Trick-or-Treat?

It’s October, and for many of us that means Halloween celebrations! Other than fun costumes and decorations, Halloween is synonymous with treats. But just how many treats are ok for your furry friend?

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Enter TWO Luxe Pets Products Giveaways!

These giveaways are sponsored by and fulfilled by Luxe Pets Products. The holidays are always all about home–but perhaps never more so than they are this year. As our travels have been put on…



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DogTipper

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Recipe for Oatmeal-Turkey Dog Treats

Oatmeal and turkey dog treats are easy to make for your dog–and oatmeal is a great source of soluble fiber. It’s also an excellent choice especially for senior dogs—or for any dog with…



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DogTipper

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Win a Set of Camo YUCKY PUPPY Poop Bag Carriers!

Yesterday we had a fun, very socially-distanced day at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area in the Texas Hill Country. We’re (finally!) enjoying some beautiful fall weather, perfect for hiking and…



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DogTipper

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Win a Blue Zoca Waterproof Blanket!

This post and giveaway are sponsored by Blue Zoca. The weather outside may not be frightful just yet–but there’s no doubt that snuggling with your dog on a cozy Blue Zoca premium…



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Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

If you’re a regular reader here, you may remember me sharing this delicious pumpkin coffee cake recipe before. We’ve decided to make it a pre-Thankgiving brunch tradition every November, and made it again this past weekend. It was so good that I felt compelled to share it again. The recipe is adapted from coffee cake my husband’s grandmother often made that he and his family call “Nana’s Sunday A.M. Favorite.”
Really, it’s great for any time of the year. But the pumpkin addition makes it especially fun to serve during the fall and holiday season.

PUMPKIN COFFEE CAKE

Prep time: 15 min  |   Cook time: 45-50 min
Serves 12

CAKE INGREDIENTS
4 cups flour  
2 cup sugar 
1 tsp baking powder  
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups pumpkin puree
1-1/2 cup milk
2 eggs

TOPPING INGREDIENTS
1-1/2 cup brown sugar  
4 tsp flour  
3 tsp melted butter
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds/pepitas  

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, spices, and salt (for the coffee cake). In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar, then mix in pumpkin puree and egg. Gradually add milk. Pour batter into 9 x 13 greased baking pan.

Mix topping ingredients (except for pumpkin seeds) and sprinkle over batter. Evenly top with pumpkin seeds.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly and serve.

Tip: You can easily this recipe in half if you’re just making for yourself or your family.

I hope you love this seasonal brunch staple as much as we do. Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Chicken study complicates brain size and domestication assumptions

One of the issues I’m most careful with in looking at domestication literature is claims about brain size reduction. Brain size reduction from wolf to dog is a way more complex topic than some popularizers of science would have you believe.

We should also not assume that smaller brains in domestic animals means that the domestic animal are automatically less intelligent than the wild form. In dogs, there is an argument to be made that domestication has enhanced some parts of their intelligence.  I believe part of this problem comes from the romantic delusions that existed in the early study of animal behavior, some of which were openly fascistic in their understanding of wild versus domestic.

A more nuanced way of looking at domestic animals is that their evolution changes to fit an environment that is fully dominated by human society.  In this world, humans are not a major predator, though humans certain do eat many of the animals.  However, the animals live out their lives with humans as benefactors and protectors, and the evolutionary pressures that work on domestic animals change how their brains operate.

A recent study on red junglefowl found that selection for a lack of fear does change their and brain anatomy. The researchers bred a high fear line and a low fear line of red junglefowl. The low fear line birds had smaller overall brains.  However, they much reduced brainstems and tended to have larger cerebra than the high fear line ones. They had a harder time with remembering fearful situations that the high fear line birds easily remembered, but both strains were of equal ability in terms of general associative learning.

This means that the domestication process does not just dull the intelligence of a species and make its brain smaller. Instead, the process makes it easier for the species to live in concert with our societies.

Our popular understanding is that dog domestication made them significantly less intelligent than wolves, and the best proof we have is the proportionality of brain size, as well as some low n experiments that looked at problem-solving ability between captive wolves and very well-trained domestic dogs.

We need to be very careful about what these studies say, for domestication is a process of evolution as much as anything that goes on in the wild. To live with humans in the way that domestic dogs do, their brains have experienced rather dramatic changes from the wild form, and we must be careful about making simplistic explanations that posit “domesticated” as a synonym for “dumber.”

It’s a much more complex conversation, and this study on red junglefowl clearly demonstrates how difficult the reality of brain changes and domestication clearly is.

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Natural History

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All The Westminster News You Need to Know

Everything you need to know about the 2021 Westminster Kennel Club dog show is just an app away. The WKC APP is your new go to for year-round dog content with important updates concerning the 2021 show, Road to WKC video series, archive videos, special features, and more. App features WKC Archive Videos Road to … Continue reading All The Westminster News You Need to Know


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Please Vote!

If you’ve been living under a rock and somehow haven’t seen the news, tomorrow is Election Day. If you’re not one of the more than 95 million people who voted early, please let your voice be heard tomorrow. Can’t stomach any of the mainstream candidates? You can always write-in Oliver Winston Churchill Finelli, a 2-year … Continue reading Please Vote!


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Special Black Friday Savings NOW!

We’re starting the holiday fun early!! Shipping is at an all-time high these days–so we want to make sure everyone gets their packages in plenty of time for the holidays. Instead of…



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