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Fleetwood Mac Makes Horse Dance

Shannon Jackson

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We all love Fleetwood Mac. You’ll be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t jam out when a classic Fleetwood Mac song comes on. But as it turns out, the fan base of this legendary band isn’t limited to humankind. One horse, in particular, seemed to love one of their classic hits. Aspiring filmmakers Victoria Anderson-Gardner and Morningstar Derosier — who also happen to be cousins — came across this majestic stallion on their way back home from a documentary shoot.

The horse was grazing by the side of the road, alone, and so they decided to pull over and say hi. Fleetwood Mac’s classic hit ‘Dreams’ was blasting on the car stereo and they thought the lonesome stallion would love a bit of serenade. They could use a bit of entertainment themselves, it’d been a long day at work. The couple turned up the volume and started singing along to the tune and it didn’t take long for the horse to catch up with the beat and start nodding along and become more invested as they cranked up the volume.

‘Serenading’ a Curious Horse

The cousins were coming from Ontario, Canada, where they’d been filming a documentary about indigenous youths taking part in a tribal ceremony known as the Sun Dance when they rolled past the curious horse. As you know, Canada is filled with adventurous domestic animals and exceptional wildlife — not to forget the incredible cultural groups. The horse seemed interested but the girls didn’t want to disturb him in his environment.

 

After minutes of deliberation, the film students decided that it would do no harm to play the curious stallion some music. They blasted Fleetwood Mac’s iconic tune and were shocked by how fast the horse got into the jam. The horse started to bop its head to the massive tune as soon as Stevie’s voice hit its massive ears. The creature seemed to get more pumped as the volume increased. Without evidence, this would probably sound like a made up story but the girls were lucky enough to get it all on camera.

 

Excellent Taste in Music

The cousins posted the video of the horse dancing and probably singing along to the Fleetwood Mac on Twitter and it went viral. There were a lot of social media cheers for the invested horse, the sceptical bunch argued that the horse was just rubbing himself against the fence but if you watch the video, it clearly looks like a horse appreciating and bobbing along to the awesome Fleetwood Mac tune. If that’s the case, many will agree that the horse has excellent taste in music.

So, does the horse just nod along or can he sing? Perhaps he can lip sync. Maybe we’ll get an answer next year when Victoria Anderson-Gardner and Morningstar Derosier go back to see the Sun Dancers next year. They promised to check on their new best friend on their way to Ontario for the shoot. Let’s hope they find him safe and sound and see if he can bust some moves to 80s-style rap or he can only dance to Fleetwood Mac.

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Culture

Doctors Debate a New Study That Puts Kids’ Screen TIme in a Positive Light

Kelly Taylor

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Is Screen Time A Common Sense Issue, Or Is There More To Learn From A Recent Study?

Children glued to their phones and tablets may give parents a break, but is the overall, long-term effect of “screen time” actually positive? On TV, the show “The Doctors” took on this question in response to a controversial study that seemed to claim that kids benefit from screen time more than they are harmed. Ironically, parents can go online and spend some screen time of their own catching up on this segment of “The Doctors” along with videos from well-known medical sources such as Kaiser Permanente and even the U.S. Government‘s NIH. Why did these doctors get heated about the results of the study?

The Potential Dangers of Children Spending Significant Screen Time

Mental development of children involves diverse sensory inputs, problem-solving, interaction with others and managing of emotions. Screen time may help educate and entertain kids, but overall the brain and personality development of the child could be at risk if they spend too much time face-to-screen.

Is Erosion of Family Life Another Concern?

While studies often focus on screen time as a negative factor in children’s school and developmental progress, the effect on family life as a whole is sometimes omitted. Kids who spend so many hours alone, not interacting with their families when they are at home, would in the past have been cause for concern. They might be depressed, have a developmental issue, or be holding in feelings about some difficult issue in their lives. Screen time is a distraction that could serve to mask these and other concerns. When kids participate in the family, physicians note, they not only grow but they have better access to interactive parenting.

Dr. Judy Ho And Her Analysis Of A Controversial “Study”

On “The Doctors,” the team considered the positive spin on kids and screen time of a new but controversial study. Clinical psychologist Dr. Judy Ho, who had strong opinions on the subject, played the “bad guy” and asked tough questions, offering her own well-developed views. She noted that the study they were discussing was missing several key elements of a well-designed piece of research, and so the conclusions were unlikely to be useful as information for parents. The data simply served as an informal survey of interested parents, and the results were a compilation of general comments about kids’ characteristics. There wasn’t really any direct and scientific way to see cause and effect.

Boiling Down The Issue Of Screen Time For Kids

Parents may use decisions about gadget use as a teachable moment in their children’s lives, but as always peer pressure is going to be a powerful force. Kids who aren’t connected tend to miss out, as previous generations of TV-watching kids did, on social interactions with other kids which revolve around common media experiences.

Teaching Your Children to Grow into Adulthood

Parents have to weigh social “coolness” against developmental, family, and educational concerns. In the end, though it may be difficult for some parents, Dr. Patty’s suggestions are a great starting point: have no-screen zones like the dining room with a basket by the door, have concrete limits for screen time — typically less than two hours a day — and try to make screen time a parent-child experience rather than a media consumption moment. Talk about screen-based experiences, think about them together, laugh at the funny stuff and ask questions about the serious stuff. Use screen time to help your child’s mind grow.

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Advice for Teaching Toddlers How to Be Kind to Pets

Kevin Wells

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Raising children can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience; however, it can be hard for children to learn how to interact with animals. When it comes to sharing kindness with pets, this is often a task that toddlers struggle with. This can leave parents wondering what they are going to do. After all, having a pet is a great way to teach a child responsibility in addition to welcoming another member of the family. It is important for parents to teach their children how to be kind to pets. For parents who are having trouble getting their toddlers to empathize with pets, there are a few pieces of advice to keep in mind.

Lead by Example

The first tip to keep in mind is to lead by example. Instead of telling kids how they should interact with animals, take steps to demonstrate this to them by example. Take kids out to petting zoos and show kindness to animals. Feed the animals. Pet the animals. Say kind things. Kids want to do what their parents are doing. If they see their parents being kind to animals, they are going to follow in those important footsteps.

Read About Animals

Toddlers are not intentionally mean to animals; however, they are going to be hesitant to open up to something that is unfamiliar to them. Therefore, when teaching toddlers how to read, take the time to read a few books and stories about animals. There are countless books that are meant for children that discuss animals, the various types, why they are important, and how to interact with them. Pick a few of these books out. The books will teach children about animals and, as toddlers become more familiar with them, they will show them kindness.

Use a Pretend Pet

One of the first steps that parents can take to get their toddlers more comfortable around pets is to come up with a pretend example. These take the form of stuffed animals. Many kids come home from the hospital with stuffed animals and end up being a kid’s first friend. Go through the store and pick out a few pretend pets from the stuffed animal aisle. The kids will open up to them and often give their new pretend friend a name. This will help toddlers learn how to empathize with real-life pets that look like their stuffed animals.

Use Positive Reinforcement

A lot of parents are hesitant to heap praise on their child for doing something they are supposed to do. After all, children are supposed to be kind to animals. Why reward them for doing something that they should already be doing? The answer is because it works. Positive reinforcement works on everyone, including children. Toddlers want to please their parents. If they receive praise for being nice to the family pet, they are going to continue with this behavior in the future. Use positive reinforcement to teach toddlers how to be kind to pets.

Ensure there is a Safe Space in the Home for the Pet

In order for toddlers to be kind to pets, they need to feel comfortable around them. This means that the pet needs to be nice to the toddler as well. Pets are going to be irritated if toddlers are constantly picking on them. Eventually, they are going to fight back. This will make it hard for a toddler to become friendly with the family pet. Prevent this by providing the pet with a safe space to hide when they need a break. This will help both the pet and the toddler.

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Pet Adoption Event Leads to Family Reunion

Renee Yates

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The Jacksonville Humane Society, a non-profit, no-kill animal shelter, is a member of No Kill Jacksonville. The shelter provides adoption and veterinary services to homeless pets in the area in an attempt to reduce suffering and create a community where no adoptable pet is killed simply because there isn’t a space for it.

In 2018 alone, over 500 volunteers sacrificed over 27,000 hours to help meet those goals. A labor of love, the shelter helps keep families together and reunites pets with their families. 397 pets were returned to their owners in 2018, thanks to the hard work of the shelter workers.

Special Adoption Events

Shelters like the Jacksonville Humane Society have special events where the adoption fees are reduced or waived, and where families can come out to see if they are interested in adopting an available pet for their own family. One such event was called Generosity Breeds Joy, a day chosen to celebrate the shelter’s one year anniversary in its new and innovative building.

For the November 9 event, adoption fees were free, and some local restaurants offered to donate a percentage of proceeds to the shelter, as long as the diners asked on the special day. The special event also offered face painting, arts and crafts, and a special presentation for yoga with cats. There was even a special day camp for on November 12 for kids in grades kindergarten to 8th.

Surprise Reunion

On that special day, a family showed up at the PetSmart that was hosting the event in hopes of adopting a kitten. While they were waiting in line, they happened to notice a dog that was being readied for a walk. The brown-and-white dog looked very familiar to the family, who had lost a similar-looking dog in August.

The dad shouted loud enough to be heard throughout the store, “That’s my Dopey!” The dog was so excited he ran over to see his dad, only to find that his whole family was there excited to see him again. 

At that time, Dopey had been with the Jacksonville Humane Society for over a month. A kind stranger brought him in on October 1, believing he was a stray who needed to find a home. The shelter took good care of him and then brought him to the Generosity Breeds Joy event to try to find a forever home.

More and More Reunions

Just a few days later, the shelter reunited another family. A kitten was brought in during a big spay and neuter event, and she turned out to have a microchip. She was quickly reunited with her family.

One lucky lady in Florida was reunited with her dog who escaped a fence in 2007. She kept searching, looking in shelters and searching the streets when she was out. After 12 years, her Duchess was found living under a man’s home in Pennsylvania, and she got to go home.

How You Can Help

You never know who you might be helping when you give to a shelter. You may find a new family member or help a pet that belongs to a friend. While many people are already overextended, there are a lot of ways you can help your local shelter. 

If you have food your pet doesn’t like, you can donate it instead of throwing it away. Let others in your community know so the shelter can receive assistance, and even if you can’t volunteer, suggest it to teenage friends as a great way to get some work experience. It takes the whole community to make miracles like this happen.

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Culture

Stella the Dog Can Talk!

Renee Yates

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Christina Hunger is a speech pathologist who works with young children around two years old to enhance their ability to communicate with adults. Christina has always wondered if she could teach a puppy to use the word buttons, too. Several years ago, Christina adopted a dog named Stella.  She decided to try and see if the same methods she uses for her therapy would also help her puppy to learn to communicate.  Many dog owners would like to really understand what their pets are thinking about.  Stella uses buttons to communicate her wishes to her owners.  Christina can talk with her dog.

Christina set up a group of buttons for Stella to push with her paws.  Each button was introduced singularly, and over time Stella learned the meaning of a variety of buttons. The buttons were also grouped by color.  Each color represents a particular group of words.  Stella can press “walk” or “beach” with her paws to indicate what she wants to do.  She can also press buttons for Christina or Jake, her other owner.  Stella will walk on the board of 26 buttons as she looks for the one she wants.  Stella took the longest to learn her first button.  After that, it was much easier to introduce more buttons to the dog.

When Stella began to learn to use the buttons, she would only use one paw.  Over time, Stella began using both paws to press the buttons. Using both paws makes it easier for Stella to put more than one button together.  At this point, she can put a series of five or less words together such as “Christina walk”  or “Want Jake Come.”  Christina feels that the dog showed relief when she finally learned how to punch the buttons for her needs.  Stella barks when she hits the buttons, and is able to repeat requests if Christina does not understand her or does not see the dog punch all of her buttons.

Christina has started a blog entitled Hunger for Words where visitors can see the progress of Stella and her buttons. The blog has a number of cool videos of Stella’s day.  Christina is hoping to teach this method to other dogs and hopes that this method will improve the communication between owners and pets.  She also feels that having the board made a recent move easier for Stella to understand.  Moves often make pets anxious, but Stella was very calm about their recent move to the beach.  Stella intends to introduce more words for Stella to learn.

Stella has been featured in People magazine, which is following the story of Stella from time to time for its readers.  For more on Stella, go here to reach Christina’s blog.  Christina is currently looking for another dog that can learn to push buttons.  She is hoping to organize a class of animals and show their owners how to make both of their lives easier.

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Culture

Gallant Helps Pet Owners Plan Ahead By Banking Dogs’ Stem Cells When They Get Spayed Or Neutered

Shannon Jackson

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If you’re wondering what you can do to make your pet’s life as long and healthy as possible, it’s a good idea to consider banking your dog’s stem cells. Gallant is a new startup devoted to pet health that can help you do just that.

Human health care has benefited enormously from stem cell technology in the recent past. Now with the help of Gallant, pet health can benefit too. Gallant’s mission is to make it so that dogs can benefit from regenerative therapies. The company now has collected $11 million in funding and is based in Los Angeles. 

The founders of Gallant have made note of the fact that we plan ahead for our children, but we rarely plan ahead for the lives of our pets. However, harvesting stem cells when dogs are young and healthy creates a huge asset to pet health care in the future. 

The stem cell banking service offered by Gallant has just recently launched. Yet it is already stirring up a lot of attention in pet care. The company has grown to acquire part of the previously existing company Cook Regentec. This acquisition has included possession of stem cell banking services that were already being offered by Cook Regentec. It has also included acquisition of various cell therapy products that involved harvesting reproductive tissues. 

The strength of the operations of this company lie in the fact that it involves harvesting stem cells when neutering and spaying is being performed. This maximizes the efficiency of the harvesting and also makes it so that stem cells are harvested when the animal is young. At this time, the stem cells are healthiest and best for regenerative cell therapies.

The founder of the startup enterprise is Aaron Hirschhorn. Hirschhorn initially founded DogVacay. He founded this company after suffering from back pain himself. After suffering from back pain, Hirschhorn also saw his dog suffer through arthritis pain. While Hirschhorn noted that he was able to benefit from regenerative therapies, no such therapies were available for his dog. 

Another leading figure at the company is Linda Black. Linda Black is an entrepreneur with experience with other ventures in the past involving the life sciences. Other companies Black has worked for have included SciStem and Medicus Biosciences. These two ventures were also focused on regenerative therapies. 

Thanks to the $11 million in initial funding available to Gallant, the company made the purchase of the Cook-Regentec division. Now Gallant is able to offer pet owners the option to have stem cells collected any time they take a pet to have a spay or neuter surgery performed. 

In the future, regenerative therapies will be more widely available for pet owners, but it’s important to have the young stem cells available to provide these therapies. With the services of Gallant, it’s easy to ensure that effective treatments will be available for your dog for chronic conditions like arthritis down the road. 

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