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Resonance

Wolves and wolverines: Life and death on the trail

For several days I couldn’t get in touch with my Aunt Carla in Newfoundland to wish her a happy birthday because she was never home. “I don’t know what the fuss is all about,” she said, when I finally got her a couple of days before her birthday. Carolyn Filliter and her Siberian husky Neshka before hitting the trails. PHOTO: DAVID HOLT “It’s because you will be 100 tomorrow,” I said. “Thank you,” David, she said. “God love.” And, yes, she had received the flowers and card arranged by my sister Linda in California and the cookies from my wife Donna and our friend Gladys in St. John’s. Then she was off on another Zoom call. Carla lived in England when World War II broke out. She is a student of history. She knows life can be unpredictable. Play the odds. She doesn’t have much patience for the anti-vaxers. On

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Longevity

Do animals have a sense of humour?

Believe it or not, studies have shown that monkeys, dogs, rats, and some other animals do indeed laugh. Neural paths for laughter are deep in the brain and found in both humans and animals, which many accept as proof that laughing is integral to play and fun. A new study of 65 animals published in the journal Bioacoustics (that’s a thing) revealed each species had their own form of laughter. Infants and young children laugh instinctively during play, which shows that laughter is natural, not learned. A study showed how babies and young chimpanzees even have similar facial expressions when laughing. Chimpanzees pant during playtime, rats chirp when tickled, and dogs huff when having fun; these noises form social bonds with fellow animal playmates, just as shared laughter can strengthen bonds between humans. Laughter in animals is still under-studied and some researchers still aren’t convinced animals have a sense of humour,

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Resonance

The animals will know

Paddling up the meandering tidal river near Parrsboro, NS on the Bay of Fundy, I saw eagles sitting in trees, flying overhead. The immatures, those without the distinctive white head and tail feathers, are even larger than the adults because their feathers are bigger. Moving inland with the tide, I hardly had to paddle as the river filled with seawater. My kayak glided underneath a tree branch where a large eagle watched me carefully. When I was almost underneath, he dropped from the branch and flew off. I was so close that I could hear the loud “whoosh whoosh” as his wings beat against the still air. A few minutes later, five small cormorants circled overhead looking for a landing spot. Usually, they are shy birds so I was surprised when they swooped down and landed just in front of the boat and stayed there for a little while. Then

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Mind

Tap into your instincts

Animals have a talent for keeping life simple. It’s a perspective we stray from at our peril. We all sometimes wonder: What if? What if I lived there? What if I lost weight? What if I could do this? What if I stopped doing that? How do I set goals better? Let’s compare our human perspective to that of other animals on our planet. For instance, what do you think a lizard’s instincts drive him to do or want? Eating? Moving to a warm spot? Nesting? Are the human vs. animal perspectives that different? If you boil them both down, you could say they are both desires. They are both motives. If we were like a lizard we would just act as we felt we should at the time. We would jump on top of the rock and sit in the sun when we felt cold. We would run when

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Mind

How pets help with loneliness

Having a furry companion in dark times can make the world of a difference. I spend a lot of time alone. Even before this whole social distancing thing. My husband works away and I work from home. I work out at home. Home is my haven and my biggest comfort comes from my two adorable cats — I often call them “my coworkers.” If loneliness is starting to have a negative effect on you, it may be time to get a pet. For one thing, I promise you, it’s not weird to recreate the regular day-to-day coffee chat with a pet that can’t talk back. It’s more fun because you can design the whole conversation – both the question and the reply! Wait — does that make me sound crazy? I’ll chat about it with my co-workers on our next coffee break. To give you some background, I rescued my

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Longevity

Top 5 “human foods” for your pet

We share a lot with our pets. Our homes, our hearts, and even our beds. Some of us even share our favourite foods with our pets. But, many of the foods that humans can digest can actually harm our pets and cause health problems down the road. Here are some safe food options for your furry friend. We all know the benefits of eating well, which contributes to a healthy lifestyle, more energy, and makes you feel good on both the inside and out—the same goes for our pets. While it may be tempting to share some of our healthy “human” food with our pets, it may be causing them more harm than good. Dogs and cats, and humans metabolize food differently. It is for this reason that some foods are safe for humans to eat, but are toxic and potentially deadly for our pets. It is important to use

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Longevity

What to look for in pet food: is ‘human grade’ enough?

Make sure your best friend is getting the most out of their pet food. The North American pet food sector is a multi-million-dollar industry, between new brands coming out and older brands getting updated ‘make-overs’, how is the average pet owner going to navigate on what truly is the best for Fido? There are numerous things to consider, however, here are my top three:Ethical and Sustainable sourcing; Ethical and Sustainable sourcing; As a lover of all animals, I want to make sure the meat that I’m feeding isn’t just quality, but rather, it had a quality of life, from start to finish. I want to know that the manufacturer is picky with sourcing, and only deals with suppliers who also want the best for their animals as well, from transport right up to time of slaughter. Look for the Certified Humane stamp on the bag and/or the Global Animal Partnership

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