Category Archives: Animals

Let’s Talk Language

  Today I spoke to vet students studying veterinary welfare, ethics and animal behaviour. It was their first lecture dealing with Animal Behaviour and I wanted to speak about language. I can imagine they might think it is unimportant. But … Continue reading

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Lost Child

Murphy sits at Joan’s feet. Her hand finds his head and rests atop. Her fingers find their way through wiry fur to the bony skull beneath to massage his head. Her fingers are smooth and white. The fingers of an old woman … Continue reading

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Colouring-In for dogs

There seems a growing trend to use meditation and mindfulness exercises to ease anxiety and stress in humans. This is clearly a good idea. Research says that the naming of emotions, even a simple acknowledgement such as, “I feel frustrated” can … Continue reading

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Happy Hens

I am at a seminar given by a guru in the world of animal welfare. This man is not a vet. He is a scientist and somewhat of a philosopher too. Professor David Mellor says that when an animal is … Continue reading

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Uncinate fasciculus

I learnt about this tract of brain matter while studying for my membership in Animal Behaviour. In a mentor’s recording on anxiety the words slipped past my ear. I had to replay it several times to make it out and … Continue reading

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Grey t-shirt and Jeans

Today I heard the tail end of Mark Zuckerberg saying he wore the same thing every day to cut down on his cognitive choices. Wearing a grey t-shirt and jeans on a daily basis gave him one less thing to … Continue reading

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Straw House

Remember the story of the three little pigs – each attempting escape from the wolf in their houses – one built of straw, one of sticks and one of bricks. The one built of straw did not fair well. One … Continue reading

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Coolidge Effect

When an ethologist, Frank Beach, needed to name an effect he had noticed whereby male animals show a renewed interest in sex when presented with a new and receptive partner he chose to use the anecdote of the 30th President … Continue reading

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Nearly there…

The year has a way of picking up speed at the end.   Like a train with failing brakes – headlong down the mountain. Where’s the man with the Mars Bar when you need him?   Today is one of … Continue reading

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Room for Behaviour

A room full of behaviour vets.   Women mainly. We are described as the ones engaged in the fluffy, feel good stuff, but make no mistake about the science. It is heavy. There is long-term potentiation, serotonin, biochemistry and neuroanatomy, … Continue reading

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