From Wolf to Woof By Mary Hickerson

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1 HPPR_February_2014_Newsletter.doc HPPR Newsletter, April 2015 Volume 3, Issue 4 From Wolf to Woof By Mary Hickerson From Wolf to Woof... 1 Back In Black... 3 Purrs of Wisdom... 4 It s That Time of Year... 5 Our Newest Merchant Partners... 6 Moon Doggie Coffee... 6 Yankee Candle Washburn Sale... 6 Flower Power... 6 Bark Box...6 The Tale of Laser Lacy s Tail...6 Mark Your Calendars!...7 Find Us On Facebook...8 Wooftrax...9 Our Wishlist...9 HPPR Tag Sale...9 It was an experiment designed to recreate the evolution of wolves into dogs. These words, in an article in the March 2011 issue of National Geographic, describe the goal of a group of research biologists in Siberia who, beginning over 60 years ago, bred new generations of foxes by selecting those who best reacted to human contact as breeding stock for the next generation. According to the article, the experiment compressed thousands of years of domestication into a few years. This experiment goes back to an idea expressed by Charles Darwin in 1868, when he observed that animals in domestication display certain common characteristics. According to Darwin s observations, domesticated animals tend to be smaller than their wild progenitors, and show such characteristics as different ears, tails, and coloring. These altered traits show up in dogs, but they are also present in some pigs, cattle, chickens, and fish. The Siberian researchers suspected that the same differences shown in dogs would develop in foxes as they became domesticated. In their experiment, it took nine generations for the differences to begin to appear in the foxes; of course the process in nature would have taken thousands of years. Similar research done with pigs, chickens, horses, and other animals is intended to answer the question of how it s possible to transform wild animals into domestic animals. Scientific knowledge and genome sequencing may now enable researchers to determine how the change comes about. Scientists hope that insight into domestication of animals might lead to better understanding of how our earliest ancestors gradually became modern humans. Scientists theorize that humans ability to initiate changes in animals and plants also led to significant changes in humans interaction with their surroundings, such as what people ate, how they lived, and how they related to each other. If we know how these changes come about, we can understand more about ourselves and our genetic development. Cont'd on Page 2 1

2 From Wolf to Woof (Cont d from Page 1) Helping PAWS Pet Rescue April 2015 Some scientists find that the term domestication is misleading because it exaggerates the role played by humans and underestimates changes inherent in the animals themselves. Most of us, though, are more interested in understanding how wolves might have become dogs, and how a common wolf ancestor could have resulted in the great Dane, the Lhasa apso, the poodle, the pug, the golden retriever, the collie, and the many other breeds of today. During the recent Westminster Kennel Club dog show, a commentator noted that research has revealed that the Lhasa apso is the breed closest genetically to its wolf ancestors, a seemingly counter-intuitive observation. So how did the wolf become the Lhasa apso? In 2011 author Mark Derr, in the book How the Dog Became the Dog, set out to, in his words, examine what was known and suspected against what was possible with regard to how today s dogs came to be. A long-accepted theory is that ancient wolf ancestors adapted to coexisting with people after people evolved from big game hunters to staying in one place long enough to develop garbage dumps that attracted wolves and led, over thousands of years, to the wolf s becoming the dog. Recent research casts doubt on that theory, and Derr says that the only certainty left... [is] the identification of the gray wolf as the wild progenitor of the dog. Derr believes that dogs became dogs long before humans became settlers in one place, and that mutations and both natural and artificial selection led to the dog. Thus, the dog is inherent in the wolf, and the dog lover in all... members of the human genus making the emergence of the flesh-and-blood dog an evolutionary inevitability. Perhaps it s because people and dogs are what they are that our people and dog ancestors became attracted to one another, and they stayed together because the association was mutually beneficial from the beginning. Interaction between wolves/dogs and people appears in fossil records from at least 26,000 years ago, but genetic research shows that the dog s origins could go back as far as 135,000 years. Dogs buried with humans appear as long ago as 19,000 years. One hypothesis is that certain general generic types of dogs developed over thousands of years, the particular type influenced by climate, living conditions, and interactions with humans. Dogs accompanied people and vice versa for such purposes as hunting big game, herding and guarding other animals, controlling vermin, and so on. Size and specific canine skills and abilities changed as the interaction between dogs and humans changed, and as the climate, living conditions, and environment around both changed. The modern differentiation into specific breeds is a more recent development resulting from artificial selection and breeding over many generations of dogs. Though we ve lived in proximity to dogs for thousands of years, their exact origins remain unclear. Most of us look at our beloved dogs and value them for what they add to our lives, rather than focusing on where they came from and how they became what they are. Because dogs and humans share the social urge to become part of something larger than the self, the fundamental delight in the existence of the other must underlie the relationship of human and dog, Derr concludes. 2

3 Back in Black By Lily McCalla Helping PAWS Pet Rescue April 2015 Contrary to the beliefs of some, black cats are lucky! The history of black cats dates back to Ancient Egypt when Bastet, the goddess of protection, fertility, and motherhood, held sway in the 22nd dynasty. Many Egyptians brought black cats into their households in the belief that Bastet's spirit would become one with the soul of their cat and prosperity would follow. Egyptian families of all ranks embalmed their deceased pets, and archaeologists have unearthed entire pet cemeteries with mummified black cats. Charles I of England fiercely loved his precious black cat, and considered it his good luck charm. He even had guards whose job was to protect it 24/7. When the cat died, the King was heard to proclaim, "Alas my luck is gone!" The next day, he was arrested and charged with high treason and ultimately executed. For sure, his luck was gone! The Scots consider a strange black cat on a porch to bring prosperity to the household. In much of Europe, if a black cat crosses your path, you are considered to have good fortune, and if a black cat walks into your home, you are truly blessed. In Yorkshire, black cats were said to bring good luck to fishermen, helping them to return home safely from their voyages. Black kittens were often catnapped and sold to the highest bidder, usually the fishermen s wives, by scoundrels trying to cash in on the superstition. When Sumatra suffers a drought and needs rain, a black cat is found and thrown into the river. The villagers stand along the river bank, forcing the cat to swim until almost exhausted. At that point they allow the cat to get out of the water. The women villagers then chase the cat while throwing water on it and themselves. Supposedly this will bring rain and end the drought. I wonder if a white cat would work? If so, I d like to volunteer my brother Hastings for drought-ending duty. It would be a noble act on his part. No doubt, his first such act, as he is inherently ignoble! I wonder if he can swim? Let s find out! So herein lies the reason why I am forever cursed with my evil twin, Hastings. I am white, therefore I am unlucky. At any rate, if you need some good luck to enter your life, come to Helping PAWS. At present they have a whole herd of cats that are black or black with some white. At least the black part will bring you good luck! At present there are 9 cats and kittens available at Helping PAWS who fall into the Black is Beautiful category. Eight of them are pictured here. 3

4 Helping PAWS Pet Rescue April 2015 Purrs of Wisdom from Some of Our Adopted Pets Remember Tsunami, the kitten who likes to make waves? Well, she has taken up chess, and word has it that she plays a very active game with indiscriminate killing on both sides of the board. Clearly, she is a registered Independent and she does not discriminate against the races. Basically, it is a violent killing spree. Even pieces knocked to the floor are ruthlessly pursued until she's absolutely sure they're no fun anymore. Reportedly, she also seems to have a species identity crisis as well, as she follows her mom around like a puppy dog. She persists in climbing aboard while mom is in the bathtub. One night she even fell asleep there and began snoring. In her kitten-like moments, she helps mom get dressed by jumping up and clawing at her clothes. Battleship Bob's tail has become less enchanting; Tsunami now delights in stalking and attacking the HMS Aramis is who is only too happy to engage in pretend fights. I think that the stately, elderly, portly Battleship Bob enjoys the spectacle from his pillow by the fire. TIP for cat owners: if your furniture has become their scratching post, place a real scratching post next to the object of their misplaced scratching. Tsunami having scaled Mount Vanezzia, her human sister. Red Rover Come Over with his Furever Family! Hands down, Tiny Tim (left, with Arlo) is the weirdest, funniest and most lovable cat I've ever had -- he loves climbing in the shower with people, getting his nails clipped, riding on people's shoulders and hiding all of our socks! We think he's going to be a small cat, hasn't grown much, but he's still a kitten so who knows. He loves his new brother Arlo (7-year-old Rott/Lab rescue). They play hide and seek and love to snuggle. Cont'd on Page 5 4

5 Helping PAWS Pet Rescue April 2015 Purrs of Wisdom from Some of Our Adopted Pets (Cont d from Page 4) Sky Blue (now Sunny) and Lavender Blue (now Hilo) in their new home. It s That Time of Year... Ticks present serious issues for pet health, including Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichia. There are two families of ticks hard ticks and soft ticks--and at least 800 species. Ticks belong to the same insect class as mites, spiders, and scorpions. Ticks have eight legs and use teeth to cut blood vessels, after which they secrete anticoagulants to keep blood flowing, and they also secrete a cement-like substance that enables them to stick tenaciously to the creature they ve bitten. Lots of disgusting information about exactly how ticks bite can be found on the PetCareRx Web site. Another article advises on ways to dispose of a tick not in the garbage, since ticks are efficient crawlers and can escape. Flushing them down the toilet is effective, provided the tick doesn t stick to the side of the bowl and avoid going down the drain. The best way to remove a tick is described in an article by Madeleine Burry, who advises these steps: Use a cotton ball or tissue to place rubbing alcohol around the tick bite area. Put on gloves, and use either a tick removal device or tweezers to grasp the tick firmly by its head. Aim to get as close as possible to your pet's skin, without pinching the skin itself. Pull the tick away from the skin in a slow, upward movement. Avoid crushing the tick s body, since that can lead to bacteria getting inside the puncture wound. If you were unable to remove the entire tick apply a warm compress to get the mouth out. Do not use tweezers to dig it out; just leave it in place if the compress does not draw it out. Apply rubbing alcohol over the area again. Another alternative for tick removal is to use the Tick Twister which reportedly gets the whole tick, every time! Pictured below, the Hook-Twist-Pull technique with the Tick Twister. Contributor Debbie Franks highly recommends this tool! 5

6 Helping PAWS Pet Rescue April 2015 Our Newest Merchant Partners! Moon Doggie Coffee Roasters: We have a special brew A Purrrfect Cup of French Roast Joe featuring our own kittens on the label. HPPR gets 30% of the profits when you purchase our special brew (available as beans, several different ground types including Turkish and Espresso, and also in decaf). We get 20% of the profits on every other item made on this site when you enter HELPING PAWS in the comments section at checkout. Yankee Candle Washburn Sale ENDS APRIL 2 nd! If you live in the Washburn area, the last day to purchase items at Country Care Pet Hospital for delivery to the Vet Clinic in time for Mothers Day is April 2 nd! You can, however, purchase items online through well into July. Shop at our online story continuously by clicking the following link: Flower Power Fundraiser! Through May 1 st, the staff at Country Care Pet Hospital will be taking orders for Spring and Summer flowers. If you live in the Washburn area, this is the best way to stock your garden with summer favorites. HPPR gets 50% of the profits from the sale of these items. If you live outside the Washburn area, you can order online at: In the late summer early fall, we will have a bulb sale, both online and at Country Care Pet Hospital. Bark Box: Use our special link to get 10% off your BarkBox subscription, and HPPR will get a $15 donation! If asked, use code HPPR for your order. The Tale of Laser Lacy s Tail I ve just been spayed and guess what? I got to keep my tail! I guess I use it for balance, so it is like my 4 th wheel or leg, so to speak. I m raring to go, so stop by Country Care Pet Hospital and play with me. I ll show you my moves and you can show me yours. Maybe we ll even make a love connection! I m one of the 9 LUCKY black cats at HPPR, and I guarantee I won t disappoint you! Everyone can use a bit more good luck. If you can donate to help with my surgery, go to 6

7 Mark Your Calendars! Helping PAWS Pet Rescue April 2015 National Pet First Aid Awareness Month Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month: Wisconsin has a major problem with Lyme disease. Check your pets for ticks! See the map at bottom right to see how badly Lyme disease affects your county. Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month April 11, 2015: National Pet Day Third week in April: Animal Cruelty Awareness Week Cont'd on Page 8 7

8 Mark Your Calendars! (Cont d from Page 7) Helping PAWS Pet Rescue April 2015 Third week in April: National Pet ID Week One of our Merchant Partners is IDentiDog See for details. April 26, 2015: National Kids and Pets Day April 25, 2015: World Veterinary Day April 25, 2015: Hairball Awareness Day. July 24-26, 2015: Brownstone Days in Washburn, WI Find Us on Facebook 8

9 Helping PAWS Pet Rescue April 2015 Have YOU Programmed Your Cell Phone Yet? Make Money for HPPR Every Time You Walk Your Dog or Just Go For A Walk! Go to to get the app. The Wooftrax app can be installed on both Android and iphone devices, and as long as your phone is on while you walk with it, it will track your mileage and support our rescue with periodic payments. Be sure to select Helping Paws Pet Rescue, Inc in Washburn, WI as your supported rescue. After you download the app onto your smartphone, take the phone with you when you walk your pet(s) or simply when you go for a walk. Simply press the Start Walking for button and the app will keep track of your walk. When your walk is stopped it is credited to your selected shelter or rescue. The more people walking for that organization, the more we earn, so please spread the word. Our Wishlist Are YOU On Our Mailing List Yet? Are YOU on our mailing list? If not, why not? To join our mailing list, please subscribe at We promise not to spam you, and you can unsubscribe at any time by following the unsubscribe link within any mailing list . Helping PAWS Pet Rescue, Inc. 939 W. Bayfield St. Washburn, WI It's Not Too Early to Donate for Our Annual Tag Sale! ourhelpingpaws.com Although we have not finalized details yet, our annual tag sale will once again be held during Brownstone Days (July in Washburn, WI). It is not too early to begin sorting through items for donations for this event. It is one of our major fundraisers, and the earlier we receive donations, the better we can plan for the event. Contact us at or call for any questions you may have. Donations can be made in both Washburn and the Twin Cities. Call for details. 9