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do dogs know they are dying

Do Dogs Know They Are Dying?

While the jury is still out, around 20 percent of people think that dogs know. In February 2019, I posted an essay called "Do Dogs Know They're Dying?" with the subtitle "Was Sadie really trying to tell her human companion that Oscar was dying?" Here is a brief summary of that story. Sadie and Oscar, a senior dog, lived together. One night...
adopting a puppy

Too Many Puppies Are Acquired at Too Young an Age

A recent UK study finds disturbing numbers of dogs being adopted before 8 weeks. This is Poppy at Too Young An Age. She was only 5 weeks old in this picture, and in foster care with her 4 siblings.theSource: Jessica Pierce The early life experiences of puppies reverberate throughout their adult lives and influence their physical, emotional, and social well-being. Like...
dog valentines day

Give Your Dog the Gift of Enrichment

This Valentine's Day, show your dog love by giving her the gift of enrichment. Do you want to give your dog something truly special for Valentine’s Day? Give him or her the gift of enrichment. Enrichment is easy, inexpensive, and will make your dog happy.  Here are a few ideas: Take your dog on an extra-long walk where she gets to set...
dogs go to heaven

More Dogs Going to Heaven Than Ever Before

A new study of pet cemeteries reveals shifts in human-animal relationships. Stephen King has established the pet cemetery (or ‘semetary’) in our collective imagination as a spooky place befitting of Halloween. But I don’t find pet cemeteries the least bit scary. To my mind, they offer a beautiful testament to the human-animal bond and the power of loss and mourning. They...
dog socialisation

All Our Dogs Are Socially Awkward Now

The pandemic has made dogs "out of practice" socially. In a recent essay in The New York Times called “We’re All Socially Awkward Now,” journalist Kate Murphy suggests that over the course of this pandemic human social skills have begun to get rusty because we are all out of practice. She notes the widespread concern that social distancing or virtual schooling will negatively impact...
emotional support dog

Are Emotional Support Dogs Always a Cure-All?

In one survey, 100% of people say yes. Are they right? I recently read an essay by Lily Velez called "Newly Released Study Reveals Health Benefits of Emotional Support Animals" in which we're told, "All participants reported that their quality of life had noticeably improved with an ESA dog" (my emphasis). In this piece the following data from a joint collaboration between The Assistance Dog...
dog cloning

Cloning Pets

Just one bad idea after another You love your dog or cat. Someday your dog or cat will die. (I’m sorry, but it’s inevitable.) What if you could put aside the genetic materials to make a perfect copy of your beloved animal, a clone of your pet? Would you do it?  This is something we need to think about, as individuals...
tips for new puppy owners

Craving a Pet

Scratching the itch isn’t always the right response. Rachael had just returned to school at the University of Colorado and was excited, as a sophomore, to be living off-campus in a shared house with five roommates. Amid the excitement of a new year, though, there was the underlying angst of COVID and an ounce of homesickness. The thought entered her...
kids and dogs

Kids and Dogs: Playing, Walking, and Emotional Development

Some pre-schoolers living with dogs display more prosociality than dogless kids. Twelve years ago, I published a kid's book called Animals at Play: Rules of the Game. I was thrilled that Jane Goodall supported this easy-to-read discussion of how nonhuman animals (animals) play by writing:  "Marc Bekoff’s ideas about fair play stress the significance of cooperation and justice, aspects of behavior desperately needed in the world today ......
pit bull

Pit Bulls as Weapons?

Comparing pit bull restrictions to gun rights gets us nowhere. A story printed in my local Longmont, Colorado paper yesterday hailed the softening of attitudes and laws toward pit bulls. The past decade or so has been a hard time for dogs who happen to be (or look like) a pit bull, not just in Colorado but all over the country. Several...
care for pets

Lifetime Care Planning for Pets

Do you have contingency plans for your companion animals? I have fretted about what will happen to my animals—two dogs and a cat—if my husband and I both meet some unexpected end, and until yesterday I thought I had done enough to prepare for an unexpected emergency. After all, we’ve talked to family who might in put into a position...
how to cope with losing a dog

What To Do When A Friend Loses A Pet

Seven ways to support a grieving friend 1. Do not say “It was just a dog!” or “It was just a cat.” Not only is this disparaging to animals, but it will likely offend a pet owner. This is an underhanded way of telling someone they are silly for loving an animal—and there is nothing silly about love for an animal. If you’ve...

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