OMG! Those eyes are incredible – DogDaz
Monthly Archives: August 2012
While in New York taking Peanut to school, I had the opportunity to visit with my 14 month old grand nephew, Parker Jaxon, and my grand nephew cat, Titan. Titan is a very big guy and has been around many rotations of the earth before P.J. came along. He is a very tolerant cat and seemed to take the baby’s ‘little to hard’ pats, in stride. A few weeks ago I wrote about Madelyn Dawn, my 17 month old grand niece (from my other nephew), and the special relationship she appeared to be having with a nanny goat. Teaching children to be kind to animals is a pattern you set up for their whole life. There is still so much animal (and human) abuse on the planet. We teach by example. We teach others, especially children, by how we live. Taking care of your animals and having the children help feed and walk them can teach respect and compassion. Stopping violence against animals also is being recognized as an essential part of childhood education through a program called, humane education, in the schools. I believe that if you live the life you want your children to emulate and start teaching from the minute they are in your care; then there is a good chance they will grow up to be animal conscious humans – kind and caring. As the saying goes…. “All you need is love… and a cat.”
A relative of the mongoose, the Fossa is unique to the forests of Madagascar, an African island in the Indian Ocean. Growing up to 6 feet (1.8 meters) long from nose to tail tip, and weighing up to 26 pounds (12 kilograms), the fossa is a slender-bodied catlike creature with little resemblance to its mongoose cousins. It is the largest carnivore and top predator native to Madagascar and is known to feed on lemurs and most other creatures it can get its claws on, from wild pigs to mice. Unlike mongooses, and more like felines, the fossa has retractable claws and fearsome catlike teeth. Its coat is reddish brown and its muzzle resembles that of a dog. The fossa is also equipped with a long tail that comes in handy while hunting and maneuvering amongst the tree branches. It can wield its tail like a tightrope walker’s pole and moves so swiftly through the trees that scientists have had trouble observing and researching it. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wild-for-Wildlife-and-Nature/279792438707552
Squirrels are definitely funny things. I am not a big fan of rodents, though I did learn to love guinea pigs and considered them more, well, like cats, but squirrels…. well the dog in me just thinks they are stupid.
We toss peanuts out back for the silly squirrels and they are usually gone within an hour. They like to steal the peanut holder along with the peanuts and hide things all over the place. Because of the dogs, our squirrels have learned to stay up in the trees, in the fenced pool area, or high on-top of the fence. The minute the dogs come into the yard the first thing they do is rodent/duck/fox patrol. “Where are they? Let’s run to the big tree and see if they are there? Maybe they’re by the pool where the birdies feed?” We used to have many more squirrels before the neighbor across the street deforested their property, cutting down like 30 old growth pine trees (to build a second driveway and an out building for the business he is not suppose to be running out of his home) and also before the red foxes moved into the area (due to fragmentation (read as: over building and destroying of natural habit) all around the peninsula I live on). There used to be dozens of bunny rabbits on our property too, but, sadly, they have been gone now for several years, since the foxes and raccoons came to town. There are still a few surviving squirrel however, though not in the numbers there used to be. So we feed them. We feel sad for them, and also, maybe we feed them so they leave the bird feeders alone (good luck with that one).
Squirrels can be found in almost every habitat throughout the world, except the coldest places. They generally live about six year, but “most urban squirrels do not reach their first birthday. This is due not to predators, but rather to automobiles. Compare this to its rural counterpart, which often perishes from lack of food.” (Squirrel History, squirrels.org)
When I was little (probably about 7 or 8), I befriended a Squirrel in my parent’s backyard. I named him ‘Sunday,’ because every Sunday I would take my Mother’s expensive nut mix (Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, etc.) and feed them to ‘Sunday.’ (She was not happy about that.) He would take them right out of my hand (freaking out my parents) and then proceed to hide them throughout the yard. Now all these years I believed he hid the nuts to come back to. I would go back weeks later and check and the nuts would be gone, so I felt that he had food for the winter. But in doing research for this blog I discovered that I have been under a misconception my whole life. ‘Sunday’ tricked me. “Squirrels have been known to pretend to bury the object if they feel that they are being watched. They do this by preparing the spot as usual, for instance digging a hole or widening a crack, miming the placement of the food while actually concealing it in their mouth, and then covering up the “cache” as if they had deposited the object.(Steve Grant, “The Squirrel’s Bag Of Tricks: They Can’t Get Out Of The Way Of Cars, But Other Behaviors Demonstrate Advanced Thinking (for A Rodent)“, The Hartford Courant, October 21, 2004.)
No matter what the experts say, I think I will keep the romantic idea of him burying my gifts and then coming back to feed his family, instead of my new found knowledge that he was just a tricksters.
Like I said, I think they are stupid; but cute.
I find it funny how Sofie is so like a human child. I am not saying this because my human baby has left and gone to college. I think that Sofie is actually entering the ‘terrible teens.’ She will be two in November. I don’t know if dogs have the same type of growth spurts as humans but she definitely is in a defiant and willful phase. It reminds me a lot of what we called the ‘terrible twos’ (which Peanut did not go through until about three). This is the phase in a child’s growth when they refuse to do almost anything they are asked. They are exploring the world and pushing the limits. I read that in the dog world it is called ‘terrible teens’ because for a dog that lives 10 to 12 human years, when they are about 2 years old that is ‘teenage’ in cognitive growth.
According to the DogChannel.com
“Adolescence can be a challenging time for puppies and their owners. It tends to begin anywhere between 9 and 14 months of age for most puppies, but it can start earlier. There is no set time period for how long adolescence lasts, however, the majority of puppies are through the worst of it by 11⁄2 to 2 years of age.
This phase can be so trying that many adolescent puppies are given up because the owners, not understanding that it’s a phase, assume their formerly wonderful puppies have gone bad. An adolescent puppy’s behavior may be far from perfect, but this is a very natural stage of life, one that all growing mammals go through.
1. Understand the adolescent brain.
Before you can help your puppy through adolescence, understand what’s going on in its head. “The puppy’s brain is going through incredible changes [during adolescence],” says Melissa Alexander, author of Click for Joy (Sunshine Books, 2003). “The cerebral cortex becomes a leaner, meaner thinking machine.”
The puppy is changing from a baby to an adult that can think, reason, make decisions and learn. The adolescent puppy might seem to listen to its owner and obey commands one minute and not the next. The puppy really hasn’t lost its brain; it’s simply in transition.
2. Don’t accept the challenge.
At some point after 9 months of age, some puppies become quite challenging. They may refuse to follow a known command or growl when you reach to take away a chew toy. These challenges are normal and short lived (usually occurring just in the beginning of the adolescence). Prepare yourself so you don’t answer the challenge. In dogs and especially in adolescents, aggression begets aggression. If the puppy issues a challenge and you react angrily, the puppy may escalate its behavior, too. Instead of becoming angry, take a deep breath and think before responding.
3. Train, train and train some more.
If you began training the puppy before adolescence began, continue the training. If you didn’t begin training then, start now. By establishing guidelines for acceptable behavior, you can prevent bad behaviors – such as dashing out the front door, growling over a toy and raiding trash cans – from becoming habits. Keep the training as simple as possible by using clear commands, a lot of positive reinforcement and setting the puppy up to succeed by asking it to do known exercises.
Use positive training with rewards your puppy really likes. Make food treats special or use a toy your puppy loves Use your voice or a clicker to mark the behaviors you want to happen again. Daily training will help keep your puppy’s behavior from spiraling out of control during this stage, and will help keep your relationship with your growing puppy positive.”
Or I can just complain endlessly on my blog until she gets to the other side of this phase … BOL!
This week has been wonderful for butterflies in the garden. I capture this shot of an Eastern Black Swallowtail on the grape right before Louise tried to eat it. A Yellow Swallowtail actually landed on her and freaked her out a bit (it was cute but I could not get the camera out fast enough).
Both dogs don’t really understand flying insects very well. I see them constantly trying to eat bees and jump after butterflies. We also have these very large furry spiders that kind of encase the house in webs this time of year. I was bringing in groceries the other evening and one swung down over the front door and caused me to drop the case of water that I was carrying and run. I worry that one of the dogs will try to eat one of the spiders and die: they are really scary looking.
V found a whole family of new born mice inside the extra vacuum we store in the garage the other day. This is a sure sign of fall coming our way. Mother Mouse must have come through the bottom bar and up the hose and had her babies in the inside bag (how smart is that?). While V was working in the garage there was this nibble nibble scratch scratch noise and upon closer inspection, unzipped the bag part of the vacuum, and all these little pink babies fell out. They were quickly scooped up and placed back in the bag and brought outside, with the hope that Mother Mouse will move them somewhere else (outside please!). I guess the Black Snake, who always leaves his skin on the garage shelves for us, will tell us where the mice are… because that is life in our garage in the late summer.