Puppy dog
Australia, blogging

Dogs with High Intelligence

Many people claim their animals understand them: both the words they speak to their dogs and their meaning. It is claimed that Schnauzer Dogs are so intelligent, they may have a vocabulary of over 50 words!

Schnauzer dogs

However softly I say to the Moth, “Shall we go for a walk now?” – the Schnauzers will hear this and come running from the furthest reaches of the house, signalling their excitement and concurrence, with short high-pitched barks of excitement, the older one ballerina dancing on her hind legs then executing a quick Downward Dog Stretch any Yoga teacher would be proud of, as if to say – “I am ready to go too!”

Schnauzer

The Schnauzer is Emotionally close to its Owners

Not only would I propose my Schnauzer is in synch with my body’s biorhythms, but the Schnauzers have extraordinary hearing.

Even though her doggie bed is located in the neighbouring room, she hears when I roll over in bed to wake up, even before I have opened my eyes! I have said nothing, done nothing and she hears all!

How does she know I am awake?

She hears me inhale a deep breath as I begin to wake up!

The Miniature Schnauzer

As soon as I take that breath, I hear scratching at her door a millisecond later! This dog is linked so closely to me she knows that I am awake and scratches at the door telling me she wants to come and say ‘Good Morning. Of course, it must be time for her Breakfast.

They KNOW Every move you MAKE, every Breath you take…you know the rest…

Schnauzers are renowned for being food-obsessed and I see no evidence to dispute that claim.

Standard Schnauzer’s Instinctive Intelligence

The Standard Schnauzer may have the highest instinctive intelligence out of the three [sizes of Schnauzer]. That’s because they were bred for many things, making them some of the most versatile working dogs you can find! They really did it all.

thesmartcanine.com ›
schnauzer

There is no doubt pets bring a special element to your life, but a schnauzer, is so human-like, it even regards itself as human.

I had a Standard Schnauzer some years back. That Dog could tell the time.

When I was working on the desktop computer, writing a post on my blog, and the clock passed 4.59 pm, she would enter the study, put her head underneath my arm, (which was invariably positioned on the computer’s mouse), and flick my hand off the computer mouse, with her powerful neck muscles.

She was letting me know it was time to start arranging or cooking dinner for the evening. Until I cooked my own dinner, she would not get hers, so there was a definite incentive for her to assist in this timely reminder!

Smart!

dog on computer
A Schnauzer Working from Home

In the early years, she would be in the habit to get up from her slumber and come and tell me it was 2.40 pm which meant it was time to down tools and go and pick the kids up from school. Without fail!

What is it about pets that can turn the most unemotional, stoically, clinical person into a blubbering, child-like swooner full of soft and fuzzy ga-ga baby talk?

I have not worked out what their magic is, but I know that I was infected with this obsessional ‘bug’, the moment I laid eyes on a schnauzer.

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Australia, Community, Environment

Koala Rescue

Moving out of the inner city has its advantages.

We live in a designated Koala area as the new house is located within a known corridor and adjacent to a protected Koala habitat. Yesterday, we spotted a Koala on our way home from essential shopping at the Hardware store.

koala

This is not our first Koala sighting in our area. Several months ago, a male Koala was spotted resting in the lower branches of the same tree. See my post on Koala spotting here.

The dirty stain on the bottom indicates chlamydia

The Gumtree in which the furry marsupial was sitting, has a flourish of succulent new growth towards the crown, due, no doubt, to the recent rainfall. This has attracted another Koala occupant and this time it was a female with a Joey, (a baby Koala), in her pouch.

According to a neighbour living directly opposite, the koala had been in this tree for a week or so, I contacted the Koala Rescue to report the sighting.

The Rescue group has a number of volunteers who attend Koala sightings to perform a visual health check, as almost all Koalas in our State, are known to have a number of health issues, primarily Chlamydia infection. This is a particularly painful infection that can lead to Koala infertility, blindness and death. Along with Chlamydia, habitat loss has led to a significant decline in Koala populations to a point where they remain vulnerable.

Surveys have shown that some wild populations demonstrate a 100 percent rate of [Chlamydia] infection, which frequently leads to blindness, severe bladder inflammation, infertility and death. And treatment with antibiotics could create further problems for the marsupials, upsetting their gut microbes and making it difficult for them to digest the eucalyptus leaves that are a staple of their diet, researchers recently discovered.

http://www.livescience.com/62517-how-koalas-get-chlamydia.html

The Moreton Bay Koala Rescue is an organization staffed by knowledgable volunteers who drop everything and run to aid a Koala. Marilyn and her able assistant used a set of binoculars to assess the Koala’s health from the ground, as the animal was too high to conduct a full-on assessment and rescue. In the video, they tapped the base of the tree with a stick, in order to assess her ease of movement and to get a better view of her as Koalas generally sleep during the day.

She may well be the Koala, known to rescuers as Barty, as she had a tag in her right ear, meaning that she is a female, (as women are always right!) and she did have a Joey in the pouch.

The Rescuers told us the Koala Mum has likely been carrying her Joey in the pouch, for around 6 months. In a few weeks time, this Joey will move out of the pouch and travel about on the Mum’s back for several months, until it is old enough and clever enough to live independently. If the Mum has chlamydia, she will, unfortunately, pass it on to the little Joey.

Koalas Killed on Roads in Breeding Season

Breeding season is when Koalas are on the move, crossing roads and hunting for a mate. This usually starts in July; perhaps it will start earlier this year, as daily temperatures have been higher than expected.

The Rescue stated that in the first 8 weeks of the breeding season in 2019, they received and cared for 22 injured Koalas, mostly as a result of being hit by cars. It is heartening that their numbers are still high in our region, but tragic that so many are still accidentally killed by motor vehicles when crossing the road.

Koalas are harmless creatures, they basically just want to eat their gum leaves, find a mate and sleep away most of the day. If you only ate one food, you might also sleep 18 hours in every 24 too! They are not endowed with speed and often travel at night when they are difficult to spot on the road.

Slow down if you drive through a known Koala Habitat.

Kangaroo Island Koalas

South Australia’s Kangaroo Island had the only population of Koalas in the country without Chlamydia infection. Sadly, it is believed up to 30,000 perished in the recent bushfires. 90 % of their food trees on the Island were burnt, so any surviving Koalas actually died from starvation, unless they were rescued. One resident claimed that you couldn’t walk ten metres in any part of the forest, without coming across a dead Koala carcass.

Koalas rescued from South Australian Bushfires

Why do we need to Protect Koala Habitat?

As incredible as it may seem, the Government still seems reluctant to protect Koala habitat. Koalas are specialised feeders; they are only able to eat four species of Eucalypt leaves and are thus, highly vulnerable to extinction. Ensuring that remaining Koala habitat is protected is a critical factor for their survival.

The Koala is an iconic symbol of Australia that brings millions of tourists and their dollars to our shores, yet it receives little recognition in the way of publicly funded support in return. After the recent bush fires, a new strategy to protect some realms of known Koala habitat in my own state, has even been criticised for not going far enough to cover many known Koala corridors.

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Koala on Stradbroke Island

It is absolutely essential to protect any remaining Koala habitat. We have been blessed with a responsiblity for this beautiful creature and it desperately needs our help to survive.

In order to maintain viable populations, the Koalas must be free to roam within their range and interbreed to remain healthy. Protecting Koala populations with Koala fences may actually prevent males from finding a mate to breed with.

Report Koala Sightings

It is imperative, therefore, that all sighting of Koalas are reported and documented, so that their movements can be tracked and the data collected and shared with Government bodies. This will assist in protecctive planning decisions that aim to preserve the Koala and its habitat for future generations to enjoy.

May 3 is Wild Koala day for the Moreton Bay Koala Rescue – a major fundraising event had to be cancelled, due to Covid 19. They are a not for profit organization dependent on donations and community support.

May the Rescue continue their great work. Thanks to every one of them.

frog
Environment

A Frog in My Garden

With the long awaited arrival of the recent rains, an old visitor returned to our garden. I do believe it is the same frog I wrote about him a few years back: –

green tree frog

I had a delightful green visitor in my garden. I found him hiding in the inner dark and cool realms of a motor scooter’s seat compartment, where he has been, apparently riding back and forth to the local train station for perhaps, several weeks. My daughter took some shots seen here, naming him Mr Schneider! Not sure of the reason for that. She is quite imaginative.

Green Tree Frog or White’s Frog

Scientific Name: Litoria caerulea

This frog is native to  Australia and introduced to New Zealand.

He is quite a cute character who can apparently live up to 16 years. The males are smaller than the females and are the only ones to produce he characteristic croak at night, especially in summer when they breed.

The presence of frogs in the garden, it is said, is a good indicator of the health of the local environment and as such, I was really pleased to see this little guy. He is of course very welcome if he is keen on eating all the spiders, cockroaches and insects that make us cringe.

While commonly seeking shelter and availing themselves of still water in human habitats, like toilet bowls, potplants, tanks and swimming pools, an interesting fact is that frogs can scream to ward off predators, and change colour according to their mood, much like a chameleon. Even in the short space of time we observed him, he certainly seemed to  lighten in colour.
It is important to remember and to teach kids, that the touch of a dry human hand is extremely caustic to these frogs, indeed most frogs, so you must always have wet hands when handling them.

Our task this morning was just to guide him to a safe spot, no more hitchhiking on the motor scooter. So whilst capturing him on the old digital camera, he headed for the pot-plants in the window boxes on the front wall, and after a light mist with the garden hose, he squeezed himself into the hole in the side of the self watering pots.

green tree frog

The main danger to the green tree frog is the destruction of its habitat through wetland clearance and drainage.

We can all support the habitat of frogs by welcoming them into our garden.

And that is something every single one of us needs to ponder about.

Less frogs= more insects= indications that the environment is suffering.

Community

To Honour the Best Dog in the World

TIFFANY :

Your first two years were difficult, but you found your way to Schnauzer Rescue and finally to us. One of our family was a bit reluctant to have a dog, but you quickly won him over with your gentle spirit, your kindness, manners, and limitless trust.

We loved you so much, and you returned this love more than hundred-fold. You found us a whole group of like-minded, sweet, new friends, and great dog friendly places to go.

Strangers stopped us to admire and pat you, often mistaking you for a Boy Dog and we’d have to tell them that they were wrong, that you were our ‘Beautiful Bearded Lady.’

You were such a great dog, so endearing; you knew just how to care when we felt the world was against us. You helped us through the darkest times, you were there often reaching those, who no one else could reach, with your love and empathy.

I miss your intelligence, intuition, elegance and dignity;

I miss the way you wrapped your two front legs around mine when you were feeling anxious;

I miss how you would gently remind us that it was time to go – that light touch of your wet nose on my leg, or that concerted flick of my wrist off the computer mouse with your “schnauze”, when you knew it was time to prepare dinner!

You always had food on your mind!

Dog photo

You weren’t really impressed when new little sister Rebel came to live with us in your twilight years. She tried to take your bed, your mat, your couch, and your food. In true Tiffany form, you were gentle and forgiving, often taking second place to the younger model, while still guiding this ‘interloper, ‘ in the finer points of Schnauzer Border Patrol Protocols: sniffing out and removing neighbourhood vermin, possums and skinks from the property. The ‘Usurper’ became your ears when you lost your hearing and ended up as a pretty good mate to nap with.

Life wasn’t always fun for you; everyone has their troubles, but you didn’t deserve yours. Two unprovoked attacks frightened you and took you down, a cattle dog that likely mistook you for a sheep – (what an insult!) and the second, a complete ‘blindside’ by a raging psycho Amstaff, who also attacked your new little sister and nearly killed you both. It damaged you and shortened your time with us. We are sad about that.

dog beach

Even in your final weeks, you were careful to prepare us for your departure; you slowly withdrew from activities, sleeping more and more, never showing us how sad you were to leave us.

At first we didn’t want to admit you were ill; we didn’t want you to go, but even then, you made it possible for us to hold you close until the last possible moment.

And then, – and then  –   you were gone.

I cry and I cry, but I know that the tears can’t bring you back.

We grieve for your companionship, your trust, the feel of your soft velvety ears, your big soulful eyes and yes, even for the feel of that wet beard that you loved to rub all over our furniture, especially after possum hunting.

It is selfish of us, but we still want you here, with us.

You are resting now in peace.

Our gorgeous Tiffany, forever, you will be our treasured, beloved Schnauzer. We will never forget your spirit and we’ll miss you til the ends of time.

You were the BEST dog in the world.

From your Loving Family   ♥♥♥♥♥♥

Someone I will Always Ponder About

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Community

Week 12 Finale Snappy H’appy Photo Challenge – Craft Activity Collage

WeliveinaFlat has been running a Photo along with Firebonnet for the last twelve weeks. I only entered week 7, so I had some catching up to do. There is so much to learn about camera apps which are downloadable on  an iphone or android smartphone.. The first time I tried using them, I was hopeless at getting the app to do what I wanted, but persistence pays off and through many trials and errors, I am discovering all sorts of additional tricks to add to your photos to enhance them.

So in order to tell a story with photos in the finale of the Snappy H’appy challenge, I had to find a connecting series of photos.  My photo story is a craft tutorial on how children can make a wool sheep from pegs, cardboard and wool. My previous post also used this concept of photo editing so it is included below.

 

Kids craft

 

 

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Cut out two small ears from black felt

Moldiv_1401491248403

Coloured sheep
Pre schoolers will love making these fun coloured sheep

coloured sheep

 

And the last post on my blog: (photo hereunder) is another collage I put together via Moldiv and Aviary to tell a story. Thanks to the Snappy H’appy team for inspiring me!

Moldiv_1401336598966

More info on using the camera apps can be found at weliveinaflat   I used Moldiv Aviary, and Picsart to enhance and collate these photos. Snapseed was used for the final photo

http://weliveinaflat.com/blog/collage-for-photo-story/

http://firebonnet.com/2014/05/02/snappy-happy-finale-lets-tell-a-story/

http://sassmuffins.com/blogs/posts/14117261-snappy-happy-photo-challenge-week-12-mix-it-up

http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/snappy-happy-photo-challenge-week-12-mix-it-up/

My Previous entries:

https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/snappy-happy-photo-challenge-week-1-light-bokeh/
https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/05/24/week-3-of-snappy-happy-photo-challenge/
https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/snappy-happy-photo-challenge-week-6-colour-filter/

https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/snappy-happy-photo-challenge-week-7-turn-your-photo-into-a-sketch/

snappyhappy-colour

Telling a story with your photos and the versatility of camera apps to help you is something to ponder about

Community

A Dog’s Breakfast – There is Something about a Schnauzer

Cattle dog, Corgi, Hybrid cross, Scottish terrier, Red Setter: I have had them all as pets at various stages, but to me, one dog breed stands out above all the rest. The Schnauzer. What is it about these pets that can turn the most unemotional, stoically, clinical person into a blubbering, child-like swooner full of soft and fuzzy ga-ga baby talk? I have not worked out what their magic is, but I know that I was infected with this obsessional ‘bug’, the moment I laid eyes on a schnauzer.

There is no doubt pets bring a special element to your life, but a schnauzer, is so human-like, it even regards itself as human. It does not like to live in the back yard or on a runner chain, It wants to be with you, its family, its pack, for that is when it is most content. Not only originally bred in Germany, as a ratter, the original size ( the standard) was bred also to be a family pet, so is perfectly suited to this role.

And it seems other schnauzers know that they are special.

Schnauzer picnics are organized by a group of Schnauzer owners here on a regular basis, and it is often the case that a larger dog, such as Labrador or even an imposing Bull Mastiff, will run away, (literally, with its tail between its legs), when faced with a pack of wary bearded schnauzers in the off leash area. As other Schnauzers arrive at the gate for the Schnauzer picnic, those already present, form a ‘welcoming committee‘ which patrols close to the entrance, giving new arrivals the once over. This ‘committee’ greets fellow Schnauzers enthusiastically with lots of tail wagging, sniffing and circling, yet scrutinizes negatively, with vociferous barking, any larger dogs or those without hairy muzzles who try to ‘mingle’. (The mini schnauzers are especially good at voicing their opinion).  The only exception to the rule appears to be the Scottish Terrier, (who I feel sure temporarily confuses the self appointed “Schnauzer- bouncers- come- breed snobs’) who mistake the Scottie for a ‘black Schnauzer with slightly mutant ears, badly in need of a haircut’,  and admit them to the fold. As long as it has a beard, it passes, it appears!!

Within the Schnauzer picnic group, a sub group has now established itself: the Standard Schnauzer group whose members despite greatly varying ages and lifestyles form a close knit group, who met up for a ‘dog’s breakfast’ yesterday.

Schnauzers

Hearing someone share a familiar anecdote about their dog, which  you have experienced yourself, is a little surprising. Uncanny how each dog is so different and yet has similar traits, mannerisms and experiences. Lots of sharing and caring happens within this group who enjoy life together, united by their four-legged family members. Included in the group are two rescue dogs, and one dog that has been re-homed. All behaved remarkably well at the breakfast. But then, that should not be so surprising. After all, they all had beards….

Something to ponder about.

Community

Cee’s Black & White Challenge: Pets. Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge

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I am unashamedly prejudiced! Prejudiced in the sense that I think Schnauzers are the best dogs! Cee’s fun Black and White pet challenge enabled me to explore post processing a photo which had plenty of texture. I chose this one as it shows plenty of the personality of these two dogs as well. They are stunning examples of the breed. The second photo is just one that makes me happy looking at it.  Something happy to ponder about.

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To join in Cee’s Black and White challenge , click here.

Find Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge Week 15 here.

Thanks for the challenge, Cee!

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Petchallenge

Related articles:

http://beccagivens.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/sweet-pea-michelles-weekly-pet-challenge/

Community

Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge

Michelle’s weekly pet challenge week 10 is open.  If you’d like to take part, here is how:
Just simply do a post of your pets, or pets of your friends or family.  You can also post pictures and stories of animals that come and eat food you leave out for them. Eg, you may have a bird feeder in your garden. Pictures taken in the wild are also very welcome. Link back here and head your post as “Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge.”  Display the logo on your post or on your sidebar.
Most importantly, have fun!

Not my pet this week!! But something from my travels in Switzerland.

Geese at Lake LucerneGeese at Lake Lucerne
Petchallenge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Petchallenge