Dog Companions

Monkeys are cute but are not domesticated animals
Dogs are domesticated and cute and our best friends.
Choose a dog every time over exotic pets and you will be happier.

Monday, October 24, 2016

'World's prettiest dog' becomes social media sensation because of her gorgeous hair

Her hair is as glossy enough to feature in a shampoo advert Credit: Facebook/Luke Kavanagh

'World's prettiest dog' becomes social media sensation because of her gorgeous hair

Helena Horton 23 October 2016

Tea the Afghan Hound has been named the world's prettiest dog by adoring fans who love her luscious locks.

The 'supermodel' dog from Sydney became an overnight social media sensation due to her glossy hair.

She is a highly decorated show dog and well-admired in those circles but had never before experienced such social media fame.

Her owner, Luke Kavanagh, posted a picture of her on Facebook and was surprised when it got scores of likes and shares.

In the photograph, she sits gracefully on a bench with her hair on full display, as she stares thoughtfully into the distance.

                                      What a pretty pooch! Credit: Luke Kavanagh/Facebook

Mr Kavanagh told NewsLocal: "Even our weekend walks draw a crowd. She pretends she doesn’t need the attention, but she definitely loves it, just like any supermodel.

"I guess people were mostly drawn to [the photo] because of her silky coat coupled with that dignified look that Tea has, but that’s just her being her."

Tea's social media fame managed to land her a modelling deal for dog food and another for dog shampoo.

The pooch was apparently a "natural" at modelling and animal acting, and "numerous" companies have approached Mr Kavanagh to ask if he can use her image.

Tea has now retired Credit: Luke Kavanagh/Facebook However, the dog is now going into retirement as an actor because the preparation time was too much for the pair to handle.

Her owner said: "Her retirement is due to no other reason than I reached a point where showing (grooming and show day) was taking me away from spending time with my family and I want to prioritise them over campaigning my dog"

"I have such a special bond with Tea & we have shared a lifetime of wonderful moments together.

"On show day she exemplifies Afghan hound, she is dignified, aloof and most certainly displays a keen fierceness. At home she is such a character and really loving her retirement.

"Whether she's naked or draped in the finest of silk gowns, Tea will always be my queen."


'World's prettiest dog' becomes social media sensation because of her gorgeous hair

Her hair is as glossy enough to feature in a shampoo advert
Her hair is as glossy enough to feature in a shampoo advert Credit: Facebook/Luke Kavanagh

'World's prettiest dog' becomes social media sensation because of her gorgeous hair


Friday, October 21, 2016

Azalea, a 19-year-old chimpanzee was photographed smoking a cigarette at a zoo in North Korea.

This 19-year-old chimpanzee was photographed smoking a cigarette at a zoo in North Korea. 

 Image result for azalea tree 
Bonsai Azalea Tree

Visitors to a newly reopened zoo in North Korea have been flocking to a new attraction: a smoking chimpanzee.

According to officials at the Central zoo in Pyongyang, which has been criticised for animal cruelty in the past, the 19-year-old female chimpanzee Azalea, Dallae in Korean, smokes a pack a day. 

The chimpanzee can use a lighter to light her own cigarettes, or spark up from a lit cigarette. 

The zoo has insisted, however, that she does not inhale.

The spectacle, which would shock animal rights campaigners, made visitors roar with laughter on Wednesday as the chimpanzee sat puffing away. 

Her trainer seemed to be encouraging the smoking and prompted her to touch her nose, bow thank you and do a simple dance.

The zoo is pulling in thousands of visitors a day to see attractions ranging from elephants, giraffes, penguins and monkeys to a hi-tech natural history museum.

NK News reported North Korea has stocked the zoo with animals from all over the world, with many of the deals being called into question by animal rights campaigners.

The zoo has also been criticized in the past for keeping animals in “woefully inadequate” conditions.

Renovations at the zoo began in 2014 as part of efforts by the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, to create leisure centres around the capital.

Another popular attraction is the dog pavilion. The zoo also arranges performances featuring other animals trained to do tricks, including a monkey that slam dunks basketballs and doves that fly around and land on a woman skating on an indoor stage.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Dogs who are best friends with other animals


bethany mcpherson @mcphersongypsy · 22 Oct 2014
"@weird_sci: This dog is best friends with an elephant: " uncommon friends are the best kind!

The Pet Collective

👻 @Drewski_drew_10 · Sep 15

Our dog is best friends with our donkey

AWKWARD @awkardreject · 12 Nov 2015
@DareDevilTheDog do you have any pet friends? My dog is best friends with a snake they like give each other kisses


10 dogs who are best friends with other animals

Everyone knows that dogs are man's, or indeed everyone's best friend, but they're very good at making friends with other cute animals too.


baby jude
😛 @judemfm_ · Jun 9
idk how this happened, but my dog is best friends with a raccoon 

Jenny♡❁ @princessjenxo12 · 3 Feb 2012
my dog is friends with a bird lovely

Chase @Ch8seMe · 3 Oct 2013
Yeah it's weird, but my dog is best friends with a chicken. #TweetABondThatCantBeBroken

Cuteness Overload @AwwCuteOverload · Oct 16
When your best friend is a duck..

Dylan T @SeeTheCute · 8 Jul 2014
My boss's dog is best friends with his tortoise. He just follows him all day.. - #cute #aww

hans elliott @helliott61 ·
Need someone who will look at me the way my dog looks at my cat. 

  “My heart dresses in black and dances.” Mary Oliver

Friday, October 7, 2016

Rapamycin could make your dog live longer

(CNN)See Momo.

See Momo run.
See Momo run faster, farther and with far more vigor, energy and youthfulness, his owners say, now that he's taking a drug meant for humans with cancer.
"It's been remarkable," Paola Anderson said as she watched Momo, her 13-year-old white Pomsky, runs around the backyard, keeping up with dogs a third his age.
The drug is called rapamycin. After nearly a decade of research showing that it makes mice live up to 60% longer, scientists are trying it out as an anti-aging drug in dogs and humans.
Rapamycin was discovered nearly 50 years ago in soil collected from Easter Island in the South Pacific and studied in a Canadian lab, and it's the most promising drug to fight aging that Arlan Richardson has ever seen.
A professor at the Reynolds Oklahoma Center on Aging, Richardson has been doing this kind of research for 40 years.
"It's the best bet we have," he said.
Now, scientists are moving forward and testing the drug in dogs.
Researchers at the University of Washington's Dog Aging Project gave rapamycin to 16 dogs and imaged their hearts.
"It started to function better. It started to look like a more youthful heart," said Matt Kaeberlein, co-director of the Dog Aging Project, who has presented this research at conferences but hasn't yet published it.
Those dogs took rapamycin for only 10 weeks. Here's what happened to Momo and his "brother," Sherman, who took it for much longer.
Sherman the Pomeranianx

Sherman and Momo's story

For many years, Momo and Sherman were regular visitors to the Laguna Pet Spa in Laguna Hills, California, getting baths and haircuts.
Then, on Christmas Eve 2010, their owner dropped them off and never came back.
Anderson, who runs the spa, said she called the owner, but her phone had been disconnected.
Anderson was horrified but not shocked. This was during Southern California's housing loan crisis, and this owner wasn't the first to abandon a dog to her care.
But this was more than a foreclosure. Sherman was sick, very sick.
On Christmas Day, the tiny 8-year-old Pomeranian was vomiting and howling in pain. Anderson rushed him to the emergency room. It was an attack of acute pancreatitis.
Anderson nursed him back to health and became, in her words, "mom" to Sherman and Momo.
The dogs had another mom, too: Anderson's partner, Sarah Godfrey, who was then living in Northern California but moved a few years later to Laguna Hills to live with Anderson and "the boys."

Can dogs smell cancer?

Can dogs smell cancer? 02:21
All was well until one day in May 2015, when Sherman fell over. He'd had a stroke.
"They gave him two weeks to live, unless he had surgery," Anderson remembers. Even with an operation, he had only a 20% chance of surviving.
Anderson and Godfrey were wary of surgery for a fragile dog who was already 13 years old; that's equivalent to 68 years old for a human being, according to the American Kennel Club.
Over the years, the couple had sought help from an herbalist for people problems, and now they desperately turned to him for help with their pooch problem. The herbalist did some research and came up with a possible treatment: rapamycin.
Excited but also skeptical, Anderson and Godfrey went online and ran across Kaeberlein and the Aging Dog Project, which was recruiting canine subjects for the rapamycin research.
They begged Kaeberlein to enroll Sherman, but the answer was no. Dogs had to be healthy and over 40 pounds. Sherman was neither.
The couple calculated their next step.
"We knew we could go to Mexico and get rapamycin or order it online, but we wanted to be guided by a veterinarian, by a professional," Anderson said.
That proved to tougher than they thought.
Five vets refused to prescribe the drug. Finally, a sixth vet agreed to prescribe rapamycin, but only after consulting with Kaeberlein to determine the best dose for Sherman.
By this point, a month after his stroke, Sherman was so weak, he had to be fed by hand and carried everywhere.
But rapamycin changed all that, Anderson and Godfrey said.
"The third day after taking rapamycin, he could eat on his own. By the seventh day, he was walking on his own," Anderson said.
Sixteen months later, the dog who had been given two months to live is still alive, and while clearly old, he's still active and able to run around the yard.
That got the moms thinking about Momo. He wasn't sick like Sherman, but at 13, he was getting old and achy and losing stamina. The couple decided to try rapamycin on him, too.
"Why not have your dog live longer if you can?" Godfrey said.
She said that within days of taking the drug, Momo was able to run for hours, whereas before, just a 30-minute walk would tire him out. On a hot summer day when CNN visited, he was able to keep up with Anderson's parents' dogs, who are 4 and 5 years old.
Anderson and Godfrey couldn't be happier.
"We call Sherman and Momo our rapamycin babies," Godfrey said.
Arlan Richardson with his Tibetan terrier, MoMo.

But there's a catch

Take a look at the labels for Rapamune, made by Pfizer, and Afinitor (PDF), made by Novartis, two drugs that are essentially the same as rapamycin and are used to treat cancer patients and organ transplant recipients. The list of things that can go wrong is long and horrifying: cancer, diabetes, infections and more.
"You have to be concerned about these side effects," Kaeberlein said. But that hasn't stopped him from doing research on the drug.
First, Kaeberlein thinks the side effects seen in cancer patients and transplant recipients might not be because of rapamycin per se but because those patients were very sick to begin with, because they were taking a whole host of other drugs as well, or both.
Secondly, he uses a much lower dose of the drug on his healthy dogs compared with the dose used on sick people.
Richardson, the aging expert at the University of Oklahoma, agrees with Kaeberlein. He's so convinced that he gave a low dose of rapamycin to his own dog, coincidentally named MoMo.
MoMo had a heart problem, and Richardson said it stabilized after he started taking rapamycin. He said the Tibetan terrier looks and acts younger than his 14 years, which would be around 80 or 90 in human years.
Plus, he said, there have been no side effects.

"We've been doing blood chemistries on her the whole time, and there's nothing bad," Richardson said.
The researcher was quick to note that one dog's experience did not constitute proven scientific data -- but he added that he's given rapamycin to tiny monkeys called marmosets and hasn't see any negative side effects for them, either.

But what about humans?

Rapamycin has had very limited testing in healthy humans. Novartis gave rapamycin to 218 elderly volunteers, and it enhanced their response to the flu vaccine by 20%.
The results "raise the possibility that (rapamycin) may have beneficial effects" on the decline in immune function that occurs naturally as we get older, the study authors wrote.
They reported that the side effects of rapamycin were "relatively well-tolerated." Severe side effects, they wrote, occurred at a "similar" rate as those experienced by the patients in the study who took a placebo, or a sugar pill.
Of the 53 patients on the lowest dose of rapamycin, 22 suffered some side effect, most commonly mouth sores.
Dr. Monica Mita, who's done her own research with drugs like rapamycin, said she thinks the side effects can be managed. 
"It's really a matter of using the right dose and keeping an eye on the patients," said Mita, co-director of experimental therapeutics at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles.

The future of rapamycin

Kaeberlein, the professor of pathology at the University of Washington, is nervous about this article.
He wants readers to know that Momo and Sherman's story is a tale of two dogs -- that's it -- and not scientific evidence in any way, shape or form, especially considering the placebo effect, meaning Momo and Sherman's owners might subconsciously be seeing what they want to see because they believe so much in rapamycin and fought so hard for it.
He doesn't want Momo and Sherman's seeming success to "encourage dog owners to go off to their veterinarians and demand rapamycin."
And Kaeberlein, who's also president of the American Aging Association, is nervous for another reason, too.
He dislikes the term "anti-aging," as it conjures up images of snake oil salesmen peddling the

Instead, he prefers tio think in terms of treatments that will delay the onset of diseases of aging, such as dementia or heart disease. In mice, rapamycin has been shown to slow these two types of declines, as well as several others.

Over the next year, Kaeberlein will be studying rapamycin in a much larger group of dogs: about 150, compared with the 16 he studied earlier.
He said other groups are looking at doing more aging studies in rapamycin in humans, too.
It's been a long journey for the compound discovered more than half a century ago in the dirt of a South Pacific island.
"The rapamycin story is one of the most surprising, enticing, satisfying and unique stories in the history of medicine," Mita wrote in a medical journal five years ago. "And the end is not near."

Troy Schmanke, Ph.D. ‏@BrainBehaviour

Rapamycin could make your dog live longer -

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The connection between dogs and humans explained

The results revealed variations within two genomic regions that appear to be linked with a canine yen for human contact. Photograph: Alamy 

Secret of connection between dogs and humans could be genetic

Scientists have found a handful of genes that they may be linked to the tendency for dogs to seek human help and contact

Nicola Davis
Sunday 2 October 2016  


The secret of why dogs are man’s best friend could be lurking in their genes, according to new research.

Scientists say they have found a handful of genes that appear to be linked to the tendency for dogs to seek human help and contact.

“[Our aim] is to try to understand the genetic underpinnings of domestication: what is it that has helped to turn the wolf, which is really not interested in humans to start off with, into this extremely sociable creature which is the dog?” said Per Jensen, co-author of the research from Linköping University in Sweden. “We think we have at least found some of the genetic background of this process.”

Writing in the journal Scientific Reports, the scientists describe how they sought to probe the genetics behind canine behaviour by enlisting the help of 437 beagles bred and raised in laboratory conditions.

Each dog was placed in a room with a researcher they did not know and presented with the same task.

Three transparent, sliding plastic lids, each covering a treat, were presented to each dog. However, one of the lids was fixed and could not be moved, no matter how much the dog pawed it or pushed it with its nose.

“We know that wolves don’t seek help, they will attempt to solve the problem on their own, and some dogs actually do that - they just keep going and trying to open this lid,” said Jensen. “But the most common reaction is at some point to turn to the human.” (for help)

Each dog was given three minutes to retrieve the treats, with their behaviour recorded on video and scored for the frequency and duration of various behaviours , such as jumping up at the researcher or making eye contact.

The 95 dogs with the top scores and the 95 with the bottom scores for social interactions were then selected, and DNA samples taken. Their genomes were then analysed and compared in what is known as a genome wide association study, with variations across the genome checked for an association with scores for specific behaviours, such as the duration for which dog was in physical contact with the researcher.

The results revealed variations within two genomic regions that appear to be linked with a canine yen for human contact, within which five genes were identified as being the most likely to be associated with the behaviour.

But, Jensen admits, it is unlikely to be the full picture. “There are probably plenty of genes interacting with these five,” he said, adding that it is also unknown exactly how the five genes might be influencing doggy sociability. The team are now looking to see if the same results can be found in other breeds of dog, including Labrador retrievers.

The authors also reveal that four of the five genes have previously been associated with an increased risk of a range social disorders in humans, including autism.

“Of course we do not know any mechanisms or anything like that, so we can’t say anything about whether or not these mechanisms will be similar in dogs,” said Jensen.

While the new study offers some clues to doggy sociability the authors caution that there are other factors at play.

“We also know that the genetic contribution to this variation is only about 30%, so 70% of the variation has to do with things like experience,” said Jensen.

Eleanor Raffan, a researcher in canine genetics from the University of Cambridge, said that the research provides some hints about which genes might influence doggy sociability towards humans, but that the study focused on only certain types of behaviour and, given the complexity of the trait, tens or hundreds of genes might all be playing a small role.

“Even if one or more of the five genes identified do exert an effect, it’s likely only a small part of the story,” she said.


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