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A Dog of Flanders
A Dog of Flanders is an 1872 novel by English author Marie Louise de la Ramée published with her pseudonym "Ouida". It is about a Flemish boy named Nello and his dog, Patrasche and is set in Antwerp.
In Japan, Korea and the Philippines, the novel has been an extremely popular children's classic for decades and has been adapted into several Japanese films and anime. Since the 1980s, the Belgian board of tourism caught on to the phenomenon and built two monuments honoring the story to please East-Asian tourists. There is a small statue of Nello and Patrasche at the Kapelstraat in the Antwerp suburb of Hoboken, and a commemorative plaque in front of the Antwerp Cathedral donated by Toyota, that was later replaced by a marble statue of the two characters covered by a cobblestone blanket, created by the artist Batist Vermeulen.
- "A Dog of Flanders" | 2020-02-06 | 71 Upvotes 54 Comments
Russian Domesticated Red Fox
The Russian domesticated red fox is a form of the wild red fox (Vulpes vulpes) which has been domesticated to an extent, under laboratory conditions. They are the result of an experiment which was designed to demonstrate the power of selective breeding to transform species, as described by Charles Darwin in On the Origin of Species. The experiment was purposely designed to replicate the process that had produced dogs from wolves, by recording the changes in foxes, when in each generation only the most tame foxes were allowed to breed. In short order, the descendant foxes became tamer and more dog-like in their behavior.
The program was started in 1959 in the Soviet Union by zoologist Dmitry Belyayev and it has been in continuous operation since. Today, the experiment is under the supervision of Lyudmila Trut, in Russia, at the Institute of Cytology and Genetics in Novosibirsk.
- "Russian Domesticated Red Fox" | 2015-11-06 | 96 Upvotes 30 Comments
The eastern coyote, a wild N. American canine with coyote-wolf and dog parentage
The eastern coyote (Canis latrans var.) is a wild North American canine of both coyote and wolf parentage. The hybridization likely first occurred in the Great Lakes region, as western coyotes moved east. It was first noticed during the early 1930s to the late 1940s, and likely originated in the aftermath of the extirpation of the gray wolf in southeastern Ontario, Labrador and Quebec, thus allowing coyotes to colonize the former wolf ranges and mix with the remnant wolf populations. This hybrid is smaller than the eastern wolf and holds smaller territories, but is larger and holds more extensive home ranges than the typical western coyote.
- "The eastern coyote, a wild N. American canine with coyote-wolf and dog parentage" | 2018-02-25 | 47 Upvotes 11 Comments
Hachikō (ハチ公, November 10, 1923 – March 8, 1935) was a Japanese Akita dog remembered for his remarkable loyalty to his owner, Hidesaburō Ueno, for whom he continued to wait for over nine years following Ueno's death.
Hachikō was born on November 10, 1923, at a farm near the city of Ōdate, Akita Prefecture. In 1924, Hidesaburō Ueno, a professor at the Tokyo Imperial University, brought him to live in Shibuya, Tokyo, as his pet. Hachikō would meet Ueno at Shibuya Station every day after his commute home. This continued until May 21, 1925, when Ueno died of a cerebral hemorrhage while at work. From then until his death on March 8, 1935, Hachikō would return to Shibuya Station every day to await Ueno's return.
During his lifetime, the dog was held up in Japanese culture as an example of loyalty and fidelity. Well after his death, he continues to be remembered in worldwide popular culture, with statues, movies, books, and appearances in various media. Hachikō is known in Japanese as chūken Hachikō (忠犬ハチ公) "faithful dog Hachikō", hachi meaning "eight" and the suffix -kō indicating affection.
- "Hachikō" | 2020-01-28 | 172 Upvotes 41 Comments
Rabies is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain in humans and other mammals. Early symptoms can include fever and tingling at the site of exposure. These symptoms are followed by one or more of the following symptoms: violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, fear of water, an inability to move parts of the body, confusion, and loss of consciousness. Once symptoms appear, the result is nearly always death. The time period between contracting the disease and the start of symptoms is usually one to three months, but can vary from less than one week to more than one year. The time depends on the distance the virus must travel along peripheral nerves to reach the central nervous system.
Rabies is caused by lyssaviruses, including the rabies virus and Australian bat lyssavirus. It is spread when an infected animal bites or scratches a human or other animal. Saliva from an infected animal can also transmit rabies if the saliva comes into contact with the eyes, mouth, or nose. Globally, dogs are the most common animal involved. In countries where dogs commonly have the disease, more than 99% of rabies cases are the direct result of dog bites. In the Americas, bat bites are the most common source of rabies infections in humans, and less than 5% of cases are from dogs. Rodents are very rarely infected with rabies. The disease can be diagnosed only after the start of symptoms.
Animal control and vaccination programs have decreased the risk of rabies from dogs in a number of regions of the world. Immunizing people before they are exposed is recommended for those at high risk, including those who work with bats or who spend prolonged periods in areas of the world where rabies is common. In people who have been exposed to rabies, the rabies vaccine and sometimes rabies immunoglobulin are effective in preventing the disease if the person receives the treatment before the start of rabies symptoms. Washing bites and scratches for 15 minutes with soap and water, povidone-iodine, or detergent may reduce the number of viral particles and may be somewhat effective at preventing transmission. As of 2016, only fourteen people had survived a rabies infection after showing symptoms.
Rabies caused about 17,400 human deaths worldwide in 2015. More than 95% of human deaths from rabies occur in Africa and Asia. About 40% of deaths occur in children under the age of 15. Rabies is present in more than 150 countries and on all continents but Antarctica. More than 3 billion people live in regions of the world where rabies occurs. A number of countries, including Australia and Japan, as well as much of Western Europe, do not have rabies among dogs. Many Pacific islands do not have rabies at all. It is classified as a neglected tropical disease.
- "Milwaukee Protocol" | 2015-12-14 | 31 Upvotes 2 Comments
- "Milwaukee protocol (treating rabies without the vaccine)" | 2009-08-12 | 12 Upvotes 1 Comments
Soviet Space Dogs
During the 1950s and 1960s the Soviet space program used dogs for sub-orbital and orbital space flights to determine whether human spaceflight was feasible. In this period, the Soviet Union launched missions with passenger slots for at least 57 dogs. The number of dogs in space is smaller, as some dogs flew more than once. Most survived; the few that died were lost mostly through technical failures, according to the parameters of the test.
A notable exception is Laika, the first dog to be sent into orbit, whose death during the 3 November, 1957 Sputnik 2 mission was expected from its outset.
- "Soviet Space Dogs" | 2019-10-15 | 33 Upvotes 22 Comments
Street dogs in Moscow learn to ride the subway
The city of Moscow, Russia hosts a large population of free-ranging dogs. Many operate in packs and have become accustomed to seeking food from passersby. Some of them who frequent or inhabit the subway have attracted international attention for learning how to use the trains to commute between various locations.
- "Street dogs in Moscow learn to ride the subway" | 2018-07-23 | 63 Upvotes 3 Comments
Intelligent disobedience occurs where a service animal trained to help a disabled person goes directly against the owner's instructions in an effort to make a better decision. This behavior is a part of the dog's training and is central to a service animal's success on the job. The concept of intelligent disobedience has been in use and a common part of service animals' training since at least 1936.
- "Intelligent Disobedience" | 2020-05-25 | 212 Upvotes 84 Comments
Anti-tank dogs (Russian: собаки-истребители танков sobaki-istrebiteli tankov or противотанковые собаки protivotankovye sobaki; German: Panzerabwehrhunde or Hundeminen, "dog-mines") were dogs taught to carry explosives to tanks, armored vehicles and other military targets. They were intensively trained by the Soviet and Russian military forces between 1930 and 1996, and used from 1941 to 1943, against German tanks in World War II. Initially dogs were trained to leave a timer-detonated bomb and retreat, but this routine was replaced by an impact-detonation procedure which killed the dog in the process. The U.S. military started training anti-tank dogs in 1943 in the same way the Russians used them, but this training exposed several problems and the program was discontinued.
- "Anti-Tank Dog" | 2022-02-02 | 21 Upvotes 6 Comments
Domesticated Silver Fox
The domesticated silver fox is a form of the silver fox that has been to some extent domesticated under laboratory conditions. The silver fox is a melanistic form of the wild red fox. Domesticated silver foxes are the result of an experiment designed to demonstrate the power of selective breeding to transform species, as described by Charles Darwin in On the Origin of Species. The experiment at the Institute of Cytology and Genetics in Novosibirsk, Siberia explored whether selection for behaviour rather than morphology may have been the process that had produced dogs from wolves, by recording the changes in foxes when in each generation only the most tame foxes were allowed to breed. Many of the descendant foxes became both tamer and more dog-like in morphology, including displaying mottled or spotted coloured fur.
In 2019, an international research team questioned the conclusion that this experiment had provided strong support for the validity of domestication syndrome. They did conclude that it remains "a resource for investigation of the genomics and biology of behavior".
- "Domesticated Silver Fox" | 2022-02-15 | 12 Upvotes 4 Comments