by Steven Kotler | on August 1st, 2011 | in Small Furry Blog, Tidbits
Bob Barker spent almost 50 years on television and along the way used his considerable platform and resources to fight on behalf of animals. His alma mater, Drury University, got $2 million to establish a professorship for animal rights and an animal ethics course. In 2010 Barker gave the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society $2 million to fight whaling and $1 million to SHARK to fight pigeon shooting. And, despite being 87 years old, the crusade continues. let Last month he donated another $230,ooo to Chimp Haven in Keithville, La., to create a 200-acre chimp habitat. The initial residents are 5 chimps rescued from a medical experimentation facility in Texas. There’s only one thing to say: thank you Bob, very much appreciated!
by Joy Nicholson | on July 28th, 2011 | in Features, Tidbits
Well…when a dog is using it as a toy! The same goes for a roll of toilet-paper, or a door-knob, or a bottle-top, a Dream-Catcher, a feather-duster, or even an empty Evian bottle. Etc.
About 15 years ago a dear friend of mine was studying Buddhism. He happened to be around when my then foster-dog trotted out of the bathroom, holding a very chewed toilet-scrubber between his happy lips, taunting me with dips and play-bows to ‘come-n-get-it.’ I lunged for it, and my happy foster ran away, scrubber joyfully bobbing as he ran to and fro between closets, kitchen, living-room, laundry-room and bedroom. Of course the scrubber ended up in the bed–on my pillow.
“Gross!” I cried. “That’s just too gross for words! He has toys, why does he want to play with a toilet-scrubber! I mean, DisGusTing!”
My serious Buddhist friend said, with the kind of seriousness only a religious student can pull-off, ” To you, it cleans your waste-receptacle. But to him it’s a wonderfully, marvelously shaped toy. It has the right shape and size to mimic a stick, and truly fun filaments on the edges to gnaw on. Plus you left it on the floor, for him to find and play with. And the interesting thing is that you are BOTH right. But you have different perspectives on it.”
Though I hemmed and hawed and sputtered, ( I mean I bought the thing. I paid money for it as a toilet-scrubber) I couldn’t help but see my friend’s point. “Bought’ and ‘money’ didn’t mean anything to my foster dog, and never will to any dog. ‘Buying and money and general finance’ is a human issue. Shape and size and desirability and access meant everything to my foster. Utility meant and will always mean everything to a dog.
Needless to say, many things are kept high in our house now. Especially with a houseful of fosters. Anything at ground level is scanned for ‘dog fun factors’ ( would a dog want to chew it? Pee on it? Play tug with it? Bury it? If so, up it goes!) We humans at the RdC no longer see a toilet scrubber as ONLY a toilet scrubber, or a tennis shoe as only footwear, or a TV remote as a television-operator. Because to a dog, an object does not have the same meaning. Financial and practical terms, in the human sense, make NO sense to a dog.
Is it chewy, interesting, or potentially fun-making? That’s how a dog sees an object. Even a toilet-scrubber. Even a purse that a trendy human will spend ten thousand dollars to buy. ( Chewy! says the dog! Still smells like Crocodile and Cougar! Yum! I’ll hunt that, yesiree!)
The duality of objects never fails to fascinate me. To me, an empty potato chip bag inspires hideous remorse. ( Did I really eat the whole thing? In ten minutes! Oy Vey! I suck! Again!) To our fosters it inspires a good game of game of tug-o-war. ” Look what I got! This toy that crackles and smells really good! Yay! Catch me if you can!”
by Joy Nicholson | on July 28th, 2011 | in Tidbits
by Joy Nicholson | on July 28th, 2011 | in Tidbits
by Ryan Krogh | on January 21st, 2011 | in Features, Media, Tidbits, Time Wasters
In three weeks, I’m bringing home a new pup—a yellow lab (girl) from Wildrose Kennels, in Oxford, Mississippi. Crates, water bowls, beds, food, insurance: that’s all been a cinch compared to coming up with a good name. Everyone I ask (and trust me, it’s been just about everyone) has a different opinion about what and how I should name my new girl. Considering that I’ll say her name something like 30,000 times over the course of her life, it’s a big decision. And I want it to have some sort of meaning. As a kid growing up in North Dakota, we named pets in one of three ways: after literary or movie characters, after flowers or trees, or after one of the booze bottles we found discarded in my uncle’s defunct chicken coop. (One notable stray was named 99 Bananas.)
But now when I mention that I’m getting a dog, people give me nothing but different answers and conflicting advice: name it a human name (“it’s original because it’s a human name”), a southern name (“because she’s from the south”), a southwest name, (“you live in Santa Fe, after all”). The only way to settle it, I’ve decided, is by a handy poll, below. I’ve included my childhood methods and offers that may work. And I’ve offered some names that I like, too. But the question remains: what’s the best method for naming your new dog.
by Walker Parks | on August 28th, 2009 | in Tidbits
Among the gifts left behind by the late senator is Bo Obama, the Whitehouse dog. Here he is in the Oval Office.
by Chance Googling | on August 24th, 2009 | in Media, Tidbits
A new study out from MIT suggests that brain cells can only learn from success and not failure. This might help to explain why dogs are capable of learning complex problem-solving from positive reinforcement drills, but not through avoidance.
by Grayson Schaffer | on August 17th, 2009 | in Tidbits
Ran into this gentleman while getting dog food the other day. His name is Leyton Cougar, and he frequents the same tailor as Crocodile Dundee, Snake Pliskin, and, no doubt, other men who share a “special bond with animals.”
Some things I noticed from this encounter: 1) You still ask, “Is that a wolf?” even though your primal instincts are saying, Dude, that’s a wolf. 2) Yes, they really do grin. 3) They stare right through you with those yellow eyes.
His wolf sanctuary is west of Grants, New Mexico.
by Grayson Schaffer | on July 10th, 2009 | in Tidbits
Two cool updates to share. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been shooting our post pictures with an iPhone. Now the obvious next step: mobile uploads. In the coming weeks Danger will cutting his teeth with the talented and capable search dogs of Los Alamos, New Mexico’s Mountain Canine Corps. Follow along with us.
by Chance Googling | on July 1st, 2009 | in Tidbits
Type 1 diabetics live with the knowledge that some night in the future they could drop into a diabetic coma, no one would know, and they could die alone in their sleep. Can a dog prevent this from happening? Can a dog warn a diabetic when his or her blood sugar is dropping into the danger zone or going too high? The simple answer is yes.