Podcasts

Episode 301 – Walking the Anti-Antibiotic Walk

As you listen this podcast, ask yourself if you would have had the courage and the faith in your animal and yourself to do what my friend did. Or would you give in to fear and all its negative effects?

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Episode 300 – Comprehensive Science

The problem-oriented approach always has played a key role in science where it typically yields a tiny glimpse of a larger picture. Think of the results of an individual study as a single piece in a more complex mosaic. Like all other living beings, we humans are hardwired to get what we want using the least amount of energy. Relative to our higher intellectual pursuits, this means we like to be right because that means we don’t need to change anything. Another nice thing about focusing on the results of individual studies instead of taking a broader view is

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Episode 299 – The Whimper of the Wild

In last month’s commentary I wrote about the common belief that post-natal care fulfilled only physical needs, primarily those for food and warmth. Shortly after I uploaded that podcast I saw this news clip about a neonatal puppy who was rescued who wasn’t.

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Episode 298 – Seasonal Sound Sensitivity

Another thought struck me when I was editing this is whether the same phenomenon described in this podcast makes it so much easier at this time of year for some people to assume that young of multiple wild and domestic species need human care.

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Episode 297 – Bee Smart, Bee Bright

What can I say? I’m one of those people who consider bees fascinating creatures. Because of this, I took it very personally when multiple factors, some of which were of human origin, resulted in the disappearance of the honey bees from my gardens. But when I read about the research conducted by Aurore Avargues-Weber and Martin Giunfar, the subject of this week’s podcast, I felt much better.

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Episode 296 – A New Dog Quiz

This podcast describes a study, the results of which may strike some of you as so obvious that you wonder why it needed to be done, and hit others (like me) who will be surprised. But regardless what you may think about dogs possessing this particular recognition skill, it seems to me that who or what dogs can recognize in what form depends on what they learn from those around them, just like kids. I suspect that both of my dogs would flunk this particular test because dog breed names usually don’t occur in my conversation with them. It’s

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Episode 295 – Tango for Two

No one needs to worry about me expanding my treatment protocol to include tango lessons. However, I don’t rule out its benefit for those who are intrigued by the dance or any dance requiring the partners to learn to read each other’s body language and appreciate each other’s perspective who can find an instructor as capable as my client’s. But for those who lack patience for this, there’s nothing quite like working with a horse, cow, or other animal big enough to kill you to learn appreciate human-animal interactions from the animal’s perspective. Such creatures have made instant believers

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Episode 294 – The Great Awakening

The brief interludes of humming and chirping soundtrack you’ll hear with this podcast  are the constant sound of of the river in the valley below the house and the seasonal brook flowing across the back yard, all punctuated by birdsong. And below are pictures of the intrepid mini-crocuses. The pale lavender ones were the first to show themselves beneath the snow in their usual location. But the yellow ones came as a complete surprise as few days later. Had I not slipped when I jumped off the stone wall near the woodpile, landed on my behind in a mound

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Episode 293 – Color-Coded Confusion

For supporters of the Yellow Dog Program who think that someone ought to tie a yellow ribbon around my neck to warn other people to stay away from me, alas that could backfire for the same reason it could backfire in dogs. That said, I’m the first to admit that my take on this easily could be biased by my work. I’m not a big fan of the Rub-Their-Noses-In-It approach to training that advocates putting dogs in situations that cause them behavioral pain to teach them to accept it for our own convenience. As a veterinarian, I’m also not

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Episode 292 – Shadows of Past Lives

When I was editing this podcast, I realized it also includes one disservice and a behavioral phenomenon of interest (I hope) that may occur in domestic animals which I failed to mention when I recorded it. The disservice was to my dogs for focusing primarily on the cat’s ancient repertoire when their own “divide and confuse” strategy is pretty ancient too. The behavioral phenomenon I failed to point out is how the dogs’ strategy—moving to opposite sides of the perceived threat—was a display that also occurred in the cat’s behavioral repertoire. In wild canine and feline species living in

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