The Tools to XEL: Poetry for Prosperity by Lex Sloot, ISBN: 9-780975267912, 415 pgs. Hardcover, $29.95
This is an unusual book because through poetry and prose, this book is a guide for successful living. For example, in chapter 9 he states, “You are the Author of your own life story; All failings are yours, But so is the Glory.” There are 17 chapters that cover all aspects of life. Another example is: “Victory is not intended for him to tried and then surrendered.” The book has an index of Trucepts that allows the reader to find the topic that he needs advice about. What makes this book very unique is that although it has truisms, they are easy and fun to read. Some of the topics are: Your ally is adversity; Your magic mind contains the key; Your potential; There’s lesson to be learned; and Persevere while others fear. Sloot has mastered the advice genre in a fun and easy to read book.
Viability: The Essence of Existence by Lex Sloot, ISBN: 13-978-0-9864287-6-0,
433 pgs. $29.95, hardcover.
This is an amazing book filled with practical advice, and philosophy. Viability deals with all of life’s challenges and concerns that everyone faces at one time or another. For example, in the section of his book titled Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Sloot states in his book that today, this is the historical present. What an interesting thought and a new way to look at today. The book includes an Index of Trucepts that covers every situation that a person might face. There is so much in this book that it is hard to write a comprehensive book review. Some of the topics in the book are: People deceive; Our customers tell us; My inner truth; Life is not always fair; I made a mistake; All individuals; Do not lose ground; and If you are driven, are just examples of the topics he covers.
I especially liked the section about government which in an unemotional way, explains the true dynamics of how the government works. Not only is this a worthy book to have, but it would be a wonderful gift for anyone from a teen to an adult. This is one of the most unusual books, with sage advice that I have not seen in a long time. There are three basic chapters with about 25 topics in each chapter.
Many people have parrots and parakeets of all varieties as pets. However, if you go to a bird rescue organization, you will see many, even hundreds of birds that were given up for adoption. Some of the birds will constantly squawk, or pluck out their feathers, some to the point where they have no feathers left. Some pace or sway back and forth or bite their cages. These birds are suffering from mental illness which was brought on by an unstimulating environment. It is similar to keeping a person in solitary confinement. The research by Dr. Georgia Mason, director of U of G’s Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare has determined that the more intelligent parrots and other highly intelligent mammals, need an enriched environment to maintain mental health.
If a person wishes to have a parrot for a pet, be sure to research which bird will fit into your lifestyle. Some birds do not require as much stimulation as others. Also realize that birds are flock animals that need companionship. If a potential parrot owner plans to have a solitary bird, be prepared to meet the bird’s needs. Not doing so can cause the bird to become mentally ill and the owner will be forced to give the bird up for adoption or to a bird rescue organization.
If you have a bird and are having difficulty with it, or you are not sure which bird to get, please contact the parrot division of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants at iaabc.org.
It is the time of year when birds migrate. One of the dangers to migratory birds are ground lights, even porch and street lights. Many birds are killed because of ground lights. We can help by turning off all outside lights when they are not needed. Here are two articles for you to read. The one is a newsletter that comes out very two weeks by Brome, a maker of the very best squirrel proof bird feeders. I know because I have tried them all. The Brome newsletter is free and anyone can subscribe to it. The newsletter is a great learning tool for adults and children. They also have a photo contest each month.
Hookworms are a common problem in dogs. These worms have a hooklike mouth that attaches to the dog’s intestinal tract. There are serious consequences if a dog in highly infested. Currently the most prevalent breed to have hookworms are Greyhounds. The conditions that they are raised and raced in is conductive to the spread of hookworms.
Because of the widespread adoption of racing greyhounds’ hookworms are spreading to other dogs as well. A dog does not have to ingest the worms to become infected. The larvae live in the soil and can burrow through the dog’s skin and paws. Also, a female can pass the worm to their puppies through their milk. Hookworms also can infect people.
What is upsetting is that veterinarian researchers have found high levels of hookworms in dogs that were treated. It is important that dogs are retested after a treatment to ensure that all of the worms have been killed.
The most upsetting thing about hookworms is that they are becoming resistant to the three medications used to deworm a dog. The researchers are concerned that only the drug resistant hookworms will be left and will spread. Right now, the only deworming medication that is successful in killing the resistant hookworms is emodepside. However, that medication is only approved for cats.
What a dog owner can do is avoid dog parks, where hookworms can live. Have your dog tested for worms frequently, especially if it is an adopted Greyhound, and make sure if your dog has hookworms, retest after treatment.
When epileptic seizures caused the death in some Parsons Russell Terriers at six to twelve weeks of age, researchers delved into the cause. These puppies’ seizures were so severe that they died and medication would not help them. The researchers at the University of Helsinki found a gene disorder similar to the cause of Alzheimer’s in humans.
They developed a test that can determine if a dog carries this recessive gene. Because the gene is recessive, both the sire and dam must carry it to produce the defect in dogs. Therefore, it is essential that breeders of PRT’s have their dogs tested before they breed.
With cats being the number one pet, there is surprising little research about their personality and behavior traits, especially in relation to cat breeds. This study has managed to explore the world of cats. They studied 4300 cats in 26 breed groups. Their study was the most extensive and significant to date and opens the door for further research.
By using questionnaires in an efficient manner, the researchers at the University of Helsinki have identified the following:
Aggression towards humans
Sociability towards humans
Sociability towards cats
Litterbox issues (relieving themselves in inappropriate places, precision in terms of litterbox cleanliness and substrate material)
According to the study, “The most fearful breed was the Russian Blue, while the Abyssinian was the least fearful. The Bengal was the most active breed, while the Persian and Exotic were the most passive. The breeds exhibiting the most excessive grooming were the Siamese and Balinese, while the Turkish Van breed scored considerably higher in aggression towards humans and lower in sociability towards cats.”
The result of this study coincided with a previous study, giving it more validity.
Author’s Note: It is just as important for anyone who plans to add a cat to their home to be aware of the personality traits of cats as it is for future dog owners to select the right type of dog for their living arrangements. Even if a cat is a mixed breed, certain physical characteristics can give the potential cat owner an idea of the breed group it comes from, helping them make a selection.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has been a breed for over 1000 years. However, during that time there were “bottlenecks” in the breeding of these dogs where only a small number of dogs were bred.
Researchers studied eight different breeds and found that the Cav had the greatest number of disease-causing genes than any of the other breeds studied. They are especially prone to heart disease.
Note: The study only sampled a limited number of dogs of each breed studied. While this is a good indicator, I would have liked to see a larger number of dogs tested from a wider geographical area. However, breeders who sincerely love their breed, what ever it is, can improve the breed by selective breeding for the right reasons. Too many people breed indiscriminately and do not test their dogs for genetic defects. As a canine behavior consultant, I have seen the results of this for my entire career.
Separation anxiety is a genetic issue. This means that owners do not cause it, however, they can bring it out in a dog and intensify it. Research has shown that dogs that are noise shy, such as a fear of thunderstorms tend to also have separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety is a panic attack and is very similar to a panic attack in people. It is not fun to have and if it happens often enough, such as when a dog is left alone frequently, can cause the dog’s quality of life to degrade. Imagine being afraid for eight to ten hours, five or more days a week. It is also important to understand that separation anxiety is very stressful, and a dog’s health is affected the same as a person from constant stress. Therefore, separation anxiety not only destroys a dog’s mental health, but can also harm their long-term physical health as well.
Before you determine that your dog has separation anxiety, you must rule out medical issues that can cause the same symptoms. This will require a thorough examination by your veterinarian. The examination should check for the following:
CBC, Chemical profile, thyroid profile, urinalysis and fecal exam, dental health, GI distress, diabetes, renal failure, colitis, and inflammatory bowel disease.
After you have ruled out any medical reasons for your dog’s behavior you can then examine the behaviors.
Before you label your dog as having separation anxiety, you must determine if your dog is simply behaving as a normal dog. Puppies, chew and destroy things. Is your dog completely housebroken? Is something teasing your dog outside of your home, making him bark? Is your dog marking? Did you change his food or give him a treat that made him unable to wait to eliminate?
A dog can have various levels of separation anxiety. Like any fear or anxiety, it gets worse the longer the dog has it. Older dogs tend not to respond to treatment as well as younger dogs. Therefore, the behavior associated with separation anxiety will not just “go away” or get better with time. It will get worse until it could reach a level were the dog harms himself.
The symptoms are:
Pacing, drooling, vocalization, destructive behavior and inappropriate elimination of urine and feces, usually randomly throughout the house. Often the feces will have mucus in them and do not appear the same as normal stools.
If you determine that your dog does suffer from separation anxiety, it is best to contact a certified canine behavior consultant because the treatment can vary widely and should be tailored to your living arrangements and the dog’s needs. In some cases, medication may be necessary and, in that case, you would need to consult with a veterinarian behaviorist who understands which medications are best and how to administer the medications and how to wean your dog off of them. A non-veterinarian behavior consultant who understands the medications can work with your veterinarian.
The question that I am often asked is how can a person determine if a puppy is prone to separation anxiety. There is no hard and fast rule, but typically if a young puppy cannot be crated, it is often a good indication that the puppy is prone to separation anxiety.
Remember, the sooner you address the problem the better the chance you will be able to get it under control. All behaviors are learned very quickly. An example is a dog who becomes frightened of thunderstorms and as he experiences more storms, he learns that as the barometric pressure changes, a storm is coming and starts to shake before the storm arrives. He will even act as if a storm is coming when the pressure changes and no storm comes.
The breeds that are most likely to have separation anxiety are:
A new study has found that there are five distinct coat colors in dogs and wolves. Previously scientists believed that there were only four. The mystery of coat colors has been solved. (However, we never know what discoveries the future holds.)
This discovery is the result of the work done by an international team of researchers including scientists from the Institute of Genetics of the University of Bern. The team found that a genetic variant which is responsible for a very light-colored coat in dogs and wolves originated in a now extinct relative of the modern wolf.
According to the research a small piece of DNA from this extinct ancestor is still found in yellow dogs and white artic wolves.
Note: This information may help breeders better determine the potential coat color of future litters. I hope that it eventually helps eliminate the deafness and other ills that are connected to certain colorations in dogs, namely the merle, harlequin, piebald and for some breeds the all-white factors, that cause genetic problems.)