Month: November 2019

Catnip may help cancer patients

Many of us have seen how catnip also known as catmint makes cats act like a kitten. I have seen cats who played like crazy and some who seemed to get angry and aggressive when given catmint.

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Now scientists have discovered what the chemical process is that makes cats go gaga over catnip.

It turns out it is a two step process that has never been discovered before, where the plant produces nepetalactone, a chemical called a terpene. Other plants such as peppermint, have terpene. By understanding how this chemical is produced, scientists will be able to recreate chemicals such as vinblastine that comes from the Madagascan periwinkle and used for chemotherapy. If scientists can unlock this mystery they will not have to rely on the actual plants for medicines.

Again, our pets have helped us unlock the mysteries of medicine and we will benefit from this research. The lesson for me from this study is that researching something that seems to have no benefit can unlock lifesaving techniques for both humans and animals. After all, who would think of studying catnip?

All Things You Should Know When RVing with Pets by guest blogger, Charlotte Davis

Travelling with a dog can be one of the most exhilarating adventures you’ll ever have. However, journeying with a canine also requires proper planning and preparation. Dogs need quite a bit of maintenance, depending on the individual’s size, breed, and temperament, and it’s important to ensure that all of their needs are taken care of throughout your travels before finally hitting the road. Luckily, the following should supply you with everything you need to know when RVing with a pet.

first pic                                                 Image: Pixabay

Food

This will be one of the first things you’ll want to get sorted out. It’s not quite as easy as just bringing along some dog food and leaving it at that, especially if you’re heading away on a lengthy road trip. For a start, if you’re planning to top up your dog food along the way, make sure that the type of food your pet requires (or is used to) is available wherever you’re going. If possible, research ahead and check availability of dog food in local pet stores located along your route. Don’t forget to clear away any food or water in the RV before hitting the road again, otherwise this is sure to spill and go everywhere once you’re moving. Store water in containers that are properly sealed to avoid spillage and put them in lower parts of the cabinets. If possible, have your dog eating outside to minimize mess in the RV.

Bathroom Duties

Every dog owner knows the kind of disaster that can happen when a dog doesn’t have proper bathroom essentials. When a dog has nowhere else to go, they will go anywhere they can. This can really be an issue when travelling in an RV. Stopping regularly to let your furry little friend do its business is one of the best ways to prevent any messes from occurring, though this can be a challenge depending on where your journey takes you. If your dog is house trained, puppy pads are the next best bet, and have been relied on by millions of dogs since their invention. Simply lay a pad or two on the floor of your RV, and make sure your dog knows where to find them in a pinch.

Finding an RV

motorhome-                                                    Image: Pixabay

RVs aren’t always the most dog-friendly vehicles. Kitchenettes, stove tops and living areas all have their own hazards to contend with, whether that’s hot elements, loose pots and pans or small spaces your four-footed friend could get stuck in. While many of these issues can be addressed in any RV with adequate care, it’s worth searching for a vehicle that is suitable to begin with. Look for models which have adequate space for your dog to move around a little, and include necessary safety features which ensure that doors or items won’t fly open or come loose, disturbing or hurting your pup. If you have yet to rent an RV for your adventure, there are plenty of types and models to choose from. Within this wide variety, you’re sure to find the perfect mobile abode for both you and your dog. When traveling in Canada, for example, searching for an RV rental in Edmonton is not difficult. Try to find an RV that will provide adequate space, accommodations, and safety for both you and your dog.

Dog-Proofing The RV

RVs are designed primarily with humans, not dogs, in mind. With that in mind, it’s worth puppy-proofing your RV, no matter how fitting your selection of vehicle. Before setting out for the great beyond, you should make sure that electrical outlets are covered, loose cords and wiring are hidden away, and anything toxic or otherwise unsafe for your pooch is safely out of their reach. Any windows accessible to your dog should be secured so they do not open too wide or even break in a worst-case scenario. Ensure that your dog can’t and won’t distract you from the driver’s seat. You can purchase mesh gating at nearly every pet store, which will keep your dog in his or her own, designated area of the RV. Finally, if your dog doesn’t sleep in your bed (which they should not in an RV rental) you should place any bedding in a safe place where your dog will not move around too much. It’s hard enough for dogs to stand up in a moving vehicle. For long journeys, it is important they don’t have any trouble lying down as well. Your dog will, undoubtedly, be doing a lot of that on your ride together.

While holidaying in an RV with your furry pal definitely means doing a lot more prep than you would otherwise, most pet owners would agree that it’s more than worth it to have them along for the ride.

BIO: 

Charlotte Davis is a digital nomad on a mission to spread positivism by sharing tidbits of her travel journey with her pooches. An animal-lover at heart, she wants to inspire people to travel with their pets through her tips on how to make it a safe, relaxing and enjoyable trip.

Follow her on Tumblr to read more of her travel stories.

Susan Bulanda’s Books

Hi loyal followers. Earlier this month I posted about the books I have written. However, I did not realize that my website (www.sbulanda.com) was not working. It is fixed, so if you tried to order any of my books and could not, you should be able to do so now. Sorry for any inconvenience. Please note that you cannot order my WWI book, Soldiers in Fur and Feathers from my website. This is because I only have a few copies left. If you would like a copy of that book email me at sbulanda@gmail.com to see if I still have some. It is a collectible since it is a signed first edition. Also note that Scenting on the Wind and Ready to Serve, Ready to Save are on sale for $6.00 each. These area also signed first editions that are now out of print. Go to my previous blog to see my books.

Thanks, Sue

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People’s ability to read canine facial expressions

Some people seem to be able to understand a dog’s facial expressions better than other people. Of course we know that you need to be able to read the dog’s whole-body language to fully understand how a dog feels and what they are thinking. But why are some people better at it than others?

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In a recent study by Federica Amici of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and Juliane Bräuer of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History has discovered that all humans can identify anger and happiness, but those who grew up in a dog friendly environment were able to identify other emotions much better. It seems that age and experience make a difference in a person’s ability to interpret canine feelings. It would be interesting to see how this applies to other animals.

How animals detect odor

Prof. Nowotny, Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange in the University of Sussex’s School of Engineering and Informatics had determined that animals may not single out a specific odor when they look for a substance. He has found that animals may find it easier to detect a collection of odors instead of a single substance. If this is true, then most of the detection dog training that focuses on teaching a dog to look for one odor rather than a scent picture, may not be the best way to train a dog.

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Scout following scent

One single odor does not exist in a natural environment, rather there are a collection of odors. When you consider that it is impossible to isolate a single odor in a natural environment, this discovery makes sense. Of course it is possible and often likely that a single odor is stronger than the surrounding odors, but still it is not the only odor present.

Professor Nowotny suggests that animal and human olfactory systems may not be made to do analytic smelling of pure odors. He uses the example of how an animal will give off pheromones, a complex set of odors, as a form of communication and that it is important that an animal recognize the entire chemical message and not a single element in the chemical message.

For years I have maintained that when teaching a dog scent work that there is no such thing as an uncontaminated scent article. Professor Nowotny has confirmed this with his latest research. Although more studies need to be done, and we should still train our dogs as we have in the past, it does open the door for a less narrow view of what dogs detect and how they detect it and may lead to new training methods. It is always good to “think outside the box.”

Sue Bulanda’s books

With the holidays fast approaching I thought I would post a list of the books that I have written. All but two of my books can be ordered from my website (www.sbuland.com) by clicking on the “books” tab. If you want a book shipped outside of the USA please email me for the correct postage. If you order my listed books you will get an autographed copy. I only have a few copies of Soldiers in Fur and Feathers so if you want that please email me first to see if I have any more. This book is out-of-print, so do not order it from my website.

K9 Obedience Training: Teaching Pets and Working Dogs to be Reliable and Free-Thinking.  This book shows you how to teach a dog the basic obedience that is the foundation for all other training. The methods used in this book allow the dog the freedom to think for themselves rather than perform in a robotic method where creativity is discouraged. Free-Thinking is necessary for all working dogs who cannot be trained for every situation that they encourage. Obedient disobedience is also covered. The book also explains what not to do and why. It includes basic handling and grooming techniques that are necessary for a well socialized dog. Some fun tricks are included.

K9 OBEDIENCE TRAINING COVER PRINT

K9 Search and Rescue Troubleshooting: Practical Solutions to Common Search-Dog Training Problems – explains the typical training problems and offers solutions that SAR dog handlers encounter when training their dogs. The solutions apply to all disciplines in canine search and rescue. It explains how the puppy stages of development can have lasting effects on the behavior and training of a dog. Often people adopt an older dog to train and do not understand why the dog behaves the way it does, this book gives insight to those issues. Although K9 Search and Rescue Troubleshooting: Practical Solutions to Common Search-Dog Training Problems is written for the SAR dog handler, the information contained in it applies to many training issues that are not related to SAR.

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Soldiers in Fur and Feathers: The Animals That Served in WWI – Allied Forces: A unique, collection of accounts about many different animals that served in WWI. There are many rare photos. What is especially interesting about this book is that it includes many of the mascots that the soldiers kept. Some went into the trenches with the men. For example, there is an account about how a cat saved the life of a soldier, how a pair of geese slated to be Christmas dinner wound up being kept as mascots, and one soldier had a huge Golden Eagle as a pet. WWI was a transitional war from animal power to mechanization, therefore many species of animals served, such as oxen, horses, mules, camels, pigeons, and dogs in many capacities.

2012: Second Place Winner Non-Fiction, National League of American Pen Women; Finalist for the Alliance of Purebred Dog Writers Arthur Award, Certificate of Excellence for the Cat Writers Association of America.

Soldiers in Fur and Feathers

Faithful Friends: Holocaust Survivors Stories of the Pets Who Gave Them Comfort, Suffered Alongside Them and Waited for Their Return: This is the only book written about the animals of the Holocaust victims, recording a part of history that has been overlooked. Some of the stories are sad and some joyous, but all are a part of history. Learn about Nicholas the French Bulldog owned by a woman who was part of the French resistance, and how he came to tour with the German army. Also, the dogs who somehow survived the war and were reunited with their owners and many other stories about dogs and cats.

2012: Dog Writers Association of America, Maxwell Award.

Certificate of Excellence Cat Writers Association, 2012; National League of American Pen Woman 2nd place non-fiction, 2012.

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God’s Creatures: A Biblical View of Animals: explains the role that animals play in the Bible and how God uses them. It explores the nature of animals and miracles that involve them. The book explores many of the miracles that involve animals. It answers questions such as, do animals go to heaven, do they know and obey God, can they be evil?

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Boston Terriers, a book all about this wonderful breed of dog. Learn about their care, training and personality. The book has fun sidebars that give personal accounts of Boston terriers.

First Place Maxwell Award for the Dog Writers Association of America, 2002. (only available on-line)

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Ready: The Training of the Search and Rescue Dog: Adopted worldwide as the training book for SAR dogs. This book has been in print since 1994 and is in its second edition. It gives the SAR dog handler a training plan for all disciplines of canine search and rescue.

First place for the National League of American Pen Woman’s biannual contest, 1996. Also nominated best book of the year, 1994 Dog Writers Association.

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Ready to Serve, Ready to Save: Strategies of Real-Life Search and Rescue Missions: is about actual search and rescue missions giving the reader inside information about how searches work. It is useful as a tabletop training exercise for SAR units.

2000 Award winner for the National League of American Pen Women contest.

Ready serve

Scenting on the Wind: Scent Work for Hunting Dogs: helps the hunting enthusiast understand how weather, wind and terrain features affect scent. It is a great aid for people who compete in field trials or who do any kind of scent work with dogs.

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Real Estate Today, Seller Beware! – is how to save money when selling your house. Available on Amazon

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