Bravery or Discipline

This picture is everywhere on line. I happen to grab this copy from Pinterest but I am certain I have seen it elsewhere. What do you see when you look at this photo?

Most credit the cat for his bravery but what I saw was discipline. Those dogs are obviously trained to ignore distractions. Unfortunately I have a feeling one of those dogs may not graduate out of the Academy. Yet he has a young face. Maybe a newbie? Can you spot that dog?

Is the cat brave or the dogs disciplined? Maybe both? Or maybe the cat knows the dogs will stay put.

Hearing Aid

A dog trained to support a person with a hearing disability or deafness will alert the owner to sounds such as alarms, doorbells or door knocks, timers, approaching cars or people, babies crying or the owner’s name being said.  The dog is trained so that it performs a different action for different sounds.  For instance, when someone is at the door the dog could be trained to poke the owner with its nose, then lead her or him to the door.  However, if the phone rings, the dog would perform a different action like use its paw to tap the owner then lead him or her to the phone.

Trained hearing dogs are not easy to get.  Hearing dogs are usually bred to take on this job, and it takes several years of training.  A dog will generally be between 2 and 3 years old before it is ready to assist a person.  Sadly, 80% of dogs will fail the training.  It takes a dog with a special personality and intelligence to graduate.  Once the owner (called handler) acquires a dog, this person must constantly keep up the training or the dog could lose its skills and require retraining.

Not just anyone with a hearing disability or deafness will qualify for a dog.  First, the person must be able to participate in training so that he or she can handle the dog and continue the training.  The person must be able to prove that the dog’s needs will be taken care of including physical needs such as feeding, safe housing, grooming, exercising, and vetenary care.

By the way, others should avoid distracting a service dog by petting it or whistling at it or trying to get its attention in any other manner.  People walking their dog should never approach a person with a hearing dog as the two dogs will want to “meet and greet” and the hearing dog must stay on the job and alert at all times.

The best breeds for hearing dogs are Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Poodles and Cocker Spaniels.  Candidates for this job must have a calm temperament yet be confident.

This wonderful photo is thanks to Drew Hays at Unsplash (https://unsplash.com/@drew_hays)

If you would like to learn more about Hearing dogs:

Hearing dogs 101 by Tara Mitrovic. https://www.chha.ca/hearing-dogs-101/

You Listen for Me – Paws with a Cause https://www.pawswithacause.org/what-we-do/assistance-dogs/hearing-dogs/#qualifications

Canine Companions Perform Important Functions for Hearing Impaired People – the American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/hearing-dogs/

Any press is good press

Well, with some dogs it’s more like any attention is good attention. My dog Sinatra would do anything to please me, including pose for ridiculous photos such as the one taken here by my husband.

Dog at the wheel

<a data-flickr-embed="true" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/camerauthor/49810022037/in/dateposted-public/" title="Sheltie in Driver&#x27;s seat"><img src="https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49810022037_f587188f00_z.jpg" width="640" height="427" alt="Sheltie in Driver&#x27;s seat"></a><script async src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Do dogs enjoy taking photos

When my husband retired he bought his first DSLR Camera.  We were all subjected to his “inspiration” but our dogs were especially so.  After a while they refused to look at him when he pointed the camera at them.  I really think they had got bored with the whole thing.

Let me take a sheltie

Forever Home

I read it all the time:  This dog is ready for his forever home.  “Forever” is simply not going to happen.  This past year (2018), I lost both my dogs, one in June and the other, New Year’s Eve.  One died from an Epileptic Fit despite all the medicine and the hope and prayers.  The other dog died of cancer (and maybe he just couldn’t hang on with his brother gone.)   I also had to place my mother in long-term care in October.  So I am not putting 2018 down as my best year.  It was a difficult one.

However,this beautiful little dog caught my eye and he brought a smile to my lips when I saw him with his mouthful.

mouthful.JPG

 

Can cats and dogs get along?

The quick answer is absolutely.  You simply have to do a search on Google and you’ll get photographs and Youtube videos by the bundle that will be offered as easy proof.  Such happy companions, cuddling together on the couch.  And I too have had cats and dogs that have got along, played together, slept together, or at the very least said hello with a rollover.

But here I have to be honest.  I have had some cats and dogs that hated each other.  Often this was caused by an error in judgement either by the cat or the dog.

We had this beautiful black and white cat, one of those tuxedo cats.  He was the friendliest cat I had ever had…with people that is.  He had a personality flaw that the other animals tolerated but found obnoxious:  he was a teaser.  Blackie (that was his rather unoriginal name) would find something that irritated the other animal and do it over and over.  With his cat-sister, it was to cut her off.  He would come from behind at a trot and run ahead of her and make a quick left or right in front of her.  She often had to stop abruptly to avoid walking into him.  I could see that this habit of his irked her, but I could not see a way to stop him from doing it.

He used to love to sit on the chair directly in front of the busiest entrance in the house so he could keep track of those coming in and out of the backyard.  Whenever my sheltie passed by Blackie on his prestigious chair, Blackie would give the sheltie a paw to the butt end.  The sheltie put up with this. After all, the cat wasn’t taking out his claws; he was just taping him.  Then one evening, when my sheltie was suffering from a sore leg, Blackie gave him the usual tap as my sheltie limped by.  All hell broke lose.  My sheltie barked and growled directly in Blackie’s face, exactly three times.  Blackie backed away, sliding backwards off the chair through the hole below the low rail on the backrest and ending up under the table looking both aghast and astonished.  After that they were mortal enemies.

And then there was the dog I adopted from the shelter.  Immediately on his arrival at his forever home, he chased my cat up a tree.  That ended any chances of the two of them becoming buddies.  Even though I gave the dog a lecture, he chased the cat several more times before finally realizing that the cat belonged on the property.  After that, he only chased strange cats, but it didn’t matter, the damage had been done.  Whenever he got close to the cat, the cat hissed at him, and it sounded as if he was blowing up balloons so the dog was well-warned.

Not long ago I had to move my mother into a nursing home and I took her cats into my home.  I asked Memie how she felt about my dog Sadie and this is the answer I got.

Memie on meeting Sadie

 

 

Do dogs notice birds?

I know my dogs notice squirrels.  They certainly pay attention when there is a chipmunk in the yard!  Oh yeah.

But do they notice birds?  Well mine certainly does.  She spends long periods of time watching them fly back and forth to our feeder as if she believes if she studies them long enough, she can learn to fly.

Now there is one bird that likes to tease my dog.  And my dog has a hard time figuring out where it is, because this is one of the fastest and smallest birds in our yard.

There it is…oops… I swear it was there.Hummingbird