Thursday, April 25, 2013

Jenn's Going to Africa!

Jenn says that she is going on an adventure next month to Africa!  Her TTouch friend Edie Jane arranged the trip to South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe and it sounds like Jenn is going to have the trip of a lifetime.  First of all, Africa is really far away and really huge.  Jenn has to travel 8,000 miles over 22 hours just to get there and she is only visiting a small part of the continent.  But here's where she is going:
Jenn flies into Johannesburg, and she gets to spend two days exploring.  She plans to go to the Elephant Sanctuary at Hartbeespoortdam.
Jenn will have the opportunity to get up close with elephants and learn about how they use positive reinforcement based animal husbandry techniques to keep the sanctuary elephants happy and healthy.

Then, it's off to the Pilanesberg Reserve
Pilanesberg Reserve is located on an eroded volcano crater (one of only three the world)The reserve has lions, leopards, black and white rhino, elephants and buffalos and a wide variety of rare species including nocturnal brown hyaena, cheetah, sable, as well as giraffe, zebra, hippo and crocodile, to mention but a few.

If you ask Jenn, she has always wanted to see all these animals in the wild, but especially her all time favorite, the cheetah.  Wait a minute!!  I thought dogs were her favorites.  Hmmph!

After two days in Pilanesberg, Jenn gets on a little tiny plane and is off to Botswana for five days at RAW Botswana (Ride and Walk), an eco-camp in the Okavango Delta.  The Okavango Delta is a very special place, the largest inland delta in the world.  It floods several months out of the year, which attracts large groups of animals from all over southern Africa. Jenn is staying in the Motswiri camp, near the Selinda spillway on the far right side of this map:
So Jenn can hike and boat to watch the animals.

Whoa!!  From Botswana, the group heads into Zimbabwe for a few days at Victoria Falls.   Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world, twice the height of Niagara Falls. 
From there, it is back to Johannesburg for a bit of a rest before flying back to North Carolina. Puppies aren't welcome on this trip-which means I have to stay home.  Bummer.   But Jenn is really looking forward to playing adventurer even if she has to go without me! 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Genius of Us and Dognition!!

Jenn's been busy working on some projects focusing on the new book called "The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs are Smarter Than You Think" and the new company called Dognition.  Both are exciting ventures by Dr. Brian Hare, of the Duke Canine Cognition Center, to help you humans learn about how smart your dogs are and to gather tons of information from dogs and people all over the world.   The information that is gathered could help lead to major discoveries!!  

Here's Jenn and Jet featured in a story on CBS Morning News:

I remember participating in three different canine cognition studies at Duke, showing them all about my intelligence and problem solving skills.  Here I am acing one of the cup tests!

What's really cool is Dr. Hare and his wife Vanessa Woods, wrote a book about how dogs are smart and about all the research that's been done over the past 10 years that proves it.  The book is available on Amazon and Jenn says that it is really terrific.  Jenn got to interview Dr. Hare and she wrote a review of the book that will be in a upcoming issue of the APDT Journal, The Chronicle of the Dog.
Dr. Hare talks about how dogs developed the ability to use information from humans to be successful, like how we follow your gestures.  But not only can you read all about dog intelligence in Dr. Hare's book, but you can find out how your dog is a genius at home!  Dognition is the new company that offers scientific games called the Canine Assessment Toolkit that you and your dog can play, that determine your dog's unique problem solving skills.  

Once you play all the games, a Dognition Profile tells you what kind of problem solver your dog is.
The games are super fun and I got to play them with Jenn and Eric.  We played games that measured empathy, communication, cunning, memory, and reasoning.  My results said that I'm a Renaissance Dog, which means that I use a variety of problem solving techniques, like a "jack of all trades."    Once you know how we learn and solve problems, you can give us the information we need to solve problems faster.  Super cool!!
So how can you and your dog get in on the fun??  Now you can get your human to go to and play the games with you and find out how smart you are!  Jenn is a member of the Dognition Trainer Program, so email her and she'll send you a $20 discount code.