Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, March 4, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:8



Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 4, 2017 


Lauren is a 3-year-old terrier mix who is looking for a 
fresh start for her life. When little Lauren was picked up 
as a stray dog, she looked more like a dirty rag mop than 
a living creature. Lauren was found severely neglected, 
matted and very frightened of every sound, movement, 
dog, or person she encountered. Staff patiently worked 
with Lauren to build her trust in people again, and after 
about three weeks of gentle touch, she was ready to meet 
a few volunteers. They continued socializing Lauren, 
with quiet cuddling and petting until she felt brave 
enough to get off the lap and start to explore the world. 
Soon she was able to meet a few dogs, and gradually her 
confidence grew enough that she was able to take a walk 
with them. 

 Lauren now happily greets new people and dogs, and 
enjoys going for walks with them. Lauren is looking for a 
patient, gentle person or family that can help her continue 
to develop into the wonderful dog she is meant to be. If 
you think you can give Lauren the love and training she 
needs, please come in to meet her. Her story is sure to 
touch your heart Her adoption fee is $130, which includes 
spay surgery, a microchip, first vaccinations and a free 
wellness check-up at a participating veterinarian. Feel 
free to call us at (626) 286-1159 for more information 
on Lauren. ID#27113. She currently resides at the San 
Gabriel Valley Humane Society located at 851 E. Grand 
Avenue in San Gabriel which is located off San Gabriel 
Blvd, north of Mission and south of Las Tunas Drive. 
To arrange a ‘Meet and Greet’ with Lauren, please stop 
by any time from 10:30am to 4:30pm Tuesday through 

Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc


Well-Founded Fact or Fallible Fantasy?

Much ado has ensued in recent years, regarding the 
cognitive capacity of the domestic canine. Indeed, 
psychologists who’ve conducted and successfully 
completed studies in this field have earned due respect 
from their peers in the animal behavioral science 
community. The burden of proof always lies on the 
individual whose desire it is to prove a particular theory as 
fact, and with that comes the responsibility and challenge 
of addressing and proving un-true, pertinent opposing 

 Science is a discipline defined by specific perimeters 
applied to prove the difference between fact and theory. 
The process of proving a theory as fact requires accurately 
defining the results of repeated controlled studies with 
consistency, tenacity and patience. Therein lies the 
uniquely inherent value of the discipline itself. Anyone 
can come up with a theory, and we all have a theory or two 
of our own that we feel the need to make known at some 
point in our lives, but it is the proven fact that ultimately 
becomes a part of true science in the end.

 When it comes to studying and accurately defining the 
thought processes and intellectual abilities of a dog, the 
first major challenge is communicating effectively with 
the subjects being studied. As we all know, animals don’t 
speak human language, so in order to figure out what is 
really going on in the mind of a canine, an alternative 
language that the subject will comprehend and respond to 
in a consistent manner, must be employed.

 There have been various studies conducted over 
the past several decades wherein sounds, signals, sign 
language, objects and/or graphic imagery were used 
to communicate with the canine, in an effort to learn 
more about what they are thinking. The results of 
some of those studies have sustained strongly enough 
scientifically to be accepted as true building blocks for 
future research into how a dog thinks and learns and 
why he even bothers to.

 Does “Fido” respond consistently to a hand signal or 
verbal command simply out of natural instinct, or does 
he do it because he wishes to please the human? Is his 
response the result of empathy about what the human 
is asking of him, or is it simply an inherent reflex or 
robotic response completely absent of logic? How much 
of how “Fido” responds to stimuli comes from cognitive 
comprehension versus natural instinct? These are among 
the questions yet to be answered definitively and ones that 
animal behavior psychologists and professionals continue 
their quest to find answers to.

 It is a fine line to define whether our four-legged furry 
friends understand what we are saying and thus respond 
by virtue of cognition, or simply because they’re wired 
by nature to do so. This subject stirs up an immense 
amount of interest not only among professionals in the 
field, but also among lay people (such 
as myself) who want to know what 
their pets are thinking in order to form 
stronger bonds and know better how to 
care for them. It also stirs up a hot pot 
of controversy among folks of various 
schools of thought regarding whether 
dogs are capable of having emotions as 
we humans understand them.

 The concept of canine cognition 
is a very touchy subject among some 
religious groups who deem it blatant 
blasphemy to give a dog the credit for 
being anywhere near able to have the 
kinds of feelings we humans do. I don’t 
see the connection, myself. I believe God created the dog - 
and every other animal for that matter - for a very specific 
purpose, just as He created each one of us for a specific 

 We are classified under different species, but we all 
play an important part in the universe and on this globe. 
I would never be so bold as to assume my reason for 
being is more important than any other creature’s on 
earth. We are all part of a big picture, and we should 
humble ourselves to the knowledge that we are blessed 
to be alive at all.

 I don’t have time or space in this article to cover the 
details of all the studies that have been conducted or are 
currently underway on canine cognition, but here is a 
short list of website pages that I found during a Google 
search on this very subject, for those readers who are 
interested enough to look them up:

Duke Canine Cognition Center (Duke University) -

Max Plank Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology -

Horowitz Dog Cognition Lab (Columbia University) -

Harvard Canine Cognition Lab (Facebook) - https://

 On a more personal note, if you are interested in learning 
more about what goes on in the mind of your own dog, 
you may want to visit This is a website 
where you can assess your dog’s cognitive tendencies in 
a list of categories such as empathy, communication, 
cunning, memory and reason. There are various games 
and tests you can choose from for you and your dog to 
participate in.

 `Having completed the assessment, enter the resulting 
data and the website provides feedback regarding your 
canine‘s cognitive capacity. I found it interesting, but 
of course accuracy is subject to your personal input. 
Dognition’s research is published in PLOS (Putting 
Placebos to the Test), so that says something about their 
credibility. At least you’re sure to have fun in the process. 
You can purchase a one time assessment tool kit for as low 
as $19 and there are monthly & yearly plans available as 

 I’m fascinated by the concept of canine cognition, and 
I’m glad there are scientific research projects underway to 
help us better understand our furry four-legged friends. 
I may never know what my girl “Molly” is thinking, but 
I can’t help believing there is more going on in her head 
than, “When’s dinner?”, Regardless of what else she may be 
thinking, I know one thing for sure…she KNOWS I love 

“Double your pleasure, double your fun!” That’s 
true with yearlings BUGSY & SYLVESTER! Female 
Bugsy is all soft gray, while her brother, Sylvester, is 
a handsome tuxedo. Bugsy loves to be stroked and 
petted, and she’s very outgoing and friendly. Sylvester is 
a cool cat, a sweet, soulful boy who will sit quietly with 
you and listen to your troubles. They have been raised 
together, and make 
a nicely balanced 
twosome. Will the 
luck o’ the Irish get 
them a home by St. 
Patrick’s Day?

 Adoption fee 
is $100 for both, 
which in-cludes 
spay, microchip, 
exam & 
vaccines. A great 
savings! Our cats are negative FELV/FIV unless 
otherwise indicated. 

 See more pictures, videos, adoption info & 
application on our website, 
Sorry, we are not accepting cats at this time.

 GOOD NEWS: Slater and Sully have been adopted!




It’s a good question 
- why do yoga at 
a yoga studio? 
Doesn’t the gym 
provide yoga? 

There are a few 
reasons worth considering when deciding 
whether to do your group yoga classes at an 
established studio. 

First, the environment at a yoga studio is calm, 
serene, and clean. Have you noticed a feeling of 
calm come over you as you walk into the studio? 
The space is set up that way. Also, over time, the 
space where yoga and meditation are practiced 
collects energy. This is positive energy from class 
after class of healing movement and breathing 
taking place. This is quite different from a mixed-
use environment. 

Second, the teachers usually have significant 
training in yoga and a devotion to their own 
practice. Don’t get me wrong - the gym has some 
great teachers - many with significant training - 
but not all. The culture is different and student 
population in each class is quite different. 
Almost all teachers at Yoga Madre have a 
500-hour certification or more of specialized 
training. Each one works in their own style to 
help students build awareness through their 
practice. A student will be exposed to the deeper 
aspects of yoga through pranayama, mantra, 
mudra, and meditation.

Lastly, I’ve found that students who attend 
yoga at a studio appreciate the opportunities to 
advance their practice and knowledge of yoga. 
Opportunities include in-depth workshops, yoga 
therapy, energy healing, and advanced studies/
yoga teacher training. All of these offerings along 
with a well-rounded yoga practice create a “whole 
person” approach to health and wellbeing. This 
approach often leads to a reduction of stress and 
pain and increased vitality and happiness. 

Come join us for a class at Yoga Madre. We have 
knowledgeable and experienced instructors that 
meet you where you are. 

Namaste and Love,

Keely Totten

E-RYT 500, Reiki Master Practitioner, Wife, 
Mom, Yogi 

Teacher at YOGA MADRE in beautiful, Sierra 
Madre, CA. 


Real Life Tips from LIfe's Instruction Manual



It’s just so tempting to stay in 
bed under the covers. It is quite 
a feat getting that damn nest empty. I know 
folks that dream of starting a new business, or 
traveling, or learning a new skill once their child 
leaves home. It’s one thing to want it something, 
but it’s quite another to have it. Wanting a thing 
and having it don’t live on the same channel. 
What happens to us? As we mature, we adopt an 
operating system to get through life. After age 40 
it is critical to realize the choice we are making; 
we can choose to expand, to create and to grow. 
Or by failing to choose we are getting stagnation, 
shrinking and lethargy. We move closer to death. 
I have a friend that has a great business idea. She 
has a name for her business, a service she wants 
to provide and a potential location, yet she has 
done nothing to start her business. My friend is 
unhappy, she hates her job, and she is frustrated 
with her life. 

What to do?

Recognize the preciousness of the moment and 
make a conscious decision. Be cognizant of the 
micro-choices that you make throughout the day 
and get in touch with the word no. Sometimes we 
need to say no to ourselves and others. Perhaps 
it’s no and closing the refrigerator. Maybe it’s 
no to signing your name to a credit card charge. 
Perhaps it’s no to giving a ride to someone, going 
with someone or saving someone. Is time to give 
up being a people pleaser? 

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.” 
Henry David Thoreau

 Once you identify something new that you 
want to accomplish, it is important to start. To 
go is going to require you to be different and take 
responsibility for the life that you are creating. 
Reflect on your life, and if it is not in alignment 
with the vision you have of yourself and life, you 
will be required to get up and GO!

 Finally, this is where the yogurt hits the fan. 
Build on the momentum you have created. Take 
an action step. Do something! Do you dream 
of a loving connected relationship? Take a step 
to create that. Do you long for an adventure, 
what kind? Book it and do it! Want to help 
the community? Go, volunteer. Want to start a 
business? Choose a business name and register it. 
Take the first step and then another, and another 
that’s how you will get to the other side. The fun 
is in the doing, that’s the expansion. 

 Your life is waiting, go!

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: