Recently in Critters Category

Celebrating National Dog Day

| No Comments

From the website: National Dog Day

National Dog Day celebrates all breeds, pure and mixed and serves to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year, either from public shelters, rescues and pure breed rescues. National Dog Day honors family dogs and dogs that work selflessly to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort. Dogs put their lives on the line every day - for their law enforcement partner, for their blind companion, for the disabled, for our freedom and safety by detecting bombs and drugs and pulling victims of tragedy from wreckage.

First celebrated in 2004 - my two pups got a slice each of bacon yesterday. Didn't know about NDD until today but we were just celebrating a bit early.

From The Outline:

Julie Baker never intended to become a figurehead of the luxury chicken-diaper industry. Before she launched her brand Pampered Poultry in 2010, she had never even heard of chicken diapers.

Around 10 years ago, Baker was raising chickens with her daughter on their small farm in Claremont, New Hampshire when she first saw a YouTube video of a chicken wearing what looked to be an upside-down apron that stretched across its backside. The diaper, so to speak, was used to catch chicken poop so the birds wouldn’t leave droppings everywhere (chickens do not urinate separately from defecation. Their urine is technically in their excrement). “I'm like, ‘Oh my goodness, I so need to do that,’” Baker said. Baker’s daughter liked to bring her favorite chicken, an Old English hen named Abigail, inside their house, and because chickens poop close to a dozen times per day, Baker needed a better system for managing Abigail’s excrement.

So she began sewing Abigail diapers out of cotton fabric, and soon other poultry owners asked if Baker could make diapers for their chickens, too. Baker, who was homeschooling her daughter at the time, decided to turn the task into an assignment — she and her daughter would launch an online store. Not because she thought anyone would visit, but because she thought it would be an informative experience.

Then Baker started getting orders. Lots of them. Though at first she was mainly selling to her friends who attended poultry shows — to the true chicken die-hards who also like to enter their birds into pseudo-relay-races — in the last few years she’s noticed a shift in her customer base. Even people without deep connections to the poultry world want her diapers so they can take their chickens indoors (and post stylish photos on Instagram). Baker currently sells 500 to 1,000 diapers, which retail for $18 apiece, each month. “There's not a single state that I don't ship to,” Baker said.

And here's a photo:


Chickens have great personalities - some of them are really friendly with humans, others are a**holes and just want to be left alone. I have raised Buff Orpington hens and love the breed (and the eggs). Would love to try a Barnevelder or two - also supposed to be a good producer and very friendly.

Aw crap - RIP Koko

| No Comments

From The Gorilla Foundation:

The Gorilla Foundation is sad to announce the passing of our beloved Koko
Koko — the gorilla known for her extraordinary mastery of sign language, and as the primary ambassador for her endangered species — passed away yesterday morning in her sleep at the age of 46.

Koko touched the lives of millions as an ambassador for all gorillas and an icon for interspecies communication and empathy. She was beloved and will be deeply missed.

Koko, a western lowland gorilla, was born Hanabi-ko (Japanese for “Fireworks Child”) on July 4, 1971 at the San Francisco Zoo. Dr. Francine “Penny” Patterson began working with Koko the next year, famously teaching her sign language. Dr. Patterson and Dr. Ronald Cohn moved Koko and the project to Stanford in 1974 and went on to establish The Gorilla Foundation. While at Stanford the project expanded to include a second western lowland gorilla, Michael. In 1979 Koko and The Gorilla Foundation moved to the Santa Cruz Mountains where Ndume joined them as a fellow ambassador for their species.

Koko’s capacity for language and empathy has opened the minds and hearts of millions. She has been featured in multiple documentaries and appeared on the cover of National Geographic twice. The first cover, in October of 1978, featured a photograph Koko had taken of herself in a mirror. The second issue, in January of 1985, included the story of Koko and her kitten, All Ball. Following the article, the book Koko’s Kitten was published and continues to be used in elementary schools worldwide. Her impact has been profound and what she has taught us about the emotional capacity of gorillas and their cognitive abilities will continue to shape the world.

The foundation will continue to honor Koko’s legacy and advance our mission with ongoing projects including conservation efforts in Africa, the great ape sanctuary on Maui, and a sign language application featuring Koko for the benefit of both gorillas and children.

I remember reading about her and was intrigued at her abilities with sign language. Animals may not be able to articulate speech but they certainly have thoughts and emotions. Normal lifespan is 35-40 in the wild so she had a good run.

Nelson is not a working dog

| No Comments

Just wants to play

Too cute!

Simon's Cat

| No Comments

I love the series but today's one is a lot of fun - I love Crows too and he really captures their playfullness.

Too cute - bears

| No Comments

I have always loved bears - if it were legal, I would get one as a pet but only if I could get the cub before its eyes opened. Then, they can bond with a human.

Here is the quintessential Canadian way to get a mamma and two cubs out of your back yard:

From The Smithsonian:

First Infant Gorilla Born at the Zoo in Nine Years; Watch a Video of the Birth
As heavy rains engulfed Washington, D.C., last night, the city welcomed an eagerly awaited ape into the world. At 6:25 p.m., Moke—“little one” in Central Africa’s Lingala language—became the first male western lowland gorilla born at Smithsonian’s National Zoo in nine years.

In the minutes after giving birth, 15-year-old Calaya cradled her newborn in her arms. Since confirming the pregnancy last fall, Zoo staff had been hard at work preparing for the important addition to a species whose wild population has decreased by about 60 percent over the past quarter-century, due to disease and poaching. “The birth of this western lowland gorilla is very special and significant, not only to our Zoo family, but also to this critically endangered species as a whole,” said primate curator Meredith Bastian in a report from the Zoo. “The primate team’s goal was to set Calaya up for success as best we could, given that she is a first-time mother. Doing so required great patience and dedication on the part of my team, and I am very proud of them and Calaya.”

A freak of nature

| No Comments

I can not imagine anyone who loves horses breeding for this trait on purpose:


There is a video on the breeders website showing this poor foal prancing around - its nostrils are fully dilated while doing very minimal exertion. The sinuses are so restricted that the poor guy is starving for air - panting for his life. The position of the ears and the wrinkled upper eyebrow indicates fear or panic. Horses cannot breathe through their mouth (PDF) so it is important that their head be properly formed for good respiration. Lower jaw looks thin and underdeveloped too.

The breeder's website seems to be very proud of this poor creature. They should be ashamed to say that they caused (and are promoting) this deformity.

Some people - and their dogs

| No Comments
    1. Different breeds of dogs have different appearences.
    2. Different breeds of dogs have different personality traits.

Everybody knows #1, it seems that few people are aware of #2. They think that a dog is just a blank slate that they can train to their desired behaviour. From the San Francisco Chronicle:

'Game Of Thrones' Leads To Spate Of Abandoned Huskies With Funny Names
Siberian huskies, the strong, wolf-like dogs originally bred for sled-pulling in the Arctic, have along with some of other wolf-esque breeds like the Alaskan malamute been gaining huge popularity in the US and the UK the last several years, due in large part to the influence of Game of Thrones — and before that, the Twilight movie franchise. The Daily Mail reported on the problem of large numbers of abandoned huskies showing up in British shelters three years ago, and here in the Bay Area, the phenomenon continues — and as the Chronicle reports, the dogs often show up in shelters with weird GOT-inspired names like Ghost, Nymeria, and Grey Wind.

The dogs are likened to the Stark clan's direwolves, and it seems that far too many people are buying or adopting huskies hoping to add some Stark-like swagger to their homes, only to find out these dogs are a heavy-shedding handful.

Angelique Miller, president of Northern California Sled Dog Rescue, tells the Chronicle that her numbers of monthly intakes of abandoned dogs has more than doubled, and she's seeing about 45 new dogs per month. "These people, they watch these shows and think how cool these dogs are. People can't even tell the difference between a husky and a wolf because they're always asking us at adoption fairs if these dogs are wolves — and it's clearly a husky. They're just following the trend of what they think is cute."

When I was still living in Seattle, I took in a Siberian Husky that a friend had gotten - gorgeous dog but not an animal for someone who lived in an apartment and was away for ten hours every day. Sascha trashed my friends apartment in short order. I had zero problem with her but that was because I ran her silly every single day (three to six miles / day) and I worked for a company where it was zero problem to visit her in my truck a couple times/day - that was all she needed.

I finally had to rehome her as when I moved to the farm, she developed a fondness for fresh chicken. Incredibly smart dog - she knew when anyone was looking and she would be on her best behavior. She would wait until no one was looking and then, we would find a pouf of feathers in the yard and we lost another chicken. Tried all sorts of training up to and including electric collars. That behavior is inherent to the breed and it is impossible to train away.

A tetherball in the forest

| No Comments


Tip of the hat to Maggie's Farm

From Michigan's

Man tries to use fireworks to take out bees' nest, burns garage down instead
A Grand Blanc-area garage was reduced to a pile of ashes this evening after a homeowner attempted to use fireworks to remove a bees' nest from the building, fire officials said.

Fireworks shot into the sky from the burning garage on Monday, July 3, as crews from Grand Blanc, Burton and Mundy Township arrived at the scene on the 6000 block of Grove Avenue in Grand Blanc Township.

"The homeowner was doing something with a smoke bomb trying to get a bees nest out of the garage," said Grand Blanc Fire Chief, Bob Burdette.

No one was injured and the fire was contained to the garage and a neighboring fence, sparing the home on the property, officials at the scene said.

Should have called his county extension office and asked for names of a couple local beekeepers. They would love to rescue a swarm - more bees for them.

Kill it with fire - now!

| No Comments

Yet another reason I don't really think about living in the South - from

Beware floating fire ant colonies during floods
As Tropical Storm Cindy moves into Alabama, bringing potential flooding to the state, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System is reminding residents to be wary of displaced, sometimes floating, fire ant colonies during and after flooding.

Floods don't kill fire ants, they just move the colonies around a bit, according to Extension entomologists.

The ants join together by the thousands, trapping enough air to float on the water's surface in a makeshift life raft and survive for days, weeks or even months until they find dry land again.

Some recomendations:

    • Avoid contact with floating masses of fire ants.
    • If you are in a rowboat, do not touch the ants with oars.
    • When working in floodwaters, dress appropriately if possible. Rubber boots, rain gear and cuffed gloves can help prevent ants from reaching the skin.
    • If ants contact the skin, they will sting. Remove ants immediately by rubbing them off. Ants will only cling to the skin if submerged. Even a high-pressure water spray may not dislodge them. However, a spray of diluted, biodegradable dishwashing liquid may help immobilize and drown them.
    • When returning to flooded structures, floating ant masses are occasionally encountered--even indoors.

Nuke them from low-Earth orbit...

So true

| No Comments


There is definitly something going on between those ears. From Terrierman's Daily Dose - a daily read for me.

Korean culture - Raccoon Cafe's

| No Comments

Too cute - English subtitles:

I always liked the term "Trash Panda" - we have a lot of them here.

A little bit of shopping

| No Comments

Both Grace and Bear have been known to go shopping if I leave something interesting out in the kitchen. This is cute:


Tag! Your'e it!

| No Comments

Your moment of awwwwwww...

Too cute - goat yoga

| No Comments

I had seen photos but here is the video:

There website is here: Jenness Farm

Cats and Boxes

| No Comments

Do not know what it is but cats and boxes have a definite affinity. Here is Simon's Cat:

From Craigslist - here is a screencap as it will probably go away at some point:


Click to embiggen...

Lions, tigers AND bears - Oh My!

Nightcrawler Cat

| No Comments

A feline with teleportation powers:

Let us hope that cats never acquire the mutant powers of the X-Men. They will just use them for their own selfish purposes.

Delightful Planet Earth send-up - the Bin Chicken:

New dog - new tricks

| No Comments

I wanted to get some tractor work done before the rains start in - it is falling lightly right now.

Unfortunately, my new (six months old) puppy Bear has taken to treating the tractor like a toy. He doesn't chase it but he will run around it as I work. He always stays a couple feet away but it would only take one moment of inattention on our parts for him to be squished and that would just kill me. My other dog - Grace - hangs out in sight about 20 feet away.

Today, I tied him up to some fence nearby so he could still see me work but he would be out of the way. I check and he is always lying or sitting down right where I left him. I finish and park, walk back to the fence and there is no knot. Bear had untied the knot and he continued to just stay there perfectly. I used a simple cow hitch - going to need to use something more Bear-proof next time.

Smokey Bear

| No Comments

Great reworking of this image:


And remember, it is Smokey Bear, not Smokey The Bear. Just like Bugs The Bunny.

Well crap - llamas

| No Comments

Did not see them this morning. Heading into town for Lulu's dinner tonight. Will look again tomorrow.

Really hope they are all right - I love the little buggers. Very sweet critters.

Crap - llamas missing in action

| No Comments

Drove around and cannot see them. They are probably bedded down in the woods for the evening so I will try again tomorrow. I checked the hay and Rocky has been feeding but I didn't see any indication that the llamas were there - they are hierarchical so the lesser llamas will duck in and grab a huge mouthful and then pull it over a few feet away to eat. Just what I need - llama drama...

Heating up some left-over beef stew for dinner - got a nice loaf of bread in town and got the oven warming up for that.

An interesting idea - Wolverines

| No Comments

Specifically, training them to locate and dig out avalanche victims. From Outside Magazine:

Wolverines: The Future of Search and Rescue
The wolverine has a reputation. 

“He is one of the most powerful, thievish, daring, and efficient killing machines known to man,” writes Mark Allardyce in Wolverine: A Look into the Devil’s Eyes. The creature’s English name derives from the word wolver, or “wolf-like.” Its scientific label, Gulo gulo, comes from the Latin for “glutton.” It has been known to eat its victims—which include everything from deer and sheep to full-grown caribou—bones, teeth, and all. The animal has been called the hyena of the north. When you type “Can a wolverine” into Google, the search engine offers “kill a polar bear?” 

It’s no surprise, then, that Mike Miller’s proposal to train wolverines to search for—and help rescue—avalanche survivors has raised some eyebrows around his corner of Alaska, near Anchorage.

Surprising intellegence:

“Anything you can train a dog to do, you can train a wolverine to do, five times quicker,” Miller says.

More at the site. Like bears, you have to bond with them at a very early age. The article talks about bottle-feeding them as kits.

Sounds like a great idea. I once saw one on my farm trotting right along the tree-line by the pasture. Very distinctive ears and gait.

A helpful reminder

| No Comments

What with all the cold weather, it helps to remember our little friends outside:


Found on Facebook.

A word to the wise - preparing for Winter

| No Comments

From Simon's Cat:

Simon's Cat

| No Comments

A new episode:

Smart puppy

| No Comments

My new puppy - Bear - just discovered the dog door and is outside in the fenced yard taking a dump. Talk about being a quick learner!

The door goes from the house into the garage and from the garage outside to a 15X20 foot chain-link pen.

Bears in the woods

| No Comments

From the BBC:

A great article about breeding dogs

| No Comments

From Big Think:

Top Vets Urge Dog Owners to Stop Buying Pugs and Bulldogs
Pugs, Frenchies, boxers, shih-tzus and other flat-faced dog breeds have been trending for at least the last decade, thanks to higher visibility (usually in a celebrity’s handbag), an increase in city living (smaller dogs for smaller homes), and possibly even the fine acting of Frank the Pug in 1997’s Men in Black. We’re not ruling it out. These small, specialty pure breeds are seen as the pinnacle of cuteness – they have friendly personalities, endearing odd looks, and are perfect for Stranger Things video montages.

So what’s their cutest feature? Is it their squashy little faces? Their grunting pants (like tiny little obese people!)? Their double-curled tails?

That coiled tail is possibly less endearing when you know it’s a purpose-bred genetic defect, which in its most serious forms leads to paralysis. And their squished noses? That’s been selectively bred to become ever shorter and smaller, making it difficult for the dogs to breathe and eat, causing trickle down effects like cardiovascular stress, eye prolapses, overheating (dogs don’t sweat, so they need to pant to expel heat through evaporation), weight gain because of that sedentary overheated lifestyle, dental crowding, soft-palate collapse, and skin-fold dermatitis. More of an “anatomical disaster” than the patron saint of cuteness.

And the problem with the veterinarians is that the customer knows best - they overlook the serious problems that these dogs have and are focused only on their physical appearance:

Despite performing corrective surgeries and designing pain treatment plans for these dogs, veterinarians don’t often speak up about the unethical nature of buying and creating demand for genetically impaired dogs for one simple reason – it’s bad for business. “If I stood up and told the truth about these breeds,” says an anonymous vet to The Guardian, “I would immediately alienate [their owners] and they would up sticks and move to the neighboring practice where the vet was not as outspoken. Vets in general practice simply cannot afford to be honest and to speak out.”

Much more at the site - they talk about cats as well.

Readers will know that I love the German Shepherd but the dog as it is today is just a pale crippled shadow of what they used to be even just 20 years ago.. Too much inbreeding. When I was looking for a dog, I went with a Shiloh Shepherd. Grace has turned out to be one of the best dogs I have ever been with and healthy too. Here is the Best of Breed GSD from the Crufts Show from 2016:

Her name is Cruaghaire Catoria and she is only three years old and already can not walk with a normal gait because she is in constant pain from her hips. Needless to say, there was quite the uproar in the media when she was awarded the Best in Show prize.

Finnegan, my Brittany Spaniel (a pound rescue) passed away in 2014, I have been looking around for another spaniel - these are great field and hiking dogs. My only problem is that all of the local breeders (Washington, Oregon, Idaho) are emphasizing how their dogs excel in the ring and are great show dogs. Very few of them talk about how they are in the field. Needless to say, I am looking around for other breeds - maybe another Shiloh. Maybe a pibble if I can find a good puppy.

Simon's Cat

| No Comments

The latest one - The Monster

Critter humor

| No Comments

Found on the internet:


The Bear and the washing machine

| No Comments

Cute Samsung commercial from a couple years ago - filmed in the E.C. Manning Provincial Park in BC.

Little bandits

| No Comments

Cute as can be but I would never do this - go away for a week or two and they will chew right through your walls looking for more food:

Sea Turtle egg poaching

| No Comments

Brilliant fix for a serious problem - from The Washington Post:

These fake turtle eggs could crack a black market in animal poaching
Smooth to the touch and perfectly round, these ping pong ball-size eggs could easily pass for any of the millions laid and buried every year by endangered sea turtles on the beaches along the North and Central American coasts.

That’s the hope, anyway. Except in this case, they were laid by a 3D printer, and their silicone shell carries a GPS tracking device. They may just help solve a turtle-egg poaching problem that has plagued Central America and, more recently, U.S. shores.

“We want to sneak them into nests that are most vulnerable to poaching,” says Kim Williams-Guillén, director of conservation science at Paso Pacífico, the California conservation group that has created the egg that it hopes will fool poachers. “It would be really easy for them to grab one of those eggs and not even notice it.”

Paso Pacífico’s phony turtle egg, set to be deployed this fall in Central America during an arribada, or mass nesting event, is just one way law enforcement and activists have tried to crack down on the egg poaching of sea turtles, nearly all of which are endangered or under high threat of extinction.

The problem is a severe one:

“Poaching pressure is extremely intense,” says the group’s founder and director, Sarah Otterstrom.  “There can be thousands of turtles on the beach at night. And if there isn’t protection, we can be pretty certain that the beaches will be poached.” Paso Pacífico estimates that, without guards, about 90 percent of the nests are poached.

90% rate of poaching. No wonder these are endangered species. Great idea and I hope they make examples out of the people they catch.

The most dangerous of all

| No Comments

Too cute!

Nice homage to The Gashlycrumb Tinies


Awww - meet Little Bear

| No Comments

Cute story from Sacramento, CA station KXTV:

Cat and bear form friendship at Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary

A feral cat and a bear are friends at the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary.

Zoo keepers call the black cat Little Bear. They don't know where she came from or even if it's really a "she."

She just showed up at the zoo and a few months ago she started to call one of the bear exhibits home.

"Every morning we scatter dog food for the bears and she started coming into the exhibit and eating the dog food," said Jill Faust, senior lead zoo keeper. "Once she started coming in here on a regular basis we started putting food out for her in the morning as well."

However what has made this situation even more unusual is that the cat is friends with a 550 pound bear named Sequoia.

Cute story - I am reminded of this story from Mark Twain's Letters from the Earth:

“Man is the Reasoning Animal. Such is the claim. I think it is open to dispute. Indeed, my experiments have proven to me that he is the Unreasoning Animal... In truth, man is incurably foolish. Simple things which other animals easily learn, he is incapable of learning. Among my experiments was this. In an hour I taught a cat and a dog to be friends. I put them in a cage. In another hour I taught them to be friends with a rabbit. In the course of two days I was able to add a fox, a goose, a squirrel and some doves. Finally a monkey. They lived together in peace; even affectionately.

Next, in another cage I confined an Irish Catholic from Tipperary, and as soon as he seemed tame I added a Scotch Presbyterian from Aberdeen. Next a Turk from Constantinople; a Greek Christian from Crete; an Armenian; a Methodist from the wilds of Arkansas; a Buddhist from China; a Brahman from Benares. Finally, a Salvation Army Colonel from Wapping. Then I stayed away for two whole days. When I came back to note results, the cage of Higher Animals was all right, but in the other there was but a chaos of gory odds and ends of turbans and fezzes and plaids and bones and flesh--not a specimen left alive. These Reasoning Animals had disagreed on a theological detail and carried the matter to a Higher Court.”

So sadly true.

August 2018

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

Environment and Climate
Cliff Mass Weather Blog
Climate Audit
Climate Depot
Green Trust
Jennifer Marohasy
Planet Gore
Science and Public Policy Institute
Solar Cycle 24
Space Weather
Space Weather - Canada
the Air Vent
Tom Nelson
Watts Up With That?

Science and Medicine
Derek Lowe
Junk Science
Life in the Fast Lane
Luboš Motl
New Scientist
Next Big Future
Ptak Science Books
Science Blog

Geek Stuff
Ars Technica
Boing Boing
Don Lancaster's Guru's Lair
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories
Hack a Day
Kevin Kelly - Cool Tools
Slashdot: News for nerds
The Register
The Daily WTF

The Argyle Sweater
Chip Bok
Broadside Cartoons
Day by Day
Medium Large
Michael Ramirez
Prickly City
User Friendly
What The Duck

Awkward Family Photos
Cake Wrecks
Not Always Right
Sober in a Nightclub
You Drive What?

Business and Economics
The Austrian Economists
Carpe Diem
Coyote Blog

Photography and Art
Digital Photography Review
James Gurney
Joe McNally's Blog
The Online Photographer

A Western Heart
American Digest
The AnarchAngel
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
Babalu Blog
Belmont Club
Bayou Renaissance Man
Classical Values
Cold Fury
David Limbaugh
Defense Technology
Doug Ross @ Journal
Grouchy Old Cripple
Irons in the Fire
James Lileks
Lowering the Bar
Maggie's Farm
Marginal Revolution
Michael J. Totten
Mostly Cajun
Power Line
Questions and Observations
Rachel Lucas
Roger L. Simon
Sense of Events
Sound Politics
The Strata-Sphere
The Smallest Minority
The Volokh Conspiracy
Tim Blair
Weasel Zippers

Gone but not Forgotten...
A Coyote at the Dog Show
Bad Eagle
Steven DenBeste
democrats give conservatives indigestion
Cox and Forkum
The Diplomad
Priorities & Frivolities
Gut Rumbles
Mean Mr. Mustard 2.0
Neptunus Lex
Other Side of Kim
Ramblings' Journal
Sgt. Stryker
shining full plate and a good broadsword
A Physicist's Perspective
The Daily Demarche
Wayne's Online Newsletter

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Critters category.

Climate is the previous category.

Culture is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives


OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Powered by Movable Type 5.2.9