Saturday, 24 May 2014

in Australia dogs help conserve an endangered species

Great article today in The Age newspaper about  dogs in our national parks.

Usually we hear only complaints about dogs and native animals, and I do understand that we can't take dogs into areas where we need to protect native creatures.

But this is a video with a difference. An exciting discovery has been made, a camera shot of a spotted quoll in a place where they have not been seen in recent times.  So sniffer dogs have been brought in to try to locate scat (poo) of spotted tiger quolls.

I really enjoyed the film, but unfortunately, on this occasion the dogs did not find any quoll scat.

You might want to read more about the quoll conservation program in Cape Otway, which is where the highly trained sniffer dogs come from.

Reading about these dogs reminds me of the hunting dogs who were trained to kill rabbits but ignore grey-headed albatross.

Aren't dogs amazing?

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

more about dogs eating grass

Penny's a grass eater from way back. But she doesn't always go about it the same way, and I've just read an article on PetMD that may explain some of her techniques.

It says that if the dog gobbles the grass in great hunks, the blades may cause vomiting:
A dog will seek out a natural remedy for a gassy or upset stomach, and grass, it seems, may do the trick. When ingested, the grass blade tickles the throat and stomach lining; this sensation, in turn, may cause the dog to vomit, especially if the grass is gulped down rather than chewed.

That's one of Penny's techniques.

But sometimes she grazes like a cow, and a couple of days later the grass will come out the other end, folded up neatly. If we come across the resulting 'thing' lying around in the backyard, it's almost impossible to tell which end it came from. On the other hand, the noise of  her vomiting a mass of folded grass will usually bring a family member running to see what the uproar is, so we usually know what has happened.

The article also says:
Whatever the reason may be, most experts see no danger in letting your dog eat grass. In fact, grass contains essential nutrients that a dog might crave, especially if they're on a commercial diet. If you notice that your dog has been munching away on grass or houseplants, then you may want to introduce natural herbs or cooked vegetables into their diet. Dogs aren't finicky like cats, but they're not too fond of raw veggies either. They're kind of like big furry kids that way. 

That's Penny too. She loves vegetables and fruits, cooked or raw. The only one she turned her nose up at is celery. Of course, we never give her grapes or onions. Too dangerous, by all accounts.

BTW, If you do follow the link to PetMD, the long list of comments are very interesting. Lots of people's experiences with their dogs eating grass, vegetables or fruit.

Friday, 9 May 2014

doggy dancing memories

When my sister forwarded me a link to a great canine freestyle routine at Crufts, I enjoyed it immensely, because it was fascinating to see one dog in a routine with two trainers.

And then I looked more closely and saw that one of the handlers was Richard Curtis.

He's the trainer who conducted the sessions here in Australia that Penny and I attended.

The other handler is Mary Ray.

After watching the video, I wondered whether  to push back the furniture here in the kitchen and have  some fun with Penny, as we did when Honey the Great Dane was still with us, and held her doggy dancing competition.