Tag: dogs

Are Animals More Attracted to Some People? Revisited

Are Animals More Attracted to Some People? Revisited

This is an update to a previous post, Are Animals More Attracted to Some People? I tried finding scientific studies on whether or not some people attract stray animals with little success. Plenty of studies and opinions on attracting stray people, but not much on animals. But, after reading so many experiences by people, or stories about witnessing the way some people attract animals, I make the declaration, IT IS TRUE, SOME PEOPLE NATURALLY HAVE AN AFFINITY WITH ANIMALS. It’s a scientific fact.

A Michigan resident named Chelsea recently read the original post and was kind enough to give me her personal experience on the subject. Her story and photos touched me and I believe support the premise of my declaration. These were her comments:

are animals more attracted to some people

Chelsea: “Had just met these two. Mother and daughter, my grandpa said they never had taken to anyone before or since. Mom was very protective of Pumpkin, her baby (who I named), but loved me and would let pumpkin play with me. Pumpkin was attached to me from the day I met her..”

RAA: “That’s awesome. I wonder what about you immediately signaled “a nice human” to them?”

Chelsea: “I’m not sure, but funny thing is Pumpkin remembered me when I visited again over a year later (Grandpa lives in Kentucky). I was the first one to get a halter on her, without any problems. Years prior, one of my grandpas donkeys also took a liking to me and was borderline obsessed, lol.”

RAA: “So there is something inside you animals trust. I appreciate the comments. It is amazing what animals can sense better than people.”

Chelsea: “I believe it goes deeper than that. I believe I can sense/understand animals as well. For instance my dog Gemma that I adopted 1 year ago in March from Detroit animal control. I went there to meet her after seeing her picture online. I had seen hundreds of pictures of dogs. When I met her, she was so sweet and timid and never barked- despite being outside with construction going on less than 100ft away. However she looked like a terrifying pit mix that could rip you to shreds! But she was such a scaredy cat! The only thing was, I wanted a BIG dog, and they posted she was 80lbs but she was really around 50lbs. So I left without her. Drove a couple blocks away to the Humane society with her on my brain. Got back in my car, called my husband and said “I gotta go back and get that dog. She’s not exactly what we were looking for, but there’s something about her that is so sweet-I have to go back to get her!” And he said ok, do it! Needless to say my life has been changed forever and she truly is the sweetest big baby/scaredy cat you’ll ever meet, disguised as a Big Scary Pit Mix 😂

Oh and now she’s 80+ lbs and a lap dog😂

Nothing earth shattering, but I’ve always had a way and felt a connection to every animal I’ve met.”

And here is a repeat of my list of reasons of why people like Chelsea attract animals:

are animals more attracted to some people
  • Appearance. The type of clothing a person usually wears-An animal probably thinks, “That dude or dudette dresses really cool. I think I’ll hang around so I’ll be with the in-crowd.”
  • Body language and tone of voice. Probably the most important factor, animals pick up clues by movements and voice on a person’s gentleness, fear, and threat towards it. For example, if an animal senses fear, it thinks, “Let’s see how fast I can make this human run so I’ll look good to my friends.”
  • Scent. Individuals have different smells that are also affected by their emotional reaction to the animal. This has some overlap with body language and many animals have a keen sense of smell. This characteristic is also enhanced if the person is carrying fish, t-bone steak, or a dead squirrel in their purse or pocket.
  • Understanding. Some people just naturally or through experience, know how to behave with certain types of animals. They can tell if an animal wants to be touched or not, or if the animal is frightened. As an example, if confronting an escaped tiger at a shopping mall, the understanding  human would decide to run and pray simultaneously. The right choice.
  • And finally, there’s individuals who attract animals, children, and neurotic people. I have no clue as to what’s going on there.

I hope this post has been educational to some. I’d be interested if anyone can shed some light on the last point.

are animals more attracted to some people

Note:

I am a fiction writer, but research topics and provide posts like the one above for enlightenment and entertainment. If you liked it, please take a look at some of my other posts and my home page, R. A. Andrade. This post was prompted by the following passage in my novel, The Field Trip:

“This yours?” he asked Ernie

“Naw, just a stray that hangs around. Probably ’cause Penny is always putting food out for it. She has a soft spot for cats. You like cats, Professor?”

“Yes, but I also have this weakness for any stray. As a kid, I was always picking up wandering cats, dogs, injured rabbits. My mother finally put an end to it. But I still do it. Don’t know why, just compelled to help out homeless, injured or lost animals.”

So You Need To Open A Can?

So You Need To Open A Can?

So you need to open a can? I am not referring to some modern metal containers that cheat by employing pull-tabs, but rather the traditional can that requires the use of some external device to access the food contents…a device like the can opener. Can opening can be a daunting process unless using the proper tool. This posts attempts to give enlightenment about choices, and understanding about both human evolution and the can opener.

Evolution and Can Opening

  • Early life on the planet inhabited the oceans but it wasn’t until the evolution of the shark, that life could access the nourishment hidden within the can goods scattered across the ocean floor. A shark’s razor-sharp teeth could puncture the can wall, crushing it with their vice like jaws. Primitive sharks devoured cans of pork and beans, metal container and all.

 

  • Dinosaurs were the first land creatures to avail themselves to the foodstuffs contained in cans. Because of their immense size, both herbivores like Brontosaurus, and carnivores like Tyrannosaurus could crush cans of peaches with their immense feet, squirting the contents onto the ground for the taking. Their success with opening cans enabled the dinosaurs to dominate the Earth for about 175 million years.

dinosaur

  • With the arrival of our human ancestors, the opening of cans once again became within the realm of the possible. Neanderthal were the first to attempt using tools, clubbing cans with large sticks, but merely dented the metal containers, unable to obtain the stuff within. The Neanderthal became extinct. Their competitor, the modern human, used their superior reasoning capabilities. They used slingshots to fling cans of chicken noodle soup against cave walls at high speed, thus cracking the metal walls allowing the contents to dribble down the wall to be harvested by clan members.

caveman and dog

  • As our human ancestors evolved, they learned that some wolves would approach their encampments, attempting to steal can goods. For entertainment (television had yet to be invented), they rewarded wolves with those characteristics with pieces of meat from the day’s hunt. Over the years, a species of wolves developed that were cute, opening cans of peas with their fangs, and present them to their masters for scraps of meat. Thus began the first domesticated dogs.

 

  • The first written instructions for opening cans occurred in the early 1800’s. The label read, “Cut round the top near the outer edge with a chisel and hammer.” hammer and chiselThat method prevailed until original designs for can or tin (British) openers were patented in 1855 in England, and 1858 in the United States. These were variations of a claw or knife-like cutting blade pushed through the lid. These difficult and dangerous hand-held devices left jagged edges. They were often operated by store clerks for customers. The familiar rotating wheel design was developed in 1870 by William Lyman of Connecticut in the U. S., but still very difficult to operate for the common consumer.

early can opener

  • The year 1925 brought an improvement on the Lyman design by the Star Can Opener Company of San Francisco, California. It utilized a second serrated wheel which permitted a firm grip on the can edge, a design still used today.

  • The first electric can opener was patented in 1931 using rotating wheels concept. Unsuccessful until 1956 when the Udico brand introduced a free standing electric opener in popular colors like Avacado Green and Aqua Blue. Inventor, Walter Bodle and his family built the prototype at home, the product becoming an instant hit.
  • A side cutting can opener came on the scene in the 1980’s. The cutting wheel on this concept removed the top and rim by cutting just below the rim. Claimed benefit is a safe, non-jagged edge.

Recommendations

While I am certain I haven’t used the many versions of the products on the market today, my experience is:

  • Common handheld mechanical designs do not reliably cut completely around the can 100% of the time. If failure to open completely occurs, you are left with the decision of using a knife, fork, or finger to pry the lid up out of the food. When they do cut successfully, there is usually one sharp metal sliver remaining. If cut successfully, the lid may also drop into the foodstuff.

 

  • Electric openers may have similar cutting issues but usually use a magnet to adhere to the top lid thereby eliminating the removed metal lid from dropping back into the contents. I consider that advantage of little importance on those occasions when the complete can drops from the opener, splattering the contents of the can across the counter-top. Of course, if you are without electricity, the disadvantages disappear since you can’t attempt the can opening task.
  • My limited experience with a side opener: Difficulty with variations of rim styles on cans. Engaging the side-cut can opener on all cans was frustrating at times.

Assuming my experiences may not represent all designs and brands, the following is a compilation of can opener recommendations by various sources. I have not personally tried these products, but they are consistent top performers in evaluations I believe to be unbiased. Their selection is for average opening criterion, therefore not necessarily the best for specific characteristics like compactness for camping, ease of use for arthritic hands, attachment features like under-cabinet, etc.:

 

  • Best mechanical—EZ-DUZ-IT Deluxe Can Opener. There are other highly rated manual openers on various websites, but none rated high as consistently as EZ-DUZ-IT.

manual can opener

 

  • Best electric—Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch. Again, the only product consistently rated highly.

electric can opener

If you’re in the market for a new can opener, you could try one of these depending on your preference for mechanical or electric. If nostalgic, reverting to early can opening methods used by our ancestors could also impress house guests…throwing against a stone wall, a dog, or the hammer and chisel…of these, I recommend throwing against the stone wall for the sheer excitement.

Update:

For an update on this post see The Truth About Can Openers

 

Note

This post prompted by the following passage from the upcoming novel, Three Remain:

“I don’t want you to leave me by myself,” she commented while continuing to fuss with the opener.

Mildly surprised by her remark, Glen responded, “I thought you would be glad to be rid of me. I will only take five minutes to get your purse.”

“Isn’t it irresponsible to leave me here in my medical condition?” she said while cranking the opener on the can of chicken noodle soup.

“You insisted you’re fine, or don’t you remember that either,” he said, disappointed to find no Internet connection.

She poured the soup into the pot. “You said I have a concussion,” she argued. The soup spattered up into her face.

Dogs Playing Poker

Dogs Playing Poker

I am assuming many reading this post recall seeing a print of a painting depicting dogs playing poker. They are unlikely to be found displayed in homes adorned with paintings in original oils and watercolors, and a few Monet prints. Dogs Playing Poker prints more likely decorate a wall in what some consider low-class places like seedy bars, run down trailer parks, messy college dorm rooms, and pool halls. Sign me up…I always wanted a copy but was dissuaded from it in the past by outside influences with comments like, “Oh…that’s tacky.” Next time I find one for sale, I just might make a purchase.

Dogs Playing Poker actually references a 1894 painting, a series of sixteen oil paintings, and a 1910 painting by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge. Browne & Bigelow contracted the sixteen paintings to advertise cigars. Only nine of the sixteen-piece collection shows dogs playing poker. The others, involved dogs in sports, dancing, and other activities. The most famous of the series, A Friend In Need, one dog is shown passing and Ace to another dog that needs four Aces. The Paintings have been used in TV shows including, Cheers, Roseanne, The Simpsons, Family Guy, NewsRadio, That ‘70s Show, White Collar, and Boy Meets World. They have also been used in movies, a music album cover, songs, comic strips, and video games. Experts forecasted that two of the paintings would sell in the $30,000 to $50,000 range at a New York art auction in 2005. CNN headlines reported them “fetching a staggering $590,400” the next day. In 2015, Coolidge’s masterpiece, Poker Game, sold for $658,000 through Southeby’s.

dogs playing poker
Poker Game

Coolidge went by the nickname “Cash” and has been described as a hustler whose life showed many career changes. He worked painting street signs and houses. He tried other professions like druggist, art teaching, cartoonist, wrote an opera, and started his own bank and newspaper. The invention of life-size boardwalk cutouts of characters or animals one sticks their head through a hole to be photographed is credited to Coolidge. Art critics have long sneered at the commissioned works Coolidge painted. Even his 1934 obituary described his greatest artistic accomplishment as “painted many pictures of dogs.” Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia issued a press release proclaiming an intent to exhibit Dogs Playing Poker. It was followed by an editor’s note which announced, “April Fool!” Coolidge’s wife and daughter were unimpressed by Dogs Playing Poker. In 2002, 92-year-old daughter Gertrude told the New York Times that she and her mother were more cat lovers, but she admitted, “You can’t imagine a cat playing poker. It doesn’t seem to go.”

Although many critics dismissed Coolidge’s work as trivial, it has been proposed that Dogs Playing Poker was a satirical series intended to mock the upper class for their excesses and attitudes.

Note

This topic prompted by the following passage from the novel, The Field Trip:

Classifying his motel room as a disappointment would
have been an upgrade; it was a pigsty. Water-stained, faded
wallpaper curled in large sheets exposing the crumbling,
rough plaster in patches. To bring light into the room, he
opened the dust-filled curtains to clusters of dead flies
lining the windowsill. Ross threw his suitcase onto the
tattered blanket covering the bed, forcing him to cough
when a cloud of dust plumed into the room. He walked to
the bathroom and abruptly halted at the threshold. Looking
down he could only shake his head and laugh out loud at
the exposed floor joists and the long rectangular gaps filled
with insulation. “Thank heavens it’s only one night,” he
said walking back to the foot of the bed. He sat on the edge
of the creaky mattress and dropped his head into his hands.
The flight, combined with the previous night’s acrobatics
with Marsha had sapped all his energy. Thoughts of Marsha
brought his head up to face the filmy, cracked mirror above
the dresser to confront the reflection of a tired, bloodshot-eyed
loser. “Well, here we are again, alone as usual. She was
so loving. I can’t believe the bitch was just using me,” he
argued. “Okay, I’m a jerk.”

Ross glanced at the tilted painting to the right of the
mirror. Dogs playing poker on a velvet canvas layered with dust.

Are Animals More Attracted to Some People?

Are Animals More Attracted to Some People?

Are animals more attracted to some people? I tried finding scientific studies on whether or not some people attract stray animals with little success. Plenty of studies and opinions on attracting stray people, but not much on animals. But, after reading so many experiences by people, or stories about witnessing the way some people attract animals, I make the declaration, IT IS TRUE, SOME PEOPLE NATURALLY HAVE AN AFFINITY WITH ANIMALS. It’s a scientific fact.

Here are a list of reasons:

  • Appearance. The type of clothing a person usually wears-An animal probably thinks, “That dude or dudette dresses really cool. I think I’ll hang around so I’ll be with the in-crowd.”
  • Body language and tone of voice. Probably the most important factor, animals pick up clues by movements and voice on a person’s gentleness, fear, and threat towards it. For example, if an animal senses fear, it thinks, “Let’s see how fast I can make this human run so I’ll look good to my friends.”
  • Scent. Individuals have different smells that are also affected by their emotional reaction to the animal. This has some overlap with body language and many animals have a keen sense of smell. This characteristic is also enhanced if the person is carrying fish, t-bone steak, or a dead squirrel in their purse or pocket.
  • Understanding. Some people just naturally or through experience, know how to behave with certain types of animals. They can tell if an animal wants to be touched or not, or if the animal is frightened. As an example, if confronting an escaped tiger at a shopping mall, the understanding  human would decide to run and pray simultaneously. The right choice.
  • And finally, there’s individuals who attract animals, children, and neurotic people. I have no clue as to what’s going on there.

I hope this post has been educational to some. I’d be interested if anyone can shed some light on the last point.

are animals more attracted to some people?

An update of this post was published on 2/6/19. It is entitled, “Are Animals More Attracted to Some People? Revisited.

Note:

I am a fiction writer, but research topics and provide posts like the one above for enlightenment and entertainment. If you liked it, please take a look at some of my other posts and my home page, R. A. Andrade. This post was prompted by the following passage in my novel, The Field Trip:

“This yours?” he asked Ernie

“Naw, just a stray that hangs around. Probably ’cause Penny is always putting food out for it. She has a soft spot for cats. You like cats, Professor?”

“Yes, but I also have this weakness for any stray. As a kid, I was always picking up wandering cats, dogs, injured rabbits. My mother finally put an end to it. But I still do it. Don’t know why, just compelled to help out homeless, injured or lost animals.”

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