Win a Free Dognition Assessment!

My neighbour and fellow blogger Petkid has a cool contest on his blog: you could win a free Dognition personality assessment for your dog! Read and comment for your chance to win!

Petkid: One kid's blogging adventure

Hi everybody!dognition-logo I’m going to be doing a Dognition Assessment give away! Before you read more, go and read my previous post all about Dognition and dog psychology.

I’m doing this give away because I want to learn more about different dogs and compare them to my four-year old labrador retriever, named Reggie.

What you get

The winner of this giveaway will get a free Dognition assessment for their dog valued at $19 (USD).

Click to see what kind of dog personality your dog could have! Click to see what kind of dog personality your dog could have!

To do the assessment, you will ideally need a tablet or small laptop with touch screen as you’ll be running tests that require timing and you’ll need to have the device to hand to submit your results. You will also need to know that you and someone else who is very patient can do the tests with your dog. These tests are really…

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From upside down

I could tell by her mouth that the woman was a dolphin.

Even at rest, her generous lips curved into a natural smile and folded to a tiny downward tuck at each corner.

“Swimming!”, she shouted, when I asked her favourite pastime.

“Fish?”, I offered, hoisting a mackerel from my bucket.

In one bite she snagged it, almost taking my fingers too. Then she kissed me on the nose and leapt away.

 

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Life’s little brown jobs

I love being at home. It’s not that anything remarkable happens there. It’s that a succession of unremarkable moments, when truly inhabited, turn out to be quite beautiful.

Rae bird feederRae side view

When I have time around my actions to feel the rhythm of the day unfolding, I also have time to observe the details of my life in a way that lets me see how incredible all of this is, and that some sort of “I” in me feels privileged to be aware of it.

Just like the little brown jobs or LBJs my bird-watching friends talk about (nod to A_Span and MRM III) — the hard-to-distinguish (especially female) birds of the perching passerine family, such as sparrows or wrens, whose similarities can make their various species hard for humans to accurately identify — the moments of my days at home are small, hardly varying on the surface, but full of song.

Take today. I’m talking like someone knowledgeable about birds, but I know almost nothing. However, thanks to Bob at Gilligalou Bird Inc. in Almonte, ON, I know more today than I did yesterday. Tuesday on my way to meet a friend for lunch I stopped in at Gilligalou to ask how to put suet into the feeder I had bought the other week at the co-op. You’d think it was easy, but at my first go, I felt totally inept. Bob interrupted his own lunch to answer my 15 minutes of questions about what birds eat, and to explain the importance of small to large seeds, nuts, and mealworms, and some of the best ways to provide these.

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He told me about Gilligalou’s specially formulated blends, with no filler, that give wild birds optimal selection and nutrition; showed me various styles of feeder; talked about habitat; and reassured me that I’m not being a bad citizen if my feeders go for a few days without being filled. The birds will come back, but they will establish a habit of eating at my house to the extent that I provide them with a reliable food supply, water, cover, and nesting opportunities.

So today I spent a fun and messy half hIMG_20160106_133307our with seed and suet. First, I filled my old feeder – left behind by the home’s previous owners – with seed for the perchers and the ground feeders.

 

Next I crammed two types of suet – a peanut blend, and a mealworm blend – into the different holes of the wooden IMG_20160106_133422hanging feeder I bought the other week at the co-op. It’s the first time I’ve held a mealworm, and although they made me jump for a second, I’m most intrigued.

Next step: a proper feeder with rails for the ground-feeding birds, since there is nowhere for them to land on the seed feeder I have now. In the meantime, I’m trusting they will continue to gather the big seeds from the snow where they fall as the smaller birds eat. And after that: well, I have dreams, but I’ll be happy with life’s LBJs.

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17 January, 2016 – Update: This week’s visitors include chickadees, juncos, a multitude of posturing jays, a male house finch, downy woodpeckers, and a discriminating cardinal.