Tag: Mother Nature Network

Inspiration on offer.

Last-minute update!

Before I go on to today’s post I must share with you what appeared yesterday in our local Grants Pass Courier newspaper. Please see it as a postscript to yesterday’s People post.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Police – page 5A

A tan Acura reportedly sped up, swerved and hit about seven geese, killing some of them, at about 11a.m. Tuesday near Riverside Park. The car was last seen headed north on Seventh Street.

One of the geese survived and was taken away for rescue while others were bagged and taken away for disposal. The front of the vehicle likely has damage.

Now to today’s post as planned!

This takes some beating!

Recently published on Mother Nature Network. It’s a great reminder of the special place we hold in our hearts for our dogs.

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When people and pets at this shelter need inspiration, all they have to do is look up.

‘Sun Spot’ is 20 feet tall and covered in 90,000 stainless steel pet tags.

CHRISTIAN COTRONEO August 14, 2018.

Standing 20-feet tall, ‘Sun Spot’ was unleashed at the Denver Animal Shelter in 2011 by artists Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan. (Photo: Wally Gobetz/Flickr)

While thousands of lost and abandoned pets have come and gone from the gates of the Denver Animal Shelter, there’s one dog that hasn’t budged an inch since arriving in 2011.

And the people who work and volunteer at the city-run shelter wouldn’t have it any other way.

That “dog” — a gleaming 20-foot tall sculpture that looms over the shelter entrance — is a towering inspiration to everyone who sees it.
In fact, the statue dubbed “Sun Spot” can even be seen by passing motorists on Interstate 25, thanks in no small part to the 90,000 steel pet tags that cover its surface.

It all adds up to a bright beacon of hope for all who see it.

A beacon of hope — and a promise to help

‘Sun Spot’ is actually one of three parts to the installation, which includes a massive hanging collar and a riverbank lined with pet tags. (Photo: Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan)

“‘Sun Spot’ is an inspiration to the staff at Denver Animal Protection and to the many visitors who visit the Denver Animal Shelter daily,” explains Alice Nightengale, director of Denver Animal Protection, the city agency that runs the shelter. “Working in animal welfare can be incredibly rewarding and heartbreaking at the same time. We are proud of the work we do for Denver’s animals and for our community, and that keeps us going.”

But while the dog’s head — bent ears and all — is the first thing visitors see at the shelter, there are actually two more equally epic components to the installation.

In the shelter lobby, a massive collar, some 6 feet in diameter, is suspended in the air. And that collar is adorned with an ever-growing collection of tags, etched with the names of adopted dogs.

And the third component? A boulevard of tags along the riverbank running past the shelter. Each of those tags identifies native plants — and also gives them pet names.

The big idea, according to the creators of ‘Sun Spot’, Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan, is to link caring for animals with caring for the environment.

But with all those stainless steel pet tags covering its giant frame — from ear to tail — it’s the dog that draws the biggest crowd.

All those stainless steel tags give ‘Sun Spot’ a particular shine to his coat. (Photo: Wally Gobetz/Flickr)

The dog gives the impression that it’s chasing the biggest, brightest prize of all: the sun. But LED bulbs also make “Sun Spot” shine at night, exchanging sun for moon — and giving the statue a sense of permanence.

“‘Sun Spot’ is a reminder to all that our organization is a safe haven, a place providing respite for the animals who need care, love and shelter, and a wealth of resources for humans wanting to help them,” Nightengale adds. “Every year, the staff at Denver Animal Protection cares for over 7,000 lost, abandoned and injured pets, and we’ll continue to do so, with ‘Sun Spot’ serving as a ‘north star,’ guiding those animals and people who need us to our doors.”

Indeed, “Sun Spot” is more than just an inspiration to humans; it’s a symbol of hope for the anxious, frightened, heartbroken animals who wash up there.

And like that iconic statue that stands tall in New York Harbor, it offers a world of hope to new arrivals.

Although the Denver Animal Shelter is a municipal shelter, it relies heavily on donations for treating and fostering the thousands of animals that arrive here every year. You can support those efforts by making a donation here, and then see “Sun Spot” come into existence in the video below.

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You all have a very peaceful and, hopefully, a smoke-free weekend.

Learning about our smaller dogs!

Learning about the way they pee!

We have two smaller dogs in our family, Sweeny and Pedy.

Gorgeous Sweeny!
And equally gorgeous Pedy alongside his mate, Brandy, just visible bottom left.

I am sure many of you have dogs that are smaller then the average dog; whatever that means!

So the article that was published, once again on Mother Nature Network, will strike a chord!

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Why small dogs aim high when they pee?


MARY JO DILONARDO   August 3, 2018.

The phrase ‘aim high’ takes on new meaning when you’re talking about dogs. (Photo: Sukpaiboonwat/Shutterstock)

Take your dog for a walk and you might notice that there’s some urinating involved. The tree. The lamp post. The fire hydrant. This scent marking is a way for your dog to communicate to other canine passers-by.

By sharing and sniffing, dogs are able to get information about sex, reproductive status and the identity of other four-footed visitors who have traveled the same path. Although female dogs do it too, this frequent marking is often done by male pups.

Typically the marking communicates true information about the marker; it’s what researchers refer to as an “honest signal.” When another dog comes along and takes a sniff, the info they get in the message is true.

But new data suggests that in some circumstances, dogs tell little white lies when they lift a leg. Researchers found that little dogs tend to hike high in order to give the impression that they’re bigger than they really are.

Betty McGuire and her team at Cornell University studied this “dishonest signal.” They noticed that smaller dogs tend to urinate more often than larger dogs, and they’re more likely to aim higher when focusing on vertically oriented targets.

In their study published in the Journal of Zoology, they wrote, “Assuming body size is a proxy for competitive ability, small adult male dogs may place urine marks higher, relative to their own body size, than larger adult male dogs to exaggerate their competitive ability.”

Indirect interaction

As anyone who owns a smaller dog knows, size is just a state of mind. (Photo: Little Moon/Shutterstock)

The researchers recorded adult male dogs while they urinated on walks, then calculated the angle of their legs when raised during marking. They compared those calculations to the dogs’ height and mass and measured the height of the urine marks on the dogs’ chosen targets.

“Small males seemed to make an extra effort to raise their leg high—some small males would almost topple over,” McGuire tells New Scientist. “So, we wondered whether small males try to exaggerate their body size by leaving high urine marks.”

As expected, when the dogs lifted a leg at a greater angle, they hit higher on a surface. But they found that small dogs angled the leg proportionately higher than larger dogs, resulting in marking higher than expected for their small stature. The researchers said it’s likely the goal is to deceive other male dogs.

“Direct social interactions with other dogs may be particularly risky for small dogs,” says McGuire.

Because they can’t measure up physically with larger dogs, smaller dogs can establish a virtually larger presence this way.

So they aim high to look big.

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“So they aim high to look big.”

I’m sure there must be a joke somewhere there but can’t find it!!

So closing with another two pics of our little ones.

Pedy

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Pedy in front of Sweeny. Picture taken October, 2016.

Picture Parade Two Hundred and Fifty-Two

The penultimate set of those wonderful Kennel Club photographs.

(As with the previous weeks, words and pictures republished from here.)

 Winning Kennel Club images celebrate dogs from all walks of life

  JACQUELINE GULLEDGE   July 17, 2018.

The fourth selection of these wonderful photographs and the story behind each one.

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Second Place, Portrait

‘Waiting Beauty’ featuring Thalia, a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. (Photo: Katarzyna Siminiak)

“This photo was taken during session around Old Market Square in Poznań. I’m still amazed how Thalia was calm and focus despite the city noise,” said Katarzyna Siminiak.

Second Place, Puppies

‘Sticking Together’ featuring Beagle mix puppies. (Photo: Charlie Nunn)

“Since early last year, my partner Raymond Janis and I have had the honour of supporting the Vanderpump Dogs Foundation in Los Angeles by photographing their adoptable dogs. In July 2017, we met these adorable beagle mix puppies,” said Charlie Nunn. “As Raymond tried to wrangle them, something magical happened and I was able to capture a perfect moment of a puppy family sticking together.”

Second Place, Rescue Dogs and Dog Charities

‘Happy Girl Rescued’ featuring Magda, a rescue dog cross breed (Hungarian Vizsla and Labrador Retriever). (Photo: Leslie Plesser)

“This particular image is of my own rescue dog, Magda. She was a bit hesitant and shy when my husband and I came home with our baby, but when the baby went off to nursery school, she would curl up on his rocking chair and roll her fur all over, settling in for a nice nap,” said Leslie Plesser.

Second Place, Young Pup Photographer

‘Dinner?’ featuring Dallas, a Whippet. (Photo: Sienna Millward)

“My name is Sienna Wemyss, I’m 10 years old and I’m from England, UK. When I grow up, I want to be a fashion photographer and designer. I have loved dogs since I first encountered one! There are so many different kinds of dogs and they are all so unique,” said Wemyss. “My dream came true in January this year when I became the proud owner of Dallas, a pedigree Whippet puppy. I was overjoyed!”

“I was relaxing on the sofa one day when Dallas crawled beside me. I put my arms out, expecting him to come and cuddle me. Instead, he gazed at the kitchen dreamily! If he could speak then, I bet he would have said, ‘Dinner?’ He looked very curious, so I grabbed my mum’s phone and captured the moment.”

Third Place, Assistance Dogs and Dog Charities

‘A Veterans Best Friend’ featuring Delta, a White Swiss Shepherd. (Photo: Craig Turner-Bullock)

“I am an ambassador for the Kotuku Foundation for Assistance Animals Aotearoa, who source, train and place dogs with people who have any diagnosed condition that dogs are known to be capable of assisting with. This includes diabetes, head injuries, depression and PTSI and many more,” said Craig Turner-Bullock. “Dion is a veteran who fought, and was injured, at the battle of Baghak in 2012. He experienced PTSI and says that ever since Delta came into his life she has made a huge difference. Dogs assisting veterans are now common around the world, but Delta is the first of her kind here in New Zealand.”

Third Place, Dogs at Play

‘Snowy Shenanigans’ featuring Daffy, Taz, and Wile E., Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers. (Photo: Sarah Beeson)

“We had just moved from one of the snowiest cities (Erie, PA) to the middle of nowhere USA (yes, I love you dear Indiana). I didn’t expect much snow, but come on! It was nearly mid-February and not a flake! My boys were used to lots of snow having lived in Erie but Daffy hadn’t a clue,” said Sarah Beeson. “And then, it happened: Old man winter arrived. Shame on him, while I was at work, no less! By the time 5 pm rolled around, I was in our backyard – Frisbee soaring and camera in hand. Meet Daffy, Taz, and Wile E. We LOVE frisbee!”

Third Place, Dogs at Work

‘I’ve got your back’ featuring Nyx, a German Shepherd Dog. (Photo: Ian Squire)

“For me, the title sums up the image perfectly from both sides. This is a young trainee Police Dog undergoing some initial training. Taken on a miserable, damp day, it shows elements of the bond, trust and relationship that is vital for the partnership between Police Dog and handler,” said Ian Squire.

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Just one more Sunday’s worth to come. Don’t know about you but I shall miss these. They are going to be a hard act to follow!

Saturday special!

Natural fractals!

Back in April, Mother Nature Network carried a wonderful item about the amazing fractals that can be found in nature.

Nothing to do with dogs but all to do with loving and caring for our planet!

I am not going to republish the full article with all the wonderful photographs so if the following piques your curiosity then go here to read the full piece.

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14 amazing fractals found in nature

Take a tour through the magical world of natural fractals and discover the joy of simple complexity.

SHEA GUNTHER   April 24, 2013

A chambered nautilus shell is an example of a fractal found in nature. (Photo: Jitze Couperus/flickr)

When you think of fractals, you might think of Grateful Dead posters and T-shirts, all pulsating with rainbow colors and swirling similarity. Fractals, first named by mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot in 1975, are special mathematical sets of numbers that display similarity through the full range of scale — i.e., they look the same no matter how big or how small they are. Another characteristic of fractals is that they exhibit great complexity driven by simplicity — some of the most complicated and beautiful fractals can be created with an equation populated with just a handful of terms. (More on that later.)

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

One of the things that attracted me to fractals is their ubiquity in nature. The laws that govern the creation of fractals seem to be found throughout the natural world. Pineapples grow according to fractal laws and ice crystals form in fractal shapes, the same ones that show up in river deltas and the veins of your body. It’s often been said that Mother Nature is a hell of a good designer, and fractals can be thought of as the design principles she follows when putting things together. Fractals are hyper-efficient and allow plants to maximize their exposure to sunlight and cardiovascular systems to most efficiently transport oxygen to all parts of the body. Fractals are beautiful wherever they pop up, so there’s plenty of examples to share.

Here are 14 amazing fractals found in nature:

(Photo: Rum Bucolic Ape/flickr)

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To view the other 13 fractals then go across to here.

Aren’t they beautiful! Or, to pick up on a sentence in the article: “It’s often been said that Mother Nature is a hell of a good designer,”

Not only a good designer but the provider of life as we know it!

Protecting your dog from dog flu.

Ensuring we are all fully aware of this terrible disease for dogs.

Back in January, 2016 I republished this article when it appeared on Mother Nature News that same month.

But it deserves a re-run. Firstly because there are many more dog lovers reading this blog since then (THANK YOU, EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU) and because the MNN editor has left the following note at the end of this update version: “Editor’s note: This file has been updated since it was originally published in January 2016.”

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What you need to know about dog flu

This highly contagious illness can spread like wildfire. Here’s how to keep your dog safe.

JENN SAVEDGE August 3, 2018.

Most dogs in the U.S. don’t have the immunity to fight off the Asian-based dog flu. (Photo: Lindsay Helms/Shutterstock)

As animal experts around the country amplify their warnings about dog flu outbreaks, pet owners are scrambling to understand the illness and learn how they can protect their pets. The virus has been circulating in the U.S. since 2015, infecting thousands of dogs throughout much of the country. So far in 2018, dog flu has hit every state except Alaska, Hawaii, Nebraska and North Dakota.

Here’s what you need to know about this potentially deadly disease.
What is the dog flu?

Dog flu — or canine influenza — is an infection caused by one of two virus strains: H3N2 and H3N8. Of the two, H3N2 is more commonly seen in pets in the U.S. It is thought that the strain came from Asia, possibly originating as an avian flu that was transferred to a dog.

Dog flu symptoms

Like the flu that affects humans, the symptoms of the dog flu hit the respiratory system causing coughing, a runny nose, watery eyes and a sore throat. It’s also usually accompanied by a high fever and loss of appetite. But unlike with humans, your dog won’t be able to tell you how bad she is feeling, and you may not notice the symptoms right away. Animal experts say to watch your dog for changes in behavior. If your normally hyper dog seems lethargic or if your pup who is usually enthusiastic about eating starts skipping meals, it’s time to take a closer look.

Dogs who spend a lot of time around other dogs are more likely to be exposed to the virus. (Photo: Dalibor Sosna/Shutterstock)

How does the dog flu spread?

The dog flu virus spreads just like the human flu virus does — through bodily fluids that are released into the air via a sneeze or cough or by touching objects or surfaces that have been contaminated. The dog flu virus can live in the environment for two days.

Dogs that spend a lot of time around other dogs — in dog parks, kennels, shelters, groomers or veterinary clinics — are the most likely to contract the illness.

What to do if your dog gets the flu

Older dogs, younger dogs and dogs that are already sick are the most vulnerable when it comes to the dog flu, not because of the virus itself, but because these dogs are the most likely to develop complications, like pneumonia, that could be fatal. If you think your dog may have the flu, it’s important to check in with your vet to make sure he isn’t getting any worse.

At home, you can keep track of your dog’s temperature by placing a thermometer under her armpit, or for a more accurate reading, in her backside. According to the American Kennel Club the normal range for a dog’s temperature should be between 101 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (38.3 to 39.2 degrees Celsius.)

Keep the fluids going as much as possible and try to entice your pooch to keep eating. Check with your vet about foods that may prompt him to eat without giving him a stomachache.

More than anything, give your pet plenty of time for R&R. Give her a week or so off from running, walking and other forms of exercise and just let her rest and sleep as much as she needs. Just make sure that she is still drinking, eating a little, and relieving herself.

How you can keep your dog from getting the flu?

The best way to minimize your dog’s risk of getting the flu is to keep her away from other dogs. If you spend time with other dogs, be sure to wash your hands and even change your clothes before interacting with your own dog. While humans can’t contract canine influenza, we can carry the virus on our hands and clothing for up to 24 hours after handling an infected dog.

You could also talk to your vet about a dog flu vaccine, although there is some question about its effectiveness as the vaccine for H3N8 may not offer protection from H3N2 and vice versa.

A potential pandemic?

A 2018 study showed that the influenza virus can jump across species from pigs into dogs, and that influenza is becoming increasingly diverse in canines. The result could someday be a dog-inspired pandemic.

There’s no evidence of any sort of transmission between humans and dogs, but if left unchecked, researchers believe that could one day become a possibility.

“The majority of pandemics have been associated with pigs as an intermediate host between avian viruses and human hosts. In this study, we identified influenza viruses jumping from pigs into dogs,” said researcher Adolfo García-Sastre, Ph.D. of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York in a statement.

For a dog virus-related pandemic to occur, it would have to be transmissible from dogs to people and it would have to be easily spread.

“If there is a lot of immunity against these viruses, they will represent less of a risk, but we now have one more host in which influenza virus is starting to have a diverse genotypic and phenotypic characteristics, creating diversity in a host which is in very close contact to humans,” said García-Sastre. “The diversity in dogs has increased so much now that the type of combinations of viruses that can be created in dogs represent potential risk for a virus to jump to a dog into a human.”

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Our dogs mean so, so much to us. Let us doing everything possible to keep them out of harm!

Loving our dogs beyond everything else.

Stories like this one today are so incredibly inspiring!

The following article was published by Mother Nature Network the last day of July.

But it’s not just about saving the life of a dog! Do see my note at the end re The Dodo Twitter feed.

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Hero hiker says angels and laughter helped her carry hurt dog down mountain to safety

MARY JO DILONARDO July 31st, 2018

When Vargas’s dad saw her carrying a dog, he laughed and said, ‘Isn’t this hike hard enough?’ (Photo: Ted Kasper)

Every year, Tia Vargas and her dad go hiking; this summer’s trip was up Table Rock in the Grand Tetons in early July. Vargas was just below the 11,000-foot peak with her dad waiting about a mile down the trail when she ran into a distraught family of hikers who had found an injured English springer spaniel.

They couldn’t find the limping pup’s owner and, because the family had kids in tow, Vargas figured it would be easier for her to carry the pup to safety.

“I had to crawl under him to get him up on my shoulders,” Vargas, a single mother of three from Idaho Falls, Idaho, tells MNN. “I felt the difficulty of it right away. I never felt 55 pounds like that before.”

Vargas soon ran into her dad, Ted Kasper, who snapped some photos when he saw his daughter coming down the trail with a dog on her shoulders.

Vargas was hoping to run into other people on the trail, but she had to carry Boomer by herself. (Photo: Ted Kasper)

“Dad laughed and said, ‘Isn’t this hike hard enough? You have to carry a dog too?'” Vargas recalls. “My dad makes me laugh. He is such a great man.”

That sense of humor helped Vargas get through the ordeal of carrying the heavy dog down the steep trail, she says. The trek was hard and nearly unbearable at times.

“Every time I put him down so I could rest it was difficult. And every time I got down on my knees to put my head under his belly and try to use neck and body strength to lift him it was painful and difficult. I thought we would see people on the trail on the way down to help. But that wasn’t the case,” she says.

Vargas takes a break from carrying the 55-pound pup. (Photo: Ted Kasper)

The trio got lost twice because of snow and fallen trees that made the trail disappear. “I even lost my dad once and that made me feel very alone in this,” Vargas says. “He was a big comfort to me.”

At one point, Kasper offered to run down the trail and try to find help, but Vargas didn’t want to be left alone. About halfway down the trail, Vargas thought she might not be able to continue. At the time, they were lost and it had started to rain.

“The thought of stopping crossed my mind once. My legs hurt and were shaking,” she says. “When I wanted to quit is when I prayed. Prayer gave me the strength. That and my dad’s jokes. He made me laugh and it gave me energy. And feeling the angels lift the dog off of my neck was what I needed to continue on.”

Lost dog named Boomer

Boomer is in a cast from his 100-foot fall, but vets are hopeful it will heal without surgery. (Photo: Tia Vargas)

Finally hiking six miles and reaching the bottom of the trail, Vargas found a very small note that said, “Lost dog named Boomer, call this number.”

She called the owners, who thought for sure Boomer was dead. They had gone hiking together the day before and Boomer had fallen off a 100-foot cliff and rolled 200 feet. When the family rushed down to find him, he was gone. They looked for him until dark, so Boomer had spent one night out there, alone and injured.

“I was so excited to tell them their dog was very much alive,” Vargas says. “Dad and I couldn’t wait to hear their reaction.”

It turns out that the family loved Boomer very much, but they were moving to Arizona and couldn’t take him with them. They already had a family lined up to adopt him, but when they heard Vargas’s incredible story, the new adopters reluctantly let her adopt him instead.

‘One of my kids now’

Boomer is now part of the Vargas family. (Photo: Tia Vargas)

A trip to the vet found that Boomer was very fortunate: he had mostly bumps, bruises and scratches from his big fall, as well as a dislocated joint with torn ligaments in his leg. Boomer is in a cast now while his new family waits to see whether the joint will hopefully heal on its own without surgery.

Vargas says the 4-year-old pup loves to do tricks and have his belly rubbed. He loves to explore and smell everything and always wants to put his head in her lap. Vargas, who is a substitute teacher, Zumba instructor and sells jewelry, has started a Facebook page for Boomer because so many people are now following his story.

“He is 100 percent part of the family. His personality is perfect with mine and the kids. We all love him so much,” Vargas says. “They begged me for a dog and I was worried because it’s a lot of time and work. I told them no for so long. And I told them if we get a dog it would have to be dropped in my lap and already trained. And he is both of those and so much more. He feels like one of my kids now.”

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Isn’t that just the most wonderful story!

Now I must publicly thank John Zande; he of The Superstitious Naked Ape blog site. For the other day John mentioned a ‘thread’ on Twitter under the title of The Dodo. If I mention that The Dodo has over 1 million followers you will get the idea that it offers some very compelling ‘Tweets’. You bet!

Try this:

Or this:

There are too many humans in this world who are motivated by money, by power and by greed.

Thank goodness there are many others who are motivated by their love for animals!

Picture Parade Two Hundred and Fifty-One

Staying with those wonderful Kennel Club images.

(As with the previous weeks, words and pictures republished from here.)

 Winning Kennel Club images celebrate dogs from all walks of life

  JACQUELINE GULLEDGE   July 17, 2018.

The third selection of these wonderful photographs and the story behind each one.

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First Place, Young Pup Photographer

‘My Best Friend Roxy’ featuring Roxy, a German Shepherd dog. (Photo: Mariah Mobley)

The Young Pup photographer is a new category this year for photographers 11 years old and younger. This year’s first-place winner is 11-year-old Mariah Mobley from the U.S.

“I used to live on a farm with horses and dogs, but now live in town with my family, and our three dogs, Hunter, Roxy and Koby. I have always loved animals, especially dogs. I started taking pictures when I was a very little girl, and have loved it ever since,” said Mobley. “I took this photo of Roxy, at about 9 p.m., just before I went to bed. It was dark and she was sitting on our back porch waiting for mom to give her a treat. I used a modelling light and the porch light to put light on her pretty face.”
“We adopted Roxy from a rescue when she was 7 months old. She had been in a shelter since she was 4 months old. She is 5 years old now and is the sweetest girl. As you can see in the photo, Roxy has an eye disease that causes redness and cloudiness. It is called Pannus. Her eyes are not as clear as they used to be, but I think she is beautiful just as she is.”

Second Place, Assistance Dogs and Dog Charities

‘The Magic of Reading’ featuring Messi, a Golden Retriever. (Photo: Maria Cristina Nadalin)

“This particular photo was taken during the very first time Messi was into a public library to help children acquire interest in reading. The lady in the picture is a writer and reader, and she, along with Instituto Cão Companheiro (Companion Dog Institute), developed this project that is the first one in Brazil,” said Maria Cristina Nadalin.

Second Place, Dogs at Play

‘Flying Free’ featuring Heidi, a merle Chihuahua. (Photo: Steffi Cousins)

“This particular photo was taken in September at West Wittering beach where we were on a large dog meet up and my two dogs were having a blast. I had my back to Heidi as I was photographing dogs playing in the water, I turned to check on my two and just managed to grab this shot in time,” said Steffi Cousins. “I’m so glad I did, it’s my favorite photo of Heidi and it shows off her crazy energy perfectly!”

Second Place, Dogs at Work

‘Springer in the Mist’ featuring Tarly, English Springer Spaniel. (Photo: Richard Lane)

“These are the sort of conditions I dream about for photography! This morning it all came together perfectly great subject and fantastic dramatic natural light to work with,” said Richard Lane.

Second Place, I Love Dogs Because…

‘Simply a ball’ featuring Darcy, a cross breed (Cocker and Poodle). (Photo: Elise Finney)

“I live in Kingston upon Hull [United Kingdom] with my parents and two dogs and I am currently working through education to become an animal nutritionist as well as competing in the dog sport agility with my dog Darcy. I received my first DSLR, in the December of 2016 and photography has quickly become a new passion of mine and a great way to bond and capture special moments with my canines,” said Elise Finney. “This photo was taken during a walk on a lovely summer’s day after a game of fetch. Darcy often rests her head on her ball after she has finished playing and this was the first moment I had managed to capture her doing this on camera.”

Second Place, Man’s Best Friend

‘Divine Connection’ featuring Kodi, a Yellow Lab/Golden Retriever mix. (Photo: Sherilyn Vineyard)

“Meet Kodi, working therapy dog with Divine Canines. This is him with his person, Susan, during their training and certification class in late April, three years ago. He was a little nervous around the other dogs, but all it took was the reassuring touch of the person he loves and he soared through the training to graduate and serve his community,” said Sherilyn Vineyard.

Second Place, Oldies

‘On a Rainy Day’ featuring Nilo, a cross breed and rescue dog. (Photo: Rachele Z. Cecchini)

“I took this photo on a rainy winter day. My best friend Nilo was a much traumatized rescue dog, but he felt very comfortable in the car. I love to observe him and I always feel very touched about his melancholic expression,” said Rachele Z. Cecchini.

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These are such gorgeous photographs of dogs but that last one of Nilo so perfectly captures the expression one sees frequently in the faces of ex-rescue dogs.

More in a week’s time! (In fact, when I did a count of the images yet to be shared with you, I see that there are sufficient for the next two Sundays!)

Picture Parade Two Hundred and Fifty

More wonderful Kennel Club images.

In the first part, published a week ago, I wrote:

Today’s Picture Parade is the start of a story about dogs that is likely to run for quite a few Sundays.

For I am republishing a wonderful account published by Mother Nature Network on July 17th. Here’s how that article is headlined:

Winning Kennel Club images celebrate dogs from all walks of life

  JACQUELINE GULLEDGE   July 17, 2018.

The second selection of these wonderful photographs and the story behind each one.

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First Place, I Love Dogs Because…

‘One heart, one family’ featuring Dash, Royal, Harley, Ženka, Ryan and Ready, all border collies. (Photo: Tamara Kedves)

The “I Love Dogs Because…” category is for photographers aged 12 to 17. This year’s first place winner is 16-year-old Tamara Kedves from Hungary.

“I started photography three years ago when I realized how much joy I find in taking photos of nature and animals. Since then I have photographed uncountable priceless moments, but my own dogs have stayed my biggest inspiration all along. For me, the purpose of photography is capturing a memory and make it last forever, as well as expressing my love for dogs through my pictures. My biggest goal is to make outdoor dog photography more popular with the creative use of lights and colors, while motivating other aspiring photographers,” said Kedves. “This family photo was taken in a sunny spring afternoon as the last shot of the session. It perfectly expresses what dogs and photographing them means to me: not only the deepest harmony and happiness, but spending time with whom and what I love the most: dogs!”

First Place, Man’s Best Friend

‘Dolce far niente on a lovely afternoon’ featuring Godji, a Portuguese Podengo cross breed. (Photo: Joana Matos)

“I love this photo for many reasons: it was taken at my favourite beach, with my favourite man, with my favourite dog… and in the background there is an umbrella that belonged to my eternal love Nupi, an adventurous cocker spaniel who shared his life with me for almost 19 years,” said Joana Matos. “Godji, the beautiful dog in the picture is a natural poser and sometimes people call her ‘supermodel of the world’ and now she has become one!”

First Place, Portrait

Glenturret Autumn Gold’ featuring Crew, Darcie and Pagan, (Glenturret) Flat Coated Retrievers. (Photo: Carol Durrant)

“The photograph was taken on the last day of October 2016 in the UK as we had the best autumn for years for its colours for many years but this day there was a mist in the background to make the photo magical,” said Carol Durrant. “The photo was taken at Ash Rangers where the dogs walk daily — Crew, Darcie and Pagan. This photo is memorable due to Crew’s short life cut short at 3 with IBD disease.”

First Place, Puppies

‘Little Ceylin’ featuring Ceylin, an Italian Greyhound. (Photo: Klaus Dyba)

“Ceylin was the second dog of my friend Birguel. The photo means much too me since her first dog, also an Italian greyhound died at puppy age in a car accident. 13 weeks old Ceylin has the whole life in front of her. You can see it in her expression,” said Klaus Dyba.

First Place, Rescue Dogs and Dog Charities

‘Found My Way Home’ featuring Cooper, a Labrador Retriever Mix and rescue dog. (Photo: Sonya Kolb)

“It was very clear that Cooper was the first child for this beautiful and loving couple. In this shot, they are holding hands behind Cooper’s drowsing head. It was a scene of pure contentment and love,” said Robyn Kolb.

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So, so beautiful!

On we go with another set in a week’s time.

You all take care out there!

How well our dogs read us!

Eons of time since man and wolf, as in dog, formed a relationship. And it shows!

Regular readers of this place (and thank you) will be aware that not infrequently I repost an article that had appeared on the site Mother Nature Network.

But the one I am going to share with you today goes to the very heart of why the bond between humans and dogs is so, so special. The article is called Dogs know when we’re sad — and rush to help.

It’s beautiful!

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Dogs know when we’re sad — and rush to help

They’ve had thousands of years to tune their emotions to ours.

CHRISTIAN COTRONEO   July 24, 2018

Dogs proved indifferent to ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.’ But the sound of a crying human was a different story. (Photo: Irina Kozorog/Shutterstock)

Never doubt a dog’s heart.

Whether it’s a bump in the night — intruder?! — or a leap into the breach to restore forests ravaged by wildfire, dogs rush in.

And all that canine courage, even if occasionally foolhardy, is rightly celebrated.

But there’s an underrated quality that dogs possess: the everyday heroism of just appearing at your side, almost instinctively, when you’re in distress.

Want to test it? Try crying, and see how long it takes for your dog to sidle up next to you.

In fact, for a study published this week in the journal Learning & Behavior, that’s exactly what researchers from Johns Hopkins University did. They pretended to be trapped behind a door — and then alternated between crying and humming “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”

Even in the lab, a dog’s empathy shines through

Although it seems that we’ve always been sure that our dogs are emotionally tuned into us, this study represents the first time that empathy has been clinically tested.

And the dogs didn’t let down researchers, either.

When scientists were seemingly trapped behind a door that was magnetically locked, their cries of distress brought the test dogs over in a hurry. In fact, the dogs hustled to the scene three times faster when they heard the cries, than they did when researchers hummed “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”

“It’s really cool for us to know that dogs are so sensitive to human emotional states,” study co-author Emily Sanford, from Johns Hopkins University, explains in a press release. “It is interesting to think that all these anecdotes of dogs rescuing humans, they could be grounded in truth, and this study is a step toward understanding how those kinds of mechanisms work.”

Dogs in the study were stressed out, but they kept their emotions in check and focused on the problem. (Photo: Sjale/Shutterstock)

What’s more, the dogs demonstrated an uncanny knack for suppressing their emotions when there was a life-saving job to be done. Although their stress levels spiked when they heard crying behind the door, dogs managed to master their emotions and quietly, efficiently push it open with their nose.

A minority of the test dogs, however, did show a very human response: Their stress levels were so high that they were effectively too paralyzed to help.

Sure, it isn’t the biggest study — researchers looked at just 34 dogs — but it does confirm what we’ve always known in our hearts from living with dogs: dogs get us.

That’s because, the researchers suggest, they’ve been studying the human heart for a very long time.

The Lassie effect

“Dogs have been by the side of humans for tens of thousands of years and they’ve learned to read our social cues,” Sanford explains in the release. “Dog owners can tell that their dogs sense their feelings. Our findings reinforce that idea, and show that, like Lassie, dogs who know their people are in trouble might spring into action.”

Like earlier this year, for instance, when a corgi named Cora suddenly walked away from her human companion at the airport. She was found a few minutes later, perched at the side of a stranger.

It turned out that stranger was grieving the loss of his own dog the night before.

Now, how to explain those dogs who run for their lives when strangers pretend to break into the family home?

Maybe they’re smart enough to know when we’re faking it? Or maybe, at some point, the situation seemed so dire and extreme, those dogs just had to high-tail it out of there.

But we prefer another theory: The dogs were just going to get help.

Dogs are keen students of humanity — and they’ve evolved to read our emotional states. (Photo: Gansstock/Shutterstock)

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Always, and forever, we have so much to learn from our dogs!

Picture Parade Two Hundred and Forty-Nine

Back to our wonderful dogs!

Today’s Picture Parade is the start of a story about dogs that is likely to run for quite a few Sundays.

For I am republishing a wonderful account published by Mother Nature Network on July 17th. Here’s how that article is headlined:

Winning Kennel Club images celebrate dogs from all walks of life

  JACQUELINE GULLEDGE   July 17, 2018.

It then opens, thus:

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‘The lady of the mystery forest’ featuring Noa, a Great Dane. (Photo: Monica van der Maden)

Purebreds, cross breeds, seniors, puppies, rescue dogs and even assistance dogs. Whatever label you give them, dogs have long been man’s best friend. They hold a special place in our heart, and our phones are often filled with candid images of them. Some may even have professional photos of their four-legged friends taken. They are part of our family and a shining part in our daily lives.

The Kennel Club in the United Kingdom has a similar sentiment towards dogs and recognizes those photographers who go above and beyond to capture their dog’s personality in intimate and sincere images. The Dog Photographer of the Year competition honored 30 photographers this year in 10 different categories.

This year’s overall winner (and Oldies first-place winner) is Monica van der Maden from the Netherlands for her stoic photograph of Noa, a Great Dane, in the woods.

“This picture was made in the early morning in the forest. I wanted to photograph her in a position where she was sitting relaxed next to a tree. When I wanted to make the shot, she turned her head to the left to her owner and this was the moment where you could see her soul,” said van der Maden in her submission. “Dogs come in all different shapes, sizes and colours. But their hearts are all the same filled with love.”

The other first-, second- and third-place winners can be seen below in their respective categories.

First Place, Assistance Dogs and Dog Charities

‘Reassurance’ featuring Rocko, a German Shepherd Dog. (Photo: Dean Mortimer)

“My thought process behind this picture is one that is close to my heart. My brother is ex-military as are some of my friends. I have seen first-hand some of the issues that war can have on even the strongest of men. The ex-soldier in the photo suffered great loss in Afghanistan and suffers from PTSD so that’s when Rocko came to his rescue,” said Dean Mortimer.

“Rocko the German Shepherd has been trained by his handler to help combat the effects of PTSD, the skills of which help calm and reassure the soldier when times get hard. In my photograph I tried to capture not just how this dog aids this PTSD sufferer but also to capture the kind nature of the dog and how he enriches this man’s life. I have been following and admiring the work carried out by Service Dogs UK, the charity I am nominating for this category prize donation from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust. I am amazed by how effective dogs can be in assisting an individual with their recovery. So I decided to base my entry for this category on this issue and hope that in doing so will raise awareness of this worthy charity.”

First Place, Dogs at Play

‘I’ll Catch You’ featuring Lili, a Pomeranian. (Photo: Elinor Roizman)

“This particular photo was taken in the beach just before sunset. I shot 4 dogs on that day, Lili, and her 3 bigger brothers. Suddenly, Lili, the smallest bitch, began to jump with pleasure at the soap bubbles and play as if she were a puppy. It was a precious moment full of happiness and true freedom,” said Elinor Roizman.

First Place, Dogs at Work

‘Wayne’s Team’ (Photo: Tracy Kidd)

“I was in photographer’s heaven whilst out on the shoot with Wayne’s Team of working dogs. It was a privilege to watch them, tails held high, nose to the ground and retrieving. All of them totally in tune with Wayne Green, hanging on every command and thoroughly enjoying their job. It’s days like this and the reality of life that I am looking to capture in my images,” said Tracy Kidd. “To document life, as it is, with passion. I always promised myself at the age of forty I was going to follow my dream to and become the best photographer I could be. Now at forty eight, through passion, hard work and determination, I have a photography business I am very proud of.”

Kidd also gives hilarious descriptions of each dog along with their names. “(Back row) Skye age 13. Lemon Working Cocker. Wayne’s soul mate. Loving, stubborn and wild when she was younger. (Front row) Jenny age 9. Liver Working Cocker. Daughter of Skye. Tough as old boots yet loves to be cuddled. The boss! Pippin age 1. Yellow Retriever. Extremely intelligent and is always a thousand miles an hour. Milly age 4. Black Retriever. Pippin’s Mother. Grease Lightening and on fire, especially on Grouse. Bramble age 6. Lemon/White Working Cocker. Hates to be told off. Always wants to please. Obsessed about checking scent. Loves a cuddle and very affectionate. Ember age 3. Yellow Retriever. So laid back. Very independent and works on her own. Always picks up. Extremely eager. Bonnie age 4. Yellow/White Working Cocker. Very loving however a little arrogant! Always has her nose to the ground but slow to retrieve. Always loves a cuddle.”

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Sorry, you will have to wait a week to see more of these gorgeous, wonderful dogs!