Tag: puppies

The range of human attitudes to dogs.

What a strange species we are!

Two days ago, just 3 miles down the road, someone reported seeing two dogs dumped in a yard and the culprit driving off at high speed. It was on the corner of Hugo Rd and Barker Rd, and Barker I know well because when I ride my bike I do an extra mile along Barker. (And we live on Hugo Rd.)

Then there’s the attitude adopted by the person who took puppies to a shelter. “… the breeder told her the coyotes can always use a meal.” As seen on the website Treehugger. Have a read.


Rescued Blind and Deaf Puppies Are Incredibly Joyful

Breeder had threatened to feed them to coyotes.

By Mary Jo DiLonardo Updated April 9th, 2021

Mary Jo DiLonardo

Trudy is fearless when she runs. Fred Strobel Photography

As I write this, it sounds like there are hyenas battling it out in my basement. Yelps and screams and torturous cries are storming up the stairs along with a few barks and high-pitched squeals.

It’s just another day in fostering some rambunctious blind and deaf puppies who happen to play very, very loudly.

Trudy and Zane are 9-week-old Australian shepherd mixes, maybe Aussiedoodles. They were dropped off at a rural shelter somewhere in Illinois by a breeder. When the beleaguered shelter worker asked what would happen to the puppies if she couldn’t take them, the breeder told her the coyotes can always use a meal. She couldn’t believe it.

The shelter, of course, took them. And Speak! St. Louis, the rescue I volunteer with, of course, stepped up. And somehow the puppies ended up here in Atlanta, playing “WWF Smackdown” in my basement.

Trudy and Zane are double merles like the Treehugger puppies. Merle is a swirly pattern in a dog’s coat that is very lovely and highly prized by breeders and people who want a pretty dog. When two dogs with the merle gene are bred together, there’s a 25% chance that their puppies will be blind, deaf, or both.

Sometimes this happens by accident, but it seems that it happens too often on purpose. In any case, there sure are plenty of puppies that end up needing homes. At least those are the ones that rescue groups hear about. Others just quietly disappear.

I’m pretty sure that Zane and Trudy weren’t handled much by their owner when they got here. They were awfully squirmy and bitey and didn’t want to be held or touched. They wouldn’t eat unless they were touching each other.

So I’ve been working on it. Hold one for a few seconds and put them down before they fidget. Pet them all over a little at a time. Feed them just a little farther apart at each meal.

In just a couple of weeks, they’ve learned that people are pretty cool.

Navigating the World

Zane in a quiet moment.Fred Strobel Photography

I’ve fostered a blind puppy, several deaf puppies, and two blind and deaf puppies including the famous Whibble Magoo, who is now competing in agility contests and is smarter than most people I know.

It’s just amazing to watch how they navigate the world. They quickly map out their area, learning where the walls, bushes, and furniture are. Sure, they bounce off a few things at first but puppy heads are pretty hard. They do a little bit of a cartoon-like head shake where the world, no doubt, spins a little bit inside their heads. Then they jump up and go back to exploring and running and being happy. 

And, boy, are they happy.

People often say they feel sorry when they see blind or deaf puppies. They talk about how awful it must be for them.

But this is the only life they know and they are so joyful! When they go outside, they bounce in the grass like it is the best, most wonderful place in the world. When they play with a toy, it’s the coolest toy ever. When they find my dog, their tails wag so hard because they are ecstatic to be around him.

And when they find a person, they are elated because people are amazing, fun, and they give snuggles and treats.

They’ve come a long way from being just a step away from coyote dinner. Now they’ve learned to sit with two taps on their bottom and they are learning “down” is a tap on the front foot.

They are getting ready to look for their forever homes where their new people will appreciate that they aren’t just deaf and blind puppies. Instead, they are brilliant, silly, playful, gorgeous puppies with wonderful loving, sweet personalities. 

They just happen to play and live with the volume turned up loud.


Regarding that dog dump in Barker Road, I managed to find out which house it was and later on in the day went for a bike ride that took me that way. There was no sign of anything unusual.

But to get to the matter of today’s post that is all about puppies that are blind or deaf. As I am sure you are aware, dogs are very different to us humans when it comes to their senses. I have written before about the great power of their sense of smell. This is many ways is their leading sense and I have no doubt that in the case of dogs that are blind or deaf their smell allows them to function pretty well.

There are many, many good people in the world. Some are outstanding. But I regret that there are quite a few low lights. Shame but there it is.

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!

Back to puppies!

Actually, some recent very interesting research on how puppies relate to the sounds of people around them.

A recent mailing under the SmartNews banner used by The Smithsonian Magazine seemed too good not to share with all you dog lovers.

Plus, our internet connection is not good at the moment so not going to dilly dally but go straight to the article that may be seen on the Smithsonian website here.


Why Puppies Love Baby Talk

New research shows puppies respond strongly to high-pitched chatter, but most adult dogs could care less.

istock-511313058-jpg__800x600_q85_crop_subject_location-1501569By Jason Daley
January 11, 2017

Anyone who has lived with a dog will find themselves occasionally cooing to their pup in slow-paced, high-pitched baby talk (OK, maybe most of the time). And a new study suggests that our canines respond to such dulcet tones—well, puppies do at least.

The study, published this week in the Proceedings of Royal Society Bshows that the baby-talk, also known as dog-directed speech, gets a big response from puppies. Older dogs, however, aren’t super impressed, reports Virginia Morell at Science.

The study’s researchers had 30 female volunteers look at photographs of dogs while reading standard dog-directed phrases, like “Who’s a good boy?” and “Hello cutie!” (they didn’t use real dogs to minimize the speakers going off script). The volunteers also read the doggie praise to a human. The researchers found that women used the higher-pitched, sing-song baby-talk tone when reading the passages to the photos, making their voices 21 percent higher when reading to the puppy images. With the human, they spoke in their normal voice.

That was more or less expected. But when the researchers played recordings of the women’s voices to ten puppies and ten adult dogs at a New York animal shelter, there was a stark difference. The puppies went wild when they heard the dog-directed voices. Morell reports they barked and ran toward the loudspeaker, crouching down in a pose used to start a round of horseplay. When researchers played the same phrases using the women’s normal tone of voice, the puppies weren’t nearly as enthused.

The adult dogs, however, were a different story. “They didn’t care at all,” Nicolas Mathevon, a bioacoustician at the University of Lyon in Saint-Étienne, France, and co-author of the study tells Morell. “They had a quick look at the speaker, and then ignored it.”

There’s no clear reason why the puppies reacted so strongly to the baby talk and the mature animals didn’t. It’s possible the higher-pitched tones stimulate a special response in the puppies. Mathevon tells Helen Briggs at the BBC that it may be related to a theory called the baby schema. In that hypothesis, humans evolved to find big eyes, big heads and round cheeks irresistibly cute. That helps parents bond with children, convincing them to spend the endless hours required to feed and tend to infants. Many of those cues are also found in baby animals.

But there may be more to the response.  “One of the hypotheses was that we humans use this dog-directed speech because we are sensitive to the baby cues that come from the face of a small baby [animal] as we are sensitive to the faces of our babies,” he tells Briggs. “But actually our study demonstrates that we use pet-directed speech or infant-directed speech not only because of that but maybe we use this kind of speech pattern when we want to engage and interact with a non-speaking listener. Maybe this speaking strategy is used in any context when we feel that the listener may not fully master the language or has difficulty to understand us.”

Over time humans have bred dogs to be more baby-like, which only makes humans bond with them more, Evan Maclean, an evolutionary anthropologist at the University of Arizona not involved in the study tells Nicola Davis at The Guardian. “As a result of selection for juvenile traits, dogs emit a lot of signals that scream ‘baby’ to humans, which can facilitate special kinds of interactions with dogs that are normally reserved for children,” he says. “The question we don’t have a great answer to is whether there are long term functional consequences of interacting with dogs in this way (e.g. effects on word learning), or if this is just a byproduct of the baby-like cues that dogs inundate us with.”

So why did the older dogs just keep chewing their bones when they heard the strangers’ voices coming from the speaker? “[M]aybe older dogs do not react that way because they are just more choosy and they want only to react with a familiar person,” Mathevon tells Briggs.


I think there’s more to this than the slightly light-hearted tone that came across in the article (well to my ears anyway!).

If you want to study the published proceedings from The Royal Society, referred to by Jason Daley in the second paragraph, then the paper is here:

Dog-directed speech: why do we use it and do dogs pay attention to it?

Tobey Ben-Aderet, Mario Gallego-Abenza, David Reby, Nicolas Mathevon
Only one way to finish today’s post!

P.S. Don’t run the video in front of a roomful of dogs! (As we did last night!)

Puppy Love!

Friday the 13th!

We are on course for a warm, sunny day. We were starting to wonder what they felt like!

But there’s never any question what the love of a dog feels like!

1070310989-222362-puppy_love_quotes___I am now going to follow this image up with a video made in England by Sophie Hannah Richardson recording her experience of welcoming to her home a new puppy.

Enjoy (and please read my footnote!).

Say hello to Luna the french bulldog everyone! How cute is she?!

We’ve had our little Luna just over a month now and we absolutely adore her. She’s playful, loving and very sociable! And she’s slowly learning to love the camera!

Follow Luna’s adventure right here: https://www.instagram.com/luna_thefrenchbulldog/


Footnote: In the last couple of days the number of good people who are following this blog has gone over 2,000. I am truly lost for words and will just leave it like this: Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

TIMOTHY BULLARD/Daily CourierPaul Handover with Pharaoh, a 12year-old German Shepard that he uses on the cover of his new book about man's best friend.
TIMOTHY BULLARD/Daily Courier Paul Handover with Pharaoh, a 12year-old German Shepard that he uses on the cover of his new book about man’s best friend.

Rescuing has no borders!

Please, please can you help find homes for these gorgeous puppies.

Please read to the end and share this post as widely as you can! Thank you!


Many know that I first met Jean in San Carlos, Mexico over Christmas, 2007.

I met Jean as a result of the kindest gift anyone has given me. Namely, Suzann Reeve, sister of Dan Gomez, whom I have known for 45 years, and Suzann’s husband, Don, invited me to spend Christmas with them at their home in San Carlos.


Before my arrival on the scene, Jean and Su had worked together for a long time rescuing poor feral dogs off the streets and finding homes for them in the USA.


After Jean and I moved from San Carlos, with 14 dogs I hasten to add, up to Arizona in 2010, Su has kept going rescuing street dogs and loving them until they can find real homes.


Many of the Mexican people are so poor that when a female dog has a litter of puppies they sell the puppies for a few pesos and cast the mother dog back out on to the street.


Our Hazel that we have here at home in Oregon was one such dog and, trust me, never have I experienced a more loving, loyal and affectionate dog.

The truest of love between a man and a dog!
Hazel loving up yours truly!

In the last few days, Su has been on the telephone to say that she has a litter of nine puppies and is desperate to find homes for them before too long.


In answer to my question about the background to the puppies, Su replied:

  • They are reputed to have been born on Valentine’s day, which makes them 8 weeks on April 14th.
  • They are about 6-7 lbs each today.
  • There are 4 girls and 5 boys.


  • Their mom was feral, but wags her tail ferociously when she spies me with her food bowl!
  • Mom eats steak, bone broth, rice, Kirkland Nature’s Domain canned food, Kirkland dry food. She has cared well for her pups.
  • The pups eat Blue Buffalo canned puppy food mixed in with Kirkland puppy food and some water. they have also received yogurt in their food which I weaned them off as of yesterday.


  • They will be receiving their first vaccination Monday.
  • They have been wormed twice.
  • They have been given anti-tick spray twice.


  • Several have at least one blue eye with the other being a brownish grey, some have brown eyes, and the others have light brown eyes.
  • I have their grandmother here at the casa as well, and Sofia is looking for a forever home as well. Bella, the mom of the pups, is a medium sized dog with brown, terra cota and white markings.
  • One of the dads is mostly black with a little white, and the one blue eye.


  • They were born in a small beach side fishing village in La Manga, Mexico.
  • The mom has a sweet disposition.
  • At least 2 of the pups have alpha tendencies.



So dear, dear people, if you or anyone you know might be interested in having one of these beautiful puppy dogs then leave a comment without delay.

If you have any questions or queries, likewise articulate that query as a comment to this post. Su will reply to each and every one.

Please share this post as far and wide as you can.

Don’t even hesitate in wondering how Su and all of us can get a puppy from San Carlos to wherever you are – it will be sorted!

Dogs spend their whole lives offering unconditional love to us humans.

Let’s return that love by finding homes for these nine beautiful puppies.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.