Puppy Play Bows Don’t Always Mean the Same Thing – #365papers – 2017 – 93

#365papers for April 3, 2017

Byosiere, Espinosa, Marshall-Pescini, Smuts, and Range, 2016, Investigating the function of play bows in dog and wold puppies (Canis lupus familiaris, Canis lupus occidentalis): PLOS one, v. 11, e0168570.

What’s it about?

Dog owners are familiar with the friendly play bow of their dogs, with the front legs outstretched and the rump high in the air. Where pet dogs are concerned, this is usually associated with playing – the kind of playing that doesn’t look much like playing but more like two dogs are going to kill each other. Ok, well maybe just my dogs.

Wolves (adults and puppies) also use the play bow. The question posed by the authors is what purpose does the play bow serve. Continue reading

Cats Really Do Like Us – #365papers – 2017 – 91

#365papers for April 1, 2017

Vitale Shreve, Mehrkam, and Udell, 2017, Social interaction, food, scent or toys? A formal assessment of domestic pet and shelter cat (Felis silvestris catus) preferences: Behavioural Processes http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2017.03.016

What’s it about?

The authors here studied whether cats preferred social interaction with humans over food, scents, or toys. They studied both pet cats and cats in shelters.The results showed that cats really do like engaging with people, especially when there’s play involved. Food comes in a close second though. Continue reading

Snow Day and Cone Skills

I started seeing warnings on Sunday about this storm that was supposed to develop Monday night and get awful on Tuesday. We knew something was coming, but the forecasts seemed to be whipping between doom-and-gloom and a whole lot of meh. I wasn’t sure if I should take the coming storm seriously until what had been a winter weather advisory became a winter storm warning.

It was coming on a Tuesday. I could work from home. Yeah, I’ll just plan to work from home. Comet won’t mind.

The snow didn’t really start until I was already abed, leading me to think I would awake to nothing of consequence. This is what we got:

The driveway and picnic heap, er... table.

The driveway and picnic heap, er… table.

Continue reading

Comet Takes Command

The post below came across the Facebook feed this afternoon and made me cry a bit.

To me, the speaking cat be my recently-laid-to-rest Charlie, and the new cat be our puppy Comet. Yeah, I know, Comet is a dog. It was, however, suggested to me that during the two months that both Charlie and Comet shared our house, Charlie shared all his secrets with Comet. When all the secrets were shared, and Charlie was confident that Comet could handle everything, Charlie let himself rest. Continue reading

Weaponized Cone of Shame

There comes a time in a puppy’s life when the vet suddenly becomes very ‘unfun.’ Our little Comet had that visit on Friday. Friday was not a great day for him, but Saturday he began to perk up. Then he began to plot his revenge.

Pretzel Dog and the Cone of Shame, plotting...

Pretzel Dog and the Cone of Shame, plotting…

He wasn’t sure how revenge was going to work out, so he enjoyed the pampering in the meantime.

"Can we watch Lassie?"

“Can we watch Lassie?”

Continue reading

Comet’s New Clothes

It’s hard to believe how quickly Comet has grown. He’s only about four and a half months old, but he’s already getting close to full grown. He’s certainly proportioned more like an adult dog than like a puppy any more.

The other day I was looking at him and it occurred to me: He actually looks a lot like a coyote. And he’s about the right size too. If a person wasn’t paying attention, they could easily mistake this pup for what is viewed as a dangerous pest.

Looking quite coyote-y

Looking quite coyote-y

This wouldn’t trouble me too much, except that we live rurally, in an area that has lots of coyotes. And everyone has a gun. Continue reading