Friday, 10 November 2017

Oobe Doo, I really am like you!

We are all well aware of how closely humans are related to chimpanzees – we share a total of 99% DNA! – but latest research has shed even more light on the subject: chimpanzees have distinct and stable personalities that develop as they age, just like us!

This new study, carried out by the University of Edinburgh, and published in the journal Scientific Data, provides fresh insight, suggesting that, over time, chimpanzee personalities become stable. Like humans, a chimpanzee might have playful, nurturing, affectionate or aggressive traits. As they get older they appear to become less extrovert, and a little neurotic, but also become more conscientious and agreeable – similar to how our personalities develop and change as we grow older. 

The study built upon the research of Dr Jane Goodall. Back in the 1970s, the British primatologist conducted some ground-breaking research with the wild chimpanzees in the Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania, in which she was able to establish that the apes had unique personalities. Furthermore, she found that female chimpanzees tended to be more trustful, timid or depressed, whilst the males tended to be more aggressive and sociable. This kind of research into animal personalities was ahead of its time, with a scientific interest in this field only taking hold at the turn of the millennium.

Going back to the same group of chimps from Dr Goodall's original study, the Edinburgh university researchers discovered that their personalities had remained stable, whilst developing over time. Lead researcher Dr Alexander Weiss and his team collected more than 11,000 survey responses from those who had been observing the park's chimpanzees for 35 years, applied their own ratings system to their findings, and then compared their results to Dr Goodall's older Emotions Profile Index (EPI) questionnaire ... and found a distinct correlation.

Long-time studies of chimpanzees in the wild can ultimately be a highly beneficial source of insight into the evolution of human personality and behaviour. The stability of the chimpanzees' personalities could help scientists test how different personalities affect reproductive success, and other life outcomes in humans. Dr Weiss added: "Chimpanzees very likely differ as much from one another as we do as humans."

This research only begins to scratch the surface of the similarities between humans and chimpanzees, and opens up new possibilities for further exploration. It seems that Disney's King Louie had the right idea after all ...

Friday, 3 November 2017

Remember, remember your pets this November!

It's that time of year again when we all enjoy a good fireworks display, but not everyone finds it as enjoyable as us humans. Remember to look out for your furry friends at this time of year!

Did you know that approximately 60% of pets become scared or stressed upon hearing fireworks? There are a number of ways in which animals can show that they are anxious, and that includes, but is not limited to: trembling, cowering, refusing to eat, pacing, soiling, and destructive behaviour. Here, we have compiled a number of handy tips and tricks to help you take care of your pets this weekend. 

Birds, ferrets, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, and rabbits

When taking your smallest pets into account, the first thing to consider doing is, if possible, to bring hutches and enclosures inside to a quiet room, whether that's actually inside the house, or in a garage or shed. If that isn't possible, at least make sure to change the direction the enclosure is facing, so it doesn't look out onto an open garden. For your furry little friends, make sure to provide lots of extra bedding that is perfect for burrowing into. And for your feathered friends, make sure to cover aviaries with a thick blanket to block out the sight and sound of fireworks, whilst still allowing enough ventilation – this is a good idea for all enclosed pets!

Cats and dogs

The main point to remember with our cats and canines is to always keep them inside when fireworks are being let off! Make sure your dog has been walked during daylight hours, and that once inside
for the night, all windows, doors, and cat flaps are secure, to prevent your pet venturing out. As an extra precaution ensure that your pet is wearing some form of easy-to-read ID; we don't all have microchip scanners!
If they're used to the noise of a TV, keep that on, to help normalise the situation. Normality is key: the calmer you are, the calmer they will be. This also includes not making a fuss of them on the off chance that they will be frightened; let them pace, meow, whine and hide. Create a den for them where they can shoot off to if they need it; if they hide, do not try to coax them out; they feel that that is where they are safest, with all that noise going on outside! 
Lastly, even if you think your pet is a zen master when it comes to fireworks, think again: you should ideally never leave them home alone, and you should most certainly not take your dog to a fireworks display!

Horses and ponies

As a general rule, fireworks must not be set off anywhere near livestock or horses. If you do keep your horse in a field, it would be worth contacting the local council for information on any firework displays that may be taking place nearby. If this is the case, make sure the organisers are aware, and
ask them to set off the fireworks in the opposite direction, so as not to startle your horse.
As with all animals, keeping to a routine as much as possible will aide them in staying calm. If you can, ensure that you or an experienced person is on-hand to observe the horse's behaviour, responding as necessary, and to safeguard them against harm. If you have to leave your horse in the care of someone else, give them clear instructions and contact details for yourself and your vet. If you know that your horse reacts badly to loud noises, consider moving them for the night of the event. 
And last, but by no means least, be careful yourself! Try not to get in the way if your horse becomes startled, as this may result in you getting injured. 

Here's to a fantastic and safe Bonfire Night! Suppose this means that Christmas is just around the corner ...

Friday, 27 October 2017

Kac and Lisa are seeing stars!

Kac Young has many attributes to her name – producer, TV writer, director, multiple doctorates – and now, dog owner. Together with Lisa Tenzin-Dolma – founder of the Dog Issues Advice Line (DIAL) and The International School for Canine Practitioners (ISCP) – she has written The Supposedly Enlightened Person's Guide to Raising a Dog, an exceptional book that explores Kac's latest venture of becoming a 'dog mom.'

Having previously only been a cat owner, Kac never imagined having a dog, until she met Talulah; sometimes; the dog choses you! Having consulted Lisa on all-things dog-related from the start, it is only natural that Kac's anecdotes should be followed by Lisa's observations and guidance. Combined, Kac and Lisa provide a vital insight into the best way to establish a loving and trusting relationship between you and your dog.

This book is proving a very popular read amongst Hubble &Hattie fans, with multiple five star reviews; it seems that Kac and Lisa have hit upon a winning formula with their co-production!

"The book takes the reader through rehoming centres, and how to find the right dog for you; this is all achieved in super true-story form in how Talulah settles in, and necessities such as toilet training, feeding, other pets … in this case six cats! Chapters follow with Talulah making appearances in photos throughout. I love the last paragraph, as I think it is so important: 'Have fun with your dogs, and make the most of every moment. Drink in his love and devotion and offer the same in return.' Both entertaining and informative, this book is totally delightful, and a wonderful read for dog owners new and old."
– Dog Training Weekly

"Enjoy an uplifting read about learning to love a dog, and learning to earn a dog's love too! Marc Bekoff's foreward to this book is an enduring endorsement of the pioneering work of Hubble & Hattie in publishing books written by ethical guardians of other species. Behind this superbly illustrated saga shines a beautiful bright light that will never be extinguished. Kac Young's gentle self-deprecating humour permeates The Supposedly Enlightened Person's Guide to Raising a Dog and offers comfort and wisdom to the newbie dog guardian. Lisa Tenzin-Dolma is the patient mentor strengthening the connection between Kac, Talulah, and then also Truffle. Lisa taught Kac the language of dogs in this insightful journey of developing an enduring, respectful relationship between species. Integrating an adopted dog into the busy lives of two professional adults is hard work. Kac's carefully documented account offers so much. It covers every imaginable aspect of helping a dog to understand the chaotic world of humans.
"Kac shares her aspirations as an adoptive guardian in a heart-warming read. She embraces her new role with humility, a willingness to learn and a heart full of unconditional love. Lisa's generous advice is also compressed into easy-to-follow dot points. The Supposedly Enlightened Person's Guide to Raising a Dog is irresistible."
– Geelong Obedience Dog Club

"I loved this book so much! A proud rescuer myself, I related to everything Kac wrote about here, and even learned a few cool new things about my boy, this creature who never ceases to amaze me (and exasperate me) at the age of seven. If you're a dog lover – or a cat lover (or a something in between) – you'll enjoy this book. Happily, they also bring to light a few tips and tricks that will definitely come in handy if you're having trouble training your young and stubborn one. This is such a great book! Wonderful job, Kac and Lisa – and very well written, too!"
– J Randy and Spencer, NY Times Book List Best Seller

"The stories of life as a first-time adopter describe Kac's progression from slightly shell-shocked beginner to savvy, adoring dog guardian. Entertaining and informative, readers will see how Kac consulted with behaviourist Lisa Tenzin-Dolma on all-things dog-related, and will get Lisa's own observations and guidance on a wide range of subjects following Kac and Talulah's many stories. An engaging, entertaining, and informative read from cover to cover, The Supposedly Enlightened Person's Guide to Raising a Dog will help anyone with a new canine companion of their own start off on the right foot – or paw – with a new dog, or get reacquainted with a long-time canine friend and companion!"
– Midwest Book Review

"I have read this book at least three times before commencing this review, and, as someone who has been involved with the subject for a lifetime, learned something new each time I read it. I found it fascinating and am convinced that anyone, irrespective of experience, who has a new dog, no matter whether puppy or adult, will find it an extremely helpful guide. I found each chapter – no matter how short – interesting and instructive. I was learning without realising it! I am sure that it is not a book that will be left gathering dust on the shelf, but will be referred to time and the again. Buy it, read it, and be educated and entertained. Whatever your experience, I am sure you will not regret the decision."

– Trevor Turner, BVetMed, MRCVS, FRSH, MCIArb

In addition to all of these fabulous reviews, Kac has taken it upon herself to go on her own press tour, scheduling radio and television interviews around California and beyond, to talk about her book, ahead of its in-store release in the United States. During these interviews, we get to learn more about Kac's new found home life: how she simply fell in love with Talulah in an instant, despite being convinced that the only pets she ever needed were her cats; how Kac's and Lisa's friendship developed over the years; how Kac was inspired by Lisa's story with her own rescue dog, Charlie – which you can read for yourself in Lisa's book Charlie – The Dog Who Came in from the Wild, also from Hubble & Hattie – how the idea for this book came about … the list really does go on! Click the following links to hear Kac's and Lisa's interviews.

Radio host Wendy Garrett, from Conscious Living, also shared her own review of the book off-air, which we have for you here:
"Timely perspective and insight on so many relevant topics. Choc-full of compassionate understanding, gentle reproach and non-punitive, illustrative techniques to help reinforce and reward our cherished companions in ways that speak directly to them, you succeed in advocating guidance that is a win/win situation for the pet, especially for those who know their person has a heart but is flat-out of clues. The beautiful pictures are so well done and fun!"

See for yourself what makes this book so incredibly marvellous, by heading over to our online shop – as well as Lisa's book about Charlie –  and consider yourself 'supposedly enlightened' as well!


Thursday, 12 October 2017

Worzel's Quite Very Actual Busy Summer

Ever since becoming an internet sensation with his acclaimed bloggy fing, Worzel Wooface has been on the fast-track to being a sellebberty dog. And the past few months have been especially busy, as he has had not one, but two new books published!

Of course, if you're an avid follower of all things Hubble & Hattie, you'll know about Worzel, but if you are new to this literary Lurcher, let's quickly get you up to speed. Taken in by Hounds First Sighthounds Rescue, and then adopted into his forever home by Catherine Pickles and her famberly, Worzel sees it as his very himportant duty to be an ambassador for rescue pups. And he's doing a fins job of it, too! In addition to his bloggy fing – which was a finalist in the 2015 UK Blog Awards – he has a collie-um-num in his local newspaper, and a total of four published works!

Three Quite Very Actual Cheers for Worzel Wooface! is his latest literary offering, which details his third year. The list of adventures he has embarked on is endless: the famberly's bid to save Worzel's favourite beach, heading out on a foreign holiday, and how to handle a foster brother, to name but a few! 

Reviews are just starting to reach us here at Hubble & Hattie HQ, and are quite actual fabumazing! Here are a couple of snippets:

"Totally delighted with the third book in the series, I think they just get better and better, and long may it last!"
– Dog Training Weekly

"Live and laugh with Worzel! Learn to speak Lurcher, too!"
– Geelong Obedience Dog Club

Worzel's mum, Catherine, always wanted to write a children's book that features her luffly boykin, and back in August her wish was realised with the release of Worzel Says Hello! Will You Be My Friend? The praise for this book has been outstanding, and rightly so! Combined with Chantal Bourgonje's marvellous illustrations, the book aims to teach children how to interact and make friends with dogs in a safe and happy way.

"This book for children addresses the issues of introducing a potentially nervous rescue dog to young children."
– Australian Dog Lover

"Watch as Worzel goes from shy and scared to girl's best friend in this delightful read, fit for any child's book collection."
– Dogs Monthly

"An accurate, aesthetic, artistic, literary delight! Hubble & Hattie has set a formidable benchmark for canine educators, opting for the popular picture storybook format."
– Geelong Obedience Dog Club

"This book is gorgeous. Every child (and an awful lot of adults) should read this book: it could make their whole lives a lot happier."
– The Bookbag

If all that excitement wasn't enough Worzel for you, then you're in luck, as there's more! Worzel was hinterviewed for PeTA by its very own doggy reporter, Jasper Bossyboots. Jasper, a fuge fan of Worzel's, had a whole list of questions to ask, from what is it like being a sellebberty dog, how he writes his books, and more. You can read the full hinterview here.

Now, I know what you're thinking: that's still not enough of the luffly boykin for you! Well, you can keep up with Worzel in many different ways, whether through his bloggy fing, or his Facebook, or Twitter, so you'll never be without a bit of Worzel for long!

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Find-o and Rescue!

In recent weeks, Mexico has been hit by a number of earthquakes, with the most devastating affecting Mexico City on the 19th of September. With rescue efforts still under way, we've heard of a very special four-legged-friend who is making a huge contribution.

Omar Torres-AFP/GettyImages
Meet Frida, the 7-year-old yellow Labrador rescue dog, deployed by the Mexican navy (SEMAR) to help the search effort in the event of natural disasters. Kitted out in her protective goggles, harness, and two pairs of booties, her services were called upon after both the Mexico City and 7th of September Oaxaca earthquakes to help search for survivors. In her career, she has recovered 52 people, although, sadly, only 12 of them alive. This number does not include the latest Mexico disasters, as the recovery is still on going.

When details of her work made the news, Frida became a viral sensation: a tweet posted by the Mexican navy, featuring a collage of pictures of her, reportedly received over 4000 retweets and almost 7000 likes alone! The people of Twitter love Frida, with many hailing her a hero, or viewing her as a symbol of hope during this troubled time.

As reported by the LA Times, Frida's handler, Israel Arauz Salinas, described the training that she, and other pups, undertake in order to become detector dogs. Puppies are selected from the age of two months, and training varies depending on whether they will go into the detection of explosives, narcotics, or people. The form of training that Frida would have received included a seemingly normal game of fetch; once the dog gets used to this idea, the trainer then begins running with the toy in hand, instead of throwing it for them to retrieve. This aides the pup in associating the smell of a human with the reward of the toy. Then dogs train for three hours a day for a whole year before they are deployed to disaster sites. 

Once on site, trained dogs bark if they detect life signs, or stop and proceed cautiously, if there is a scent, but no life signs. Some of the smaller spaces Frida and the other dogs will have to search on site are no more than 20 inches hight, but crawling, the dogs can get much further than a human.

It's great to see that, in their hour of need, dogs truly are Man's Best Friend! If this heart-warming tale has piqued your interest in the work of service dogs, we have just the book for you. Partners by Nan Walton includes an array of real life stories on service dogs, from Search and Rescue canines like Frida, to guide dogs. You can find it here.

Monday, 2 October 2017

International Animal Rescue with Four Paws Charity

Whether it's the constant news stories in the media, or JK Rowling's efforts last year on Twitter to save a family from the war-torn capital of Aleppo, it's hard to escape hearing about the Syrian civil war. Despite how much is being reported on the people within the country, not much is heard about the animals that are also suffering because of the ongoing conflict. Well, lucky for some four-legged-friends, Four Paws have been able to help!

Four Paws is a UK animal welfare charity that operates internationally, and its main aim is to help create a world where humans treat animals respectfully, with empathy, and have a full understanding of their way of life. Amongst a huge number of ways in which it executes its plans to provide direct assistance to animals in need and re-home them in its own sanctuaries. This is exactly what happened when it came to rescuing the animals at the Magic World Zoo, situated near Aleppo. 

Over the course of the summer months, the team at Four Paws worked tirelessly in order to save the remaining 13 animals from the zoo. With the help of the Turkish Ministry of Forestry and Water Management, Turkish aides, and a local security team, they were able to cross the boarder into Syria, rescue the animals, and bring them to a rehabilitation centre in Turkey, before transporting them on to their new homes. 

Amongst the animals were five lions, two bears, two tigers, two hyenas, and two dogs, all of which showed signs of physical and mental trauma, as well as being malnourished and emaciated. One of the hyenas was even found to have been suffering from kidney failure. All animals had to receive veterinary care at the Wildlife Rescue Centre in Karacabey, Turkey, before they were able to be transported to their new home, Al Ma'wa for Nature and Wildlife in Jordan, a Four Paws project partnership.

Most of the animals will now stay and make Al Ma'wa their new home, apart from the two tigers, who will be moved to a specialist Four Paws sanctuary in the Netherlands. Although the lasting psychological effects will have had a profound, and unfortunately irreversible, effect on the animals, they are now at least safe, well cared for, and exploring their new surroundings with excitement, all thanks to the amazing team at Four Paws!

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

WDC EU success!

Our friends, Whale & Dolphin Conservation, have recently had a great success: the majority of EU parliamentarians have voted in favour of a resolution to ban the movement of whale meat through EU ports … all thanks to WDC's tireless campaigning.

For many years, WDC's Stop Whaling team, along with other NGOs, such as Humane Society International, have campaigned to stop whaling, and this is a big step in the right direction.

The EU currently allows whale meat and whale meat products to be carried by ships docking at EU ports, despite the UK and many other EU countries being opposed to whaling. Southampton, Rotterdam, and Hamburg have handled Icelandic and Norwegian ships carrying whale products in the past, and a recent WDC campaign to end the practice was supported by over 100,000 people.

The resolution being put forward strongly condemns Norway's whaling, and it's trade in whale products, and the vote by MEPs shows that the vast majority are against whaling. Of course, it's early days, and there is still much work for WDC and other organisations to do, to ensure that MEP's support is turned into a legal ban, but it's a very promising step.

Astrid Fuchs, the WDC Stop Whaling lead, says:
"WDC has worked very hard with MEPs to get them to support our view on this issue, and we are delighted with the outcome as it sends a strong signal to the EU Commission and all Member States: Killing whales is cruel and unnecessary and not at all in line with EU policies. WDC has campaigned on this issue for years and it is good to see progress."
With the resolution, the EU Commission now has a clear mandate to stop the indirect support of whaling activities, calling for it to 'look into all possible ways of ensuring that whale meat is no longer legally allowed to transit through EU ports, including by recommending a ban on such transits as an exceptional measure.' It also calls on Norway to cease all commercial whaling operations, and to abide by the current international ban on commercial whaling and trade in whale meat products.

Fuchs concludes:
"WDC will continue to push to ensure that the calls of the EU Parliament – which acts as the voice of the public in Europe – are followed by the necessary actions."
The WDC will be continuing its work, engaging with EU Member States, and pressing for diplomatic action against Norway, unless it stops whaling. We'll keep you posted on the latest updates and news from WDC and its fight to end whaling. In the meantime, find out more about its efforts on its website … click the logo, left, or keep up-to-date with all the latest developments on Facebook and twitter.