Health MATTERS: PET THERAPY – breeding optimism

IMPROVE your animal’s outlook by grasping how it sees the worldpet2Nevermind that people have enough trouble keeping optimistic but now we have to attend to the mood swings of our pets too?

This is a rather intriguing article written by animal behavioural scientist Rebecca Ledger (special to the Vancouver Sun). It is  condensed from the original (which was much longer) but this will give you a general idea & you can find the complete article link below.

pet1How can you tell if your pet sees the world through rose-tinted glasses?

Owners of pessimistic cats and dogs will be familiar with the behavioural problems that plague these cynical pets.  These animals are more likely to perceive strangers as threatening even if their intentions are good.  They are more likely to feel insecure when left alone, as opposed to relishing the peace and quiet and taking the opportunity to nap.  And, any new situation or object may be viewed skeptically, rather than engaging their curiosity and inciting joy.  While a ‘normal’ dog is likely to anticipate a good outcome during these situations, pessimists expect the worst.

As such, pessimistic dogs are more likely to become stressed and fight, flight or freeze when faced with an unpredictable situation.  They may bark, whine or howl when left at home alone, scratch doors and windows in an attempt to find their owners, growl and snap at strangers, lunge and bark at other dogs, and bolt and hide when they feel startled, overwhelmed and unable to cope.

Pessimism isn’t a diagnostic term that is used to label behavioural disorders in our pets, however it does provide a helpful way to think about their emotional issues.  Pessimism is related to anxiety, the emotional state that is experienced at times of worry, uncertainty and apprehension.  While most dogs will view a stranger as a friend they haven’t met yet, the pessimist is more likely to think stranger equals danger.

To varying degrees, pessimists can be turned into optimists by tapping into the underlying neurological factors that underlie these traits.

It is crucial to teach animals, through repeated, positive experiences, that situations they perceive as potentially treacherous are instead reliably safe.  This is the basis of modern veterinary behavioural medicine.

Appreciating how individuals perceive the world differently encourages us to be sympathetic to the decisions that our animals make in challenging situations.

While we may not agree with our pet’s assessment of a situation, it at least allows us to understand why our pets sometimes behave the way they do.

More on her blog:  http://blogs.vancouversun.com/author/rebecca197/

 

 

 

 

 

Feel-Good Friday: cute cuppa coffee

in ice cream coloured cafetieres.bodum1

To celebrate 70 years of innovative kitchenware Bodum (the maker of the iconic French press) have re-launched some of their classic and our favourite items in fresh fun colours.  Makes you think of spring/summer but that’s just fine at this time of the year.20141119_083015

It makes the start to my day that much merrier.

Happy Anniversary Bodum!

A perfect cup of moka just days ago at Café Arábigo in Oaxaca, Mexico.

I had the perfect cup of moka just days ago at Café Arábigo in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Beauty: eyes, lips, cheeks – favourites

Every year Sephora puts out the ultimate beauty boxed gift sets (even if the gift is meant for ourselves) so we can sample the best of the best.

The SUPERSTARS

The SUPERSTARS

This year I was eyeing “gimme more lip” when I realized that I already have almost half the box in my beauty cabinet at home.  Which  means it’s a pretty useful and gorgeous set.sephoragivemesomelip

For your EYES ONLY

For your EYES ONLY

It’s kind of like the makeup version of the Japanese boxed lunch where you want to sample a little bit of everything because you are so hungry for it all.  

So, which one of these appeals to you the most?

style – APARTMENT

The Crème de la Crème SHOPApt1Here is another very versatile shop I want to share with you.apt2

 I’m a BIG advocate of one-stop shopping Apt3apt5In this place you can not
only get something great to wear or carry….apt6but you can pick up some pretty nice herbal teas,apt9 a gift for a mom-to-be,apt4dishes for your dog, apt7a lavatory mist and a little something to read.

Or a HAT!

Or a HAT!

Not bad right?

1199 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver

Photos: d. king

Food: Wolfgang Puck’s Asparagus Soup

I hope you enjoy this *pheremone enhancing recipe with added Leeks and Herbsasparagussoup

For the past five years Wolfgang Puck, long-reigning king at the L.A. institution Spago, has been on a new path, working out with a trainer and revamping his menus to emphasize fresh produce and whole grains.  “I like to buy high-quality ingredients and simply enhance them rather than alter their flavor or color,” says Puck.  His new cookbook, Wolfgang Puck Makes it Healthy, offers all the details.  Asparagus creates an ultra-bright soup. Cooling it in an ice bath as soon as it’s blended, keeps the hue vivid and preserves the chlorophyll so that the dish will be healthier and taste even better according to Puck.

Ingredients:

20141102_212656What to do with them:20141102_212735

*Link to last Tuesday’s post – Foods that affect Pheremones: http://girlwhowouldbeking.com/2014/11/11/foods-that-affect-pheromones/

Asparagus was one of them.  Asparagus is high in Vitamin E, which is believed to stimulate sex hormones…enough said!

Photos: d. king (ha, ha…….not my usual style but I’m traveling).

Words…Happiness as a Role vs. True Happiness

How are you?”  Just great.  Couldn’t be better.”  True or False?happy

In many cases, happiness is a role people play, and behind the smiling façade, there is a great deal of pain.  Depression, breakdowns, and overreactions are common when unhappiness is covered up behind a smiling exterior and brilliant white teeth, when there is denial, sometimes even to one’s self, that there is much unhappiness.

“Just fine” is a role the ego plays more commonly in America than in certain other countries where being and looking miserable is almost the norm and therefore more socially acceptable.

Be aware that what you think, to a large extent, creates the emotions that you feel.  See the link between your thinking and your emotions.  Rather than being your thoughts and emotions, be the awareness behind them.

Don’t seek happiness.  If you seek it, you won’t find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness.  Happiness is ever elusive, but freedom from unhappiness is attainable now, by facing what is, rather than making stories about it.  Unhappiness covers up your natural state of well-being and inner peace, the source of true happiness.

Source: Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth” (the Life Purpose Bible).

 

 

Travel/Lifestyle – PET PEEVES

How you can make traveling with your PET EASIER.travel1

Yes, this is a little bit out of the norm but why not shake it up a bit.  The holidays are fast approaching and too many people have animals they want to travel with including me.  So this piece written by Rebecca Ledger (Vancouver Sun – Arts & Life, Tuesday, October 7th, 2014) will probably help those who wish to take their pets along for the ride.

Dogs are always excited to go for a car ride but, getting travel-phobic pets from A to B without barking, whining, pacing and throwing up en route is already on many owners’ minds.  Nausea, anxiety and unruly behaviour on car journeys are common problems, affecting around 20 per cent of pet dogs. This equates not only to thousands of miserable animals, but more critically, a lot of distracted driving.

What can we do to ensure that we reach our destination relaxed, in one piece and without the car smelling of vomit? Many solutions are available, but which ones actually work?

The first step is to identify if and why your dog is distressed, as different causes require different treatments. If your dog experiences motion sickness, recognizable by hyper-salivation, retching, vomiting and sometimes diarrhea, a visit to your veterinarian to get an anti-nausea product is a good call. Currently, Cerenia is the only FDA-approved product for the treatment motion sickness in dogs, although your veterinarian may recommend other products instead, such as Gravol or Benadryl. Some anti-nausea medications also sedate, so your veterinarian will need to know what shape your dog needs to be in when it reaches its destination.  Bear in mind that not all anti-nausea products made for humans are safe for all pets, so check with your veterinarian first what and how much to give.

Even if an anti-nausea product is effective, some dogs continue to dread getting into the car, sometimes anticipating the nausea of journeys-past. Travel anxiety also occurs in dogs that have suffered a traumatic event in a vehicle, such as an accident, or that have shocked by an electronic collar as they pass through an ‘invisible fence’ at the perimeter of their property. Dogs that have not got used to car rides from a young age and puppies too are at a greater risk of having travel-related anxiety and nausea.

Anxious dogs behave in a variety of ways. Once having been lured or perhaps forced into the car, some pets develop a full-blown stress response. Keep an eye out for excessive salivation, panting, trembling and an elevated heart rate. Seeing your windows fog up and covered in slobber are telltale signs.  Some anxious dogs will also whine, whimper, pin their ears back and tuck their tails between their legs. Also, watch for dogs that raise their front paw, yawn and lick their lips frequently.

Anxious dogs require weeks, if not months, of ‘systematic desensitization training’ to eventually feel safe in their vehicle. This involves gradual exposure to being in a parked vehicle, being in a parked vehicle with the engine running, and eventually short, tolerable trips that end before a panic attack is underway. However, when time is of the essence, again there are band-aid products that can help to alleviate the discomfort for stressed pets.

Your veterinarian may prescribe an anti-anxiety medication or sedative to help your pet stay calm. But, these products do not always have the desired effect. Recall the child on the airplane bouncing off the cabin walls instead of sleeping soundly after a dose of Benadryl? Well, some dogs can show similar paradoxical effects to sedatives. For this reason, make time to test these medications in advance of your trip.

For owners who prefer to avoid medications, low-risk, non-prescription products are also available. However, peer-reviewed clinical studies suggest that their effect is slight, with some pets failing to respond at all.

DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone, available from your veterinary clinic) calms dogs without sedating them. But, when clinically tested, while some nauseas dogs improved, it had no significant impact on excitable dogs. Conversely, diffused lavender oil reduces dog activity during car rides, but has no proven effect on anxiety. In one clinical trial, dogs treated with lavender aromatherapy spent more time sitting or lying down quietly than a Control group.

The Thundershirt also claims to help calm anxious dogs during travel, although, a study published this year in the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour found that its effects were minimal. This body-hugging wrap had no significant effect on a dog’s heart rate or behaviour during transit, unless the dog was already on an anti-anxiety medication, in which case it helped a little.

To conclude, if your dog is distressed on car rides, prescription products work best. And, while non-prescription solutions can chip away at mild issues, they don’t provide as much value for money and have insufficient effect in more severe cases. So, if you can’t see your veterinarian in time for your trip, and the non-prescription items don’t quite cut it for your dog, try to stick to the highways — drivers can do their part by avoiding erratic movements, sharp turns and bumpy roads. Transporting your pet on an empty stomach can also help avert problems. Or, if all else fails, maybe think about spending the holidays at home with your dog this year!

Rebecca Ledger is an animal behaviour scientist.  Read her blog at vancouversun.com/pets

Feel-good Friday – Long Live our Monarch

the BUTTERFLY!birds7

I couldn’t believe my eyes when the leaves in the trees started to come to life!  It is a natural phenomenon - a sight to behold.

Each year thousands of vibrant orange and black Monarch Butterflies flock to Pismo Beach, seeking shelter from the freezing northern winters. From late October to February, the butterflies cluster in the limbs of a grove of Eucalyptus trees at Pismo State Beach.  A beautiful place where I camped on several occasions.

Sleepytime

Sleeping

The butterflies form dense clusters (as in the above photo) with each one hanging with its wing down over the one below it to form a shingle effect. This provides shelter from the rain and warmth for the group. The weight of the cluster help keeps it from whipping in the wind and dislodging the butterflies.

Waking up!

Waking up!  This photo from website

The colony at Pismo Beach (home of the beach blanket bingo movies with Frankie Avalon & Annette Funicello in the mid 60′s should anyone care) is one of the largest in the nation, hosting an average of 25,000 butterflies over the years but the numbers have exceeded a quarter million.

The annual Monarch butterfly migration in Michoacan, Mexico is the largest in the world and is a famous top attraction for visitors.  I have yet to see it. Can there be anything more beautiful?

Photos: d. king

http://www.monarchbutterfly.org/

Beauty biz – Chanel LES OMBRES

Quote

Eyeshadow redefined20141015_122551and inspired by threads of Chanel tweed.  And who can resist that?

I was testing out the Chanel Rouge Allure Lip colors (more on this later) when this exquisite eye palette caught my attention.  Normally I’m not one to get too excited about eye shadow. Concentrating on eye makeup takes time, precision and knowing what works for you.  And when it cakes or runs it looks god awful.  So I don’t spend time on this however I was drawn to the endless possiblilities of these new versatile multi-effect compacts with rich pigment shade combinations ranging from matte to satin to shimmer. The formula can be applied dry for subtle shading, or dampened for more intense colour. Dermatologist tested.  Simply Stylish!20141015_122031New LES 4 OMBRES Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadow in Tissé Vendôme, Tissé Gabrielle, Tissé Cambon, and Tissé Vénitien.Chanel Poesie and Tisse Rivoli

 Available in Canada at Holt Renfrew
Have you tried them?

Style: Hooray for HOLLYWOOD

Who can blame us for getting sidetracked in Hollywood, the SHOP?!hollywood1

On the way to the Vancouver Home & Design show my sister took me to one of her favourite little boutiques that is sure to become one of mine.  It is chock full with a wide variety of stuff we love. Here are some photos:

289 Davie Street FACEBOOK: hollywood boutique

289 Davie Street
FACEBOOK: hollywood boutique

like beauty products

like beauty products

Clothing

Clothing

Lingerie (on sale)

Lingerie (on sale)

Hollywood8

 

cute perfumy evening bags

cute perfumy evening bags – Milan

 

 

 

Purse

Purse

Which of the perfume bottle evening bags do you like best?