The space race between the United States and Russia began in the early 1960s when President Kennedy issued a challenge to NASA to put a man on the moon by 1969. Russia was first to put a living being into space when they launched a stray terrier named Laika. Sadly, she didn’t survive long enough to reach orbit, but it had a profound effect on the world and gave us the drive to put a man on the moon. Laika wasn’t the only dog that played a role in world history, though. Here are 8 more.
Belka and Strelka
When the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 5 in 1960, two mixed breed stray canines from Moscow were the first dogs to go into orbit and return alive. The furry cosmonauts’ 24 hour orbital flight gave the Soviets the confidence to continue their dream of putting a man into space. The dogs became national heroes and were honored worldwide for their contribution to the space race. Shortly after Strelka returned from space, she gave birth to six puppies. Nikita Khrushchev gifted one of the pups, Pushinka, to President Kennedy and his family.
Dogs have become so much a part of our world that terms related to their behavior and interactions are interwoven into our conversations. Although there are many dog-related expressions, this sampling of just ten will show you how much our canine friends have influenced us.
If you’ve ever watched your dog run and play with extreme high energy until they fall asleep and barely move a muscle from sheer exhaustion, you have an idea of the origins of the term dog tired. A dog who is that tired may be difficult to rouse from sleep. When you are dog tired, you have reached the end of your rope and need rest to rev up for the next activity or day.
This term has different meanings depending on its usage. A dog-eared book has the corners of pages turned down as bookmarks, or to mark pages with pertinent information. Sometimes it is the sign of a very loved and well-read book. Any item which is worn out or shabby may also be referred to as dog-eared (old clothing, photographs or houses, for example). Basically, the item has seen better days.
In a Dog’s Age
You may not have seen an old friend in a dog’s age, or you may not have been to an old hangout or eaten a favorite food in a dog’s age. It simply means it has been a very long time since you’ve had that experience. The typical life span of dogs is about 10 to 15 years. That is a long time not to have done something you used to do!
While doing some of my endless researching and web searches, I happened across an internet website that is totally dedicated to all things dog. Intrigued, and obviously being a longtime dog lover, I wanted to see what the All Dog Radio site had to offer. I discovered that it’s full of trivia, music and other dog-related content, and some of it was quite surprising, fun and informative.
The site has a large collection of varied musical recordings that are described as “The WooFTunes Music Library! Probably the largest collection of Dog Music & Dog Songs anywhere!”. The musical choices range from rap to a page called “WoofHouse” which is a concert series of unplugged non-amplified and acoustic musicians. The WoofHouse musicians travel by dog cart and perform around parts of Maryland and Pennsylvania on their little red cart.
All Dog Radio offers pages of jokes, poetry, song and rap lyrics, (available in recorded format to listen to or in print to read if you prefer it that way), and dog stories, including three ongoing fictional stories. If you want to send in your own stories, the site encourages submissions of your own real life doggy tales. For those into political related trivia, the First Dogs make an appearance on the website as well.
Most pet owners spend a lot of time bonding with their pets and learning all about them. We know where they like to be scratched, if a thunderstorm will upset them, how they respond to strangers, or if a stubborn streak will try your patience. Each pet is unique with their own personality, but as a species all dogs and cats are intriguing. Here are 13 facts you may not know about your pet.
1. A dog’s sense of smell is so powerful that some can detect odors buried 40 feet underground or track whale scat in the ocean. We have around 5 million scent receptors in our nose, but canine noses are equipped with around 125 to 300 million scent receptors, depending on the breed.
2. A common belief is that all cats are lactose intolerant and shouldn’t be given milk, but that’s not true for every feline. Some don’t have a problem drinking milk; however, after weaning they don’t need milk, and it can upset a cat’s tummy if she drinks too much. As long as your cat can tolerate it, there’s nothing wrong with giving her an occasional saucer of milk in addition to a quality cat food like CANIDAE. If you want to know if your kitty can have some milk now and then, give a small amount and wait 24 hours. If she doesn’t develop diarrhea, a little milk as a treat is fine.
3. A dog’s wet nose helps capture scent particles, and if his nose is dry, he may lick it to help him catch a scent. They can wiggle each nostril independently, and they know which nostril a smell entered, which helps them locate the source of a smell. The nose is made up of ridges and dimples unique to an individual dog, and is believed to be as individual as our fingerprints are. Felines also have a nose print that can be used to identify an individual cat.
4. Cats that live on their own don’t communicate by meowing to each other. Domesticated cat meows and yowls are used to communicate with humans. Felines have a fairly sophisticated vocalization range of about 100 different meows or yowls. Dogs only have about 10 different barks, yips or snarls.
5. Dogs have a disconnected shoulder blade, which gives them a better range of motion when running and jumping. Most canines can run at around 19 mph at full speed.
Dogs are such interesting creatures. We’ve had an association with them for centuries, but scientists have only recently begun to understand how unique and special they are. Because of selective breeding over the years, we’ve been able to tame the wild beast, so to speak, but there are still mysteries we need to unravel. Most of our modern day breeds were created just a short time ago in relation to how long man and dogs have been working together as a team. We are still discovering interesting dog facts about our canine friends dog lovers may not know.
Research has shown that children who grow up with pets in the home have 31% fewer respiratory tract infections and 44% fewer ear infections, and are 29% less likely to need antibiotics. A dog in the home can even help protect kids from the common cold and reduce the chance of your child developing asthma.
The Norwegian Lundehund, native to Norway, has some rather unique characteristics not found in any other dog breed. The dog has six toes on each foot, erect ears that can be folded closed at will – forwards or backwards – and they can bend their head backwards so far it touches their backbone. The breed is also called the Norwegian Puffin Dog; Lunde means puffin, and hund means dog.
Greyhounds can reach a top speed of 45 mph, making them the fastest dog on earth, but the Siberian Husky has endurance to outlast most other breeds. A team of Huskies can travel 100 or more miles per day at an average speed of 11 mph.
We know dogs were the first animals domesticated by us, but it’s still not known exactly when that took place. The belief by researchers is that domestication took place around 15,000 years ago, but a 50,000 year old cave painting in Spain shows what experts believe is a dog-like figure in the painting.
Many of you had a lot of fun with the Kitty Cat Trivia Quiz I posted a few weeks ago, so now it’s time for Dog Trivia! I’m making this quiz a wee bit harder, because I know how many devoted dog lovers there are out there, and I think most of you know a lot about dogs. We’ll see!
1. Which dog breed is sometimes referred to as “the Little Lion,” and why? A. Poodle B. Lowchen C. Chow Chow D. Samoyed
2. What does the phrase “three dog night” refer to? A. Dogs fighting B. A pack of wild dogs roaming at night C. A Jazz Band from the 1920s D. The temperature
3. What did psychologist Sigmund Freud’s dog supposedly do? A. Barked at anyone Freud didn’t like B. Saved Freud’s life by alerting him to an intruder C. Attended all of Freud’s therapy sessions D. Nothing – Freud hated dogs and did not own any
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