The no-kill movement began two decades ago in the United States, and it has given millions of dogs a second chance; instead of being euthanized, they are matched with families. Wonderful story about how dogs can be loved and given a second chance. Read it or listen to it here:   NPR


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Japanese Textile Designs 106


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The Word press blog is changing names and reverting back to its original address:

! The new blog address will change January 30 2018 !

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Over the years as I have moved and changed I have gotten rid of many things and I have kept only 4 things from my younger days; a book of translations of ancient Chinese and Japanese poetry, my bamboo flute, an image of a Bodhisattva, and my collection of rocks. I started collecting rocks with their simplicity, austerity, dignified beauty, and spirit when I was a teen, perhaps influenced by the book of poems I read as a child. The rocks have been gathered from New England, Mid Atlantic states as well as Texas, California, New Mexico and the Dakotas. When I travel for work/training’s I try and take some time to find a rock that expresses something of the lace.

See NHK post about:  Suiseki: A World of Understated Beauty within Natural Stone Some of my rocks below. Click image to enlarge.

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Japanese Textile Designs 105


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Science proves that you love your dog like a baby

Interesting article about pets and how humans react/respond to them. From the abstract:

Neural substrates underlying the human-pet relationship are largely unknown. We examined fMRI brain activation patterns as mothers viewed images of their own child and dog and an unfamiliar child and dog. There was a common network of brain regions involved in emotion, reward, affiliation, visual processing and social cognition when mothers viewed images of both their child and dog. Viewing images of their child resulted in brain


activity in the midbrain (ventral tegmental area/substantia nigra involved in reward/affiliation), while a more posterior cortical brain activation pattern involving fusiform gyrus (visual processing of faces and social cognition) characterized a mother’s response to her dog. Mothers also rated images of their child and dog as eliciting similar levels of excitement (arousal) and pleasantness (valence), although the difference in the own vs. unfamiliar child comparison was larger than the own vs. unfamiliar dog comparison for arousal. Valence ratings of their dog were also positively correlated with ratings of the attachment to their dog. Although there are similarities in the perceived emotional experience and brain function associated with the mother-child and mother-dog bond, there are also key differences that may reflect variance in the evolutionary course and function of these relationships.

Stoeckel LE, Palley LS, Gollub RL, Niemi SM, Evins AE (2014) Patterns of Brain Activation when Mothers View Their Own Child and Dog: An fMRI Study. PLoS ONE 9(10): e107205. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0107205

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Japanese Textile Designs 104


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Reading the World

Interesting post from the BBC.

Writer Ann Morgan set herself a challenge – to read a book from every country in the world in one year. She describes the experience and what she learned.

Ann Morgan’s reading list can be found here:


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Japanese Textile Designs 103


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Doggie MRI

By placing dogs in an MRI scanner, researchers from Hungary found that the canine brain reacts to voices in the same way that the human brain does. Emotionally charged sounds, such as crying or laughter, also prompted similar responses, perhaps explaining why dogs are attuned to human emotions.


The work is published in the journal Current Biology. The full article is @ BBC.

Eleven pet dogs took part in the study; training them took some time. “We used positive reinforcement strategies – lots of praise,” said Dr Andics. “There were 12 sessions of preparatory training, then seven sessions in the scanner room, then these dogs were able to lie motionless for as long as eight minutes. Once they were trained, they were so happy, I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see it.”

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