Category: Health

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!

ooOOoo

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

ooOOoo

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.

ooOOoo

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.

ooOOoo

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.

Climate Change

Paul Handover’s talk to the Grants Pass Humanists and Freethinkers group, Saturday, 17th September, 2022

oooo

Martin Lack, a good friend of Paul’s from England, wrote a book called The Denial of Science. The first words in the preface were from Sir Fred Hoyle, Fellow of the Royal Society (1915-2001).

Once a photograph of the Earth taken from the outside is available, once the sheer isolation of the Earth becomes plain, a new idea as powerful as any in history will be let loose.

Here, in Paul’s opinion, is that photograph:

Taken aboard Apollo 8 by Bill Anders, this iconic picture shows Earth peeking out from beyond the lunar surface as the first crewed spacecraft circumnavigated the Moon, with astronauts Anders, Frank Borman, and Jim Lovell aboard.
Image Credit: NASA Last Updated: Dec 23, 2020
Editor: Yvette Smith

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, from 31st October to 13th November 2021. It was called COP26 because it was the 26th UN Climate Change Conference to be held. It was opened by the Prince of Wales, now King Charles III.

The Prince warned: “Time has quite literally run out.”

It is us!

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) kicked off its 2021 report with the following statement: “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land.

The article also says: It took a while, but climate modelling is now refined enough to predict how things would go without human influence, within a margin of error. What we are observing today, however, is beyond that margin of error, therefore proving that we have driven the change.

It is getting hot

The last decade was the hottest in 125,000 years.

The oceans

We live on a water world. The facts are that 71% of the Earth’s surface is water-covered and the oceans hold about 96.5% of all Earth’s water. A 2019 study found that oceans had sucked up 90% of the heat gained by the planet between 1971 and 2010. Another found that it absorbed 20 sextillion joules of heat in 2020  – equivalent to two Hiroshima bombs per second. A (chiefly British) definition of a sextillion: It is the cardinal number equal to 1036. Sextillion is a number equal to a 1 followed by 21 zeros. 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 is an example of a sextillion.

Carbon-dioxide

In fact CO2 levels are now the highest that they have been in 2 million years. Today, they stand at close to 420 parts per million (ppm). To put that into context pre-industrial levels, say before 1750, had CO2 levels around 280 parts per million.

We are losing ice big time

Paul can do no better than to quote from Earth.org“Since the mid-1990s, we’ve lost around 28 trillion tons of ice, with today’s melt rate standing at 1.2 trillion tons a year. To help put that into perspective, the combined weight of all human-made things is 1.1 trillion tons. That’s about the same weight as all living things on earth.”

To repeat that: Every single year we are losing 1.2 trillion tons of ice! (1,200,000,000,000).

Extreme weather

We can now attribute natural disasters to human-driven climate change with certainty. We can now say with precision how much likelier we made things like the North American summer 2021 heatwave, which the World Weather Attribution says was “virtually impossible” without climate change. Then there is the Indian heatwave that experts believe was made 30 times more likely because of climate change.

Climate change mitigation

There is a long and comprehensive article on the above subject on WikiPedia. I will quote from the paragraph Needed emissions cuts.

If emissions remain on the current level of 42 GtCO2, the carbon budget for 1.5°C (2.7°F) will be exhausted in 2028. (That’s 42 gigatons, as in 1 gigaton is a unit of explosive force equal to one billion (109) tons of trinitrotoluene (TNT).

In 2022, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Sixth Assessment Report on climate change, warning that greenhouse gas emissions must peak before 2025 at the latest and decline 43% by 2030, in order to likely limit global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F).

Secretary-general of the United Nations António Guterres clarified that for this to happen “Main emitters must drastically cut emissions starting this year”.

WikiPedia also reports that: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the UNFCCC, aims to stabilise greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere at a level where ecosystems can adapt naturally to climate change, food production is not threatened, and economic development can proceed in a sustainable fashion. Currently human activities are adding CO2 to the atmosphere faster than natural processes can remove it.

We need to act now, otherwise…

… it will be too late for billions of us.

This may be the most catastrophic of our climate change facts. As of now, only 0.8% of the planet’s land surface has mean annual temperatures above 29°C (84.2°F) mostly in the Sahara desert and Saudi Arabia (solid black in the map).

study by Xu et al. (2020) called “Future of the Human Niche” found that by 2070, under a high emissions scenario, these unbearable temperatures could expand to affect up to 3 billion people (dark brown areas in the map).

Doing nothing is much worse than doing something

On the current path, climate change could end up costing us 11 to 14% of the global GDP by mid-century. Regression into a high emissions scenario would mean an 18% loss, while staying below 2°C would reduce the damage to only 4%. 

It has been proposed that ending climate change would take between $300 billion and $50 trillion over the next two decades. Even if $50 trillion is the price tag, that comes down to $2.5 trillion a year, or just over 3% of the global GDP. 

These are the facts. There is no disputing them. Paul and Jean, Paul’s wife, are relatively immune from the effects, because of their ages, but not entirely so. The last few weeks of summer (2022) with the imminent risk of their property being damaged by wildfires is one example. The last three winters being below average rainfall is another (and the prediction that next year will continue with below average rainfall). But it is the youngsters Paul fears most for. On a personal note, his daughter and husband have a son, Morten, and he is presently 12. What sort of world is Morten growing up in?

What about global attitudes to climate change?

Here is another chart setting out those concerns.

Paul is not a political animal. However he recognises that it is our leaders, globally, but especially in the top 10 countries in the world, who have to be leaders!

Here are the top 10 countries with areas of their country in square kilometres:

Russia. 17,098,242,

Canada. 9,984,670,

United States. 9,826,675,

China. 9,596,961,

Brazil. 8,514,877,

Australia. 7,741,220,

India. 3,287,263,

Argentina. 2,780,400,

Kazakhstan. 2,724,400, and

Algeria, 2,381,741.

But these are the top ten countries based on land size. That is not helpful. We have to examine the top countries in terms of CO2 emissions. Here are the top five countries, as in the top five worst, (readings from 2020):

  1. USA, 416,738 metric tons,
  2. China, 235,527 tons,
  3. Russia, 115,335 tons,
  4. Germany, 92,636 tons, and,
  5. UK, 78,161 metric tons.

This puts the USA as the top worst country, some 77% ahead of China.

So focussing on the USA, again in 2020, the split of greenhouse gas emissions, was:

  1. Transportation, 27%,
  2. Electric Power, 25%,
  3. Industry, 24%,
  4. Commercial and Residential, 13%,
  5. Agriculture, 11%.

So back again to all five countries we say, please, dear leader, make this the number one priority for your country, and for the world.

The end.

From Jess

This is so very cute!

Jess, a longtime follower of this blog sent me recently the following email: Paul, I thought you’d really enjoy this one.  I hope you are having a great day.  JESS

It is called Military Dog and is offered for your pleasure.

(We watched it yesterday evening and it is incredible!)

Aren’t our dogs more than wonderful! They are better than precious!

Thank you, Jess, from the bottom of our hearts!

Picture Parade Four Hundred and Forty-Eight

Yet more from Unsplash!

The link above is to the home page of Unsplash for there are so many excellent photographs on there.

We had a lightning storm over the house on Thursday evening with, luckily, a small amount of rain. Indeed, Saturday afternoon the firefighters, including air tankers, were attempting to bring three fires to the North-East of us to a halt.

So the first photograph is of a similar storm just to give you an idea of what we watched on Thursday.

It was not a lot different to the above.

Now to dogs and humans.

oooo

oooo

oooo

oooo

oooo

oooo

oooo

All very beautiful!

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!)

ooOOoo

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)

ooOOoo

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.