At one year and two months old, Daisy, a sleek, majestic Black Labrador, looks rather intimidating. Though floppy most of the time, her ears are always alert, her eyes lock on target like lasers, and her stance is akin to that of a predator poised to pounce. She often scares the socks off unsuspecting passersby with a ferocious bark. But Daisy’s paw-pals and human friends know the reality behind her seemingly aggressive demeanor. Daisy is a scaredy-cat! The slightest sound and snap startle her. Her body tenses, and the hair on her back rises to resemble porcupine needle quills. She recoils in fear and barks like a holy terror.
Yet Daisy has never attacked anyone nor bitten a human. Her parents ensured that she was trained by a certified dog trainer and passed her “doggie exam” (though her report card recommends more practice in some areas). More to the point, the bright red rabies tag on her collar reassures neighbors and friends—old and new—that on the off-chance playful Daisy nibbles on anyone’s toe or accidentally sinks an eager tooth while extracting a doggie treat from a generous hand, she will not infect them with the deadly rabies virus.
Everyone around the world is witnessing the effectiveness of vaccines in preserving precious lives. The swift development and remarkable efficacy of the three COVID-19 vaccines—Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J—administered in the United States today is a stellar example of the power and prowess of modern medicine.
Soon we will be able to come out of lockdown and travel again. But to keep everyone safe, a type of “passport” may be required, showing your status as a vaccinated person. For example, New York State has initiated an Excelsior Pass program designed to facilitate travel and event attendance after residents have received one of the aforementioned vaccines.
A few other states are also considering similar “passport” measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Whatever the outcome of such passport schemes, the success of these vaccines warrants a quick look back in time to appreciate the origin story of this life-saving invention.
On farms across the English-speaking world, the term used to describe the birthing and raising of sheep is lambing. The best chance for lambs to survive and thrive is when the weather is mild and grass is plentiful, and for that reason, in the northern hemisphere, Mother Nature decreed that autumn would be the season for sheep to mate, so that their lambs could be born in the springtime.
Yet, according to Emily Ruckert, an Oregon State University graduate with a degree in animal science, with modern farming technology this is not a hard and fast rule. “In nature, lambs are born in the spring, but we do it in the winter,” Emily said when asked about the best time of year for lambs to be born. “By summer all the babies are gone and we can breed again in July.”
While Nature does most of the heavy lifting, on the farm a successful lambing season still depends on the knowledge and experience of the sheep farmer. In previous blogs we have discussed:
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. It follows, then, that a moving picture must be worth at least a million. Below are ten of our favorite, most informative YouTube videos on lambing, by sheep farmers whose knowledge of the subject ranges from the beginner to the expert.
The primary responsibility of any pet owner is to make sure their animal stays happy; and the best way to do that is to keep it safe and healthy. For that reason, a pet ID tag for your dog or cat (attached to the collar, along with microchipping for added protection) ensures a speedy return home if it gets lost. In addition, a rabies tag indicates that your pet has been vaccinated against a frighteningly deadly—yet easily preventable—disease. Continue reading “The Importance of Pet Rabies Tags”