Category: People and their pets

The Role of Dog Fosters

Jess forwards another stirring account of a dog rescuer.

Jess Anderson sent me this video of a Labrador, age 19 no less, being rescued. That is one senior dog!

The video and the supporters who left comments all said how wonderful were their experiences of saving senior dogs.

The video came from the Dodo Foster Diaries and at the time of writing had had nearly 600 viewings.

There is a very good article on PetFinder about the first few days with a senior dog. Go and watch it!

How do the eyes of dogs see?

It is the last day of January and we have a post about dogs today.

I found all the non-doggie articles a bit depressing and this item seemed a delightful alternative. It is from the Curious Kids section of The Conversation but, to my mind, of interest to adults as well.

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Do dogs really see in just black and white? – Oscar V., age 9, Somerville, Massachusetts

Dogs definitely see the world differently than people do, but it’s a myth that their view is just black, white and grim shades of gray

While most people see a full spectrum of colors from red to violet, dogs lack some of the light receptors in their eyes that allow human beings to see certain colors, particularly in the red and green range. But canines can still see yellow and blue.

Different wavelengths of light register as different colors in an animal’s visual system. Top is the human view; bottom is a dog’s eye view. Top: iStock/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images. Bottom: As processed by András Péter’s Dog Vision Image Processing Tool

What you see as red or orange, to a dog may just be another shade of tan. To my dog, Sparky, a bright orange ball lying in the green grass may look like a tan ball in another shade of tan grass. But his bright blue ball will look similar to both of us. An online image processing tool lets you see for yourself what a particular picture looks like to your pet.

Animals can’t use spoken language to describe what they see, but researchers easily trained dogs to touch a lit-up color disc with their nose to get a treat. Then they trained the dogs to touch a disc that was a different color than some others. When the well-trained dogs couldn’t figure out which disc to press, the scientists knew that they couldn’t see the differences in color. These experiments showed that dogs could see only yellow and blue.

In the back of our eyeballs, human beings’ retinas contain three types of special cone-shaped cells that are responsible for all the colors we can see. When scientists used a technique called electroretinography to measure the way dogs’ eyes react to light, they found that canines have fewer kinds of these cone cells. Compared to people’s three kinds, dogs only have two types of cone receptors.

Light travels to the back of the eyeball, where it registers with rod and cone cells that send visual signals on to the brain. iStock/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Not only can dogs see fewer colors than we do, they probably don’t see as clearly as we do either. Tests show that both the structure and function of the dog eye leads them to see things at a distance as more blurry. While we think of perfect vision in humans as being 20/20, typical vision in dogs is probably closer to 20/75. This means that what a person with normal vision could see from 75 feet away, a dog would need to be just 20 feet away to see as clearly. Since dogs don’t read the newspaper, their visual acuity probably doesn’t interfere with their way of life.

There’s likely a lot of difference in visual ability between breeds. Over the years, breeders have selected sight-hunting dogs like greyhounds to have better vision than dogs like bulldogs.

But that’s not the end of the story. While people have a tough time seeing clearly in dim light, scientists believe dogs can probably see as well at dusk or dawn as they can in the bright middle of the day. This is because compared to humans’, dog retinas have a higher percentage and type of another kind of visual receptor. Called rod cells because of their shape, they function better in low light than cone cells do.

Dogs also have a reflective tissue layer at the back of their eyes that helps them see in less light. This mirror-like tapetum lucidum collects and concentrates the available light to help them see when it’s dark. The tapetum lucidum is what gives dogs and other mammals that glowing eye reflection when caught in your headlights at night or when you try to take a flash photo.

Dogs share their type of vision with many other animals, including cats and foxes. Scientists think it’s important for these hunters to be able to detect the motion of their nocturnal prey, and that’s why their vision evolved in this way. As many mammals developed the ability to forage and hunt in twilight or dark conditions, they gave up the ability to see the variety of colors that most birds, reptiles and primates have. People didn’t evolve to be active all night, so we kept the color vision and better visual acuity. 

Before you feel sorry that dogs aren’t able to see all the colors of the rainbow, keep in mind that some of their other senses are much more developed than yours. They can hear higher-pitched sounds from farther away, and their noses are much more powerful.

Even though Sparky might not be able to easily see that orange toy in the grass, he can certainly smell it and find it easily when he wants to. 

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I don’t know about you but I found this most interesting and the last thing I would be described as is a kid!

In terms of our own dogs their ability to forage in the dark is quite amazing and, presumably, our dogs are quite typical of dogs in general.

Adding a dog to your life.

A guest post from Penny offers some advice.

Penny Martin has previously written some guest posts for Learning from Dogs and here she is again with today’s post. The subject is not directly about dogs but trying to turn around one’s life; and that is something that most of us have faced up to at some point in their past.

(I think the references to Learning from Dogs are not needed but I’m not Penny!)

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Six Simple Self-Improvement Strategies for Your Health and Career

By Penny Martin,

Published 24th January, 2023.

Are you trying to turn your life around? Focusing on improving your self-care habits, your relationships, and your career prospects can yield change your life for the better. Furthermore, Learning From Dogs can introduce you to all of the benefits of becoming a dog owner! Here’s how to invest in your education, upgrade your resume, explore business ownership, and adopt healthy routines.

Advance Your Education

If you’re looking to move up in your career, you may want to head back to school to earn another degree. It’s okay if you’re not able to commit to attending courses at a physical campus – instead, consider studying through an online degree program. This will allow you to simultaneously work and care for your family. Double-check that any online programs you’re considering are accredited and that you can easily afford the tuition. You can choose a major like marketing, education, information technology, business, healthcare administration, and more.

Update Your Resume

Perhaps you’re hunting for a new job. Make sure to revise and update your resume prior to sending out applications! To make the process easier, just pick out a free resume template from an online library – this free resume may help. Then, you’ll input your work history. Finally, you can spruce up this document with a photo or a color scheme.

Consider Entrepreneurship

What if you’re frustrated with your boss, and you feel like working at a traditional 9-to-5 job is holding you back? If you’ve got a business idea, you can always register for LLC status for limited liability and tax breaks. Remember, if you form an LLC, you’ll have to choose a registered agent who can handle communications regarding your formation documents with law firms, tax agencies, and the government. You can hire a registered agent or service for help in this area.

Health and Fitness

Even as you prioritize your career, it’s still important to take care of your physical and emotional well-being. As you plan out meals each week, The Every Girl recommends cooking with lots of leafy greens and incorporating plant-based protein into your diet. Furthermore, try to block off a few workout sessions per week in your schedule. You might want to sign up for a gym membership.

Pick Up a Good Book

Reading is a great use of your downtime, especially if you’re on a self-improvement journey! Healthline states that reading can reduce your stress levels, prevent cognitive decline, and even alleviate symptoms of depression. Plus, you’ll be able to learn more about topics that you’re interested in! You might want to choose books that cover subjects related to self-help, like nutrition, fitness, meditation, or time management.

If you feel like you don’t have time to read, consider how you could cut down on screen time. Alternatively, you could listen to audiobooks while you commute to work or do chores around the house.

Get a Dog

If you could use another companion, consider getting a dog! Owning a dog can significantly improve your mental health. Canadian Living states that having a dog around actually decreases your blood pressure, boosts your levels of mood-enhancing hormones, and even helps you make friends in your neighborhood – taking your dog for walks helps you connect with other local dog owners!

Self-improvement is a lifelong process. When you take small steps in the right direction, you’ll be able to look back in a year and feel proud of how far you’ve come. With these tips, you can earn another degree, put together an impressive resume, become a pet owner, open your own business, and more!

Are you thinking about getting a dog? Read all about the benefits on Learning from Dogs! Visit the blog today to find out why getting a dog might be right for you.

Photo via Pexels

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Thank you, Penny.

Let me publish again the opening remarks that are on the home page of this blog:

Dogs live in the present – they just are!  Dogs make the best of each moment uncluttered by the sorts of complex fears and feelings that we humans have. They don’t judge, they simply take the world around them at face value.  Yet they have been part of man’s world for an unimaginable time, at least 30,000 years.  That makes the domesticated dog the longest animal companion to man, by far!

Learning from Dogs

I cannot put it better than that!

Picture Parade Four Hundred and Sixty-Eight

Once again taken from Unsplash apart from the last two photographs.

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My love for dogs in general and the German Shepherd in particular goes back to 1955 when I was 10 years old. My father offered to look after a GSD called Boy. Boy belonged to a lovely couple, Maurice and Marie Davies.  They were in the process of taking over a new Public House (Pub); the Jack & Jill in Coulsdon, Surrey.  My father had been the architect of the Jack & Jill. Boy quickly bonded with me and that love for the dog never left me.

Beloved Pharaoh. Born: June 3rd., 2003 – Died: June 19th., 2017. A very special dog that will never be forgotten.

Pharaoh meeting Cleo, the year being 2012.

Cleo will be eleven on the 25th January, 2023. Where did the years go?

Cleopatra

Some more thoughts on this delightful German Shepherd.

Cleopatra has been with us since 2011 when we lived in Payson, Az. The background is that Sandra Tucker who ran the GSD Breeders Jutone, in Devon, England, where Pharaoh was born, gave me some advice. Sandra said that when Pharaoh was getting on in life, then bring in a German Shepherd puppy. Apparently, there were two solid reasons why this made sense. The first was that Pharaoh would teach the new puppy many of the skills and disciplines that Pharaoh had learnt as a young dog and, secondly, the puppy would keep Pharaoh active.

That was the case. Cleo has never had a day’s training from Jean and me yet she is a bright, smart dog that knows all that is to be known.

Well Pharaoh died in 2017 but Cleo is very much alive. She is a beautiful dog!

Cleo deep in meditation.

One of the issues with Parkinson’s disease is that it plays havoc with one’s sleep patterns. For a long time Jean has been waking anytime between midnight and 3am and having to get up. Jean tends to go into the kitchen and prepare the breakfast to be consumed much later on when we are both washed and dressed.

But this article is about Cleo.

Cleo has the instincts of a hunter dog; that’s a common feature of GSDs. So when Jean gets up and goes into the kitchen Cleo is right with her. Indeed Jean says that she won’t enter the kitchen area properly until Cleo has given it the all clear. Cleo takes a careful observation, including scent and hearing, looking for any sign of mice and rats. Luckily I sleep through it all albeit in the early days I used to wake up as well.

Just another example of the way that dogs embrace our human lives!

Another dog rescue for the New Year.

It was published late last year but so what!

This story from the Dodo caught my eye. Don’t know why because the articles about dogs being rescued are not rare! But anyway, whatever the reason it seemed a good article to share with you all today.

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Dog Trembling In A Pile Of Rubble Is So Grateful Someone Finally Noticed Her

“Her legs were shaking so hard” 💔

By Ashley Ortiz, Published on the 23rd December, 2022

The first time Donna Lochmann searched a crumbling, abandoned apartment building in St. Louis, Missouri, she couldn’t find who she was looking for. A Good Samaritan called Stray Rescue of St. Louis (SRSL) to report a dog sighting, but Lochmann, the shelter’s chief life saving officer, came out empty-handed.

“We searched every floor and never saw anything,” Lochmann told The Dodo. “There was not one dog, nothing.”

With temperatures dropping and more calls coming in about a dog barking from inside the building, Lochmann decided to go back again and keep searching. This time, she found someone.

“When I got to the backside of the building, I saw a dog lying in the grass,” Lochmann said. “I saw her run towards the back of the building and she went in, so I followed her.”

Unfortunately, by the time Lochmann made it inside the building, the dog had already disappeared into one of the many empty apartments. She couldn’t find the pup on her own, so Lochmann went back to the shelter and recruited the help of other staff members.

Lochmann and her team went back to the building the next day, and as they went from room to room searching for the scared pup, they suddenly heard barking coming from inside.

“I got over there and there was a poor dog just lying in the rubble of this building,” Lochmann said. “She was absolutely trembling, her legs were shaking so hard.”

The weather was cold that day, but Lochmann knew that the dog’s shaking was caused by fear more so than lack of warmth.

“I felt so bad for her,” Lochmann said. “It’s been a while since I’ve seen one shaking that hard, and it’s just gut-wrenching to see them so scared of you.”

To get the dog out of the building, Lochmann decided to use a plastic crate instead of attempting to walk her out on a leash. Not only would it be physically difficult to lead the pup out of the crumbling building on a leash, but Lochmann feared it would stress her out even more.

So Lochmann used the leash she had to guide the dog into the plastic crate, then quickly closed the door behind her.

“Once she was in the crate, she was calm,” Lochmann said.

Lochmann and her team carried the crate out of the building, then gently loaded it into her Jeep. They brought her back to the shelter, where she underwent a medical evaluation. Luckily for the pup, she passed with flying colors.

The dog, whom Lochmann named Habenero, was OK physically, but she was still a little nervous when she first got to the shelter.

“She was still pretty scared at first,” Lochmann said. “But she came around fairly quickly. Within a few days, she wasn’t growling anymore and she stopped shaking when we would talk to her.”

Habanero has since been spending time with Lochmann and her crew at the shelter, slowly getting used to her surroundings. Together, they go on walks around the neighborhoods surrounding the shelter and enjoy plenty of snuggles throughout the day.

Now that Habanero is feeling more comfortable, Lochmann believes that she’s finally ready to go into a foster home. It’ll be yet another change for the 7-year-old pup, but Lochmann is confident that she’ll thrive.

“Once she gets into a home, she’s gonna have a bit of adjustment to do,” Lochmann said. “But she’ll do great. I’m just glad she’s not trembling anymore.”

All images by STRAY RESCUE OF ST. LOUIS with whom copyright rests.

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The thing about dogs is the way that we, as in humans, bond so well with the majority of dogs, and that the majority of dogs bond so well with us.

I was just saying this to Jeannie yesterday morning when Oliver jumped up on to the three-seat settee, admittedly onto his special cushion, next to me and proceeded to snooze with his head on my thigh. Dogs are the perfect companions and they are incredibly conscious of the states of mind of their loving humans.