Podcasts

Episode 323 – Frica, Ollie, and the Mysterious Intruder

It was a dark and stormy morning and I suspect that those who live alone, and especially women who live alone, will appreciate my dilemma. Not knowing what awaited on the other side of the door, should I open it or not? Tune in to this week’s podcast to discover what I did.

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Episode 322 – The Clever Lens Effect

Where does your mind go when you’re taking videos of your animal? Are you in the moment or is your mind off somewhere? The few times I’ve attempted to video the resident quadrupeds, the results have been sufficiently underwhelming that I gave up. At best, they act suspicious and slink around. At worse, as act as if they’ve been pithed. Either way, it’s nothing I want recorded for posterity. If we accept that the human animal bond is a bilateral physiological and behavioral phenomenon, then it’s reasonable to assume that anything that changes our behavior is capable of changing

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Episode 321 – It Ain’t Necessarily So

I’ll admit upfront that like many clinicians I play both sides of the research/experience fence. Which side I play when depends on the circumstances. Among those who are adamant supporters of one side or another, a paradox typically occurs. Those with the most or least experience with that orientation are often the strongest supporters. For example, those who have the least knowledge regarding how science works are often the most awed by it; and those who routinely work within the research realm often put much more weight on their results and conclusions than any clinical observations. And vice versa.

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Episode 320 – False Memories of Dogs Past

Do you have a favorite childhood memory of the family dog or other animals with whom you shared your early life? Even after all these years, I can recall multiple memories that fall into this category. Many qualities of these memories intrigue as a biologist. For example, although I know I had good and bad experiences with animals, memories of what I considered the good ones are much clearer and more detailed.  Yet I have no doubt someone who experienced identical events might possess vivid memories of the bad ones but only vague memories of the good ones. In

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Episode 319 – TNR for Dogs?

Can you imagine the public outcry if anyone were to suggest a trap, neuter, release (TNR) program for free-roaming dogs in this country? The media would have a field day. Scorn and hatred would be heaped on the poor person who raised such a possibility.Experts from areas as varied animal rights, public health, and politics (especially during an election year) would find themselves strange but united bedfellows as they sought ways to stamp out such an obscene suggestion. And yet, if the circumstances were to change in response to climate change, habitat destruction, or the increased incidence of diseases

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Episode 318 – Biological Connectivity

Connectivity is a new area of ecology that considers the paths animals use to ensure their individual and species survival. Many times these  connections evolved and were refined over thousands of years. Sometimes we don’t give them a thought until some poorly conceived man-made project like this reminds us:

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Episode 317 – Watching Animals Think

I personally believe that all animals think although perhaps not using the same parts of their nervous systems the same way we do. However if you’re new to observing them do this, I suggest you begin with young animals because young animals are virtual thinking machines.  Here young Ollie masters all the math and physics necessary to decide whether to make his first leap from the bed to the pillow-covered bench at the bottom of it   Meanwhile young Bamboo and the donkey foal use their noses to learn about novel features of their environments.  

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Episode 316 – Meltdown at the Worm Hotel

Something is going on with my blog and FB causing my previous blogs to disappeared from FB. Because this blog refers to last week’s blog, entitled Depression, Healing, and Balance, I’ve included a link to it here. Here are some pictures of the Worm Hotel to go with this podcast, beginning with one of the hotel itself: It definitely looks more Skid Row than upscale. But it’s more than 10 years old, plus I have neither an outside faucet nor a sink in my basement and draw the line at thoroughly scrubbing it in outside and out in  in

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Episode 315 – Depression, Healing, and Balance

Another variation on the theme of physical or mental depression in  animals discussed in this podcast is the fear-freeze response. In its most energy-efficient form, the animal goes into a trance-like state during which the animal is literally oblivious to what’s going on. Not only don’t these animals move, mentally they aren’t there. When exhausted fighting game cocks go into this state, so complete is their withdrawal that they may be presumed dead and tossed in a pile with the other dead animals, only to emerge later. Multiple species of animals, including hummingbirds, assume a state called torpor that

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Episode 314 – Catching Flies with Horses

For those of you who would like to take a walk down memory lane or are unfamiliar with the song, “I Know An Old Lady” and want to know more about it,  here’s some background information, complete lyrics, and the much beloved version sung by Burl Ives  with animation supplied supplied thanks to the National Film Board of Canada. The more I thought about how the theme  of creating a bigger problem in an attempt to find the easiest way to solve a smaller one pops up in our relationships with animals, more came to mind. I bet you

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