The dogshit dilemma

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We have a problem with dogshit. Well, all municipalities do, of course, but ours is increasingly evident: it’s everywhere. And with the growing popularity of pets and our growing population, it’s becoming worse.* How do we deal with it? We pick it up, of course, as we dispose of it in our own garbage bins or in those provide by the municipality downtown or in our parks. That’s not merely what the bylaw says we have to do: it’s what … click below for more!

Ollie and pet rescue

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We are suckers for the face of a cat at the window, a hungry cat, a cold cat, a lost cat, a cat someone has abandoned to fend for themselves and is doing a poor job of it. The pleading eyes, the rough coat, the quiet shiver in the rain or the cold. How can you turn away from that and still call yourself human? Ollie, our latest addition to our household, was one of those faces, quite recently. We … click below for more!

Sunny with a chance of squirrels

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What is going on in that furry little head of yours? I was standing on the porch one day last fall watching Bella, our terrier-cross dog, and latest addition to the Chadwick pack. She was watching Diego, our ginger tom cat who was watching something in the trees. Bella stared, then turned to look where Diego was looking. Together they stared at something I couldn’t see, but which captivated them to the point of obsession. Heads moved in unison as … click below for more!

Psychics 2013: the silly, the scams, the failed predictions

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Action News, an ABC affiliate, ran a late-year story with the headline “Psychics interpret pets’ thoughts.” No, it’s not April Fools’ Day: this was December 26. Yet the reporter treated it seriously; just like it was a real story; actual news, rather than a steaming heap of superstitious dung. That reporters for any media outlet treat would such codswallop as “news” calls into question their ability, their competence and their education. Lorrie The Pet Psychic has been tuning into the … click below for more!

The Terrier Trials

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Dogs. I love dogs. I’d have a dozen of them, if I could. But dogs are as different in personality as we are. Not all dogs are a good fit with other dogs, or even with people. Or with cats. And I love cats as much, if not more, than dogs. Still, I tend to have more issues with dog owners than with their dogs.* That little mutt curled up on my leg is Bella, our newest rescue dog. She’s a … click below for more!

Pets and Policies: Why Dog Parks Matter

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Back in April, 2011, I wrote a post about municipal policies towards pets, now in the blog archives. I noted then that… A recent survey done by Colin Siren of Ipsos Reid estimated there are 7.9 million cats and 5.9 million dogs in Canada. The survey also shows that 35% of Canadian households have a dog, while 38% have a cat, which is consistent with other surveys conducted in the developed nations. Based on a figure of 9,500 households* we … click below for more!

To sleep, perchance to dream

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Aye, there’s the rub. To sleep in, one weekend morning, when there are no pressures for meetings, work, deadlines. To roll away from the soft light that filters through the blinds and enjoy that delicious moment of closing your eyes and drifting back into a dream. Covers pulled up, the street quiet outside the widow, the furnace gently wheezing its warm air into the room; nothing is better in the world. But of course, there are others with different ideas. … click below for more!

Or maybe doomsday just postponed…

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A story in Science Daily today talks about the effect that antibiotics used in animals has had on humans. Or rather, on antibiotic-resistant bacteria which are dangerous to humans. The increasing production and use of antibiotics, about half of which is used in animal production, is mirrored by the growing number of antibiotic resistance genes, or ARGs, effectively reducing antibiotics’ ability to fend off diseases — in animals and humans. Now this is hardly news. Concerns over unchecked use of … click below for more!

Super-fast evolution: new species in just 6,000 years

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According to a recent story in Science Daily, new species of sea stars may have arisen in as little a time as 6,000 years. Researchers studied the diversity in DNA sequences from sea stars of two related species to estimate how long it has been since the two species diverged. Their results showed a range from roughly 6,000 to 22,000 years ago. That rules out some ways new species could evolve. For example, they clearly did not diverge slowly with … click below for more!

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