Sunday, April 29, 2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012

When Miro goes to the park and Alanis stays home

He's really out of the house? I have the place to myself?

And he's not going to run over and snatch my chewie treat?
(She doesn't know the human will take away the chew after it gets gooey.)
Ahhh, peace.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Earth Day and warm weather last Saturday brought an opportunity for all the joys of yard work.
Alanis decided to supervise.

We cleaned up around the [basically useless] "water feature" in the back yard, bailed out old rainwater [because the not-so-bright person who built it didn't put in a drain], filled it with fresh water and turned on the motor to make sure it still works.
Looks tasty.

Could use a little more dirt as flavor.
Just don't get ideas about using it as a bathtub. And pull up that dandelion.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A dog park day of playing, sniffing, and yelping

Alanis explored the park.

Time for a sniff-fest

Sheila the groomer brought her Airedales.

Miro and Rummy introduced themselves to each other.

Then they played. The park is built on a slope, making it difficult to keep the ground cover (hog fuel) in place. Soon we'll be raising funds for more work on the park, adding names to the donor board you can see in the background.

That's Miro with Lupe walking toward the action.

All the big dogs ran, played and sniffed until some people came in with a small dog who threw a wrench into the works. The small dog, Stanley, had a particularly piercing, persistent yelp. He kept yelping and leaping at the larger dogs' faces until there was a big pile-up of wrestling dogs. People waded in to break it up before the excited dogs forgot their manners and somebody got hurt. This happened a couple of times. There was an even more dangerous pile-up when some larger dogs rolled a small Sheltie onto her back.  I said to Stanley's owners, "You know, there's a small dog area and several small dogs here today. You could all go over there and be safer." They shrugged me off.

It's important to note that none of the dogs were aggressive; they were simply getting excited, just like children. How many times have you seen childrens' games end in tears when no harm was intended?

Soon after that, I gathered my dogs and left, hearing Stanley begin his yelping again at another part of the park. 

I wrote once about a large dog scooping up small dog by the harness and carrying it around (park rules ask that people remove harnesses).  Being on the volunteer group, I've received reports of other problems between differently sized dogs, usually on sunny days when the park attracts lots of visitors. Differently sized dogs who get along fine at home or in small groups encounter a changed dynamic at a busy dog park or a doggy daycare. Every dog daycare I've seen separates large and small dogs for safety reasons.

So my question is: why do so many people persist in putting their small dogs in the large dog area, even when they can see it's not working out? Is it OK just because the people happened to be alert enough to stop anyone, canine or human, getting hurt?

I'd really like to see your answers. Scroll way down to the comment section.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Got clippers?

The post-bath fuzz look.

Sheila Tay brought her portable grooming salon to the house and gave Alanis an excellent 'airecut.

What does a dog do, first thing off the grooming table? Drink water and get her beautifully brushed fuzzy face all wet.
Camera? Treats!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Woe is Wednesday--

--for Alanis at the dog wash

Saturday, April 7, 2012

What bunny?

Wow, where'd you get that one?

Purely academic interest, of course.

Yes, it's real.

Size comparison.

Wasn't me, thank goodness.

The really big egg is a rhea egg (empty!), a prized possession from my days as a board member at Woodland Park Zoo.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Words on Wednesday

This famous poem by Robert Frost has been going through my head lately.

Nothing Gold Can Stay
by Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Keep your mice warm

A report in Science Daily says that a staggering 9 out of 10 drugs "successfully tested in mice and other animal models ultimately fail to work in people." Why does all this expensive research and testing prove a failure? Because the mice are cold.

Who outside of a research lab would know that the most commonly used test subjects are kept in a cold environment? It turns out that cooler temps help prevent aggression.  A Stanford researcher proposed the idea that the attempt to keep warm distorts the mice' metabolism, making their reactions to drugs less like ours than they would otherwise be.

The solution? Give the mice nesting material so that they can build a warm place and live like actual mice. The research involved different room temperatures, cages, and nesting materials in order to determine exactly what the mice like best. Read the short article here and find out what the researchers have to say about mice on vacation.