Tag Archives: Facebook

Robot dogs likened to Facebook

The Sony Aibo

The Sony Aibo

Sharing your live with a beloved dog is going to become unsustainable, says an Australian researcher, leading to a shift to companion robotic dogs.

Ugh.

Dr. Jean-Loup Rault, an animal welfare researcher at the University of Melbourne, Australia says that this prediction is similar to describing the power of Facebook to someone 20 years ago.  “If you’d described Facebook to someone 20 years ago, they’d think you were crazy. But we are already seeing people form strong emotional bonds with robot dogs in Japan.”

Dr Rault says that when a robot dog dies in Japan because it is not repairable, many owners hold a funeral  for it.

Dr Rault says the consequences of a shift towards robotic pets will be good for people who suffer from allergies, but may also cause a shift in ethics – with people more detached from the suffering of mortal beings.

I don’t want to live in a world that goes backwards in terms of animal welfare.  And I can’t cuddle up in bed at night with a robot, nor see the blissful look on its face when I massage it.

I hope Dr Rault is wrong.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

You can read Dr Rault’s article in the journal Frontiers of Veterinary Science by clicking here.

Source:  Market Business News

Dry Dog, Wet Dog

Serenah Hodson is an Australian pet photographer.  She’s just done a series entitled Dry Dog Wet Dog.  She says,

‘Dry Dog Wet dog came about with washing my own dogs. Their personalities change when they know it’s bath time. So I decided to create a series of the different looks and not only personalities but the difference in look from groomed to wet. We get such great texture on the dog when the hair is wet. Some dogs look completely different when wet and this was the joy I wanted to capture.’

Here’s a few of Serenah’s photos and  you can follow her on Facebook to see more of her work.

Garfunkel-Dry-Dog-Wet-Dog Casper-Dry-Dog-Wet-Dog Bones-Dry-Dog-Wet-Dog Henri-Dry-Dog-Wet-Dog

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Mourning a pet isn’t what it used to be

The role of pets has changed a lot in the last 20 or so years.  This change is also reflected in how people mourn when a pet dies.  This column, by Monica Collins of The Boston Globe, discusses how mourning for a lost pet is recognized as genuine grief.  Well worth reading (just click on the link below)

Mourning a pet isn’t what it used to be – Lifestyle – The Boston Globe

Continue reading

Arthur chose them…and a new life in Sweden

The Swedish members of Team Peak Performance started out as a team of four in a 430-mile adventure race through the Amazon.  By the time they finished the race in Ecuador, they had added a 5th member, a canine named Arthur.

Arthur’s story, including his subsequent relocation to Sweden, has captured the world’s attention.  This is a classic case of a dog choosing its adoptive owner.

It started when Captain Mikael Lindnord threw a stray dog a meatball at a rest break.  A 24-mile rainforest hike, one leg of the race, was about to begin and the stray kept pace with the team.  When the team entered its kayaks for a water part of the race, the stray (now named Arthur) jumped in to swim and stay with them.

“The organisers advised us not to bring Arthur, as it could be unsafe on the water,” explained Mr Lindnord.

“But when we set off in the kayaks, he started swimming after us. It was too heart-breaking and we felt we couldn’t leave him, so we picked him up.  We could hear the people cheer on the shore as we set off.”

Mikael and Arthur during the race Photo: Krister Göransson/Peak Performance

Mikael and Arthur during the race Photo by: Krister Göransson/Peak Performance

Mikael has now adopted Arthur and brought him back to Sweden to become a member of the family.

Arthur and his new family at the airport

Arthur and his new family at the airport

Recognizing that Arthur’s story has touched many who want to help other strays, the team has set up the Arthur Foundation to receive donations.

You can follow Arthur’s progress on the Team’s Facebook page.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

The world’s smallest dog

Miracle Minny

 

This one really is for the record books – how small do you think a dog can get?

The world’s smallest dog, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, is Miracle Milly.  She’s a Chihuahua who lives in Puerto Rico.

She is only 3.8 inches tall (see photo above for scale).

Since she is a Public Figure, Milly has her own Facebook page and, like many small dogs, her owner likes to dress her up for photos.

Miracle Milly in teacup

Chandi

Chandi book cover

I have just finished reading Chandi:  The Rescue Dog Who Stole a Nation’s Heart by Tina Humphrey.  Chandi is the story of Humphrey’s rescue dog who she trained for Heelwork to Music.  Published in 2012, the book opens when Humphrey meets her first dog, Pepper, in 1994.  Chandi is adopted from a shelter in 1998 and, for a time, Humphrey trains and competes with both dogs in Heelwork to Music and Freestyle competitions.

Tina, who teaches piano and violin, has a natural ear for music and is able to choreograph routines for her dogs that emphasize the stories behind the music.

Chandi is a love story.  It is about the bond that Tina shares with both of her dogs and the devotion she has for both of them.  She is an advocate for a raw diet and natural health care (no wonder I was attracted to the book),  in part inspired by her mother who fought cancer for many years using natural therapies.  (Part of the book tells the story of how Tina suffers the loss of both of her parents, at separate times, with her dogs there as emotional support).

We also share in Tina’s heartache when, in 2007, she and Chandi suffer the loss of Pepper.  Anyone who has had to say goodbye to their beloved dog understands Tina’s pain when it is time for Pepper to be put to sleep.

Chandi and Tina win many competitions in their years together including several trophies at Crufts.  In 2010, after almost 12 years of competing and sharing their lives, they audition for Britain’s Got Talent and go all the way to the finals, ultimately finishing in fourth place.  By then, they are celebrities and enjoy a nationwide tour of the show’s finalists plus other interviews and promotions.  And that’s where the book finishes…on a high note.

On 26 April 2013, Chandi died at the age of 14 years 10 months.  She developed a condition that was thought to be pyometra.  However, during surgery to remove her uterus and spleen, it was discovered that Chandi’s body had many other tumours that could not be removed.   Tina made the heart-breaking decision that it was time for Chandi to go and was there when she was put to sleep on the surgical table.

Today, Tina is training a new puppy named Grace and is blogging about her experiences with her new canine companion.    You can follow them on Facebook.

 And through the wonders of YouTube, here are Tina and Chandi’s performances on Britain’s Got Talent:

Auditions

Semi-Finals

Finals

The canine ambassador at the Fairmont Hotel

At the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald in Edmonton (Canada), you will be greeted by a very special staff member – Smudge the Yellow Labrador!

SmudgeSmudge is a failed guide dog (due to her enthusiastic/over-friendly nature) and so thanks to a working arrangement with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Smudge came to work at the hotel.

Guests can book to take Smudge out for a walk and she will visit meetings on request.  Look for her (on her bed, by the concierge desk) when you are visiting.

Smudge also has her own Facebook page and you can follow her activities there.

Here’s a bit more about Smudge: