Now again this has nothing to do with dogs and I would be the first person to say that there are still some people out there who are not convinced that global warming is a major result of human activity.. But none other than the Union of Concerned Scientists are persuaded that humans are the major cause. See their website here. (From which the following is taken.)
Every single year since 1977 has been warmer than the 20th century average, with 16 of the 17 warmest years on record occurring since 2001, and 2016 being the warmest year on recorded history. A study from 2016 found that without the emissions from burning coal and oil, there is very little likelihood that 13 out of the 15 warmest years on record would all have happened.
And further on in the article, this:
Scientists agree that today’s warming is primarily caused by humans putting too much carbon in the atmosphere, like when we choose to extract and burn coal, oil, and gas, or cut down and burn forests.
Today’s carbon dioxide levels haven’t been seen in at least the last 800,000 years. Data assembled from Antarctic ice core samples and modern atmospheric observations.
So on to the film.
My son, Alex, sent me the following email on the 7th October.
This is a really interesting film about climate change in the west coast mountains, USA. A bit skiing related but a good watch !
Lots of love
Included in the email was a link to the film available on YouTube.
The film is just under one hour in length and a great film to watch as well as having a clear, fundamental message: All of us must act in whatever ways we can if our children and grandchildren are to have a future. Indeed, do you believe you have another twenty or more years to live? Then include yourself as well.
About The Film
Professional snowboarder and mountaineer Jeremy Jones has an intimate relationship with the outdoors. It’s his escape, his identity, and his legacy. But over the course of his 45 years in the mountains, he’s seen many things change: more extreme weather, fewer snow days, and economic strain on mountain towns.
Motivated by an urge to protect the places he loves, Jeremy sets out on a physical and philosophical journey to find common ground with fellow outdoor people across diverse political backgrounds. He learns their hopes and fears while walking a mile in their shoes on the mountain and in the snow.
With intimacy and emotion set against breathtaking backdrops, Purple Mountains navigates America’s divide with a refreshing perspective: even though we may disagree about climate policy, our shared values can unite us.
15 Pet Food Brands Recalled Due to High Levels of Aflatoxin
October 8, 2020 — Sunshine Mills, Inc. is expanding its recall of 15 brands of pet food that were made with corn that contained high levels of aflatoxin.
The following brands and products are affected by this recall:
The lot codes can be located on the back of each bag.
About the Expanded Recall
This is an expansion of the recall initiated September 2, 2020, after an investigation along with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration determined that additional corn-based pet foods produced between April 3 and April 5, 2020 may contain corn from a single load of corn with elevated levels of aflatoxin.
No illnesses have been reported in association with these products to date, and no other Sunshine Mills, Inc. pet food products are affected by this announcement.
Sunshine Mills, Inc. has chosen to expand its voluntary recall to include these additional products as a precautionary measure in furtherance of its commitment to the safety and quality of its products.
Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring mold by-product from the growth of Aspergillus flavus and can be harmful to pets if consumed in significant quantities.
Pets with aflatoxin toxicity (aflatoxicosis) may show symptoms of illness including sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, vomiting, yellowish tint to the eyes or gums, diarrhea, and in some cases, death.
Pets experiencing any of these symptoms after consuming the recalled products should be seen by a veterinarian.
Where Were the Products Sold?
The affected brands were distributed in retail stores within the United States.
Principle Super Premium Natural Dog Food is exported exclusively to a distributor in Japan. Sortsman’s Pride Maintenance Adult Formula Dog Food is also exported to a distributor in Japan and Colombia.
Retailers who received the recalled lots have been contacted and asked to pull any remaining inventory of these lots from their shelves.
There are no other Champ®, Field Trial®, Good Dog, Hunter’s Special®, Old Glory®, Paws Happy Life®, Pet Expert, Principle, Retriever®, River Bend, Sportsman’s Pride®, Sprout®, Thrifty®, Top Runner® or Whiskers & Tails products or other lot codes of these products affected by this voluntary recall.
What to Do?
Consumers who have purchased the recalled products should discontinue use of the product and may return the unused portion to the place of purchase for a full refund.
Consumers may contact Sunshine Mills, Inc. customer service at (800) 705-2111 from 7AM to 4PM Central Time, Monday through Friday.
Or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
The expansion of this voluntary recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
As is said every time, please share this post with all your dog-carer friends wherever they are. There are many products affected. Please be careful. Dogs are too precious for this aflatoxin toxicity or, indeed, being fed any other bad food.
I am speaking of a recent BBC Radio 4 program, but …
… this loving Corgi seems to have got the message.
There has been a series on BBC Radio 4 about the Anatomy of Touch. This is a small extract from the website that accompanied the program.
Touch is a crucial part of our lives. The right kind of touch can reduce pain, soothe our stress and convey emotion faster than words. It’s a sense that you can’t turn off and we should not underestimate its power.
It’s also a sense that has taken on a new resonance during the pandemic, now that we have to keep our distance and haven’t hugged friends or family we don’t live with for more than half a year.
“He’s the biggest sweetheart” ❤️️
By Lily Feinn
Published on 10/1/2020
Wallace understands that times are tough, and the loving corgi knows how to make things better — with a big hug. Well, as big as his little arms can go.
When Noah Raminick is walking Wallace, he can expect to stop every time Wallace spots another pup. The year-old corgi loves to play and won’t let another dog walk by without giving him an embrace.
“He’s the biggest sweetheart,” Raminick, Wallace’s brother, told The Dodo. “He’s always very happy to be around people and other dogs. He loves to give face kisses to people and when he sees another dog, he’s always the one to initiate a play session.”
When it comes to large dogs, the low-bodied pup shows no fear and will stand on his hind legs to get the best possible angle for his hug. Wallace’s best friend Daisy is a Great Dane, but the corgi knows that size doesn’t matter.
“They always hug when they see each other,” Raminick said. “And one of her paws weighs as much as Wallace’s entire body.”
With smaller dogs, Wallace makes sure to play gently, so he doesn’t spook his new friend. Wallace won’t go in for the hug until he sniffs out whether the other dog is OK with it first.
“The thing I find interesting with his hugging is that he wasn’t trained to do that at all,” Raminick said. “I think it comes down to him being really excited about playing with another dog.”
Wallace makes sure to spread the love when he’s with his human family, too. “His favorite things are morning and evening cuddles, playing fetch and me chasing him around the house,” Raminick said. “I don’t think Wallace has any dislikes.”
Wallace’s family is happy for their pup to continue spreading the love to the dogs and people in his neighborhood, adding a little more joy to everyone’s day.
Back to that Touch website to close:
The three most common words used to describe touch are: “comforting”, “warm” and “love”
People from 112 different countries took part in the Touch Test and it’s striking that “comforting” and “warm” were among the three most common words that people used in every region of the world.
A look, courtesy of my daughter, at Sarah Nicolls’s 12 Years project.
Again, this is not about dogs, well not in a direct way. But, indirectly, it affects all of us, young and old, and, inevitably, it affects our dear dogs.
I’m writing this in response to something that came my way as an email sent from my daughter’s company, SOUND UK. The company holds to the view that: Sound UK produces extraordinary musical encounters for all.
Sarah Nicolls has her own website and on her About page this is what she presents.
My name is Sarah Nicolls. I am a visual artist who makes pictures with language, books with pictures, prints with type, and animations with words. I combine image, visual narrative, and time in prints, books, and ephemera that are often research-based. I am interested in urbanization, local history, climate change, the history of science and technology, alternative economies, found language, and the history of publishing. I have written a collection of self-help aphorisms, I publish a series of informational pamphlets, and I organize a range of participatory walks and programs around the series.
For twelve years, I ran the studio programs at the Center for Book Arts in NYC, organizing classes, public programs, readings, and talks, coordinating publications, running residency programs, and teaching interns. I learned everything I know about letterpress and bookmaking while I was there. Now I teach at Pratt Institute and Parsons School of Design, and work on a variety of projects.
I also do illustration and design work for individuals and institutions. Do you have an interesting project in mind? Contact me here, I welcome commissions and collaborations.
Well back to Sound UK. This is Sarah.
“What she does should be happening every week of the year” The Guardian
Acclaimed pianist and composer Sarah Nicolls’ new Inside-Out Piano project 12 Years was inspired by the 2018 IPCC Special Report saying we had just 12 years to radically change our behaviour to save the planet. Starting on the second anniversary of the report, 8 October, Sarah launches 12 nights of online performances.
With her striking vertical grand piano, Nicolls combines original music and recorded speech in an absorbing performance. Piano melodies and textures interweave with phone calls between three fictional characters challenging each other to either worry less or do more. We hear from environmental experts, survivors escaping from a wildfire and a glacier melting, eloquent speeches from Greta Thunberg and finally the sound of hope emerging. There is humour and humanity as well as time for reflection.
On selected nights leading climate scientists will also join Sarah for exclusive post-show discussions online, specifically to talk about what we can all do.
See list of speakers below.
“This should be prescribed viewing/watching/listening for anyone even remotely concerned with the welfare of our planet.” Ciaran Ryan, Galway Jazz Festival
Plus, if you would care to listen to a track on Sarah playing her piano, then feel free:
I’m bound to say that I am reasonably hopeful of living another twelve years but, at the same time, reasonably expectant that life could become very interesting indeed!
Deadly Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Pig Ears Dog Treats
October 1, 2020 — The Public Health Agency of Canada is alerting consumers it is investigating a deadly outbreak of Salmonella infections occurring in British Columbia, Alberta, and Yukon.
Based on investigation findings to date, exposure to pig ear dog treats has been identified as a likely source of the outbreak.
Some of the individuals who became sick reported feeding their dog Paws Up!and Western Family brands of pig ear dog treats before their illnesses occurred.
These brands are sold at Canadian Tire and Save-On-Foods.
The outbreak investigation is ongoing and it is possible that additional products may be identified.
On September 29, 2020, the supplying company, Masters Best Friend, voluntarily issued a Notice of Stop Sale for Paws Up! and Western Family brands of pig ear dog treats.
These products were sold nationwide in Canada.
As of September 29, 2020, there are eight confirmed cases of Salmonella typhimurium illness in the following provinces: British Columbia (5), Alberta (2), and Yukon (1).
Individuals became sick between late February and early August 2020. Three individuals have been hospitalized. In addition, one individual has died.
Individuals who became ill are between 7 and 95 years of age. The illnesses are distributed equally among men (50%) and women (50%).
It is possible that more recent illnesses may be reported in the outbreak because there is a period of time between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported to public health officials.
For this outbreak, the illness reporting period is between four and seven weeks.
What to Do?
Given this, do not feed your dog any Paws Up! or Western Family brand pig ear dog treats.
Always wash your hands right after handling dog treats, and ensure that all areas the treats have come in contact with are properly cleaned and sanitized.
This outbreak is a reminder of the importance of safely handling all pet treats, including pig ears and pet food.
These products can be contaminated with bacteria that can make you and others sick if proper handling and cleaning practices are not followed. If contaminated, pet treats and pet food can also make your pets sick. Ill pets can spread bacteria, like Salmonella, to individuals they are in contact with even if they do not show any signs of illness.
Austin Pets Alive! is not your average animal shelter. We pioneer innovative lifesaving programs designed to save the animals most at risk of euthanasia.
They are in Texas.
But back to the article which appeared on the Treehugger website.
This Rescue is Building Tiny Homes for Shelter Dogs
They offer a calm alternative to the chaos of shelter life.
By Mary Jo DiLonardo, October 1st, 2020
The shelter environment can be incredibly overwhelming for any dog. There are strange sights, smells, and sounds, and the presence of unfamiliar animals and people can be constantly changing. Some pets adapt more quickly than others, while some struggle with the frenetic surroundings.
One animal shelter in Texas is building tiny houses as a solution for those anxious dogs that need a calmer place to stay. The non-profit rescue is creating two small cabins on their shelter grounds complete with heating and air conditioning, dog-friendly furniture, and their own private yards. The cabins will also provide workspaces for staff and volunteers.
The tiny homes should be ready for their first guests later this month.
“The idea is to provide more of a home-like environment for the unique population of dogs Austin Pets Alive! cares for as the safety net for shelter animals who need us most — a place for decompression, training, and quality-of-life purposes,” Director of Operations Stephanie Bilbro tells Treehugger. “It seemed like the best opportunity for the investment, and also has the benefit of being a project that can be repeated as many times as we want!”
Having tiny homes for some of the shelter’s canine residents was a long-time dream of the rescue’s executive director, veterinarian Ellen Jefferson. The rescue put together a committee of staff and volunteers in 2019 to assess the facility and see what improvement could be made.
They decided to build the tiny homes “as a way to provide a better quality of life for some of our longest-stay or most behaviorally challenged dogs”, Bilbro says.
The cabins will house one dog at a time and they will remain there for the rest of their stay until they find a foster or adoptive home. The cabins will primarily be used for dogs who are overstimulated by the standard kennel environment.
“Overstimulation can lead not only to higher stress in the animal, but can actually be dangerous for a handler, or other animals, if you have a dog who expresses stress by showing impulsive or aggressive behaviors,” Bilbro says.
“Overstimulation is also a big barrier to successful training or behavior modification, so it can be difficult to make progress with dogs like this in a kennel or shelter environment. The cabins will ideally provide a quiet and low-stimulation place for the dogs to decompress and relax in a way that will help our staff and volunteers get through to them easier.”
The rescue is relying on donations to keep saving lives and trying out innovations like these, Bilbro says. When the pandemic first started, the rescue increased its intakes so smaller and more rural shelters that were temporarily closing wouldn’t have to euthanize animals.
The first dogs should be moving into their tiny houses soon. And maybe they won’t be staying long.
“We also hope that the ‘home-like’ environment of the cabins will help us learn a little more about how a dog would act in a home, which could tell us more about what kind of foster or adopter they need for our matchmakers to match them with their forever families,” Bilbro says.
“Would they be calm or anxious, would they be destructive or tidy, are they possibly housetrained, will they let people come into their space without conflict? These are things we would hope to learn from a foster home but without needing to find a foster who is willing to take on a challenging dog, or a dog we don’t know a lot about.”
I have nothing to do with neither Treehugger nor Austin Pets Alive.
However, I was so impressed with the way they operated that we made a very small donation. So, if there’s anybody else out there who can afford some money then this is the link to donate.
I just donated to Austin Pets Alive!, an organization that serves the animals most at-risk through innovative programs that address the animals’ needs. I’m proud to support a mission that believes that animal shelters should do just that – provide every animal the chance to find their forever home!
“Provide every animal the chance to find their forever home.“
It doesn’t get any better for our lovely dogs than that.
Study helps deepen understanding about how breeds are formed.
By Mary Jo DiLonardo
Published September 22, 2020
The Australian creator of the Labradoodle was trying to find the perfect guide dog for a blind woman whose husband was allergic to dog hair. He tried about a dozen poodles before breeding a poodle with a Labrador retriever. The resulting Australian Labradoodles became incredibly popular as a mix of two well-liked breeds.
But a new study finds that the breed that developed from that popular cross isn’t an even split of both breeds – it is primarily poodle.
Australian Labradoodles have been around for several decades and have been bred to each other and tinkered with since then. By contrast, many Labradoodles that are found in the U.S. are first-generation mixes of one Labrador and one poodle. These dogs were used as the control dogs in the study, researcher Elaine Ostrander, geneticist at the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health, tells Treehugger.
“We were interested in taking a genomic snapshot of a breed in the making—the Australian Labradoodle. The breed has only been around since the 1980s as opposed to the many breeds we see at the dog park which have been around since Victorian times and were created in Western Europe,” she says.
The Australian Labradoodle has gone through several generations, with careful and thoughtful addition of Labradors and poodles added, reflecting what breeders and owners want. We wanted to see if genomics could be used to tell what was happening to the genome of these dogs as they evolved into a breed.
The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), an international federation of many national kennel clubs, recognizes about 350 dog breeds. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes 195 breeds. The Labradoodle is not an official breed.
“We were also curious to see if the breed met the statistical definition of a breed. There are many measures in terms of genomic diversity and ability to ‘breed true’ that are taken into account when determining when a dog population is really a ‘breed’ at the genetic level,” Ostrander says.
Many of these breeds have been created through intense breeding programs focused on enhancing specific traits. When designer breeds are created, the genetic diversity is limited because there are a small number of animals being bred together. This often leads to a high incidence of disease and other problems. Lots of Poodle DNA
For the study, researchers analyzed genetic data from Australian Labradoodles, Labrador retrievers, poodles, and a number of other breeds. The results were published in PLOS Genetics.
Ostrander says they were somewhat surprised at what they found.
“First, the Australian Labradoodle meets the definition of a breed at the statistical level. Those arguing for it to have breed status with various registries have a good argument,” she says. “What we didn’t expect was the degree to which today’s Australian Labradoodle has such a large component of its genome from the poodle. While the breed started as a 50-50 mix, it is clear that poodle traits are highly valued and many more poodles than Labradors have been added to the breed at strategic points.”
That’s likely because poodles have a reputation for being hypoallergenic, she points out, and elicit a lower allergic reaction than many other dog breeds in people with allergies or asthma.
“Owners buy Labradoodles for many reasons including their trainability, family friendly traits, and, importantly, they want a dog that won’t make them sneeze or otherwise respond,” she says. “Interestingly, the Labrador is very much present in every Australian Labradoodle we tested. Likely people are seeking the family-friendly traits of the Labrador and breeders work hard to retain that as well.”
Labradoodles weren’t the first doodle dogs and definitely are not the last. The first poodle mixes were likely Cockapoos because Cocker spaniels and poodles were two of the most popular dog breeds in the U.S. in the 1940s. Today, you’ll find schnoodles (schnauzers), sheepadoodles (Old English sheepdog), and whoodles (soft-coated wheaten terrier). Poodles have been mixed with beagles, pugs, Australian shepherds, corgis, and even Saint Bernards.
The lore behind Australian Labradoodles is that English and American Cocker spaniels were mixed in with the breed early on.
“We did find some minor evidence for the addition of other breeds in some lineages of Australian Labradoodle. Likely this represents the historical relationship of those breeds with the poodle or Labrador more than anything else,” Ostrander says. “We did not see that in every lineage we looked at and where we did see it, the addition was very small and, likely, many generations ago.”
The findings are helpful, the researchers point out, because it shows how quickly genetics can be changed by thoughtful breeding.
“Imagine a breed has a significant risk for a disease. Careful breeding can reduce the incidence of those deleterious variants in just a few generations,” Ostrander says. “This is incredibly important to breeders who have taken very seriously the criticism they have received over the years regarding how established breeds are less healthy than mixes. We all want our dogs to be healthy, regardless of what breed they are.”
This deserves a very careful read and, to those really interested in the subject, perhaps this will serve as an incentive to do more research. There are links in the article to the FCI and AKC.
And I will finish with the closing statement by Elaine Ostrander: “We all want our dogs to be healthy, regardless of what breed they are.“
Throwing a party for 12 dogs can get pretty wild, but the pups at Lending Paws Pet Care are the goodest boys and girls you’ll ever meet.
Whenever a dog at the doggy day care has a birthday, Aubrey Thweatt makes sure they get a special party with all their best friends. The celebration includes goodies, party hats and cute photos to commemorate the day.
“I started doing birthday pics and goodies with my own dogs and so when one of my client’s pups would have a birthday … they would send goodies for the group,” Thweatt, owner of Lending Paws Pet Care, told The Dodo. “It just sort of evolved from there.”
And when it comes to posing for the birthday party photo, these dogs are pros. They don’t even mind wearing a party hat.
When a gray pittie named Rosemary celebrated her 4th birthday, Thweatt snapped a photo, never expecting it to go viral. But after one of the dog owners posted it on Twitter, people couldn’t get over the dogs’ unique expressions and expert sitting skills.
“They have been coming for years. We do group pictures daily so they are used to it,” Thweatt said. “We do ‘sit and stay’ for everything.”
“We have lots of fun and they literally know the phrase ‘picture time!’” Thweatt added. “They will all run in the direction I’m walking to get to a spot to sit.”
While at doggy day care, the pups have the run of the house. They can play in the backyard, or relax and recharge during naptime, and always get plenty of praise and treats. After spending so many years together, the pups are all best friends and look forward to spending the day with Thweatt.
“Everything I do is for them,” Thweatt said. “They have the entire house and I am just here to constantly clean up after them and make sure they have lots of playtime and socializing!”
Aubrey Thweatt knows perfectly how her dogs are to be treated. That is they are loved for being the animals that they are. Dogs are smart. They know their own names. They have a sense of smell that is literally millions of times better than ours. They are very observant of our behaviours.
And this is the result. Dogs that may be photographed in a group perfectly.