Friday, 26 October 2012

so sad to hear of Honey's ordeal

I was going to post about our adventures with nesting blackbirds, but since I've read the troubles Honey the Great Dane is enduring, I don't feel like writing a light-hearted post. Honey's glaucoma has worsened suddenly and she will be having surgery tomorrow - an injection into the eyeball to hopefully deal with the problem, but to also make the eye sightless.

I'm thinking of you and Honey, Hsin-Yi and Paul. Good luck!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Dogs let us influence their judgments

Reading the comments by Curator and Bella on my previous post has reminded me to go back to PetMD and read the final installment of her summary of the study about how we can influence the behavior of our dogs.

It seems that the way to get your dog to choose a smaller portion of food over a larger one would be to handle the food, especially if you move it to your own mouth. Okaayy...if I'm going to try that one, it's going to be on a night when Penny's not getting ox liver or chicken necks or raw fish. (Oh, I forgot, raw fish is the only protein she refuses to eat, especially if it has eyes. I don't blame her.)

PetMD said the fact we can influence our dogs to go against their own judgment means we have a great responsibility towards them. I agree.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

dogs' reactions to humans' cues

A post by PetMD has me waiting for tomorrow's follow up. It's a summary of a study about the effect human actions would have on a dog choosing between a bowl with a big serve of food and one with a small serve of food. The degree of interest the human showed in the food is varied, and so is the type of gesture the human made towards the bowl with less food. I've read part one.

I reckon Penny would go for the big bowl, whatever, but I'll be interested to read part two, tomorrow.

If it looks fairly easy to do, I might run the test by Penny.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

trying out my iPhone hautik lens

Today Penny and I returned to Willsmere, a lovely park by the Yarra River. Penny had fun and so did I, trying out my new Hautik, 12X telephoto lens for my iPhone.

Here's a picture with the normal phone. Do you see the seat at the base of the tree in the distance?

And here's the same scene with the lens. It's a bit out of focus, because I had trouble holding it still. The kit comes with a tripod and I think I'll take it next time.

Here are another two photos for comparison.

Once again, I had trouble holding the iPhone still.

But I'm going to persist with the lens, because I think it will be good.

Unfortunately, all the other pictures were accidentally little movies, because I must have pressed the wrong button. I'll have to be more careful next time.

making paths when walking with the dog

I've mentioned previously that the local council in Clifton Hill has closed off the pathway people have worn in the grass as they head out of Quarries Park.

I discovered recently that these unofficial pathways worn by human feel are called desire paths.

When we headed into that park on Monday, I noticed that people must be hopping over the little chain and wearing a new desire path. Of course, once we noticed that, we had to try it our to see if it's a good idea, and Human Number Two demonstrated.

But who would have guessed we have such a law-abiding dog that she would refuse to take such an illegal action?

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

mud and dogs

When walking with a dog, it's a good idea to wear old clothes and we usually do. But yesterday when we walked at Yarra Bend, Human Number Two was headed to the City, so she wore good clothes. Lucky for me, I wore my usual awful old dog-walking gear.

We passed a really good mud puddle and gave our obedient dog the instruction to 'leave it' and follow us, didn't look back to check, and had a nice surprise when she caught up to us.

Now, I ask you. What does any self-respecting dog do if she's all wet and muddy?

Yep, she gives herself a good shake. Too bad if a nicely-dressed human is standing close by.

So, while Human Number Two headed off to the City in her brown-spot polka-dot outfit, I took Penny for a second walk, to swim in the Yarra river at Warringal Parklands.

I made sure to put a towel in the car before I let her in.

So, swim:

And, voila, clean dog!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

orange dog vomit

There are a few photos of dog vomit in this blog, so don't read on if you think it will upset you. However, I'm posting it because when Penny threw up in the park yesterday, we couldn't find good information on the internet, and I hope this post will be helpful to others.

It seemed like a good idea to have a walk before breakfast yesterday, so when we set out, Penny had an empty stomach. That may have something to do with what happened.

As we walked, I took a photo of the lovely, typical wattle. All three of us were happy. In retrospect, examining this photo, I'm wondering what Penny was doing. Eating something? Grazing on grass?

Anyway, a few minutes later, she threw up a handful of grass in yellow froth, as she occasionally does. It was yellow, which is not really clear in the following photo.

We weren't too concerned, because it was likely Penny was just using the grass to settle a bit of a tummy upset.

But a few paces further on, she threw up orange froth, with a small blob of blood in it.

She seemed fine, but we slowed  down the pace of the walk and made our way back to the car.

Penny was her usual self as far as we could see, during the rest of the day, but we fed her only tiny meals of boiled rice and chicken - we gave her a little handful about four times over the course of the day.

This morning, however, we began to think we should get her checked out at the vet. So off we went.
He believes Penny might have ruptured a little blood vessel in her stomach when she vomited the first time and that's why she threw up the orange froth.

We're continuing the rice and chicken diet, but today we have introduced some of her normal treats (for instance, when I was bathing her this afternoon).

She seems fine. Time will tell, of course. It's reassuring to have visited  our vet, though.

And when I look at what Penny was doing while we were admiring the beautiful yellow wattle, I think she was already eating grass.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Royal Melbourne Show and dog photos

One day last week, while Penny stayed home, I went to the Royal Melbourne Show. I was surprised how much more agreeable it has become since the last time I was there, decades ago. I loved the food stalls in the Tastes of Victoria Pavilion, and picked up a great show bag of delicacies from The YarraValley Regional food Group.

I didn't get to see the dogs at the Show, but I did browse the photography display. I think one of the dogs looks a bit like Penny!

However, as a word-lover, I was taken aback to see this colorful, professional-looking sign had a spelling error. More about that on my other blog...