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Archive for January, 2011

Deb’s House Concerts

12 Common Pet Myths

by Amy D. Shojai (Subscribe to Amy D. Shojai’s posts)

Jan 21st 2011 @ 11:00AM Filed Under: Cats, Pet Health

 Alamy

Amy D. Shojai is a certified animal behavior consultant and the award-winning author of 23 pet care books, including “Complete Care for Your Aging Cat” and “Complete Care for Your Aging Dog.”


For centuries, people created fanciful stories to explain puzzling animal antics. Many of these myth-understandings about cat and dog behaviors linger on, even though modern veterinary and behavior experts have uncovered scientific explanations for these issues. Here we lay 12 common myths to rest.

Myth 1: Dogs and cats enjoy being hugged. People are by nature touchy-feely creatures. Dogs and cats on the other hand, grab and hold prey, and “hug” during mating or fighting. Pets may enjoy nuzzling and getting affection akin to hugging, or there may be a reason why they should be sensitized to being hugged, but it is good to remember that your pet may also confuse a hug with aggression.

Myth 2: Cats seek out people who hate cats. It can seem that way. A cat lover’s admiring stares and “kitty, kitty, kitty” calls can be off-putting. So in a crowded room, a cat often seeks the only person ignoring her. Besides, cat lovers may already smell like strange cats, so she’ll be more attracted to the cat-free-zone human.

Myth 3: Dogs that are aggressive are showing dominance. Actually, it is fearful dogs that most often aggress to make a scary situation go away. A top dog rarely aggresses because other dogs accept he’s the boss. You do however see pushy dogs learn to use snarls to get their way, or clueless adolescent dogs act up because they’ve gotten too big for their furry britches and want to challenge the real boss.

Myth 4: Dogs and cats are jealous of the phone. The phone rings and suddenly your pet demands attention. This can certainly be annoying but their behavior is logical when you realize why they’re doing it. From you pet’s perspective, you’re talking and there’s nobody else around — so you must be talking to your pet!

Myth 5: Dogs wag their tails when they are happy. Not always. Dogs wag when excited, when fearful, when happy or even to signal imminent attack. The position of the tail, and frequency of wags, is a better indicator of happiness. Low-held tails with slow, loose wags usually signal, “Come closer; I want to be friends.”

Myth 6: Dogs and cats learn only if you punish them.
No. Punishment actually can interfere with pets’ ability to learn. Punishment can make behaviors worse and can cause fear aggression. Instead, you need to teach an alternative to bad behavior.

Myth 7: Dogs catch on to house training more quickly when you rub their noses in their accidents. Absolutely not. But this does teach the dog that humans sometimes go nuts and seemingly want them to eat their poop! Talk about confusing. Punishing for a normal behavior like going to the bathroom encourages dogs to hide it better the next time. Instead, catch your dog in the act of targeting the right spot and reward with praise or treats for the most effective lesson.

Myth 8: Cats always land on their feet. It is true that cats have balance organs in the inner ear that allow a cat to contract and flex the spine, shoulders and flanks to land on her feet in amazing ways. But there are many factors involved. Falls from too short a distance — being dropped by a child, for example — won’t allow enough time for a paw landing. Conversely, landing feet first from a fall from a great height can break bones and seriously injure the cat.

Myth 9: Cats purr when they are happy. Often they do. But think of the cat’s purr as a feline smile — do you smile only when happy? Purring soothes kitty emotions (and humans as well), and the vibration relieves pain and speeds healing, so purring can happen when a cat is happy, injured or just needs to comfort himself.

Myth 10: Cats wet the bed and dogs destroy furniture and other items in the house because they are angry. There are many possible physical, emotional and/or instinctual reasons for these normal behaviors — none having to do with anger or vengefulness. Items that smell like you (bed, shoes, purse) are targeted because your scent comforts the pet. Consider that a back-handed compliment, not spite.

Myth 11: Cats suck the breath from babies. Yes, this old wives tale is still around. Curious cats may check out milky-smelling infant breath or be attracted to a warm crib. They are not trying to harm the baby, but pets should always be supervised around infants.

Myth 12: Dogs alpha roll each other. A study of captive wolves (later debunked) gave rise to this theory. Dogs roll onto their backs to expose their tummies to other animals — or people — and signal deference and nonthreat. Dogs willingly show their tummies to people or other dogs they want to placate or acquiesce. But even alpha dogs show their tummies to invite puppies and subordinate dogs to play. Dogs do not force other dogs onto their backs to prove leadership. Alpha rolling your dog may confuse or frighten him and some dogs even fight back. Don’t risk it!


In addition to being a certified animal behavior consultant, Amy also appears on Animal Planet’s “Cats-101” and “Dogs-101,” and lives in North Texas with a senior citizen Siamese and smart-aleck German shepherd who have their share of behavior myth-takes. Read Amy’s blog on Red Room.

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Deb’s House Concerts

Emma’s Revolution + Discussion – Feb 5, 2011

 

 

 

Award-winning, Activist Songwriters
Tulsa, February 2011

L-R: Sandy O & Pat Humphries. Photo: Tom Wolff


emma’s revolution

Saturday, February 5th
Fellowship Congregational Church
2900 S. Harvard Ave.

7pm: Benefit Concert for Open Table UCC in Owasso
$18 in advance/$20 at the door

2pm: Non-Violent Advocacy Discusssion
Free and open to the public

Advance concert tickets at
emmasrevolution.com
opentableucc.com

Info:
Rev. Melinda Foster at
918-609-6292
918-693-0458   

 

“Following the wave of suicides of young people who have been bullied and the links between hate speech and the tragic Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson, an Owasso church dedicated to social justice and peace is teaming with an internationally-known folk music group to work on solutions.

Emma’s Revolution members Pat Humphries and Sandy O bring a sense of humor and hope to their music. They are inspired by Pete Seeger and others as they continue the legacy of music for social change. The award-winning folksingers from the Washington, DC area have toured internationally. The concert is a benefit for Open Table UCC in Owasso, a new open and affirming community of faith.

Pat Humphries and Sandy O use the power of music to promote peace and justice, the environment, human rights, and women’s and LGBTQ issues. They will lead a discussion and workshop on how to advocate for change without resorting to violence. Tulsa area experts from the following organizations will join them to describe their efforts to work for change in such areas as bullying prevention, local food insecurity and community development in North Tulsa:

A Third Place Community Foundation
Children’s Consortium of Tulsa
Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma
Community of Hope United Church of Christ
Fellowship Congregational Church
Oklahomans for Equality
Open Table United Church of Christ
Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays-Tulsa
United Campus Ministries at the University of Tulsa.”

about emma’s revolution

Smart, funny and informative. Like Rachel Maddow and Jon Stewart with guitars.

With hauntingly beautiful harmonies and powerful acoustic instrumentals that deliver the energy and strength of their convictions, emma’s revolution creates new standards in the art of social justice. Their songs have been sung for the Dalai Lama, praised by Pete Seeger and recorded by Holly Near.

emma’s revolution is the duo of activist musicians, Pat Humphries & Sandy O. Based in the Washington DC area, the duo won Grand Prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest for
“If I Give Your Name”, “Peace, Salaam, Shalom”
is sung around the world and has been called the “anthem of the anti-war movement.” emma’s revolution’s music has been featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and Pacifica’s “Democracy Now!”

In the spirit of Emma Goldman’s famous attribution, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution,” emma’s revolution brings their uprising of truth, hope and a dash of healthy irreverence to concerts and peace & justice, labor, human rights, environmental, LGBT and women’s rights events around the world. Touring over 200 days a year, emma’s revolution has performed at hundreds of events from Canada, Chile, Korea, Scotland, England, Israel/Palestine, Nicaragua, Cuba and throughout the US spreading their message of peace and justice. emma’s revolution consistently delivers performances that are an uprising of hope and harmony so powerful audiences leap to their feet.

 

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