Thursday, May 31, 2018

Heartless preying on our love for dogs

A vicious extortionist demanding ransom for a dog. Please say it isn't so.

But that's what Patricia was faced with after her Basset Hound, Happy, went missing. 


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Happy ending - trapped dog rescued

This is a story that almost had a tragic ending. A trapped dog would have died if not for the actions of alert humans. A lesson for all of us when we find animals in trouble.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Are you up for training a robot puppy?

Aibo is the robot puppy from Japanese electronics manufacturer, Sony. Not yet available outside Japan, this little guy is going to provide a lot of fun when he/she arrives here. 

This version of Aibo is super intelligent. He/she will respond to a command like "sit," but only after you have provided the proper training.

But is this all we want out of a pet? Virtual pets are not new. Some simple ones, for example, are just web apps. You can play with web pets, care for them and even breed them. You can explore their personalities and even accompany them on adventures. You can see how they respond to virtual petting, but of course you can't stroke their fur or feel their body warmth. I think it was Charles Schultz who stated, "Happiness is a warm puppy."

Then there are the physical toy pet devices, the most famous of which may be Tamigotchi and Furby. These toys must be cared for a lot like a real pet animal, but unlike flesh and blood pets, the electronic ones do not suffer if neglected. Even the enthusiasts, however, would have to admit that although some of them are still available, the age of mass demand for virtual pets has passed.

Aibo, it would seem, is yet another version of the physical digital pet, albeit a smarter one than most of its predecessors. I think it will still be a while before manufacturers come up with a smart mechanical pet that is both furry and warm and displays typical behaviors of living pets. The most successful robotic pet will have all the little behavioral mannerisms that endear our dogs to us. 

Dogs have spent thousands of years perfecting a personality that is a perfect fit for living with we humans. How long will it take for digital engineers to accomplish the same feat?

You can read more about the latest version of Aibo HERE. And you can watch the video (above) demonstrating some of its behavior.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Need to find a new vet for your pet?

Finding a new vet is always a trial. Is the clinic close enough for easy access? Is there parking nearby? Can you see the vet on short notice? What about price?

Moving to a new house is stressful too, especially when you have to find a new vet for your dog as well. Here are a few tips to make the whole process more manageable...


Friday, May 25, 2018

Rescue dog in training was once rescued himself.

A five-year old Border Collie named Dyno lives a life of ironic satisfaction. Abandoned by his humans only six months ago, he had to be rescued himself.

But now he has found his new furever home with a rescue association that provides dogs to find and rescue lost humans. He's receiving special training for his new job and he's clearly having a ball. 


Saturday, May 19, 2018

Reading dogs' body language

If you want to know your dog better, it will help to understand one of their main means of communication, body language. It's the key to their behavior.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Kids love Benjamin

When author Malcolm Bernstein talks to children about Benjamin the dog, they get a chance to draw pictures of the lovable pooch. Here are a couple, and you can see a lot more when you buy the new Benjamin's picture book for children.