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Paws & Pray – a mini-documentary about the Blessing of the Animals


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Benny Bix Ochman Labradoodle and I were among hundreds of people who attended the lovely Blessing of the Animals at the Church of the Holy Trinity earlier this month. Don’t blink or you’ll miss us near the beginning of the 4-minute mini-documentary.

The Episcopalian church not only welcomes parishioners from all cultures, ethnicities, races and classes. It’s also opened its doors to a diversity of species: people and their dogs.

Says the minister, “If we try to live a Godly life, we can try to live up to being the people that our dogs already think we are.”

Dogs Do the Shake


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SHAKE from Variable on Vimeo.

The dogs featured in SHAKE are simply here to offer you a couple minutes of wonder and laughter. :)

SHAKE is based on a photography series of the same name by co-director Carli Davidson. The work was inspired by her own dog Norbert, whose drool she regularly cleans off walls due to his own frequent shaking.
shakeBook
In her new book, Shake, photographer Carli Davidson presents us with over 130 full-page portraits, playful glimpses into typically the unseen movement of hair and skin that are impossible to look away from. HarperCollins/144 pages.

Pawfun Book Review: Chaser, Unlocking the genius of the dog who knows 1,000 words


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Sponsored Post
Screen Shot 2013-10-24 at 11.16.39 PMWhen Benny Bix Ochman Labradoodle came home with me for the first time, at 10 weeks old, I had no idea how smart he was.

The first night, he cried like the baby he was when I put him in his crate. So I soon gave up and let him out. Major tactical error. The next morning, he created a disturbance in the bedroom while I was eating breakfast. While I ran in to see what he’d knocked over, he ran out and grabbed my bagel and scarfed it down.

I thought “little bugger planned that. And I am going to live with that wily creature for the next 15 years.” Uh Oh! He’s continued to demonstrate his intellect in so many ways during the past 8 years, but he clearly doesn’t hold a bone to Chaser, a Border Collie who is arguably the world’s smartest dog.

Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words”, is the title of a new book by John W. Pilley, an emeritus professor of psychology at Wofford College.

Dr Pilley has helped Chaser learn over 1,000 words – more than any other animal of any species besides humans. What’s truly amazing is that, on command, she can retrieve any of her toys from a pile because she’s memorized each of their names. She even demonstrates problem solving behavior through deductive reasoning in new situations. She’s well-socialized, loves people and other dogs, and will happily demonstrate her skills at schools, on national TV and anywhere else Dr Pilley takes her.


Chaser can understand complete sentences and she continues to learn new behaviors with lightening speed. Dr Pilley’s methods are based on reward and play, and he demonstrates that they can be applied to any dog.

I wish the book had more concrete examples of how Chaser learns, with step by step instructions and illustrations. It’s a fascinating subject nonetheless because it challenges the way people think of dogs. The book would benefit from illustrations and photos, and it’s not particularly well-written, but “Chaser” will make you want to find out exactly how smart your canine companion may be.

Anyone who owns a dog knows they’re smarter than non dog-owners think, but few of us have the patience, time or skills to teach our pups the way Dr Pilley has taught, and is still teaching Chaser.

Food, he says, is simply not enough for training dogs. You’ve got to add play to the rewards and powerfully reinforce the behavior you seek.

Sponsored Post – This review is part of a campaign by The BlogPaws Network

Pawfun Product Test: Noni Kitty tests Bravo Mariner’s Medley


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NoniMy 12 year-old cat, Noni, is as fussy as they come. I have a long list of foods on the fridge that he will and won’t eat. And of course, any time I get one from the “he likes it” list, he refuses to eat it.

So I was a little wary when Bravo asked me to have my persnickety cat test Mariner’s Medley, their new freeze-dried cat treats.

As you can see, in the video below, Noni gave Bravo Freeze-Dried Cat Treats a four paws up and I had to hide the bag on a high shelf to keep him from ripping it open and eating the entire contents.

All that’s in the bag are 100% antibiotic-free shrimp, cod and salmon.

Bravo also makes 100% free-dried Turkey Chicken and Salmon cat treats.


Foods that are poisonous to dogs


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poison for dogs

27,000 public votes pick $10,000 winner in Humane Society’s chimpanzee art contest


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The Humane Society of the United States has announced the winners of a chimpanzee art contest, selected by 27,000 public votes for chimps at eight American chimp sanctuaries.

Prizes are in the form of grants to the sanctuaries that provide care for the mammals retired from research, pet trade and entertainment.

These original chimpanzee masterpieces will be auctioned off on eBay soon; proceeds will benefit the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance

Chimp artistThe $10K 1st prize went to Brent at Chimp Haven (Keithville, LA)
Brent paints only with his tongue. His unique approach and style, while a little unorthodox, results in beautiful pieces of art. He’s 37 years old and has lived at Chimp Haven since 2006.

The $5K 2nd prize went to Cheetah at Save the Chimps (Ft. Pierce, FL)
Cheetah, estimated to be born in the 1970′s, lived alone in a laboratory for 19 years and endured over 400 over biopsies. He was rescued by Save the Chimps in 2002 and has since discovered his passion for painting.

The $2,500 3rd prize went to Ripley at the Center for Great Apes (Wauchula, FL)
Like many chimpanzees used as actors, Ripley was eventually dumped in a roadside zoo. There, he witnessed the shooting death of his brother and two other chimp companions after human error resulted in the chimpanzees’ escape. Ripley found sanctuary at Center for Great Apes and impresses his caretakers with his resilience and forgiveness.



Henri, le chat noir, and the cat sitter


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Henri, le chat noir, expounds on cat sitters. He’s so right., and still the funniest cat on the internet.

And that’s saying something, because cats are the glue that holds the internet together.

A Must-Read: How to help a lost dog (including your own)


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This is must-read advice for every dog owner. You can lose your dog in a split second.

I’ve seen dogs get separated from their owners in the park – and I’ve had the awful experience of losing sight of Benny Bix Ochman Labradoodle – and I can tell you that the dogs get disoriented pretty quickly.

lost Dog posterIf you’ve ever had the heart-stopping experience of losing your dog, you know that they go into a fearful mode and may not even recognize you when they see you.

No Dog About It Blog points out:

Many lost dogs tend to go into “survival mode”. They are frightened, unsure, hungry, tired (exhausted) and on constant alert. In many cases, they are fending for their lives. The longer they live in this state the less likely they are to recognize their owner on sight – and in fact, they are less likely to stick around and wait to see if the person approaching them is their owner.”

What should you do when you encounter a lost dog or your own lost dog?
o Sit down.
o Turn your body so your back or side is to the dog.
o Keep your eyes averted and bow your head so as to look non-threatening.
o Toss tasty treats (hot dogs, chicken, smelly cheese, etc.) behind you or to the side of you.
o Don’t talk.
o Wait patiently for the dog to approach you. Don’t make any sudden movements, but continue to toss treats.
o Don’t grab the dog when they get close, but wait patiently and build trust.
o Speak softly, but if they back away, stop talking and just continue to toss treats until they trust you enough to come closer.

White House welcomes Sunny – its second Portuguese Water Dog


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Bo’s got a sister! The White House welcomed its second Portuguese Water Dog, a female named Sunny.

First Lady Michelle Obama said the decision to get a second dog was just as much for Bo as it was for them since Bo doesn’t get enough “dog interaction.” Looks like that won’t be a problem anymore!

White House Dogs

Your dog on toast. World’s silliest invention?


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Really!? Oy vey.

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