Kirsch, a golden retriever and college graduateThe Johns Hopkins University School of Education recently had its first four-legged graduate.
Earlier this year, a golden retriever named Kirsch received an honorary Master of Science in Counseling for attending all of his owner's classes.
The service dog donned a cap and gown along with his owner, Carlos Mora, and as the two walked across the stage, the following statement was read:
"Our last counseling degree graduate to walk across the stage tonight is Carlos Mora and his service dog, Kirsch. Since Kirsch sat through every class with Carlos, both will be receiving a master's degree in mental health counseling. We want everyone to know that Kirsch was not charged for his degree."
Like the other graduates' diplomas, Kirsch's is signed by School of Education Dean David Andrews and Vice Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy.
Kirsch isn't the first dog to participate in a graduation ceremony.
Also earlier this year a chocolate Labrador named Hero wore a cap and gown to
Blog Posts by Mother Nature Network (mnn.com)
Kirsch, a golden retriever and college graduateThe Johns Hopkins University School of Education recently had its first four-legged graduate.Read More »from Service Dog Receives Honorary Master's Degree
Are muffins as healthy as we think?There was a time, long ago, when sugar was a small luxury, reserved for the rare few who could afford it. These days, we have it in such abundance that it's as if food manufacturers are sneaking it into anything they can, just to get rid of it.Read More »from 8 Surprising Sources of Refined Sugar
The American Heart Association recommends no more than six teaspoons of sugar a day for the average woman, and no more than nine teaspoons for the average man. Yet on average, American adults consume 22 teaspoons per day, while the kids are scarfing down a daily average of 32 teaspoons. (For reference, four grams of sugar is equivalent to one teaspoon.)
All the while, rates of obesity and diabetes have risen steadily, corresponding neatly to our increasing consumption of sugar. There are a number of doctors and experts who suggest that sugar goes beyond the dangers of cavities and corpulence. In fact, they argue, sugar is a disruptive toxin that harms our organs and hormonal cycles, and most likely is mostly to blame for the obesity epidemic, as
Bubbles and BellaBubbles and Bella are the very best of friends, and neither seems to care about their difference in size - or species.Read More »from Dog and Elephant Become Best Friends
The unlikely pair lives together at the Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina and can often be seen walking, playing and splashing together on the 50-acre preserve.
Bubbles, a 32-year-old African elephant, came to the animal sanctuary in 1983 after ivory poachers left her orphaned.
In 2007, a contractor was hired to build a pool at the Myrtle Beach Safari, and when he abandoned his black Labrador at the preserve, Bubbles and the dog formed a bond.
Bella doesn't seem to mind that her best friend is a movie star - the elephant has appeared in "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls," a Janet Jackson music video and several advertisements.
To Bella, Bubbles is simply her much-larger companion, whose 9,000-pound body often doubles as the dog's diving board.
Watch Bella and Bubbles splash and play in this video.
Dutchess always looks happyA therapy dog who lost both of her eyes to disease is inspiring even more people because of her disability.Read More »from Therapy Dog Becomes Blind, Just Keeps on Working
Dutchess was 9 years old when she developed pigmentary uveitis, a disease that causes the eyes to become painful and inflamed. While prescription eye drops provided some relief, the only way to alleviate the golden retriever's pain was to remove her eyes.
"Once the last option of drops stop being effective, that's the time to do surgery, and she was in pain so we scheduled it," her owner, Mark Condon, told Life With Dogs.
Dutchess adjusted to quickly to life without eyes. Within a week she was playing fetch, and within three she was back to work visiting classrooms and nursing homes.
Also see: Blind dog gets seeing-eye cat
The 11-year-old therapy dog has volunteered for a variety of causes and has even been featured as the face of campaigns like HeARTs Speak, an organization that promotes animal adoption.
But Dutchess devotes most of her time to working with children and
Why do we yawn?Before we can answer why it is that we yawn, let's talk about what a yawn is in the first place. Yawning is an involuntary action that causes our mouth to open wide and breathe in deeply. That air fills your lungs, causing your abdominal muscles to flex and the diaphragm to be pushed down. The yawn ends when you expel some of that air back out through your mouth. Research has shown that even fetuses yawn, proving that a yawn really is involuntary. So why do we yawn in the first place?Read More »from The Surprising Reason Why We Yawn
Why we yawn has been debated for centuries and some interesting theories have surfaced, attributing yawning to a lack of oxygen or of course, boredom and sleepiness.
The most recent research about yawning suggests that we yawn as a way to cool down our brain. A 2007 study done at the University of New York in Albany concluded that people yawned more in situations where their brain was more likely to be warmer. They performed their research by taking advantage of another curious phenomenon - contagious
- Mother Nature Network (mnn.com) | Pets – Mon, Sep 16, 2013 12:24 PM EDT
Itty-bitty CharlyItty-bitty Charly, a two-foot tall horse being billed as the world's smallest pony, has been snatched from his itty-bitty pony stall at an equestrian event in the Umbrian town of Città di Castello.Read More »from World's Smallest Pony Kidnapped, Possible Mob Involvement
Italian police believe the Mafia may be holding him for ransom.
The pint-sized show pony was in the central Italian town for the 47th National Horse Fair. He was scheduled to perform at the show with his trainer, 'equestrian artist' Bartolo Messina, who alerted police when he found Charly's stall empty.
"I never imagined having to write this but unfortunately it has happened and I feel empty, violated and destroyed!" lamented Messina in a post on his Facebook page.
Also see: 15 pets with Guinness World Records
Police said that the thieves broke in through a wire fence surrounding the fairgrounds, swiped the pony and made a hasty escape through a nearby tobacco field where a getaway car was waiting.
"The problem is that this pony is so easy to transport because he is so small - like a
by Jenni Grover Are you thinking while you eat?MS RD LDN, Mother Nature NetworkRead More »from Mindful Eating: 5 Easy Tips to Get Started
From what not to eat when you are pregnant, to the endless lists of the latest must-have superfoods, discussion about healthy eating tends to focus on what we eat.
Much less attention is paid to the question of how we eat it.
Yet a growing body of research suggests that changing our attitudes and practices around meals and mealtime rituals may be every bit as important as obsessing over what it is we actually put in our mouths. Mindful eating (also known as intuitive eating), a concept with its roots in Buddhist teachings, aims to reconnect us more deeply with the experience of eating - and enjoying - our food. Sometimes referred to as "the opposite of diets," mindful eating is based on the idea that there is no right or wrong way to eat, but rather varying degrees of consciousness about what we are eating and why. The goal of mindful eating, then, is to base our meals on physical cues, such as our bodies' hunger signals, not
Your fingernails can be a window into your healthYou've heard the expression, "The eyes are the window to the soul," right? Well as it turns out, your fingernails can often be the window to your health. How so?Read More »from What Your Fingernails Say About Your Health
Certain changes to your nails can be a sign of an underlying disease or disorder. Just to name a few:
Yellow nail syndrome happens when nails thicken and nail growth slows. Of course, as per its name, your nails will often turn yellow. Yellow nail syndrome is often a sign of respiratory disease. If you notice that your nails are yellow but are growing normally, it could be a sign of diabetes. That's because diabetes can cause glucose to attach to collagen proteins in the nails, making them appear yellow. If your nails are yellow and you notice other symptoms of diabetes, such as increased thirst or urination, see your doc right away.
Another symptom of a bigger problem? Spoon nails, in which nails are concave and appear scooped away from the finger. You can usually even put a drop of liquid in the "spoon." This can be
- Mother Nature Network (mnn.com) | Healthy Living – Fri, Sep 13, 2013 8:45 AM EDT
60 seconds of working out can make a lot of differenceThe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate to higher-intensity physical activity each week, and it should be in bursts of at least 10 minutes each for substantial health benefits.Read More »from Every Single Minute of Physical Activity Helps Health, New Study Shows
Which has led many to wonder about the inefficacy of brief activities. Why take two minutes going up the stairs if more than 10 minutes is required to make it worthwhile for health?
But now a new study suggests something else: go ahead, take the stairs! Every minute counts toward reaching the 150-minute goal, whether it's part of a 10-minute bout or not.
The purpose of the study conducted at the University of Utah was to see if moderate to vigorous physical activity in less than 10-minute episodes related to weight outcomes.
The study, published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, found that each minute spent engaging in some kind of moderate to vigorous physical activity - be it walking the dog, vacuuming, or taking the stairs -
This cat could use your helpWhere do cats go to buy used yarn or to find those missed connections from the vet's office? The feline version of Craigslist, of course.Read More »from Whiskerslist is like Craigslist, but for Cats
The humorous website Whiskerslist combines two of the Internet's favorite things - cats and Craigslist - and is the invention of cat blogger Angie Bailey.
Whiskerslist provides cat lovers with a window into what Web-savvy cats might do if they got their paws on the computer mouse.
Also see: 10 cats made famous by YouTube
The site has numerous classifieds on such subjects as "housing: boxes and bags" and "personals: neutered seeking spayed."
The full collection of 160 kitty classifieds is available in Bailey's new book, "Whiskerslist, the Kitty Classifieds."
Classifieds include tales of felines like Hector, a lovelorn tabby looking for love, as well as discussions on rodent regifting and an online support group for recovering show cats. Check out some of our favorite Whiskerslist posts.