Can dogs be introverted or extroverted?

Scout, Bandit and Bailey - can you tell by looking at them which is the introvert and which is the extrovert? Can a dog even be an introvert or extrovert?

Not long ago, I did a post reflecting on Susan Cain’s book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking," musing on how I'm an introvert and what that means in my life. I got a lot of feedback from other introverts who were happy to have someone speak up on their behalf.Then my editor asked me an interesting question: can animals be introverted or extroverted?Cain addresses that issue very briefly in the book, citing research done on guppies in an attempt to unders … [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...]

It’s been a missing Scout kind of week

Scout, the smartest and most gentle dog that ever walked the earth.

 I realized that it's been a little over a year since my beloved dog Scout went to live on God's Farm in the Sky.Scout was a great dog. Gentle, funny, loyal. Anxious, nervous, a little squirrely. Brave, eager to please, brilliant. He came into my life when I was at one of my lowest points and saw me through a season of ups and downs, leaving when I was once again at my lowest and I wasn't sure I could go on another day, but giving me a renewed strength to get up and move … [Read more...]

Life in the cemetery (fall foliage pictures)

Mt. Hope Cemetery is a wildlife sanctuary. I spent a bit of time with this critter. Someone called him a whistle pig and said if I whistled he would have stood up for me. I was pretty close; I preferred him in his critter hole.

I spend a lot of time walking in the cemetery. One of our dogs, Bailey, is dog reactive so it's difficult to find places where we can walk and not feed her excitement. It's been two years of training and practice and lots and lots of patience.The more new experiences she has, the less reactive she gets. But it's difficult to find places where we can walk and not run into off leash dogs. (See my discussion about the leash law.) So we walk in the local memorial park and small historic cemetery … [Read more...]

Vote for the most unusual pet insurance claim in the 2012 VPI Hambone Awards

Baxter fell from the 11th story window and lived to meow about it. He's just one of the nominees for the 2012 VPI Hambone Awards that honor the year's most unusual pet insurance claim. (Photo: VPI nominees)

Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. is getting ready to award the 2012 Annual Hambone Award, and  you get to pick the winner!Named after a dog that ate an entire Thanksgiving ham while stuck in a refrigerator, the VPI Hambone Award has since been presented for three equally unusual claims. Past winners include Ellie, a Labrador retriever who gobbled up an entire beehive and its thousands of inhabitants; Lulu, a hungry bulldog who swallowed 15 baby pacifiers, a bottle cap and piece of a basketball; … [Read more...]

5 reasons to obey the leash law (yes, I’m talking to you)

Bandit and I on a walk in Corbett's Glen in Brighton, NY.

I took my dog Bandit for a walk today in Corbett's Glen, a nature park here in the suburbs of our hometown of Rochester, NY. In general, I avoid walking in the woods by myself. It's kind of scary for me. I prefer the cemetery. For whatever reason, I feel less alone among the dead. But we've been exploring new places to romp and someone told me this was a great trailWhen I walk Bandit in the woods or the cemetery, he's usually on a long training lead. That gives him more than ample room to … [Read more...]

The fight for Lennox ends – shame on the Belfast City Council

Lennox, the 7-year-old American Bull Dog/Labrador mix who was seized by the Belfast City Council (BCC) in Northern Ireland in May 2012 has been, according to reports, "humanely put to sleep."The story that has captured the hearts of animal lovers around the world centers on a law in Belfast that makes owning a pit bull illegal. The BCC seized Lennox because they deemed that he was, by appearance, a pit bull, despite DNA testing to the contrary.The Barnes family, Lennox's owners, have … [Read more...]

Fight for Lennox the dog nears the end

Lennox is scheduled to die tomorrow. In fact, he may already be dead, since he's in Northern Ireland and it's already tomorrow there. Lennox has been imprisoned for almost two years. Not because he committed a crime. Not because he broke the law. He's been held because of the way he looks.Lennox is a dog. And to the officials at the Belfast, Ireland City Council, Lennox looks like a pit bull, which in their eyes makes him a dangerous dog.Never mind that Lennox is not a pit bull; he's a 7- … [Read more...]

Andy Griffith dies at 86 (video of The Andy Griffith Show episode, Dogs Dogs Dogs)

It's with a heavy heart that Mayberry fans learned today that actor Andy Griffith passed away this morning at age 86. With decades of success on television and stage, to many Griffith will always be remembered Sheriff Andy Taylor, everybody's loving father, the man who could handle any problem with grace and calm -- whether it's a quirky deputy or a son's questions about life.So what better way to remember Griffith today than with this episode of The Andy Griffith Show, "Dogs Dogs Dogs", in w … [Read more...]

The results of positive dog training (video)

(Video of Bandit and Bailey; I'm not really that fat ... it's an apron filled with treats ... honest ...)Those of you who have been following along with the dog adventures at my house - Scout's illness last year and his death in January along with the very serious behavior problems we've been dealing with between Bandit and Bailey, problems that for their own safety have prevented the two dogs from occupying the same rooms since last November - will rejoice with us when you see this video. ( … [Read more...]


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