Dirty Dog

My sister’s foster pup, Brooklyn, found a mudhole in the backyard and came inside while Devon was cooking and made herself comfortable on the couch:

She is available for rescue if yo are interested.








I Feel Ya, Dawg

Lily sums up the mood at the Cole household:

I found her like that when I went to take a nap a little bit ago. I am the most unfair dog parent, btw. I saw her like that and as I was climbing into bed I said “Hi Lily, do you mind if I join you sweetheart” and gently climbed into bed, at which point I noticed Thurston was under the covers too and I blurted out “Move over jackass” and pushed him with my leg.








Open Thread: Ducks Never Miss A Meal

Looks like we could use an open thread.

This happens every morning and evening. I’m shaking the bowl so they’ll look at the camera, but usually all I have to say is “breakfast” or “dinner” and they are right there with the dogs.  They do make me smile.

Open thread








Monday Morning Open Thread: Another Monday, Already?

(Tom Toles via GoComics.com)
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Apart from keeping our Floridian fellows in our thoughts, what’s on the agenda as we start the week?

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On a more upbeat note, we humans don’t deserve dogs, and yet they forgive us. From the NYTimes, “Gregory Berns Knows What Your Dog Is Thinking (It’s Sweet)”:

Dr. Gregory Berns, 53, a neuroscientist at Emory University in Atlanta, spends his days scanning the brains of dogs, trying to figure out what they’re thinking. The research is detailed in a new book, “What It’s Like to Be a Dog.”

Among the findings: Your dog may really love you for you — not for your food…

Dr. Burns: As a neuroscientist, I’d seen how M.R.I. studies helped us understand which parts of the human brain were involved in emotional processes. Perhaps M.R.I. testing could teach us similar things about dogs. I wondered if dogs had analogous functions in their brains to what we humans have.

The big impediment doing this type of testing was to find some way to get dogs into an M.R.I. and get them to hold still for long enough to obtain useful images.

I worked with an Atlanta-based dog trainer, Mark Spivak, to break down the steps that might make it possible for dogs to go into an M.R.I.

In my basement, I built an M.R.I. simulator. We introduced Callie, the family terrier, to it — acclimating her to the noise, teaching her to climb the stairs leading to the machine, recline into a head rest and be motionless for increasing periods of time.

After she mastered these tasks, we combined them, as would be necessary when she encountered a real M.R.I. It took her three months of practicing every day. After perfecting a training system, we sent out a call to local dog owners for volunteers for the study.

Since 2012, we’ve trained and scanned a total of about 90 dogs. As a matter of principle, we never restrained or drugged any. If a dog wants to get up from the M.R.I. and leave, they can. There’s no compulsion…

We did an experiment where we gave them hot dogs some of the time and praise some of the time. When we compared their responses and looked at the rewards center of their brains, the vast number of dogs responded to praise and food equally.

Now, about 20 percent had stronger responses to praise than to food. From that, we conclude that the vast majority of dogs love us at least as much as food.

Another thing that we’ve learned by showing pictures of objects and people to the dogs is that they have dedicated parts of their brain for processing faces. So dogs are in many ways wired to process faces.

This means that dogs aren’t just learning from being around us that human faces are important — they are born to look at faces. This wasn’t known before…



A Word From Some of Our Other Disasters: LA Pet Bleg

While we’ve been focused on Harvey and its effects on Texas and Louisiana, as well as potential follow ons from Irma and other developing tropical storms, significant portions of the US are on fire. There’s a very large wildfire in Curry County, Oregon – details here. A chunk of Montana is on fire. Actually from looking at the incident list, Montana is on fire – not just a chunk. And, of course, there is a huge wildfire in the greater Los Angeles area. The Los Angeles Animal Shelter has put out a call for fosters and adoptions as they are over capacity from animals evacuated and/or rescued from the La Tuna Canyon fire.

Urgent need for adopters and fosters NOW. Our shelters are full as we prepare to provide care and shelter for animals being evacuated from the La Tuna Canyon fire.
Fosters Urgently Needed: East Valley – 29, Harbor – 40, North Central -16, South Lost Angeles – 43, West Los Angeles – 14, West Valley – 5
So if you’re in the area and have a safe place and the ability to help, please do. If you’re wondering just how bad the La Tuna Canyon fire is, and you don’t have your own F/A-18E/F Superhornet to fly over and check it out, here’s a fairly recent picture:
If you’re in proximity to these fires, please stay safe.


Afternoon Open Thread: Duck Update

A few of you already know this, I bought a duck coop off Craigslist this past week. Got a good deal.  So now  the ducks have to stay. Really the only one in denial about this looming foster fail was me.

They’re happy, I’m happy. The only one who is not happy is Jake…the ducks have suddenly decided he’s the bomb and follow him EVERY WHERE around the yard. They LOVE him. He is not amused. There is a full duck update here  (I did not feel like copying and pasting).

I’m working on menus for tonight, I just need to figure out the bonus recipe.

How are you spending your Labor Day weekend Sunday?








Saturday Morning Open Thread: Ready for the Weekend


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What’s on the agenda for the day, or the weekend?
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Possibly of interest…


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And something for the linguists and (really old) Beatles fans…