Our very noisy world

Especially for our dogs at times.

First of all, I owe a number of people who have sent me guest posts a big apology. I have been very lax in publishing them in this place. Frankly, I don’t know where the time goes and on top of that I seem to get so easily distracted by stuff!

Then I go and publish a wonderful guest post that has come in after some of the other great posts that have been sent to me.

As is the case with this very interesting guest essay sent to me by Jenny Nolan.

Trust you will forgive me!


How to Introduce Your Dog to Noisy and Crowded Environments

by Jenny Nolan.

Over the course of their lifetime, dogs whether they ultimately like it or not will have to experience busy and potentially noisy environments they may not always feel comfortable in.

Just like us, our pets sometimes have to brave situations or scenarios they would prefer to avoid but when it comes to introducing your dog to busy and noisy surroundings you can do so in such a way that can help even the most anxious of pets.

Although in day to day life it is straightforward enough to keep your dog in environments they feel settled within, sometimes this isn’t always the case and you need to take your dog with you when visiting public places that can be crowded and sometimes overbearing. Some common examples include visits to your groomers and even the vets. These environments also have the added disadvantage of potentially unnerving your dog’s in other ways particularly if they are uncomfortable being handled by strangers.

Introducing your dog to crowded and loud environments covers two key aspects of teaching your dog about the world around them.

These two areas of your dog’s development are known as socialization, which is concerned with how they learn to interact with other animals and humans they come into contact with and habituation, how they learn about new environments and ultimately how they behave in certain situations.

Lack of development in these two main areas can lead to behavioral difficulties stemming from a number of issues, perhaps because your pet is threatened by other dogs or feels anxious around large crowds. Fear of loud noises can also lead to your dog developing phobias, which is why proper training needs to be carried out particularly when introducing your pet to new places and new people.

As a dog owner, you want to do all you can to prevent your pet from worrying too much and hopefully aiming to raise a friendly and sociable pooch should be the goal for all of us. Luckily there are a number of ways to ensure your pet is comfortable in new surroundings and ideally, you should begin training while your dog is still a puppy.

The reason for this is because from the age of 6 – 12 weeks your puppy will be extremely receptive to socialization and habituation, meaning you can put a lot of the groundwork in at this time and reap the rewards later. However even if your pet is older than this you don’t have to worry, you can still train them in the same way.

To do this you should make the process as natural as possible to ensure you raise a well-rounded pet. One way to do this is to look to introduce your dog to as many different situations as possible, by doing so you will help them to feel comfortable whatever their surroundings may be.

Although this may all sound straightforward there are a number of points to bear in mind to ensure you introduce your pet to new environments in the correct way. Below we have broken down three main tips you can follow, using our experience of coming in contact with literally hundreds of dogs a week, some nervous, some boisterous, who when confronted with new surroundings, loud noises, and left without their owners all react in very different ways.

We hope these tips cover two main areas of raising a dog: training, and grooming. Both of these can seem daunting to new pet owners but it is important to take both aspects of dog parenting one step at a time. To help with this there are a number of great dog training books out there while sometimes it is important to remember not only what we can teach them but also what we can learn from our dogs.

So without further ado here are three key tips when familiarizing your dog with new and potentially busy surroundings:

Don’t rush or apply pressure – this should be the basis for all dog training so is worth repeating here. It is important you don’t rush your pet into any experience they aren’t comfortable with.

As pet groomers, this also applies to a situation we see most often. Although it isn’t anyone’s fault we often encounter owners bringing their pet in to be groomed who just aren’t used to new environments and are visibly nervous.

The last thing this dog wants is to be left with a complete stranger which is why we often suggest for dogs we are grooming for the first time to be brought in quickly before they are scheduled in to be groomed to meet us and get used to the saloon. On this trip they are not left alone, instead stay with their owner for five minutes or so in a new environment and then head home again. By not rushing you can be sure your pet is completely comfortable in new surroundings.

Repetition – Now although in some ways this point may contradict what we have explained above we still think it is vitally important. By reintroducing your pet to experiences and environments they are not overly keen on you avoid phobias and deep-rooted fears by showing your pet they have nothing to be afraid of.

Take our example from earlier with the nervous dog left with us at the saloon to be groomed for the first time. Now upon arrival to pick their pet up the owner may become unnerved themselves at just how anxious their pet has become while they weren’t there. An overprotective owner may jump to the conclusion that their dog just doesn’t like being groomed by others or visit places they aren’t familiar with.

This could lead them to begin home grooming their dog and only letting them interact with other humans and dogs at home. This would actually be a step back in the dog’s development and it is advisable to continue to expose your pet to situations they aren’t so comfortable with slowly, in the case of crowds this can be from afar at first and then edging closer as your pet relaxes.

Encourage others to interact with your pet – Once you have eased your dog into becoming comfortable in crowds with distractions and unfamiliar sounds at every turn it is also important to encourage others to interact with your dog if they’re happy to do so. This continues the socialization phase of your dog’s development and can further help ease any fears they may have of the unknown and strangers in particular.

This can be even more beneficial if you have a nervous or anxious dog. When this is the case, others may be hesitant to pet or say hello to your furry friend. As already mentioned, if people avoid your dog, for this reason, this may perpetuate the problem in your dog’s mind, leading to deep-rooted fears and phobias.

This is a fairly easy step to follow and you can start slowly by introducing your dog to one stranger every time you take them for a walk. By doing so your pet will come into contact with tens and eventually hundreds of unfamiliar faces and begin to ease the worries they may once have had. Obviously, some passers-by may not be pet lovers like you and I but if they are also walking their own dog it is fairly common they will be happy to chat and say hello.

As the above step outlined if you repeat this process so your dog meets many new people one by one they will be far more comfortable in crowded environments that may have once unnerved them.

So there you have a real quick roundup of what we hope are three super easy tips to follow in order to ease your dog into unfamiliar social situations. The three tips complement each other well so can be combined to be even more effective than if they are used exclusively on their own.

We hope by following them your dog will become a far more sociable and calm animal and in no time you won’t have to encourage others to interact with your pet as they will be making the first move to say hello themselves.


Wasn’t that valuable advice!

I will try and focus over the coming days of presenting more guest posts from other authors.

Picture Parade Two Hundred and Twenty-Nine

Yet more incredible photographs.

Will simply repeat what I wrote last Sunday:

But these are not from Tanja but from Graham; an online friend back in England. When I queried about republishing them here Graham simply said that they came to him when he was just “doing the rounds”.  So, hopefully, publishing them in this place is not trampling on the photographer’s copyrights. If this does represent a copyright infringement then the particular photograph will be removed immediately – just let me know!








You all have a very good week!

Once again, thank you Graham for sending these to me.

Who would have guessed it!

A little snippet to share with you today.

Last Thursday, together with Jeannie, I returned to the hospital in Eugene, OR, that I was taken to on December 24th after my bike accident on the 22nd November; all of which has been shared with you good people.

Dr. Kokkino of the Oregon Neurosurgery department, he who undertook the operation to evacuate two sub-dural bleedings, wanted to check me out.

He pronounced me fit to return to normal life including bike riding. But when I queried that I was still feeling a little “second-hand” in the head from time to time Dr. K. said this:

Your brain took a major knock back in November.

It would be reasonable to assume that full healing will take at least three months and quite possibly as long as six months!

Of course, that was very comforting to hear but nonetheless very surprising. That’s what I wanted to share.

Yesterday morning, dear friend and neighbour Dordie came riding with me and we did the ‘Tunnel Loop’ circuit; about six miles.

It felt very good.

So from this:

to this (me on the bike when I first purchased it!):

Will close by saying again how amazed I was to hear that prediction from Dr. K. as to how long the brain takes to heal!

I’m sure many of you will be equally amazed!

Have a good weekend everyone!

More on that clean air!

A republication of a post from August 25th, 2012.
(It seemed a natural follow-on to Kelli’s guest post of yesterday.)
Just about the most fundamental requirement in life!

I subscribe to the Mother Nature Network website and recently in their ’round robin’ was this item, A Breath of Fresh Air.  It’s all about the role of plants inside the home for improving the quality of the air we breathe.  Thought, dear reader, that you would enjoy this.

15 houseplants for improving indoor air quality

Photo: ivama/Flickr

A breath of fresh air

In the late ’80s, NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America studied houseplants as a way to purify the air in space facilities. They found several plants that filter out common volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Lucky for us the plants can also help clean indoor air on Earth, which is typically far more polluted than outdoor air. Other studies have since been published in the Journal of American Society of Horticultural Science furtherproving the science.  Want to see the best flowers? Just click through the buttons above to see all 15 plants. (Text: Julie Knapp)<

The image above is just one of 17, each with details of how they contribute to cleaner, less toxic, air. So don’t delay, click here and read all about them yourself.  Here’s an example of the presentation from picture number 16.

Peace lily (Spathiphyllum)

Shade and weekly watering are all the peace lily needs to survive and produce blooms. It topped NASA’s list for removing all three of most common VOCs — formaldehyde, benzeneand trichloroethylene. It can also combat toluene and xylene.

Have a great day!

Back to clean air!

Or more specifically the cleansing power of indoor plants.

Back in 2012, I published a post called Clean, clean air. I am going to republish it tomorrow because Kelli sent me an email setting out that over on her blog site she has a much more comprehensive list of plants that purify the air.

Her blog site is Groom & Style and the long list of air-purifying plants that Kelli wrote about may be  see here: 12 Air Purifying Plants That Will Clean Your Air. Here is how Kelli’s post opens:

12 Air Purifying Plants That Will Clean Your Air

We need fresh air to live a healthy and full life, but it’s fast becoming a luxury. Residents of many major cities around the world are plagued with smog and poisonous gases from motor vehicles, fossil fuel based power plants, and factories.

The good news is there is a simple solution you can use at home to make your air much cleaner. While air purifiers might help, air purifying plants are a great and natural way to clean your home’s air supply. In this article, you’ll learn more about air pollution, its dangers, and how to choose the best air purifying plants for your home.

Anyway, if you wish to read more then go here and, as I mentioned above, my post of August, 2012 will be republished tomorrow.

Food for Thought! A Fascinating Documentary!

Looking again into diet and nutrition.

While this post doesn’t specifically look at what we feed our dogs, there’s no question in my mind that good nutrition is just as important for our dogs as it is for ourselves.

Moving on!

You will know that quite a few of my recent posts have been on the back of me being made aware of how a strict diet plus taking many vitamins and supplements had had the effect of putting Colin Potter’s Parkinson’s Disease (PD) into remission.  All of which was summarised in an post last week called Food Truly Does Matter.

But then a good friend who lives locally, and has a solid medical background, spoke to me and said what you are writing can’t possibly be correct because if diet and supplements really did put PD patients into remission then “everyone would be doing it“. It was difficult to argue that.

So I thought the best people to call would be the American Parkinson Disease Association. I was put through to the director of the North-West Chapter of the APDA, located in Seattle, WA., and she agreed that there was no magic bullet in terms of diet and PD remission.

But the director went on to say that diet and lifestyle were nonetheless incredibly important and that there was no question that the correct decisions in terms of lifestyle were vital for anyone with PD; whatever the stage of the disease .

Dr. Laurie Mischley

The director also went on to say that without a doubt we should make contact with Seattle Integrative Medicine also, as the title suggests, in Seattle.

In particular, make contact with Dr. Laurie Mischley for the director said that Dr. Mischley’s clinical speciality is Parkinson’s Disease.

Plus we were advised to watch a talk that Dr. Mischley gave in British Columbia towards the end of 2016.

The talk is 49 minutes long and should be watched by everyone!


Because in the talk there is much evidence, as in factual evidence, that shows the link between our lifestyle choices and what helps or hinders those with PD.

But even more critical to my way of thinking is that the evidence presented in the talk offers solid reasons why all of us as we approach middle-age and beyond should be careful about what we eat.

Food for Thought: Diet & Nutrition in PD – Dr. Laurie Mischley, ND, PhD, MPH from Parkinson Society BC on Vimeo.

This is a recorded presentation from Parkinson Society British Columbia’s Victoria Regional Conference featuring Laurie Mischley. Dr. Mischley studied naturopathic medicine (ND) at Bastyr University and epidemiology (MPH) and nutritional sciences (PhD) at the University of Washington. Her work is focused on identifying the nutritional requirements unique to individuals with neurodegenerative diseases. She has published articles on coenzyme Q10, lithium and glutathione deficiency in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Dr. Mischley maintains a small clinical practice at Seattle Integrative Medicine focused on nutrition and neurological health.

So, my dear reader, here is a little plea from Paul.

Whether or not you have PD, watch the talk and have all the people you love and care for watch it as well.

Oh, and give your dog a cuddle from Jean and me!

Please understand that I do not offer advice and nothing on any website, including the blog site Learning from Dogs, email or any other communication is intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure any disease. It is not a substitute for consulting your doctor. You should consult a doctor for diagnosis of conditions, before beginning any diet, exercise or supplementation or if you suspect you have any healh issue. You should not stop medication without consulting your doctor.

Picture Parade Two Hundred and Twenty-Eight

More incredible photographs.

But these are not from Tanja but from Graham; an online friend back in England. When I queried about republishing them here Graham simply said that they came to him when he was just “doing the rounds”.  So, hopefully, publishing them in this place is not trampling on the photographer’s copyrights. If this does represent a copyright infringement then the particular photograph will be removed immediately – just let me know!








Stunning! Hopefully more of these photographs in a week’s time. Thanks Graham!

Saturday Smile

This was too good not to publish without delay!

It was sent to me by Suzann yesterday.


Senior Shoplifter…

A cranky older woman “in her senior years” was arrested for shoplifting at a grocery store. She gave everyone a hard time, from the store manager to the security guard to the arresting officer who took her away. She complained and criticized everything and everyone throughout the process.

When she appeared before the judge, the judge asked her what she had stolen from the store.

The lady defiantly replied, “Just a stupid can of peaches you old fool.”

The judge then asked why she had done it.

She replied, “I was hungry and forgot to bring any cash to the store.”

The judge asked how many peaches were in the can.

She replied in a nasty tone, “Nine! But why do you care about that?”

The judge answered patiently, “Well, ma’am, because I’m going to give you nine days in jail — one day for each peach.”

As the judge was about to drop his gavel, the lady’s long-suffering husband raised his hand slowly and asked if he might speak.

Continue reading “Saturday Smile”

Nutrition for dogs

Good food matters just as much for our dogs!

In yesterday’s post I mentioned that Justina had sent me a couple of links in response to me wondering if there was good nutritional advice for dogs as well as there clearly was for us!

Here are those two articles that Justina sent me links to.

Namely, the first being an article that is on Dr. Patrick Mahaney’s website.

Specifically:  Feeding Your Pet from the Perspective of Chinese Medicine

That article opens thus:

This article originally appeared as Using Warming, Cooling, or Neutral Food Energy to Promote Your Pet’s Health and Nutrition on PetFoodDirect.com

Since the onset of my veterinary career, I’ve had a strong interest in how the foods our pets consume contribute to an overall state of wellness or illness. Learning how to apply this interest to my patients took many years of post-veterinary school practice, continuing education, and an ongoing belief in the inherent nutritional benefits of whole foods.

During veterinary school, students’ brains are heavily saturated with a variety of academic information. As graduation date nears, a general sense of insecurity develops about making the appropriate professional choices to best serve our patients. As a result, common sense notions about the value of looking more discerningly at the ingredients formulating a pet’s diet are often overlooked.

You may read the full article here.

The second one is on the DogVills site.

Again, specifically about the role of Chinese Medicine as part of dog food therapy.

Chinese Medicine Meets Dog Food Therapy: What You Need to Know

You may have heard of Chinese medicine for people, but did you know that it can also be used for dogs? In fact, Chinese medicine has an entire approach to dog food therapy that is quite intriguing. Let’s talk a bit about it so you can decide if it’s right for your dog.

Chinese medicine is often referenced when anyone talks about holistic approaches to healthcare. It seems that it has a treatment for almost everything, and often those treatments work. Something I learned recently is that traditional Chinese medicine extends to dogs, and many people use hot, cold, and neutral foods to help their dogs feel better.

I am going to explore getting permission to republish both articles in full.

Food truly does matter!

The power of connections!

(Post alert! This is a longish post so if you are interested in diet, nutrition and health and are short on time just now then bookmark it for a better time for you. For I am of the opinion that this post will be of great value to you and many others!)

Regular readers of this place (you poor people!!) will be aware that via a series of lucky chances, or the fickle finger of fate as I like to call it, not being a religious person, I made contact with Justina, a London-based nutritionist, following contacting Colin Potter.

I wrote about that connection in more detail in my post The Power of Good Food that was published on the 16th January. Here’s a snippet from that post:

Richard lives with his good lady, Julie, in Minety, a village in North Wiltshire. He and I go back many, many years and we have been close friends from the day that we first met. Richard was diagnosed with early-stage Parkinson’s Disease (PD) the same year and month as my Jeannie: December, 2015.

Last New Year’s Eve Richard and Julie were at a local party and the subject of PD came up. Richard subsequently told me that he was speaking to a fellow party guest who said that he was, in turn, an acquaintance of a Colin Potter. He went to add that Colin had also been diagnosed with PD but had decided not to ‘give in’ to the diagnosis but undertake comprehensive research into the causes and whether it was possible to go into remission. He later launched a website Fight Parkinsons.

We then reached out to Colin and very quickly subscribed to his Fight-Parkinson’s site. Colin’s message was that it was all about diet! Here’s that message in a short video from Colin.

That, in turn, resulted in both Jean and me adding to our already reasonably healthy diet a significant number of additional vitamins and supplements; the reasons for which will be spelt out later on. Plus more fruit, eggs, cheese but most definitely coming off all grains, sugar, carbohydrate and processed foods. Or in Colin’s words:

The right diet
This is the high fat/ low carb diet which is covered in the Fight-Parkinsons Recovery Eating Plan on my website.

I follow a diet that excludes all grains, sugar, carbohydrate and processed foods, and is rich in fats and cholesterol-laden foods. So, in addition to organic vegetables, I eat plenty of eggs, butter, dairy (full fat), fish and a little meat.

This raises the question of cholesterol and the so-called link to heart disease. THIS ARTICLE should lay this misguided information to rest and inform you of the fraud that has been practised upon us over the past 60 years (the same period during which chronic disease, in all its forms, has rocketed).

I consume foods rich in antioxidants and avoid inflammatory foods.

It is vital that we get the required minerals, vitamins and amino acids on a daily basis, and THIS VIDEO of an interview with Dr Joel Wallach explains why.
I have taken numerous supplements over the past few years, often leading to me taking a small mountain of capsules each day.

So, to underline that “small mountain” phrase here is a photograph of what Jeannie and yours truly are now taking by way of vitamins and supplements.

Plus, all the other organic fruit and vegetables and nutrients.

Returning to Justina.

She has been very helpful in bringing us up to speed on the efficacy of the the required minerals, vitamins and amino acids we need on a daily basis. Or to put it more specifically on the efficacy of the products that one can purchase from Youngevity. She said that the Wellness 90 Pak was effective albeit one had to commit to taking it for a period of at least 90 days (hence the name) as the body required that time to ‘adjust’ if that’s the correct term.  Here’s a description of the purpose of that ‘Wellness Pak’ from their website.

The Wellness 90 Pak™ delivers the nutritional support needed for individuals following the Wellness 90 Program. This program focuses on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, olive oil, and other healthy options, that helps improve your overall nutrition. This Pak™ includes: (1) TMR Total Meal Replacement-Vanilla canister, (1) Slender FX™ Sweet EZE™, (1) TrueDetox Tea™ box (30 packets), and (1) Slender FX™ Rev™ bottle. See individual products for details.

Justina then mentioned about the online food resource site known as Food Matters TV (FMTV). Not a site we had come across before but, again, once we signed up to the site, a subscription site, we were blown away by what was available.  Especially a documentary called Food Matters. Here’s the trailer to that documentary (that has been viewed nearly 1.8 million times!).

As Justina pointed out the documentary expresses the same critically important message as Dr. Joel Wallach is promoting: We Are What We Eat! But there is no connection between the two.

The bottom line is that Jean and I are going to add the Wellness 90 Pak to our diets for the next 90 days and you can be sure that how it goes will be reported here.

What about our dear, dear dogs?

I asked Justina the question knowing that I would be writing and publishing this post and this is what she said:

I don’t have dogs, but my friend has two golden retrievers and one of them didn’t or couldn’t lift his tail.

She went to see conventional vet and they said he needed a surgery that costs thousands and there’s still possibility of him being paralyzed. So she found holistic vet and wanted to get their opinion.

She was really impressed as they made a special food plan for him and after 3 month he lifts his tale half way! In  Chinese medicine he was called a ‘hot dog’ and needed certain nutrients daily for his condition and that was natural just majority raw food that humans eat too!

More on good food for dogs coming along tomorrow.

Hope this was interesting to you!

Finally, please understand that I do not offer advice and nothing on any website, including the blog site Learning from Dogs, email or any other communication is intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure any disease. It is not a substitute for consulting your doctor. You should consult a doctor for diagnosis of conditions, before beginning any diet, exercise or supplementation or if you suspect you have any health issue. You should not stop medication without consulting your doctor.