How Did He Learn to Speak Volumes With a

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					                                                                                                        spring 2004

                                                        FELLOWSHIP FOR THE INTERESTS OF DOGS
                                                                                                 and their owners!

230 seventh avenue #157, brooklyn, ny 11215 phone 888-604-3422 e-mail:

WHAT’S INSIDE:                                              pacity to interpret humans’ subtle signals is instinctive.
                                                            People usually assume that dogs got more stupid be-
Percent For Pups                               pg.3         cause humans provided everything. All they have to
                                                            do is lie back and enjoy life,” Miklosi said. “What we
Fido Membership Renewal                        pg.3
                                                            think is that dogs went through a revolution that started
Clicker Expo                                   pg.2         from some sort of wolf-like animals… they acquired skills
Spring Calendar                                pg.2,3       that made them adaptive to the human environment.
                                                            They interact with humans. They learn from humans.”

How Did He Learn to Speak                                   To test his idea, Miklosi and his colleagues designed
Volumes With a Look?                                        an experiment comparing dogs with their closest rel-
                                                            atives – wolves. They took 13 wolf pups from their
Rob Stein - Washington Post Staff writer                     mothers when they were just four or five days old and
(c) 2004, The Washington Post.                              raised them in human homes like puppies. As adults,
Reprinted with permission.                                  the wolves received intensive contact with their human
                                                            caretakers, who literally carried the animals with them
As any poodle, spaniel or mutt owner knows, dogs            wherever they went. Previous studies had shown that
have an uncanny ability to read human body lan-             adult dogs were better than adult wolves at reading
guage, whether it’s following a finger pointing or           human body language. But it was unclear how much
spotting a glance that signals an imminent trip to          of that was inborn and how much dogs learned grow-
the park. But animal behavior experts have debat-           ing up around humans. This experiment was aimed at
ed for years how much this dogged perceptiveness            clarifying that point.
is inborn and how much is learned by being raised
around humans. New research, however, indicates             “The wolves got more human contact than the ordi-
that the capacity to communicate with humans, si-           nary dogs got from their owners,” Miklosi said in a
lently through gestures and glances, has become an          telephone interview. “They were really thrown into the
inborn talent as a result of the thousands of years that    human environment.”
dogs have lived, worked and played with people.
                                                            The researchers then trained the wolves and vari-
“They don’t speak like we do. But there is communica-       ous breeds of dogs to get a piece of meat by pull-
tion,” said Adam Miklosi of Eotvos University of Buda-      ing on a string. After the animals learned to get the
pest. Miklosi is among researchers around the world         meat, the researchers attached the string so that no
who have been working to gain a better understand-          mater how hard the animals pulled, they could not
ing of the talents displayed by man’s best friend. Most     get the meat. The wolves continued to pull on the
recently Miklosi and his colleagues conducted an ex-        string in frustration. But the dogs quickly stopped pull-
periment to try to seek out exactly how much of the ca-     ing when the string did not move and turned to look

                                                                                                  Continued on Page 4
                                                                                                             Page 2

Dog Walk Against Cancer
Riverside Park is the place to be on Sunday, May 2, 2004. It’s easy to register and help make a difference in the
fight against human and animal cancers. Join Teddy of Teddy’s Treats and Team Co-Captain, Yuffie, Fido’s own
canine advice columnist of; as well as thousands of fellow dog owners, animal lovers and
New Yorkers for this truly amazing event. The fun-filled day includes contests, entertainment, food, a copy of
the 2004 Dogwalk journal and of course, give-aways from our sponsors. The money raised goes to support the
work of the American Cancer Society, and 10% of the net proceeds will go to the Donaldson-Atwood Cancer
Clinic of the Animal Medical Center. More info:

$25/person pre-registration -                              Spring Calendar
$35/person day-of-registraiton.
9 a.m. Registration - 10 a.m. Walk Starts                  April 1st - Thursday
                                                           Spring/Summer Off-Leash Rules now in effect:
                                                           In a nutshell, off-leash now starts at 9pm, except week-
Clicker Expo                                               days in the Nethermead, where Happy Hour is still
By Misa Martin                                             5pm. (Unless it’s a holiday, like Memorial Day.)
                                                           Visit for the whole deal.
On the weekend of March 26th - 28th, some Pros-
                                                           April 3- Saturday
pect Park dogs and their humans participated in the
                                                           Park Opening Day:
3rd-ever Clicker Expo, a 3-day intensive series of         Prospect Park Little League Parade, 10 a.m.
workshops exploring many facets of positive re-            An annual tradition! Starts at 7th Ave. and Carroll St.
inforcement training systems. A series of dynamic          Ends at Bandshell at Prospect Park West and 9th St.,
speakers - some from the world of dog training (for        with a ceremonial ball toss by elected officials to kick
house pets as well as dogs who compete in agility          off the new season. FIDO is once again sponsoring
and for seeing-eye dogs, Search and Rescue, and            the Wolves!
police work) others from zoos and marine parks that
have implemented this positive training system.            Opening Day Clean-Up:
                                                           10am - 2pm
Topics ranged from the science of clicker training         Calling All Nature Lovers!! Join Volunteers In Prospect
and its evolution to changing aggressive behaviors         Park and help spruce up the Park after a long winter!
                                                           Meet at the Tennis House: (718) 965-8960.
in dogs with the use of non-punitive methods. Fas-
cinating discussions abound during weekends like           April 21 - Wednesday
these and the opportunities to interact with the pre-      2nd Annual Parks Advocacy Day:
senters and other attendees were a great opportunity       Take your ideas and concerns regarding parks and
for all to exchange ideas and brags about our dogs.        recreation to all 51 Council Members, then Join NY4P
                                                           for a rally in City Hall Park to show support for provid-
The Clicker Challenges that were introduced to             ing Parks with adequate funding and recognize it as
teams of dogs and handlers were especially fun to          an essential city service.
watch : a choice of “challenges” was given to the          Contact New Yorkers for Parks at 212.838.9410
teams (such as running through a rolling hoop; a           or visit
dog jumping over and running under other dogs
three times) and the teams had to choose and train         May 2 - Sunday
these behaviors successfully within a 90-minute            Dog Walk against Cancer:
                                                           10am 86th Street in Riverside Park, Manhattan.
period. Such excitement! Next yearʼs Clicker Expo
                                                           Join Yuffie and friends by registering online at www.
will probably be in Orlando. Charter plane, anyone? This event benefits animals as well
More info:                         as humans.
                                                                                                           Page 3

Spring Calendar                                             “When you order, just be sure to mention that this is
continued from page 2                                       a Hearts and Homes order,” George points out. “Call
June 25th - Friday                                          ahead and your order will be ready when you arrive
FIDO’s annual Pupnic:                                       at any one of our locations. Or, if you prefer, we’ll be
From 5pm to Sundown in the Nethermead.                      glad to deliver right to your door, free of charge, any-
Potluck, fun and games. See Events section                  where in Brooklyn or lower Manhattan.”
of website for more details.
                                                            NYC Pet has three locations: 192 Fifth Avenue be-
Walking tours of the Park:                                  tween Union and Berkeley; 385 Seventh Avenue be-
Ongoing thru November. Exotic and native birds,             tween 11th and 12th Streets, and at 241 Bedford
plants, critters- you’d be amazed. Lean more                Avenue in Williamsburg.
about the space we all love so much! Guided
and self-guided. Many other events listed at the            There are no dues to pay, no forms to fill out- just men-
Park homepage:                        tion when ordering that yours is a Hearts and Homes
                                                            Order. It’s win/win/win deal. Pets will enjoy the wid-
FIDO Steering Committee Meeting:                            est selection of toys, accessories, treats and premium
second Monday of the month. All welcome.                    pet food in Brooklyn. Their people will like the price
Call the FIDO voicemail 1-888-604-3422                      and convenience. And with every Hearts and Homes
or email                               order, volunteers can spend less time worrying about
                                                            funding and more time on animal rescue.

Percent for Pups
                                                            Fido Speaks - Staff…
Buy some biscuits, save a life. When you buy your pet
food and supplies at NYC Pet, 15% of every purchase         Editor – Bob Ipcar
made at any of their three locations will be donated to     Art Direction & Design – Debbie Caponera
Hearts and Homes for Homeless Dogs of Brooklyn.             Art Illustration – Paul Belliveau
                                                            Alpha Desk – Mary McInerney
Just about every dog owner western Brooklyn has
                                                            Our Poet Laureate – Maureen Sanders
at least a passing familiarity with Hearts and Homes.
( Since 1990, Mel, Rose-
anne, and their many volunteers have placed over
1,500 dogs and 600 cats in good homes. Hearts               Fido Membership
and Homes works seven days a week rescuing home-
less animals, and showcasing adoptees at several
                                                            Renewal Policy
high-profile Brooklyn locations (weather permitting).
In addition, they run a sanctuary on Long Island for        As of 2004, Fido Membership renewals will be
animals deemed unadoptable due to age, timidness,           due each April First. This reflects a change in pol-
blindness, or other ailments.                               icy but one which benefit our members in that we
                                                            won’t have to “hound” you one year after you’ve
Like with many good things in life, these good deeds        joined. If you become a new member, say after
come at a price, measured in time, sweat, tears, and        April, then you have the option of renewing the
cold, hard cash. Vet bills, food bills, phone bills, gas,   next April, or waiting until the second following
electricity, rent…. the list goes on.                       April. Hey sometimes $15 is what it takes to
                                                            keep within your monthly budget.
Now, Mel and Roseanne have come up with a plan to
help raise at least some of the money needed to con-
tinue their rescue work. Thanks to the generous support     Membership entitles you to receive Fido Event &
of animal lover George DiGuido, co-owner of NYC             Newsletter mailings. If you can’t remember ever
Pet, 15% of every purchase you make at any of NYC           getting a renewal notice, then it’s probably time to
Pet’s three locations will be donated to Hearts and         renew - Please! So stay on our mailing list. Use
Homes for Homeless Dogs of Brooklyn.                        the handy form on the back cover to renew...
                                                                                                         Page 4

How Did He Learn...
Continued From Page 1

at thefacesofthehumans,theresearchersreported in the        “So for dogs the alternative is that when dogs were
April 19th (2003) issue of the journal Current Biology.     domesticated, the capacity to pick up clues from
                                                            humans was just an accident – like floppy ears.”
“The dogs gave up much earlier. They were, very
quickly, looking at the humans, the owners, looking at      Hare plans to compare domesticated foxes with
their faces,” Miklosi said. “That is what is interesting.   dogs. “ If they perform like dogs on the test, then we
That never happened with the wolves. They just kept         know it’s likely the dogs also changed as a by-prod-
pulling. But the dogs what they did was basically           uct. The question is: how did the evolution happen?
look at the owners. If you observe this in humans, you      It’s very rare that you can demonstrate what the se-
would describe it as an asking-for-help gesture.”           lection pressure was. That’s why this is so exciting.
                                                            We’re going to take a big step in solving the mystery.”
“The experiment shows that the dogs have adapted
to this channel of communication,” Miklosi said. “This      Marc Bekoff, a dog behaviorist at the University
has provided an opportunity to communicate with us.         of Colorado in Boulder, said Miklosi’s experiment
And the wolves have not. The dogs have learned our          shows that “dogs aren’t just dumbed down wolves.”
language to some extent. So we don’t need to learn
dog language. They can use our channel of commu-            “A lot of people think that domesticated animals,
nication like vision,” Miklosi went on. “You can point      when compared to wilder animals, aren’t so smart,”
for a wolf to communicate with it. You can point for        Bekoff, said. “It shows that species adapt to the so-
a wolf, but it won’t understand what you’re doing.”         cial niche in which they live. And the social niche
                                                            for dogs would be its human companionship.”
Brian Hare of Harvard University, who previously
conducted a similar experiment that showed dogs             Bekoff said that this ability probably helps ex-
were superior to chimps and wolves at reading hu-           plain the sense that many dog owners have that
man gestures, said the results show that... “dogs re-       their animals empathize with their own emotions.
ally understand that humans are their partners in           Dogs can pick up the subtle physical clues that sig-
life. They can elicit their help and use them as kind       nal what their human companions are feeling,
of a tool. Wolves don’t know that. They keep try-           whether it’s happiness, sadness, anxiety or anger.
ing to solve it on their own. It’s something that’s pro-    “I think part of the reason there is a strong
grammed into their genes,” Hare said. Hare is plan-         human bond between dogs and humans is because
ning a follow-up experiment to try to determine why         we are empathetic to them and they to us.” Berkoff
dogs are so much better at reading human cues.              said. “We can never know for sure. But I’ve done a
                                                            lot of work on animal emotions. Animals and humans
“It could be that because there was selection for dogs      share a lot of the same neurological structures and the
that are smart – dogs that can read human cues and          same neurochemistry. I think it’s really dog empathy.”
figure out what humans want,” said Hare. “Those were                                                          ___
the ones who survived and passed their genes on.”

But another possibility is that dogs are a prod-
uct of domestication. Hare tells the story of foxes
that were domesticated in Siberia 50 years ago.                 PLACE YOUR AD HERE!
Over the generations, the foxes developed physi-
cal changes, including floppy ears, curly tails,
different colorings and small teeth and jaws.

“The human caretakers of the foxes weren’t trying to
create any of those changes. They were just trying to
get friendly foxes. But when they bred them together,
they got these changes as by-products.” Hare said.
                                                                                                               Page 5

Backstage at Westminster
by Jane Landis

Most people go to Westminster Dog Show to watch              celebrities. I have a feeling that the Afghan Hounds
dogs strut their stuff on the catwalk (pardon the ex-         must have figured prominently in that story. They look
pression) vying for the coveted title of “Best in Show“.     like a lot of people I knew in the 1960’s.
The judges scrutinize every doggy attribute from
stance to gait to symmetry. At least I think that’s what     There were lots of concessionaires selling dog sweaters
they are doing. I’m not really sure what they look for       and key chains and lapel pins depicting every breed for
specifically and truth be known, I don’t really care. I’m     a price. Of course they also sold hot dogs. I didn’t buy
content to prowl around the peripheries collecting           anything to wear or to eat since I didn’t want to shell out
free samples of dog food in my oversized plastic bag         $25 for a tie tack or even $5 for a small soda. This is
(compliments of Pedigree Dog Food) and checking              a major sporting event and the prices were fairly steep.
out the back stage action.
                                                             A great looking Newfoundland named Josh won top
Besides getting freebies there’s a bunch of cool things      honors. As the owner of a Mastiff I was pleased to
to do behind the scenes. You get to meet all kinds of        see a giant breed dog earn recognition. But to tell the
interesting people and their dogs. Some owner/han-           truth, all I know about the standards which determine
dlers are clearly uptight and uninterested in talking to     who will be crowned “Best In Show” I learned from the
the masses. But others are quite friendly and delight in     Christopher Guest movie by the same name; which
extolling the virtues of their particular breed. Sometimes   basically means I know nothing. To me, the perfect
the owners will actually let you pet the dogs. Hands         dog doesn’t bite, drool excessively or grab food off the
off the Poodles, Bichons and Pomeranians though, es-          table. I also appreciate it when a dog comes when it’s
pecially after they’ve been groomed! I guess if I spent      called.
hours being duded up in the salon I wouldn’t want
anyone coming over and messing up my hair either.

I found a dog with no body hair and figured that was            “I found a dog with no body
a safe bet. It was called a Hairless Chinese Crested.           hair and figured that was a
The owner let me pet the dog even after I asked him
if that variety of pooch was actually bred for eating. I        safe bet.”
thought it was a good question at the time and besides
my husband swore it was true. Oh well, no harm in
asking.                                                      If you’re a dog owner/lover I highly recommend a
                                                             visit to Westminster. It’s kind of like going to the car
I marveled at the Komodors with their tangle of white        show. You go to wistfully admire the Porsches and
dreadlocks that made it difficult to tell which end was        Lamborghinis but chances are you actually own a
the head and which was the tail. I admired the Spi-          Dodge minivan. I ‘m sure that you, like me, love your
none Italiano, a bearded hunting dog which is de-            dog, pedigree or not and wouldn’t trade her/him
scribed as having “human-like” eyes. Some of the             for the world. But it sure is fun to check out the oth-
breeds to my untrained eye looked a lot like the mot-        er high priced makes and models once in a while.
ley mutts of Prospect Park. But all of them glowed with
                                                             The Westminster Kennel Club is Americaʼs oldest organiza-
that certain je ne sais quoi “it” factor that movie stars
                                                             tion dedicated to the sport of purebred dogs. Established
and models possess. These dogs know they are cool.           in 1877, Westminsterʼs influence has been felt for more than
                                                             a century through its famous all breed, benched dog show
The dog show is a great venue for people watching.           held every year at New Yorkʼs Madison Square Garden.
The place was packed. Ice -T from “Law and Order”            The show is Americaʼs second longest continuously held
                                                             sporting event, behind only the Kentucky Derby. The show
was there, good naturedly posing for pictures with           is a yearly event which is generally held in the second week
fans. I wondered if he was a dog owner or if he was          of February.
“just looking”. Steve Cojocaru , who’s described as a                                                                   ---
TV fashion maven/celebrity insider was there doing an
“Entertainment Tonight” piece on dogs who look like
                                                                                                           Page 6

From the Alpha Desk
The Winter That Wouldn’t End seems to have ended            taining sanity in this city. If anyone would like to join
quite abruptly, and people and dogs we haven’t              in, e-mail or leave a message at
seen since November are suddenly back in action.            the FIDO voicemail at 1-888-604-3422.
Of course, it also means the ballplayers, bikers, jog-
gers, and fishermen are back in force, too. Please re-       Finally, a note to all the denizens of the Peninsula who
member (broken record time) that we need to share           were dismayed to see those “No Pets in Lake” signs:
“our” Park with about a million others who have equal       one benefit of FIDO’s presence at all those Park meet-
rights to the space. Let courtesy reign - especially        ings is access to the Powers That Be. The signs should
around the baseball fields and bridal paths. Nobody          be modified or removed by the time the water warms
wants to have a dog beat them to home plate and             up. (Thanks, Tupper!)
nobody wants their dog stomped by panicky horses!
                                                            So enjoy the weather and be nice to Mother Nature
It was hardly a quiet winter for FIDO, though. We are       (and the ballplayers, bikers, joggers, fishermen,
constantly updating our website with Adoption Oppor-        horseback riders….!
tunities, as well as posting lost and found dog informa-                                            Mary McInerney
tion. And crawling out of bed before dawn one Satur-
day each month to get Coffee Bark together! We had
to cancel one and postpone another this winter due to
weather, but these were the only times in 5 years the
coffee makers, muffin wranglers, and banner-setter-up-
pers have caught a break!

We hustle year-round to keep our agenda on the
                                                            Advertise In the Fido Newsletter
Park radar. We attend meetings with local Parks             R e a c h F i d o ’s M e m b e r s h i p & B e y o n d
representatives, and petition the people in Al-
bany to give the City Parks more budget money.                 Dog-walking - boarding, roofing (no pun intended)
We answer mail from around the country from                             business services - whatever
dog people only dream about a deal like ours.
                                                            Your Address: Brooklyn, NY 11- - -
                                                            Phone: 718 - - - - - - -
This year, FIDO was invited by the Philadelphia Hor-        E-mail: - - - - - - - @ - - - - - - - - - --
ticultural Society to speak on the benefits and respon-
sibilities of off-leash recreation. I accompanied FIDO
Communications Director Charlotte Gemmel to Phila-
delphia where we gave a presentation to Philadel-           Needless to say, printing and stamps are costly, so in an
phians both for and against off-leash dog areas. We          efforttomakeourquarterlynewsletterself-supporting,we
were able to give encouragement to people trying to         will be accepting ads, beginning with the Summer Issue.
start or preserve off-leash sites, and established an ini-
tial dialog between some “pro” and “anti” groups.           Ads should consist of “Business Card” formats, mean-
Listening to some of the dog-park people speak rein-        ing content and size should resemble a business card
forced our appreciation of Prospect Park: We have
                                                            (see above). The charge will be $25.00 per quarterly
trees! And grass! And fountains! We even have police
                                                            issue. While it’s impractical to scan business cards
who respond to emergencies!
                                                            we can go with your information. Unfortunately our
On April 21, we plan to send a committee to a city-         printer doesn’t guarantee gray tones (as in pictures)
wide rally in Manhattan for Parks Advocacy Day.
Organized by New Yorkers for Parks, this event will         Mail your information and a check to Bob Ipcar, FIDO
also give groups direct access to the members of            Newsletter Ads, 342 16th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215.
the City Council so we can emphasize again (and             Deadline will be (June 10th)
again and again) how important Parks are to main-
                                                                                                           Page 7

Tort Tails....
You Cannot Go To Jail For                                   would constitute cruelty, lack of sustenance or any of
                                                            the other acts detailed in the statute as punishable as a
Not Taking Your Animal To                                   crime. Therefore, if an animal is not being mistreated
the Veterinarian                                            and the injury was not caused to the animal through
                                                            some act or omission on the part of the owner, but is
David Singer, Attorney at Law,
                                                            the result of an illness, an owner who cannot afford
                                                            veterinary services or chooses to withhold treatment for
A recent case decided before the Criminal Court of the
                                                            any reason cannot be charged with a crime pursuant
City of New York, Kings County (Brooklyn) held that a
                                                            to Section 353.
pet owner cannot be charged with the crime of cruelty
to an animal under Section 353 of the Agriculture and
                                                            Since this decision is at the Criminal Court level
Markets Law for failing to provide medical care to a ter-
                                                            and has not been reviewed by an Appellate Court,
minally ill animal, and based upon that rule, the Court
                                                            it does not mean that another judge in the same
dismissed a criminal complaint against an individual.
                                                            Court or in a different county cannot interpret Sec-
                                                            tion 353 differently, but at the present time, at
The facts of the case were presented to the Criminal
                                                            least in Kings County, a person cannot be charged
Court by representatives of the ASPCA. Their claim
                                                            with a crime for failing to provide medical care.
was that an individual failed to provide medical care
to a dog that had a tumor on her chest the size of a
                                                            It is interesting to note that in this case, the ASPCA
grapefruit. The tumor became infected and was obvi-
                                                            performed surgery upon the dog and determined that
ously causing pain to the animal. The condition of
                                                            the animal was terminally ill and provided whatever
the dog was reported to the ASPCA, and the owner
                                                            medical treatment was necessary. If you find yourself
admitted that the dog was his, that he was aware
                                                            in a situation where your animal has severe medical
that the dog was in pain, he was aware that the
                                                            problems and you cannot afford medical treatment,
dog was terminally ill with cancer, but he could not
                                                            it is suggested that you contact the ASPCA and/or
afford medical treatment for a veterinarian and did
                                                            some other group such as Muffin Pets for the purpose
not want the animal to suffer through chemotherapy.
                                                            of seeking some form of assistance for your animal,
                                                            even if it is to ultimately put the animal at rest. You
The owner of the dog was charged with a misdemean-
                                                            can also avail yourself of pet insurance, which can be
or pursuant to Section 353 of the Agriculture and Mar-
                                                            obtained at a discount through FIDO.
kets Law, which states the following:
“A person who overdrives, overloads, tortures or cru-
elly beats or unjustifiably injures, maims, mutilates or
                                                                     Anyone You Know?
kills any animal, whether wild or tame, and whether                   When called, (s)he’ll be sleeping
belonging to himself or to another, or deprives any
                                                                               as sound as a log.
animal of necessary sustenance, food or drink, or ne-
glects or refuses to furnish it such sustenance or drink,               Then (s)he’ll run like a deer,
or causes, procures or permits any animal to be over-                          and leap like a frog.
driven, overloaded, tortured, cruelly beaten, or unjus-               (S)he’ll steal the hors d’oeuvres,
tifiably injured, maimed, mutilated or killed, or to be                     (s)he’ll sample the grog.
deprived of necessary food or drink, or who wilfully                         A master of mischief,
sets on foot, instigates, engages in, or in any way                         (s)he’s smarter than Oz.
furthers any act of cruelty to any animal, or any act
                                                                          (S)he clings to you tightly.
tending to produce such cruelty, is guilty of a misde-
meanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than
                                                                              (S)he eats like a hog.
one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand                   (S)he snuggles in bed with you
dollars, or by both.”                                                             -- off in a fog.
                                                                         (S)he loves you completely,
The Court held that the words contained in Section                              one loveable dog.
353 do not give the public sufficient notice under the
Constitution that failure to provide medical treatment                                          Maureen Sanders
            Keep Prospect Park Off-Leash Friendly
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