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A drug could allow some dogs to live longer lives, paving the way for similar medications for humans

In the early 1990s, an overgrown shaggy schlub of a St. Bernard named Beethoven won the hearts of millions of children with a pair of hit theatrical movies, the titularly titled “Beethoven” (1992) and “Beethoven’s 2nd” (1993). Tragically, the real-life Beethoven died shortly after the sequel was filmed, thereby inadvertently raising awareness about how St....

Originally posted on salon.com

Inside the canine mind: A “talking” dog’s owner on how to best connect with your furry pal

In her new book “I Am Bunny: How a ‘Talking’ Dog Taught Me Everything I Need to Know About Being Human,” author and dog trainer Alexis Devine discusses — what else? — the story of her “talking” pet Sheepadoodle, Bunny.

Although Bunny does not literally use her mouth to speak human language, the canny canine has a series of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) buttons....

Originally posted on salon.com

Do animals feel shame or are they faking it? An expert unmasks what dogs and cats may really feel

Whether you’re a fan of dogs or not, chances are you’ve seen “dog shaming” online. It is the meme-able, viral trend of photographing one’s dog next to handwritten signs in which the pups “confess” to their real-life misdeeds. Such canine crimes include barking too loudly, biting strangers, eating remote controls, stealing cookies from children and peeing on a Virgin Mary statue....

Originally posted on salon.com

Experts say you should talk to your dog like a baby. A surprising new study reveals the canine brain

An encounter with a puppy or a baby, it doesn’t matter, can often draw out the same behavior, almost involuntarily. You know the one: A high pitched cooing, an exaggerated drawl, a tone beaming with unconditional love. Scientists call this “exaggerated prosody.” To ordinary people, we know it as “the cute-sie voice.”...

Originally posted on salon.com

Is it ethical to eat octopuses? An acclaimed octopus expert and marine biologist weighs in

Whether grilled, on sushin or mixed into stir fry or ceviche, there are many ways to consume octopus. But given their well-known, almost human-like intelligence, it begs the question: is it ethical to eat eight-legged cephalopods?

“You can’t draw a sharp line of saying, ‘Well, I would eat a clam, but I never eat an octopus, and neither should anyone else,’ because there’s a continuum there.”

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Originally posted on salon.com