Bloodhounds, the most feared dogs on earth?

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I was at my alma mater St. John Fisher College yesterday for a day long conference on Frederick Douglass and Ireland. Scattered around the room where actual issues of Douglass' newspapers. I love history, and am always fascinated by the way the past mirrors the present. I'll talk more about abolition later this week, but today I just wanted to share an animal-related thought that jumped out at me as I read the stories from the 1850s.In one of the papers - and my stupid camera phone took such … [Read more...]

Loyal dogs who mourn the deaths of their owners

Hachiko is just one of many stories of faithful dogs who mourned the deaths of their owners.

A story popped up in my Facebook newsfeed today about a dog in Italy who has been showing up at Catholic mass every Sunday since its owner died two months ago.According to news stories, a German Shepherd named Tommy used to accompany his owner to mass, sitting quietly at her feet.  When his owner died two months ago, the dog attended her funeral, along with the other mourners, and has been showing up regularly every since.It reminds me of a movie I watched over the Christmas holiday c … [Read more...]

Join Patricia McConnell in a discussion about animals at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Thursday, June 21

Join author and animal behaviorist Patricia McConnell this Thursday at the MMoCA for a discussion about animals and art.

 If you're in the Madison, Wisconsin area and are also an animal lover, here's a don't miss event: this Thursday, June 21, Patricia McConnell, author of fabulous books including "The Other End Of The Leash" and "For The Love Of A Dog" will join Richard H. Axsom, curator at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, for a discussion of the complicated and often contradictory relationships humans have had with animals.The discussion is part of the museum's exhibit, One must know the animals, … [Read more...]

Summer Top 10 Reading List – dogs, dogs and a little mystery

As summer nears, we bloggers here at Patheos have been asked to share our summer reading lists. Let me tell you, when you're talking about books, you're talking about my biggest love.I try to average a book a week every year; sometimes I make it. Sometimes I don't. But I always have several dozen books next to my bed, either in various stages of reading or in the "to read" pile. And I'm always adding more.So let me whittle my bedside pile down to a few books I'd love to read this summer, … [Read more...]

Seneca Park Zoo celebrates first artificial insemination of polar bears

It takes a whole team to make a polar bear pregnant! (The polar bear artificial insemination team; photo Kelli O'Brien)

I love being able to shine light on my wonderful hometown of Rochester, NY and today there's super news that makes animal history: The Seneca Park Zoo, in partnership with the Cincinnati Zoo's Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW),  is celebrating the first successful artificial insemination of polar bears in the world.Aurora and Zero, the Seneca Park Zoo's polar bear couple, have been together for two years without any cubs to show for it. And while the bears are older … [Read more...]

Friday food for thought quote: our varying attitudes towards animals, from James Serpell

With the hot discussion this week about the wholesale dog breeding facility approved for Gorham, NY (or as it's otherwise known, a puppy mill), I thought this quote might provide someting to ponder on this weekend regarding the different way we view animals we eat and animals we live with, and how that differs around the world. It's from the preface to James Serpell's very thought-provoking book, In the Company of Animals: A Study of Human-Animal Relationships: "Human attitudes to animals often … [Read more...]

Friday food for thought quote: animal welfare and the church

"Still, there is a growing awareness that how we treat animals is a measure of our own humanity—that violence inflicted on animals is inexorably linked to human-against-human violence, that compassion is a big enough idea to encompass animals as well as humans." Christine Gutleben,  senior director of the Faith Outreach program of The Humane Society of the United States, in a piece about animal welfare and the church … [Read more...]

Bring back the Wooly Mammoth? Have we learned nothing from the bunny rabbit?

The Woolly Mammoth at the Royal BC Museum, Victoria, British Columbia. (wikicommons)

It came out this week that Japanese and Russian scientists have recovered viable bone marrow from the frozen thigh bone of a Wooly Mammoth, recovered in Siberian permafrost soil. They plan to use it to clone the prehistoric beast.You got it: they want to bring back the Wooly Mammoth.Obviously the first thing that comes to mind is a real life Jurassic Park. Velociraptors and T-Rexs and giant hairy elephants on the loose? Brrrr. Scary.But let's assume that the Wooly Mammoth comes back … [Read more...]


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