Category: Science

More serendipity

The continuing story of Alfie.

Stop Press

Alfie has had his operation and all is well! I don’t know more than that at the moment but I do want to share the journey from New York to Minneapolis with you. Because it is such a story of love and devotion.

(And I have just heard that Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, has died – oh, dear.)

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New York to Minneapolis road trip

April 5, 2021 By Mr Coyne

The week we travelled to the US, the East Coast was experiencing one of its winter storms. Snow threatening our progress overland to our destination. With this in mind, we worked with James Gallagher at Enterprise close to Westhampton Private Airport near Maine just outside NY, we arranged for a Jeep Gladiator to be waiting on the tarmac for us. The plan was to land, walk down the steps and into the Jeep, then drive around 20 hours across 9 States (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota) taking it in turns, and stopping only when tiredness took hold to sleep. When I say drive around 20 hours, that’s just driving, not stopping to fuel, use a bathroom, eat, rest. Over 1,300 miles. A mammoth task.

At this point I’d already not slept in almost 24 hours

The plan hit the rocks as the jet approached Westhampton and were told the runway closed due to snow. We were diverted to JFK, and then Ubëred two hours back to our original airport. We could have tried to get a four wheel drive from JFK but we already knew getting something in the middle of a bad storm would be near impossible. Trying to fly internally from JFK to Minneapolis was off the table too as we had bought a lot of luggage with us, which we intended to leave in the US. Trying to get this through JFK, with all of this and a dog, a dog that potentially could have been turned away at the gate for being too big, was not worth trying to modify our plan.

Somehow our route through the Bronx is the Mayor of London’s fault

Snow on the ground we got our Jeep, and just had James had said when he sourced it for us – it looked unstoppable. He’d kindly shovelled out most of the snow from the pick-up bed. We headed out through rush hour NYC traffic towards Minnesota following the quickest route on Google Maps. Surprisingly through the Bronx. We made it through the other side and eventually stopped somewhere on the outskirts in search of a toilet and food. A Gladiator sits high off the ground, and we were already tired. As we pulled up outside a potential watering hole Renée opened the door and fell out, hitting the ground audibly so. Alfie was in her arms but had the foresight to recognise trouble and jump to safety. We went inside, one of us limping, to check ourselves over and eat. Luckily just bruising; limbs and pride. We were there a couple of hours, much longer than we intended, but the food and rest needed. It was a big, clean hotel and would have been a good place to stop, at the expense of making the next day even harder. We pushed on. Before doing so I looked at Google maps and realised I’d made a schoolboy error. Living in London and owning old cars is a constant maze avoiding paying the Congestion Charge and ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone). My phone was still set to avoid these tolls, hence our route through the the centre on New York. Worse, the fastest route would now see us backtrack some of the way we’d just driven.

Enjoying a meal after avoiding disaster falling from the truck

The Gladiator proved its worth as the elevation climbed and snowfall increased. We kept going until tiredness eventually became too dangerous to ignore and we stopped somewhere, somewhere being my best guess at where as I was so tired. A room at a Holiday Inn. Alfie making friends with the front desk saw the $80 dog fee waved. We didn’t sleep long, maybe three hours and returned to the Jeep early around sunrise. Throughout the entire trip Alfie had sat up front on Renée’s lap as the rear seats of our crew cab style truck full of luggage (the pick up bed empty so our stuff remained dry and safe). I’d read that these Jeeps were not great over long distances, and my previous longest time in one, a Rubicon, was between Fargo and Minneapolis on roads closed due to snow. It was cold and as a passenger I got leg ache. From the driver’s seat it wasn’t too bad. I’m sure most people buy slab sided trucks like this, original Land Rover Defenders and G Wagons simply because they look good, but there is no denying when the conditions get tough they are incredibly capable. Well, maybe not the G Wagon as that’s simply a fashion accessory.

Moments before a face plant. Ouch

“Watching a sleeping poorly dog, all of us crammed up front with the heater blowing full pelt to keep warm, hour after hour, made me question my original judgement of travelling this way

Watching Alfred, a poorly dog, asleep on Renée’s lap, all of us crammed up front with the heater blowing full pelt to keep warm, hour after hour, made me question my original judgement of travelling this way. My thinking was to have Alfred in the air for the minimum time and then get him the rest of the way by road where he would not be squashed in a bag, could go pee whenever he needed, and I could deal easily with any seizures. The whole private jet decision happened very fast and I hadn’t really adjusted to the revised plan. Also the plan had been to land at Westhampton, not JFK where we could have easily boarded a domestic flight to Minneapolis. Hindsight always great, and beating yourself up over something already done when tired completely pointless. The important think was we were in the USA, and on our way to get Alfred the help he needed. Given the obstacles in our way just two days ago we really should be patting ourselves n the back.

Give us all ya got. Nothing could stop the Gladiator

Eventually, around three hours out from our destination, I could drive no more and we stopped in one of the fantastic US rest areas. These places are free from gas stations, usually have vending machines, and clean toilet facilities. They feel safe and good places to stop for a snooze. It was cold though, with a lot of snow and ice on the ground. We slept a while with the engine running and heater keeping us warm. When it is this cold, global warming is the last thing on your agenda.

Errrr, drive through donuts? I LOVE America guys
Why is there a sportsman on this packaging? Is it a race to get diabetes?

“We slept a while with the engine running and heater keeping us warm. When it is this cold, global warming is the last thing on your agenda.

I’ve been in this situation before. Driving while tired is super dangerous. I suspect more so than alcohol (within reason) and up there with texting. As a pilot once said over the tannoy of a flight to Bahrain years ago: better to get there late than not at all. But before long, Renée woke me and wanted to carry on. I managed the next hour before handing over the driving to her to get us the rest of the way. The two of us had dug really deep to make it.

Not the most economical, but fuel is cheap so we don’t care

Arriving at the Canopy in Minneapolis was a welcome sight. Alfred’s surgery was scheduled 10 days from now but we had an option to bring it forward should he deteriorate rapidly. We were where we needed to be. A huge victory and I could literally feel the stress lifting from me. 

Of course, we were only actually part way there, the real challenge was to come.

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And of course, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, little Alfie has arrived in Minneapolis and has had his operation. In due coarse I will bring you the latest.

Serendipity

Funny how things fall out!

My son, Alex, recently sent me a link to a blog he had come across. It was to a website called https://aircooledbug.co.uk

It was about Andrew Coyne who with his wife, Renée, had come across to America in order to have an operation on his dog, Alfred. It was very moving. I then made contact with Andrew and asked him if I could have permission to republish. It was granted. Furthermore, Andrew went on to say:

Hi Paul,

The only place we could find to perform surgery and give him immunotherapy was the US. Getting to the US a massive challenge as the lock down restrictions and freedom of movement issues implemented by governments here and in the EU stopped us being able to travel. Hence chartering a private jet direct to New York.

Alfred is currently doing well with us here in the US and will not return to the UK. We will move here with him permanently and make our home in the one place that gave him a chance. 

Kind regards,
Anthony

So I am going to devote my next two posts to republishing two posts from Andrew’s blog. The first today is Coming to America.

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Coming to America

April 3, 2021 By Mr Coyne

The relief that knowing we would travel brought was unmeasurable. Private jets don’t come cheap, even discounted empty legs, but in this instance it didn’t matter. It was a welcome solution.

Up until the world was introduced to Covid-19, I had been a regular traveller to the US both with Renée who’s American, and on business as thinkerdoer work with a lot of US companies. I had an ESTA in place and checked it was still valid on Monday after we decided to take the flight to NYC.  On Tuesday morning it was pulled! I’m still not sure why but it would seem to be a response from the Biden Administration to control the recently announced ‘UK variant’. Mark at Charter-A and his team scrambled to get clearance for me from the US using our marriage certificate from Cornwall to prove I was a spouse of a US citizen and this initially appeared to satisfy them and clearance given.

The most unusual thing I have ever seen at airport security

On Wednesday morning we set off to Stansted. Somewhere on the M11 the phone rang, it was Mark saying the US had pulled my clearance again due to me visiting ‘red list’ countries in the last few months. Utter nonsense, and I explained the last place I had travelled was the US just prior to the lockdown when I visited North Dakota and Arizona. I even volunteered my bank statements to prove my case. We waited at the Inflite Executive Jet Centre at Stansted with our luggage already loaded for clearance. Eventually the US backed down and removed their marker, but this now meant reapplying for entry. The decision was made to leave the jet on the tarmac overnight and return the following day to give us time to organise it. Partly this was because the crew had already started logging hours and by the time a clear to fly issued we’d need a new crew. Not that it would have mattered, but I thought I would not be flying and the one time in my life I have paid for a private jet it would be the dog flying on it, not me. And Renée of course.

America, we are coming in hot!

“The best part was we were truly on our way to get Alfred some help, a chance to save him

Thursday went smoothly. We turned up, parked the car, got on the jet, flew to NYC. On a commercial flight there are little increments of comfort between Economy, Premium Economy, Business and First. Compared to flying private those classes of travel are all the same. No difference. It’s all cattle class. The whole aircraft to ourselves, big luxurious seats, a sofa, your own bathroom with Diptyque toiletries. Want a lay flat bed? Just tell your own crew and they make you one up.  And Alfred was free to sit where he wanted, roam around, was fed a chicken dinner off a china plate, and was even able to chase a ball along the aisle. The best part was we were truly on our way to get Alfred some help, a chance to save him.

We were arriving just in time

We didn’t need reminding of the difficulties ahead. The novelty of traveling like rock stars soon faded when mid flight he suffered a seizure. By now I am well versed in how to deal with this, and Renée is able to spot the warning signs with incredible accuracy. I  got him to the bathroom with a soft towel and comforted him just as his little body went into a full grand mal seizure. Since his diagnosis Alfie had been on strong barbiturate and steroid medication which had suppressed the seizures. Something that would only last so long. We were 10 days without a seizure and this a clear indication the efficacy of the medication was reducing, and the tumour growing. We were arriving just in time.

I LOVE this!

Carry on allowance an improvement over commercial.

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I am going to reproduce the contents of an email that I sent Anthony yesterday morning. It sums up how we feel about what Anthony and Renée are doing.

Dear Anthony,

I have now read very carefully your blog especially your posts of the last few weeks.

They are beautiful. In the sense of describing what you feel towards Alfred. Dogs bond to humans unconditionally. You love Alfred unconditionally.

It’s a little after 5am here in Southern Oregon. Jean and I are sitting back on top of our bed having had recently our first morning coffees. On the bed is also Oliver, an ex-rescue Labrador crossed with a Border Collie. Oliver’s bond with me is so precious. Beyond words but not beyond feelings!

I am going to write a couple of posts that essentially republish your posts about you getting Alfred to Minneapolis. But beyond that Jean and I want to wish you every success in Alfred’s treatment. Is there anything more practical that we can do to help? We are in our 70s. We are both English. We met in Mexico in December, 2007. Jean was rescuing dogs, spay or neutering them, then finding homes for them mainly in Arizona. I flew with my GSD, Pharaoh, to LAX from London, in 2008. Then down to Mexico. We came to the USA in 2010 to be married and to live with our then 16 dogs. Subsequently we came to Oregon in 2012.

I am so grateful for my son highlighting your blog.

With very best wishes,

Paul

Our very own Oliver!

Is there no end to the smartness of dogs!

A recent video suggests not!

I was idly browsing the BBC News online a couple of days ago and saw this small but wonderful piece.

The dogs helping endangered Tasmanian devils find a mate

A world-first trial in Australia is using detection dogs to help zookeepers identify when Tasmanian devils may be ready to breed.

If the programme is successful, it’s hoped the method could help other endangered species too.

Video by Isabelle Rodd

There is a video available but it is nearly an hour long.

Enjoy!

The Dog Food Advisor.

A good summary of all that matters.

The Dog and Cat Food update was announced two days ago.

In the covering email they said:

Dear Fellow Dog Lover,

You’re getting this email because you signed up on our website and asked to be notified. If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please click the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of this message.

Bravo Packing of Carney’s Point, NJ, is expanding its recall to now include multiple dog and cat food products due to possible contamination with Salmonella and Listeria bacteria.

For full details, please visit the following link: Bravo Packing Expands Dog and Cat Food Recall

Best Dog Food for March 2021

The Dog Food Advisor has recently updated the following best dog food pages:

  • Best Dry Dog Foods
  • Best Puppy Foods
  • Best Large Breed Puppy Foods
  • Best Dog Foods for Small Dogs
  • Best Dog Food for Allergies
  • Best Grain-Free Dog Foods
  • Best Dog Foods Made with Grain
  • Best Budget-Friendly Dog Foods
  • Best Dog Food for Specific Breeds
  • Best Senior Dog Foods

Click here to see our Best Dog Foods for March 2021

Please be sure to share this news with other dog and cat owners.

Mike Sagman, Editor
The Dog Food Advisor
Saving Good Dogs From Bad Dog Food

Now onto the Bravo Packing recall.

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Bravo Packing Expands Dog and Cat Food Recall

March 16, 2021 — Bravo Packing, Inc., of Carneys Point, New Jersey, is expandingits previously announced voluntary recall of two pet food products to now include all pet food and bones in all package sizes… because they may be contaminated with disease-causing bacteria.

During an FDA inspection, samples collected tested positive for Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes and resulted in a recall due to the potential health risks to humans and pets.

See The Dog Food Advisor’s previous announcement here.

What’s Recalled?

Bravo Packing, Inc. is expanding the recall due to potential cross contamination of the following dog and cat food products.

Label Images of Recalled Products

The following label images are included in the FDA bulletin. No other photographs were provided by the company.

About Salmonella

Salmonella can cause illness in pets eating the products, as well as people who handle contaminated pet food products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products, infected pets, or any surfaces exposed to these products.

People infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and fever.

Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis (an infection of the heart muscle), arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms.

People who have these symptoms after having contact with the products identified in this recall or with a pet that has eaten these products should contact their healthcare providers.

A pet with a Salmonella infection may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting.

Some pets will have decreased appetite, fever, and abdominal pain.

If your pet has consumed the recalled products and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

Pets exposed to contaminated food can be infected without showing symptoms.

Infected pets, including those without symptoms, can also shed Salmonella through their feces and saliva, spreading pathogens into the home environment and to humans and other animals nearby.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, Listeria monocytogenes infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

No human or animal illnesses related to the identified products have been reported to date.

Where Were the Products Sold?

Bravo Packing Inc. generally works with distributors that fill orders to retail storesand to consumers directly nationwide.

What to Do?

Consumers with any of the affected products should handle them with caution, discard products in a secure container, and wash hands and surfaces properly.

Consumers with questions should contact Bravo Packing, Inc. at 856-299-1044 (Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, ET).

U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to the FDA’s “Report a Pet Food Complaint” page.

Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.

Get Lifesaving Recall Alerts by Email

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Dog Food Advisor’s emergency recall notification system.
There’s no cost. No spam ever. Cancel any time.

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As always, please share this around as much as you can.

Because even just one dog owner being informed of this Dog Food Recall makes it all worthwhile.

Lessons

Nothing to do with dogs but everything to do with the future!

An item in The Conversation recently was not only interesting from a scientific point-of-view but also it had real lessons for the way that we humans are interfering with the planet.

As The Conversation introduced the article:

A mile below the surface of the Greenland ice sheet, an ancient Arctic ecosystem is preserved in the frozen soil. How scientists discovered its leaves, twigs and mosses is a story in itself. It starts with a secret military base built into the northern Greenland ice.

Scientists Andrew Christ and Paul Bierman describe the discovery as something of a Rosetta stone for understanding how well the ice sheet stood up to global warming in the past – and how it might respond in the future.

So, for a change, read something that has nothing to do with our furry friends.

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Ancient leaves preserved under a mile of Greenland’s ice – and lost in a freezer for years – hold lessons about climate change

Remnants of ancient Greenland tundra were preserved in soil beneath the ice sheet. Andrew Christ and Dorothy Peteet, CC BY-ND

Andrew Christ, University of Vermont and Paul Bierman, University of Vermont

In 1963, inside a covert U.S. military base in northern Greenland, a team of scientists began drilling down through the Greenland ice sheet. Piece by piece, they extracted an ice core 4 inches across and nearly a mile long. At the very end, they pulled up something else – 12 feet of frozen soil.

The ice told a story of Earth’s climate history. The frozen soil was examined, set aside and then forgotten.

Half a century later, scientists rediscovered that soil in a Danish freezer. It is now revealing its secrets.

Using lab techniques unimaginable in the 1960s when the core was drilled, we and an international team of fellow scientists were able to show that Greenland’s massive ice sheet had melted to the ground there within the past million years. Radiocarbon dating shows that it would have happened more than 50,000 years ago. It most likely happened during times when the climate was warm and sea level was high, possibly 400,000 years ago.

And there was more. As we explored the soil under a microscope, we were stunned to discover the remnants of a tundra ecosystem – twigs, leaves and moss. We were looking at northern Greenland as it existed the last time the region was ice-free. Our peer-reviewed study was published on March 15 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Two men with the ice core
Engineers pull up a section of the 4,560-foot-long ice core at Camp Century in the 1960s. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Paul Bierman, a geomorphologist and geochemist, describes what he and his colleagues found in the soil.

With no ice sheet, sunlight would have warmed the soil enough for tundra vegetation to cover the landscape. The oceans around the globe would have been more than 10 feet higher, and maybe even 20 feet. The land on which Boston, London and Shanghai sit today would have been under the ocean waves.

All of this happened before humans began warming the Earth’s climate. The atmosphere at that time contained far less carbon dioxide than it does today, and it wasn’t rising as quickly. The ice core and the soil below are something of a Rosetta Stone for understanding how durable the Greenland ice sheet has been during past warm periods – and how quickly it might melt again as the climate heats up.

Secret military bases and Danish freezers

The story of the ice core begins during the Cold War with a military mission dubbed Project Iceworm. Starting around 1959, the U.S. Army hauled hundreds of soldiers, heavy equipment and even a nuclear reactor across the ice sheet in northwest Greenland and dug a base of tunnels inside the ice. They called it Camp Century.

It was part of a secret plan to hide nuclear weapons from the Soviets. The public knew it as an Arctic research laboratory. Walter Cronkite even paid a visit and filed a report.

Workers cover a trench to build the under-ice military base
Workers build the snow tunnels at the Camp Century research base in 1960. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Camp Century didn’t last long. The snow and ice began slowly crushing the buildings inside the tunnels below, forcing the military to abandon it in 1966. During its short life, however, scientists were able to extract the ice core and begin analyzing Greenland’s climate history. As ice builds up year by year, it captures layers of volcanic ash and changes in precipitation over time, and it traps air bubbles that reveal the past composition of the atmosphere.

One of the original scientists, glaciologist Chester Langway, kept the core and soil samples frozen at the University at Buffalo for years, then he shipped them to a Danish archive in the 1990s, where the soil was soon forgotten.

A few years ago, our Danish colleagues found the soil samples in a box of glass cookie jars with faded labels: “Camp Century Sub-Ice.”

Scientists look at the sediment in jars
Geomorphologist Paul Bierman (right) and geochemist Joerg Schaefer of Columbia University examine the jars holding Camp Century sediment for the first time. They were in a Danish freezer set at -17 F. Paul Bierman, CC BY-ND

A surprise under the microscope

On a hot July day in 2019, two samples of soil arrived at our lab at the University of Vermont frozen solid. We began the painstaking process of splitting the precious few ounces of frozen mud and sand for different analyses.

First, we photographed the layering in the soil before it was lost forever. Then we chiseled off small bits to examine under the microscope. We melted the rest and saved the ancient water.

Then came the biggest surprise. While we were washing the soil, we spotted something floating in the rinse water. Paul grabbed a pipette and some filter paper, Drew grabbed tweezers and turned on the microscope. We were absolutely stunned as we looked down the eyepiece.

Staring back at us were leaves, twigs and mosses. This wasn’t just soil. This was an ancient ecosystem perfectly preserved in Greenland’s natural deep freeze.

One of the authors looking excited
Glacial geomorphologist Andrew Christ (right), with geology student Landon Williamson, holds up the first twig spotted as they washed a sediment sample from Camp Century. Paul Bierman, CC BY-ND

Dating million-year-old moss

How old were these plants?

Over the last million years, Earth’s climate was punctuated by relatively short warm periods, typically lasting about 10,000 years, called interglacials, when there was less ice at the poles and sea level was higher. The Greenland ice sheet survived through all of human history during the Holocene, the present interglacial period of the last 12,000 years, and most of the interglacials in the last million years.

But our research shows that at least one of these interglacial periods was warm enough for a long enough period of time to melt large portions of the Greenland ice sheet, allowing a tundra ecosystem to emerge in northwestern Greenland.

We used two techniques to determine the age of the soil and the plants. First, we used clean room chemistry and a particle accelerator to count atoms that form in rocks and sediment when exposed to natural radiation that bombards Earth. Then, a colleague used an ultra-sensitive method for measuring light emitted from grains of sand to determine the last time they were exposed to sunlight.

Maps of Greenland Ice Sheet speed and bedrock elevation
Maps of Greenland show the speed of the ice sheet as it flows (left) and the landscape hidden beneath it (right). BedMachine v3; Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), CC BY-ND

Chart of CO2 concentrations over time
The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere today is well beyond past levels determined from ice cores. On March 14, 2021, the CO2 level was about 417 ppm. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, CC BY-ND

The million-year time frame is important. Previous work on another ice core, GISP2, extracted from central Greenland in the 1990s, showed that the ice had also been absent there within the last million years, perhaps about 400,000 years ago.

Lessons for a world facing rapid climate change

Losing the Greenland ice sheet would be catastrophic to humanity today. The melted ice would raise sea level by more than 20 feet. That would redraw coastlines worldwide.

About 40% of the global population lives within 60 miles of a coast, and 600 million people live within 30 feet of sea level. If warming continues, ice melt from Greenland and Antarctica will pour more water into the oceans. Communities will be forced to relocate, climate refugees will become more common, and costly infrastructure will be abandoned. Already, sea level rise has amplified flooding from coastal storms, causing hundreds of billions of dollars of damage every year.

A rock and tundra with a glacier in the background
Tundra near the Greenland ice sheet today. Is this what Camp Century looked like before the ice came back sometime in the last million years? Paul Bierman, CC BY-ND

The story of Camp Century spans two critical moments in modern history. An Arctic military base built in response to the existential threat of nuclear war inadvertently led us to discover another threat from ice cores – the threat of sea level rise from human-caused climate change. Now, its legacy is helping scientists understand how the Earth responds to a changing climate.

Andrew Christ, Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer in Geology, University of Vermont and Paul Bierman, Fellow of the Gund Institute for Environment, Professor of Geology and Natural Resources, University of Vermont

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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The article is republished with the full permission of The Conversation.

I hope you read it because the way the climate is changing is affecting all of us now and sooner rather than later we have all got to amend our ways. Indeed, when I look at anyone who has potentially thirty or more years of life in them I ponder what their future is going to be like. And, of course, it won’t be a drastic change in thirty years it is already happening now albeit at times difficult to see.

But there is not one scintilla of doubt that we humans are the cause and we humans have to be the solution!

Ancient North American beginnings.

And early humans also came with their dogs!

Gary, aka Nimbushopper, sent me an item that appeared on Newsmax.

It was all about the early settlers. I very much would like to share it with you.

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Study: Dogs Came to N. America With Earliest Humans

Wednesday, 24 February 2021.

A Siberian husky enjoys the snow during a training session in Huy, eastern Germany, on February 11, 2021. – Musher Kerstin Galisch is a multiple participant of national and international competitions and takes care of a pack of fifteen Siberian Husky sled dogs, that live in and around a former and rebuilt feedlot premises administration building. (Photo by Ronny Hartmann / AFP) (Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)

Scientists said Wednesday they had discovered the oldest remains of a domestic dog in the Americas dating back more than 10,000 years, suggesting the animals accompanied the first waves of human settlers.

Humans are thought to have migrated to North America from Siberia over what is today the Bering Strait at the end of the last Ice Age — between 30,000 and 11,000 years ago.

The history of dogs has been intertwined with man since ancient times, and studying canine DNA can provide a good timeline for human settlement.

A new study led by the University at Buffalo analysed the mitochondrial DNA of a bone fragment found in Southeast Alaska.

The team initially thought the fragment belonged to a bear.

But closer examination revealed it to be part of a femur of a dog that lived in the region around 10,150 years ago, and that shared a genetic lineage with American dogs that lived before the arrival of European breeds.

“Because dogs are a proxy for human occupation, our data help provide not only a timing but also a location for the entry of dogs and people into the Americas,” said Charlotte Lindqvist, an evolutionary biologist from the University at Buffalo and the University of South Dakota.

She said the findings, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, supports the theory that humans arrived in North America from Siberia.

“Southeast Alaska might have served as an ice-free stopping point of sorts, and now — with our dog — we think that early human migration through the region might be much more important than some previously suspected,” said Lindqvist.

Older Migrations

A carbon isotope analysis of the bone fragment showed that the ancient Southeast Alaskan dog likely had a marine diet that consisted of fish and seal and whale scraps.

Lindqvist said dogs did not arrive in North America all at once. Some arrived later from East Asia with the Thule people, while Siberian huskies were imported to Alaska during the Gold Rush in the 19th century.

There is a long-standing contention about whether the first humans entered North America through a continental corridor that formed as the ice sheets receded, or along the North Pacific coast thousands of years earlier.

Previous age estimates of dog remains were younger than the fragment found by Lindqvist and the team, suggesting that dogs arrived in the continent during the later, continental migrations.

Lindqvist said her findings supported the theory that dogs in fact arrived in North America among the first waves of humans settlers.

“We also have evidence that the coastal edge of the ice sheet started melting at least around 17,000 years ago, whereas the inland corridor was not viable until around 13,000 years ago,” she told AFP.

“And genetic evidence that a coastal route for the first Americans over 16,000 years ago seems most likely. Our study supports that our coastal dog is a descendant of dogs that participated in this initial migration.”

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I have said it before and no doubt will say it again many times in the future: The bond that dogs have with us humans and, in return, the thanks and love that we have for our dogs goes back a very, very long time indeed.

This is just another article that confirms this.

Just want to repeat the amazing news that Charlotte Lindqvist reported:

But closer examination revealed it to be part of a femur of a dog that lived in the region around 10,150 years ago, and that shared a genetic lineage with American dogs that lived before the arrival of European breeds.

I do hope you read the full article as presented here.

Thank you, Gary!

Yet another recall, and some good news!

Hats off to Malwarebytes.com!

Those of you that read yesterday’s post will know that I was having malware problems.

I have McAfee Total Protection and yesterday first thing I started a full scan using McAfee. After many hours it still had not removed the malware.

I again called Apple and they recommended me using the Malwarebytes software. I installed that software and it worked! So I very happily struck up a paying relationship with Malwarebytes!

Now to today’s dog food recall!

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Bravo Packing Recalls Performance Dog Pet Food

March 3, 2021 — Bravo Packing, Inc. of Carneys Point, NJ, is recalling all Ground Beef and Performance Dog, a frozen raw pet food because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.

What’s Recalled?

Performance Dog and Ground Beef both come frozen in 2-pound and 5-pound plastic sleeves with the following labels (provided by the company).

About Salmonella and Listeria

Salmonella can cause illness in animals eating the products, as well as people who handle contaminated pet products… especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products, infected animals or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, server headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria monocytogenes infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever.

Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis (an infection of the heart muscle), arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation and urinary tract symptoms.

People who have these symptoms after having contact with this product or an animal that has eaten this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting.

Some pets will have decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain.

Pets exposed to contaminated food can be infected without showing symptoms.

If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

Infected animals including those without symptoms, can also shed Salmonella through their feces and saliva, spreading pathogens into the home environment and to humans and other animals in the household.

No human or animal illnesses have been reported to date.

About This Recall

Bravo Packing, Inc. is voluntarily recalling the products after samples of Performance Dog and a sample of Ground Beef were collected during an FDA inspection, tested positive for Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.

Where Were the Products Sold?

Performance Dog generally works with the distributor located in Brooklyn, New York, that fills orders to brick-and-mortar retail stores or to consumers directly nationwide.

What to Do?

If you have an Ground Beef or Performance Dog, please throw it away. (My emphasis. PH)

Consumers with questions should contact Bravo Packing, Inc. at 856-299-1044 (Monday – Friday, 9:00AM-2:00PM, EST).

U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to the FDA’s “Report a Pet Food Complaint” page.

Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.

Get Lifesaving Recall Alerts by Email

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Dog Food Advisor’s emergency recall notification system.

There’s no cost. No spam ever. Cancel any time.

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As per usual, please share this recall as widely as possible.

Thank you!

Maybe there is a difference?

Between the genders!

I don’t think I had considered it before now, or rather at the end of January this year, that women across many cultures have an extra special relationship with dogs. It came from an article published in Treehugger on the 27th January and I hope it is alright to share it with you today.

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Why Women Have Had a Great Impact on Dog-Human Relationships

Dogs were more likely to be seen as a type of “person” when bonded with women.

By

Mary Jo DiLonardo

Throughout cultures, women often have closer relationships with dogs. GM Visuals / Getty Images

Sure, they’re called man’s best friend, but it’s women who likely had a bigger impact on the evolutionary relationship between dogs and their humans.

In a new analysis published in the Journal of Ethnobiology, researchers found that several factors probably played a part in creating the beneficial bonds between canines and people. One of those key factors, they found, is gender.

“Both men and women were important for the care and status of dogs across societies, but women had a stronger influence,” Robert Quinlan, Washington State University anthropology professor and corresponding author on the paper, tells Treehugger.

The researchers analyzed documents in the Human Relations Area Files, an anthropological database of collections covering cultural and social life. They sorted through thousands of mentions of dogs, ultimately finding data from 844 ethnographers (researchers who study human culture) writing in 144 societies.>They studied these cultures hoping to get insight into how the beneficial relationship between dogs and humans developed, the researchers said. They tracked traits associated with what they called dogs’ “personhood” across cultures.

“In some cultures, that idea is quite explicit: Dogs are defined as a type of ‘person,’ with human-like qualities. But it also can look like treating dogs in ‘person’-like ways — including giving dogs names, allowing to sleep in humans’ beds, viewing them as beings with souls, or burying and mourning them upon death,” Jaime Chambers, a WSU anthropology PhD student and first author on the paper, tells Treehugger.

They found accounts of the Toraja Indigenous People in Indonesia describing dogs as “equals,” the Sri Lankan Vedda referring to dogs as “four-footed persons,” and the Kapauku in Papua New Guinea calling dogs the only non-human animals with souls, Chambers says.

“We also tracked instances where ethnographers mentioned dogs having a special relationship to women, versus a relationship to men. When it came to dogs’ usefulness to humans, we didn’t detect either gender having more of an influence than the other,” Chambers says. “But in cultures where women and dogs shared a special bond, humans were more likely to be useful to dogs (providing things like affection, food, shelter, and healing) and to regard dogs as ‘person-like.’”

They found that in societies where men were observed interacting with dogs, the likelihood of dogs receiving care and other benefits from humans increased by 37%, and the likelihood that they were treated like people increased by 63%.

In contrast, in societies where dogs were observed interacting with women, the likelihood that they received care and other benefits from humans increased by 127%, and the likelihood that they were treated like people increased by 220%.

“The influence of men and women were additive so that in societies where dogs interacted with both men and women, their benefits and status were increased even more than in societies where dogs tended to interact with only men or only women,” Quinlan points out.

How Women Interact with Dogs

When sifting through the documents, researchers found examples of how women interacted differently with dogs than did men.

“We found women playing a notable role in welcoming dogs into the family sphere. Among the Munduruku from the Amazon and Tiwi from Australia, ethnographers describe women caring for dogs like their own children — literally allowing them to feed and sleep alongside their own human kids,” Chambers says.

“In some cultures, dogs serve as women’s companions in their daily work, such as Amazonian Tukano women who tend their gardens and hunt small game with their dog by their side. In Scandinavia, Saami women play a key role in controlling dogs’ breeding, keeping both male and female dogs and distributing the puppies to their human friends and relatives.”

But dogs aren’t revered everywhere.

“Among the Rwala Bedouin, there’s ambivalence around dogs — they’re seen as an unclean, polluting source, forbidden from eating from cooking vessels — yet they’re still valued as watchdogs and kept close to particular households via women (who sleep near them at night, and feed them via tossed scraps),” Chambers says.

Heat and Hunting

Gender isn’t the only thing that appears to have played a role in the coevolution of dogs and humans. Researchers also found that the warmer the climate, the less useful dogs were to people as hunting partners.

Humans evolved in tropical environments and are pretty good at keeping cool, Quinlan says. However, canine ancestors evolved in cold environments in northern latitudes.

“Dogs burn a lot of energy quickly when they are very active, like chasing prey and so forth, and that can make keeping cool a big problem. Anyone who has taken their dog for a run on a chilly day versus a hot day can easily see the difference,” Quinlan says.
“So, in hot environments dogs can overheat really quickly, making them less useful as hunting partners, herders, etc. ”There are some breeds in some hot environments that have better heat tolerance, yet those are the exceptions.”

Hunting also seemed to strengthen the ties between humans and dogs. In societies where people hunted with their dogs, the animals were more valued. That benefit appeared to decline when food production increased through agriculture or keeping livestock and dogs weren’t as necessary anymore.

Mutual Cooperation Theory

There have been many theories about how dog domestication happened. Some think that humans directly tamed the animals, while others think that people and dogs were mutually attracted to each other and discovered benefits from working together.

“We will never be able to precisely identify the chain of events and conditions leading to dog domestication, but shifting our emphasis like this allows us to rethink the relationship between humans and nature by moving away from a sense of complete human dominance to a kind of cooperation between humans and other beings where the other beings are on a more equal footing,” Quinlan says.

“A mutual cooperation scenario is probably more realistic, and it suggests that we all might benefit from thinking of humans as just one important player among many when we think about humans and the natural world. For us, this rethinking allowed us to approach dog-human relationships from multiple interrelated angles, and the insights we hoped to get from viewing the relationships from multiple angles was a big motivator for this research.”

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I don’t know about you but we found this a very interesting and fascinating theory.

I would love to say more but despite me being the publisher of this blog I am still an individual with lots to learn about dog domestication.

Well done the team at NASA.

What an outstanding feat.

Many, many congratulations!

On Feb. 18, 2021, NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover makes its final descent to the Red Planet.

A little more information:

Landed: Feb. 18, 2021, 12:55 p.m. PST (3:55 p.m. EST), (20:55 UTC)

Landing Site: Jezero Crater, Mars

Mission Duration: At least one Mars year (about 687 Earth days)

Main Job: The Perseverance rover will seek signs of ancient life and collect rock and soil samples for possible return to Earth.

As someone who watched the television non-stop in 1969 to see man’s remarkable achievement, NASA has been an organisation of considerable interest all my life.

At 10:56 p.m. EDT Armstrong is ready to plant the first human foot on another world. With more than half a billion people watching on television, he climbs down the ladder and proclaims: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.

What an achievement!

Now here’s an idea!

Using the dog’s nose to sniff out positive Covid cases!

I follow Tony and I have been across to his blog before One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100.

But on the 15th February Tony came up with a brilliant idea; read it for yourself:

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Dogs’ highly evolved noses can rapidly detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus

For some 15,000 years, dogs have been our hunting partners, workmates, helpers and companions. Could they also be our next allies in the fight against COVID-19? As a dog owner with a small poodle who could sniff out a chicken bone in the middle of a football field I was not surprised to learn this.

According to UC Santa Barbara professor emeritus Tommy Dickey and his collaborator, BioScent researcher Heather Junqueira, they can. And with a review paper published in the Journal of Osteopathic Medicine they have added to a small but growing consensus that trained medical scent dogs can effectively be used for screening individuals who may be infected with the COVID-19 virus.

I would volunteer my 15-year-old poodle, Gabi, for this study.

This follows a comprehensive survey of research devoted to the use of trained scent dogs for detecting COVID. “The most striking result is that studies have already demonstrated that dogs can identify people who are COVID-19 positive,” Dickey said of their findings. “Not only that,” he added, “they can do it non-intrusively, more rapidly and with comparable or possibly better accuracy than our conventional detection tests.

Not surprisingly, the magic lies in canine sense of smell, which gives dogs the ability to detect molecules in tiny concentrations — “one part in a quadrillion compared with one part in one billion for humans,” according to the paper. Add to that other optimizations for smell, such as a large nasal area and the structure of their noses, which allows inflow through the nostrils and outflow through nasal folds. Further, with 125-300 million olfactory cells and a third of their brains devoted to interpreting odors, dogs are well equipped with the ability to sniff out the volatile organic compounds that indicate the presence of COVID.

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I must gently disagree with Tony’s opening statement. Dogs evolved from the grey wolf something like 23,000 years ago.

But what a great article and will we see the authorities take him up on the idea? I certainly hope so.