Archive for the ‘How Dogs Think’ Category

Doggy Day Camp !!

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

My dog loves going to doggie day camp where he can tear around a glass-enclosed room with other dogs. People (or worried owners who’ve never seen their dog socialize with a dozen other dogs) can watch the dogs play and rumble with each other, run around, sniff everything, or just chill out on a sleeping pad.

It’s located at a pet supply store that includes an animal hospital and training school. When I’m traveling, I can leave him there for overnight boarding replete with a video monitor that plays any TV or movie scene with dogs!

When I pick him up – whether it’s been an afternoon or three days, he is absolutely exhausted and will sleep most of the day to recover from the fun and excitement.

http://petshotel.petsmart.com/doggie-day-camp/

This is post is contributed by Sarah McCue. Sarah is the founder of BluMail, http://www.facebook.com/l/;www.blumail.org, a global email, education, networking, jobs, entrepreneurship and activism portal for millions who will be coming online in developing countries. She is the author of 8 business and technical books and lives in Washington, DC with her fiance and 7 month old Maltese-Havese named Tim Tebow.

Release These Hounds

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Organizations exist all across the country that train and place service dogs in homes where they are needed. These dogs go through a rigorous screening process and many, many months of training. It’s easy to find a home that needs one of these dogs. But what happens when it’s one of these dogs who is in need of a home? What happens to a dog that doesn’t make it through the screening process? That’s where people like Michael and Diane Levine come in.

Back in 1990, the Levines were living in Rhode Island and were looking for an addition to their family. They’d always loved dogs, but didn’t want to raise a puppy. That’s when they heard about Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a non-profit organization in New York that provides trained guide dogs for the visually impaired. They didn’t need a guide dog, but they were interested in adopting one of the program’s dropouts.

Dogs can be “released” from the program for many different reasons. According to the Guiding Eyes for the Blind website, the most common reason for a puppy to be released is that “the dog’s personality trait indicates a pup who seeks human support when under pressure.” Young adult dogs who have been through training may be released if they “show signs of worry in certain situations” or “appears to lack the fortitude for guide work.”

The Levines have welcomed three of these so-called “flunkies” into their home and couldn’t be happier. “I think raising a puppy is a lot of work,” says Levine. That’s why he thought this program was such a great idea. “They’re already trained,” he says, “They’re housebroken and they know basic commands.”

Taz was the first dog they adopted after being on a waiting list for about six months. Mandy was their next addition. She didn’t actually flunk out of the program, but rather, was released because of a medical condition. Although it was a minor problem, it is the policy of Guiding Eyes not to use guide dogs that have a health problem. A few years after they got Mandy, and after Taz had passed away, the Levines brought Jack into their home.

Levine says Jack flunked out of the program. “He was chasing squirrels or something like that,” he says with a grin. Levine says they would like to adopt another dog from a similar program eventually. The demand is so high for released dogs from Guiding Eyes that the anticipated wait for those who have already submitted applications is four years.

These released dogs make wonderful pets, and Mandy and Jack are proof of that. The adopted sister and brother are the best of friends, get to sleep on the bed and enjoy all the pleasures of being a dog. And Michael and Diane Levine get to enjoy all the pleasures that come with living with these two faithful companions. It is said that often the traits that make dogs unsuitable for “work” are the very traits that make them the perfect companion dogs.

Suzanne Jalot is a freelance writer and also the editor for Dog Living Magazine (www.doglivingmagazine.com). She can be contacted at editor@doglivingmagazine.com.

DO YOU RECYCLE?

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Did you ever think of adopting a senior dog as a form of recycling? It sure is, and it can help everyone involved!  If you bring a senior dog into your life through adoption, you help shelters by cutting down on the senior dog population that will, in many cases, be euthanized more quickly than younger dogs or puppies..  You help a senior dog get a new lease on life.  Best of all, you get a loving and grateful companion.

So why do so many people pick puppies? Puppies are cute, no matter what breed or size or color, and in most cases they get adopted quickly and easily.  Puppies are cute for a reason, so we put up with their antics and lack of brains until they become complete dogs.  Why not get the full package immediately?

Often, people are afraid to adopt an older dog because of the cost.  People assume that an older dog will automatically have health problems that will have to be dealt with by a vet and that means money out of pocket.  In reality, when you adopt a young puppy, you are putting money out for him or her as well.  There are shots, shots again, spaying and neutering, and yearly checkups.  Let’s not forget the ruined shoes, gallons of pet stain remover, and new furniture.

Another deterrent in adopting a senior dog is the dog’s history.  The fear of the unknown, it could be called.  No one wants to find out that the dog they adopted endured physical or mental abuse and now snaps at and cowers from tall men or women with glasses, or who knows what.   Granted, dogs can’t tell you what their stories are, but nothing is insurmountable.  Patience, training, and plain old-fashioned love can take care of lots of issues with dogs.  Plus, no one can assure you of your new puppy’s future either…unfortunately.

There are major benefits to adopting older dogs.

Older dogs tend to have calmer temperaments than their younger counterparts. Let’s face it, puppies are like kids….they have boundless amount of energy and go from 0 to 100 in mere seconds.  If you aren’t up to the challenge of a young dog, then an older dog is definitely for you!  While older dogs still need exercise, they love a long nap and a good chin scratch.

With an older dog, what you see is what you get. There are occasions when puppies grow up to look nothing like what anyone thought they were supposed to look like.  A puppy that looks like it’s going to stay small may grow up to be over 100 pounds! With a senior dog, you already know what you’ve got.

Many older dogs have already lived in a house environment and are housebroken. What a bonus…no housebreaking!  That also means no chewed up shoes, furniture or other important things.  Older dogs are long past the teething stage.

Senior dogs will let you get a good night’s sleep. Older dogs settle into a routine easily, and that includes bathroom visits and bedtimes.  They are accustomed to human schedules and don’t need feeding, comforting, or potty breaks at 2 a.m.  Their bladders are bigger too!

Older dogs listen better (hopefully) and mind better. Older dogs are more mellow and learn more easily.  If they’ve had any kind of human interaction, that means they have had some training, whether it be on purpose or even by accident.  Older dogs just “get it..”

So why not give a senior dog a great home for the twilight years of his life?  You will reap much more than you sow in love, gratitude and better health than you can imagine.  Your time with your senior dog may be shorter than with a puppy, but in many instances you have given an older dog a second chance at a loving, happy family and home.  Adopting a senior dog truly is the purest form of recycling!

“Old dogs, like old shoes, are comfortable – they may be a bit out of shape and worn around the edges, but they fit so well.” –Bonnie Wilcox, “Old Dogs, Old Friends”

Thanks to Roberta Beach, Silverwalk Hounds Dog Sanctuary, for her help with this article.  www.silverwalk.petfinder.com

submitted by Stacy L. Busch
www.buschpetproducts.com

Beyond Science: The Empathosphere and Place, Time and Connection Between Man and Dog

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Dog Body Dog MindAccording to Dr. Michael W. Fox’s 2007 book, Dog Body, Dog Mind, dogs and other animals posses a sensitivity to electromagnetic and geomagnetic fields. This allows for an internal compass and clock that allow animals to use the sun, moon and stars to have a sense of time in relation to the position of objects in space. In addition, dogs posses iron salt deposits in their brains (as do humans!) that can act as a magnetic compass. This accounts for a dog’s ability to preform ‘psychic’ acts in relation to finding a lost companion or finding ones way home over many miles, even in unknown environments.

But, what about the many accounts of dogs who predict emotional or health related events across time and space?

Accounts are commonplace in which dogs howl or having strong physical and vocal reactions to seemingly nothing, only for human companions to later find out that at the very moment their pet dog was howling at ‘nothing’, that a beloved family member in a distant place had passed on or sustained a serious injury.

Dr. Fox explains this psychic phenomenon by invoking Albert Einstein’s theory of a unified field, in which all things are interconnected and interdependant. Einstein failed to express this theory mathematically, however, Fox argues that the existence of this field is demonstrated by modern sciences such as ecology and quantum mechanics (Fox, 91).

Fox continues to assert that this interconnectedness, as often described in spiritual doctrines, connects every living being to one another as we are all psychophysically connected to the bodies in space and everything that ‘is’ via our senses and emotions. Given that we are emotional beings, it would be natural to assume that a companion animal forms a connection to his pack members (human and animal) and that connection can form a point in the space-time continuum, allowing him to re-orient himself toward the emotional field of his family (Fox, 91).

Fox refers to this phenomenon as the ‘empathosphere,’ to which the animal kingdom is still connected but we humans have been removed in the plight of Western, industrialized, contemporary life. The empathosphere is based on the notion that when animals feel an emotional connection, they can use the unified field of interconnectivity to “‘feel-see’ across time and space and sometimes sense another’s activities and emotional state,” (Fox, 92).

This was a guest blog written by Hilary Sloan Canine Aficionado www.caninebark.com