Podcasts

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

Read more

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:

Read more

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.  

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

Episode 313 – Ditch the Sits

This picture of Frica (brown) and the most submissive pup in her first litter demonstrates the inherent role of the sit command.   This was taken one the first days I took the puppies outside and allowed them to wander around the yard. Frica was confident enough in her maternal teaching and skills that she assumed the more relaxed down position to monitor the other pups’ behavior. But this more timid one planted himself next to his mother and assumed a high-alert sentinel sit position instead. It was this behavior that caused me to agree with Frica that he

Read more

Episode 312 – Cat and Human Perception

Last week I meandering primarily about canine versus human perception so it seemed only natural to look at this same situation as it relates to cats and us. Unfortunately because cats are so out-of-box behaviorally I found myself meandering into a corner. Why, in this particular area, was feline perception more closely aligned to ours than to our dogs’? After pondering the subject for several days, one conclusion I came to in some ways seems the logical: how their perception evolved may have nothing to do with us at all. As my eyes automatically wander toward Bamboo doing his

Read more

Episode 311 – Fast- and Slo-Mo Perception

In keeping with the variable rate of perception theme of this podcast, it’s a little shorter than usual. I had trouble recording it because I kept trying to mentally envision what it meant to see reality at the faster canine rate as well as take into account all the other differences in canine vision. If you don’t recall what those are, here’s a  video demonstration of an accurate representation of canine visual perception(minus the processing rate difference discussed in this podcast) compared to cats and some other animals. Why the rate difference evolved continues to puzzle me because it

Read more

Episode 310 – Learning to Fly

Here’s how the baby phoebes looked before their eyes opened: Because I had to use the flash to get the picture, once their eyes opened that ended the picture-taking because I didn’t want to startle them. As you listen to this podcast, pretend you’re the mother bird and think about what you would have done in situation described Pay attention to how easy or difficult it was for you to make your choice. If you’re like me and you make the same choice the mother bird did, you’ll realize that it’s not an easy choice to make at all! 

Read more