Inkwell: Authors and Artists
caper fields guarded by decapitator bunnies (cjp) Wed 18 Oct 06 20:50
Holy cow! Those are gorgeous! Although I'm feeling very strange right now since I thought my 'tiel was just being super friendly all those years. Thanks for answering my query about the weird questions. The oddest question I usually get asked about my rabbit is whether he drinks water. So I guess my next question is, when are you going to do a book on rabbits and/or guinea pigs, please please please?
Gina Spadafori (giori) Wed 18 Oct 06 20:52
I would like to. Unfortunately, there's not much of a market for it, and I gotta make a living. As you may know, I adore my rabbits!
Paulina Borsook (loris) Thu 19 Oct 06 11:28
interesting about the cats and direct eye-contact. presumably with cats that -are- willing to make direct eye contact they a) have previouslt estbalished cordial relations with you? b) if they are previously-unknown-cats-to-you, then they are utterly fearless/totally lunatic/have decided right off the bat that you are the friendly sort, since they -are willing to make eye-contact with you?
Steve Bjerklie (stevebj) Thu 19 Oct 06 11:31
It's different with dogs, though, isn't it? What I mean is, dogs don't like direct eye-contact either, I believe (few animals do -- maybe fish?), yet a dog, given a choice, nearly always pads right over to the dog-lover in the room.
prunella (cmbegle) Thu 19 Oct 06 11:47
Say, I have a "Why do Dogs DO that type question" -- why do dogs like to stick their heads in tiny places, like armpits, sofa cushions, and, yes, crotches? I loved the anecdotes, too. My favorite was the one about the "good old days" being now. It does seem like people are more knowledgeable about what good pet ownership practices are than when I was a kid. Do you think that things like positive reinforcement are common knowledge now? (Those birds are gorgeous!)
With catlike tread (sumac) Thu 19 Oct 06 12:14
I was amused by the answer to the question, "If a purebred dog mates with a mutt and has puppies, ae future litters from the purebred dog going to be mutts, too?" Specifically: "With so many unwanted dogs... it's sometimes very tempting for veterinarians and other pet experts to tell the person whose purebred dog just had a 'whoops' litter that such a thing is true..." Another temptation I had never even imagined! I need to get out more.
Gina Spadafori (giori) Thu 19 Oct 06 18:35
Dogs like sticking their nose in little places because the smell is concentrated there. And dogs do make eye contact naturally. They just know to avert their eyes to show lesser status. But we teach our dogs that looking at us is OK. Remember, though, that wolf pack stuff only takes you so far. It assumed that a dog wasn't raised by morons who didn't leave the puppies with their moms and siblings long enough to understand canine body language, or that they weren't in a high stress situation like a puppy mill. The number of truly screwed-up puppies sold by pet stores, or clueless or careless breeders is incredible, so you do have to take every dog as an individual, because you don't know what he knows. Because there are so many screwed up dogs, your generally safe in doing anything you can to get the clueless and careless to spay the pets. Everyone is better off.
Gina Spadafori (giori) Thu 19 Oct 06 18:39
By the way, I'm in downtown Marriott in Kansas City, a "business hotel" with the most pathetic WiFi -- and it's not even free! But, after an hour and three tries with tech support I was able to get online, to check in here, and to check my e-mail. The latter brought good news: We've made the NYT best-seller list. No. 12 in the how-to section, for the dog book. Whoo-hoo.
Steve Bjerklie (stevebj) Thu 19 Oct 06 18:56
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Thu 19 Oct 06 19:48
Yow, NYT best-seller list... Brava, Gina!
Elaine Sweeney (sweeney) Thu 19 Oct 06 19:56
Ray Coshow (ray-coshow) Thu 19 Oct 06 20:50
Fawn Fitter (fsquared) Thu 19 Oct 06 22:27
With catlike tread (sumac) Thu 19 Oct 06 22:37
Gail Williams (gail) Thu 19 Oct 06 23:44
Gina Spadafori (giori) Fri 20 Oct 06 04:38
My excitement is somewhat tempered when I see the "how-to" best-sellers also on the list are mostly celebrity diet books, but what the heck! I think I missed the cat eye contact question. Yes, cats can and do learn to enjoy eye contact with people, especially their own. To put it another way ... cats and dogs do come with some basic hardware, but their software is very adaptable, for behaviors we enjoy or don't. I won't be around much today ... I'm in business meetings all day here in Kansas City. But I'll be back on tonight. In the meantime, for those who'd like a taste of the books in quiz format, try these: <http://www.universityofmeow.com> and <http://www.universityofwoof.com> Report back your scores if you dare!
Evan Hodgens (evan) Fri 20 Oct 06 07:13
I'm out of town and using Mom's dial-up, so haven't been able to participate until now. Loved the cat book. OK, here's one for you: Did you know cats just love tomato sauce? Don't believe me - offer your cat some spaghetti sauce or even tomato soup. I discovered this quite by accident and would have never guessed it. Most people think I'm nuts when I tell them that, but try it and you may be very surprised! Little old Nutmeg in her dotage preferred Safeway's Tomato Bisque soup (which is quite spicy!) mixed in with her food, but would happily lap it up all by itself! The vet said what the hell, at 21 she can eat whatever she pleases.
Gail Williams (gail) Fri 20 Oct 06 07:49
I had a cat who made little smacking noises when she watched the shadows of birds on our roof that were cast on the wall next door in the evening. Lusting for an abstraction based on what? Had she learned by seeing birds and their shadows years before when she was an outside cat? Instinctive reactoin to bird shapes or motions? The other two times she would make those noises were now and then when we unwrapped fresh fish, and every time we cut into a ripe cantaloup. No tomato interest. Slight interest in Cheerios. Trembling passion in anticipation of cantaloup, some fish and the abstract visual representation of live birds. Moving images -- shadows in her case, but somebody has made a business out of a similar behavior -- making videos of birds and rodents for kittens and cats. Makes me wonder what kind of fantasy life these housebound critters have.
caper fields guarded by decapitator bunnies (cjp) Fri 20 Oct 06 10:50
> made little smacking noises That's hysterical. And congrats, <giori>... now go get yourself some barbeque to celebrate!
Public persona (jmcarlin) Fri 20 Oct 06 11:40
As a dog person who hangs out with my dear in the dog park as much as possible, I find myself in the middle of discussions of Cesar Millan and Ian Dunbar from time to time. I'm curious about your view of dog psychology and training. PS: I did badly on the test. Lila did not want me counting her teeth. But, from experience, I knew about humping and a dog biting while wagging its tail. My opinion of doggie breath was as a result of putting a mint into our dogs mouth after she had dined on fresh, warm cow pattie hot from the 'oven'.
Evan Hodgens (evan) Fri 20 Oct 06 13:42
We used to have a dog who loved Puss And Boots cat food, which is mostly fish. After eating the cats' food, she'd then come up to you while you were sitting on the couch and exhale in your face. Eeeeewwwww. This dog (a collie) found ringing telephones very annoying, and decided that somehow the cats were responsile for that, so anytime the phone rang, she'd pounce on the nearest cat. Talk about Pavlovian conditioning, after a while if the phone rang the cats would jump up on the highest nearby piece of furniture, whether the dog was in the house or not.
Steve Bjerklie (stevebj) Fri 20 Oct 06 15:05
If it's a spam telephone call, the cats are definitely responsible. One way or another, cats are responsible for all annoyances.
Gina Spadafori (giori) Fri 20 Oct 06 17:37
For many years now the gap between trainers has been getting as wide as the one between right-wing Christians and secular liberals. Part of the problem is that you have to have a "brand" as a trainer and that means not for one moment accepting someone in the other camp may have a point. I think Cesar Milan is a charismatic TV personality with a degree of basic dog sense and some training skills that have been pretty much eclipsed by better techniques. In other words, noting new here except the goateee. That said, I myself draw from both extremes, but not extremely. I train my retrievers for field competitions, and that does involve the use of an e-collar. But I also use clicker training for other things. The best thing I can recommend is not to get involved in guru worship. There are a lot of techniques, and some work better than others on different dogs.
Public persona (jmcarlin) Fri 20 Oct 06 20:36
Thanks! You just confirmed my opinion. We've used a Cesar technique on Lila. When she was jumping at the fence after a possum, rather than yell at her, we walked to the fence and stood where she was trying to jump. She still wanted to jump, but we had claimed that part of the fence for ourselves. She stood there for a few seconds and then basically "said": "Ok, you win" and followed us inside. OTOH, we loved Ian Dunbar's Sirius puppy training classes. With my background in psychology (although never professionally used), I have a different people need different things philosophy which translates into the dog realm as well.
Elaine Sweeney (sweeney) Sun 22 Oct 06 07:20
Gina, can you say anything about the taste buds of cats and dogs? A previous cat, otherwise well-behaved, used to dig cantalope rinds out of the trash, feast on them, then vomit. One of my mother's cats loved corn on the cob ... pretty amazing sight to see a cat trying to eat corn on the cob.
Members: Enter the conference to participate