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Help shine a light and spread awareness on the subject of animal abuse with our Animal Abuse Awareness T-shirt! This shirt features a cause ribbon designed exclusively for our PawZaar gift store. This super soft cotton t-shirt, with a comfortable tubular construction that’s less fitted than many tees, makes an easy wardrobe choice whether you’re … Read More about Win an Animal Abuse Awareness T-Shirt! #Giveaway


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We all wish our dogs could talk – it would make things so much easier. Even though they can’t speak we can tell how our dogs are feeling by the way they act. If you are wondering if your dog loves the life you are giving her, check out these 12 signs that may help you determine if your dog is happy.

#1 – Relaxed Eyes

According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), “When your dog is relaxed and happy, his eyes will be their normal shape.” Pay attention to the way your dog’s eyes look when doing different activities or during different times of the day. You’ll start noticing the differences and will be able to read your dog’s mood better. (www.aspca.org)

Image source: @NoelZiaLee via Flickr #2 – Relaxed Mouth

The ASPCA also says to look at their mouth. “When your dog is relaxed and happy, he’s likely to have his mouth closed or slightly opened.” Again, pay attention to the changes in your dog’s body language to read his mood. (Note: a dog that is panting with their mouth open could be hot or stressed. This is not a happy dog). (www.aspca.org)

Image source: @Lizwest via Flickr #3 – Comfortable Ears

Also look at his ears. The ASCPA notes that a happy, relaxed dog will “hold his ears naturally.” Again, this will depend on your specific dog, with a lot depending on his breed and where their ears sit. (www.aspca.org)

Image source: @J42k via Flickr #4 – Tail Carriage

Another part of your dog’s body language is in his tail. You can tell if your dog is happy by the tail carriage. According to the ASPCA, “when your dog is relaxed, he’ll hold his tail in its natural position. If he’s feeling happy, he may wag it gently from side to side.”.(www.aspca.org)

Image source: @scottfeldstein via Flickr #5 – Relaxed Body

The last of the body languages, look at your dog’s overall body – are the muscles relaxed? Even a dog that is playing and bouncing around wildly will have a relaxed body carriage with weight evenly distributed if they are happy, says the ASPCA. (www.aspca.org)

Image source: @AllieKF via Flickr #6 – Is Not Destructive

Destructive dogs are usually bored…are you happy when you are bored? Not usually. So a content dog is much less likely to chew on your shoes or eat your couch. Instead, he chews on his toys.

Image source: @AlexMatravers via Flickr #7 – Eats Well

While some dogs are “pickier” eaters than others, a happy dog is going to want to eat. If your dog refuses to eat, something may be wrong medically, or your dog could be suffering from loneliness (did his favorite person just leave for college or did you lose your other dog recently?)

Image source: @Anna via Flickr #8 – Is Active

Dogs are not cats. They shouldn’t sleep 20 hours out of the day. And while age and health plays a factor, a happy dog should be up and moving for most the day – exploring things, chewing on toys, etc. If your dog is unusually quiet, something may be wrong.

Image source: @Manu via Flickr #9 – Solicits Attention

A happy dog will want to spend time with his family and will come to you for attention. Of course, there are differences in personalities that need to be taken into account, but for the most part, a happy dog wants to hang out with his people.

Image source: @CorynWolk via Flickr #10 – Is Healthy

Your dog’s health is a great sign of whether he is happy or not. A healthy dog is a happy dog! If your dog has something ailing him, get it checked immediately so he can return to “happy” as soon as possible.

Image source: @AndrewRoberts via Flickr #11 – Gets Excited!

Does your dog run to greet you when you get home from work? A happy dog gets excited about things like dinner, you, playing, walks, etc.- whatever it is that your dog loves.  If your dog never gets excited, there could be something wrong and a trip to the vet may be needed.

Image source: @ErirDanley via Flickr #12 – Sleeps Well

When it is time to sleep, does your dog pick a comfy spot and drift carefree into his dreams of chasing squirrels or eating bacon? A happy, relaxed dog will sleep well. Stressed dogs wake up, get up, pick a new spot, fall asleep and then repeat. They are not relaxed enough to get into a deep sleep, which could cause health troubles. Talk to a vet and/or a dog trainer about how to get your dog relaxed and happy so he can sleep well.

Image source: @PedroPaulaBoaventura via Flickr

The post 12 Signs Your Dog Is Truly Happy appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.


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Dogs do things that we might not love, and licking our feet is one of those things. We should never forget that our dogs are designed to communicate with others without using words. Communicating with dogs is like trying to learn a foreign language, only harder… because even the familiar letters are absent. Understanding why your dog does what he does is critical in maintaining your bond and growing your friendship. It makes you a better friend.

Some people complain that their dogs love to lick their feet. Since people can have ticklish toes, it can be a more pressing issue than it might seem. We must admit that even if you are not ticklish, having your feet licked as you move about the house is less than ideal!

If your dog engages in this habit, it helps to try to know why, so you can address it with patience and kindness. There can be several reasons for the behavior and since we cannot ask the dogs, we are left trying to surmise them. Each dog can have individual variations.

You’re Not a Salt Lick

Some people say that your dog is trying to lick the salt from your skin and studies show that dogs can indeed taste salt. Salt flavors can stimulate nerves in dogs and they can perceive the taste of salt, so maybe this is the reason for some dogs.

When an individual dog lives in a group, there are bonds that occur. A study in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology explored the hypothesis that intimate behavior (grooming, licking, preening, etc.) motivates participants to coordinate actions directed towards a shared goal that enhances each individual’s fitness. When he licks your feet, your dog may be trying to encourage you to join them in an activity that meets both of your physiological needs.  This could be playing, finding food or any other basic need you might be able to work together to meet.

It’s a Comfort Thing

Most of all, the behavior seems very familiar. If your dog did not feel safe and comfortable with you, he would not expose himself in this vulnerable way. In the non-verbal animal kingdom, mutual grooming is a sign of affection that strengthens family and pack bonds. It is shared between parents, offspring, and other family members. The act of licking and being licked stimulates a release of positive hormones for dogs. Studies have shown that for many species, social grooming stimulates oxytocin (a hormone associated with bonding and emotional attachment).  Maybe your dog licks your feet because she wants to show you love.

Whatever the reason, if your dog is performing unwanted licking, you can always distract her from the action. Try redirecting it with an action that you desire, like sitting calmly or doing a trick. Then you can reward the desired behavior and everyone is pleased. Never punish your dog for doing something that probably seems natural to her. It will only damage her trust in you.

The post Ask A Vet: Why Does My Dog Lick My Feet? appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.


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St. Patrick’s Day is quickly approaching, and even if you don’t have any Irish heritage, it’s always fun to put on something green and celebrate. And what better way to display your “Irish Pride” than to spoil yourself, and your pup, with a little St. Patty’s Day fun.

1. No Pinch for You!

Be fashionably fabulous with a super comfy St. Patrick’s Day t-shirt from iHeartDogs.com. You’ll be decked out in green AND feed 7 shelter dogs with your purchase.

2. Irish Steins?

And what better way to enjoy your favorite St. Patty’s Day beverage then with a beer stein. I know, steins aren’t Irish, but neither are you probably. Each purchase feeds 5 shelter dogs. And remember, it’s not drinking alone if your dog’s home!

3. Tasty Treats for Your Fur Baby

Treat your Irish Setter, Irish Wolfhound…or your <insert your breed here> to some delicious Peanut Butter Shamrock Cookies from The Dog Bakery. These fresh baked dog cookies are all natural, made in the USA and hand decorated making each treat truly special and unique. Filled with healthy ingredients like peanut butter, honey and applesauce, these yummy treats will have your pup feeling the Luck of the Irish.

4. Homemade Shenanigans

Feeling a bit of the Martha Stewart vibe? Why not bake your own shamrock-inspired dog treats? This healthy, easy to follow recipe is sure to make any pup feel lucky – with just a few ingredients that you probably already have on hand, your best friend can join in on the St. Patrick’s Day fun!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of cooked peas (canned or frozen)
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 additional egg for egg wash

DIRECTIONS:
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

-Mix the dry ingredients in a big bowl

-Puree the Peas and the Spinach together in blender or food processor

-Add the green mix to the dry mix, and then add 1 egg

-Blend it all together until it forms a dough

-Cover your bowl, or wrap your dough and chill for 20 – 30 minutes

-After it’s chilled, sprinkle it with a bit of flour and roll it out to between 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick, then cut into fun shapes!

-After you place them on a cookie sheet you can lightly egg wash them to make them shiny. Back for 20 – 30 minutes and enjoy!

How awesome are these!? Would your dog like a St. Patrick’s Day themed treat? Be sure to let us know if you make these green goodies, and tell us how your dogs enjoy them!

The post 4 Festive St. Patrick’s Day Ideas to Celebrate Your Irish Pride appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.


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Get your tissues ready. You won’t be able to read this story and without a tear coming to your eye. This is the tale of a young woman in Argentina who rescued a starving dog left to die on the streets.

If you are heartbroken at the thought of a dog going hungry, have no fear, this story has a happy ending.

The Hero of Our Story

Meet Hercules. This picture was taken before his journey of rehabilitation began.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Hercules (@herculesysubanda) on Apr 2, 2018 at 4:43am PDT

It was nearly Christmas in 2017. On December 23, an Argentine woman named Pia found this pup in dire straits. While visiting friends in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Pia saw the starving dog running around their neighborhood. The dog was clearly terrified and in distress. Pia’s friends were unable to catch the frail pup, but Pia refused to give up on the animal in need. When she eventually found him lying next to a house, she said “he had no shine in his eyes” and “he had given up.”

Thankfully, Pia was ready to fight for him. She immediately brought him to a vet and that’s where the battle began.

The Road to Recovery
View this post on Instagram

Tuve mi etapa Dobby!!

A post shared by Hercules (@herculesysubanda) on Apr 2, 2018 at 5:02am PDT

The veterinarian told Pia they needed to see if Hercules could make it through the weekend. He was in such bad shape that they weren’t sure he would survive. Pia dropped everything to help her newfound dog.

The first few days were critical and during that time the skinny boy lost two more pounds.  Because Hercules was so ill, he was unable to eat in those early days. Pia handfed him water from a bowl every three hours to make him stay hydrated.

Then you might say a Christmas or holiday miracle occurred. Three days later, on December 26th, the pup was discharged and Pia brought him to foster care.

“You could see in his eyes that he wanted to live,” Pia remembered. Despite that, on a few occasions, she worried that he may die because his condition was so poor. But he continued to fight and that is why she named him Hercules.

Pia filmed much of their journey. She recalled lifting his body to help him re-learn to walk. She remembered crying and fighting alongside him. “We did it together,” she said.

And in January, after much patience, Hercules began to walk again. Pia admitted she cried like a baby when her darling friend took those first few steps. They were what led to the rest of his recovery. Before Pia knew it, those initial baby steps led to jogging, running, jumping and playing. Eventually, she was able to take him on walks through the city.

Healing Powers

By February, it was like Pia had a new dog. Hercules’ hair was quickly growing back. He showed signs of life and energy. He loved to be in her arms and held close. The bond between the two was so unbreakable that after fostering him back to good health, Pia knew she couldn’t give him up. Hercules found his forever home with Pia.

“As he began to change, his eyes started to shine,” Pia said. See the incredible recovery for yourself. Hercules is no longer a starving dog left on his own. He is thriving. Pia calls this phenomenal dog her miracle and a Christmas present she’ll never forget.

View this post on Instagram

– Cara de “No me la Banco más” Ph: @flash.pet

A post shared by Hercules (@herculesysubanda) on Feb 6, 2019 at 12:14pm PST

Watch Hercules’ Heroic Story

Don’t forget your tissues when you see Pia and Hercules’ story. They’re still the best of buds today. You can follow their friendship on Instagram.

H/T: ILOVEMYDOGSOMUCH.TV

The post Woman Rescues Starving Dog Left to Die on Streets appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.




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What do you do to show your gratitude to the dog who saved your life and gave you back your confidence? What gesture could ever be enough? Sgt. Christy Gardener didn’t know how to pay it all back to her dog – so she decided to pay it forward.

Christy lost both her legs while serving overseas with the U.S. Army. Like many of our servicemen and women, Christy faced extreme mental anguish when she returned home, and often considered ending her life. However, she didn’t have to face the darkness alone. Moxie, a Golden Retriever, was put into Christy’s service to help her perform day-to-day tasks, but also gave her someone to stick around for. Christy tells CBS News:

“The way she would just look at you. Her eyes would go right through to your soul. And I felt like I was disappointing her. And so having her by my side was the only reason I didn’t kill myself.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Christina Gardner (@clgardner19) on Sep 18, 2018 at 5:56pm PDT

Christy is now in a much better place in her life, and with Moxie by her side has landed a spot on the roster of the U.S. Women’s Sled Hockey Team. She feels an enormous debt of gratitude for everything Moxie has done for her, and though there may not be enough bully sticks in the world to show Moxie how much she loves her, she found something else to do that will touch multiple lives.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Christina Gardner (@clgardner19) on Jan 17, 2019 at 2:45pm PST

Tiny Tim is a sweet, blue-eyed, yellow lab puppy who was born with a defect in his front right leg. But where some might see just a broken pup, Christy saw potential. She hopes to raise Tiny Tim to be therapy dog for the students at Leeds Elementary, to show students that a disability doesn’t have to be the end of the world.

“There is just so much about him that is so perfect for this little mission of his. I think the kids are going to say, ‘Well, he had all these problems and he didn’t give up and look how happy he is.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by VetriScience (@vetriscience) on Feb 23, 2019 at 5:38am PST

In honor of Moxie and everything she’s done for her, she has offered to raise and train Tiny Tim herself but he’ll need to have his leg amputated before he can go to work. Christy was working two jobs to afford the surgery, but when dog food company VetriScience heard what Christy was up to, they offered $10,000 to get Tiny Tim his surgery!

Tiny Tim has a lot of training to do before he’s ready to go to work at Leeds Elementary, but the students and staff know that he’s destined for greatness! In fact, they’ve renamed him Lucky Tim – a name that suits him even better than Tiny Tim!

Keep up with Lucky Tim on his training journey at VetriScience.com.

H/T: CBSNews.com
Featured Photo: @clgardner19/Instagram

The post Athlete Thanks Dog Who Saved Her Life By Training Pup For Service appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.




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What would you do if someone attempted to sell your dog on eBay? What would you do if they succeeded? This may sound like an episode of the Twilight Zone, but one German family lived through this trying ordeal. You read that right. When they fell behind on their debts, a German official collected and then sold the family’s beloved Pug on eBay.

Tell Me More

The story takes place in Ahlen, a northwestern German city. When a family fell behind on their bills (including the city’s $90 annual dog tax), a debt collector came calling. The collector looked to recover the family’s most valuable asset and he decided it was Edda, their beloved purebred Pug. Local reports said Edda belonged to a family of five, two adults and three young children. The father of the household had become a paraplegic after a work-related injury.

After the city seized the pup, they proceeded to sell her on eBay for 750 euros (about $850). According to The New York Times, a spokesperson from Ahlen called this “a pragmatic solution” to settle the outstanding debt.

The German tabloid Bild reported the listing said, “Sweet female pug with pedigree for sale! Not spayed!”

How does the saying go? The truth is often stranger than fiction.

If you think Germans don’t love their dogs as much as Americans, think again. More than 80% of Germans consider themselves to be animal-lovers and they spend about $4Billion a year on their furry friends. Needless to say, there was public outrage when a local government official sold this family’s Pug on eBay. We imagine the reaction would be similar if this happened in the US.

What Happened Next? Edda the Pug was sold on eBay by local officials when her family fell behind on bills. Source: Associated Press

After the city confiscated Edda last year and subsequently sold her online, they said the sale was legal and justified because she was such a substantial asset. City officials said since Edda was set to sell at such a high price, her sale met the legal standard of whether or not she was valuable enough to cover debts. According to the German news agency dpa, Ahlen’s treasurer, Dirk Schlebes, defended the sale, saying the seizure was legal under foreclosure laws. We’ll take a moment to pause here so we can all recognize that our dogs are priceless.

And then things got complicated.

The story earned international media attention because the police officer who purchased Edda, Michaela Jordan, was not pleased with the state of the Pug. Jordan told local newspapers that she intended to sue the city for the high veterinary bills Edda incurred.

Unfortunately, the sweet, one-year-old Edda was not an extremely healthy dog. She has needed extensive healthcare treatment since the sale was finalized. “I’m really upset,” Jordan told Bild. “The dog had to be operated on four times.” At the time of the Bild’s article publication, Edda had a fifth surgery scheduled.

USAToday reported that Jordan has spent more than double what she paid for Edda in medical bills. She is currently keeping the pet, but BuzzFeed noted that Edda’s family desperately misses her and wants her back. Of course.

Stop for a moment and think: how would you feel if your family dog was taken away and then sold online. It’s unimaginable. Our pups aren’t there for decoration, they are members of our family. Would you sell a child on eBay? Never!

Source: Bild A Lesson for Local Authorities

Taking a pup away from its home sounds like cruel and unusual punishment. We hope that Edda is well taken care of, wherever her home may end up being. And with all the negative attention for their small city, maybe the officials of Ahlen will decide to stop taking dogs as a form of debt collection.

H/T: The New York Times

The post German Debt Collector Sells Family’s Beloved Pug on eBay appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.


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After spending a lifetime in a puppy mill, Chloe was finally rescued. Tragedy struck again, however, when Julia Arney’s vet recommended she euthanize Chloe, her senior Maltese, due to a brain tumor. But Julia was determined to give her beloved pet a fresh start, and Chloe was ready to fight!

“Every day is a gift. We were supposed to lose her so long ago.”

In September 2017, Julia Arney’s vet recommended she euthanize her senior Maltese, Chloe. Julia was heartbroken – but she wasn’t ready to say goodbye or give up without a fight. “I wanted to exhaust every option and leave no stone unturned,” says Julia.

Adopting Chloe

A few years earlier, Julia was looking to bring a new dog into her family. She searched online and found one who caught her eye, but had “accidentally transposed the zip code, so instead of living North of Indy, where I live, the dog was in Colorado Springs!”

Despite the mixup and distance, Julia’s husband said, “go see her!” So she flew out west and got approved to adopt the pup. The foster family was out of town for a few days, so to fill the time, Julia volunteered at a local kennel. This is where she met Chloe… an older Maltese who was not the dog she had flown to Colorado to meet.

“It was an instant connection,” says Julia. “Chloe would make eye contact with me and bark if I walked by. The lady in charge of the kennel said she’d been there 11 months and had never barked. So I went to see her and that was it. She picked me.”

Julia called her husband and said, “honey, I’m in trouble.” He heard my voice and immediately told me to “bring ‘em both home.” But the airline would only let her travel with one dog, so she flew home with Peyton, the dog she’d originally gone out to adopt, and then turned right around at the airport and went back for Chloe. “I could not get back fast enough,” says Julia. “She stole my heart immediately.”

The sweet senior pup was the perfect fit for Julia’s family. She’d been rescued from a puppy mill where she’d lived for the first 9.5 years of her life, and had a lot of health issues – but it wasn’t too late for a fresh start. Having been raised in such terrible conditions, sweet, petite Chloe didn’t know what it was like to live as part of a family. “When we brought her home, there were a lot of things she didn’t know about, like sitting on someone’s lap for hours. But it sure didn’t take her long to adjust to the love! When she wants attention, she sure lets you know. She’s a snuggler now.”

Julia and her family were head-over-heels in love with Chloe – which made it all the more heartbreaking when the five-pound Maltese was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

The Diagnosis – and a Fresh Plan

When Julia’s vet recommended putting Chloe to sleep due to her illness and advanced age, Julia was devastated – and determined to find a solution to keep Chloe happy and healthy as long as possible.

After some research, she found a holistic vet who said, “if she’s a fighter, we will do everything we can.” This vet recommended herbs and medicine, treatments like acupuncture, massage therapy, and lasers, and a healthier diet. “She said that one-third of success is making sure you have her on the right food.”

Julia began researching the best options for healthy dog food. “I tried a couple other brands and I wasn’t happy. They said they were fresh but they often had freezer burn, and I thought: how long was this in a warehouse if it already has freezer burn?” And Chloe can be a picky eater, so it was hard to get her to take the herbs and medicine, even in food.

Then, a breakthrough: she discovered NomNomNow. She took the nutritional information to her vet, who was on board right away. “She said ‘that’s it. That’s the food you need to have her on.’” Julia immediately switched Chloe’s diet to NomNomNow, and she took to it right away, even with the herbal holistic medicine added. To serve it, Julia says, “I warm it up lightly. It smells like food, it looks like food, it is real food.”

NomNomNow’s fresh, healthy meals – along with the vet-recommended herbal holistic medicine and treatments – have made a world of difference in Chloe’s health. Her coat is shinier, her eyes are brighter, and her health is vastly improved.

“Here we are 14 months later. I know we are on borrowed time, but every day with Chloe is a gift. I’ve had some health issues myself and been in the hospital, and she’s what got me through.”

Julia now has two dogs eating NomNomNow and says “it’s worth its weight in gold. I feel so much better about what I’m giving them. I know that it’s part of our success in treating Chloe. I try to really tell everyone – fresh food might not always be the cheapest, but consider what you’re feeding them. If your animals are your family, and you knew what was in regular dog food, you really wouldn’t feed that to family. We’re so careful about what we put in our bodies, but people don’t realize that most dog food has a lot of stuff that is horrible.”

“We have to do better for our pets. We wonder why our animals don’t live as long as they used to, but yet we feed them stuff that is just not good for them.”

Chloe’s Impact

Chloe is now 15, and her life has had a big impact – not just on Julia, but on the world. Julia was forever changed by learning about Chloe’s puppy mill experience, and has dedicated her life to education and fundraising on the topic. Since being adopted, Chloe has not only overcome health issues, but has also helped raise tens of thousands of dollars toward puppy mill awareness.

“Even after all of those years being harmed, used, neglected at the hands of humans, the way she can forgive is incredible,” says Julia. “She shows everyone she meets nothing but love. We did a fundraiser with Harley Davidson and even these big, burly guys loved her. I remember people saying things to me about having a ‘heart dog’ that changes you forever. I had always loved all my dogs… well, I get it now. I love all my dogs tremendously. But this one. She’s the one.”

Julia believes Chloe wouldn’t be here today to share her story if it weren’t for NomNomNow. “We are so appreciative for the quality of food. It’s fresh and it’s SO healthy. We are thankful to all of you. Everyone is so responsive and helpful. You walk the walk, and it shows.”

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Get your tissues ready. You won’t be able to read this story and without a tear coming to your eye. This is the tale of a young woman in Argentina who rescued a starving dog left to die on the streets.

If you are heartbroken at the thought of a dog going hungry, have no fear, this story has a happy ending.

The Hero of Our Story

Meet Hercules. This picture was taken before his journey of rehabilitation began.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Hercules (@herculesysubanda) on Apr 2, 2018 at 4:43am PDT

It was nearly Christmas in 2017. On December 23, an Argentine woman named Pia found this pup in dire straits. While visiting friends in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Pia saw the starving dog running around their neighborhood. The dog was clearly terrified and in distress. Pia’s friends were unable to catch the frail pup, but Pia refused to give up on the animal in need. When she eventually found him lying next to a house, she said “he had no shine in his eyes” and “he had given up.”

Thankfully, Pia was ready to fight for him. She immediately brought him to a vet and that’s where the battle began.

The Road to Recovery
View this post on Instagram

Tuve mi etapa Dobby!!

A post shared by Hercules (@herculesysubanda) on Apr 2, 2018 at 5:02am PDT

The veterinarian told Pia they needed to see if Hercules could make it through the weekend. He was in such bad shape that they weren’t sure he would survive. Pia dropped everything to help her newfound dog.

The first few days were critical and during that time the skinny boy lost two more pounds.  Because Hercules was so ill, he was unable to eat in those early days. Pia handfed him water from a bowl every three hours to make him stay hydrated.

Then you might say a Christmas or holiday miracle occurred. Three days later, on December 26th, the pup was discharged and Pia brought him to foster care.

“You could see in his eyes that he wanted to live,” Pia remembered. Despite that, on a few occasions, she worried that he may die because his condition was so poor. But he continued to fight and that is why she named him Hercules.

Pia filmed much of their journey. She recalled lifting his body to help him re-learn to walk. She remembered crying and fighting alongside him. “We did it together,” she said.

And in January, after much patience, Hercules began to walk again. Pia admitted she cried like a baby when her darling friend took those first few steps. They were what led to the rest of his recovery. Before Pia knew it, those initial baby steps led to jogging, running, jumping and playing. Eventually, she was able to take him on walks through the city.

Healing Powers

By February, it was like Pia had a new dog. Hercules’ hair was quickly growing back. He showed signs of life and energy. He loved to be in her arms and held close. The bond between the two was so unbreakable that after fostering him back to good health, Pia knew she couldn’t give him up. Hercules found his forever home with Pia.

“As he began to change, his eyes started to shine,” Pia said. See the incredible recovery for yourself. Hercules is no longer a starving dog left on his own. He is thriving. Pia calls this phenomenal dog her miracle and a Christmas present she’ll never forget.

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– Cara de “No me la Banco más” Ph: @flash.pet

A post shared by Hercules (@herculesysubanda) on Feb 6, 2019 at 12:14pm PST

Watch Hercules’ Heroic Story

Don’t forget your tissues when you see Pia and Hercules’ story. They’re still the best of buds today. You can follow their friendship on Instagram.

H/T: ILOVEMYDOGSOMUCH.TV

The post Woman Rescues Starving Dog Left to Die on Streets appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.




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Attempting to understand the emotional lives of dogs has been a hot topic of scientific study for centuries. In the 1600s, the French philosopher, Rene Descartes compared animals to living machines, incapable of feeling pain or emotion.

Thankfully, science has progressed a long way since the 1600s. These advances have allowed us to delve deeper into the mystery of canine consciousness.

We now know that dogs possess all the same complex brain structures humans do – including those responsible for emotion. Their minds undergo the same chemical changes and are flooded with the same hormones as our own during emotional states – including oxytocin, which is involved in feelings of love and attachment.

Dr. Stanley Coren, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, is the author of more than a dozen books on the subject of dogs. He estimates their emotional maturity as equivalent to that of the average 2 1/2-year-old child.

As you can see from the chart below, dogs experience many of the same emotions as young children, but never progress to the more complex feelings of shame, pride, guilt or contempt. These emotions develop later in a child’s life and require elements of learning that researchers do not currently believe dogs are capable of.

Illustration Credit: Psychology Today

Now that we have covered the basics, let’s explore some of the commonly asked questions on the subject of canine emotion.

Can dogs understand and process human emotions?

A 2016 study conducted by animal behavior experts and psychologists from the universities of Lincoln and Sao Paulo showed that dogs not only recognize the visual cues of human emotions, they can also hear the difference between joy and anguish in our voices.

The study’s co-author, Professor Daniel Mills from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Lincoln, said:

“It has been a long-standing debate whether dogs can recognise human emotions. Many dog owners report anecdotally that their pets seem highly sensitive to the moods of human family members. However, there is an important difference between associative behaviour, such as learning to respond appropriately to an angry voice, and recognising a range of very different cues that go together to indicate emotional arousal in another. Our findings are the first to show that dogs truly recognise emotions in humans and other dogs.”

Does your dog love you? 

The general consensus among animal scientists is that our dogs do love us – and they have gathered quite a bit of evidence to prove it. First, there’s the “oxytocin-gaze positive loop” that occurs when dogs look into their humans’ eyes. This is most often utilized by babies and new mothers to cement their bond, but our pups “hijacked” the pathway sometime over the past 10,000 years during our side-by-side evolution.

In addition to an increase in oxytocin while looking at their favorite human, the reward center of a dog’s brain also lights up when they catch wind of their owners’ scent. Neuroscientist, Gregory Berns made this discovery in a 2014 study using an fMRI machine.

Finally, there are the behavioral signs such as running to their owners for comfort when startled — something other animals rarely do.

How do dogs show their love?

Chances are your dog demonstrates his love for you each and every day without you even realizing it! For example, scientists believe that domestic dogs have evolved to stare into our eyes as a way to strengthen the human-animal bond. (Remember the oxytocin-gaze positive loop?)

Dogs that sleep with their owners are thought to have accepted them as “pack members.” According to neuroscientist and canine expert, Gregory Berns, this is the ultimate sign of trust since sleep is when they are at their most vulnerable.

Also, dogs that lean their bodies against their humans throughout the day are thought to be seeking out affection and reassurance. Some researchers even think it is their way of “hugging” us!

Does your dog miss you when you are away?

According to Gregory Berns, the answer is yes. In the same 2014 fMRI study referenced above, he noted that of five human and canine scents, the dogs’ brains showed the greatest response in the caudate nucleus – the reward center of the brain – when they were exposed to their owners’ scents. In other words, the dogs’ brains reacted to the smell of their approaching human in the same way they would for a yummy treat!

Another study on their sense of time showed that dogs are far more excited to see their humans after two hours than after 30 minutes. However, there was no significant change in reaction between two and four hours of absence. So while they certainly understand we are gone and rejoice when we return, the extent of their concept of time is unclear.

 Does your dog think about you when you are gone?

The exact mechanism is not understood, but evidence shows that the human-canine bond causes lasting memories to form. Marc Bekoff, co-founder of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has witnessed many animals suffering anxiety due to the prolonged absence of their humans. He said:

“There’s no doubt that dogs have very specific memories. They recognize individuals. There’s a lot wrapped up in that relationship of care, love, and affection. If a dog’s caretaker leaves for a long period of time, it will likely go through a grieving period. It’s a loss—an unpredictable loss—because the person can’t say, ‘I will be back in two weeks.”

Even if you are only gone a matter of hours, your dog is likely thinking about you just as much as you are thinking about them.

Does your dog dream about you?

Research shows that dogs have sleep cycles very similar to our own and experience REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, the phase in which dreams occur in humans. According to Dr. Deirdre Barrett, a Clinical and Evolutionary Psychologist at Harvard University, dogs most likely dream of their favorite thing – their owners!

“Humans dream about the same things they’re interested in by day, though more visually and less logically. There’s no reason to think animals are any different. Since dogs are generally extremely attached to their human owners, it’s likely your dog is dreaming of your face, your smell and of pleasing or annoying you.”

Does your dog feel guilt or shame?

Many people argue that their dog displays signs of guilt after tearing up furniture or going to the bathroom indoors. However, Dr. Corden states that what they are really seeing is the more basic emotion of fear. In his opinion, dogs are not capable of experiencing guilt or shame. Instead, they read the signs of disappointment and anger in their humans and react with uneasiness.

Does your dog hold a grudge?

The jury is still out on this one. Dr. Coren’s chart of canine emotions puts contempt out of the range of canine possibility. However, a 2015 Japanese study published in the journal,  Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews, observed that dogs refused to take treats from humans who were unkind to their owners.

Lead researcher, Kazo Fujita told The Japan Times that this experiment is the first scientific evidence “that dogs make social and emotional evaluations of people regardless of their own direct interest.”

How can you cross the “language barrier” to show your dogs you love them?

Once you understand which emotions dogs experience and how they process them, you will be better equipped to recognize the subtle signs of their love and affection.  Learn more about the canine behaviors associated with emotion and how you can begin to “speak their language” in the following posts:

5 Ways To Tell Your Dogs You Love Them In Their Own Language

4 Scientifically Proven Ways To Show Your Dogs How Much You Love Them

The post Science Explains How Your Dog REALLY Feels About You appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.


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The post Science Explains How Your Dog REALLY Feels About You appeared first on The Dog World.

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