Strange Time

I really need to get better about posting here.

It’s a strange time. Everyone around the world is in varying levels of quarantine, as there is a virus (COVID-19) sweeping the globe. Right now, Canadians are being asked to self-quarantine as much as possible, only going out when absolutely necessary.

Huib is a nurse and the Director of Nursing Care at a long-term care home, so we can only stay as safe as possible. He changes before leaving work and immediately washes his hands upon entering the house. We clean all food and packaging, and we only go out for daily walks with the dogs or for groceries once in a while. As I said, it’s a strange time.

Since Huib still needs to work, our daily schedule really hasn’t changed much. I read and do short training sessions with the dogs during the day, and in the evenings we go for a walk and watch Netflix. I miss our training classes, but at least most of it can still be done at home.

If all goes well, we will hopefully be back to our regular training schedule by the summer. I would really like Arizona and Kiana to earn their WCI, and for Kiana to finish off her JH. As for Rogue and Canyon, I’d love for both of them to earn their TDX.

I keep forgetting to post pictures, but you can see what we’re up to by following our adventures on Instagram at @ruledbypaws.

Can Negative Experiences Influence How a Dog Sleeps?

I was skimming Twitter and found this article.

The study examined the sleep patterns of dogs after being exposed to a positive or negative experience. The researchers found that the dogs who were subjected to a positive experience, took longer to fall asleep, but slept better.

I thought the study findings were really interesting. When my dogs have had a busy day, especially one that has been stressful, they seem to dream a lot more. They’ll bark, run and even whimper in their sleep. I have noticed that my service dogs do the most active dreaming, compared to my pets.

In The News: Origin of Popular Canine Cancer Found

In just over a month, it will be a year since we lost our golden princess to an aggressive case of Leukaemia.

Even though this isn’t the same type of cancer Aspen had, I still thought of her when I read the following:

Recently, scientists discovered the point of origin for a common canine cancer. According to researchers, this highly contagious cancer in dogs has been traced to an ancient Malamute type dog.

A Canine Transmissible Venereal tumour is passed from one dog to another through sex, licking or even touching one another.

CTV is common in street dogs throughout the developing world, but has not yet entered countries such as Canada or the United States.

Geneticist, Elizabeth Murchison, and her team have learned that the cancer is a living fossil and the tumours contain the DNA of a single ancient dog who lived 11,000 years ago.

Pretty darn neat, eh?

If you would like to learn more about CTV, please check out these two articles on Pet MD and Live Science.

In The News: Follow The Leader

Apparently it’s possible to identify the social ranking and personality traits of dogs.

In a recent study done by Dr. Mate Nagy of the Department of zoology at Oxford University, 6 dogs and their owners went on fourteen group walks that lasted between 30 and 40 minutes. The dogs wore harnesses that had GPS to monitor their movements.

The study found that it is not possible to determine the leader after a single walk, but after a number of walks the leader becomes clear.

Researchers feel that the information from this study may be able to help search and rescue groups decide upon which dogs will work best together, among other uses.

In the News: Canine Distemper In India

Last year the blog sort of moved away from being primarily dog related and I’m not sure if it’s related, but our readership has also seemed to suffer, so this year I’m going to make a conscious effort to try and limit the number of non-dog related posts that appear here.

I’m going to try something out though, let me know what you think.

I’m going to start sharing links to stories I find in the news that are somehow dog related.

Canine Distemper is killing India’s endangered tigers.

According to an article in the India Times, the virus has been found in the blood of several dead tigers at the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Patna Zoo and in many areas of west Bengal and Darjeeling.

The Canine Distemper Virus affects the respiratory and nervous systems while also causing havoc in other parts of the body. Most of the time death is not caused by the virus, but results from secondary infections. The virus breaks down the immune system of an affected animal, so they’re unable to fight off the attack.

Scientists and researchers feel that the virus is being spread through direct contact, as well as through the consumption of infected dogs. they believe that the spread of the virus could be stopped by the vaccination of local dogs, so are looking into plans for a large-scale vaccination program.

For even more information on the situation check out this link.

The Purina Diet

I received this from a friend via e-mail and find it funny every time I see it, so thought I’d share, in case others have not.

Yesterday I was at my local Pet Smart buying a large bag of Purina dog Chow for my loyal pet, Jake, the Wonder Dog and was in the check-out line when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog.

What did she think I had an elephant?

So because I’m retired and have little to do, on impulse I told her That no, I didn’t have a dog, I was starting the Purina Diet again. I
added that I probably shouldn’t, because I ended up in the hospital last time, but that I’d lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and
IVs in both arms.

I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is, to load your pants pockets with Purina Nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is
nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in line was
now enthralled with my story.)

Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care, because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no, I stopped to pee on a fire hydrant and a car hit me.

I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard.

PET SMART won’t let me shop there anymore.

Better watch what you ask retired people. They have all the time in the World to think of crazy Things to say.

When I Need To Escape

Last week I read about daily blogging prompts WordPress sends out via Twitter and I immediately joined the feed. As many of my blog readers know, finding something to write about the past year has been a bit of a struggle, so any help I can get is greatly appreciated.

today’s prompt is: “Tell us about your oasis. Where do you go when you need a break from life.”

When I’m feeling stressed and need to escape, I go to the internet and begin browsing the websites of golden retriever breeders. Even though I cannot see the pictures, I find it relaxing to read about the various dogs, about their accomplishments and about the current and planned litters.

Huib says that even though he doesn’t always see what I am looking at on the computer, he usually knows from the expression on my face. He says that I seem to always be smiling when I’m looking at a dog-related website lol!

In related news. Huib and I have started filtering through the various Ontario golden breeder websites in order to shorten the list for our potential golden female. Once we’ve eliminated all of the breeders who breed dogs that do not fit our ideal type, then I will begin e-mailing the ones that are left, for information. With the information I receive back, we’ll be able to further eliminate breeders from our huge list.

Now it’s your turn to tell me about your oasis. Where do you go when you need to get away from life?

13 Reasons I’m Jealous Of Our Dogs

Some days, I sure do wish I could be my dogs…

If they want something, they just have to go over to someone, without feeling guilty, and the person immediately gets up to help them out.

They don’t have to worry about getting the mail and paying the bills.

They can walk around outside barefoot, even when it’s cold and snowy.

They can decide to take a nap at any time and in any place, without someone worrying that something is wrong.

They don’t have to worry about what they are going to wear to a dinner party.

They find an empty water bottle amusing and can entertain themselves for hours with the simplest of objects.

If they need to go to the bathroom, they don’t have to worry about where the closest toilet is located, and whether they will contract a horrible disease using it.

People smile and make comments about how cute they are while we’re walking down the street – Am I not cute?

If one of them is impolite, I am the one who gets blamed.

Dropping a dirty, slobbery sock into someone’s lap is considered not only acceptable, but cute!

They can bark, and tell people how they truly feel about them, but I must smile and keep quiet.

They never have to get bad news.

No one tries to tell them they should act differently or make changes in their life.

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Huib says: They get to spend more time with Brooke than I do.

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Our dogs sure do live a stress-free life!

Can we trade for just one day Guys?

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This entry was inspired by this post.

Food For Thought

As mentioned earlier, I am taking an online course through the University of Guelph, called The economics Of Food Usage.

We are entering week six of the course, and I am finding there to be a lot of repetition in what people are writing in their discussion posts.

The most popular answers are:

* Food contamination;
* environmental Degradation;
* Social Inequalities; and
* Genetically Modified Organisms.

I’m not sure why, but it seems as though the above are the only possible responses to questions being posed in this class.

this week is my group’s opportunity to lead the online discussion, so I was doing some web searches to find some interesting resources I might offer on supply chain management – I know, so boring, but that is what we were assigned!

here’s an interesting link I came across that discusses the recent debates on GMOs and Monsanto:

I Learned I am the Problem

An interesting viewpoint, isn’t it?

Stop Complaining

**This post has been edited after a problem with wording was brought to my attention**

Sorry for the long stretches of time without entries. Over the past couple of months, I really haven’t had a lot of inspiration to write. I have pictures to share, but I am still learning to use this blogging software, so haven’t had a chance to post any, but hopefully that little problem will be remedied soon.

So, now for the purpose of my post.

Maybe it’s just me. or maybe it’s just the blogs I read and Twitter feeds I follow, but I’ve been noticing a bit of a troubling pattern.

This is going to sound odd coming from someone who, herself, has a disability, but I need to say it, because it is really beginning to get under my skin.

So here’s the problem I’m having.

It seems as though an uncomfortable number of people with disabilities, at least that I’ve noticed, find it necessary to complain about every little thing.

I understand that the world is not made equal, and that people with disabilities face an uphill battle for inclusion, but is it really necessary to turn every little interaction that didn’t go the way you thought it should, into an access challenge, intentional snub of a non-disabled person or violation of basic rights situation?

could the incident have been something as simple as just someone in a rush, not really taking in the people around them, so not seeing that they blocked your pathway?

Could it be possible that not every person has seen a person in a wheelchair, or someone with a guide dog, so genuinely doesn’t understand your access needs, or proper etiquette?

Could it be possible that the restaurant you are trying to enter was built before the needs of disabled patrons was truly understood as being important?

As someone with a disability, who uses a guide dog, I would like to first, make it clear to my non-disabled readers, that not every person with a disability carries a chip on their shoulder, and not every person with a disability sees the world as a place of negativity.

Second, I’d like to ask my disabled readers to listen closely, and to thoroughly consider my next set of statements.

The world does not revolve around any one person. In order to make the world a better place for all, we need to get along. We need to remember that just because someone does not have a visible disability, doesn’t mean they don’t have their own concerns, worries or problems, that are just as important.

I know that it gets tiring to have to explain your needs several times throughout the day, and I know it gets frustrating to have to stop and answer questions and educate the public on things such as guide dogs, using a wheelchair, and why you don’t look like the other disabled person they know or saw last week, but it’s part of life, so deal with it. if you don’t like answering questions about your guide dog, then don’t choose to have one. If you don’t have time or patience to answer questions, then politely explain to the person that you are in a rush. There is absolutely no need to be rude, how else are people supposed to learn?

Finally, the non-disabled people of the world, are not out to get us, or going out of their way to make our lives difficult.

Older buildings were not equipped with ramps or elevators when they were designed because the need for this sort of stuff, wasn’t widely known at the time. If it’s possible for the store or restaurant owner to retrofit their establishment with such equipment, then they will do so, it might just take time for it to happen, or they may need someone to politely bring the need to their attention.

Also, not every individual knows someone with a disability, so not all people know what is required for equal access. Plus, they may know someone in a wheelchair, but not someone who’s blind or uses a communicating device, so wouldn’t be familiar with the difference in needs. Instead of immediately seeing this problem as an intentional attempt at barring participation, try to politely explain your needs, and try working with the other person to best accommodate your needs. There are very few people in the world who set out to intentionally hurt another, so try keeping this in mind.

I apologize for the rant, but feel it was needed. there are way too many negative people out there, so let’s try not to add to the numbers. I too have my bad days, but I try hard not to make myself or other people with a disability look bad by being rude to people who stop me with questions, or block my path, because as I said before, just because it isn’t obvious, doesn’t mean the person beside you isn’t fighting their own battle.