Category: People

The equinox!

Have you seen the moon?

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

Taken from here.

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Full supermoon at March 2019 equinox

By in

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 2019 equinox: March 20 at 21:58 UTC

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

June 2019 solstice: June 21 at 15:54 UTC

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

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

Resources:

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

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

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

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

Picture Parade Two Hundred and Eighty-One

And, boy, did I find some beautiful images!

During the week I was browsing the web and I came across Dawn2Dawn Photography. Specifically I came across a series of fantastic photographs under the heading of A Snowy Week At Zion National Week. I rather hesitantly asked if I might republish them here and Michael Just said of course. Thank you Michael.

So here they are.

Fresh winter snow has fallen at Zion National Park, Utah

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Fresh winter snow has fallen at Zion National Park, Utah

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Fresh winter snow has fallen at Zion National Park, Utah

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Fresh winter snow has fallen at Zion National Park, Utah

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Fresh winter snow has fallen at Zion National Park, Utah

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Fresh winter snow has fallen at Zion National Park, Utah

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These are exquisitely beautiful photographs.

There are more of them!

The Age of Denial

A fascinating programme on BBC Radio 4

All of this week BBC Radio 4 have been transmitting a very interesting programme. It is about denial and it is fascinating.

As the website for the first episode states:

From credit cards to climate change, we bury our heads in the sand. Isabel Hardman investigates our capacity to deny what’s in front of us.

It is counter-intuitive. But you be the judge!

The Age of Denial

And if you want all five episodes then they are here.

 

This is rather close to home!

Walking your dog as one grows older!

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

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How senior dog owners can avoid injury

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

By MARY JO DILONARDO
March 8, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Balance exercises

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

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

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

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

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

Balancing — Good balance helps prevent falls.

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

Dog-walking advice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And a reminder of the wonderful health benefits of dogs.

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

The End of Ice

Climate disruption at its worst!

Margaret K. recently emailed me a link to a recent Ralph Nader Radio programme.

As I said in my email to her after Jeannie and I had listened to it:

OK. Have listened to it just now.
I don’t know what to say.

Frankly, I’m overwhelmed. I need some time to let it settle down but it’s going to be featured on the blog very soon.
Thank you

Paul

I’m still ‘processing’ it but that doesn’t stop me from sharing it with you.

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Ralph spends the whole hour with independent journalist, Dahr Jamail, author of “The End of Ice,” his first person report on the front lines of the climate crisis.

In late 2003, award-winning journalist, Dahr Jamail, went to the Middle East to report on the Iraq War, where he spent more than a year as one of only a few independent US journalists in the country. Mr. Jamail has also written extensively on veterans’ resistance against US foreign policy. He is now focusing on climate disruption and the environment. His book on that topic is entitled, The End of Ice.

“So much of what we talk about is so dire and so extreme and so scary and also disheartening that I quote Vaclav Havel, the Czech dissident writer and statesman. And he reminds us that as he said, ‘Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something is worth doing no matter how it turns out.” And that’s where I get into this moral obligation that no matter how dire things look, that we are absolutely morally obliged to do everything we can in our power to try to make this better.”  Dahr Jamail, author of “The End of Ice”

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Now here’s the link to the radio programme: Link

(It’s a download so wait just a short time for it to play.)

Do put an hour to one side and listen to this important and compelling programme.

Please!

Mera, a peak dog!

This is an astounding story of bonding.

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

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

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

By MARY JO DILONARDO

March 6, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

A new climbing partner

Climbing is hard work. (Photo: Don Wargowsky)

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

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

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

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

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

‘No clue what her motivation was’

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tackling the ice and snow

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

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

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

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

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

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

The highest a dog has ever climbed

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

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

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

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

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

‘This dog wants to climb mountains’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dogs are the most amazing creatures ever!

It’s the nose!

The remarkable noses of our dogs.

Dogs have about 220 million olfactory cells in their noses. Compared with 50 million in a human nose.

But it’s not a case of saying that a dog’s nose is roughly four times better, as in 220 divided by 50, they are even more skilled at detecting scents.

Therefore a recent item in Mother Nature Network makes incredible reading. You see for yourself! (Well, OK, it was originally published in 2014 but that doesn’t make a difference.)

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Dogs know you have cancer before you do

Studies show that man’s best friend can detect cancer with surprising accuracy. Researchers hope to one day develop an electronic nose that mimics canines’ extraordinary noses.

By LAURA MOSS
May 20, 2014.

Photo: Bart Hiddink/flickr

A Labrador retriever could be just as effective at detecting cancer as a laboratory, according to ongoing studies that test dogs’ abilities to sniff out cancer in patients.

A recent study found that trained dogs were able to detect prostate cancer in urine with 98 percent accuracy.

Two 3-year-old, female German shepherds were trained at the Italian Ministry of Defense’s Military Veterinary Center using positive reinforcement to recognize prostate cancer-specific volatile organic compounds.

The dogs analyzed more than 400 urine samples, and one dog detected prostate cancer with 100 accuracy, while the second had 98.6 percent accuracy.

However, prostate cancer isn’t the only type of cancer dogs have successfully sniffed out.

Man’s best friends have also proved their noses can detect breast, ovarian, colon, bladder, skin and lung cancer, typically by smelling breath samples.

Cancer causes the body to release certain organic compounds that dogs can smell but people cannot, and scientists hope that researching the phenomenon will help them one day develop an electronic nose that can detect cancer as dogs’ noses can.

With 220 million olfactory cells in their snouts — compared with a mere 50 million in a human nose — it’s estimated that a dog’s sense of smell is up to a million times better than ours.

In addition to scientific studies, there’s also anecdotal evidence that dogs can detect cancer.

Numerous dog owners tell stories of their pets persistently sniffing or nudging an area of their body that later turned out to harbor a tumor.

Such was the case for Maureen Burns, whose 9-year-old collie mix, Max, started acting strangely. Her dog would insistently sniff her breast and back off with what Burns called a “sad look in his eyes.”

Burns did have a small lump in her breast, but her mammogram had been clear. But as Max’s peculiar behavior persisted, she returned to the doctor and asked for a biopsy.

Doctors were surprised to learn the lump was cancerous.

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A million times better than a human nose! Wow!

This is such a positive story about the power of a dog.

They really are our best friend.

Awesome, just awesome!

This young girl’s wishes are truly special.

This is from Mother Nature Network and I’ll quickly get out of the way!

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Terminally ill girl’s wish is a letter from your dog

A 7-year-old Wisconsin girl with a brain tumor asks for photos and letters from pups to help her feel better.

By MARY JO DILONARDO
February 28, 2019.

Emma Mertens really loves dogs. (Photo: Geoffrey Mertens/GoFundMe)

There’s a little 7-year-old girl in Wisconsin who is dealing with a rare and inoperable brain tumor. To help deal with the pain of her disease, Emma Mertens is asking people to send her letters and photos from their dogs.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family cover medical expenses and in the comments, people from all over the country and in many parts of the world have shared notes and photos from their four-legged friends. They have sent hugs, kisses and tail wags. They’ve written about their favorite hobbies, movies and treats. Most of all, they’ve told Emma she is in their thoughts and she is loved.

Emma has diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, an aggressive, hard-to-treat tumor found at the base of the brain. So far, she’s had two surgeries and radiation therapy.

According to her GoFundMe page:

Last weekend she was having a normal weekend playing with friends, playing in the snow, and wrestling with her brothers. On Sunday though, she got a headache and started having flu like symptoms. By Wednesday, she was rushed into surgery to reduce swelling on the brain. She has had a second surgery now and is preparing for 6 weeks of daily radiation therapy. She is a fighter and she and her family along with everyone on Team Emma are here to fight for her.

While she fights, dogs everywhere are showing their support.

Burley and Babette in Ottawa, Ontario. (Photo: Tania Calverley)

Tania Calverley sent a photo of her two snow-covered pups with the note: “Burley and Babette send lots of love and doggie kisses from cold Ottawa, Ontario Canada.”

Daisy and Tymber send love from Michigan. (Photo: Megan Janofski)

Megan Janofski wrote from Michigan. “Hi Emma! Our names are Daisy and Tymber and we live in Michigan. We love cuddling and playing fetch. Our owner told us you aren’t feeling good. We are sending all our love to you! We think you’re pretty incredible for going through this. Stay strong and brave. Love, Daisy and Tymber.”

Shelby and Nikki send kisses from Virginia. (Photo: Maria Emilia)

Maria Emilia sent greeting from her two dogs in Virginia Beach. “Hi sweet and beautiful Emma! My two Aussie pup pups want to send you tons of hugs and kisses – little Shelby and big brother Nikki boy say that you are AWESOME!”

Lola wrote the note, but included photos of her canine siblings. (Photo: Ursula Bedeaux)

Ursula Bedeaux’s dog Lola sent the message: “Hi Emma, our mom told us about you and how brave you are. She also told us that you love dogs, so Harriett, Maggie, and I (Lola), thought we would send you some hugs and kisses from Minnesota!!! ❤️❤️❤️”

She included photos of Harriett and Maggie, too.

Harriett and Maggie (Photo: Ursula Bedeaux)

If you (or your dog) want to send a message to Emma, you can post them to a special Facebook page.

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Emma, you are in our thoughts and, we have no doubt, in the thoughts of all those that read this. Paul & Jeannie xxxx, plus Brandy, Pedi, Sweeny, Oliver, Cleopatra and Ruby! Woof, woof.

Too wonderful for words!

Another very inspiring email from Margaret K.

This is only a short video.

But what it conveys is incredibly inspiring.

Or to put it in Margaret’s own words:

Hi Paul,
I thought that you and Jeannie might like to see this, if you haven’t already done so.
It brought a tear to my eye. Very inspiring – the way the world should be. The best of humanity.
Warm regards
– Margaret K

There are a lot of good people out there!