National Justice for Animals Week

The Animal Legal Defense Fund, the nation’s preeminent legal advocacy organization for animals, has chosen America’s Top Ten Animal Defenders – the list of top prosecutors, law enforcement officials, lawmakers and others who champion the cause of animal crime victims honored during National Justice for Animals Week, Feb. 25 – March 3, 2018. Each year, […]


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Adopted Cat Protects Florida Family from Poisonous Snake

Oreo the Cat

Photo credit: Inside Edition

Many people are afraid of snakes. It’s lucky for one family in Leesburg, Florida that their cat isn’t. Without their adopted cat’s courageous actions the family likely would have suffered far more than a fright from a poisonous diamondback rattlesnake who slithered into their yard.

As first reported by Inside Edition the Peterson family had been enjoying time with their cat, Oreo, in their backyard on a warm late autumn day when they decided to go inside. They had adopted Oreo a little over a year ago and the black and white feline was already a beloved member of the family. They all enjoyed spending time with Oreo, but never assumed he would be their hero.

The family’s enjoyment came to a halt when they suddenly saw a diamondback rattlesnake in the yard. According to National Geographic these snakes can grow up to eight feet long. Although hospitals in areas where these rattlesnakes live are generally able to treat people who have been bit, their venom can be deadly as well as painful. 

Oreo apparently did not want to take any chances that any members of his family would be hurt that day. He leapt into action and fought off the snake. Unfortunately Oreo was not unharmed during the struggle – the snake had managed to bite Oreos leg. Jaden Peterson, age 10, told reporters that the cat’s “leg was swollen…and he was bleeding.” The family rushed their protector to their veterinarian’s office where he was successfully treated.

Cindi Anderson, Jaden’s grandmother, told reporters, “I think he was protecting the people of the home because that’s just the kind of cat he is.” Jaden agreed, calling Oreo “a little protector.” We suspect Oreo is enjoying a lot of grateful attention and treats from the family he so bravely protected.

Oreo the Cat

Photo credit: Inside Edition

 

Halo Pets

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Specific Dog Picks for Westminster 2018

Yesterday, I gave you my breed picks. Today I’m going further out on that limb and giving you my specific dog picks from each breed I chose. From the Hound Group: GCH Windrock She’s Tough Enough, call name Firefly. Last but not least, my pick for Best in Show: Smokey, otherwise known as GCHB D&D […]


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Friday Funny: Dog Catcher

OK, OK, so I’m not a coon dog, but I was trying to help them catch it! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Such a wonderful story – both Chappy and Crystal d…

Such a wonderful story – both Chappy and Crystal deserve each other and deserve to be happy, supported and loved. I hope this story helps other blocky dogs find a way into homes that need them. Thank you BAD RAP for all your good works – for dogs AND humans.

BAD RAP Blog

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Still Sweater Weather: 9 Pullovers I Love

Madewell Pom Pom Pullover Sweater
Still Sweater Weather: 9 Pullovers I Love
1. Blue Melange Knit Sweater   |   2. Pom Pom Pullover Sweater (also shown in top photo)  |  3. Rib Knit Sweater in Gray (on sale for $ 19.99!)  |  4. Mustard Pom Pom Hem Sweater   |  5. Oversized Scoop Neck Chunky Knit Sweater   |  6. Wrap-Front Pullover Sweater   |  7. Cotton V-Neck Sweater (on sale for $ 29.95 from $ 50!)   |  8. Beige Mohair Blend Sweater   |  9. Space Dyed Turtleneck Sweater

There is little I love more than walking into a shop in February and seeing racks fill up with spring clothing, but the reality is that it’s going to be sweater weather for at least another couple of months here in Chicago. For the first time ever, I have been living in pullover sweaters this season. I’ve always been a cardigan girl, but this winter I’ve had three pullover sweater I’ve been donning on repeat. And while I’m all about capsule wardrobes and only just a few well-loved pieces, I realized I should probably add one more sweater to my rotation this season, if for no other reason than to have to stop doing so much laundry, man. (Dear preschool parents I see at drop-off, I own more than the same two or three outfits you see me wearing constantly, I swear.) The pull-overs you see above are the ones I am currently eyeing. Number 2 (also shown in the top photo, via Madewell) is probably my favorite, but because I’m a sucker for a bargain, I think the winner is number 1…

Anybody else been wearing pull-overs like they’re your uniform this winter?

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Dog Training – It's All About the Relationship

Your dog’s behavior doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase (or seen it written here): “The dog is always right”? The reason is that dogs are simply responding to what is happening in their environment. And, specifically, how their environment makes them feel.

Whatever your dog is doing, it is ALL about the relationship that you have with your dog. And the relationship that you have with the significant people in your life. And the relationship that you have with yourself.

The obvious relationship that matters here is how you are with your dog. Are you nervous? Rigid? Harsh? Grounded? What are you communicating with your body language? What is your emotional state communicating to your pup? 99% of the time, what your dog is doing is “right” – meaning that your dog is simply taking in all of the information that you’re giving (and primarily the physical and emotional information – NOT the intellectual or conceptual information) and doing what makes the most sense to a canine under the circumstances.

Guess who else’s behavior doesn’t exist in a vacuum? YOURS! You are affected by your self-image and beliefs, and the relationships that you’re having with those around you. One of the biggest challenges that I’ve had over the past 10+ years of working with people and their dogs has been helping the PEOPLE change their habits. I would see, over and over again, how the emotional atmosphere of a person’s life – their stress at work, or in their primary relationships, or their view of themselves – was affecting how they lived their lives. Their habits. And this is important, because…

Your habits are creating your dog’s habits.

A little over 5 years ago I decided to branch out and get some training, as a coach, from the Robbins-Madanes Institute for Strategic Intervention. For me it was an opportunity to not only focus on shifting my own habits of being, but to also develop more skills at facilitating change for the humans with whom I was working. In the time since then, it has truly been an honor to not only be helping people with their dogs, but also to be helping them with the overall quality of their lives.

During that time, it became a passion of mine to work with people on improving their romantic relationships. You may notice that my original site (yes, this existed BEFORE Naturaldogblog) www.neilsattin.com has been revived. There’s a lot of great content there, and more in the works, that’s focused specifically on improving relationships. I’m also about to launch a podcast, called Relationship Alive, focused on helping you have amazing relationships (or easeful breakups – should that be the path that you choose). So stay tuned for more information on that.

In the meantime – think about it this way. Your dog is an emotional creature, picking up on everything that’s happening in the environment and responding from a place of heart – not head. What’s going on in your world? Where is the stress? Where is the tension? Where is the anger? Where is the love? Now look at your dog’s behavior, and ask yourself “how is my dog giving a voice to everything that’s happening in our world together?” I look forward to hearing what insights you uncover.

Dog Training – It’s All About the Relationship is a post from: Natural Dog Blog – Training and More

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Natural Dog Blog – Training and More

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Basset Hound Agility

In honor of today’s Super Bowl and Puppy Bowl, I wanted to post something athletic. I’ve always said I could never do agility because I wouldn’t be able to keep up with my dog. I see now that my problem is I don’t have the right dog. This one, I could keep up with. This […]


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Gray foxes can have blue eyes

This is something that hasn’t been mentioned anywhere, but gray foxes (Urocyon) can have blue eyes:

And another (perhaps the Western version, which might be a distinct species):

Most of them have very dark brown eyes, and you really can’t see that they don’t have the exact same cat-like pupils of the red fox. However, the blue-eyed ones really do show off their oval-shaped pupils quite well.

Gray foxes are the most basal species of canid and are not closely related to any other canids, except of the island fox of California, which is just an insular dwarf of the mainland species.

The exact systematics of gray foxes are still being worked out, but I do expect surprises in the future.  These animals have an extensive range in the Americas, and their lineage is really quite divergent from anything else we think of as being in the dog family.

Blue-eyes, well, they certainly make them more stunninglybl attractive.

 

 

Natural History

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Father of geese

konrad lorenz goslings

The trilling chirps of greylag goslings fill the morning air. The dew is heavy and cool against the late spring grass. The sun casts down upon the verdant land, and it shines against the greenery that magical shade of green that it turns when it is just starting to approach its summer fullness.

Konrad Lorenz comes to the goslings in the morning dew, and they race to meet his shoes. They know him as their doting parent, for when they first hatched, he was the first thing they saw. Goose instinct says follow that first thing you see when you hatch. That is your parent.

Konrad knows they will come wherever he goes. He was one of the first people to describe the phenomenon by which precocial birds attach themselves to the first moving object they encounter upon leaving the egg. They know him as their father, nothing more and nothing less.

When he lies before them in the cool grass, they gently peck at his goatee.  A beaming smile crosses his face. He is smitten with his charges.

Such a gentle man, so tender with these wee ones.

Yet behind the man lies a hidden darkness.

Raised in parochial Austria and educated at Columbia, he studied medicine at the University of Vienna, then got a doctorate in zoology. But in the 30s, the nation of Austria had turned inward and darker. The Catholic Church held sway. It was stifling a curious mind of science.

In the 30s, he studied the greylags closely. He kept wild ones and the tame varieties and crossed them, and he believed that the tame ones were degenerates. Their blood tainted the wild ones when they were crossed, and his ideas got swept up in the Zeitgeist of racial hygiene.

When the Anschluss came, he joined Hitler’s party and became Nazi scientist. In 1940, he found a job as a professor the University of Koenigsberg, but the war was not far off. He was drafted into the Werhmacht, where he worked on a project that studied the so-called Mischlinge– people who were half-German and half-Polish.

It is the same sort of science he performed on greylags that he now performed on his fellow man.

The Soviet Union beat the Nazis at Stalingrad, and the war was all but lost. The Germans sent as many men as they could to that far eastern front, and Lorenz was sent to defend the Fatherland from the great red Slavic horde. He found himself a prisoner of war, where he worked as a medic for the hated Bolsheviks. He kept a pet starling and wrote on a little manuscript. And he survived.

One day, he would say that he saw much of himself in those Soviet doctors. They were committed to an ideology, an ideology imposed by the state, and in that he saw his own folly through those years of the 30s and the war.

He returned to Vienna, where he loved his wife and dogs and his children. He kept a menagerie of all sorts of animals. He worked at the Max Planck Institutes in Westphalia and Bavaria, and he wrote books on animals and their behavior.

And he tried to forget that he had once allowed himself to become caught up in the madness the wrecked his nation. He won the Nobel Prize for Medicine, sharing it with Karl von Frisch, a fellow Austrian who was deemed a mischling (why different spelling?) and forced into retirement for the crime of “practicing Jewish science,” and Niko Tinbergen, who fought to defend his native Netherlands against the Nazis and was held as prisoner of war.

Lorenz would spend the rest of his life with this stigma of having joined in that great madness. He first denied his membership to that party, but the records were soon revealed to the public.

And all knew that he had partaken in the blood and fury, not as a fanatic but as a man of science.

So he would spend the rest of his days trying to find absolution for that great sin, trying to make amends to his friend Niko.

And on nice late spring days, he would run with his goslings and lead them along the green paths and let them eat the forbs and grass, and then would lead them on to his beloved Danube, where he would enter the water like a great crocodile and the goslings would take to their aquatic existence as true waterfowl.

A true romantic lover of the wildness of Central Europe, Lorenz would work to create the Green Party and fight to preserve nature.

But none of that can atone for the madness that reason excused and acquiesced and rationalized.

So on this day, he leads the goslings onward through the greenery. Onward along the lovely green paths of Altenberg, the merry band goes.

A gosling has never heard the word “National Socialist,” nor even processes the understanding of its horrors. It knows only to follow that which it thinks is its parent.

A gentle soul trying to escape his past horror. Once a young monster, now leading on his chirping charges into the sunshine.

 

 

Natural History

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