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Their last words to each other were "I love you": Sister remembers family who died in Chesapeake fireBy The Librarian
By Margaret Matray
Sep 21, 2017 Updated 25 min ago
Cynthia Wright called and called, but her sister’s voicemail box was full.
A four-alarm fire had engulfed the apartment complex where Wright’s sister and niece lived. And she couldn’t find either of them.
Wright’s brother drove to the apartments but couldn’t get any information about where Saundra and Lydia Somerville had gone.
Wright called the hospitals but turned up nothing.
She thought they must be with friends, that it would be only a matter of time before the family found them.
The next day, a family friend called: Rumors were swirling that Saundra and Lydia had died.
After authorities accounted for all other residents, after they identified 61-year-old Cynthia Martenis as one of three people who died in the July 15 blaze, Wright said a fire marshal suggested the family wait to hold any services until they could confirm the identities of the other two victims.
Wright said DNA and other tests were needed.
This week – two months after they died – authorities publicly identified Saundra Somerville, 64, and her 30-year-old daughter, Lydia Somerville, as the remaining two victims of a fire caused by lightning at Chesapeake Crossing Senior Community Apartments.
“It has been a long wait.
… God has played a great part in helping us to deal with this,” Wright said.
Wright said her sister and niece are not forgotten; the family thinks of them every day.
A service has been planned for 11 a.m. Saturday at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 681 Oak Grove Road, in Chesapeake.
“It’s just sad,” she said, “how both of them went.”
Wright said her sister and niece lived together at the apartment complex. They were an inseparable pair.
“You saw one, you saw the other,” Wright said.
Saundra Somerville loved to sing and was known for her cooking – homemade hot rolls and potato salad were her specialties.
She grew up in Deep Creek, the oldest of nine siblings. As a young girl, she liked to whip up Rice Krispies Treats for her younger brothers and sisters. Wright looked up to her.
Her passion for cooking stuck with her .
She retired several years ago from Chesapeake Public Schools, where she worked as a manager in the food service department, Wright said.
“It was no wonder she ended up in food service,” she said. “She loved what she did.”
Lydia Somerville, an only child, was witty and bubbly. She once worked at the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center , Wright said. Both women were Jehovah’s Witnesses and dedicated to their faith.
Wright saw her niece for the last time the Sunday before the fire.
Wright stopped by the apartment complex to drop off a gift for her sister – Love and White Diamonds, an Elizabeth Taylor perfume.
Wright said her sister called before Wright was out of the parking lot to talk about the present, a new fragrance in a perfume line they both liked.
Usually when they got off the phone, the sisters would say they’d talk to each other later. But that Sunday was different, Wright said.
“I said, ‘I love you.’ And she said, ‘I love you, too,’ ” Wright recalled.
“And those were the last words we shared.”
By Guest Nicole
We are concerned about reports of canine heart disease, known as dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), in dogs that ate certain pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legumes or potatoes as their main ingredients. These reports are highly unusual as they are occurring in breeds not typically genetically prone to the disease,” said Martine Hartogensis, D.V.M., deputy director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine’s Office of Surveillance and Compliance. “The FDA is investigating the potential link between DCM and these foods. We encourage pet owners and veterinarians to report DCM cases in dogs who are not predisposed to the disease.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine and the Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network, a collaboration of government and veterinary diagnostic laboratories, are investigating the potential association between reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs and certain pet foods the animals consumed, containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds or potatoes as main ingredients. Canine DCM is a disease of a dog’s heart muscle and often results in congestive heart failure. In cases that are not linked to genetics, heart function may improve with appropriate veterinary treatment and dietary modification if caught early.
By Guest Nicole
As a pet owner, here’s a good rule of thumb to follow: If it’s too hot outside for you, then it’s way too hot for your dog.
Jason Nicholas, veterinarian and chief medical officer at Preventive Vet, says once weather hits 80 degrees Fahrenheit (which seems like Antarctica compared to last week’s 100-plus degree heat wave), pet owners should start taking precautions. Nicholas says he’s seen far too many cases of dogs with heatstroke, a deadly, but completely preventable, condition.
Why can't dogs handle the same weather that humans can? As much as the guy with long blonde hair may look like his similarly-styled Afghan hound, dogs and humans are separate species with much different tolerances to temperature. We have the luxury of being swathed in a massive, perspiring organ that cools us from head to toe. But dogs' thick fur coats make it harder for them to get rid of heat.
Instead of sweating, the main way a dog lowers its body temperature is through panting. These heavy, quick breaths expel heat and cause moisture to evaporate, which cools the blood in the mouth and tongue. However, certain conditions make this technique ineffective. In high humidity, evaporation happens more slowly—which means that even in a nice, shady refuge, no amount of panting will bring down a dog’s internal temperature.
Read more: https://www.popsci.com/keep-dogs-cool
By Guest Nicole
That's what friends are for
Stray dog kicked by driver for being in his parking bay returns with a pack of friends… and trashes his car
By Guest Nicole
Dogs are equipped with a powerful sense of smell, but scientists haven’t been sure if our canine companions are capable of linking an aroma or scent to a physical object. New research suggests this is very much the case, and that dogs form a mental picture in their mind of the target when they’re tracking down a scent.
For humans, vision is an incredibly important sense. Dogs, by contrast, rely more on their senses of smell and hearing to gather information about the world around them. Their vision actually sucks, having a visual acuity that’s four to eight times worse than ours. What’s more, their line of sight is just a few inches off the ground (depending on the breed), so they’ve got a very truncated view of the horizon. And contrary to popular myth, dogs don’t see the world in black and white; they are red-green colorblind, meaning they can’t distinguish between objects that are green, yellow, and red.
But what they lack in visual acuity is compensated for by their powerful ears and noses. Dogs have excellent hearing, picking up frequencies between 40 Hz to 60 kHz, whereas humans hear between 12 Hz to 20 kHz. Canines have over 18 muscles in each ear, allowing them to independently orient their ears like radar dishes; dogs can hear sounds that are four times further away compared to humans.
And then there’s their remarkable sense of smell. Dogs have highly a specialized organ in their noses equipped with 300 million olfactory receptors. They’ve also got an olfactory organ in their brain that’s 40 times bigger than ours. The end result is a sense of smell that’s 10,000 times more powerful than humans. “If you make the analogy to vision, what you and I can see at a third of a mile, a dog could see more than 3,000 miles away and still see as well,” Florida State University scientist James Walker told Nova a few years back.
Full article: https://gizmodo.com/more-evidence-that-dogs-see-the-world-with-their-powe-1823557475?mc_cid=cad12f8f43&mc_eid=bca088da12
By Guest Nicole
Man Builds 'Dog Train' To Take Rescued Pups Out On Little Adventures
Eugene Bostick may have officially retired about 15 years ago, but in some ways that was when his most impactful work began.
Not long after, he embarked on a new career path of sorts - as a train conductor for rescued stray dogs.
The lively 80-year-old Fort Worth, Texas, native says he never planned on dedicating his golden years to helping needy pets. Instead, it was a duty thrust upon him by the heartlessness of others.
"We live down on a dead-end street, where me and my brother have a horse barn," Bostick told The Dodo. "People sometimes come by and dump dogs out here, leaving them to starve. So, we started feeding them, letting them in, taking them to the vet to get them spayed and neutered. We made a place for them to live."
Read more: https://www.thedodo.com/man-builds-dog-train-for-rescued-pups-1362467342.html
By Guest Nicole
Everyone knows that a dog is a man’s best friend, but a recently released Swedish study is giving that hackneyed saying a whole new meaning for men — and women — everywhere.
The study, published in Scientific Reports on Friday, found that dog ownership may really help you live longer.
The study tracked, over a period of 12 years, more than 3.4 million Swedish adults without a history of heart disease. Overall, the study concluded, dog ownership was associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease and "all-cause mortality" in the general population.
The effects of dog ownership were especially pronounced in single-person households, where the presence of a pet lowered the risk of death by 33 percent and chances of a heart attack by 11 percent.
The study linked ownership of breeds originally bred for hunting, including terriers and retrievers, with the lowest risk of CVD.
Read more: https://www.today.com/health/new-study-shows-owning-dog-lowers-risk-cardiovascular-disease-t119021
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
April 7, 2017
Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Humans are able to interpret the behavior of others by attributing mental states to them (and to themselves). By adopting the perspectives of other persons, they can assume their emotions, needs and intentions and react accordingly. In the animal kingdom, the ability to attribute mental states (Theory of Mind) is a highly contentious issue. Cognitive biologists could demonstrate with a new test procedure that dogs are not only able to identify whether a human has an eye on a food source and, therefore, knows where the food has been hidden. They can also apply this knowledge in order to correctly interpret cues by humans and find food they cannot see themselves.
Dogs are able to identify the human having an eye on a hidden food source.
Credit: Ludwig Huber/Vetmeduni Vienna
Humans are able to interpret the behaviour of others by attributing mental states to them (and to themselves). By adopting the perspectives of other persons, they can assume their emotions, needs and intentions and react accordingly. In the animal kingdom, the ability to attribute mental states (Theory of Mind) is a highly contentious issue. Cognitive biologists from the Messerli Research Institute of the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna could prove with a new test procedure that dogs are not only able to identify whether a human has an eye on a food source and, therefore, knows where the food has been hidden. They can also apply this knowledge in order to correctly interpret cues by humans and find food they cannot see themselves. This perspective taking ability is an important component of social intelligence. It helps dogs to cope with the human environment. The results have been published in the journal Animal Cognition.
The so-called Theory of Mind describes the ability in humans to understand mental states in conspecifics such as emotions, intentions, knowledge, beliefs and desires. This ability develops in humans within the first four or five years of life while it is usually denied in animals. Indications that animals can understand mental states or even states of knowledge of others have only been found in apes and corvids so far. Dogs have been tested several times, but the results were poor and contradictory.
With a new experimental approach, cognitive biologists from the Messerli Research Institute could now provide solid evidence for dogs being able to adopt our perspective. By adopting the position of a human and following their gaze, dogs understand what the human could see and, consequently, know. This ability to ascribe knowledge is only a component of a full-blown Theory of Mind, but an important one.
Identifying the right informant
The so-called Guesser-Knower paradigm is a standard test in research into the attribution of knowledge to others. This experiment involves two persons: a "Knower" who hides food, invisibly for the dog, in one of several food containers or knows where somebody else has hided it, and a "Guesser." The Guesser has either not been in the room or covered her eyes during the hiding of the food. A non-transparent wall blocks the animals' view of the food being hidden. After that, the two humans become informants by pointing to different food containers.
The Knower always points to the baited container and the Guesser to another one. All containers smell of food. "To get the food, the dogs have to understand who knows the hiding place (Knower) and who does not and can, therefore, only guess (Guesser). They must identify the informant they can rely on if they have to decide for one food container," said principal investigator Ludwig Huber. In approximately 70 per cent of the cases the dogs chose the container indicated by the Knower - and thus were able to successfully accomplish the test. This result was independent of the position of the food container, the person acting as the Knower and where the Guesser was looking.
Dogs can adopt human perspectives
The only aim of this test series, however, was to independently confirm a study carried out in New Zealand. Clear evidence of dogs being able to adopt our perspective and take advantage of it was provided in a new test developed by the team, the so-called "Guesser looking away" test.
In this new experiment, a third person in the middle hides the food. This person does not give cues later on. The potential informants were kneeing left and right of this hider and looked to the same side and slightly down. Thus, one of the two persons looked towards the baiter, the other person looked away. "This means that the tested dogs, in order to get the food, had to judge who is the Knower by adopting the informants' perspectives and following their gazes," explained Huber. Even in this test, which is very difficult for the animals, approximately 70 per cent of the trials had been mastered.
Adopting the human perspective leads to invisible food
Being able to adopt the perspective of a human does, however, not require the ability to understand intentions or wishes. "But the study showed that dogs can find out what humans or conspecifics can or cannot see," explained Huber. "By adopting the positions of humans and following their gazes geometrically, they find out what humans see and, therefore, know - and consequently whom they can trust or not."
In similar experiments, chimpanzees and few bird species such as scrub jays and ravens were able to understand the state of knowledge and also the intentions of conspecifics and modify their own behaviour accordingly. For dogs, there have only been specualtions and vague indications so far. But dogs understand our behaviour very well, for example our degree of attention. They can learn from directly visible cues such as gestures or gazes. Thus, they are able to find food even if their view of it has been blocked. "The ability to interpret our behaviour and anticipate our intentions, which has obviously developed through a combination of domestication and individual experience, seems to have supported the ability to adopt our perspective," said Huber. "It still remains unclear which cognitive mechanisms contribute to this ability. But it helps dogs to find their way in our world very well."
Materials provided by Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
Amélie Catala, Britta Mang, Lisa Wallis, Ludwig Huber. Dogs demonstrate perspective taking based on geometrical gaze following in a Guesser–Knower task. Animal Cognition, 2017; DOI: 10.1007/s10071-017-1082-x
By Guest Nicole
By The Librarian
Dog owners have been given leaflets telling them to keep their pets off the streets for religious reasons. The handouts were published by a movement called ‘for public purity’, it claims the area has a large Muslim population who would be upset with seeing dogs on the streets.
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
Hi! ❤️ I am sister from Czech republic. My dog Bleky is my best friend in service. We have best life ever ! Please share my photo :)
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