The no-kill movement began two decades ago in the United States, and it has given millions of dogs a second chance; instead of being euthanized, they are matched with families. Wonderful story about how dogs can be loved and given a second chance. Read it or listen to it here: NPR
From All in the Mind and Australian Broadcasting : Most of us have an intuitive feeling that our pet dogs or cats have thoughts and even feel emotions—but did you know that ants can teach, rats have a sense of humor, chimpanzees can deceive and elephants grieve? Scientists are discovering that animals’ cognitive and emotional processes are far more sophisticated than we once thought. Listen/Download the audio here.
Ever wondered what your cat spends its time doing when you’re not around? Where do our purring pets go when they disappear through the cat flap? Armed with GPS tracking devices and micro-cameras, a team from BBC Two’s Horizon programme in collaboration with the Royal Veterinary Collegeset off to a Surrey village to find out. Discover more by clicking this link and selecting a cat.
“…Although Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic method encourages the analyst to present a blank screen, concealing all details of his personal life, thoughts and feelings, Freud himself practiced from his home and included Jo-Fi, his favorite chow chow, in many of his sessions. Freud supposedly relied on his pet’s reaction to a client for help in assessing the person’s character. He also felt that a dog’s presence helped to calm his clients.”
Read more here: The Pets in My Practice
Nonverbal communication is a gift that all living beings share, one you’ll need to reawaken to better interact with and care for your animal companions. Most dog and cat lovers already understand canine and feline body language, which is one non-verbal technique. But you can use your other, natural, nonverbal communication skills, and actually begin to see things through your dog or cat’s eyes, and become his/her voice.
You can learn animal communication by taking a class or reading some of the great books available today on the subject. But many of the basics are so simple that we can easily begin nonverbally communicating right away. Remember, long before humans had spoken language, we were able to communicate among ourselves and with the animals; it is a kind of heart to heart communication skill that we all possess.
Did you ever know a set of twins who said they each knew what the other was thinking, or you heard your mother say she had “woman’s intuition” or “just knew something was wrong.” Have you ever had an image of a friend come to mind and then received a phone call from that very person saying, “I was just thinking about you and wanted to say hello”? These are all examples of nonverbal communication.
Interesting article about pets and how humans react/respond to them. From the abstract:
Neural substrates underlying the human-pet relationship are largely unknown. We examined fMRI brain activation patterns as mothers viewed images of their own child and dog and an unfamiliar child and dog. There was a common network of brain regions involved in emotion, reward, affiliation, visual processing and social cognition when mothers viewed images of both their child and dog. Viewing images of their child resulted in brain
activity in the midbrain (ventral tegmental area/substantia nigra involved in reward/affiliation), while a more posterior cortical brain activation pattern involving fusiform gyrus (visual processing of faces and social cognition) characterized a mother’s response to her dog. Mothers also rated images of their child and dog as eliciting similar levels of excitement (arousal) and pleasantness (valence), although the difference in the own vs. unfamiliar child comparison was larger than the own vs. unfamiliar dog comparison for arousal. Valence ratings of their dog were also positively correlated with ratings of the attachment to their dog. Although there are similarities in the perceived emotional experience and brain function associated with the mother-child and mother-dog bond, there are also key differences that may reflect variance in the evolutionary course and function of these relationships.
Stoeckel LE, Palley LS, Gollub RL, Niemi SM, Evins AE (2014) Patterns of Brain Activation when Mothers View Their Own Child and Dog: An fMRI Study. PLoS ONE 9(10): e107205. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0107205