The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Originally written by both my lovely wife, Jennifer and me, this blog brings you the latest news about our furry friends including articles, columns, photos and videos. Enjoy!
THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.
TODAY: Partly cloudy skies. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High of 93. Too hot. “C-”
SUNDAY: Partial cloudiness early, with scattered showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Storms may contain strong gusty winds. High around 90. “B” in the morning, “D+” in the afternoon.
Before we get to DOGS IN THE NEWS, a Barking Lot summer rerun from my wife Jennifer a few years ago:
Regular readers know that I am very interested in and enjoy writing about research, studies and science related to dogs. Kevin ribs me about it. Not again! What can I say. I’m fascinated.
When he used to sub for talk radio hosts he always told me he picked topics he was into. If he wasn’t interested in the discussion, how could his listeners be? Dull and boring would be the result.
So, it’s no wonder that I often wonder about what makes a dog a dog. What does a dog think? What does a dog feel? How does a dog attempt to communicate. And what’s it like being a dog.
Back in February our blog included a video about Gregory Berns who has spent his entire life around dogs. When his most beloved pet passed away, he began to wonder whether his dog reciprocated the same love and care he felt for him. As a neuroscientist at Emory University, he took his curiosity to the test. Now, he scans the brains of dogs using MRI machines, trying to decode canine behavior using brain activity.
Take a look.
That was February. Now we learn more about Berns and his work from a recent article, including how he got started on his lifelong mission to discover “what makes a dog tick.”
One scientific thought suggests Berns is wasting his time. Humans couldn’t possibly the inner thoughts and workings of dogs or any other animals. Consider beautiful dolphins. We can’t swim or leap like those incredible creatures. There are simply few similarities. Thus, Berns is on a path to failure.
Except Berns isn’t buying it. Berns believes we have a lot more in common, and unlocking that mystery can help us treat and understand animals better than we do now.
Berns says we better because the successors to humans on our planet could be far more advanced and actually behave towards the remaining human species in the same manner we handle our pets and other animals.
I’m not so sure about that hypothesis. And I’m not sold on Berns’ support for legal rights for animals. However his work is intriguing and could unveil wonderful details about the animal world.
Read more here.
Berns’ book is now out in paperback.
—Jennifer Fischer, 12/01/18
Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.
Army Study Evaluates Use of Dogs in COVID-19 Detection.
Cuomo responds after report he abandoned dog at executive mansion.
Biden’s dog, Major, bit Secret Service members for 8 days in a row, email says.
Billboard advertises elderly dog who’s been in shelter for 2 years.
For Millennial Women, Are Dogs and Cats a Stand-In for Kids?
That’s it for this week. Thanks for stopping by.
We’d really appreciate it if you forward this on to other dog lovers you know. Let them have some fun!
See ya, BARK, next Saturday!