Tag: Australia

The love for a dog and its rewards

What a hero!

Time after time we read about the special bond between humans and dogs. And unlike us humans dogs seem to completely forget times in their past when they were treated cruelly.

Take this story of a dog that was an absolute hero.

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Dog Spots A Boy Being Swept Out To Sea And Rushes To Help Him

By Lily Feinn Published on 22nd March, 2021

Max was never trained to be a hero, but when the moment called for it, the Staffordshire terrier/bulldog mix answered the call.

Before Jamie and Rob Osborn adopted Max, he was a neglected pup. He lived mostly outside and was never taken out for walks. But the love of his new parents quickly changed the wary dog.

FACEBOOK/ROBERT OSBORN

“When we got him, he was a bit antisocial,” Jamie Osborn told The Dodo. “If we were patting him too much, he’d get up and walk away. These days, Max is a completely different dog. He’s always happy! He’s really loving and gives us lots of love and affection.”

Max now lives inside as part of the family in Port Noarlunga, Australia. He loves sleeping in bed with his 11-year-old brother, Nev, and — most of all — splashing around in the water.

In the summer, Max spends most of his time at the beach with his family. “We have kayaks and he likes to swim along with us as we paddle, so we got him a life jacket so he wouldn’t get too worn out,” Osborn said. “Rob likes to surf and snorkel, so Max can often be seen at the beach hanging with the surfers waiting for a wave.”In January, Max was enjoying a quiet day at the beach with his dad and brother when something went wrong. A young boy got caught in the current and started to panic. Instead of swimming parallel to the shore to escape the current, he tried to swim against the current and quickly got stuck. Rob spotted the boy and called out to Max for help.

FACEBOOK/JAMIE OSBORN

“Max was just swimming around, wearing his life jacket, having a great time when the young boy got into trouble,” Osborn said. “Rob had the boy call Max over. Max was just doing what he loves best — swimming.”
Max obediently swam over to the struggling boy and let him grab ahold of his life jacket. The pup fought the current and towed him back to the safety of the beach.

Later, Max acted as lifeguard yet again. “One of Nev’s friends also found it a bit tough, so he went back and got her, too,” Osborn wrote on Facebook.

Max was declared a hero — but he doesn’t know it. All he knows is that he’s getting a lot more pets and treats, and is happier than ever.

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Isn’t this a terrific story! Max is a real star and hero. But then so are many, many other dogs. All they need is love from us humans and then they bond with us for life.

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 most common human infrastructure.

Is the fence!

I saw this article yesterday on The Conversation and thought it was very significant and, as a result, worthy of sharing with you.

But first a picture of the Australian dingo.

By Henry Whitehead – Original photograph, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Taken from an article on WikiPedia.

Here is that article from The Conversation.

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Fences have big effects on land and wildlife around the world that are rarely measured

November 30, 2020

By , Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California Santa Barbara,

and

, Ph.D. Candidate in Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley,

and

, PhD Candidate in Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley.

What is the most common form of human infrastructure in the world? It may well be the fence. Recent estimates suggest that the total length of all fencing around the globe is 10 times greater than the total length of roads. If our planet’s fences were stretched end to end, they would likely bridge the distance from Earth to the Sun multiple times.

On every continent, from cities to rural areas and from ancient to modern times, humans have built fences. But we know almost nothing about their ecological effects. Border fences are often in the news, but other fences are so ubiquitous that they disappear into the landscape, becoming scenery rather than subject.

In a recently published study, our team sought to change this situation by offering a set of findings, frameworks and questions that can form the basis of a new discipline: fence ecology. By compiling studies from ecosystems around the world, our research shows that fences produce a complex range of ecological effects.

Some of them influence small-scale processes like the building of spider webs. Others have much broader effects, such as hastening the collapse of Kenya’s Mara ecosystem. Our findings reveal a world that has been utterly reorganized by a rapidly growing latticework of fences.

Connecting the dots

If fences seem like an odd thing for ecologists to study, consider that until recently no one thought much about how roads affected the places around them. Then, in a burst of research in the 1990s, scientists showed that roads – which also have been part of human civilization for millennia – had narrow footprints but produced enormous environmental effects.

For example, roads can destroy or fragment habitats that wild species rely on to survive. They also can promote air and water pollution and vehicle collisions with wildlife. This work generated a new scientific discipline, road ecology, that offers unique insights into the startling extent of humanity’s reach.

Our research team became interested in fences by watching animals. In California, Kenya, China and Mongolia, we had all observed animals behaving oddly around fences – gazelles taking long detours around them, for example, or predators following “highways” along fence lines.

We reviewed a large body of academic literature looking for explanations. There were many studies of individual species, but each of them told us only a little on its own. Research had not yet connected the dots between many disparate findings. By linking all these studies together, we uncovered important new discoveries about our fenced world.

Early advertisement for barbed wire fencing, 1880-1889. The advent of barbed wire dramatically changed ranching and land use in the American West by ending the open range system. Kansas Historical Society, CC BY-ND

Remaking ecosystems

Perhaps the most striking pattern we found was that fences rarely are unambiguously good or bad for an ecosystem. Instead, they have myriad ecological effects that produce winners and losers, helping to dictate the rules of the ecosystems where they occur.

Even “good” fences that are designed to protect threatened species or restore sensitive habitats can still fragment and isolate ecosystems. For example, fences constructed in Botswana to prevent disease transmission between wildlife and livestock have stopped migrating wildebeests in their tracks, producing haunting images of injured and dead animals strewn along fencelines.

Enclosing an area to protect one species may injure or kill others, or create entry pathways for invasive species.

One finding that we believe is critical is that for every winner, fences typically produce multiple losers. As a result, they can create ecological “no man’s lands” where only species and ecosystems with a narrow range of traits can survive and thrive.

Altering regions and continents

Examples from around the world demonstrate fences’ powerful and often unintended consequences. The U.S.-Mexico border wall – most of which fits our definition of a fence – has genetically isolated populations of large mammals such as bighorn sheep, leading to population declines and genetic isolation. It has even had surprising effects on birds, like ferruginous pygmy owls, that fly low to the ground.

Australia’s dingo fences, built to protect livestock from the nation’s iconic canines, are among the world’s longest man-made structures, stretching thousands of kilometers each. These fences have started ecological chain reactions called trophic cascades that have affected an entire continent’s ecology.

The absence of dingoes, a top predator, from one side of the fence means that populations of prey species like kangaroos can explode, causing categorical shifts in plant composition and even depleting the soil of nutrients. On either side of the fence there now are two distinct “ecological universes.”

Our review shows that fences affect ecosystems at every scale, leading to cascades of change that may, in the worst cases, culminate in what some conservation biologists have described as total “ecological meltdown.” But this peril often is overlooked.

The authors assembled a conservative data set of potential fence lines across the U.S. West. They calculated the nearest distance to any given fence to be less than 31 miles (50 kilometers), with a mean of about 2 miles (3.1 kilometers). McInturff et al,. 2020, CC BY-ND

To demonstrate this point, we looked more closely at the western U.S., which is known for huge open spaces but also is the homeland of barbed wire fencing. Our analysis shows that vast areas viewed by researchers as relatively untrodden by the human footprint are silently entangled in dense networks of fences.

Do less harm

Fences clearly are here to stay. As fence ecology develops into a discipline, its practitioners should consider the complex roles fences play in human social, economic and political systems. Even now, however, there is enough evidence to identify actions that could reduce their harmful impacts.

There are many ways to change fence design and construction without affecting their functionality. For example, in Wyoming and Montana, federal land managers have experimented with wildlife-friendly designs that allow species like pronghorn antelope to pass through fences with fewer obstacles and injuries. This kind of modification shows great promise for wildlife and may produce broader ecological benefits.

Another option is aligning fences along natural ecological boundaries, like watercourses or topographical features. This approach can help minimize their effects on ecosystems at low cost. And land agencies or nonprofit organizations could offer incentives for land owners to remove fences that are derelict and no longer serve a purpose.

Nonetheless, once a fence is built its effects are long lasting. Even after removal, “ghost fences” can live on, with species continuing to behave as if a fence were still present for generations.

Knowing this, we believe that policymakers and landowners should be more cautious about installing fences in the first place. Instead of considering only a fence’s short-term purpose and the landscape nearby, we would like to see people view a new fence as yet another permanent link in a chain encircling the planet many times over.

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This is something that I hadn’t hitherto thought about. I suspect that I am not alone.

There are many aspects of the fence that warrant more careful thought. I will close by repeating what was said just a few paragraphs above:

There are many ways to change fence design and construction without affecting their functionality. For example, in Wyoming and Montana, federal land managers have experimented with wildlife-friendly designs that allow species like pronghorn antelope to pass through fences with fewer obstacles and injuries. This kind of modification shows great promise for wildlife and may produce broader ecological benefits.

Another option is aligning fences along natural ecological boundaries, like watercourses or topographical features. This approach can help minimize their effects on ecosystems at low cost. And land agencies or nonprofit organizations could offer incentives for land owners to remove fences that are derelict and no longer serve a purpose.

We are never too old to learn!

 

Friendships across the miles!

A chance encounter online!

I was browsing the photographic forum Ugly Hedgehog the other day and saying thank you to some people who had said kind things about a few photographs I had shared. One person who had left a comment put in his signature block that he came from Adelaide, Australia. Part of my thank you was to inquire how things were in Adelaide.

Well blow me down when that person, Ron, came back to me and we then transferred to email and shared our backgrounds.

This is what Ron said in his first email:

Hi Paul,
You have had an interesting life over the years…
Love the Shepherd, we had one after we first got married..
Broke my heart so badly when he went I could never have another one.
I still think about him after all the years.
I retired at 55 years of age as I was with the government; I was a mechanical engineer with CSIRO designing new welding technologies along with many other projects over the years.
Sadly not the way I wanted to retire as my spinal injuries made it impossible to do the things I wanted to.
One of my biggest disappointments was having to give up my archery.
I’ve been doing photography for many and it has been a god send as it’s something I can still do.
We moved into a Lifestyle Village ( semi retirement) six and a half years ago as I was unable to look after the old house any more so I thought I’d let someone else worry about that..LOL
We try to get over to Sydney and Melbourne every year for a week or so but this year we missed out due to you know what.
Well, off to the shops now,
Cheers,
Ron.

And when I asked about the spinal injury, Ron added:

Hi Paul,
Hopefully you had no damage from your storm…
My spine, mostly my cervical spine, was damaged about 50 years ago in car stupidity.
I refuse to call it an accident.
I was sitting at a red light and a guy ran into my rear doing about 80-90 kilometers an hour without touching his brakes.
He was actually looking out of his side window!!
Over the years, and several operations and ongoing treatments, the pain got worse.
I’m now in pain all day every day.
At least the plates and screws keep things together.
Lorraine (wife) is my carer and when I get really bad, she gives me an injection of morphine mixed with some other “stuff”.
They discovered some years ago that my body doesn’t absorb oral meds very well.
My neurosurgeon then put me onto morphine.
Usually have one jab every two to three weeks.
At least I get one or two days of relief.
The rest of the time I just grin and bare it…LOL

I joined the Hog in 2012, November I think.

Sadly, my good friend, also a Hog, died earlier this year.
He lived in north NSW in a small coastal town called Maclean.
Say Hi to Jeannie for us.
Cheers,
Ron.

This is a photograph of Lorraine.

And this is a photograph of Harry.

And let me treat you with a few more photographs, some from “very old scanned film shots so not the best.”

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But that’s a sharp reminder of the consequences of not paying attention to the road in front of you. All those years ago!

Dogs bring people together from all over the world!

Saturday smile time!

Cute beyond words!

Published on Jul 13, 2017

5-month-old Angus the Golden Retriever loves his local beach on Port Phillip Bay in Seaford, Melbourne. After seeing crabs run through the shallows he chases straight for them, frantically trying to catch what he spotted. Awesome!

Have a great weekend!

Greetings Anne Cooper

I will never, ever tire of the wonderful connections made by this blog!

Connections brought about by the almost universal love for dogs! But not to the exclusion of cats. For we still have three cats, all ex-rescues from our days in Mexico, and it is a cat story that Anne presents for you all today.

It went back to an email that came in to me earlier this February:

Hi Paul,

My name is Annie and I blog at catobsessed.com.  Since I am a new-ish blogger (well, my cat site is new but I’ve been writing elsewhere for years), I’m hoping to make connections with more established pet bloggers to help get my name out there.

I love your site Learning From Dogs – although I’m obviously more of a cat person, our family has a mini schnauzer back in Canada.  I miss her! Your website vision is very thought-provoking, I hadn’t really considered how much we learn from our pets before.  I was wondering if you’d consider accepting a guest post from me?

I was trying to think of a topic that would bridge our two websites and I had an idea – something about pets and human relationships?  I met my husband through his cat, to be honest!  The fact that he was an animal lover was one of the main reasons I accepted a date with him.  The schnauzer in Canada was a gift to his parents too, so I knew he was a keeper!

I haven’t got a strict post outline in mind but I’m excited to ponder more on the topic of cats, dogs and human relationships.  Since my husband was a pet owner, I could explain the type of personality traits I inferred from that.  We also have the fact that I’m a huuuuge cat person and he is a dog guy so we had to compromise (if having two cats is a compromise LOL)

What do you think?  If this doesn’t suit, I could come up with something else 🙂

Looking forward to hearing from you,
Annie

Well, how could one resist such a charming request. Not me!

So it is with great pleasure that I present Anne’s guest post.

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Why Pet Owners Make Good Life Partners.

by Anne Cooper, February 22nd., 2017.
loveFirst of all, I want to thank Paul for inviting me to share my thoughts on his wonderful blog. Reading through his past posts got me thinking on the topic of pet ownership and human relationships.  You see, I met my husband through his cat.  It sounds funny I know but let me explain.

Back in 2013, I had just ended a serious long-term relationship.  It ended for many reasons but one thing which made me particularly sad is that the guy didn’t want any pets.  Animals are one of my top three passions in life.  My former partner would get annoyed when I’d bring strays inside for a quick bite to eat and a bowl of water.  It didn’t happen that often but what filled me with joy was just an annoyance for him.

So when I was back on the dating market, settling down with an animal lover was a top priority.  Sure, I could live without pets, but I’d rather not.  They really improve my quality of life, cheer me up when I’m feeling down, and allow me to be part of the lovely pet blogging community online.

Thus, when browsing through dating profiles, one really caught my attention.  Not only did he sound like he had a lot in common with me – he actually owned a cat!  She was a kitten at the time.  A lovely white fluff-ball.  I arranged to meet him immediately.

The rest is history.  We were married in November 2015 and have now expanded our feline family to two.  We’re hoping to add a dog to the mix soon.  What I want to talk about here is why I was so eager to set up that first date, and the qualities I inferred from the fact that my future husband owned a cat.

  • Pet owners are responsible

Unless you own a pet yourself, it’s hard to understand the amount of commitment involved.  You can’t just take a weekend away to visit friends anymore.  You need to arrange a sitter for the cat, and if you can’t, you’re staying put.  You also need to research practical things like pet insurance, safe toys and snacks … the list is almost endless.

  • They have a nurturing instinct

Taking in an animal – especially a helpless kitten – is an act of kindness. Cats don’t always give much affection back to their owners so I knew that my hubby was a generous and giving soul.

Don’t get me wrong, dogs are amazing too, but there are lots of great reasons to own a dog.  They help you get fit by making you walk with them outdoors.  They protect you and shower you with love on a daily basis.  Cats on the other hand are happy to take your affection but some won’t even sit on your lap!  I think it’s safe to say that most cat owners don’t mind giving without receiving.

  • They don’t mind cleaning up a mess

As much as I love our little Saus, she was a nightmare in her first year.  She had a hard time using the litter tray and used to pee all over our house.  Shedding fur is an ongoing issue too. Don’t even get me started on fleas and worms!  Instead of letting it get out of control, my husband armed himself with a super-powered vacuum cleaner and a cupboard full of pet-friendly solutions and sprays to keep everything spotless.  Pet owners aren’t scared of a little mess – I knew I could depend on him to help out around the house.

  • They don’t let other people’s opinions get to them

I don’t know about where you’re from, but in Ireland where my husband and I met, there’s a massive stigma against cat owners.  As a cat lover myself, I was branded with the “crazy cat lady” stereotype.  I was openly jeered in work.  In the early days of dating my hubby, I turned on the car radio to hear a talk show saying that single men who own cats are basically weirdos.  I couldn’t believe it!  It makes me so angry, but sadly it’s the pervasive opinion in my home country.

The fact that my husband owned a cat and proudly shared her photos on social media showed me that he was confident and self-assured.  Owning and loving a pet is nothing to be ashamed of, and anyone who thinks so can take a hike.

  • They’re patient

In her early days, Saus loved using her claws and teeth.  I was her favorite victim!  I don’t think she was being malicious – rather she didn’t know how to play safely.  Instead of getting angry with her, my husband was patient.  We needed to keep her claws short to prevent damage but using the clipper on her was a battle!  We had to wrap her up in a towel to stop her attacking us.

kitty

So that’s my take on what makes pet owners so special. What do others think?

Annie Cooper blogs at catobsessed.com.  She lives in Australia with her husband and two very fluffy felines.  Apart from cats, Anne loves traveling, DIYing and all things cute.

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Wasn’t that a great guest post! Sincerely hope we will be hearing more from the “crazy cat lady”.

P.S. The following photograph was taken here at home last night.

Araña, one of our three cats, sleeping next to Pedy. (Araña is the Spanish word for spider.)
Araña, one of our three cats, sleeping next to Pedy. (Araña is the Spanish word for spider.)

Araña is one of the remaining three cats from the original seven ex-Mexican rescue cats that came with us back in 2010 when we moved from San Carlos, Mx. to Payson in Arizona.

Save the lives of these dogs: Please.

Johnny Depp’s dogs face death in Australia.

There was an item on the BBC News website yesterday morning that jumped out at me. The BBC headline is my sub-title for today. Here’s how the BBC opened that item:

Actor Johnny Depp has been told he has until Saturday to remove his dogs from Australia or they will be put down.

Depp and his wife Amber Heard are accused of not declaring Yorkshire Terriers Boo and Pistol to customs officials when they flew into Queensland by private jet last month.

Australia has strict animal quarantine laws to prevent importing infections.

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said he understood the dogs were being sent back to the US.

The dogs were discovered when a picture was posted of them at grooming parlour.
The dogs were discovered when a picture was posted of them at grooming parlour.

Later on that BBC report mentioned:

An online petition to save the “cute dogs” had received nearly 5,000 signatures by late on Thursday local time in Australia.

“Have a heart Barnaby! Don’t kill these cute puppies,” it appealed.

OK, Mr. Depp was a silly boy but his mistake must not be paid for with the lives of these wonderful dogs.

That petition is over on Change.org and here is the direct link. You will read these details.

There’s just 48 hours before Johnny Depp’s two puppies Boo & Pistol could be euthanised by Australian authorities. Please help save them!

Johnny Depp brought them to Australia with him to shoot the next Pirates of the Caribbean.

But today Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has said that because he didn’t follow particular travel rules that he’ll seize and destroy them by the weekend if they’re not removed from Australia.

This seems so extreme and unnecessary. He shouldn’t kill these cute dogs simply because Depp didn’t follow particular rules.

Help me tell Barnaby Joyce not to kill or remove Johnny Depp’s dogs from Australia!

Have a heart Barnaby! Don’t kill these cute puppies.

Here’s the article: http://www.news.com.au/national/johnny-depp-amber-heard-face-death-row-wait-for-pet-dogs-after-dodging-australian-quarantine/story-e6frfkp9-1227353879412

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