Tag: Deborah Taylor-French

One calculating dog, and

… one unsuspecting human.

The title and sub-title are almost the complete sub-title to a book from Colin Chappell. As sub-titles so often do, they offer the flavor of the book to come.

OK! Let me start properly!

Some time ago, Colin and I agreed to do a book swap and then review each other’s book. We duly exchanged books and Colin held to his side of the agreement! I sent Colin Learning from Dogs and Colin sent me Who Said I Was Up For Adoption?

For reasons that now escape me first I gave the book to Jeannie and she read it and very much liked it. I was going to ask Jeannie to dictate a review for me but, oh I don’t know why not, that never happened. To add to me embarrassment, I still haven’t read the book myself plus Colin ages ago published his review of my book over on his blog Me and Ray.

So when author Deborah Taylor-French reviewed the book on her blog Dog Leader Mysteries I held my breath very tightly and asked Deborah and Colin if I might republish her review here.

I am delighted to say that both were very happy for me to so do! Here it is.


Overcoming challenges to adopting, Ray

By Colin Chappell, Guest Blogger

When Ray came to live with us, he brought with him many issues. We had been advised that he had no social skills. We had ascertained that he had no training relevant to living in a home, and we knew that he was very cautious around people and other dogs. It was not long before he displayed “Startle Response” (never touch a sleeping Ray!), and “Fear Aggression”. The “Fear Aggression” was Ray’s way of handling uncomfortable situations such as being close to other people and dogs. Ray was a fast learner at home with us and, while he made some mistakes, he was trying to adapt to his new life. He did seem to want to please us, just as we wanted him to be happy. The first thing we had to do however was to arrange for him to have a full medical. When the vet called us to discuss the results, we knew we had a problem.

His dog’s diagnosis? Read about a heartbreaking medical condition.

Medical professionals assess Heartworm status as Stage One to Stage Four. Stage Four, the most advanced, is considered terminal. They estimated Ray at Stage Two, which provided hope that treatment could be successful. Treating heartworm is very expensive and offers no guarantee that the dog will survive the treatment, and so we now had to make the difficult decision of how to proceed with a dog that had lived with us for only a short time. There were some theoretical options for consideration.

1. Commit a lot of money to a treatment program, which may kill Ray? – We were fortunate in that we could manage the estimated $3500.00 financial burden of the treatment program, but did we want to? Ray had not been with us very long and was carrying a lot of emotional “baggage” from his past. While it would be nice to believe that he would adapt to be a lovely family pet, nobody could offer us that guarantee so that we would be investing a considerable amount of money in a dog with unknown potential. Furthermore, treatment consisted of a series of deep muscle injections with an arsenic-based compound, which should kill all the heartworms, however, when heartworms die, the pieces of worm can cause restrictions or even a blockage.

There was a significant possibility that Ray could die from congestive heart failure. To reduce the risk of this potential outcome; a dog must be kept as calm as possible to maintain a very low heart rate. Life for Ray, and for us, would be complicated for the next six months or so.

2. Do nothing? – An option but, in reality, a cruel and irresponsible decision. His quality of life would have slowly deteriorated as the heartworms spread, causing damage to his lungs and other organs throughout his body. Death would have been his only escape.

3. Return Ray to the shelter? – We knew they would have taken him back, but that raised some issues. We would be avoiding making the difficult decision by transferring the responsibility to the shelter. This rationale is against my core belief of accepting one’s responsibilities. Returning him also had some very questionable ramifications in that they would probably not be able to adopt him out again.

Who would want to take on an unknown dog with a serious (and expensive) health issue? Would the shelter be prepared to finance the treatment of a single dog when they are dependent on voluntary financial contributions and are constantly fund-raising to maintain their day-to-day services?

Given our excellent relationship with the shelter, we presented them with our dilemma and asked what they would do if Ray were returned. The answer was, not too surprisingly, very diplomatic. They would not be able to make any decision until he had been reassessed as a possible candidate for future adoption. They also made it clear that whatever decision we made, they would support it wholeheartedly. While their support was appreciated, my feelings were that his future would probably not be too long if returned.

4. Euthanize Ray? – The thought of euthanizing Ray gave me a lot of problems because of Skeeta, my first cat in Canada. Skeeta always seemed to love the company of pretty much anybody and her original owners did not feel that they had the time for her any longer, and so were looking for an alternative home for her. She made a tremendous impact on us all but, after only three months she was distressed. The diagnosis came that she had feline leukemia. Her condition considered untreatable, so the medical staff recommended euthanasia. Looking back, I still struggle with Skeeta’s death. (Terms like “euthanize”, “put down”, and “put to sleep” are all gentle words that only mask the reality of killing.)

The issue with Skeeta was not that her life could not be saved, but that it was far too easy to euthanize her. To have an animal killed, regardless of the justification, should take far more than signing a piece of paper and handing over a relatively small amount of money. Such a simple process was somehow offensive to me in that it resulted in the death of a living creature that had displayed an unquestionable ability to connect with us on an emotional level.

The more I thought about Skeeta, the more I decided that Ray deserved an opportunity to live and it would be my goal to ensure that he had that opportunity. My decision, therefore, was to keep Ray with us and start treatment as soon as possible. Fortunately, Carol had come to the same conclusion, and so treatment was scheduled for the summer.

It did cross my mind that Carol may not be able to justify the cost of the treatment so while I was not anticipating an issue over this, I had made plans to cover the cost on myself. Less than three years old, Ray had not enjoyed a good start to his life. Now Ray worked hard to adapt to our family environment. This big dog had already made a niche for himself in our family. Ray showed signs of wanting to stay with us.

Most importantly to me, Ray was a dog who had invited me to be his friend**.

Friends for life, rare and welcome as love and kinship.

What sort of friend would I be to walk away from him, and leave him to whatever fate would await? Ray could well die during the heartworm treatment, but then he could also survive it. I committed to whatever became necessary to ensure that he had the best chance possible of a long and happy life. I suddenly realized just how important he was to me. I loved this guy!

** The details of this life-changing moment (for both of us) are in his book.

About Colin Chappell: Born in England, part of the post-war “baby boomers” Chappell moved to Canada in 1975 with a wife and two children. Through no planning, he happened to fall into a position that included a mandatory deduction for a pension plan. Less than 30 years later, he retired and pursued new interests. When his children had grown he chose a fresh start. Chappell explored music and, due to lack of finances, he bought a “fixer upper” for his new home.

All photos by Colin Chappell

A few years later, Chappell found himself in a new relationship. The question of owning a dog often came into their conversations. It resulted in him being adopted by Ray, and their lives have never been the same since.

Experiences and day-to-day incidents with Ray prompted starting a blog using Word Press, Please visit meandray.com Writing this blog he got the idea of writing a book about Ray. Find this book on Amazon at Who Said I Was Up for Adoption?

Chappell’s writings continued and, after experimenting with some poetry, decided to put together a book of simple, but hopefully thought-provoking, verse.

Just Thinking by Colin Chappell


Colin, I do hope this makes up somewhat for me not sticking to our agreement!

In fact, me reading this post out aloud to Jeannie yesterday evening, and being most moved by your words (and photographs), makes it easy for me to read your book without delay!

Four-legged healing marvels.

Day Two of the healing power of our wonderful dogs.

In yesterday’s post I wrote:

I was reminded of the incredible healing power of our dogs in a recent article published by author Deborah Taylor-French.

Before going on to that article let me say a little more about Deborah. Most easily done by offering what is detailed in her bio:

Deborah Taylor-French, M.A.

Deborah writes mysteries full of dogs,  positive dog leadership and animal rescue. Deborah was awarded and served as a guest artist for California’s Artists in the Schools.  As an arts educator, Deborah has led over a hundred residences and teacher workshops. 

 An active member of Redwood Writers, Deborah continues to serve as Author Support Facilitator.  Redwood Writers is the largest branch of the California Writers ClubThe true story of Sydney’s adoption, “Punk Rocker With A Poodle Brain” is published in “Vintage Voices Four Part Harmony.” Her fiction and memoir published in eight volumes of the  Redwood Writers Anthology

Deborah was also very supportive over my book and wrote an endorsement:

In “Learning From Dogs” author Paul Handover returns us to our origins where we find how early humans and dogs mutual survival and social relations. Visit the rich evidence of man and dog’s co-evolution. Dive into this man and species adventure. Reading this changes out perspective on dogs, wolves and humankind. Most importantly, “Learning From Dogs” values life on planet earth while offering ideas on peaceful co-evolution. Handover holds out a hand to readers, a hand called hope. A gem of a book.

So, all in all, it is a delight to be able to republish a recent article that Deborah published over on her place that you will all love reading.


Six ways dogs help us heal

  1. Dogs show empathy.
  2. Dogs give us affection.
  3. Dogs give us their complete attention.
  4. Dogs give us physical comforting. They snuggle and lie in our laps.
  5. Dogs live in the moment, sharing enthusiasm and joy.
  6. Dogs possess sensory abilities  beyond our sensory capacity.

They hear into the distance beyond our hearing range. Dogs alert us to the approach of other people and animals. With their gift of night vision, dogs often guide us, just go camping with your dog or walk a dog at night.

Examples: Therapy dogs of every kind help the blind, the mobility challenged plus visit the sick and in-firmed. Dogs sniff out cancerous tumors, this field is now being explored by science with the goal of creating a laboratory replica of how dogs detect cancer. Many dog lovers witness their dogs seeking out members coping with illness. The world over has many truth stories of dogs comforting the sick or dying.

Dogs sensing seizeures before they happen so they can maneuver their person to a safe position, such as sitting or lying down.

img_4463Give back to dogs

Want to help homeless dogs and cats but can’t adopt?

Click here and visit The Animal Rescue Site. Through this site you can download an app, which gives money to feed needy shelterless pets. This app is called Pet to Give. Just like its title, every pet gives a selected shelterless funds to feed dogs and cats.

Check out the Greater Good. I like it because they respect my time. When I signed up for email updates, I learned that I could put in vacation holds on email updates. This is the only site informational source that I have never unsubscribed from.

Please share to spread the ways dogs heal us. In this terrible time following the mass murder in Orlando, Florida, I hope we all will spread loving kindness and healing.

Don’t have a dog right now?

No problem. Make dog friends.

If you do not have a dog, take some fresh sugar snap peas (cut or break them up for small dogs) sit in a park. As dog walkers if their dog is friendly with new people. Once the dog’s person says it’s okay to greet the dog, LET THE DOG COME TO YOU. A friendly dog will wag his or her tail and slink up to sniff your hand. After you have a relaxed connection, ask the dog’s person if you can give him or her a treat. Show them the snap peas. Hold one in the palm of your hand and let the dog eat off your hand like a dinner plate. There you go. You’ve made a good friend. Now go make another.

For eight years we lived in an apartment and could not have any pets. I missed having a dog so much. Most dog lovers know that pain and will be sympathetic. Dogs always have enough love for everyone.


Hope you loved this as much as Jean and I did.

Please come back tomorrow where we continue the theme of the ways in which our dogs comfort us.

Our healing dogs!

Is it me or is the world becoming crazier each new day!

What with the ‘Remain/Leave’ EU referendum coming up in my old country and Presidential politics in my new country it seems these days as though the need for healing is growing in leaps and bounds. Thank goodness for being able to hug a dog or two (and Jean) to be reminded of what matters most of all.

I was reminded of the incredible healing power of our dogs in a recent article published by author Deborah Taylor-French. That will be republished tomorrow, with Deborah’s kind permission. However, I wanted to make this message last for more than a single post and to achieve that I’m republishing a guest post that appeared in this place towards the end of last year.

But first my introduction to that guest post.

Forget about the big world out there, be loved by our dogs.

Monday’s post about the precariousness of man’s future on this planet if we don’t prevent the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet was a bit gloomy, however true it might be. The gloom continued with yesterday’s post about the VW scandal illustrating the “unethical culture endemic in business”.

So what a nice change to think about the way that our pets keep us bright, cheerful and healthy.

All of which is my way of introducing a guest post from Vee Cecil. Now I am fairly cautious about guest posts from those who want to promote their businesses, for obvious reasons. But Vee’s essay is so lovely that it truly deserves to be shared.

Firstly, here is the email that Vee sent me back in August,


In the U.S., 91 percent of pet owners say they consider their pet to be a member of the family. And for good reason! Our pets are constant sources of comfort and companionship.

What many pet owners may not realize is how great their furry family members are for their physical and mental health. For example, studies have shown that pet owners have lower blood pressure than people who don’t have pets and that being around pets also makes us “less anxious and less stressed.” And that’s just the beginning. There are many other wonderful health benefits that result from owning a pet.

May I write an article for learningfromdogs.com on this topic? The article will be approximately 500 words, unique to your site, and complete with resources.

Please let me know – I am always looking to spread the word about how we can be healthier and happier and having a pet is a great way to achieve both!


Here then is that article.


Feeling Under the Weather? Learn More About the Amazing Healing Powers of Pets

HappyTailsAsk any dog owner and you’ll find out just how remarkable a dog can be. They can turn a terrible day into an amazing one with one lick of the face or wag of the tail. But more and more studies are showing that our four-legged friends might be even more awesome than we previously thought.

As The Washington Post explains, research is showing that being around dogs can help us feel better and less stressed, while also improving our physical health. For example, the article cites studies which found that our pets can lead to “lower blood pressure, lower resting heart rates and less risk of hypertension.”

And that’s not all. Here are four other health issues and how dogs help their human companions:

Cancer. As this CBSNews.com article explains, a recent study at Mount Sinai Beth Israel found that therapy dogs had a very positive impact on patients receiving chemo therapy. The patients showed improvements in “emotional well-being and quality of life.” The director of the program that provided the therapy dogs also noted that patients felt less stressed and anxious. The article notes that this was a ground-breaking study as the impact of therapy dogs on cancer patients hadn’t been examined before.

Alzheimer’s Disease. Therapy dogs are also proving to be extremely helpful for patients with Alzheimer’s. In this article, a man with early on-set Alzheimer’s explains how his therapy dog helps him with daily tasks. Through the help of his therapy dog, the man says his stress and anxiety levels have significantly reduced.

Surgery recovery. Chances are if you were recovering from a painful surgery you wouldn’t turn down a snuggle from a pet. But, as The Telegraph shows, researchers have found that pets can do more than just provide you with a little tender loving care. A study led by a researcher from Loyola University found that pet therapy can reduce the amount of pain patients experience after surgery. In fact, according to the article, the patients in the study, who had had joint replacement surgery, “needed 50 per cent less pain medication if they used pet therapy.”

Diabetes. And perhaps most remarkable of all is what therapy dogs can be trained to do for diabetics. In this case, dogs put their acute sense of smell to good use. As this article explains, dogs exhibiting a better-than-average sense of smell can be trained to help diabetics. Once trained these dogs use their sense of smell to detect signs of hypoglycemia and low blood sugar (based on their human companion’s breath). They’re also trained to get a sugary food for their diabetic, get help if the person goes into diabetic shock, and more.

As more research is conducted to see the benefits of not only service dogs, but pets too, it will be interesting to see how dogs are woven into more medical treatments. They are truly amazing creatures, who can help us mind, body, and soul.


Vee Cecil keeps busy by being a wellness coach, personal trainer and bootcamp instructor in Kentucky. She also recently launched a blog where she shares her passion for health by writing about her favorite tips, activities and recipes.


If proof was needed of the quality of a relationship that can exist between a person and a dog then just look at the following photograph.

Theo11It has healing power stamped all over it; for the young boy and the Shepherd Dog!

Xylitol damages dogs’ livers.

One Common Thing That is More Toxic Than Chocolate for Dogs!

Note: This is a repeat of the Xylitol warning that appeared in a LfD post on the 4th. January. It is being repeated to ensure the maximum awareness of all my readers and followers.
Deborah Taylor-French is an author and also has the blog Dog Leader Mysteries. It was on her blog that I saw a reference to the acute dangers on Xylitol for dogs, and for cats. So please read and share the following.


One Common Thing That is More Toxic Than Chocolate for Dogs!

Please sign for the Irish Greyhound

Very grateful to Deborah over at Dog Leader Mysteries for today’s post.

The following appeared over on Dog Leader Mysteries last Monday and is republished with Deborah’s permission. Please share this as far and wide as you can.


1 minute for Irish Greyhounds

Featured by dogleadermysteries

Please help Irish Greyhounds by signing this Care2 petition

Save greyhound dogs’ lives in less than 1 minute

Bring Irish Greyhound Racing Regulations in line with the United Kingdom

I will not submit my readers to the horrors racing greyhounds endure or lose their lives from. I never thought any thing could be worse than dogs bred in puppy mills. After reading the Care2 petition’s explanation of the conditions and animal cruelty in Ireland’s dog racing world, now I feel sadder but an informed and wiser person.

My friend, Rosee Riggs, sent me this petition. The situation and welfare for dogs on Irish racetracks distresses all animal lovers everywhere. Without boring you with research and background, the essence of this petition effort targets raising Irish greyhound racing rules to match those in Great Britain.

4 great things about greyhound dogs

When living in a home with a family

  1. Greyhounds love to snuggle
  2. Greyhounds enjoy being couch potatoes
  3. Rescued track greyhounds often hate to run
  4. Greyhounds cannot swim. They sink due to extremely low body fat

Myth buster: Not true that former track greyhounds become runaway dogs!

This is Rosee’s dog, Speedy. Read more about him on her site Good Dog Practice.

Former Irish greyhound, now safe and happy. Photo credit: Judith Utner

From Care2: legal changes needed to better protect Irish track greyhounds

  • Have a veterinarian present at all race meetings, trials and sales trials who must inspect every greyhound before it runs;
  • Provide the veterinarian with appropriate facilities;
  • Provide suitable kennels, diet, hygiene standards, for all greyhounds that are going to run in a race or trial and for the dogs NOT to be muzzled for 23-24 hours a day; Ensure that the greyhounds have access to an outside area for exercise and be supplied with food and water.
  • Only allow greyhounds that are healthy, micro-chipped, registered and, were required, tattooed, to run in a race or trial.
  • Keep up to date records of owners, trainers, greyhounds and any injuries/deaths to greyhounds.
  • Monitor all licensed and private Breeders to reduce excess Dogs thereby reducing the need to euthanize/kill unwanted puppies.
  • To regulate Ireland’s greyhound breeders, not governed by the same regulations & welfare stipulations as the UK. All aspects of greyhound dog breeding, training and kennelling.
  • To provide adequate travel facilities, breaks (on long journeys) and water/food as required.
Speedy came as a racetrack rescue from Ireland. Photo credit: Katrin Bargheer
Speedy came as a racetrack rescue from Ireland. Photo credit: Katrin Bargheer

Care2 Petition Bring Irish Greyhound Racing Regulations in line with the UK

Please sign and share

Thanks for reading, Deborah Taylor-French


Delighted to say that at 15:30 PST yesterday, the Care2 Petition site read:

we’ve got 169,061 signatures, help us get to 170,000

and went on to explain the background to the petition:

There are major concerns about animal welfare issues relating to the racing greyhound industry in Ireland. Many puppies and older dogs which don’t perform to racing owner expectations are killed simply because they won’t make money for the owner. They are discovered in mass graves with their tattooed ears hacked off so they can’t be identified – so that their owners can’t be held accountable.

Dogs are generally kennelled, constantly muzzled, for 23-24 hours a day for their entire racing life. There are usually at least two dogs per small kennel, sharing one bed (with straw if they are lucky). The kennels are overcrowded, not properly maintained and badly cramped.

In the UK there are regulations which provide some protection for racing greyhounds. These regulations do not exist in Ireland where most racing greyhounds come from. Changes need to be made to bring the laws in Ireland in line with those in the UK. These rules aren’t perfect but they do offer a lot of improvements to the lives of these beautiful dogs.

Please sign the petition to show the Irish Greyhound Racing Board that the public cares about these dogs, to encourage them to support laws to protect these dogs.

At least 20 greyhounds a day, either puppies, which do not make the track because of lack of “prey drive”, or ‘retired’ dogs, aged between 18 months to 3-4 years, simply ‘disappear’ according to “records”. All dogs should be identifiable by the tattoos & registry records. When they are tattooed the dogs are roughly handled & dragged around by their ears with pincers.

Continue reading “Please sign for the Irish Greyhound”

Loving our dogs

A reposting of a blog from Dog Leader Mysteries about a dog food recall.

Quickly stepping over the observation that today’s post is about as far removed, topic wise, from yesterday’s post as one could possibly imagine, nonetheless this is important and needs to be widely shared.


Raw food recall: J J Fuds Frozen Pet Food

J. J. Fuds Raw dog food recall expands

Dear Fellow Dog Lover,

Because you signed up on my website and asked to be notified, I’m sending you this special recall alert.

On January 27, 2015, J. J. Fuds of Valparaiso, Indiana, announced it is expanding its recall of select lots of J. J. Fuds Raw Frozen Pet Food to include 2 other products due to unspecified contamination.

To learn more, please visit the following link: J J Fuds Raw Frozen Pet Food Recall Expands

Please be sure to share the news of this important safety alert with other pet owners.

Mike Sagman, Editor
The Dog Food Advisor
P.S. Not already on our dog food recall notification list? Sign up to get critical dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. There’s no cost for this service.

I copied this email notice from The Dog Food Advisor. I highly recommend you sign up for this list.

Please share to save dogs’ lives

We don’t feed Sydney raw meat. We do feed organic raw vegetables in limited quantities. We care about pets and want our readers to share this important news. Also we want you to know that we receive the Dog Food Advisor’s updates. Mike Sagman never stuffs our email box, but sends out notices as fast as he receives them. We asked our local pet stores if they receive notices before opening each day. You can do that. Ask when and how pet foods get pulled from their shelves, your pet’s life depends on this.

For the love of dogs and the people who love them

This blog continues to evolve yet our purpose never changes…to save dogs’ lives and dog lovers’ sanity.


Thanks for reading and sharing, Deborah Taylor-French


Please get the message circulated to as many dog lovers as possible.

Thank you!


Animals make us human.

Animal and human happiness.

As I have mentioned in the past and undoubtedly will do so again in the future, one of the most wonderful aspects of this world of blogging is the way that connections are made. Just a few weeks ago, a connection was made between Learning from Dogs and Dog Leader Mysteries. DLM’s byline is: Saving dogs’ lives and dog lovers’ sanity. Dog Leader Mysteries is written by author Deborah Taylor-French.

Anyway, out of the exchanges that have taken place between Deborah and myself, came a reference to a post about animal happiness that was published on Deborah’s blog in October, 2013.  It is very interesting and I am delighted to be given permission to share it with you.


Neuroscience key to animal happiness

…research in neuroscience has been showing that emotions drive behavior, and my thirty-five years of experience working with animals have shown me that this is true. Emotions come first. You have to go back to the brain to understand animal welfare.

Animals Make Us Human : Creating the best life for Animals

by Temple Grandin & Catherine Johnson

Water dogs having a blast in Spring Lake Park.
Water dogs having a blast in Spring Lake Park.

By Deborah Taylor-French

Those of us who live and/or work with animals know…

animals have emotions.

Temple Grandin has made the understanding, care and handling of farm animals her life’s work. I refer to her book Animals Make Us Human because not only has she studied farm animals, but she also loves and lives with pets. In her books, especial this one, she insists that we must understand how animals brains work, how they see, hear and smell every sensory detail in their surroundings.

Animals emotions drive their behavior.

To make a better life for our pets, for domestic and wild animals we must understand the main emotions that drive behavior. This will help us to turn on their positive emotions and avoid turning on FEAR, RAGE and GRIEF.

Example: Rabbits and horses are prey animals.

  • Never chase either rabbits or horses.
  • Teach your pet rabbit or horse to come to you.
  • Always reward them for recognizing their name and coming when called.
  • When you chase a prey animal, you make him or her fearful of you!

Emotions are the gifts of our ancestors. We have them and so do other animals. We must never forget this. When it comes to animal welfare we can always do better. Most of the time “good welfare” is not “good enough.”

The Emotional Lives of Animals by Marc Bekoff.

Dogs Depend on us for freedom from fear and safety

  • Never tie up your dog unless it is in your company in a human training session.
  • A dog needs to feel he can flee to safety.
  • Be sensitive to your dog’s fear signals and show him you will protect and calm him.
  • Increase your dogs positive emotions by interesting, but not overstimulating activities.
  • Always stop training before your dog gets tired.

Dogs are the only animals that live with us inside of their flight zone.

Dogs depend on us for positive and playful lives

When you help increase an animal’s curiosity, you turn on his or her positive emotions of SEEKING and PLAY.

Example: Dogs love to play.

  • Find a time and place when both you and your dog seem relaxed.
  • Invite your dog to play by doing a play bow or picking up his favorite toy.
  • Use an excited and happy tone of voice to call your dog.
  • Run away.
  • When your dog chases you, stop.
  • Wait for your dog to run then chase.
  • Always stop before your dog seems fearful or overexcited.

Dogs love this game, which dog lovers know dogs play every chance they get.

Temple Grandin Website and Book Orders

Thank you for reading.


Please share for the sake of all animals, because as

Temple Grandin says,

“Animals make us human.”

Please visit and share Blog for the Change for Animals

Animals defy our tendency to define their lives and their limits.

For further information on brain research, emotions in animals and the primary-process emotional-affective networks of mammalian brains read US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health on the work of Jaak Panksepp, Ph.D. Affective neuroscience of the emotional BrainMind: evolutionary perspectives and implications for understanding depression.


Follow that, as they say!

A wonderful insight into dogs.

The republication of a wonderful post about a dog that rides a bus!

I’m in the middle of reading Jean Donaldson’s book The Culture Clash.  Here’s a summary of what the book is about from the Dogwise website.


Summary: The book that has shaped modern thinking about canine behavior and the relationship between dogs and humans has been revised. Dogs are not humans. Dogs are clever and complex creatures that humans need to take the time to understand in order to live together successfully. You must read this book… because your dog sure can’t!

Here’s an extract from page 13 of the first chapter: Getting the dog’s perspective.

We crave anecdotes about genius dogs and these abound. Everyone knows a story that illustrates how smart dogs are. But a fundamental question has never been answered by proponents of reasoning in dogs: if dogs are capable of these feats of brain power at all, why are they not performing them all the time? Why never in controlled conditions? What is the most upsetting about these claims is the lack of rigour in evaluating them.

You get the picture of where Jean Donaldson is coming from!  (And I’m still only just into the book myself.)

So with those words echoing around your mind, just hold your breath while you read this article from author Deborah Taylor-French‘s blog: Dog Leader Mysteries.


Bus riding dog: Photo Friday


Can your dog do this?

Have you read about this dog? A friend shared a news clipping on this dog’s unusual behavior in Seattle, Washington. Eclipse, as an independent city dog, seems to know to walk only on the sidewalk, get on the bus, take a seat and look out the window, all without assistance from his person. Eclipse even knows, which bus stop to get off at for the dog park. “Bus riders report she hops onto seats next to strangers, and watches out the window for her stop. Says commuter Tiona Rainwater, “All the bus drivers know her … she makes everybody happy.”

A Metro Transit spokesman said the agency loves that a dog appreciates public transit. The City of Seattle representative suggested that it would be safer for Eclipse to wear a leash and be with her human when she rides the bus, but with a dog this smart, is it a problem? I don’t know the answer. Black lab rides bus alone to dog park USA Today Network Associated Press 1:01 p.m. EST January 14, 2015.

What do you think, can dogs take the bus without their human families?

No dogs off leash.
No dogs off leash.

We know that big dogs differ in temperament and dog to dog communication from little lap dogs. But what makes a dog mature and experienced enough to take on full independence in the confusion and untranslated rules of human life? Yes, free-roaming dogs ride trains in organized and peaceful groups in Russia. Yes, often those who live with dogs, like we do, find they understand far more of our human lives than we think possible. After watching dozens of dogs off leash on city streets of Baja California Sur, Mexico. No dog seemed homeless and all but one stayed on the sidewalk.

Do dogs ever become 100% street-smart?

Street smarts or leash required?
Street smarts or leash required?

What do dogs know? What do dogs remember? We know dogs learn. We know some dogs show exceptional learning abilities, much greater than other dogs. Somewhere I read that the average dog has the intelligence of a human toddler. Now, none of us would let a toddler walk city streets, get on and off a bus alone. But what of special cases? History shows exceptions to rules and to the “average.” Clearly, Eclipse breaks the rule, the average and reshapes our expectations of what dogs can and should be able to do.

The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Mahatma Gandhi

Have you read Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote? Of book talks, life and books by Kerasote can be found on his Website his 2014 Pukka’s Promise: The Quest for Longer-Lived Dogs, in paperback, looks to be interesting to those of us who want our dogs to live the longest, healthiest lives possible. Find more about this top creative nonfiction author on his Website Kerasote.com.

True dog story (tearjerker ahead)

A Marin County ethical keeshond breeder shared this true story of their longtime and favorite dog. For years and years, the behavior of their family dog and top champion male looked totally stable. His nature showed pure calm and obedience. They all got into a pattern of allowing this canine patriarch time to lay on the front lawn in their neighborhood circle street. He always remained serene, watching, never chasing, barking or moving.

On afternoon as the kinglike keeshond patriarch lay on his grassy lawn – the unthinkable happened – he ran in front of car. Now fortunately, this big keeshond did not die. But he suffered, ever after with epileptic fits. Makes me wonder if we fool ourselves in imagining that dogs can navigate city streets safely.

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So leave it up to you to assess the brain power of dogs, especially that bus-riding black Labrador dog. To help you make your mind up, take a look at the video.

Published on Jan 14, 2015

Seattle’s public transit system has had a ruff go of things lately, and that has riders smiling.

You see, of the 120 million riders who used the system last year, one of them is actually a dog. Seattle’s KOMO-TV reports the 2-year-old black Labrador mix, named Eclipse, has become a regular fixture on the city’s D-Line after she figured out how to ride the bus alone to the dog park.

“All the bus drivers know her. She sits here just like a person does,” fellow rider Tiona Rainwater told KOMO. “She makes everybody happy. How could you not love this thing?”

The dog’s owner, Jeff Young, lives next to the stop. He said Eclipse sometimes hops on board without him if he’s not yet finished smoking his cigarette when the bus arrives. The pup has become a regular on the route, riding three or four stops before exiting at her destination of choice. “I catch up with her at the dog park,” Young explained.
Miles Montgomery, a Seattle radio host and D-Line commuter, was taken by surprise when Eclipse hopped into the seat next to him on a ride last Friday, looked out the window, then got off at her stop. Montgomery snapped a bemused selfie with the commuting canine, adding the caption, “Bus is full this morning:”

A Metro Transit spokesperson told the AP they’re happy a dog can appreciate public transit, though Eclipse should really be on a leash. King County says dogs are allowed to ride buses at the discretion of the driver, provided the animal isn’t a hazard and doesn’t create a disturbance.

Seattle isn’t alone in having a streetwise dog. Stray dogs in Moscow, Russia, have learned to commute in and out of the city from the suburbs by riding the subway, even watching out for other dogs to make sure they exit at the correct stop.

Get along, little doggies.


Golly, I have just seen how long I have spent getting this post written.  Poor old Shelby must be wondering if I really did want to play with him; should have made my next move simply ages ago!


Mind you, I so rarely win against him!