I‘m a little late to the party here, (not Lassie’s party! More on that below.) but I am loving Meg Daley Olmert’s book, Made for Each Other: The Biology of the Human-Animal Bond. I’m not all that far along yet, but early on I was asking myself why in heaven’s name this book has been sitting on my bed side table without being picked up. It should be no surprise that I’d love a book that combines research on behavior specific to our relationship with dogs, but the value added kicker is that she’s such a good writer.
In the second chapter she talks a lot about oxytocin and its role in social bonding. This is something I have talked about quite a bit, both in For the Love of a Dog, this blog and in my UW course on Human-Animal Relationships. Still, I learned some new things that I just love knowing (the role of vasopressin for ex), and I wish I could cancel the day and spend it in bed reading this book. I’ll write more about it soon. I’d love to hear from those of you who have read it already.
Meanwhile, back on the farm: Lassie’s birthday party was a heaping dog bowl of fun! Lots of wonderful people came and saturated Lassie with admiration and belly rubs and presents (bad people! all told not to bring presents!). Willie stayed quiet as a mouse in his crate for over an hour as person after person entered the house so that Lassie could get all the attention. He was so polite. . . that made up for at least a week’s worth of cat obsession! (Question…. anyone who has had mice in their house will attest that they aren’t so darned quiet. Where the heck did that expression come from?)
Here are just some of the cookies that Jim made and he and I decorated for Lassie’s party. Everyone went home with some (does the person who took home the “Lassie” cookie have extra good luck in 2010?).
And here are the wonderful health care professionals who have made Lassie’s life so long and rich. I am sure that she wouldn’t be alive, much less happy and healthy, without them.
From left to right, top row: Dr. Jody Bearman of AnShen Veterinary Acupuncture, yours truly, Dr. Mark McCaan (Lassie’s Chiropractor), who she sees at Middleton Veterinary Hospital and Dr. John Dally of Spring Green Animal Hospital.
Bottom row: The Lassie girl herself, looking far less pleased about being taken out in the cold and told to stay still for heaven’s sake. And, of course, Willie boy, who is always happy to get attention.
Last update: The part above about Lassie was written yesterday to get a jump on the post. How quickly things change. I was up much of last night with Lassie, who woke me up by throwing up at 3 am. She also urinated in the house during the afternoon… suspect her bladder infection is back. Cutting this post short to check on her, talk to vet, etc. . . . the beat goes on. You’ve all been there, I know. Huge snow storm is making things extra interesting.