Service Dog? Really?

A real Service Dog, or just a liar for an owner?

A real Service Dog, or just a liar for an owner?

112°  I know that dogs serve humans in many capacities, but a “Service Dog” has specific training to aid a human who has special needs. Slapping a “Service Dog” halter on a dog so you can take it into Starbucks is not the intent of the Service Dog concept. I believe that anyone who masquerades their pet around as a Service Dog is lying to the public and cannot be trusted. I also believe that anyone who would disgrace the title of Service Dog should not be allowed to have a pet.

I’m just saying.

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Dogs and Emotions

Ozzie is only half listening

Ozzie is only half listening

364°  Some researchers claim that dogs do not feel shame, but are responding to our vocal cues and body language when they have done something wrong.

Sure…and I never notice a woman in a mini-skirt.

I have the highest respect for the scientific process, but I also know that the reaction of eleven dogs in a study is not going to overturn millions of actual dog owner experiences. Our dog, Jasmine, reacts to my vocal quality and body language, but she also reacts to her own actions. She may not know that she has done something wrong every time, but I’ve seen her look guilty before I knew what she did.

A dog raised in an active and loving environment knows what is happening around them regardless of the research. Try and grab a leash in a house with a dog and see if the dog reacts.

The Sympathy Strategy

Pit-y, pit-ee: See dog in back of pickup

Pit-y, pit-ee: See dog in back of pickup

175°  Today I saw a dog on a short leash in the back of a pickup. The dog was resting his(?) head on the side of the pickup bed and he looked pitiful. Everything about this dog said, “My master has abandoned me here, I’m sad, do you have any treats?”

Humans, most humans, have a great capacity to respond to perceived unfairness. It is a useful tool for those who seek to manipulate other people. People who create problems have learned that if they disguise the problem that they have created as a response to an injustice, then they can gain the sympathy of others.

This week in Colorado, a conservative candidate for Governor said that State funds were being used for abortions. Of course, if you can suggest that a child is the victim, you get extra sympathy points. As it turns out, his statement was a lie and he had no proof to offer. He was just using the sympathy strategy to gain support.

Of course, I question the statement in the first place. So what if State funds are used for abortions. Doctors perform abortions and they are more qualified to make medical decisions. The last I checked this was not the Catholic United States of America, so a religious opinion does not qualify as a limitation of people who don’t believe in that opinion.

The Joy of Dog

A good leader is easy to follow

A good leader is easy to follow

288°  I overuse our animals in this blog, but they are great subjects that don’t object to being photographed.

Jasmine has been with us for about a year and a half. She still has some anxious quirks, but she is getting better. She loves to run, but we can’t let her off leash, so she is happy to pull us to and from Alexander’s school everyday. Her top speed is about 22 mph, but I would guess that she could do almost 30 mph if she was not pulling a human on a bike. She doesn’t need guidance as she knows the way, and she would prefer to not slow down for Stop signs.

Her special talent is the ability to make people smile. As college students walk to class, they can’t help but grin when they see this 40-pound dog pulling us down the street on our bikes. I’m sure it can be nerve-wracking for them as Jasmine comes racing up from behind, but she almost never breaks stride when passing a pedestrian.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to appreciate the gift of animals. It is hard to understand why pets love humans so much, but I completely understand why humans love them.

 

Two Minutes at Sunset

Self portrait in shadow

Self portrait in shadow

There is a certain pressure in trying to take a picture everyday and publish it. I rarely have a plan for my subject matter in advance. Usually I just take my Nikon and go. Today I relied on the sunset. The light of the Sun when it’s low in the sky make everything look more interesting. Here are four subjects I found in about two minutes at sunset.

25°  Nothing magic here. A simple picture of my shadow in the last light of the day.

You wouldn't really make me move would you?

You wouldn’t really make me move would you?

121°  Jasmine has an on/off switch. Late in the day she is ready to sleep. She knows she’s not supposed to be on the couch….and she knows how to look pitiful.

Backyard Angel

Backyard Angel

226°  I put this decoration up on Christmas Eve on our back deck. I think I’ll take it down some day.

Winter without the cold

Winter without the cold

258°  An acoustic thermometer. No batteries. No power cord. It must be magic.

One, One, Twenty Fourteen

Image by Paul Kiser

Image by Paul Kiser

245° Morning of the first day of 2014. If you look closely you will see the confetti left by the poppers from the night before. Fuzz-a-Bug has come to greet me and Jasmine is just hoping I am going somewhere that she can go. Fuzz-a-Bug has no problems with Jasmine, but he knows she is a clumsy dog, so he stands ready to give her a quick and painful reminder that he is sitting there. Alexander’s snow shovel waits for the next snow, which may be weeks away.