If Pets Had Thumbs

Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.~Orhan Pamuk

 

Dogs are loyal, patient, fearless, forgiving and capable of pure love. Virtues that few people get through life without abandoning at least once. ~ M.K. Clinton

There are well and truly a few pets that do have thumbs which we will briefly look at first, then it will be fun to delve into scenarios if your pet dog had opposable thumbs.  But what is an opposable thumb?  Wikipedia quotes primatologists and hand research pioneers John and Prudence Napier who defined opposition as: “A movement by which the pulp surface of the thumb is placed squarely in contact with – or diametrically opposite to – the terminal pads of one or all of the remaining digits.”

Emily Carr 1871-1945, Canadian Artist and writer actually did have a pet with opposable thumbs. “Woo” was a Javanese Monkey who played alongside Carr’s pure bred Blueshire Old English Sheep Dogs. However Emily Carr was not the only pet owner to fall in love with a monkey, Justin Beiber, singer and performer for a short while owned a pet Capuchin Monkey, Mally. However as a rule, most pet owners do not own opossums, Koalas are a protected species, and orangutans, gorillas and other apes are usually only seen in nature or in a zoo, and not as a pet.

So, in exploring these primates, and other animals with opposable thumbs, it is now time to consider what your pet dog do if they had opposable thumbs.

  • They could play fetch with each other! With opposable thumbs your puppy could pick up a stick or ball and be able to move it around, perhaps learning a tossing or throwing motion.
  • They could pick up their meal as does a racoon, and eat it sitting on their haunches.
  • Having opposable thumbs, would mean that the puppies, upon sighting a bird or squirrel in a tree, would be able to climb trees as monkeys and apes can.
  • If your dog had opposable thumbs, they would be able to operate tools, much as a raccoon, can open a garbage can lid, or twist open a door handle easily. A raccoon has five fingers, and no thumb, but has learned how to grip and grasp items between both hands, enabling it to learn many tasks, and wash it food etc.  Your dog, also uses their paws to gain egress around a door or gate, hold their toy kong still, Etc. With opposable thumbs, this task would become much easier for your pet dog.
  • With opposable thumbs, the pack of dogs would be able to pick up sticks and stones and in addition to their teeth, would be better able to protect themselves and their pups.
  • Hanging and swinging could be achieved with opposable thumbs, so your dog, could have a great lark of a time creating all sorts of new activities in trees and along tree tops.  Combined with their usual stalking, leaping and pouncing being able to rise above, could result in some complex maneuvres.
  • At the moment, dogs can only groom themselves, and remove burrs and rose branches from their fur with their teeth or by licking themselves with their tongue or ask their humans to help them. With opposable thumbs, how much easier it would be for each individual dog to relieve the pain of snow, rocks from the soft pads of their paws, or to sit and help the dogs in their pack to remove a burr from their fur.
  • If your puppy had opposable thumbs, they could enter and leave their owners home with the door handle, and pet doors would become history.
  • The supper, steak, or pies left out on table or counter would be much much easier to get to with opposable thumbs, if that pooch had not undergone training yet.
  • Puppies now can pick up their leashes with their mouth to ask their owners for a walk, but with opposable thumbs, this task along with fetching newspapers and slippers becomes a lot easier.
  • If puppies and dogs had opposable thumbs, it would be easier for a dog to communicate that they have the urge to go outside if you lived in a home without a puppy door. Your puppy rather than gently laying their paw upon your hand or arm, the dog could actually hold your hand and urge you up for a walk, or to go outside.
  • With opposable thumbs, many, many more tricks could be taught to the dogs, and by the same token more training would be required, as they would be able to climb up and anywhere in the house or outside.
  • Emily Carr dressed her monkey “Woo” in a bright red dress, and out they went for a walk.  In short order Woo escaped up a tree, and divested herself of the dress on the peak of the same tree, and down Woo clambered.  In like fashion, if your pet dog did not like the booties, hat, sweater or jacket that their pet owner bundled them up in, with opposable thumbs, they could follow Woo’s lead, and removed any fashion accessory.  It wouldn’t take long to determine if your pet dog appreciated the booties to keep the snow out from the pads of their paws, or if your pet pooch felt the -40 Celsius weather, and appreciated their winter jacket, or if their original fur coat does the task of keeping them warm enough, thank you very much.
  • Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.~Orhan Pamuk

    How attuned you are to your dog, would make a large difference if your pet had opposable thumbs. Even without opposable thumbs, dogs learn to dance, twirl, and communicate with their paws with their humans, just imagine the communications and tricks if dogs had opposable thumbs.

    Intelligent dogs rarely want to please people whom they do not respect~ William R. Koehler

Without a doubt, your pet dog could make use of an opposable thumb, and the tricks they could learn would be so darned cute.  So these are just a few whimsical ideas to celebrate, “What if Pets Had Thumbs Day”, March 3″=. Next time you are out at the South West Off Leash Recreation Area, and see the pooches running this way and that, imagine, if you will what these dogs would do if they had opposable thumbs.  What do you think your dog would be able to do?

The purpose of life is not to be happy.
It is to be useful, to be honorable,
to be compassionate, to have it
make some difference that you
have lived and lived well.
~Leo Rosten

For directions as to how to drive to “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park

For directions on how to drive to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

For more information:

Blairmore Sector Plan Report; planning for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area,  George Genereux Urban Regional Park and West Swale and areas around them inside of Saskatoon city limits

P4G Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth The P4G consists of the Cities of Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville, the Town of Osler and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park; planning for areas around the afforestation area and West Swale outside of Saskatoon city limits

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city. 52° 06′ 106° 45′
Addresses:
Part SE 23-36-6 – Afforestation Area – 241 Township Road 362-A
Part SW 23-36-6 – SW Off-Leash Recreation Area (Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area ) – 355 Township Road 362-A
S ½ 22-36-6 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (West of SW OLRA) – 467 Township Road 362-A
NE 21-36-6 “George Genereux” Afforestation Area – 133 Range Road 3063
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Facebook Group Page: Users of the George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West OLRA

Twitter: StBarbeBaker

Please help protect / enhance /commemorate your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail)

Support the afforestation areas with your donation or membership ($20.00/year).  Please donate by paypal using the e-mail friendsafforestation AT gmail.com, or by using e-transfers  Please and thank you!  Your donation and membership is greatly appreciated.  Members e-mail your contact information to be kept up to date!

QR Code FOR PAYPAL DONATIONS to the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc.
Paypal
Payment Options
Membership : $20.00 CAD – yearly
Membership with donation : $50.00 CAD
Membership with donation : $100.00 CAD

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

You Tube Video Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

You Tube Video Richard St Barbe Baker presented by Paul Hanley

You Tube Video Richard St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and West Swale wetlands

You Tube Video Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area – Saskatoon’s best kept secret.

 

 

I believe in oneness of mankind and of all living things and in the interdependence of each and all. I believe that unless we play fair to the Earth, we cannot exist physically on this planet. Unless we play fair to our neighbour, we cannot exist socially or internationally. Unless we play fair to better self, there is no individuality and no leadership. ~Richard St. Barbe Baker.

 

“Kind people have been expressing superlatives on my work. But I can assure you that anything which I have been able to achieve has been team work. We have a motto in the Men of the Trees. TWAHAMWE. It is an African word meaning ‘pull together’ and I pass this on to all those concerned with conservation in this country. I would like to call you to silence for a moment with the words of Mathew Arnold:

“Calm soul of all things, make it mine,
To feel amidst the City ‘s jar
That there abides a peace of thine
Men did not make and cannot mar. ”
~Richard St. Barbe Baker

 

“I believed that God has lent us the Earth. It belongs as much to those who come after us as to us, and it ill behooves us by anything we do or neglect, to deprive them of benefits which are in our power to bequeath.” Richard St. Barbe Baker

 

For me, “Dog Days” symbolizes apocalyptic euphoria, chaotic freedom, and running really, really fast with your eyes closed.” Florence Welch

Feed the Birds ~ Winter in Saskatchewan

. “According to ancient mythology, trees were the first living things on earth. This is borne out by scientific reasoning which shows that it is through them that the air we breathe can give life to humanity. Through countless ages trees have been drawing carbonic acid gas from the atmosphere, absorbing and incorporating the carbon, assimilating it; then when they die, bequeathing to soil their carboniferous remains. The consequence has been that eventually the atmospheric oxygen was left sufficiently pure for the requirements of birds and mammals which have replaced the flying reptiles and monstrous amphibians that were able to endure the heavy air of primeval swamps and jungles.”

Feed the Birds Day.
February 3

 

This day is celebrated when the winter is coldest, and the winter snow has set in to encourage feeding of birds outside. In these colder winter months, the birds are in need of energy, and food is scarce as cold weather progresses.

There are a few methods to feed birds, which is not too overwhelming.  One is feeding them from your hands, another is to plant suitable trees and shrubbery and finally set out a do it yourself feeder designed in a multitude of fashions, or store bought. How to choose the right kind of bird feeder is an important consideration for the types of birds in your habitat.

How do you know what are the types of birds in your particular neck of the woods? Checking out Habisask (Hunting, Angling and Biodiversity Information of Saskatchewan) is an online species mapping application showing historical data. Another resource is Saskatchewan E-bird, the E-bird hotspots map or check out common migratory patterns, and dates for typical observation times for species in your area.

If you set out a feeder in the winter months, it is imperative to check it regularly. The birds’ very survival rely on this source of food once they get used to it being there.

A very simple, and spontaneous bird feeder is to strew along the top of horizontal tree branches fruit, suet, wheat, corn, sunflowers, sand, grit or store bought bird food for wild birds.

Richard St. Barbe Baker founded the “Men of the Trees” international foundation which is now known as the International Tree Foundation has three tenets for followers;

  • protect the native forest
  • plant ten native trees each year
  • take care of trees everywhere

For those choosing to follow in the footsteps of Richard St. Barbe Baker, and plant trees, select for “Feed the Birds Day” those plants which will best supply the seeds and nutrients the local birds need. The Land Manager’s Guide to Grassland Birds of Saskatchewan provides a template of birds and what types of food they require.

Another very important task to investigate is to search out anything in the wetlands or urban regional park which harm the bird’s environment. The landscape and the native flora can be harmed by chemicals spilled, oils, or any other wastes which don’t belong in a wetland and riparian forest ecosystem. By removing harmful contaminant, those birds feeding naturally in their native spaces are protected by your conservation efforts.

So, step up, and do your part during Feed the Birds Day this Februrary 3!  Attached are some links so this task is not overwhelming, but is enjoyable, and quite rewarding. Feed the birds not only today, but everyday, and get to know your feathered friends.

He that planteth a tree is a Servant of God
He provideth a Kindness, for many generations
and faces he hath not seen shall bless him.
Who so walketh in solitude, And inhabiteth the wood,

Choosing light, wave, rock and bird.

Before the money-loving herd.
Unto that forester- shall pass,
From these companions, power and grace.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

. “According to ancient mythology, trees were the first living things on earth. This is borne out by scientific reasoning which shows that it is through them that the air we breathe can give life to humanity. Through countless ages trees have been drawing carbonic acid gas from the atmosphere, absorbing and incorporating the carbon, assimilating it; then when they die, bequeathing to soil their carboniferous remains. The consequence has been that eventually the atmospheric oxygen was left sufficiently pure for the requirements of birds and mammals which have replaced the flying reptiles and monstrous amphibians that were able to endure the heavy air of primeval swamps and jungles.”~Richard St. Barbe Baker

For directions as to how to drive to “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park

For directions on how to drive to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

For more information:

Blairmore Sector Plan Report; planning for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area,  George Genereux Urban Regional Park and West Swale and areas around them inside of Saskatoon city limits

P4G Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth The P4G consists of the Cities of Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville, the Town of Osler and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park; planning for areas around the afforestation area and West Swale outside of Saskatoon city limits

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city. 52° 06′ 106° 45′
Addresses:
Part SE 23-36-6 – Afforestation Area – 241 Township Road 362-A
Part SW 23-36-6 – SW Off-Leash Recreation Area (Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area ) – 355 Township Road 362-A
S ½ 22-36-6 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (West of SW OLRA) – 467 Township Road 362-A
NE 21-36-6 “George Genereux” Afforestation Area – 133 Range Road 3063
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Facebook Group Page: Users of the George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West OLRA

Twitter: StBarbeBaker

Please help protect / enhance /commemorate your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail)

Support the afforestation areas with your donation or membership ($20.00/year).  Please donate by paypal using the e-mail friendsafforestation AT gmail.com, or by using e-transfers  Please and thank you!  Your donation and membership is greatly appreciated.  Members e-mail your contact information to be kept up to date!

QR Code FOR PAYPAL DONATIONS to the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc.
Paypal
Payment Options
Membership : $20.00 CAD – year
Membership with donation : $20.00 CAD – monthly
Membership with donation : $50.00 CAD
Membership with donation : $100.00 CAD

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

You Tube Video Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

You Tube Video Richard St Barbe Baker presented by Paul Hanley

You Tube Video Richard St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and West Swale wetlands

You Tube Video Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area – Saskatoon’s best kept secret.

 

 

Our task must be to free ourselves … by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.~Albert Einstein

“This generation may either be the last to exist in any semblance of a civilised world or that it will be the first to have the vision, the bearing and the greatness to say, ‘I will have nothing to do with this destruction of life, I will play no part in this devastation of the land, I am determined to live and work for peaceful construction for I am morally responsible for the world of today and the generations of tomorrow.’” ~ Richard St Barbe Baker

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Alger, Bonnie. Feed the Birds Day. Treehugger.

Banks, Shelley. Regina Backyard Birds: Finches, Sparrows, Siskins. Prairie Nature. April 2015.

Bird Feeding. Hinterland Who’s Who. HWW. Environment and Climate Change Canada & Canadian Wildlife Federation

Bird Watching in Saskatchewan Whatbird

Bradbury, Kate. Garden Birds and Feed the Birds Day. Wildlife Blog Gardener’s World.

Briere, Karen. Feeding Program helps birds endure tough winter. March 1994. Western Producer.

Bumstead, Pat. Its Feed the Birds Day Birds Calgary.

Byron, Greg. What should you put out to feed birds during the winter? Bird Canada. Jan 16, 2013

DIY Bird Feed. Living Naturally with Kids. Rainy Day Mum.

Feed the Birds Day Holiday Insights

Feed the Birds Day Video on The Guardian.

Feed the Birds Day. Gardeners Network.

Feeding Birds in Winter. Prairie Birder. November 9, 2012.

Flowers, Frankie. How to Attract Birds to your Garden in Winter. HOme and Garden. Canadian Living. 2017 TVA Group

How to Help Birds in Winter. How to Attract a Greater Variety of Foods. Wild Birds Unlimited. Saskatoon, SK.

How to choose the right kind of bird feeder. Cornell Lab of Ornithology. April 2009

Inviting Birds to your Garden. Landscapes Saskatchewan.

Land Manager’s Guide to Grassland Birds of Saskatchewan. [with Key Identification Features, Species Range Maps, Identification Charts, and Bird Diet] Saskatchewan Watershed Authority. formerly Saskatchewan Wetland Conservation Corporation. ISBN 1-896-793-29-0. Regina. Saskatchewan.

Nature Counts. A Partner of Avian Knowledge Network. Bird Studies Canada.

Porter, Diane. Bird Feeding in the Winter Birdwatching.com

The RSPB Feed the Birds Day The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

RSPB Feed the Birds Day. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Saskatchewan Breeding Bird Atlas. Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre.

Saskatchewan Breeding Bird Atlas. Bird Studies Canada, Saskatoon, SK

Saunders, Nick. Feeding the Wildlife at Pike Lake Saskatchewan Birds and Nature. November 2008

>Your Winter Backyard Bird Guide Nature Conservancy of Canada.

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