I went to high school in a suburb of Washington DC. It was then that I first started reading a daily newspaper, we got the Washington Post delivered to our door every morning. I credit the Post for instilling in me a long-standing love of news and newspapers. I read the news every day. I went to journalism school. I was a reporter and newscast producer for seven years. The skills that I learned as a reporter and editor have served me well for decades, especially when it comes to writing this blog.
So, welcome to a special all WASHINGTON POST edition of Dogs! In the News! All the links will take you back to the Post for more on each story.
Ice Preserved a Puppy in Near-Perfect Condition for 18,000 years
Researchers have made an amazing discovery, an almost perfectly preserved puppy. It was frozen in ice for 18,000 years.
According to officials at the Northern World Museum in Yakutsk, the “puppy has all its limbs, pelage — fur, even whiskers. The nose is visible. There are teeth. We can determine due to some data that it is a male.”
He even has a name, Dogor, which means “friend” in the local Siberian language
Testing places the puppy’s short life at a particularly interesting period of history, right around when many wolf lineages were going extinct and when dogs are thought to have emerged.
Click here for more.
How Old is Your Dog in “Human Years?” It’s Not What You Think
Scientists have come up with a better way to convert your dog’s age to human year, saying the seven-to-one rule falls short.
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego recognized that dogs don’t age at what we might describe as an “even rate” (using humans as comparisons.) For example, under the old accounting, a one-year-old dog was supposed to be the equivalent of a seven-year-old human. Really? A year old dog can procreate. A seven-year-old child can’t.
Researchers zeroed in on a process called methylation. Methylation reflects the chemical changes that occur in dogs’ DNA as they age. It’s all very interesting and a bit complicated: click here to get a full explanation.
The bottom line is that dogs age very rapidly when they are young. According to this new method of calculating, a one-year-old dog is really the equivalent of about thirty in human years. When dogs reach their twilight years, the aging process slows down. That means the difference between one and two-years-old is far greater than the difference between eight and nine-years-old, about six times as much.
Here’s a link to the Smithsonian website where you’ll find a handy app to help you calculate your dog’s age.
How old is the seven-year-old Bodhi in human years? About sixty-two! Four years older than me. I told him when he was a puppy he and I would grow old together.
The Mighty Thor
A beefy bulldog named Thor hammers the competition to win the National Dog Show in Philadelphia last month. You can read the whole story here.
Fun Fact: The National Dog Show came about because a dog club in Philadelphia was inspired to start the show after seeing the fictional National Dog Show in the satirical “mocumentary” Best in Show.
How Much is Your Dog Worth?
Researchers have developed a calculus to determine the value of a dog. This is not what you paid for your dog, but what your dog is worth to you. I am not going to try to explain how economists arrived at the number, you can click through to the story in the Washington Post to learn more.
But, according to the paper “Monetizing Bowser: A Contingent Valuation of the Statistical Value of Dog Life,” Bodhi is worth $10,000.
The Tail: Driving Dog Does Donuts!
A Florida dog drove donuts alone in a car for half an hour. There’s video.