read the Learning from Dogs book for a reminder of the unconditional love dogs give us every day. 

Image by Pexels

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Once again, a big thank you to Penny and also my thanks for the link to Learning from Dogs.

For those of you that are considering helping out then Penny’s post might offer the advice you require.

Keeping your dog safe and happy.

Without breaking the bank!

Another very useful guest post from Penny Martin who is becoming a very regular contributor to this place. This time Penny writes about being on a budget, aren’t we all, but still keeping your dog safe and happy.

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Image: Pexels

Six Ways to Make Your Home and Yard Dog-Friendly on a Budget

By Penny Martin.

Dogs add many wonderful things to their owners’ lives; however, owning a dog can be a drain on your bank account. According to statistics, the average American dog owner spends $1,480 per year on dog expenses. These tips can help you make your home and yard more dog-friendly without breaking the bank.

1. Add a Fence

Dogs need exercise, a place to go to the bathroom and a chance to sniff around and be a dog. However, if you don’t have a yard with a secure fence, it isn’t safe to allow your dog outside without a leash. Even a well-trained dog may run off to chase a squirrel, greet a strange dog or go exploring. This puts your dog at risk of being hit by a car, getting in a fight with another dog or animal or becoming lost. Adding a fence to your yard allows you to enjoy time with your pet off leash without risking your pet’s safety.

2. Add a Backyard Pool

Not every dog loves to swim, but many do. You can give your dog a place to cool off and have some fun without spending a lot of money by purchasing a wading pool or a small stock tank. If you think your dog would enjoy more than splashing around, search for a dog-friendly place in your area where you can inexpensively take your dog to swim. However, don’t just toss your pup into the deep end. Not all dogs are natural swimmers. Many facilities that have pools for dogs offer swimming lessons.

3. Create Shady Spots

Dogs love to run and play and on hot days they can easily overheat. Help your dogs stay cool by making sure they have plenty of shady spots to hang out. One inexpensive way to do this is to purchase a portable awning. You can set the awning up anywhere in your yard and put it away when you no longer need it. Trees are also a good source of shade, but it is important to keep your trees maintained.

4. Remove Dead Trees and Branches

Dead trees create a safety hazard and provide a home for pests. Have a professional local tree service remove any dead trees and branches in your yard before they cause an injury or accident. Do not try to remove the tree yourself. Professionals have the right gear, tools and safety training to remove the tree safely and without damaging your property. Read online reviews before you reach out to contractors. Get at least three estimates and make sure to ask whether stump grinding and disposal are included in the price.

5. Buy Trash Cans With Lids

Trash cans are smelly, full of tasty food and plenty of stuff to shred. It is no wonder that most dogs love to root through them. However, spoiled food, sharp objects or toxic materials can injure or sicken your dog. Avoid this problem by purchasing trash cans with lids that lock. 

6. Remove Dangerous Plants

Many plants can be harmful to dogs who ingest them. Research the plants in your yard and remove any that could cause a problem.

Owning dogs is not a cheap endeavor. However, you can make your home safe and comfortable for them without spending all your savings by adding a fence and pool, creating shady spots, removing dead trees, purchasing garbage cans with lockable lids, and getting rid of poisonous plants.

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Here at home, because we live in a rural location, dead trees and branches are an ever-present problem. Luckily our dogs don’t seem to be drawn to them but the issue of pests is a different matter. We have thirteen acres of which half is forest and it is all too much for a contractor. Correction: It is all too expensive for us!

For the wider audience of readers this, I am sure, offers very good advice and is another great post from Penny.

A wag of the tail!

A fascinating post from The Dodo.

One cannot imagine a dog without a tail. One can’t imagine a dog’s tail that doesn’t wag for much of the time. So why do our dogs wag their tails? Sam Schwab answers the question.

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Why Do Dogs Wag Their Tails?

It’s not always what you think 🧐

By Sam Schwab

Published 10th September, 2021

When coming home after being away all day, it can be super sweet to be greeted at the door by your dog wagging her tail.

Dogs use their tails to communicate a range of emotions to humans and other dogs, including both positive emotions, like happiness or excitement, and negative ones, like frustration or anger.

In general terms, dogs wag their tails because their level of excitement or agitation has gone up,” Irith Bloom, a professional certified dog trainer and owner of The Sophisticated Dog in Los Angeles, told The Dodo. “So a wagging tail could mean the dog is excited, frustrated, angry or happy, for example — and that’s just a partial list!”

The Dodo spoke with Bloom to understand the meaning of your dog’s tail wagging and to get some tips for interpreting your dog’s tail language.

She’s happy

Dogs will wag their tails when they’re happy to see someone — which is usually what most people assume a dog is feeling when they wag their tail (though, this isn’t always the case).

To know if your dog is happy when she’s wagging her tail, pay close attention to the position of your dog’s tail and her body language.

If your dog’s whole body seems relaxed in general while wagging her tail, she’s most likely communicating happiness. “If the dog’s tail is wagging in a loose, relaxed arc, and the dog’s body is also loose or even wiggly, odds are the dog is happy to see you,” Bloom said.

A quick wag, or a tail wagging in circles really fast, can also mean your dog’s happy. “Sometimes dogs wag their tails really fast in these situations, too, and their tail may even move a little like a propeller,” Bloom said.

You should also consider context: If you’re returning home after being out, or your dog sees someone she likes, the tail wagging is most likely due to happiness.

In one study, researchers found that dogs who wagged their tails more to the right side of their bodies were more relaxed, while dogs who wagged their tails to the left side of their bodies were more stressed, alert and anxious. (So, next time your dog wags her tail, check to see if it skews to either side!)

She’s excited

You might also see dogs wagging their tails when they’re really excited.

“Among other things, dogs may wag their tails when they are looking forward to something,” Bloom said.

You’ll commonly see your dog wagging her tail out of excitement when she’s waiting for a treat, meeting new dogs or playing fetch.

When your dog’s excited, her whole body will pretty much zero in on the object of her excitement, but her body language won’t be too tense.

“If a dog’s tail is moving fast, the rest of the body is ready for action but not ‘tight,’ and the dog is focused on something like a ball, they are probably looking forward to playing,” Bloom said.

She’s agitated

A wagging tail doesn’t always mean a dog is happy — sometimes it means she’s feeling agitated.

“A lot of people are surprised to learn that dogs sometimes also wag their tails when they are upset or angry,” Bloom said.

If a dog’s tail starts wagging out of anger, she could easily become aggressive, so it’s important to back away from the pup or leave the situation if that happens.

“I cannot tell you how many people have told me they were bitten by a dog whose tail was wagging!” Bloom said. “It’s important to remember that a wagging tail does not mean a friendly dog.”

You’ll be able to tell if a dog is wagging her tail out of anger if her tail and overall body language are very tense.

“If the dog’s tail is wagging slowly and stiffly, though, look to see if the dog’s muscles look tight or if their face seems tense,” Bloom said. “You might notice that their mouth is tightly closed or their brow is furrowed.”

An aggressive dog might also be more vocal. “They might also be growling or snarling,” Bloom said.

“Any of these behaviors, even when the tail is wagging, mean that the tail wag is more about being agitated or angry than happy and welcoming, so be sure to keep your distance!” Bloom added.

Be careful when meeting a new dog for the first time

Paying attention to a dog’s body language (as well as the context of the situation) can give you valuable insight into how a dog is feeling — and if the tail wagging means aggression.

“To figure out what a tail wag means, look at the whole dog’s body, but keep in mind that not every dog’s body language will be the same,” Bloom said.

You should have a good idea of what your own dog looks like when she’s happy, but since it can be difficult to tell the emotions of an unfamiliar dog, you should always be very careful when meeting a new dog for the first time.

According to Bloom, in these situations, you should let the dog approach you first and not vice versa.

“It bears repeating: A wagging tail does NOT mean a friendly dog,” Bloom said. “Sometimes it’s hard for even an expert to tell what a dog’s body language is saying, so it’s a good idea to let dogs decide whether or not they want to approach you instead of invading their space.”

Why do dogs have tails, anyway?

In addition to using their tails to communicate with people and dogs around them, dogs use their tails for movement and balance.

“Dogs use their tails for balance,” Bloom said. “They do this both in everyday activities and when moving fast, like during a game of fetch.”

Tails can also assist your dog in completing a turn while she runs: Her front legs turn in one direction, while her back legs continue moving forward, and her tail moves with the front legs to keep her body on course.

“Watch your dog’s tail movement when they make a fast turn to see an example of how the dog’s tail helps keep the dog’s body in balance!” Bloom said.

Dog tails are super important for your pup and play a huge role in how they communicate. So next time you see your dog’s tail wagging, you’ll know that there might be more going on than meets the eye, and you should always check your dog’s body language to get the full picture.

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I think that is a comprehensive review of the subject and, hopefully, some out there learnt some more about dogs’ tails.

For people who want to delve more deeply into the subject there’s an excellent study over on Current Biology, from which I take this small extract:

Left-right asymmetries in behavior associated with asymmetries in the brain are widespread in the animal kingdom and the hypothesis has been put forward that they may be linked to animals’ social behavior. Dogs show asymmetric tail-wagging responses to different emotive stimuli the outcome of different activation of left and right brain structures controlling tail movements to the right and left side of the body. 

We can never stop learning!

Finally, enjoy this:

How to balance your working life with your dog.

Yet another great guest post from Penny Martin.

Penny writes about starting your own business but in my experience any person who is devoted to their job, be it self-employed or not, should read what Penny has to say.

(Apologies for forgetting a post last Tuesday)

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Five Recommendations for Balancing Time With a New Pet While Starting a Business

Whether your new pet purrs, barks, neighs, squawks or something in between, welcoming a new animal into your home brings a little more love into your life. However, extra chores come hand-in-hand with a new pet. Add in the fact that you are starting a business and all the to-do lists can feel daunting. To ensure you have time to grow your company and bond with your pet, follow these five tips.

1. Stock Up on Supplies

Time is extremely valuable when getting a company off the ground; the last thing you want chipping away at your precious time is numerous trips to the stores for your animal. To prevent this, set aside time each week to make a list of the food, toys, treats, bedding, and any other items your pet requires.

Note which stores you need to visit for all the supplies. Take a few hours to go to each shop to make sure your pet has everything he or she needs for the week. 

2. Revamp Your Space

Starting a company comes with lots of stress; turning your home into a fresh and vibrant space helps relieve this tension. A clean home makes it easier to be effective at work and relax during off-hours. Plus, revamping your rooms gives you the opportunity to create a special space for your animal to feel safe and cozy.

Create a productive and positive atmosphere by cleaning and decluttering your house. Open windows to let in fresh air and sunlight. According to one study, nearly every participant felt less anxiety and depression and had better focus when exposed to sunlight. So scrub those windows and let in some light!

3. Remove Distractions

During your room makeovers, remove as many distractions from your office space as possible. TVs, video games, social media, and music can all be distracting when trying to work and waste valuable time that could be spent bonding with your new pet.

Do not put a TV or game console in the office. If you like background noise but find it tends to interrupt your workflow, put on a calming playlist, such as instrumental songs or sounds of nature.

While you probably need your phone during office hours, do your best to resist games and social media during this time. Update your phone’s layout so the tempting apps are not visible, or download an app, such as Forest, that encourages you to focus during work hours. 

4. Save Time With Invoicing Software

Invoicing software can be a lifesaver for busy small business owners. Rather than spending hours creating invoices by hand, by choosing invoicing software, you can simply enter your customers’ information into the software and let it do the rest. The software will generate professional-looking invoices that you can send to your customers electronically. Not only does this save you time, but it also allows you to get paid faster. In addition, most invoicing software comes with built-in accounting features that make it easy to track your expenses and keep tabs on your profitability. If you’re not using invoicing software, you’re needlessly wasting valuable time that could be better spent growing your business and spending more time with your new pet.

5. Schedule Time for Important Tasks

Having important tasks scheduled in your planner makes certain you have time to get them done. Perhaps your fuzzy, furry, or fluffy friend needs weekly grooming. Instead of doing it “when you have time,” schedule a specific period during the week to wash and clean your pet.

When it comes to your company and your pet, you do not have to choose one over the other. Make time for both by grabbing all the supplies you need, refreshing your home, removing distractions, utilizing invoicing software, and making time for crucial tasks. 

Image via Pexels

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This is good advice from Penny and I would applaud her.

If I was to pick out one piece of advice above all others it has to be the one about scheduling, or planning as I prefer to call it. When you are really busy the only way to stay on top of everything, and that includes time with your dog, is to plan.

Finally, I asked Penny to tell me a little more about herself. This is what she said:“Penny Martin is an advocate for rescue dogs. Her goal is to inform people of what to expect and how to react to their dog so that the relationship always retains love. She created fureverfriend.info to help new owners prepare themselves for new furry friends

Splendid!

The nose of the dog!

More on a recent post from The Dodo.

We watched recently a documentary on Netflix about the special attributes of our pets. It was very good but one thing that we learnt was that dogs have on the tips of their snouts an area that can pick up warmth. Because when dogs are tiny puppies and still blind they find their mothers’ teats by homing in on the warmth of the mother’s body.

Many people are aware of the scenting ability of the dog. To quote: “While humans have about five million olfactory receptors in their noses, dogs are said to have around 300 million.”

(Read that article that I linked above for it is very good.)

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Senior Dog Patiently Waits For Boops In The Same Place Day After Day

“It’s her favorite spot.”

By Candace Powell

Published on the 6th June, 2022.

One of Hime’s favorite pastimes is a simple one: sit near a nature path and patiently wait for nose boops. The 13-year-old Siberian husky figured out long ago that, eventually, she’ll get what she came for.

“She likes that spot so she can watch the world go by,” David Nagadhana, Hime’s dad, told The Dodo. “But she has other strategies.”

Hime, who was adopted as a puppy, hitches a ride in Nagadhana’s bike trailer to get to the best petting spots.

“I cycle her because of her arthritis,” Nagadhana said. “Gentle in her old age, [Hime] looks for affection anywhere she can find it.”

The husky’s place of choice is by the Thames in Richmond, England, but Nagadhana takes her wherever she seems happiest.

“She loves finding new and interesting and exciting locations so that she may proceed to nap in them,” Nagadhana said. “She finds it relaxing enough to nod off on occasion.”

Nagadhana and Hime do everything together, and it won’t stop anytime soon.

“She was there for me when life ground to a halt during the pandemic,” Nagadhana said. “I’ll be there for her until the end. Raising dogs is like a rainbow. Puppies are the joy at one end, old dogs are the treasure at the other.”

Needless to say, Hime gets endless boops from her favorite person: Dad.

(All photographs by DAVID NAGADHANA.)

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One turns to the American Kennel Club for information about the breed, as in the Siberian Husky, and this is what is found:

Siberian Husky, a thickly coated, compact sled dog of medium size and great endurance, was developed to work in packs, pulling light loads at moderate speeds over vast frozen expanses. Sibes are friendly, fastidious, and dignified. The graceful, medium-sized Siberian Husky’s almond-shaped eyes can be either brown or blue ‘and sometimes one of each’, and convey a keen but amiable and even mischievous expression. Quick and nimble-footed, Siberians are known for their powerful but seemingly effortless gait. Tipping the scales at no more than 60 pounds, they are noticeably smaller and lighter than their burly cousin, the Alaskan Malamute. As born pack dogs, they enjoy family life and get on well with other dogs. The Sibe’s innate friendliness render them indifferent watchdogs. These are energetic dogs who can’t resist chasing small animals, so secure running room is a must. An attractive feature of the breed: Sibes are naturally clean, with little doggy odor.

There!