10 Days in Arizona: Scottsdale, the Grand Canyon, + Beyond

10 Days in Arizona: Scottsdale, the Grand Canyon, + Beyond // Bubby and Bean

Tomorrow night will officially mark one week since we returned from our annual Arizona trip, but truthfully, my mind is still there. There is something so magical about the southwest – it has an energy that really resonates with me. I feel completely invigorated when I’m there. Maybe this is because it’s so different from the midwest. Or maybe it’s because it’s the one area of the country where I’ve never lived – I’ve lived in the Pacific northwest, the west coast, the Rockies region, the midwest, the south, and the east/northeast, but never the southwest – so there’s something mysterious about it. Whatever the reason, just give me abundant sunshine, desert flowers, mountains, red rocks, cacti, endless blue skies, and some authentic southwestern food, and my heart is instantly happy.

This was the fourth year in a row that I’ve gone to Arizona in March, and I think it was my favorite so far. We did so much, especially outside, and I loved every minute of it. (I tend to thrive on lots of activity; although I have absolutely no problem lounging by a swimming pool either.) Essley and I spent Wednesday evening through Friday evening hanging with Robbie’s parents, brother, sister-in-law, their four kids, and their dog. It was a full, wonderfully chaotic house with lots of noise and energy. On Saturday morning, the extended family went back to Austin, and on Sunday morning, after the band’s winter tour came to an end, Robbie joined us at his parents’ house. We then spent Monday and Tuesday up at the Grand Canyon, then visited Sedona (our favorite) for an afternoon, then spent the last couple of days back in Scottsdale. Highlights of the trip included celebrating Robbie’s birthday with cakes from this amazing bakery, visiting the coolest butterfly house, hiking and watching the sun set over the majestic South Rim, devouring the most delicious pizza in Sedona, watching Essley fall in love with the outdoor fountain at my favorite mall, photo shoots among the towering saguaros and vividly blooming springtime flowers in the desert with Robbie, family dinners and ice-cold margaritas and sun-kissed poolside hangs in my in-laws’ backyard, and a phenomenal musical number put on by the nieces/nephew that included a special Essley cameo.

After over a week of great times and positive experiences, the trip ended with a visit to the doctor for Essley (quite the ordeal when you’re an out of state walk-in, let me tell you), who was given a clean bill of health then proceeded to spend about ten hours vomiting. Thankfully, she recovered quickly (and had an amazingly cheerful attitude the entire time she was sick), and we were able to fly home as planned the next day. (Not so thankfully, Robbie and I both spent an entire day in bed/by the toilet when we got home, but we won’t get into that here.) It was an absolutely wonderful trip, and a much-appreciated getaway from the midwest’s dreary weather – stomach flu and all.

As you can see, I took a lot of pictures this time, especially on our Grand Canyon trip. In fact, for the first time ever, I actually wiped out my memory card on my camera and the majority of pictures on my phone in advance so I had plenty of space to snap away. There are even more photos over here, if you’re interested.

It’s always good to come back home after a trip, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t already looking forward to next year. You rule, AZ.

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Hybrid origin of the pit bull revealed in new studies

skull 1

A recent study of pit bull skulls using 3-D imaging technology has revealed that they have skull measurements that are more similar to the extinct canids in the genus Borophagus. Further analysis involving SNP technology revealed that the average of 24.6 percent ancestry that is from a canid that is neither wolf nor domestic dog.

Abbott Millard, a canid researcher with the Dog Origins Project, has performed the 3-D imaging research, which included 130 pit bull skulls. His a comparison with the measurements of the pit bull skulls with those of several extant and extinct canids.

“Our results show that pit bulls have skull morphology most similar to the extinct dogs of the genus Borophagus. These results were quite shocking because Borophagus has been classified with an extinct group of canids that were thought not be related to modern dogs at all,” said Millard.

However, knowing that canids have a tendency towards convergent evolution in skull morphology, it is quite possible that pit bulls, a breed known for its massive jaw strength, evolved similar jaws to the Borphagus through similar selection pressures.

Which is why the Dog Origins Project decided to do some research on pit bull DNA. The researchers used SNP chip technology, which allows for extensive genome-wide assays. Similar research has been used to disprove East Asian origins for the domestic dog and raised real questions about the taxonomic status of the red wolf.

Otto Klinger, lead geneticist at the Dog Origins Project, compared DNA from 20 pit bulls, 15 boxers, 4 dingoes, 6 wolves from 4 different regions in the Old World, 12 coyotes, and 3 golden jackals. Pit bulls were found to be mostly domestic dog in origin, but a large sample of their genetic material didn’t match any extant canid.

“It is possible that this mystery canid was actually an undocumented wolf subspecies, but the finding that pit bulls have similar skulls to the Borophagus raises intriguing questions. It could mean that the pit bull terrier developed in America was crossed with a relict population of Borophagus,” said Klinger, “There are many mentions of strange wolves in the colonial literature that might be very suggestive of Borophagus, and there are mentions of blocky-headed wolfdogs belonging to the Algonquin peoples of the Northeast. Maybe these dogs and wolves were the relict Borophagus. They certainly would have been great fighting dogs.”

The discovery of the hybrid origin for the pit bull, though, does raise some important questions.

Millard believes that these studies mean that pit bulls deserve their own species status:

“The hybrid origin of the pit bull strongly suggests that we should not be classifying pit bulls as part of the greater dog species. We propose that the scientific name for the new pit bull species be Canis horribilus. Pit bulls are the grizzly bears of the dog world, so we think that we should use the grizzly bear’s name [Ursus arctos horribilus] to define the pit bull.”

With this new definitive DNA research on pit bulls, breed specific legislation will now be much easier to enforce, and the Dog Origin Project plans on donating its findings to law enforcement to develop a definitive pit bull genetic test.

“Our research will now have a positive impact upon society. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am wih the possibilities!” said Klinger.

So we now know why pit bulls are so different from other dogs. They are hybrids with a mystery canid that might be a survivor from the days of the ancient Borophaginae.

 

 

 

 


Canis lupus hominis

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Calling All Pets! Does your pet have what it takes to be a TV star?

If you’re like us, your pet is the star of your home. Now, your pet could also be a national TV star! The 1-800-PetMeds® Calling All Pets Sweepstakes and Contest is going on right now, and the…



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DogTipper

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Advanced Warfare EXO ZOMBIES “INFECTION” EASTER EGG ENDING – “BUBBY” RAMPAGE GOOD ENDING!

Exo Zombies “INFECTION” EASTER EGG ENDING! ○FULL Guide – https://youtu.be/MrcXuqOjXt0 ○SUBSCRIBE for EXO ZOMBIES videos! – http://bit.ly/VNLqYy In this video, I show you the ENDING to.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

Watch gameplay from Exo Zombies Infection, part two of the Exo Zombies co-op experience. After being overrun at the Atlas research facility, our four heroes must fight for survival at a Burgertown…
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit with Flea (RHCP) [Live At Hollywood Rock Festival]

Nirvana performing Smells Like Teen Spirit with Flea (RHCP) live At Hollywood Rock Festival.

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Churchill and Homer

I’ve named the pekins Churchill and Homer. They are not sexed, but I think the names fit.

Churchill is the bigger, fatter one. Homer is big and yellow and loves to eat.

Churchill on the left; Homer on the right.

Churchill on the left. Homer on the right.

Close-up of Churchill :

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I had never really noticed it, but Pekins have blue eyes. They are dark blue, so you can’t really tell from a distance.

 

 


Canis lupus hominis

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Look at These Stylish Dogs on Menswear Site Mr. Porter

While many clothing outfits have started featuring dogs modeling their clothes, men’s retail site Mr. Porter has done everybody one better: It’s put Instagram’s most famous fashion-forward dogs in its menswear. That means we have stylish dogs like Geordi La Corgi, Logan’s Look, Otis Barkington, Chango Leon, and Remix the Dog dolled up in a new round of bow ties, checkered shirts, scarfs, beanies, and sunglasses. 

We can’t believe how cool these dogs look. These dogs are way out of our league. Can you imagine the treats that went into getting these dogs to behave so model-y before the camera? Or are they just that put together? 

Take a look: 

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Photos via Mr. Porter.

See more Pix We Love on Dogster:


The Scoop | The Scoop

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PERSISTENT PUP WALKS 20 BLOCKS TO VISIT OWNER IN HOSPITAL

sissy-lgSecurity cameras at Mercy Medical Center is in Cedar Rapids, Iowa recently caught an unusual visitor coming through the center’s front entrance – a Miniature Schnauzer named Cissy, who appeared to be on a mission to find her owner, who was a patient there.

According to KWWL-TV, Nancy Franck was at the hospital, recovering from a cancer-related surgery. Early that morning, Nancy’s husband, Dale, had let Cissy and her dog-brother Barney, out into the backyard. Barney came back inside, but Cissy didn’t.

“I was panicking,” Dale told KWWL. “(Cissy’s) my baby.” Dale looked everywhere, eventually calling the police and the local animal shelter to let them know Cissy was missing.

Click here to read the complete story.

Halo

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Shorter Than a Coke Can, Is This Chihuahua the World’s Smallest Dog?

Chihuahuas are known for being a really small breed, but one from Poland may have outdone them all. At 2.75 inches tall and weighing in at 10.5 ounces, the three-month-old Toudi may qualify as the world’s smallest dog of any breed.

Toudi hasn't been officially declared the world's smallest dog, but his owners are trying to get Guinness World Records to recognize his status.

It's true that Toudi is still a pup and may have some growing to do, but he's significantly smaller than his siblings in the same litter, so in all likelihood, he's going to stay small. At his current size, he's dwarfed by a Coke can. That's pretty small for any age.

As of right now, Guinness lists two categories of "smallest" living dog: length and height. According to them, the smallest by height is Milly, a Chihuahua living in Puerto Rico. Milly stands at 3.8 inches high, which towers over Toudi. The smallest by length is Heaven Sent Brandy, yet another Chihuahua who measures 6 inches from nose to tail. There are no figures on Toudi's length right now, but it seems that barring a sudden growth spurt, he may stand a very good chance at making that world record.

Whether he does or not, Toudi's pictures show that he has plenty of cuteness and charm to go around at any size.

Via Toudi Chi Facebook Page and The Express

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The Scoop | The Scoop

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Prickle

This is Prickle, who lives at one of Menton’s famous gardens, Le Clos du Peyronnet.
RIVIERA DOGS

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