Thursday, December 08, 2011

In the Dinosaur Exhibit

It is amazing how kids love Dinosaurs (ok, I sound my mother about this) and that is why this weekend we went to see a so call "biggest Europe" exhibit about Dinosaurs.

australian shepherd in a dinosaur exhibit

In the Dinosaur Exhibit with my son and my Australian Shepherd !

australian shepherd in a dinosaur exhibit

australian shepherd in a dinosaur exhibit
australian shepherd in a dinosaur exhibit

It was nice, specially because it was a good excuse to go out in an cloudy holiday ... but I can say 10 things I would like to see better in this exhibit.

Any way, we saw the exhibit, play with our dog (yes there were nice green gardens to play with a ball) and went to Belem to eat some Pasteis de Belém.

So a nice day !

Other trips and travel:

Friday, December 02, 2011

Dog Chapel

Dog Chapel Some say that is blasphemy to say that animals have souls, but only those who never shared his life (yes, it is not to say that is the owner, but said that is the companion) with a four-legged companion knows that is a statement very difficult to accept.

Pets mark our lives with their simple joy of living and being with us, without requiring something in return ... well, unless, at least in the case of the canines, a plate of food and attention. Cats, depend of the spirit in which they are ... sometimes they require food and attention, and other times they allow pampering and eat to our benefit ;)

Anyway, sharing this vision, there was a friend of the animals that decided to build a sanctuary where people could cry and pray for the souls of their deceased four-legged companions.
The result was a chapel called "Dog Chapel", and is located in Vermont.

Here are some pictures that I have gathered,

Dog Chapel
Dog Chapel
Dog Chapel
Dog Chapel
Dog Chapel
Dog Chapel
Dog Chapel
Dog Chapel

Friday, November 25, 2011

A new toy for cats and dogs

toy for cats
As someone who has several very intelligent dogs, I am always looking to find something that entertains them mentally.

I read with great interest an article about a new accessory for dogs and cats that is receiving good reviews in the U.S..

At the end is a food bowl or food distributor, which requires dogs (or cats) to seek food and think how to open the compartment where it is, forcing them to use the mind and senses.
toy for dogs

Two videos showing the product,

Official website:

I hope it can reach Portugal in affordable price ;)

Monday, November 07, 2011

A trip to Palmela

Palmela castleOn this weekend, taking advantage, of the bad weather break, little blue sky and wormer weather, we went to take another trip in our country.

Since my son is learning the Portuguese history in school, were the Setúbal district represented an important part, I decided to take him to see in live one of the castles that had an important role in our history.

trip to Palmela with dogs

So, we went to visit the Castle of Palmela in the small village of Palmela that is located in the coasts of the Serra da Arrábida and from above Lisbon.

seeing Lisbon from above the Palmela castle

I have to admit that the will wasn’t huge, since the weekend had a bad start, but me and my son needed the break, and there is nothing like taking our four leg friends for a trip to lift the spirits and of course in the end we were very satisfied and happy with our decision to go ahead with our plans and go out.

trip to Palmela with dogs

Our 4 leg companions were two Australian Shepherd, that, like always, love the chance to be the envy of friends.

Palmela is a picturesque town with cobblestone streets that really takes us back to the time that what was so common to see on our lands and easily forgotten in the big cities.

Palmela castle

The castle is very well preserved and with a lot of signs explaining what we were seeing, and although we were forced to go on Sunday instead of Saturday how I had planned, we didn’t lost anything, since everything was accessible and open to visitors, including (to my great surprise) the tourist office located within the walls of the Castle.

trip to Palmela with australian shepherd

Even our canine companions had a chance to run in the castle gardens and had a stress relieve.

We have some mandatory points when we go to visit a new place, one is the local museum, other is the local church (since in many places is the most ancient building) and the local cuisine.

pastry Tradições

In addition to wine and muscatel, I was unaware of the sweets of Palmela and was the office of tourism that pointed out a local pastry that was focused on the traditional sweets

queijadas de palmela

On this pastry we taste three different queijadas de Palmela, a regional brad, and of course, the cheese of Azeitão, that my son just love. Also we bought a small dry sweet to give to our four leg companions.

queijo Azeitão

In the end we visit the Palmela church which is the first we've seen almost totally covered with tiles, which gives it an unusual clarity and lightness.

Palmela church

Palmela is for certain one more of our Portugal sites that will stay in our hearts and memories ;)

Other trips and travel:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thinking green ...

dog e-reading
We, animal breeders (well or very occasionally breeders) may well think in our effect on the general world and society.

I once read that a pet consumes a lot of resources, but in my opinion, a person really consumes a lot more, since we are not satisfy but just the basic survival needs, and a pet is really happy with the basic, food, care and love. And if having a pet reduces the need for people to have other people in their lives, then … anyway, lot of debate in this matter …

Recently, maybe due to my professional area, I have being confronted with the new iPad and the necessity to make products available for e-reading.

So, how those e-reading really affect our modern world ? in my opinion it really helps reducing the consuming of paper and I already read several reports that newspapers and magazines have decreasing sells, since people already read on-line for the news.
This shouldn’t hurt the news industry, but make then to need to invest in new areas, like e-reading.

For books … well I believe that will be harder, since there is still a image that people need to accomplish having a lot of shiny books on their living rooms. They might not be big readers or even like to read, but to have a library always looks good, doesn’t it ?

So maybe we should make a personal effort to change our cultural label and really think above that. Books can be read by e-readers and there are some that are available to those that can’t spend a lot (for instance the Kindle for Amazon).

Buying a e-reading device used, also helps to recycle, since there wasn’t a need to produce one more to our flavor.

In the end it is the words, the story and the ability to enter in the writer world that matter when we read.

So, one more suggestion from people who like to think green !

Thursday, October 06, 2011

St. Francis of Assisi and Animal day !

 St. Francis of Assisi

This week, on the 4 of October, we celebrate St. Francis of Assisi and Animal day !

St. Francis of Assisi was dear to my father and he always said that when he would dye it was to his heavenly garden he would go to help St. Francis of Assisi to take care of the animals over there, so it is where I imagine my father soul.

For those that don’t know St. Francis of Assisi, he was a man that was born in a very rich family and along his live path decided to dedicate his life to the church and animals. He defended the ideal of a brotherhood that would integrate men with nature and animals.
For him each living being was an expression of God kindness and to love an animal was to love God and his creation.

This year, I lost one of my oldest friend, that was with me since the beginning of my adult life. To her as to the rest of my lost four leg family, I dedicate my memory and prays.

celestial garden

Monday, October 03, 2011

A trip to Aveiro

AveiroAveiro is one of those Portuguese cities you must visit ! Known for its Moliceiro, confectionery and characteristic architecture, leaves an imprint in our memories and hearts.
I remember having visited this city with my parents and perhaps because of the mark that left on my soul, I have tried to show it to other people that are close to me.
So, I organized a special trip with my son and I sincerely hope, like with me, I accomplish my purpose and left a mark he will remember and share in the future.

trip to Aveiro

On our trip we made several stops along the way because I am always delighted with the landscape that unfolds in front of us, when we go to the north of Portugal and is so different from South of our country. It is worth stopping, enjoying nature and walk to stretch your legs simply enjoying ;)

Parque Infante D. Pedro

When we arrived in Aveiro we immediately encounter the Parque Infante D. Pedro, a densely wooded area, with varied fauna and flora, and even a lake of reasonable dimensions, where a couple kindly gave some of his bread to Gabriel, and he enjoyed feeding ducks and fish. Inside the gazebo stands wrought iron of the early century, the Museum of Hunting and Fishing and a beautiful tile panel.
My four-legged friends loved this stop, where they had the first olfactory experience of the city of Aveiro.

australian shepherd in Aveiro

The Museum of Aveiro city, established in the former Convent of Jesus, women of the Dominican Order, was another point that we decided to visit. Here we found a vast collection of Baroque religious art, and we can visit and therefore get to know part of the convent and the nuns daily life. The Church of Jesus and the tomb of Princess Saint Joan is also in the Museum.

barrica de Ovos MolesThe food and sweets is still a battle between me and my son, because like all children, he is suspicious regardless of what is new and unknown.
But as I had explained to him, and he already had experience with the pastel de Belém, everything that identifies us as the Portuguese and is done in our land, we have to experience and have knowledge to say and talk to other people.
And after he read about the history of Ovos Moles and the Pão de Ló de Ovar, became convinced that he had to taste and he particularly like the Pão de Ló de Ovar and brought with him a barrel of Ovos Moles.

moliceiro de Aveiro
The Ria de Aveiro with its famous Moliceiro, which so delighted my son, is a famous icon of the city.

hotel aveiro palaceThe hotel where we were staying was the Palace Aveiro where we were well attended, well received and have opened their doors to animals, and was not surprised with our four-legged companions.
The room was excellent (in the words of my son "slept like a baby"), the shower is very good, and heavenly breakfast.
Therefore, a reference;)

australian shepherd in Aveiro

Other trips and travel:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Want to stay fit ? walk a dog

Personally I can say it is quite true ...

walking a dog

When it comes to getting fit a person's best friend just might be a four-legged one.

Experts say studies show dog owners walk more, walk faster, and are more likely to enjoy an active lifestyle because of their companion animal.

"I'm fascinated by what a great motivator dogs can be," said Dr. Sandra McCune, co-editor of the book, "The Health Benefits of Dog Walking for People and Pets."

McCune, an animal behaviorist based in Leicestershire, England, said studies show if you're a dog walker, you're more likely to meet the guidelines for daily activities.

Dogs are the reason behind two-thirds, 66 percent, of the walks their owners take each week, according to a recent survey of more than 1,011 adults commissioned by pet food company Mars Petcare.

One-quarter of people with children and pets regularly visit parks and other outdoor spaces because of their dog.

"Personally, I have a Labrador," McCune said. "When it's dark, when it's raining, the dog needs a walk, every day."

She said dog walking also strengthens social and communal ties.

"If people go out with a dog, they're more likely to have a conversation," she explained.

According to the poll some 44 percent of dog owners aged 65 and older exercise on a weekly basis because of their dog.

"Dogs are strong drivers of social capital," said McCune, explaining that social capital is a sociological term which she defined as the value of all relationships.

"Dog ownership benefits the entire community," she said.

This fall YMCAs in several U.S. cities are hosting their version of dog days. Called the Power of Pets, the programs include dog run/walks, dog yoga and other dog fair activities.

"It's a chance to get the community together," Katy Leclair, executive director of the Lake View, Illinois YMCA said of the program. "Families with dogs tend to be more active."

As workout partners, canines can offer energy, enthusiasm, and the social support so crucial to sticking with an exercise program, according to Shirley Archer, spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise.

"Dogs can provide that companionship," said Archer, a Florida-based fitness instructor. "Frisbee tossing, ball throwing, agility competitions, dog and human boot camps, are great opportunities to be active," she said. "But obedience training is a must."

She cautions that as living creatures dogs need to be taken care of.

"If they ride with you on a bicycle, they need to be trained to stay close," she said. "Keep them hydrated. Check their paws. Don't let them run right after they eat."

Laura Cartwright Hardy, a grandmother and full-time graduate student living in Little Rock, Arkansas, has two huge German Shepherds.

"I've had big dogs since I was 20 and that's definitely been part of the reason I've always been fit," said Hardy, who started lifting weights in her 30s so she could carry 40-pound (18.14-kg) bags of dog food with ease.

"They certainly keep you honest about walking," she said. "Those big brown eyes make it impossible to say no."

She added that every human walking partner she has had, except her sister and her husband, quit because she went too fast.

"My dogs (all girls) have been steadfast," she said.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dog Heroes

No words since a image can sometimes worth a 1000 words, and this one, not only recalls the tragedy, but also the 4 leg heroes that together with the 2 legs, saved, many times paying with their life's, dozens of people !


Thursday, September 08, 2011

Dog no longer man’s best friend

Scary ... but in a way makes sense in our world ...

If you take your dog for a walk this evening consider this: Is Rover your best friend or has your love for your laptop surpassed your canine friend?

A survey conducted by YouGov suggests that the everyday computer has taken over the top spot for man’s best friend. Almost two thirds of those who took part in the survey consider their computer "a more constant companion than a dog".

This is more prevalent in younger dog owners, the survey suggests. This stunning discovery comes as more and more people spend more time on their computers then with their dog.

Internet browsing, online shopping, watching YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and consuming news online is more sought-after then running around with little Rex.

Only 6 per cent of those questioned said that Rex and Rover were their best friends,this minority believing that "most people rely more on their dog than they do on their PC".

A spokesperson for Computeractive, the people who commissioned the study with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said, "These days you can even take your PC for a walk, provided you have a laptop or tablet."

With these statistics in mind, we would like to remind you all that laptops aren’t just for Christmas. Now go give that dog a bone instead of watching someone get boned on the internet.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Estoril Dog Show 2011

australian shepherd in estoril dog show
This weekend was my little Australian Shepherd debut in the Dog Show world.
It was an experience that started to be very strange for my little puppy and ended to be very enriching, since it was the first time he saw so many different dogs, so many people and walked so long with a leash.
His father and aunt went along to provide strength, company and show that to go to this places is “very cool”.

australian shepherd in estoril dog show

Of course, Angel and Teco, are ambassadors by excellence, since they nice behavior, joy to be with their owners and will to please is contagious. It isn’t every day we can see two dogs playing loose with a ball in an environment with lots of people and dogs.

australian shepherd in estoril dog show

My little one was 1º baby of the breed in both days. The performance of his first presentation was quite week, but he soon overcome that, and behaved quite well in the next performances.
His brother Dilan also showed on Saturday and behaved quite well, even being his first dog show, so all the credit goes to his owner Fernando, that has train and work with him.

australian shepherd in estoril dog show

And that is it ! A canine weekend, in my favorite show of the year, on the beautiful gardens of the Casino do Estoril, in the company of my friend Luis, that is also rendered to the Australian Shepherd friendship and companionship.

Other activities:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Roadshow Nintendogs + Cats

From July 28 to August 24, the Roadshow Nintendogs+Cats, with the União Zoófila support, walk through the streets of Portugal with the aim to raise awareness of the Portuguese population towards a responsible adoption of dogs and cats, and also inform the raising of the abandon problem of domestic animals.

With a space exclusively dedicated to the adoption of dogs and cats, the União Zoófila makes known through photographs in 3D, showed in the Nintendo 3DS, some of their animals available for adoption. Those interested can choose the location where the pet is available for adoption and can contact directly União Zoófila to make their adoption. And because having a pet involves a high sense of responsibility and care, visitors of this space can also find tips and advice for caring for animals ranging from food, hygiene, education, socialization or exercise.
The União Zoófila, association of reference in Portugal in regards of assistance and protection of abandon dogs and cats, associates for the first time with a video game, with the aim of helping to prepare future adopters of a domestic animal and thus reduce the number of these abandoned animals in Portugal.

The start of the Campus Nintendogs+Cats 3DS is scheduled for July 28, in Praia da Torre in Oeiras. Until the 24th of August, will go the beaches of the Algarve and Figueira da Foz, which will have extra entertainment these days. For more information, visit, where you can find the map with the locations and times.

All those who do not know the game Nintendogs+Cats 3DS have the opportunity to try this tool to help you become aware of the responsibility associated with owning a pet because, similarly to what happens with a real animal, the player will have, among other responsibilities, to feed, walk, bathe, teach tricks or pamper your pet.


Related Article:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Another job for dogs ...

Dog helps children to testify

Dog helps children to testify

The girl on the stand - with fifteen years of trauma - was scared. The defendant, his father, still clearly had the power to intimidate.

Occasionally she looked at him and the effect could be seen. Tone down, hesitated, stopped in the middle of an answer. At such times, the animal got closer to her feet, brushed her with the nose, or leaned against her. The girl hugged her and went on.

In the end, the defendant was sentenced to capital punishment for crimes of rape: 25 years to a life sentence. It was just the latest case in which justice was done with the presence of a canine in a U.S. court.

The use of dogs to help particularly vulnerable witnesses to feel safe is a growing practice in the U.S.. Two dozen jurisdictions, from New York to Hawaii and going through Texas, Idaho and Missouri, have officially adopted it. At least one foreign court in Santiago, Chile, did the same.
You can not cross-examine a dog

Prosecutors love it. Not only the dog or bitch gives an emotional support and encourages the witness to speak, as juries seem to be susceptible to persuasion in this way.

There is the idea that if a child or other victim have a nearby dog - especially a dog as cute as Rosie, the golden retriever in the case above - is half the battle for the jury to believe in the testimony. "Sometimes it means the difference between conviction and acquittal," said one attorney.

By the same token, the defense lawyers object. O Tohom already announced that it will probably be one of the elements to use in the appeal. "Every time the girl was stroking the dog, the jury sent a subconscious message that was in stress to be telling the truth," said one.

Furthermore, he added, we can not cross-examine a dog.
Like the teddy bears

On the same day and in the same court in Poughkeepsie, New York, another trial in which Rosie would also be involved - the bitch is on permanent duty to the court - was interrupted when suddenly the defendant confessed. Also there came to witness children, daughters of a murdered woman, and he wanted to avoid that.

As much as the lawyers criticize, the practice should continue. Already in 1994 there were those who tried to nullify a sentence for the victim to have witnessed accompanied by a teddy bear, and at the time it didn't worked.

The court ruled that it did not affect the credibility of testimony.


Monday, August 08, 2011

The role of dogs in Human evolution

This week-end following the conversations we were having about Charles Darwin and the Origin of Species, Me and my son went to visit the Natural History Museum, Science Museum and Botanical Garden of Lisbon.

Lisbon Natural History Museum

On this visit we reflect on various aspects of the creation of the solar system, the emergence of life on Earth, evolution to dinosaurs (a subject that always fascinates children)

dinosaurs on Lisbon Natural History Museum

mass extinction of dinosaurs, evolution of mammals, and of course human evolution and the role of man's best friend, the dog in our evolution.

In our days it is believed that wasn't man who approached the wolf, but the wolves that followed the human groups to take advantage of the debris produced and often not consumed.


As the proximity of the two species were kept, the more likely situation is that the wolves became more docile and trusting, thus ignoring, the basic instincts. Animals that remained with the human groups, had more success in finding food, and therefore to reproduce and keep their young.

From the step to approach human beings and the first adoption that challenged the laws of the natural world, where humans and wolves competed as predators, we can only guess what happened.

wolf in a human group

With the domestication and adoption of wolves within the human group it is believed to have formed a symbiotic relationship where the Wolf received food, shelter and care from humans, and humans received protection and companionship, which evolves into a mutual aid in the hunt and later in other activities such as herding.

The man really helped in domestication by selecting the most pleasing docile animals and eliminating those with wild characteristics.
The Wolf, is thought to have contributed to man evolution by eliminating the man's need to develop physical senses, like smell to hunt. Also the use of Wolf, or probably at this point we can designate as dog , as a guard and herder, have actually contributed to the domestication of livestock, that in addition to sedentary agriculture, eliminate our physical characteristics required for hunting and fighting.

cave painting of a man with a dog

Archaeology has placed the earliest known domestication at potentially 30,000 BC in Belgium, and with certainty at 7,000 BC.
But it seems that Wolf domestication is older than the archaeological record so far found.

As the human migrated around the world, their dogs migrated with them. Changes to agricultural and urban areas have led to new selections and specializations, such as search and delivery of items, saving people, police dogs, etc. With the new selection was a new specialization of different types of dogs that best suited human needs.

immigrants with their dogs

Kennel clubs appeared in the middle of the 19th century as a way to regulate the various breeds, that already existed and were used in competitions.

one of the first dog show

Today these Kennel Clubs defines the dog breeds standard, which everyone recognizes.

Wolves, ancestors of our dogs have been since the Middle Ages, targeted has demons and systematically exterminated, witch almost led to the disappearance of these magnificent animals.

Let us pray that the future has room for a new harmony between man and wolf.

comparison of a wolf and dog paw

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