We humans love to be loved and, especially, by our dogs.
I am certain that all of the people who read Learning from Dogs on a regular basis are dog lovers and, just as important, your love for your dogs means that they in turn love you.
But unfortunately not everyone thinks of dogs in such a beautiful manner. For example, not far from here on Hugo Rd are a group of dogs, 4 or 5 I think, that I cycle past, and they live in outside kennels.
If you are an uncertain owner or a new owner you may want to understand more about your dog’s behaviour, or more accurately, whether your dog loves you. This article on The Dodo explains this very well.
Does My Dog Love Me?
How to tell what those happy wiggles really mean ❤️️
Humans loveeee love. Which means we want the people — or animals — we love to show us they love us back.
But it’s sometimes hard for us to tell whether or not our dogs truly, deeply, madly love us — especially if you’re a new pet owner.
Who doesn’t want to feel all warm, fuzzy and loved by our pets?
To help you get that confirmation you’re looking for, The Dodo turned to Dr. Vanessa Spano, a veterinarian at Behavior Vets in New York City, to understand how dogs show their love.
“It is so important to understand your pets’ body language, as that is their way of communicating with us,” Dr. Spano said.
Here are some of the most common ways to tell that your dog, in fact, abso-freakin’-lutely loves you.
Your dog has a relaxed, wiggly body
“When interacting with your dog, body language signs to look out for that may indicate comfort and positivity include a relaxed body (or wiggly body during times of excitement, like play or you coming home), soft, forward ears and soft, rounded eyes,” Dr. Spano said.
He wiggles his eyebrows at you
You read that right! Doggos in love are known to raise their eyebrows when they see their owner. In fact, a 2013 Japanese study used a high-speed camera to record dogs’ faces when their humans walked into the room. It found that dogs raised their eyebrows when they saw their owners, but not when strangers walked in. *happy cry*
He wants your attention
“It is also a good sign if your dog is soliciting attention from you, such as with a play bow,” Dr. Spano said.
This can also be seen when he brings you one of his favorite toys.
He leans against you
A dog will lean on humans for a few different reasons — sometimes it’s because he’s anxious or he wants you to do something — but it’s also a sign of affection. And regardless — even if your dog is leaning against you because he’s nervous — it still indicates that he thinks of you as someone who can protect him and keep him safe.
Confusing body language to look out for
According to Dr. Spano, there are some things dogs do that humans typically consider to be signs of affection, but aren’t always.
“Confusing signs include wagging tails and exposed bellies,” Dr. Spano said. “A dog wagging his tail simply means he is aroused by the situation. This can be a good thing, but not necessarily; it depends on the context of the situation.”
This means that it’s good to notice the situations that cause each of your dog’s behaviors and begin to build an understanding of your individual dog’s moods.
For example, maybe you notice your dog always wags her tail when you walk into a room — you can equate that situation with her being happy in those moments. On the other hand, maybe you’ve also noticed she wags her tail just a bit stiffer when she sees a strange dog, and it’s almost always followed by raising her hair and growling. While she is wagging her tail in both of these situations, it’s not the same kind of tail wag.
“Similarly, a dog showing his belly may be asking for belly rubs, but it can also indicate fear,” Dr. Spano said. “Dogs do have the capability of trusting and loving you, but depending on their own fears, stress level and past experiences, it may take some time.”
So in general, look for those relaxed and wiggly bodies to know how happy your dog is to see you. Other behaviors you’ll learn over time — and it’ll just help your bond grow even stronger since you’ll be the only one who can truly detect your dog’s moods and emotions.
Yes, it certainly takes time to really get to know a dog. Although one might think that having a number of dogs in the household makes it easier, and generally that is the case, even in a largish group one can have tensions that exist between a couple of the dogs. Knowing both dogs as well as you can enables one to adjust things so that the tension no longer exists or it becomes a very rare event.
But it is rare and, luckily, loving dogs is the normal!
I will close with a photograph of dear Oliver who is one of the most loving dogs I have come across.
The first time Mia went to the beach when she was around 5 months old, she fell in love. She loves swimming, digging in the sand and chasing her ball around, and it quickly became one of her favorite outings.
Mia and her mom go to the beach about once a week in the summertime — but for Mia, it’s never enough. Their house isn’t far from the beach, so whenever Mia is out on a walk and they pass the way that would take them to the beach, she immediately stops walking and stands her ground.
“She knows the way by heart,” Yoshi Lok, Mia’s mom, told The Dodo. “She also knows that if she keeps heading north, she will eventually get to the beach which is why she always stops in her tracks and pulls me when we are heading in the opposite direction of the beach!”
Mia can be incredibly stubborn and has no problem engaging in a standoff with her mom. Every time, her mom pleads with her to keep walking, trying to explain that they don’t have time to go to the beach that day, but Mia always tries to wait a little bit longer. She hopes that the longer she stands there, the more likely it is that her mom will cave in and take her to the beach after all.
“She isn’t very happy when we don’t go, she does try more than once on our walks to go to the beach,” Lok said. “Sometimes I have to bribe her with treats to keep walking.”
Even though Mia gets to go to the beach more than most dogs do, she would definitely prefer to go every day, and has made her stance on that perfectly clear.
“She reacts this way EVERY DAY,” Lok said. “Ever since we walked to the beach three years ago (when we moved to this area in Vancouver — Kitsilano), she remembered the way and never forgot.”
On the days when Mia finally does get to go to the beach, she’s so happy. As soon as she and her mom start walking in the direction of the beach, she gets so excited and practically runs all the way there. She swims, digs and runs as much as she possibly can until it’s time to go home — and then starts her campaign to go back to the beach all over again the next day.
I think that Yoshi wouldn’t have quite the problem with Mia, if indeed it is seen as a problem, if Mia had a doggie companion. While a single dog is very common having two dogs doesn’t really increase the workload that much and the rewards in terms of the two dogs playing together is immeasurable.
But when I read the latest article from The Dodo about a corgi that freaked out when she saw a bush made to look like a dog I did wonder. But whatever it makes a nice story.
Corgi Freaks Out When She Sees A Bush That Looks Just Like Her
“She looked confused and concerned” 😂
Published on 8/28/2020.
Luna isn’t usually scared of other dogs — in fact, she’s kinda bossy.
“Luna, like a lot of other corgis, has a big dog attitude in a smaller package,” Matt, Luna’s dad who asked that his last name not be included, told The Dodo. “She loves policing other dogs at the dog park.”
So it came as a surprise when the little dog freaked out when she met a larger, greener version of herself.
Luna and Matt were visiting a friend earlier this year when they spotted an adorable topiary in the neighbor’s yard. “I just thought it was hilarious ’cause I instantly thought it was a corgi-shaped hedge,” Matt said. “Maybe that’s just what my brain defaults to ’cause my dog is a corgi.”
Matt placed Luna in front of the hedge for a photo and it became clear she was not interested in making friends.
“I think she was afraid cause it was so large and maybe the way I reacted to it,” Matt said. “She looked confused and concerned.”
Matt was surprised to learn that his tough dog is actually a bit of a scaredy cat — when it comes to large plants, at least. “She has a pretty expressive face so it feels like I know what she’s thinking,” Matt said.
Matt snapped the photo of Luna and posted it to Twitter, with the caption: “Neighbors are a big fan of Luna apparently.”
People were so impressed by the likeness that the post quickly went viral. However, all the attention didn’t change Luna’s mind when it came to topiaries.
After eight years of living with Luna, Matt appreciates her now more than ever.
“She’s been great to have around,” Matt said. “The neighbors love her as well and I’m glad I can appreciate her more right now, having to stay home more often.”
But, to keep Luna happy, they haven’t walked by the bush since.
This is a post about dogs being of comfort to the Californian firefighters. A post presented on The Dodo that I am republishing.
But yesterday afternoon came news that here in Oregon we have a blaze. As the Washington Post reported it, in part:
An unusually expansive outbreak of large and fast-moving wildfires threatens communities in three states Wednesday, with the greatest risks focused on Medford, Ore., and Oroville, Calif., as large fires advance in those areas.
In Oregon on Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Kate Brown (D) announced that four towns have experienced significant damage, and she warned residents to expect news of fatalities.
“Oregon has experienced unprecedented fire with significant damage and devastating consequences for the entire state,” she said. Brown said the communities of Detroit, Blue River, Vida, Phoenix and Talent are “substantially destroyed.”
But back to those Californian firefighters.
Dog Helps Comfort Firefighters Fighting The California Wildfires
Ever since she was a puppy, Kerith has been the bubbliest, most joyful dog, and her mom always knew that she was born to help people.
Kerith was originally being trained to be a guide dog for individuals who are blind, but ended up changing career paths to become a therapy dog instead. For the past year she’s been working with local firefighters, providing them comfort in times of need — and with the recent wildfires spreading across California, they need her now more than ever.
“Kerith has been going to base camps where the crews start their day before they roll out to fight one of the many wildfires in CA,” Carman said. “She lightens the mood first thing in the morning. We walk around to visit all the crews while they are getting ready for their day of fighting fires. Everyone wants to see her to get some love.”
As the fires rage across California, the firefighters’ jobs become more and more stressful as they work hard every moment of the day to save homes and lives. Kerith provides them a moment of relief and joy from the realities of their job — and when many of them see her, they can’t help but envelop her in a huge hug.
Kerith loves all her firefighter friends so much, and is more than happy to let them hug her close. She seems to know that what she’s doing is important, and that the hugs she’s getting are more than just hugs. She’s helping to bring comfort when the firefighters need it most.
“Kerith clearly loves what she is doing,” Carman said. “When she sees a fire engine she gets so excited because she knows she is going to see her firefighter friends.”
Hopefully the wildfires will be under control soon, but until then, Kerith will continue to give her firefighter friends as many hugs as they need.
I find it amazing that there are dogs such as Kerith who love to be loved. Now plenty of dogs fall into that category but Kerith is part of a team; the rest of the team are human and working their backsides off fighting fires.
I will leave you for today with a random photograph I found from the ABC News website of one of those fires in California.
Roll on the rain!
And a photograph taken at 11am PDT today of the hills to the East. It includes our own property.
It shows the extent of the smoke; the nearest run of trees across the photograph are on our property.
How hard could it be, really? Just a few snips here and there should do it.
That, apparently, was what one well-meaning dog mom thought when she decided to cut her dog’s overgrown hair herself at home.
And, well, you’ll see how that turned out.
The other week, Susana Soares was hanging out with her dog, Mano, when she realized his hair had gotten rather overgrown. It’d been a while since Mano had been to the groomers, and his shag was becoming a bit of an issue.
“Hair was getting in his eyes,” Soares told The Dodo.
Mano wasn’t loving it.
Soares, who’s actually worked as a hair stylist for humans, figured that taming Mano’s unruly mane would be no sweat.
“I decided to cut his hair at home,” she said.
So, Soares grabbed some scissors and got down to business — and this is what resulted:
Soares had solved Mano’s hair-in-the-eyes issues sure enough.
She gave him bangs — bangs that inadvertently gave Mano a questionable new look.
It was almost as if the little dog had cut his bangs himself. Without a mirror.
Mano didn’t have to ask Soares how she thought his new ‘do’ turned out.
“I fell on the floor laughing,” she said.
Did the cut look ridiculous? Yes, of course it did. But Mano’s not vain. He could see clearly again, after all.
“He likes it,” Soares said.
Fortunately, when tussled, Mano’s haircut looks less silly. If only slightly so.
Despite how things turned out, Soares did have the best intentions — and that’s what matters most.
Bad haircuts come and go. And thankfully, in time, Mano’s bangs will grow back into a more natural look.
When it comes time to trim them again, Soares plans to keep her scissors in the drawer and leave it to the pros.
“I will not be repeating that!” she said.
See what I mean. This was a delightful story and I really have nothing to add other than joining in with the laughter!
Dog lovers have two fears in their hearts: their dog dying and their dog going missing.
I think in many ways a dog going missing is the more difficult of the two to handle. There are so many questions unanswered!
So when The Dodo published this story earlier this Summer I immediately put it in my ‘blog’ folder. Somehow I overlooked the story but that is remedied today!
Dog Is Overjoyed To Reunite With His Mom After 2 Years Apart.
“[He] looked me straight in the eyes as if he was saying, ‘I gotta see that this is really you.’”
By Lily Feinn
Published on 7/1/2020.
Two years ago, Linda Harmon’s beloved dog Twixx went missing from her yard.
Twixx had been a bit of an escape artist, known for digging tunnels under the fence. That’s how he ended up with a little scar on the top of his head.
Harmon’s husband had recently installed metal posts around the fence making it impossible for Twixx to get out. After checking the gate and the fence, they couldn’t find any signs of tampering — it was as if Twixx had just disappeared.
Harmon began searching the neighborhood, making posters, posting on Facebook and checking with the local animal control. Then a woman who had been following Twixx’s story on Facebook reached out to Harmon via text.
“She said, ‘I’m so sorry to send you this, but I found your Twixx. He’s been hit on the side of the road and here’s his picture,’” Harmon told The Dodo. The woman sent Harmon a photo of the top of the dog’s head, and there was Twixx’s little scar.
Harmon reported Twixx as deceased to the microchip company, but still had difficulty accepting that he was really gone. “I never truly believed it in my heart,” Harmon said. “My husband said, ‘You’ve got to let this go. You’re grieving over him.’ But I said I would never get another dog and I didn’t for two years.”
Then, earlier this month, Harmon was sitting with her church group when a miracle happened — she received a call from the local animal shelter asking if she had ever owned a chipped pet.
“I just started bawling. I was crying endlessly, and I was around quite a few church members and they rushed to me, thinking I had bad news,” Harmon said. “But when they looked at me I was smiling.”
After so long apart, Harmon worried that Twixx wouldn’t remember her. And the last thing she wanted was to make her dog feel scared or uncomfortable.
So the shelter came up with a plan: When Harmon came to pick up Twixx, they would hold him behind the gate while she called his name, and shelter staffers would watch the dog’s reaction.
When Twixx arrived at the shelter gate, Harmon began to gently say his nickname — Tootaroota — and as soon as the dog heard her, he put his snout on the ground as if sniffing for his mom.
“Finally, when I bellowed out ‘Twixx’ he ran to the gate and stood at attention,” Harmon said. “And I heard the lady say, ‘Let him out because he’s trying to find her.’”
As soon as they opened the gate, Twixx turned the corner and ran straight to his mom. It was as if he remembered every minute they had spent together, and the two years apart faded away.
“He couldn’t stop wiggling — oh my goodness — and he just jumped on me,” Harmon said. “Then he laid his head in my arms and looked me straight in the eyes as if he was saying, ‘I gotta see that this is really you.’”
Soon everyone watching the reunion had tears in their eyes — including Harmon.
Now, Twixx is home safe and sound with the family that loves him. And he hasn’t dug another hole since.
Dogs store the scents of humans that have loved them forever. In a very real sense it is part of their memory system albeit it is very different to the memories that you and I have. For dogs have a scenting ability, call in a nose, that is 100 million times better than ours. It is impossible for us humans to truly comprehend what that means to a dog.
But Twixx demonstrated this superbly because the first thing he did was to “put his snout on the ground as if sniffing for his mom.”
A few months after he was adopted last year, Burger started digging under his family’s fence. He wanted to be able to watch all the people going by, and after thinking about it for a while, his dad came up with the best idea.
He decided to cut a hole in the fence to make a little window for Burger so he could watch the world go by, and Burger instantly fell in love with it.
“As soon as I was done, Burger had his head through it and immediately stopped digging,” Brian Stanley, Burger’s dad, told The Dodo. “Best decision ever!”
Now, every time he goes outside, Burger goes straight to his little window. He loves greeting people as they pass by, and he definitely brings a smile to all his neighbors whenever they see his little head peeking out through the window.
When the coronavirus pandemic forced things to shut down in March, Stanley and his family noticed that there were suddenly a lot more people out and about walking past their fence than there had been before. The family hoped that seeing Burger would help bring a smile to everyone’s faces during such a hard time — and then Stanley had an idea to take it to the next level.
“At first it started as a joke with my wife that I was going to paint something on the street side of the fence around the dog window, but then the idea of painting an actual picture and hanging it up to frame the hole started to form in my mind,” Stanley said. “The shutdown brought an obvious black cloud along with it. Even though more people were out on the street walking or biking, we knew it was due to job loss and uncertain times. I first talked about it to my son who was 100% behind the idea of putting something up on the fence to hopefully bring a smile to people’s faces.”
With the idea cemented in their minds, Stanley and his 7-year-old son Cameron got to work on their first painting. They decided to create a version of the famous painting “The Scream” and call it “The Bark.” They hung up the painting and admired their work. They hadn’t been planning on making any more paintings, but after the first one, the ideas just kept coming — and now the artwork framing Burger’s window is constantly changing.
So far they’ve done “Paws” …
… “Jurassic Bark” …
… and even a Pac-Man-themed painting.
Every time his family puts up a new creation, Burger is always right there, and quickly sticks his head out of his window to admire their work.
Of course, the initial goal of the paintings was to help brighten people’s days, and so far that’s absolutely been achieved.
“People have told us that they plan their walks and bike rides to go by our fence and some people will even alter their drives so it takes them past it,” Stanley said. “I have been outside on multiple days with the dogs and see people walk up and take selfies with the fence and Burger. People bring treats to him and he just soaks up the attention. Both my wife and I have been stopped by people when they see us outside so they can tell us how much they love what we are doing and that they hope we don’t stop.”
Stanley and his family currently have new painting ideas planned all the way through January 2024. They’re so happy that their paintings and Burger are able to bring a little joy to their community. Of course, Burger probably loves the paintings most of all, because they’ve brought so many new people to his fence who he can watch and say hello to.
“All in all, it’s brought us closer to the community and the community closer to us while making everyone happy … it doesn’t get much better than that,” Stanley said.
This post comes with a good number of fabulous photographs. Makes one really think of Burger as the dog next door. And it shows the ingenuity of Brian Stanley and his wife and son, Cameron; first class!
It is a very nice article. A’hh, that’s too tame. It’s a brilliant article! Much better.
We are no strangers to dogs. But we still do hear of accounts of dogs that just leave one speechless.
Now I wouldn’t have said that dogs and birds are great buddies but this account on The Dodo is precious.
You have a read.
Dog Brings Mom An Injured Bird And Then Waits To Make Sure She’s OK
August 7th, 2020
Charlie’s family rescued him two years ago, and they’ve come to know him as one of the sweetest dogs around. He’s a very gentle soul who cares a lot about the people around him — so when Charlie saw a bird fly into a window and fall to the ground, he immediately sprang into action.
“He found the bird right after she flew into my living room window,” Elizabeth Houston, Charlie’s mom, told The Dodo.
Charlie could see that the bird wasn’t moving and needed help, so he gently picked her up in his mouth, brought her over to his mom and dropped the bird in her lap. Then, he waited. He refused to leave his mom’s side as she held the bird, and he watched her intently, waiting for the bird to wake up.
“He and my Bostons kept a close eye on me and the bird the whole time,” Houston said.
Finally, the bird woke up and started chirping — and Charlie was so excited, he couldn’t believe it.
“The look on Charlie’s face was priceless,” Houston said.
Charlie was so happy to see that his bird friend was all right, thanks to his quick thinking. Once Houston was sure that the bird was completely OK, she released her back into the yard, and Charlie was by her side as he watched his new friend fly away.
Charlie was so concerned after he saw the bird fall that he had to make sure she got the help she needed, and his family hopes that his story will help people see how sweet pit bulls really are.
It is so true that Pit Bulls have a very special and caring side to them. Indeed, half the reported problems with Pit Bulls comes from the way certain people ‘train’ them.
I must point you towards BAPBR, that stands for Born Again Pit Bull Rescue.
As BAPBR state on their home page:
We are the longest standing registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the Portland Metro area dedicated to improving the lives of pit bulls and their communities. As an all-volunteer run organization, we advocate for pit-bull-type dogs through community awareness and education and strive to combat misinformation, over-population, shelter crowding, low adoption and high euthanasia rates for these family dogs.
I will reach out to them and see if I can write a post about BAPBR.