It’s All About Dogs

Take a look and read this article to for some astonishing facts about our most beloved canine companions.

And, it’s all about dominance, right? Wrong!

Trying to be “dominant” over your dog is not the best approach

“Despite enjoying considerable popularity for many years, the “dominance” theory of dog training is finally seeing the truth come out. “You should never try to dominate your dog,” Hartstein insists. The idea that you need to show your dog “who’s alpha,” with methods such as eating before your dog, making sure you’re always in a higher position than them, or punitive behavior, is outdated and ineffective.”

Of course, you need to set a routine and make sure your dog understands rules and boundaries, but avoid traditional advice about displays of dominance.

Does Your Dog Eat Poop?

With red face, I admit that my dog does indeed eat poop. However, I danced a jig when I discovered that poop-eating is not abnormal for dogs. I also learned that despite myriad and alleged fixes for this shall we say, disagreeable habit, the only real fix is to head out with a dog in rain, snow, sleet, etc., and pick up the little brown pile yourself.

And here’s why dog’s do eat poop. Read on…

Artifical Intelligence, i.e. ChatGPT

I’m a writer and this is scary stuff.

I’ve seen a number of discussions among fellow writers about the new artificial intelligence aps, and most of the comments have been, shall we say, negative. Not really understanding the whole gist, I decided to try it out for myself. So, the way this ap works is, you ask a question and it generates a response. I asked it, what are ways to avoid or overcome cabin fever in the winter, and this is what it said:

Winter cabin fever is a common condition that is caused by being cooped up inside for long periods of time due to cold weather. Here are a few ways to overcome cabin fever during the winter months:

  1. Get outside: Even if it’s cold, it’s important to get outside for some fresh air and exercise. Going for a walk, run or hike can help to boost your mood and energy levels.
  2. Stay active: Try to stay physically active during the winter months. You can try indoor activities such as yoga, home workout, dancing, or even take an online class.
  3. Stay connected: Social isolation can worsen cabin fever. Reach out to friends, family, or co-workers by phone, email, or video chat. Join a virtual book club, or game night, or start a conversation in a social media group.
  4. Indoor hobbies: Take up a new hobby or revisit an old one. Consider painting, knitting, reading, writing, or puzzles.
  5. Get organized: Use the extra time indoors to declutter and reorganize your home, it can give you a sense of accomplishment and improve your mood.
  6. Light therapy: During the shorter days of winter, you may not be getting enough natural light. Try using a lightbox or going outside during the day to get some sunlight.
  7. Seek professional help: If cabin fever is affecting your daily life and mental health, seek professional help. A therapist or counselor can help you to manage your symptoms and improve your overall well-being.

It’s important to remember that everyone is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. So, try different strategies and find what works best for you.

Wow … is it time to start looking for another job?

Finally!!!!!

Spare

Yep, I bought it. First day out and off I trotted to my local Barnes & Noble. I didn’t even want to wait for the Amazon 2-day delivery (?) so I paid $5 extra.

Yep, I am fascinated by the royals. I was obsessed with Princess Diana and crushed when she died, as was the rest of the world. And like the rest of the world, I watched Harry and Willy as they emerged from awkwardness into handsome and talented young men.

However, Will never did much for me. I think he is boring. On the other hand, he chose a gorgeous and wonderful woman as his wife, and now there is the fascination of watching their adorable children grow up.

Harry – he is not boring. He has entertained and horrified with his antics throughout the years, but who can forget the little boy walking behind his mother’s coffin. Is there any doubt why he became the Windsor wild child?

Then along came Meg. Beautiful, brilliant Meg. The nemesis of the royal family, but the woman Harry loves and married. The woman who has been slayed by every British rag as well as her staff in the royal palace.

Quora. Do any of you subscribe to it? It has many excellent attributes and is credited with being a grassroots, authentic research tool. However, I’ve checked in on discussions about the royals, and am appalled at what is said about Meg. Most of the posts are unbelievably vicious and cruel, and these are from people who have never met her!

Anyway, my point here is that I am salivating to get into the nitty-gritty of this book for the truth of what really happened to Harry and Meg.

So, You Want to Volunteer with Animals?

Part 1: Animal Shelters

The New Year is when many of us take stock and think about goals for the upcoming year. Volunteering is often one of those goals. For those of you who love animals, perhaps you want to pursue finding something you can do to donate your time and energy for them. One place where volunteering help for animals is in dire need is animal shelters.

The number of surrendered or stray animals in animal shelters is heartbreaking, with some estimates as high as 6.1 million pets entering shelters each year. Unfortunately, there is never enough staff to give these animals the extras they sorely need, and that’s where volunteers come in. The duties for volunteering in a shelter range from administrative tasks to many different kinds of hands-on activities with the animals. More specifically, here are some things shelter volunteers do:

  • Cuddle with cats, kittens, dogs and puppies
  • Walk, play with, or run with dogs
  • Keep track of an animal’s needs and behavior after working with it
  • Clean cages
  • Take animals to vet appoints or adoption events
  • Take pet photos
  • Write pet bios
  • Talk to potential adopters about a specific pet
  • Lead tours through the facility
  • Do laundry for pet bedding
  • Perform basic care for wounds or other medical issues
  • Participate in fund raising events
  • Train new volunteers
  • Read to animals

And this list is not all! Depending on the facility management, there may be other duties.

My next post will talk about volunteering by being a foster home.

The Rotisserie Chicken Rodeo

My reverie of rotisserie chickens goes back many moons when I was on the cusp of giving up my vegetarianism and the smell of rotisserie chickens roasting away in Wegmans pushed me over the edge.

Ever since then I have been addicted to the rotisserie chickens from Wegmans. They were juicy on the inside and pleasingly crunchy on the outside and I relished feasting on at least one every week. In short order, they became my favorite food.

These little epicurean treasures were just $4.99 – a very economical choice as one chicken afforded me at least two or three meals.

However, little by little, the chickens got smaller and the taste not as good. Then, one day and out of the proverbial blue, the price of what had become ridiculously little birds rose to $9.99!

Goodbye Wegmans rotisserie chickens.

Rabblerouser that I can be, I started a thread on a social media site about the outrageousness of the new price on the Wegmans chickens. Many people hopped on my bandwagon with comments containing similar outrage as well as suggestions for alternatives. It became apparent that rotisserie chickens were a sought-after staple for many besides me.

Hello B.J.s.

Yep, my alternative of choice became B.J.s where the birds were twice as big and ten times juicier, for just $4.99. However, along with this came the rotisserie chicken rodeo.

The word evidently got out, because the rotisserie chicken tray was often empty, and a hoard of people was gathered around it and the oven that was in the process of roasting the beautiful birds that find their way into the tray. When the bell signaled the chickens were done, the crowd of people that had gathered to wait for a chicken, or two or three, began to crush forward. Elbows found stomachs, bodies pushed into other bodies, and some outright butted in front of others. It became a rodeo stampede. All of this for a (delicious) $4.99 rotisserie chicken.

So, the moral of this story is, go to Aldis, buy a chicken, take it home, and roast it yourself.

When the Trail Gives Way to Progress

The smells of oiled leather, the mustiness of a sweaty horse, and the fresh alfalfa hay bales stacked in the loft. The sounds of saddles being slapped on a horse’s back, hooves slowly plodding down a path, and birds and crickets with competing voices. The sights of pure, virgin land – weed-wild fields and untended forests, horses grazing in lush green pastures, and turkey vultures circling overhead, laying claim to some dead creature.

Unforgettable rides, tromping through spring mud, enjoying the shade of summer rides in the woods, crunching red and yellow leaves underfoot in fall, and being dazzled by a hundred million glittering sparkles during the magic of winter in the saddle.  

All this and more were my spiritual and sensual experience of the barn, of riding my horse, of overcoming fears, of perfecting saddle-born skills, of being.

But now? We’re old. The barn is old. My horse is old, and though to say it makes me cringe, I, too, am old.  My horse, Buzzy, is 30. I will not say how old I am. Buzzy is blind and my balance sucks, so our days together in the saddle are done. Still, I go out at least once a week and feed him a bag of carrots. He loves his carrots and I love feeding them to him. He licks my hand when we are done.

However, now as I drive out to the barn where Buzzy lives cozily, I am appalled at the raping of the beautiful fields and woods we used to ride through. They are gone, replaced by ugly half-finished monstrosities of buildings, and the monster machines that are making them. They call this progress.

I am glad I’m old.

A Case for Cursive Writing

When I was in my Catholic elementary school, we all took great pride in seeking to have the prettiest cursive writing in the class. Much to my chagrin, I was not one of those writers. Don’t get me wrong, I loved learning and writing in cursive, but I just did not have manual dexterity to craft the model handwriting as did some of my fellow students.

Crappy handwriting or not, I now write in cursive every single day in my journal. I am fanatical about the Zen mental state and hand and finger dexterity it affords me, and I far prefer my pen and paper to tapping away on a keyboard to share my innermost thoughts.

However: Enter keyboards, smart phones, tablets. Exit: cursive handwriting.

Courtesy of the Common Core State Standards of 2010, which set out guidelines for K-12 education in English language, arts, and mathematics, schools were no longer required to teach cursive handwriting. Why? Because the powers that be decided that future communication would take place digitally, not by hand. However, some states have issued statutes making the teaching of cursive handwriting mandatory – yay! These states include Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Virginia, California, Florida, and North Carolina.

Bravo to these states because our historical documents, as in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, are written in cursive. Kids who are not taught cursive will not be able to read it, or anything else that is written in beautiful, handwritten script. And kids who don’t know cursive will not have a signature: could they be on the verge of identifying themselves with numbers?

Would you believe (of course you would) that in this day of rampant conspiracy theories that a widely seen TikTok video promoted the idea that cursive writing was dying so people could not read the bedrock of our democracy documents and therefore understand their rights? Phooey. Says Reuter Fact Check:

Although it is not part of the Common Core State Standards guidance, each state and U.S. territory can choose whether to teach cursive writing. Versions of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights are widely available online and in print in a variety of formats and fonts.

So, boys, girls, men, and women, the moral of this story is to not believe what you see on TikTok, or any other social media platform; rather, pick up that pen, buy yourself a Moleskin pad, and write away to your heart’s content.

Overcoming the Behaviors That Arise From Abusive Treatment

This article by expert trainer Rich Allen rings true that it is our job to help innocent, abused animals learn to live calmly, safely, and securely in homes filled with love.

Loose Dog on Expressway

One of the things I absolutely dread more than anything is coming across a road- injured animal or loose pet. I came across the latter this week as I was driving down a 3-lane interstate. Several cars were lined up by the side of the road and people were running in the grass. It looked like it could be an accident scene except for the people running in the grass. And then I saw why they were running – this little brown-ish dog was tearing down the middle of the highway. In my rearview mirror I saw her get hit and my heart exploded, but after a somersault, she was back up and running like a bat out of hell. I pulled over and opened my car door, hoping maybe she would leap in, but she sailed right past. In the meantime, bless the State Police, one of their cars got in front of the traffic, lights flashing to slow down the lines of traffic moving towards the little pup. Last I saw of her, she ran up an exit ramp.

I could not sleep wondering what happened to her, so the next day I posted to a Lost, Missing and Found group on FB to see if I could find out what happened. Amazingly – she was safe. She was sore and had a seriously bruised lung and ravaged foot pads, but she was otherwise home. After being on the run for 30 hours, I hope everything turns out okay and she doesn’t find her way out again.  

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