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. 

https://gizmodo.com/scammer-threatens-to-kill-happy-the-dog-unless-owner-pa-1826292247

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

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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.
https://www.techradar.com/news/sony-aibo-is-an-adorable-artificially-intelligent-puppy-for-everyone


But is this all we want out of a pet? Virtual pets are not new. Some simple ones, for example http://www.foopets.com/, 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? 
http://www.beaglesandbargains.com/moving-tips-find-pet-new-veterinarian/

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...

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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. 

http://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-england-hereford-worcester-43993207/abandoned-puppy-turns-rescue-dog-in-worcestershire

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. 

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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. https://thebenjaminproject.net/benjamins-book-for-children/

https://thebenjaminproject.net/benjamins-book-for-children/

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Does your dog like taking a bath?

Not many dogs do, it seems. The ones in this video will do almost anything to avoid it...

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A new way we resemble our best friends.

Dogs and humans have a remarkably close relationship. We like the same kinds of food. We like living together. We even like playing games together.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/new-study-suggests-dogs-may-be-better-subjects-research-human-nutrition-180968842/

And now scientists have discovered a rather surprising new similarity. Dogs are like us in a way we never expected. 

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Monday, May 14, 2018

You gotta' love this...

The shoes Benjamin chewed up when he first found his furever home.

An engaging watercolor illustration by Shannon Tracey-Boggess from Benjamin's picture book for children https://thebenjaminproject.net/benjamins-book-for-children/

Get Benjamin's new book for children ASAP

There’s a big promotion for the new book coming up. Benjamin’s new picture book for children will soon be launched in many pet store locations. They will be going fast so act now! To reserve your copy today, before they’re all gone, contact the author at malcolmbernstein@sympatico.ca or 1-416-587-8590. Just $19.95! https://thebenjaminproject.net/benjamins-book-for-children/

Thursday, May 10, 2018

What's Wag? Bet you can't guess.

Amazon already features a wide variety of dog food that can be ordered online. But now there is Wag. 


 Wag is reported to be the brand name Amazon has chosen for their own branded line of dog foods. Can they be as good as the best of the rest? 

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Freedom! That's another thing a guide dog gives you.

Anne Malone led an active life until macular degeneration robbed her of her vision. Without sight, Anne felt vulnerable and exploitable. 
http://www.thetelegram.com/news/anne-malone-has-newfound-freedom-thanks-to-her-guide-dog-cheryl-204771/

Even visiting a bank machine made her anxious. Then Cheryl the guide dog came into Anne's life. Now life began to change again, but this time for the better. 

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Thursday, May 3, 2018

Sharing a pre-dawn walk on the beach

Geoff says he wasn't at all keen at first on the idea of owning a dog. And Lucy was a big dog that ate lots of food and shed lots of hair. 

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/facts-and-arguments/morning-walks-with-my-dog-have-become-a-ritual-between-bestfriends/article35710104/

But somehow, Lucy came home with him. And now the two are bonding in small but important ways. 

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

New pup was a learning opportunity

For Michael, his new pup's separation anxiety was agonizing. Murphy needed attention all the time. Michael began to feel he no longer had a life of his own. 
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/facts-and-arguments/we-had-to-teach-our-clingy-puppy-how-to-be-alone-but-he-had-something-to-teach-ustoo/article36128044/


 Eventually, though, Michael discovered that Murphy had a special secret to impart. 

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