Dogs’ sneezes

Did you ever wonder why dogs sneeze when they’re excited? They usually sneeze more than once. Dogs are a highly olfactory species: perhaps it has something to do with clearing their noses in readiness for whatever exciting thing they think is about to happen. A Pavlovian reflex of the nose. (Whoever knew Pavlovian reflexes also worked on dogs!)

I wonder if wolves do the same thing. It would seem strange if they didn’t. I find it hard to believe sneezing in excitement is something dogs have picked up since we domesticated them, so it stands to reason wolves should too. On the other paw, sneezing in the excitement of the chase would seem a major disadvantage for wolves: it would be bound to lose them the odd caribou or two.

Mysteries like dogs’ sneezes make life worth living.

Ewokies!

The Paparazzo Game redux

I decided to challenge Stense to a round of the Paparazzo Game on Monday. As you might remember, this involves me trying to take paparazzi-type photos of Stense, while Stense tries to avoid being photographed.

This time, I was sneaky. This time, like a true paparazzo, I lay in wait.

I'd had a tip-off that Stense would be taking the south-bound exit at junction 37 of the M6 at 10:00. So I hid out on a hillside overlooking the junction with my telephoto lens at the ready. Stense was being sneaky: she arrived eight seconds early. But I was ready for her:

Stense leaving J37 of the M6 at 09:59:52 on Monday.

Later, being even more sneaky than Stense, I managed to take a photo of the two of us together, without her even realising it. I used my special fish-eye dog-eye lens:

Stense and me in her dog's eye.

OK, I guess you win this round, Stense. But there's always next time. You have been warned!

What Twitter is for...

Some people are never bloody satisfied

It has been suggested to me that my scoop about Stense sitting on a hill with her dog last Thursday was somewhat unsatisfactory, in that it was totally un-newsworthy. I would beg to differ. Hello? It was about Bafta-award-winning Stense, directrix of prime-time TV shows, and a total fox. It even involved a dog. Animal interest, and all that! How much more newsworthy could it possibly be?

But if it's genuine, no-holds-barred, rock ‘n’ roll gossip you fickle punters are after, try this for size…

Steve ‘Copperhead Road’ Earle has a new drummer:

Bill & Steve

Bill (L) and Steve (R) on Friday.

Apparently, Bill's going to get Steve to cut back on the mandolins. A bit less Fairport, a bit more E Street.

Once again, remember, you read it first on Gruts.

Scoop

Remember, you read it first on Gruts.

(Never took a single lesson)