Tag: Ottawa

A hero dog

Clover comes to the aid of her human friend!

This was a story that appeared in my ‘in box’ yesterday afternoon but I didn’t want all the clutter that came with it. No problem because there were a number of videos on YouTube and I selected one that seemed to capture the essence of the story.

Words from the Today programme.

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Video captures moment hero dog stopped traffic during owner’s seizure

By Tim Fitzsimons

March 25, 2021

A dog named Clover is being hailed by Canadian media as a hero for helping her human, Haley Moore, survive a seizure that struck her suddenly during a walk.

Moore was strolling through the Stittsville neighborhood of Ottawa on Tuesday when she seized and fell to the curb, CTV News reported.

The incident was captured by a neighbor’s home security camera.

Clover, a year-and-a-half-old Maremma mix, sprung into action, attending first to Moore before bounding into the street and stopping traffic.

Dryden Oatway, a driver who stopped thanks to Clover’s heroics, said, “It was really impressive, the dog actually blocked my way. She kind of backed into the road to block my truck.”

Clover stopped another driver and then returned home.

“All I remember is waking up in the ambulance and being really confused, just like, ‘What is going on?'” Moore recalled in an interview with CTV. The cause of the seizure remains unknown.

Moore’s father, Randall Moore, told CTV that Clover was fed delicious steaks as a reward for her faithful service.

Psychology Today reported in March that new research suggests that seizure-predicting dogs are aided by the scent of volatile organic compounds that are excreted around seizures.

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Here is the YouTube video.

I’m still having some difficulty with the new WordPress but it is easier than yesterday.

Gnawing on a bone!

Dogs’ evolution shows why they ‘love’ gnawing on bones.

This is the second article on the BBC Nature website following yesterday’s item about why dogs enjoy a healthy breakfast.

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Dogs’ evolution shows why they ‘love’ gnawing on bones

By Victoria Gill
Science reporter, BBC Nature, Ottawa, Canada

Social living drove dogs to evolve the “tools” for chewing bones, scientists say

Scientists say they have discovered why dogs love to eat meat and bones.

Ancient canines adopted pack-living about eight million years ago, to hunt larger prey, according to researchers.

The resulting evolution of their jaws gradually turned the ancestors of modern wolves, and ultimately our own pets, into “hypercarnivores”.

Dr Joao Munoz-Doran presented the findings at the First Joint Congress for Evolutionary Biology in Ottawa, Canada.

He and his colleagues from the National University of Colombia have created a canine “family tree”, piecing together the relationships between each of the more than 300 dog species.

“We compared species that have very different diets,” Dr Munoz-Doran explained to BBC Nature. “So we classified them as carnivores, hypercarnivores [animals that eat more than 70% meat] and omnivores [animals that eat meat and vegetation].”

The ancestors of modern wolves belong to this hypercarnivorous group.

The team’s analysis showed that the skull features that now distinguish a wolf – strong jaw muscles and enlarged canine teeth – first started to develop when their ancestors first began hunting in groups.

“We found a common evolutionary history for these traits,” Dr Munoz-Doran explained. “Eight million years ago was when [less forested, more] open habitats were spreading through Asia, Europe and North America. And when there are open habitats, the big prey group together. So there will be more eyes watching for a predator.”

The only way that dogs roaming the open plains could snatch very large prey from a herd was to work together.

“And after many generations of this grouping behaviour, there are new selective pressures on their [skull shape],” said the researcher.

This pressure meant that animals with larger teeth and stronger jaws were more likely to succeed in hunting, and to survive to pass on their large-toothed, strong-jawed genes to the next generation.

Animals with stronger jaws and larger canine teeth would have been more successful hunters

“They developed strength in their muscles – especially the muscles that close their mouth,” said Dr Munoz-Doran. “And bones that are more resistant to bending, so they could support the mechanical strains of biting the prey. “Over time, they became adapted to be ‘hypercarnivorous’.”

The researcher pointed out that domestic dogs had “very good evolutionary reasons to enjoy chewing a bone”.

“They have the tools to do that,” he told BBC Nature, “and they want to use their tools.”

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Finally, to the side of that BBC Nature webpage were a few canine facts, as follows:

  • Common canines: Foxes, wolves, jackals, coyotes and dingoes are all members of this well-known group
  • Familiar faces: Wild canids are found on every continent except Antarctica
  • Communication is key: Previous studies of dog evolution have revealed that calls were essential for forming social groups and hunting larger prey
  • Pets’ past: All domestic dogs are descendants of the grey wolf

And don’t close without going here and listening to Steve Backshall howling with a wolf pack – (it’s a video as well – unmissable).