Saturday, January 28, 2006

Laughing Dog

The Laughing Dog CD is here, finally, after a bit of a delay in Customs (because how could they charge a "handling fee" if they did not, in fact, handle it for a while?)Laughing Dog

Before Christmas, there was a story about the Laughing Dog, here. The story begins,

SPOKANE, Wash. - An animal researcher in Spokane, Washington is gaining world-wide attention for what may be a breakthrough in understanding canine communication.

Scientists and animal behaviorists say they are stunned by an audio recording that convincingly shows that dogs make a specific kind of sound, a type of laughter, when they are happily playing together.

What's more, when that sound is played over speakers in a kennel full of barking dogs, the dogs go silent within a minute and then seem completely at peace.

The ground-breaking research was headed by Patricia Simonet, an animal behaviorist...
Then, I saw a feature about it from Jeannie Moos on CNN. She went out to a dogrun in New York City and asked dog owners if they believed their dogs laughed. There were some great comments, like, "my dog laughs at me all the time." But the funniest part was when Jeannie tried to get some guy's dog to laugh by telling a joke. Here is the joke she told:
Two dogs are walking down the street, and they see a parking meter. So one dog says to the other dog, "Hey, look! Pay toilets!"
The dog didn’t look like he thought that was very funny.

The CD is 45 minutes of a laughing dog, and a little bit of information on the label about laughing dogs. I put it on, called Sandy into the room, and waited to see what would happen. Sandy spent the first few minutes looking for the dog, and the next few minutes with her ears in an alert state, so I guess she was wondering what was so darned funny.

Then, she just lay down in a sunny corner of the room. Quietly. She's not sleeping, just lying there quietly. So I'd have to say it passes the first test, because that's not something we usually see her do.

The next test will be to see if this will calm her down when she's agitated. I'm sure it won't be very long before we have a meter reader or a cat in the area. If this works, I'm getting Sandy an mp3 player and some headphones for the walk on Sunday. Hey, if this works, I want a nice, calming recording of something for ME!

More about the Laughing Dog, Patricia R. Simonet, here.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

At Last!

Finally. Kelowna City Council passed a bylaw that allows dogs on leash along the waterfront in Kelowna.

Signs, signs, everywhere a signAlthough dogs are not permitted to step off the paved paths, onto the grass, sand, or --- god forbid --- into the lake, people can now take their dogs with them along the waterfront.

Did I mention that this is for a trial period? Yes. A six-month trial period. In winter.

As luck would have it, the last couple of weeks have brought us some relatively mild days so Sandy and I have taken a couple of walks through SandyCity Park, along the boardwalk, and down to the new condos. There have been plenty of interesting smells, apparently. She just doesn’t get why she can’t chase the geese off the beach.

Neither do I.