Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas might be the most wonderful times of the year, but they can also be some of the most dangerous for cats and dogs. From deliciously rich holiday fare to enticingly shiny decorations, the holiday season brings plenty of risky temptations for animals. Even if you are vigilant all year with your pets, it’s easy to get distracted with the extra responsibilities and extra people coming and going this season. Don’t let a pet accident or emergency put a damper on your festivities. Follow our expert advice to help keep your animals safe this holiday.
An ancient Egyptian carved ivory dog toy, circa 1400 b.c., housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City…
The museum describes its features: “this leaping hunting dog can be made to snap it’s mouth using the lever beneath the chest. Originally secured by means of a thong tied through the hole in the back of its neck and two in the throat, the lever was later attached with a metal dowel in the right shoulder. When the mouth is opened, two teeth and a red tongue are visible…”
Check out this interesting article that describes the amazing work researchers at North Carolina State University are doing to bring us closer to out four-legged friends…
North Carolina State University researchers have developed a suite of technologies that can be used to enhance communication between dogs and humans, which has applications in everything from search and rescue to service dogs to training our pets.
“We’ve developed a platform for computer-mediated communication between humans and dogs that opens the door to new avenues for interpreting dogs’ behavioral signals and sending them clear and unambiguous cues in return,” says Dr. David Roberts, an assistant professor of computer science at NC State and co-lead author of a paper on the work. “We have a fully functional prototype, but we’ll be refining the design as we explore more and more applications for the platform.”
The platform itself is a harness that fits comfortably onto the dog, and which is equipped with a variety of technologies.
“There are two types of communication technologies,” says Dr. Alper Bozkurt, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at NC State and co-lead author of a paper on the work. “One that allows us to communicate with the dogs, and one that allows them to communicate with us.”
“Dogs communicate primarily through body language, and one of our challenges was to develop sensors that tell us about their behavior by observing their posture remotely,” Roberts says. “So we can determine when they’re sitting, standing, running, etc., even when they’re out of sight – a harness-mounted computer the size of a deck of cards transmits those data wirelessly.
“At the same time, we’ve incorporated speakers and vibrating motors, called haptics, into the harness, which enable us to communicate with the dogs,” Roberts adds.
“We developed software to collect, interpret and communicate those data, and to translate human requests into signals on the harness,” says Rita Brugarolas, an NC State Ph.D. student and co-author of the paper.
A dark comedy, filmed in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, about an Irish screenwriter suffering writer’s block who gets in trouble with the mob after his con artist buddies kidnap a gangster’s Shih Tzu, Bonny. The all-star cast includes Christopher Walken, Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, and Tom Waits. Directed by Martin McDonagh.