Cat places vs. dog places

Some people, it is said, are cat people and others are dog people.  The same can be said of states and countries.  Some have more cats and some have more dogs.  After the jump, a discussion of the phenomenon and a link to some maps that show the cat places and the dog places.  What does this preference in pets tell us about these different cultures and subcultures? [Read more...]

How dogs say, “I’m just playing”

You know how a dog will get down on his paws with his rear in the air, especially when meeting another dog?  That’s called a “play bow” and means that he wants to play.  He will also do it if he bites the dog and wants to communicate that “I didn’t really mean it.”  Or, if things get out of hand, “I’m sorry.”  Researchers are discovering other signs of the way dogs “think” and communicate. [Read more...]

Dogs are not color-blind after all

It has long been said that dogs can only see in black and white.  But scientists have now proven that they do, in fact, perceive colors, though in a slightly different spectrum from humans, and that they derive information from the color of objects that they see. [Read more...]

What is a dog worth?

If a dog is killed through someone’s negligence, is the owner entitled to compensation for just the monetary value of the animal (usually not much) or also for the “sentimental value” that come from the owner’s emotional attachment to the pet?  After all, family heirlooms–such as your grandfather’s watch or a piece of jewelry that has been handed down from generation to generation–can have a claimed value greater than the material cost.  Why not a family pet?

The Texas Supreme Court just ruled on this matter.  What do you think it ruled?  What do you think it should have ruled?  Think about that, then after the jump read about the court’s decision and George Will’s account of the case.  Do you agree with what he says about it? [Read more...]

I bet I can make you cry

You may be all macho, sophisticated, cynical, and Stoic, but I have found a sequence of words that I predict will cause liquid to well up in your eyes.

It’s a dog story, from that Michael Dirda review of  Mr. and Mrs. Dog by Donald McCaig that we posted about earlier.  Take the challenge, if you dare, after the jump. [Read more...]

A prayer for dogs

Michael Dirda reviews Mr. and Mrs. Dog by Donald McCaig, hailed as “the Mark Twain of dog writers.”  It’s about two dogs that the author took to the World Sheepdog Trials.  The event was opened with this prayer from a man named John Seraphine:

“Lord, we thank you for our dogs — your simple gift to us. Open us to what they teach. We thank you for the grateful exuberance of our dogs.

“We thank you for the way they bound across the hills, splash in the waters, chew on sticks, and roll in the dewy grass. Teach us, every day, to say our own ‘thank you’ with every fiber of our being, for the wondrous works of your creation. [Read more...]


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