Posts Tagged ‘advice from dogs’

DOGS HAVE FEELINGS TOO!

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

puppy running  .Hi, Ms. Spunky here.

I want to talk to you about doggie feelings.

Dogs have feelings?  Of course they do.

Plus we not only understand our own feelings we also understand yours!

When Dr. Richards is sad, I put a paw on her leg or nuzzle my nose against her arm. I might even hop into her lap. Dr. Richards has always known that I know when she needs some extra love, but recently she actually found an article that tells her why. Researchers in Hungary have confirmed that canines understand humans’ feelings. They trained a dozen brave dogs to sit still long enough to be placed in an MRI scanner – personally, I start to wiggle just thinking about it – but these dogs tolerated it and the scientists discovered how similar a dog’s brain is to that of a human.

While the dogs were in the scanner, they listened to 200 everyday people noises as well as noise made by dogs. The scientists then looked at what parts of their brains lit up. Apparently, a little patch of our brains is devoted to figuring out emotions. The dogs’ brains light up when they hear happy barks or giggles and it doesn’t respond to sad growls or whines. 

They then put headphones on each dog and let them listen to three types of sounds: human voices, dog sounds and environmental noises, such as a hammer hitting a nail or a phone ringing. The team then looked to see which parts of the brain responded.

Just like humans, the dogs have a little patch of neurons that light up when they hear voices of their own species — other dogs barking, growling or whining. Plus they also have a region located in the same place as people (near the ears) that is sensitive to emotional tones in both human and dog voices.

No wonder Dr. Richards and I love each other so much. I bet our brains light up at the same time! Plus a good doggie detective like me knows a person’s voice tone might just be the final clue that breask a case wide open.

Details of the study were published in the journal Current Biology in February 2014. You can also watch a video of the dogs in the scanner.

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Spunky’s Free Advice: How to Feel Safe

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

scared As we mentioned in a previous blog, we are now accepting calls for advice from our readers, which we (Spunky, Dr. Richards, and pals) will do our best to answer! The latest request for our wise counsel follows, along with our response:

Dear Spunky,

I am 9 years old and all this talk about terrorists scares me. My parents say there are some very bad people in the world, but they will keep me safe. But my parents are not with me at school or when I am with my friends, so what can I do to keep myself safe? I don’t like being scared. – Billy T. (more…)

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Spunky’s Free Advice: Stepdad Problems — Please Help!

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

mom can we talk As we blogged about recently, we are now accepting calls for advice from our readers, which we (Spunky, Dr. Richards, and pals) will do our best to answer! The latest request for our wise counsel follows, along with our response:

Dear Spunky,

My parents divorced three years ago. I am now 16. Six months ago, my mother began dating another man, and now they are getting serious. I am very worried they’ll marry and that he will become my stepfather. I can’t stand the man. He is a rich, loud, arrogant jerk who told my mother he thinks all kids should be sent away to boarding school. I did talk to my Dad about the situation and he says I could come and live with him if my mother would allow it (she has primary custody), but I know it would break her heart if I left her. Please tell me what I should do; the idea that his man could become my stepfather is giving me nightmares.  – Patty K.s (more…)

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Spunky’s Free Advice: Dating in Middle School is Hard!

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

birthday balloons As we blogged about recently, we are now accepting calls for advice from our readers, which we (Spunky, Dr. Richards, and pals) will do our best to answer! The latest request for our wise counsel follows, along with our response:

Dear Spunky,

I want a boyfriend so badly, my heart is about to break. I am 13, not pretty, with above average smarts, and I am a little overweight. All the girls I know have really cool boyfriends. One of the geeks, Joey, asked me out, but my friends would bust a gut laughing at me if I said yes. Joey is a nice guy and he has always been sweet to me, but I don’t see how I could possibly be seen with him. The school dance is in two weeks and I am really feeling desperate. Help! – Susie M.
(more…)

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Spunky’s Free Advice: Stop My Friend From Running Away

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

hitchhiker As we blogged about recently, we are now accepting calls for advice from our readers, which we (Spunky, Dr. Richards, and pals) will do our best to answer! The latest request for our wise counsel follows, along with our response:

Dear  Spunky,

My best friend says she is going to run away. She made me swear I would not tell a soul. But I didn’t swear I wouldn’t tell a dog! She has been saving every penny she can in order to be able to accomplish this. We are both 16. She says her parents are mean and she can’t stand it anymore. She wants me to go with her. If she goes by herself and gets hturt bad, I could never forgive myself. I do not know what to do. If I tell on her, I know she’ll end our friendship and still run away. HELP! here is no good way out! – One Very Scared Friend (more…)

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Spunky’s Free Advice: How to Stop Bullying

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

no bullying allowed As we blogged about recently, we are now accepting calls for advice from our readers, which we (Spunky, Dr. Richards, and pals) will do our best to answer! The latest request for our wise counsel follows, along with our response:

Dear Spunky,

I am a 14-year-old girl and I’m overweight. I [have] tried everything I know to slim down, but every diet fails. The kids at school taunt and bully me all the time. I have no friends. I don’t hate school, but I hate going to school. I fake being sick so I can stay home, but my mom is getting suspicious. What can I do? – Porky in Pittsburgh (more…)

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Spunky’s Free Advice: My Husband Lost His Job and Began Drinking

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

depressed drinking As we blogged about recently, we are now accepting calls for advice from our readers, which we (Spunky, Dr. Richards, and pals) will do our best to answer! The first request for our wise counsel follows, along with our response. (more…)

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Spunky’s Free Advice: Now You Too Can Get Our Wise Counsel

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Hi there – Spunky here.

Our newest book, An Army of Noses, is marching right along.

In our books, we often help humans, and we have decided it is time to reach out and try to help some of our other two-legged friends — the ones who visit us here!

If you have a problem, post it in the comments section below. You can do it anonymously if you want. The boys and I will read them all, put our heads together and send answers to as many as we can. (I will not be insulted if you specify that you would prefer cat advice — some people do prefer a cat’s viewpoint.) If you want to keep it all hush-hush, then go to our contact page and send us a private email. We will get back to you as soon as we can. 

Please Remember: We are not professionals and we are only giving our opinion. This should not be construed as professional counseling. We are, after all, wise — but not human.

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