When I walk in our front door, my dogs are happy to see me. It doesn’t matter if I’ve been gone for hours or days. I know they’re happy because they wiggle, dance and squirm. Their tales wag excitedly and they push each other out of the way, trying to get closer to me. They are happy to see me because they love me.
It seems obvious to me that dogs feel emotions similar to humans. In reality, however, the existence of emotions in animals has long been a point of scientific dispute. In fact, 17th-century scientists and philosophers such as René Descartes and Nicholas de Malebranche asserted that dogs were nothing more than living machines that can be programmed to do things. They believed that given the proper stimulus and motivation a dog could be easily programmed, but that they feel nothing and know nothing.
Modern science has evolved from that theory, and come to recognize that animals have a similar chemistry, hormones and even brain structure as those that create emotions in humans. Because a dog’s neurology and chemistry are similar to a human being, it’s sensible to assume that our emotional ranges are similar, but that’s not exactly the case. Yes, it’s true that dogs have emotions which are similar to ours, but not the same as a fully-developed adult human. Research indicates that dogs have the emotional ranges and mental abilities comparable to that of a two to two-and-a-half year old human.
Even if your dog is very well trained, an outing to a crowded public gathering such as a flea market, outdoor concert or art festival can be a challenge with so many distractions and temptations. You can help make the event more fun and less stressful if you go prepared. First, you’ll need to make sure dogs are allowed where you are going, because you can’t leave your dog in the car if they aren’t permitted to join you at the event. Here are some tips for a successful outing with your four legged friend.
Food and Treats
Feed your dog before the outing, particularly if there will be food served there. Your dog will be less likely to beg for food or bother people who have it if they are already full. Even a very well trained dog gets tempted sometimes when there are so many intriguing smells and so many people with food milling around.
Bring along some CANIDAE dog biscuits in case you need to encourage good behavior while you are out and about. If you keep some handy, you can reinforce any social training you may be doing with your dog as well.
Many public places or gatherings require that all dogs be on a leash. It is too easy for your dog to dart off to an interesting distraction if they are off leash. Chances are there will be plenty of other dogs present as well, and not all dogs get along.
It takes a creative mind to find solutions that can make daily life easier or better. When there’s a need, someone can usually find a solution – often times in unlikely ways. Sometimes a creative invention is inspired by dogs and cats.
“Cat Eye” Road Reflectors
On a foggy night in 1933, Percy Shaw was driving home along a dangerous stretch of road with a perilous, sheer drop off on one side. Drivers knew where the edge of the road was when their headlights reflected off of tram tracks, but the tracks had been removed for repairs. As Shaw strained to see through the blackness, his headlights caught the eyes of a cat sitting on a fence. As he pondered the possibility of replicating how a cat’s eyes reflect light, an idea took shape to make dark and dangerous roads safer for drivers. Shaw began manufacturing reflective road markers in 1935. Today reflective “cat eye” road studs are incorporated in roads worldwide.
Biomimicry is science that studies nature to find solutions to problems. The thumbtack was invented in 1903 by Mick Clay, an English inventor. Looking to nature to find a better way to construct the tack, New York design engineer Toshi Fukaya wanted to improve the thumbtack to avoid pricked fingers when pulling one out of the box. His inspiration – the sheath of a cat’s claw. The new innovation in thumbtacks has a hollow silicone sheath that holds the pin inside until it’s pressed into a board, wall or other hard surface. When the tack is removed, the pin withdraws back into the silicone sheath.
I always have a great time helping to choose the winners for each CANIDAE photo contest. I mean, come on – who wouldn’t enjoy looking at a bunch of photos of adorable pets? The hard part for me is when I have to get down to the business of choosing my favorites. It was even more difficult with this contest, because the theme was rescued pets. So there was the usual menagerie of cute photos, but also heart-tugging stories of how the pets found their forever home.
The #CANIDAEfureverhome Contest, as it was called, received hundreds of submissions. How could we possibly declare one of these beloved pets the winner? They are ALL winners, because they were rescued, and they now have a wonderful home with people who adore them!
Nevertheless, the CANIDAE pet loving panel hunkered down and picked their favorites. I wanted to share their photos and stories here, and a few of the finalists too. I truly wish I could share every one of the touching rescue tales we received because, as I said, all of the pets win by getting adopted!
Dog Winner Chosen by CANIDAE: Macy
Macy is a 2.5 year old shepherd/collie/mystery rescue from Washington state. She was on her way to the shelter when I found her at 12 weeks. She had already had 3 families that couldn’t handle her energy, but that is what makes her the best hiking/running/adventure partner I could ask for.
Cat Winner Chosen by CANIDAE: Boots
You can see in this picture by her ear clip that Boots was originally a true born feral. I finally lured her and her sister inside, but Boots has become my savior and hero during some difficult times the last 2 years. I can do more to her than my other cats like toe rubs, belly rubs and much more. She saved my life.
Coughing is usually a clue we have a cold or the flu, and it’s also how we clear our throat. For humans, a cough may sometimes indicate a serious medical issue. Dogs can also develop a cough that could be nothing to worry about, or an indication of medical issues you need to be aware of. If your dog has a persistent cough, call your vet.
Although highly contagious, most dogs who develop kennel cough will recover on their own. However, it can take up to three weeks depending on your pet’s age and health. Older dogs, puppies and canines with a depressed immune system can take longer to recover. Your dog can be infected if he has spent time in a kennel, at the groomer, a dog park, a training class or anywhere there’s multiple dogs. A kennel cough is characterized by a deep, dry honking or hacking cough that might cause gagging afterwards. It gets worse when he’s playing or running. If his cough persists or worsens, call your vet. A serious bout of kennel cough can lead to pneumonia.
Like us, dogs can get a sore throat. It’s rare, but canines can also have tonsillitis. If you notice your dog licking his lips and making swallowing motions, and he has a high pitched gagging cough, it could be a sign of a sore throat, or an indication he has something caught in his throat.
We’ve all read the romantic stories of artists and their muses. The muse provided the artists with companionship and sometimes appeared in their work; the artists often created work that either directly or indirectly included their muse. To prepare for this article, I got lost in the research. I came across a story about two socialite sisters named Claribel and Etta Cone who provided motivation and inspiration for Henry Matisse; another about how a beautiful young woman named Joanna Hiffernan inspired some of James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s most important works, and another on how Dora Maar, a French poet, painter and photographer, was the muse for several of Pablo Picasso’s sad portraits. As was his custom, another woman named Marie-Thérèse Walter became the inspiration for many of Picasso’s later portraits.
Andrew Wyeth was inspired by a woman named Helga Testorf, who was his sister’s housekeeper; Edouard Manet saw Victorine Meurent running through the streets and was instantly intrigued. She became such an important catalyst for him that she inadvertently inspired him to change his artistic style. There is the beautiful but tragic story of Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel and the equally sad story of Edie Sedgwick, who became one of Andy Warhol’s primary muses.
But it’s not just other humans that provide inspiration and companionship to artists. Some very special canines played the role of muse for many famous artists of the past, and wound up making an appearance in their paintings and photographs.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, firm, corporation or brand names, in this blog is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. All opinions in this blog are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company.