Category: Health

A plea for this planet!

I feel compelled to ‘bang the drum’!

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

Here it is.

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

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

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

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

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

Read the letter here.

The scientists wrote:

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

The letter also says …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more from Oregon State University

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

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

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

Eating for health

This time nothing to do with our dogs!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I offered to describe what Jean and I eat.

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

So …

Breakfast

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

Lunch

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

Dinner

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

Drinks during the day

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

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

Anyway, that’s enough from me for today.

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

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

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

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

THANK YOU!

Winter arrives

Keeping our dogs safe and secure through the winter times.

To my mind, it’s always a fine balance when I am sent a guest post from a person who represents a commercial organisation. Do I say ‘No’ because I don’t wish to promote a business that I have no personal experience of. Do I say ‘Yes’ if the guest post carries useful information for lovers of dogs.

Thus I didn’t immediately come to a decision when back in September I received the following email:

Learning From Dogs,

I hope this message finds you well.

I just would like to say thank you for the incredible amount of value you contribute to your website.

I’m reaching out because I’d love to submit a highly valuable piece of ‘pet’ content for your website that would be valuable for your readers.

If you’re still accepting posts, please let me know and I can put together a draft for your review. I hope you have an excellent day.

Warmest Regards,

Lannie N.
Digital Marketing Specialist
Allivet

I replied saying:

 Dear Lannie,

In principle I am always happy to receive guest posts.

That would apply equally to your goodself. All I would ask is that your post is written from a personal perspective and not one that is directly or indirectly promoting what Alivet does.

Simply because my readers assume that I am not for or against any product or service mentioned on my pages.

Lannie sent me the guest article and I judged it had valuable advice especially for this time of the year. Here it is.

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Tips to Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy in the Winter

by Lannie, 18th September, 2017

Dogs love the warm, summer months when they can frolic and play outside. But our furry friends can have a hard time in the winter, when the days are shorter and the weather is too cold to go outside. Luckily, if you have a pet dog, there are some things you can do to help him stay healthy and thriving throughout the entire cold season. Here are some of the best.

Take Walks When the Sun Is Out

If you take your dog for walks for exercise, then be sure to walk him during the sunniest parts of the day. By walking in the sun, you can take advantage of the day’s warmest hours. You can also be sure that both you and your pooch get some much-needed vitamin D.

Use a Shorter Leash

When you walk your dog during the winter, make sure you use a shorter leash for him than you would during the warmer months. A dog that has a long lead may pull and run, which can cause both you and the dog to slip and fall. To keep your pooch injury-free this winter, try sticking to a 4-foot lead, which allows you more control over where he moves.

Make Sure Bedding Is Warm and Cozy

Just like you, your dog needs to cuddle up and keep warm at night. Don’t make your dog sleep alone on the floor. Instead, choose a bed that is the right size, and add accessories that can help create more warmth, like blankets, toys and pillows. Consider getting your dog’s bed up off the cold ground by choosing a raised one, and make sure he doesn’t have to sleep somewhere unheated or drafty.

Cut Down on Shampooing

You want to take care of your dog’s skin in the winter. Like yours, it can become chapped and dry. Try cutting back on how often you shampoo your dog. When you do bathe your pet, be sure to check him for ticks and fleas, which can still be around during the winter months. To prevent him from getting ticks and fleas in the first place, try using NexGard.

Protect Your Dog’s Feet

If it’s too cold for you to walk outside barefoot, then it’s too cold for your furry friend. Invest in booties that protect your dog’s feet, and make sure you put them on his feet when you walk in the snow or ice. Booties also prevent snow on sidewalks and streets from getting between your dog’s paw pads, which can cause burning and irritation. Something else to keep in mind during the winter is preventing fleas & ticks from spreading on your dog. Fleas and ticks are capable of surviving in outdoor temperatures as low as the upper 30s. Something to consider is finding a flea and tick product for your dog that will help prevent this from happening. If you would like to learn more, go here for information on Nexgard, which is a chewable preventative that can keep the fleas and ticks at bay.

Consider Feeding Your Dog More

Dogs tend to get cold in the winter, and their bodies have to work harder to keep them warm. For that reason, they can burn more calories during this season. To make up for the extra burned calories, consider boosting the amount you feed your dog by a little bit. Consult with your vet first to figure out the perfect amount to feed your pet.

Be Careful With Ice-Melting Materials

Ice-melting materials like salt and antifreeze can be extremely harmful, or lethal, to pets. Make sure you keep them far out of reach of your dog. If you have to use an ice melter on your sidewalk during the winter, be sure you monitor your dog so he does not eat it.

Your dog might not love winter, but with some help from you, he can spend the entire season healthy and happy. By taking a few simple steps, you can ensure that your pup feels good and is strong enough to take the arriving spring and summer by storm.

Lannie, writer for Allivet. Allivet provides affordable pet supplies and pet medications, all of which can be purchased online.

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The Allivet Pet Pharmacy website is here. As I inferred earlier on I have no experience, good or bad, with Allivet.

Thanks Lannie.

Unconditional love

Another powerful guest post from Linley.

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

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

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Unconditional Love

by Linley Achtenhagen, October 29th, 2017.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Settling in to a new home

Anyone who emails me this is impossible to resist!

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

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

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

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

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Seven Techniques to Create a Safe New Home for Your Dog

by John Stuart.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A new home for Max!

Can you help John Zande find a loving home for this recent rescue?

I can’t recall when John Zande and I first made contact but it was a while ago. John lives in Brazil and is the author of the book The Owner Of All Infernal Names. (Read by me and much recommended.)

John also writes from time to time on his blogsite: The Superstitious Naked Ape. Again, much recommended by me.

Anyway, I awoke yesterday morning to find an email from John. This is what John had written:

Morning Paul, hope everything is fine up there. I have a question. We rescued a dog the other day (part pit bull), lovely fellow, but needs a lot of nursing to get him back to health. Vet thinks he’s around 2 years old. I’d say closer to 1.5. We have him here, in the front of the house (keeping our animals inside and out the back), but he’s a barker. Not aggressive, but seems to enjoy “responding” to other dogs in the street barking… of which there are too many. Do you have any tricks for teaching a dog not to bark? I’ve tried putting him on a leash back on the house (to keep him from the front gate) as a sort of conditioning, but that hasn’t seemed to of worked. I bought a muzzle and put that on when he’s barking, but that hasn’t worked either. Any ideas?

Obviously I looked across at Jean, mentioned the email from John, and read it out to here wondering what would be her advice.

John,

A very good morning in return.

I have just shared your email with Jean and she offered the following.

Namely, that he is most likely barking for attention. If you have the time then stay with him and each time he barks say “No!” firmly and when he stops give him a treat as a reward.

Jean acknowledges that this a difficult one but let’s take it one step at a time. Let us know what you do.

Want me to make it a post on the blog? Do you have a photo of him?

Best of luck!

Paul

John is full in terms of taking on rescues just now and is looking for a caring home for this lovely-looking boy; his name is Max by the way.

Here are some photographs of Max.

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What a kind, loving face!

These are some photos from last Thurs, when we got him. He’s put on some weight since. He was covered in oil, and his blood test has come back: low platelets, and ticks disease. Yeah, I’ve been out with him heaps, sitting with him and spending time. He knows its wrong, but seems to react to everything and every noise. I introduced the girl dogs to him this morning, and he was great. No problem. No aggression. Didn’t stop him barking, though 🙂 Our street has some noisy dogs (bad owners), so I guess he’s having trouble responding.
He is lovely. Would love to keep him, but we’re full, and can’t afford another. Had to get him off the street, though. He was in real trouble.
PLEASE!!! Can anyone find Max a home? If finding the money to transport Max to that new home is going to be an issue then I’m sure we can ‘pass the hat around’ to resolve that challenge.
The main thing is to find Max a home!
Finally …. my apologies to a number of you who have sent in guest posts for this place. You are not forgotten but you do understand why this plea from John had to be published today!

 

Healthy dogs!

15 Research Backed Health Benefits Of Having A Dog

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

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

Hi Paul,

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

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

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

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

Here is that article.

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15 Research Backed Health Benefits Of Having A Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beware of antifreeze

A very timely reminder!

The other day we went to buy more hay and feed from our local supplier The Red Barn on Upper River Road in Grants Pass.

Tyler, the owner, was distraught having just returned from urgently running his dog in to see Dr. Russ at local Lincoln Road Vet Clinic. The reason being that his dog had eaten some rat poison that he had put out on one of the upper floors of the barn.

Later I was discussing this with our good friend, Jim Goodbrod, also a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), and Jim said that so long as the dog is caught quickly and taken to a vet it is unlikely that it would leave the dog with any permanent harm.

However, Jim then went on to say that especially at this time of the year the thing that vets see far too often is dogs who have drunk antifreeze that car owners put into their radiators ahead of the winter season.

Jim stressed that dogs very rarely are unharmed after having contact with antifreeze. Even a teaspoonful was sufficient to kill a cat and cause severe kidney damage in dogs!

So it was essential to spread the word.

No better done than by offering you this video. Watch it! Especially through to the end where Dr. Barker offers clear advice as to what to do if you suspect antifreeze poisoning of your dog or cat.

Published on Nov 23, 2014

If this prevents even a single dog or cat from being poisoned by antifreeze then that’s a win!
So spread the word!

Four-legged gardening.

Another great guest post from Emily Ridgewell.

Last October 4th, just three weeks ago tomorrow, I introduced Emily Ridgewell to you. She had written a guest post for us Return to the Movies. It was well-received.

For many, the next few weeks are an important time of the year to do a spot of gardening. A time when dog-owners allow their loved ones to ‘help’, especially in the digging department. But are our gardens as safe for dogs as many of us might like to believe? Emily’s second guest post addresses that question.

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How to Create a Dog-Friendly Garden

by Emily Ridgewell, October 18th, 2017

Being a pet owner is not only a great pleasure but also a huge responsibility. While most of the people think that taking care of dog only included feeding and walking it three times a day, the truth is that being a good dog owner means much more than that. There are plenty of unobvious things that might pose potential threats to the health and wellbeing of dogs, and plants from home garden is a telling example of such threats.

Turns out, not all home plants are equal and your favorite flowers might be a poison for your dog if ingested. The consequences might be serious, which is why it’s important for you as a responsible dog owner to ensure your home garden is dog-friendly and learn what to do if your dog ingested a poisonous plant. The goal of this article is to help you on this matter.

Basic Rules to Follow

Before listing all home plants and flowers that might pose threat to your dog, it makes sense to say a bit about general rules of creating a dog-friendly garden. After all, it is not about the right or wrong plants only.

  • If possible, choose robust plants

Young plants or plants with especially delicate stems might not survive if your dog will run through them every now and then. That’s why you are strongly advised to plant large and robust plants like astilbe, hardy geranium, or lavender.

  • Remember to protect your garden

If you don’t want your home garden to be ruined by a happy running dog, make sure your garden has clearly defined boundaries and borders. Low-growing box hedge serves perfectly for this matter.

  • Be careful using chemicals

The importance of this point is paramount. Plenty of gardeners use non-organic slug pellets and other chemicals when taking care of a garden. If you own a dog, the only option for you is to learn how to deal with snails and slugs organically and avoid any chemicals altogether.

  • Choose gentle materials

If you want garden decorations, avoid sharp stones and kinds of materials that might become extremely hot under the sun or too slippery when wet.

Which home plants and flowers are not dog-friendly?

By now you know the most common rules you should follow when creating a dog-friendly garden. Now it is time to learn which particular plants and flowers might be dangerous for dogs and should be avoided at all cost.

All poisonous plants range from slightly toxic (those that might cause vomiting, but nothing more serious) to extremely toxic (those that might cause serious health problems, including death). The list of plants that are dangerous to dogs is long, so it makes sense to divide all plants into subcategories.

In the case with perennial flowers, you should avoid Foxglove, Mums, Lenten Rose, Bleeding Hearts, Hosta, Lily-of-the-valley, Monkshood, Yarrow, and Iris. Speaking of vines, your home garden should not have Morning Glory, English Ivy, Clematis, Bittersweets, Boston Ivy, and Wisteria. As for annuals, you’d better stay away from Lantana and Begonia. The list of poisonous shrubs includes Rose of Sharon, Hydrangea, Yew Bushes, Burning Bush, Azalea Genus, Boxwood, Daphne, and Andromeda. You should also be careful with certain trees, including American Holly, Golden Chain, Oak Trees, Yellow Bird of Paradise, and Oleander.

Armed with this information, you should not have any problems creating a beautiful and dog-friendly home garden. Just make sure to double-check all plants that you decide to plant and refer to common sense when choosing home garden decorations.

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 I thought this was valuable information and a very helpful article from Emily.

Then wanted to close this post by sharing with you an example of how our dogs help with the gardening around here.

But all I could find was this photograph of Cleo ‘thinking’ of doing the front lawn.

Win some: Lose some!

Darling Izzy

A wonderful sequel to yesterday’s post.

Needs no introduction from me except to say that this wonderful account of Izzy’s loyalty was first seen on the Mother Nature Network site.

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Dog stranded by wildfire waits for her family at burned-down home

Christian Cotroneo
October 13, 2017.

As the scene unfolded when family members checked the house, it wasn’t clear what they would find … and then they saw Izzy. (Photo: Jack Weaver)

When the Weaver family woke up to flames outside their Santa Rosa home — a region ravaged this week by deadly wildfires — there wasn’t much time.

They had to get out.

But sometime during that panicked retreat from the house on Wikiup Bridge Way, the family dog, Izzy, bolted away.

Trying to find her amid the chaos of fire proved too dangerous.

And so this family, like countless others in California’s wine country, left more than just their home behind. When they drove through sheer walls of flame and across an uncertain wooden bridge to get to safety — they left their hearts back on Wikiup Bridge Way.

It turned out, it was the one thing they couldn’t leave behind.

A day and a half later, while the area was still smoldering and roads were still closed, Jack Weaver and Patrick Widen made the nearly-three-mile trek back to the house.

“It was incredibly important,” Weaver, who grew up in that house, tells MNN. “My mother was a wreck for having gone through that. Nobody wanted us to go back because they were worried we would get injured.”

‘I can see …’

In a video of their return, posted on Facebook and shared below, you can hear the men laboring to catch their breath amid blackened trees and still-crackling ruins.

“Izzy!” Weaver is heard calling into the smoky veil. Over and over again.

They push farther and farther ahead. “Izzy!”

“Almost to the house,” Weaver says in the video. “I can see … the gate. The gate’s still standing.”

The Weaver family home was gone. (Photo: Jack Weaver)

A moment later, he adds, “I don’t see the house at all. F$#k.”

It had burned to the ground.

But someone was still standing.

“Izzy’s here!” Weaver calls, his voice choked with emotion. “Izzy!”

“Oh my God! Come here, baby!”

The giant dog bounces into view, her tail whirring like a helicopter.

Izzy had stood faithfully by the burnt-down family home. (Photo: Jack Weaver)

“When she same running around — you can probably hear it in my voice — we were shocked and ecstatic,” Weaver says later. “I wish I could have filmed longer, the happy reunion, but I was so happy I dropped my phone.”

Since the family posted the video, it’s been shared more than 4,000 times. Maybe it’s a testament to the need for all of us to find a happy ending amid heartache.

In any case, Izzy is where she belongs now — in the arms of her family — a testament to faith under fire.

“She didn’t have a burn on her,” Weaver says. “It definitely lifted my family’s spirits.”

Izzy is back where she belongs. (Photo: Beckyjean Widen)

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YouTube also carried a video:

Well done, Izzy, and Jean and I send you fondest hugs!