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JANUARY 2015 - v3i01

WELCOME to Tante Lori's Monthly Newsletter designed to talk about those questions that pop in our heads from time to time. This newsletter will aim to be brief, fun, informative, and interesting. I hope you find it useful and I welcome your comments and suggestions.

  • Pet of the Month - BELLA
  • Why do dogs react to TV
  • Why do Cats always sit on whatever we are reading?


BELLA (Golden Retriever)

Read excerpt from "Your Purebred Puppy"


"The Golden Retriever's kindly expression says it all. This is one of the finest family dogs in the world: cheerful, demonstrative, trustworthy with everyone, and forgiving of any mistakes made by inexperienced owners.

Give this breed two brisk walks each day, play fetch games, and take him out for a good run once a week, and he is adaptable to almost any lifestyle.

Friendly with everyone (strangers, children, dogs, cats, smaller pets), his bark is welcoming rather than protective.

You must control his tendency to chew on objects and to mouth your hands -- provide a box filled with toys so he can carry things around in his mouth.

A Golden Retriever remains enthusiastically puppy-like for many years, so early obedience training is required to instill calmness and good manners.

Eager to please and wonderfully responsive, he is nonetheless distracted by exciting sights and sounds, so you must be both patient and persistent.

The mind and heart of a Golden is sweet and gentle, but his body is robust -- until he's taught not to pull on the leash, you'll need good biceps to walk him."

If you want a dog who...

  • Is large, athletic, and natural-looking
  • Has a pretty feathered coat
  • Has a cheerful, tail-wagging nature
  • Is steady-tempered and dependable with everyone
  • Is peaceful with other animals
  • Is eager to please and very responsive to training

A Golden Retriever may be right for you.


If you don't want to deal with...

  • Providing a goodly amount of exercise
  • Exuberant jumping, especially when young
  • Mouthiness -- chewing on things, carrying things around
  • Regular brushing and combing to avoid mats and tangles
  • Heavy shedding
  • A distinctive doggy odor
  • Concerns about a multitude of serious health problems

A Golden Retriever may not be right for you.


Why Do Dogs Watch—and React to—TV?

ARTICLE by Liz Langley for National Geographic , Published January 11, 2015

You can find this GREAT article in it's original format (along with other cool stuff) at:

"Our first Weird Animal Question of the Week of 2015 comes to us from our very own photo editor Mallory Benedict, who's curious about why her sister's poodle pays such rapt attention to the television. "He totally loses it when there's any kind of animal on TV. How does he recognize animals on TV, and why does he have such a strong reaction?" Benedict asked.

Domestic dogs can perceive images on television similarly to the way we do, and they are intelligent enough to recognize onscreen images of animals as they would in real life—even animals they've never seen before—and to recognize TV dog sounds, like barking.

A 2013 study published in the journal Animal Cognition showed that dogs could identify images of other dogs among pictures of humans and other animals, using their visual sense alone. (Also see "OCD Dogs, People Have Similar Brains; Is Your Dog OCD?")

However, there are some differences between ourselves and man's best friend—for one, dogs' eyes register images more quickly than do ours. So older television sets, which show fewer frames per second than modern televisions, would appear to a dog to be flickering like a "1920s movie," said Nicholas Dodman, a veterinary behaviorist at Tufts University, in Massachusetts.

Dogs also have dichromatic vision, which means they see a range of two primary colors, yellow and blue. Human vision is trichromatic, so we see the full range of colors, according to Binghamton University's Ask a Scientist web page.

DogTV, an HDTV cable channel designed for dogs, interests canines because HDTV has a much higher number of frames per second and is specially colored to accommodate dogs' dichromatic vision, said Dodman, who is the channel's chief scientist. (See National Geographic's best dog pictures.)

DogTV has modes for relaxation, which shows images like dogs chilling out in a grassy field; stimulation, which depicts scenes like dogs surfing in southern California; and exposure which shows things like a dog reacting to a ringing doorbell and obeying commands to acclimate them to such situations at home.

Doggie Style

Beyond biology, how dogs react to TV—whether it's running around, barking excitedly, or just ignoring it—may come down to personality or breed.

"Different dogs, like people, have different personalities," Dodman said. "Some are territorial, some are not; some like people, some hate people; some are predatory, some aren't; some are pushy, some are shy.

"It takes all types of dogs to make the world go round," he added.

Hearing a barking dog on the set often gets TV-watching dogs excited. (Check out this YouTube video of a German shepherd that barks only when another dog appears on the TV, totally ignoring those boring humans.)

Some dogs not only bark at animals on the screen, but also run behind the TV looking for them.

Others "have been desensitized to television. When they see a dog [on TV], they [may] think, 'Those guys just hang out on the television. They never actually walk around,'" Dodman said. (Take National Geographic's dog quiz.)

What breed a dog is may influence its reactions to TV. Hounds, which are driven by smell, aren't as interested in visuals, but herding breeds, such as terriers, may be more stimulated by moving objects they see on the small screen.

Watch Dog

Many of us leave a radio or TV on when we leave the house to keep our dog company, hoping that the sound is more comforting to our pets than silence, Dodman said.

Channels that feature animals might be preferable to news programs, but, like many humans, dogs often just half-watch TV anyway.

"They orient to things they're interested in, look at it for a couple of minutes and go 'hmm, interesting,' and then look away," said Dodman. Even so, "that's better than spinning your wheels all day while your owners are away."

First their own channel. Next they'll start tweeting #walkies.

Got a question about the weird and wild animal world? Tweet me or leave me a note or photo in the comments below. You can also follow me on Facebook. "

One's trash can become a Doggie's Treasure !!!


I did some "research" on the ever knowing and wise internet and found this site that had me cracking up.. I was laughing so hard. Someone put this question out and some of the answers were hilarious
(and probably so true... if you live with a cat you'll know what I mean)

Here are some excerpts from:


Why do cats sit on things we're reading? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Has any real, scientific research done on the subject? Specifically, do cats instinctively understand where people are paying attention to, like dogs instinctively understand when people point? Or, is it simply behavioral conditioning, as they learn that sitting on open books gets them attention? Or are books just that comfy?


  • There have been studies that prove that cats are really bad at figuring out what pointing means, and that they aren't so hot at gaze-tracking either. (Dogs on the other hand are really quite good at it. Better than kids sometimes.) That said, it doesn't take a mental genius to put together the following two observations: 1) that your person is not paying attention to you. 2) your person is instead paying rapt attention to something that crinkles at regular intervals. Therefore, obvious solution is to put self on crinkly thing - you now are on top of a crinkly thing (good thing 1) AND your person is paying attention to the space you are in - therefore paying attention to you (good thing 2).

  • I find that cats just really like paper and cardboard and will always try to sit or lay on it. I think it reminds them of leaves, which when they rustle means there's something to eat under there. So a little bit of the motivation is an instinct to sit and wait for prey to show up. Plus, they don't know we're reading. As far as they know, we're doing the equivalent to them staring at the wall at nothing.

  • My cat just wants to be part of everything. Like when I get a package delivered and I'm trying to cut it open, she'll come over and stick her head right where the scissors are. One day I'm going to accidentally snip a whisker off and she'll have no one to blame but herself. I've noticed, though, that she doesn't care when we're reading books; it's only if we have a newspaper on the floor that she'll come and sit on it.

  • Yep. Whenever I come home from the grocery store, I'll set the bags down on the kitchen floor; the cats are there in short order to inspect the new inventory. Also, my cats don't care for people food but that doesn't stop them from sniffing around my plate every damn time I sit down to eat. I guess they fancy themselves food inspectors too.

  • The comic strip "Rhymes With Orange" addressed this issue. One cat said, "The newsprint takes me back to the box of my birth."

  • That's how cats read.

  • Seconding the "it's not floor, it's crinkly, and it gets attention" answers (see also: "if it fits, I sits"). It's especially funny to see my feline overlords trying to sit on a tiny square of paper and curling their tail around themselves so that none of their body parts are on the floor (which must be made of lava in their little kitty minds or something).

  • And, as many in this thread have observed, to a cat, the best place to sit is on a thing that is on top of another thing.

  • Yes, they have tiny light receptors in their anuses. And they're very near-sighted. And if they're sitting on something with texture, they use feline braille.

  • I think our cat just likes to be the center of attention, so if we are looking at something, that's where she goes. A few weeks ago, my dad was helping my husband with something around the house. They were bending over a spot on the wall where they were taking a measurement, so the cat walked over and stood right in that exact spot.

    She doesn't usually hang around us at meal times because we eat at the countertop in our kitchen, and I think she just can't be bothered to jump up and look. But for Valentine's Day I made a nice dinner and wanted to eat in the dining room. So we are sitting down eating filet mignon, and suddenly she jumps on one of the chairs.

    This cat is normally fairly expressionless - she always seems to have the same look on her face all the time. But suddenly, when there was tasty food involved, she somehow got her eyes to look twice as big. So during the meal, we're sitting there looking at this.

  • As I sit at my desk here in my office, our cat invariably jumps on the desk to my right, mashes her face against some ham radios, then walks over and lays on my hand whether I'm mousing or typing. She will fully sprawl over both hands on the keyboard and just look off into the distance like she's waiting for ship on horizon. She pays no attention to me, however she will accept scritches for up to 9 hours at a time.

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