Vol. 17, No. 01 – Oct 4 – Oct 17 2023 – The Pet Page

• A 2-year-old girl who walked away from her home in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula alongside two family dogs was found in the woods hours later sleeping on the smaller dog like a furry pillow, state police said.

“She laid down and used one of the dogs as a pillow, and the other dog laid right next to her and kept her safe,” Lt. Mark Giannunzio said Thursday. “It’s a really remarkable story.”

Troopers used drones and police dogs in the search while local police and citizens from both Michigan and adjacent Wisconsin helped look for the girl in the remote wooded area.

• A new animal welfare law that took effect in Spain outlaws the use of animals for recreational activities that cause them pain and suffering but allows bullfights and hunting with dogs.

Spain’s first specific animal rights legislation is intended to crack down on abuses. The law particularly targets the mistreatment of domestic animals, introducing fines of up to 200,000 euros ($212,000).

It bans the buying of pets in stores or online, but gives stores a grace period to find homes for their animals. In the future, it only will be legal to purchase pets from registered breeders. The new rules allow pets into most establishments, including restaurants and bars.

The law bans the use of wild animals at circuses and gives owners six months to comply. It allows zoos to keep using the marine mammals in their dolphin shows until the animals die.

Bullfights are regarded as part of Spain’s cultural heritage. A proposal to include hunting dogs in the law prompted an outcry in some rural communities, and the government backed down.

The law also aims to introduce mandatory pet insurance and registration as well as training for owners.

•Puppies are so adorable that you may feel tempted to adopt two instead of just one. Even though having two puppies may seem like a good idea, raising them together can cause long-term behavioral problems.

Harmony Diers, a veterinary technician at the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, says that while these problems are not a guaranteed outcome of raising two puppies together, nor are they breed specific, littermate syndrome is more common than not when raising two puppies from the same litter, or even two close in age from separate litters.

“Littermate syndrome refers to a specific set of unfavorable behaviors that two puppies might exhibit if raised together immediately after weaning from their mother, like anxiety or fear,” Diers said. “This syndrome occurs when a pair of puppies raised together develop such a close bond with one another during important socialization stages that it hinders their ability to bond with their new owner.”

The socialization stage, or when a puppy is between 3-12 weeks old, is when a puppy’s senses mature, encouraging them to explore their environments and socialize with others. It is also the stage when puppies become aware of their relationship with humans.

“Puppies ultimately learn how to react to things they encounter in their world during the socialization stage,” Diers said. “If bonded closely with their owner, an individual puppy will look to their owner for an answer on how they should react, either to be praised for appropriate reactions or to be redirected away from inappropriate ones.”

For example, if you adopted a single puppy and that puppy chewed on a shoe, their decision to behave that way in the future — or not — would depend on your response to their interesting choice of “snack.” However, if you have two puppies, they might mutually agree that shoe chewing was a great choice without waiting for your response, reinforcing the undesirable behavior.

“A pair of closely bonded puppies tend to be ‘in their own world’ and will likely look to one another for how to respond to new stimuli rather than looking to their owner,” Diers explained. “This gives them the opportunity to feed off of one another’s fear and anxiety, which can develop into unhealthy behaviors.”

Lamm’s cat-eye visualizations look washed out and not as vibrant. Red, for example, looks “just kind of like a dark color,” Kornreich describes. Cats can better detect vibrancy on the blue-yellow end of the spectrum than the green-red end, which has everything to do with the types of cells in their retinas.

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