About Me

My photo
I am a home educating mum of 2 living in the Northwest of England. I long to travel with my family (including the fluffs) to see the world and have amazing adventures, because life is too short to worry about paying off a mortgage!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Take Your Dog to Work Day - A Dog's Dream

Yep, today it's the worldwide event of Take Your Dog To Work Day! People all over the world have persuaded their managers to take part in this glorious event and what a great idea it is.

I'm a pretty lucky pooch as I'm always at work with mum no matter where she is so I get to meet a lot of people, chew on cardboard boxes, play with new toys and go for plenty of wanders. It beats being at home on my own, well, with the cats but talking about tuna all day is not my idea of fun. Plus I get so much fuss and attention and I get to play with Jess - my doggy playmate.

It's interesting how studies have shown that having your dog at work with you increases productivity and creativity and decreases absenteeism, I haven't seen the study myself but will have to have a good read up on that later. I always knew us dogs were a good influence but didn't realise quite how much!

Jess giving up on her paperwork
Me dreaming about cardboard chews
So to leave you here's a couple of piccys of Jess and myself contributing to the office work and showing just how stuck in we get when we're at the office! Happy working day fellow pooches.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Do Animals Wonder - Of Course!

I cannot believe that it's taken so long for you humans to figure out that us animals do have more than 'pre-wired-in thoughts' in our heads. I mean, reading some books on dog psychology you'd think we are a bunch of robot dogs who only respond to treats and have instinctive, innate messages pre-programmed from birth to make us behave the way we do. Although we may not share some of the same feelings as you people do or react in ways you would consider inappropriate in your culture doesn't mean we don't have internal thoughts.

I'm sure anyone who shares their home with a furry friend would agree that there is more going on beneath the surface than you can truly understand. Take Poppy my fellow feline house mate for example, sometimes she just sits on the stairs watching around her and occasionally glancing about to check out other areas. She's contemplating her surroundings and probably what to go and do next, (I'd know for certain if I went and asked her but she talks a lot about tuna and frankly that's just boring to dogs!).

So when I spotted this blog post citing research that's been done, showing that monkeys do indeed have internal thoughts, I was so excited my tail wouldn't stop wagging and mum thought I needed another walk!

Do Monkeys Wonder Blog Post - BBC

It's an area I am so interested in as it always seems odd that despite living in such close proximity all these years us animals still haven't found a way to communicate freely with people, and if this brings us a step closer to finding that common ground then we'd be all the better for it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Guest Post from The Kennel Club on Dog Attacks

I was very exited to get the following in my inbox from The Kennel Club themselves in response to my post on dog attacks. I'm so pleased that they have such an important campaign running and thank them very much for their reply!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dog Attacks in the Media - Is it biased?

After having a leisurely read of the newspapers (yep dogs do like to get the latest news updates!) I was a little worried about the disturbing trend that's emerging when reading about dog attacks on children.
Being a complete softie I can't imagine why a dog would attack unprovoked. What I really can't put my paw on though, is why the papers always focus on the result of the action and pay little to no attention to what's happened leading up to these terrible events?

For starters here's the most recent articles I've seen about a Collie who mauled a 7yr old and a Labrador that bit a 3yr old.

Is it a case of younger children not understanding how to act around an animal, particularly dogs, or are these just cases of unprovoked dog attacks? It seems a lot of reported attacks are often on younger children and it saddens me that a dog and human relationship is being ruined in this kind of way.

What I would like to know is, how come every article I've read that's about a dog attack always claims to be it is unprovoked? This to me either means there is a serious lack of understanding dog behaviour or the media aren't relating the full facts.

I can't for one minute believe that every attack on a child happens because a perfectly well behaved dog used to children suddenly snaps and attacks, it doesn't seem logical (even in my dog world).
Dogs have been domesticated for years and lived happily with adults and children alike and whether this is just a recent phenomenon or increased reporting on the issue I'm not sure - although I would love anyone to have some input with that.

From a dog's eye view I can see two big reasons why a dog may attack:

1) The owners are not carrying out enough training so fellow dogs just don't understand what is right and wrong. I don't deny that there are some who should just not own a dog as they seem to want one for the wrong reasons, but that's a whole other debate!
2) Parents are not teaching their children how to behave properly around animals; any animal should be treated with caution if you don't know it (although this goes for adults too). I may submit if I'm scared or cornered but there are others who will defend themselves.

Parents of small toddlers must remember that they are scary to us, they shout, run quick, grab things they shouldn't and are a little alien to a lot of us if we're not used to them in the home. Some parents seem to think it's ok to let toddlers run up to us and shout, wave, prod and poke and really it's not, we're not unthinking robots who allow humans to do as they wish we are living creatures too and strangers don't know what our quirks are. There are also huge breed and temperament differences, some are fiercely loyal, some have guarding and territorial instincts, some of us have horrific pasts that a stranger couldn't possibly know about.

I know this is a touchy subject and will open up a whole debate on trusting your pet, and if you can't trust a dog then don't leave it tied outside a shop or loose in a park, but the same goes for your toddler, if you can't trust them to not approach things they don't know and shouldn't touch then they should be carefully supervised. Surely it works both ways? I also wonder when it became ok to approach a dog you didn't know. I always remember being told that you should never approach or touch a strange dog for all the reasons above and to be honest this made perfect sense to me and seemed a very sensible human behaviour.

So this goes right back to where my problem is with the media, there's never a side for the dog, just because it's an animal involved doesn't make it automatically in the wrong. Maybe I've got the wrong end of the tug toy but I thought that human papers were supposed to be impartial and present the facts objectively, without an anti dog undertone?

From all this I can only see one perfect solution, better training and understanding all round for all living species that must live together, that goes for dogs and humans. Surely then these incidents will happen much less and we can create a better harmony, rather than breeding this fear in people that their beloved family pet will for no reason at all suddenly turn on a human?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Injured wildlife what to do?

So there I was last night doing my usual round of the garden and winding up the neighbouring dogs when I got side tracked by a small fluffy thing running through the undergrowth. Being a dog my natural instinct was to chase and catch but that was soon stopped by mum who gave me a good telling off. After sulking for a bit, I decided sulking was too boring and this new brown toy was much more interesting!

I must admit I feel really guilty now as it turns out my new toy was in fact a little bird with a broken leg, not really very sporting of me given its lack of flying ability and bad leg, but I do blame my quick reflexes and slow thinking!

Mum made a quiet spot for it in a box with some hay and then tried feeding it some cat food, luckily the cats were far too distracted by the tinned tuna to care about the flapping bird. It was quite sad really as the parents were outside calling away but in some ways lucky for the bird that I found it first and not a mean cat, I know what they do with wildlife (Dexter, my catmate, explained later on - not that he gets the chance being an indoor cat and all!)

So that, in a nutshell, is how we came to have a baby Blackbird in a cat food box in the lounge.

First thing this morning mum took beaky, (yes I named it) to the vets and paws crossed they can fix its little leg and get it back out into the wild in no time. Meanwhile I have learnt my lesson, no more chasing small furry/feathery/fluffy things as mum gets cross, I end up sulking and the cats get tinned tuna but I don't, oh and a little bird gets hurt of course!