Sunday, May 31, 2009

Barking as a Greeting

Some people enjoy coming home because their dog greets them excitedly by jumping and barking. They feel this proves their dog's love for the family.

But in a natural setting, dogs don’t bark, yelp, or jump on pack mates in a burst of affection. Dogs that greet their owners in this way are trying to communicate. According to Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer, rather than professing undying love, he believes they are probably trying to tell you that they are lonely and bored; their needs as a dog are not being met.

The excitement is your dog’s way of burning off the excess energy that has been building throughout the day. Don't be disappointed by this revelation. Dogs simply don’t use emotions like people do. Remember, they’re dogs. To love a dog means you must treat him like an animal, which means fulfilling him as Nature intended him to be fulfilled.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sing to Your Dog

Do you sing to your dog?

I met someone who likes to sing to her dogs when she spends time with them. Shelia sings when she is grooming, scratching ears, bathing, or other dog encounters. She makes up songs as she goes along using their name, terms of endearment, and anything else that comes to mind or voice, should we say. Shelia claims that the dogs find it calming and they seem to pay attention. According to Shelia they are the only ones in her family who appreciates her singing!

As the saying goes, your dog loves you no matter what. Next time you spend time with your dog, try a song. You do not even need to be in tune!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Beach Doggies

Another FABULOUS day in Olympia Washington! My friend and I and our dogs explored a hidden beach along Budd Inlet.

To our delight our first wildlife sighting was a bald eagle. In the water, we found a variety of sea life. It was so warm that we waded in the water and the dogs took several swims to cool off.

Frost insists on her own beach towel

Ebony creates a wake

Good time was had by ALL!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Distinctive Characteristics of the Dog Family

In the process of looking for something interesting to share regarding dogs, I came across a list of the distinctive characteristics of the dog family.


Can you come up with five distinctive characteristics?


42 teeth

They walk on their toes

They have four claws on their hind feet, and 5 on the front

They have two coats- an outer coat of coarse hair, and an inner coat of fine hair

They have a keen sense of smell

They have excellent hearing due to ear flaps called "leathers"

They can see colors, but not as clearly as we can

How many did you get?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dog and Human Personality

How do you and your dog compare in the personality department?

Try this online personality test/quiz/competition.

Directions: Answer the following personality quiz questions by comparing yourself with your dog. One point for either "your dog" or "you." Where a quiz statement applies to both or neither of you, then select "Equal."

1. Joyfully undertake frequent vigorous physical exercise.

2. Happily eat the same food day after day.

3. Almost always cheerful, fun-loving, ignoring aches and pains

4. Need no medical help (valium, prozac, etc) to relieve stress or tension.

5. Seize most every opportunity to enjoy the natural world.

6. Can take criticism and blame without resentment.

7. Can ignore a friend's limited education and never correct him/her.

8. Can face the world without any lies and deceit.

9. Can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend.

10. Can joyfully live without pep pills, cigarettes or liquor.

11. Weight in more normal proportion to body.

12. Can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles.

13. Can understand and accept when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time.

14. Have no prejudice or discomfort WHATSOEVER with others' creeds, colors, religions, or beliefs.

SCORING: Add up the number of test questions answered with a "Your Dog" response and subtract the number of online test questions with a "You" response. That is your score on this online psychological personality test. The AVERAGE quiz score in the past has been the dog winning by 3-4 questions over the human; only 2% claimed they did better than their dogs while taking this quiz online.

Most who truthfully answer the above will discover that their dog scored somewhat better than they on this personality test. The mildly sneaky intent of this "competition" is to suggest that we all might look to our dogs as BEACONS of mental health with many behaviors and responses to which we could well aspire as our long term health goals. Too often we give ourselves just another set of excuses for our unhappiness and dysfunctional behaviors and fail to realize that we need such long term health goals if ever we are to achieve a measure of happiness and contentment.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

History and Evolution of Dogs

I found some interesting facts about the early history of dogs and their domestication which I thought I would share.

Biologists have debated over the history and evolution of the domestic dog for hundreds of years. Most Scientists now agree that dogs are directly descended from Canis Lupus - the Grey Wolf. Dr. Robert K. Wayne, canid biologist and molecular geneticist at UCLA, has shown, through DNA research, that dogs are more closely related to the Grey Wolf than Biologists had previously suspected. In fact, due in large part to Dr. Robert K. Wayne's genetic research, the authors of the "Mammal Species of the World" the internationally accepted reference source on mammal species, reclassified the dog in 1993 from Canis Familiaris to Canis Lupus.

We will never know exactly why or how wolves were tamed by man, but remains of dogs dating back 10 to 15 thousand years have been found, so we at least have a "ball-park" figure of when which helps to build a picture of the history and evolution of dogs. The wolf and man had several important things in common, we were both hunters and also hunted in packs. The most likely scenario is that a human hunting party came across a very young Wolf Cub and decided to take it with them. The Wolf Cub would have been very puppy like and would not have been quite as dangerous as a wild Wolf. A semi-tamed Wolf would probably have had considerable value to a hunter gatherer group, lending its superior hunting senses to the group. This would have helped not just in hunting but defensively as a warning system as well. The evolution of the wolf to the domestic dog began.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Controversy Regarding Electronic Dog Training Collars

The controversy and discussion over electronic dog training collars has continued for many years.

On one side of the fence we have many dog owners, handlers, and others who believe that the use of electronic dog training collars amounts to cruel and inhumane treatment of these animals, and they believe there is no real legitimate purpose served by using them.

On the other side of the fence we have many hunters, dog owners, and handlers who believe very strongly in the value of electronic dog training collars. It must be pointed out that these folk also love their animals and are concerned about their well-being. These people would not think of using an electronic dog training collar if they believed for one moment that such use was cruel or harmful to the dog.

When I field questions about electronic dog training collars, I re-enforce the idea that electronic dog training collars are a "training tool" which is safe and effective when used properly. The collars have several settings and it is important to find the lowest setting where your dog just notices the stimulation. A dog will twitch its neck or turn its head (probably trying to figure out what that was). The lowest setting is used to get the dog's attention and linked with a command shortens the learning curve. Does it hurt the dog? Not if used in this manner. Sometimes pet owners come across an impasse with dog training, and this is when an electronic dog training collar can be a very helpful training tool.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

City Dog and Country Dog

Today Ebony and I took a walk along the beach of Budd Inlet in Olympia, Washington. Brian and Jayme along with their dogs, Brinkley and Ginger, joined us.

We saw an array of wildlife! Jayme screamed when she was squirted by the oysters hiding in the mud. We found starfish, live sand dollars, large snails, and saw blue herons.

But their city dogs were not use to the rough surface of the shells along the beach. It must be similar to getting one's feet toughened going barefoot in early summer. Both Brinkley's and Ginger's pads had to be doctored when we got home. Ebony came away without any cuts to her pads. Guess the country dog is more conditioned to uneven surfaces whereas the city dogs are use to grass and sidewalks.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dog Intelligence

Measuring dog intelligence is like measuring human intelligence. They all have talents in different areas and may score differently on IQ tests. Bloodhounds may not do very well at herding sheep but, on the other hand, Border Collies may not excel at tracking scents.

We usually agree that a dog who masters obedience and tricks is intelligent. However, dogs who do not cooperate well with training may not be stupid. They may simply have the intelligence to think for themselves and prefer to do things their way which may not be the same as your way.

How smart is your dog? Joy Butler has some simple and fun ways to measure your dog’s intelligence.

Throw a towel over your dog’s head and time how long it takes him to free himself. An average may be 15 to 20 seconds.

Place three paper cups upside down on the floor, three feet apart. Allow your dog to see you place a tasty treat under one of them. Turn him in a circle twice or lead him into another room for about 30 seconds and then see if he can go to the right cup the first time.

Place a flat yummy treat just under the edge of the sofa. Time how long it takes him to get it out. An average may be around 60 seconds.

Take your dog outside the yard on a long leash and walk along the fence several feet from the gate which you will leave open. Toss a treat over the fence. See if he figures out to go back around through the gate to get the treat.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Dog Gets Bionic Paw

The advancements in modern veterinary medicine are truly amazing!

An 8-year old German Shepherd got a new artificial leg that will bind to the dog's skin and become permanent.

You have to see the video Dog Gets Bionic Paw.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Chehalis Western Trail
Olympia, Washington

I have been talking about the Chehalis Western Trail in my previous blogs. It is there where I meet interesting people and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

My favorite spot sit for a break.

This is the scenic view sitting on the bench.

Ooddles of yellow water lilies this time of year.

Here is a fun picture where I caught a red-wing black bird in flight.
It looks like two red headlights!

What a treat when the sun shines in our gorgeous green state of Washington. Ebony and I take to the Chehalis Western Trail for our daily outings.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Observations on the Trail

This morning my dog, Ebony, and I went on the Chehalis Western Trail; I was on skates and Ebony ran beside me. It was a gorgeous morning and we saw and met an array of people.

Here are some of my observations:

Firstly, people are very friendly; everyone I passed said "hello" or "good morning" to me. I met two little girls about 5 and 7 years old on bicycles who each greeted me with "good morning!" Dad was riding behind them with his ear to the cell phone.

I passed a gentleman who was riding his bicycle and in the front basket of his bike was his dog. Dr. Jon would probably not approve of this combination. He believes skating or biking with a dog is too dangerous for both pet and pet owner.

I received several comments about my weird skates as well as my method of exercise which is typical when I skate with my dog. One lady commented, "That's the easy way!" I have no idea how she believed that what I was doing was easy or that my dog was not working hard to keep pace.

I was sitting on the bench near the pond observing the wildlife and Ebony was lying at my feet. A husband and wife each walking a daschund passed by. The woman complained she had the wrong breed. I think she really meant that she wished her dogs would behave.

People say the strangest things!

Ebony on the Chehalis Western Trail, Olympia Washington

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dog Story For A Mother

An older, tired-looking dog wandered into my yard; I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home and was well taken care of.

He calmly came over to me, I gave him a few pats on his head; he then followed me into my house, slowly walked down the hall, curled up in the corner and fell asleep.

An hour later, he went to the door, and I let him out.

The next day he was back, greeted me in my yard, walked inside and resumed his spot in the hall and again slept for about an hour. This continued off and on for several weeks.

Curious I pinned a note to his collar: "I would like to find out who the owner of this wonderful sweet dog is and ask if you are aware that almost every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap."

The next day he arrived for his nap, with a different note pinned to his collar: "He lives in a home with 6 children, 2 under the age of 3 he's trying to catch up on his sleep. Can I come with him tomorrow?"

Monday, May 18, 2009

Be Kind to Animals Month

May is Be Kind To Animals Month

Every year, the United States celebrates and promotes compassion towards animals big and small.

The calm-assertive leader Gandhi says, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

Have you hugged your pet today?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Questions To God From The Dog

Dear God: Is it on purpose our names are the same, only reversed?

Dear God: Why do humans smell the flowers, but seldom, if ever, smell one another?

Dear God: When we get to heaven, can we sit on your couch? Or is it still the same old story?

Dear God: Why are there cars named after the jaguar, the cougar, the mustang, the colt, the stingray, and the rabbit, but not ONE named for a Dog? How often do you see a cougar riding around? We do love a nice ride! Would it be so hard to rename the 'Chrysler Eagle' the 'Chrysler Beagle'?

Dear God: If a Dog barks his head off in the forest and no human hears him, is he still a bad Dog?

Dear God: We Dogs can understand human verbal instructions, hand signals, whistles, horns, clickers, beepers, scent ID's, electromagnetic energy fields, and Frisbee flight paths. What do humans understand?

Dear God: More meatballs, less spaghetti, please.

Dear God: Are there mailmen in Heaven? If there are, will I have to apologize?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Eagle Sighting

Today Washingtonians rejoiced in sunshine. I decided instead of my morning walk with Ebony we would go skating; I skate she runs beside me.

I like to skate the Chehalis Western Trail in Olympia to Woodard Bay which is a nice 7 mile trip. Along the trail there is a lovely area where both sides of the trail have ponds and the yellow waterlilies are in bloom. I was wishing I brought my camera. We usually stop there on the way back for a break. Ebony drinks and goes for a swim and I gaze at the beautiful views while I drink my water.

I noticed in the distance a large bird splashing in the water. I am glad Ebony did not see it. It was a Bald Eagle! I watch it bathe in the water for at least ten minutes. Then it perched on a rock and proceeded to dry itself by flapping its wings several times. When it took off, it circled over my head for a grand view before it departed through the trees. Where was my camera!

I felt honored to be privileged to this intimate bathing ritual.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dogs Read Human Body Language

You can talk to your dog for hours; tell him your deepest fears and greatest aspirations. He won't understand a word. However, your expressions and movements of your body speak volumes to him.

Dogs proficiency in reading body language should come as no surprise since, as pack members, dogs have to communicate with each other without the benefit of a verbal language. Instead they communicate through conscious and subliminal signing or gesturing, and watch for the actions and reactions of the other individual.

Sure, a dog can be taught that certain words mean certain things, but because dogs do not have a language center in their brain, they can never learn syntax and will never understand sentences. If you think they're understanding what you're saying, you might be right, but not for the reasons you think.

For example, you might say, "Do you want to go outside?" As you say these words you walk toward the door, or look toward it, or gesture toward it. The dog might hear the word "door" and read your body language to construct what you are trying to communicate. Oh, so he wants to know if I want to go outside, the dog may think - completely ignoring the question and the words "do," "you," "want," "go," etc. Nevertheless, with the help of body language, the message is transmitted.

Eye Contact

A dog's natural instinct is to look away from another dog's eyes to avoid challenging him. A stare is a challenge, and a fairly rude one at that. Dogs will naturally tend to look away from us, unless they are challenging us or we have trained them to do so. If we stare at them, unwittingly or not, the signal we transmit is one of confrontation. A dominant dog will stare back, growl, and generally escalate aggressive behavior until the other party backs down whereas a very submissive dog will squat or roll and urinate in deference.

Head and Neck Position

If a dog holds his head up high, he is confident and perhaps challenging. If he holds his head low, he is deferring, fearful or depressed. A dog will read our head and neck carriage the same way that he does another dog's. If you approach a bully dog with your head in an upright position, even if you are above his head, he may interpret this appearance as challenging – certainly not as deferment. In extreme cases, he may start to growl and act threateningly. However, if you approach the same dog with your head bowed, there is a good chance that he will recognize your body language as submissive, perhaps even as soliciting play, and may be disarmed.

Interferences Around the Head

The muzzle and nape of the neck are sensitive areas for dogs. They are sites at which the dog's mother would deliver messages of chastisement, admonishment and her leadership. When dogs grow up they seem to remember this early mode of communication and many retain sensitivity regarding interferences in these areas. In dogfights, most of the 'legal' action is directed toward the head. Muzzle- or scruff-grabbing are favorite fight moves. When humans come along and grab a dog by the muzzle or scruff they are asking for trouble. Whether they get it or not depends on their perceived level of authority.

Height From the Ground and Body Position

Being high up and/or on top of another dog is a way that signals dominance. A dominant, in-charge individual will rise up to his fullest height and may literally take the high ground when approaching and signaling his seniority to a more inferior creature. On reaching the other dog, he may rest his head or a paw on the other dog's back. Mild mannered acceptance of such challenges from above will be viewed as concession and submission.

When people tower over a dog, lie on him, or rest a hand on him, the message is similar. The response, however, depends on the relationship between the person and the dog. A dominant dog may repel such a challenge to his rank while a submissive dog may squat and urinate. The message is opposite if a person lies on the floor next to a dog, allows the dog to sit next to him on a couch, or permits the dog to sit on his lap. In these instances, the sent and received is one of social equalization or deference on your part. With respect to lap sitters, an easy way to remember the social implications of such placement is to consider the rhetorical question, "In this situation, who is the king and who is the throne?"

Fearful dogs are less afraid of people who are sitting down - because they feel less threatened. Sitting down on the floor can cause an anxious dog to approach you whereas previously he would not have dome so. If you stand up, the dog may back away. If you drop to one knee, the dog may approach once more. So powerful is the effect of your position relative to the dog that you can yo-yo him into an exact place in a room by altering your height from the ground.

While floor-sitting may not be a problem with mild-mannered dogs, more dominant dogs may take advantage of the situation and send a strong signal of their authority – particularly if the person is doing something displeasing to the dog, like petting him the wrong way or for too long. The positional effect is even more pronounced when it involves children because they start out at a hierarchical disadvantage.

Forward Body Motion

Just as you can signal to a dog by adjusting your height from the floor, so can you send messages by means of your approach. A direct, full frontal approach is a confident, semi-challenging one from dog to dog or person to dog. You should never walk directly toward a dog you don't know in case he's dominant, particularly if he happens to be eating, resting, or chewing on a bone. He may bite. Also, you should never walk directly toward a dog that is fearful of people, as your sudden approach will likely be viewed as threatening, even if your words and intentions are entirely honorable. A fearful dog should always be approached indirectly using a curved trajectory.

Many of the behaviors and postures we engage in during the course of our interactions with dogs are construed or misconstrued by them in terms of body language.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Brinkley Watches Cesar

Cesar Millan is a professional dog trainer. He is best known for his television series, Dog Whisperer, which is currently in its fifth season and airs on the National Geographic Channel in the U.S. In his words, he "rehabilitates dogs, trains people."

Brinkley, a two year old Golden Retriever, brushes up on his dog training by watching Cesar on a regular basis. Here he is getting a few pointers......

Monday, May 11, 2009

Key to Canine Body Language

All dogs know the same language. You and your dog probably pick up on each other's signals without thinking much about it. But if your dog begins to behave differently, if you are getting to know a new dog, or if you encounter a dog you don't know, it helps to be able to read the universal body language of dogs.

Signals Dogs Use

Although a dog can't speak and has no hands and fingers for gesturing as humans do, you can watch key parts of his body to determine how he's feeling and reacting to the world around him.

Face. Although the dog's facial muscles are not as refined as humans, he can wrinkle or straighten his forehead to show confusion or determination. If your dog wants you to give him further direction, he may raise his eyelids quizzically and tilt his head to one side.

Eyes. A dog's eyes brighten when he looks at a creature he considers friendly and when he wants to play. If he is afraid, his pupils dilate and he shows the whites of his eyes. He averts his eyes to avoid confrontation. But if he is angry or ready to defend himself, his eyes narrow and follow your every move. At this point, it's particularly important not to look the dog in the eye because he sees that as a challenge to defend his position.

Lips, teeth and tongue. A relaxed dog in normal posture may let his tongue loll out of his mouth. If he wants something from you, if he is happy or wants to play, he may pull his lips back in what appears to be a smile and show his teeth, an expression, by the way, dogs show only to humans and not to other dogs. But beware the dog that bares his clenched teeth and wrinkles his nose. He is ready to attack.

Ears. The dog's sense of hearing is much more acute than ours and even dogs with floppy ears have the ability to move and turn them to follow sounds. If a dog's ears are raised, he is relaxed, listening, or showing acceptance. If they are back, he may be signaling submission and deference or may be frankly fearful.

Tail. A dog wags his tail when he is happy or wants to play. It is really an energy indicator. When he is submissive, he tucks it between his legs. A taut tail, held down rigidly behind him, may show that he is prepared to spring since he uses his tail for balance when jumping.

Voice. Dogs are vocal animals. They yip, bark, whimper, howl, and growl. The pitch or volume of their sounds can increase with their level of emotion. A bark may be playful or aggressive. Unlike body signals, dog noises can mean different things from different dogs.

Posture Speaks Volumes

When two dogs meet, as long as their human companions aren't tugging tight on their leashes, they carry out a series of actions that looks like a choreographed dance. With their bodies tense and tails taut, they circle and sniff each other, silently gathering and exchanging information, ready to defend themselves at any moment if necessary. They hold their ears back and the hair on their back may stand on end. They often avoid direct eye contact at first, sizing each other up to determine if the stranger is strong or weak, male or female, hostile or non-hostile. One dog may place his head on the nape of the other's neck or nip at his nose. It seems they are getting ready to fight and then, one lies down. Soon, they may separate and urinate. At this point they have agreed on which dog is dominant.

Dogs learn body language from their mothers during the first 8 weeks of their lives and they test out this form of communication with their litter mates. If a dog misses out on such training, he will have trouble communicating with other dogs throughout life.

Normal posture. The dog appears alert with head held high. His tail moves freely. His jaw is relaxed.

Invitation to play. The dog happily signals his desire to play by wagging his tail and dipping down into a "play bow." His front legs are in a crouch and his backbone swoops up, leaving his rear haunches high. His head is held up expectantly to capture your attention. He may raise a front leg or lean to one side with his head.

Submission. The dog crouches down further and still appears relaxed. He may lift a front foot as in a play invitation, but his ears are back and his tail is down. He may yawn, scratch, or sneeze, which is meant to calm him and the dogs or people confronting him.

Fearful aggression. A dog who is afraid tenses his body and holds his tail rigid, though it may be wagging. His rear legs are ready to run or spring. He bares his teeth, draws back his ears and the hair on his back stands on end. He growls or snarls constantly to warn off the subject of his fear.

Dominance aggression. Teeth bared, this dog stares you down and advances confidently with his tail wagging slowly and his ears in the forward (alert) position.

Total submission. The dog drops his tail and curls it between his legs. He drops his head to avoid eye contact. He rolls over on his side and bares his belly, with one hind leg raised and urinates. If he isn't afraid, he'll tilt his head up a bit and raise his ears to show trust.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Dog Tail

Do dogs wag their tails because they are happy? Yes and no.....

A dog's tail is a part of a dog's body language and allows them to communicate. Dogs wag their tails when they are happy but also when they are feeling "alert" or "agitated".

A dog's tail is part of a complex system of body language that the domestic canine uses (along with "verbal" cues such as barking, growling or whining) to communicate. A wagging tail indicates excitement or agitation - but whether he means it as an invitation to play, or to warn another dog or person to stay back, depends on other body language.

A wagging tail that curves down and backs up into a "U" usually indicates a relaxed, playful dog. If his ears are erect and pointing forward, and he is in the classic "play bow" position, he's inviting you to play.

A tail that is held higher, whether wagging or not, indicates dominance and/or increased interest in something. If the end of the tail is arched over the back, and is twitching back and forth, you may be faced with an aggressive dog.

The tail is a purely social indicator for other living things. A dog doesn't usually wag his tail when alone. For instance, say you pour your dog a bowl of food. He may wag his tail excitedly at the prospect of eating. But if he comes upon the bowl already filled - without anyone being around - he most likely will not wag his tail. He may still be happy to eat, but there's no one around to whom he can communicate his state of mind.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tattling on My Dog

Have you ever received the phone call about your dog misbehaving?

I have recently, twice!

My dog happens to like to get in the compost..........and literally, get in. Ebony thinks moldy old food is yummy. We put wire fencing on the ground under the compost bin to keep her from digging underneath. A cinder block is used to keep her from opening the trapdoor meant for shoveling out the decomposed compost. The lid will lock if you remember to do it. Between my neighbors and I in the course of a couple of years we managed to fill the compost bin. Neither of us are too disciplined to turn the compost. We decided it might be a good idea to let the compost do its thing and buy a second bin.

The Master Gardeners of Thurston County sell compost bins and even deliver. We got a new one which stacks nicely together and makes it easy to turn the compost. It was working great. Then the first phone call.

"I believe Ebony is chewing the corners of the compost bin. I don't think our dog (who is twelve years old) would do such a thing."

Sure enough! The corners were chewed and my dog is a notorious chewer. I apologized and said I would watch her. But Ebony knows when I am gone and that Border Collie in her is always looking for something to do. Then the second phone call.

"I came home today and Ebony looked guilty. The compost bin is tipped over."

UGH! Garbage hound has struck again! I will be subjected to horrible farts this evening :(

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How Dogs Sweat

Whose body is better at keeping cool, you or your dog?

YOU! It may be uncomfortable for you to sweat profusely, but it's an efficient method to regulate temperature. When it comes to keeping cool, we have it made compared to our dogs.

Dogs don't have the luxury of overall cooling as humans do. In people, sweat glands help regulate temperature by bringing warm moisture to the surface of the skin, which causes cooling as the water evaporates. Because sweat glands are located all over the human body, cooling takes place over a greater surface area of the skin than it does in dogs. Dogs don't have the luxury of overall cooling because their bodies have very few sweat glands, and most of those are in the footpads.

Most people believe that the dog's tongue contains sweat glands, but this is not true. The dog's tongue and mouth are associated with many salivary glands that produce different forms of saliva. Some cooling takes place as the panting dog moves air across saliva-moistened surfaces of the mouth cavity.

Dogs also dissipate heat by dilating (expanding) blood vessels in the face and ears. Dilating blood vessels helps cool the dogs blood by causing it to flow closer to the surface of the skin.

So keep your dog cool this summer. Excessive play on a hot day can lead to overheating (hyperthermia) and eventually to heat stroke which are very serious conditions. An overheated dog is a real emergency situation requiring veterinarian attention immediately.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Morning Walk Observations

Lately, when Ebony and I take our morning walks, I have been fascinated by how quickly the leaves of the Big Leaf Maple grow. The other day they were mire sprouts with long beautiful chain of blooms and today they are actual leaves. I believe if you spent the day watching, you could actually see the leaves grow!

They make a pretty picture, wouldn't you agree?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Doggie Date

I learned the results of a poll taken by Dr. Jon at about your dog's dating style.

He asked pet owners, "If your dog were to go on a date - what sort of date would he or she be on?"


1. Walk on the Beach (50% )
2. Candlelit Dinner (4%)
3. Sleep, Eat, Sleep, Eat (20%)
4. Fall Asleep During a Movie (9%)
5. Watch a Football Game and Drink Beer (5%)
6. Massage and Chocolate Fondue (12%)
7. A foreign film and a vegetarian meal (1%)

Rather funny, wouldn't you agree?

Friday, May 1, 2009

A History of Dog Collars

Dogs and humans...we go way back. Before we raised cows, trained birds, and even before we had ever seen a buffalo, we had canine companions. Both the new world and the old world are home to dog remains dating back at least 12,000 years, buried in the company of their human masters. But when did we start decorating our dogs, restraining them, and identifying them with collars? Take a look at dog collars from the ancient to the post-modern, and see how history and our changing attitude toward animals has influenced the way we collar our pooches.
Read on........

image from