created 2 years ago

Putting an end to a fierce competition in the pet-sitting business, Rover and DogVacay have agreed to join forces. Rover will be acquiring DogVacay in an all-stock deal.
Both had a very similar model, with a marketplace for pet sitting, dog walking and other pet-care services. Each take about a 20 percent cut from bookings. Total bookings on the combined sites amounted to $150 million for 2016. The growing businesses are not yet profitable.
The merged company will be headquartered at Rover’s Seattle location. The DogVacay team will remain in Santa Monica, but with 22 positions set to be eliminated.
One of the new focuses will be to expand internationally. DogVacay already does well in Canada, which Easterly was enthusiastic about. They also plan to grow their dog-walking business and potentially introduce other pet-related categories.
Mariesa and Chris Hughes of Clifton Park, New York -- who run a dog rescue organization -- posted an ad online for a craftsman to build them a super-sized sleeper that could fit the family of 10, which includes their dogs: Mabel, Gremlin, Meatball, Tejas, Money, The Stig, Sam and Quinn.
"I wake up and I think, 'This is incredible. I'm like a contortionist with Stig spooning me and Gremlin between my legs and Sam sharing my pillow,'" Mariesa said, joking to ABC News. "They love it. They love to just be near us. So however we can make that happen, they're happy."
"Here's the interesting thing, is that we have never had a pet break anything here," Conklin says. "We've had people, myself included, who have broken a number of these delicate pieces. But we have never to our knowledge had a pet break anything."
Conklin agrees. She says the pets-at-work policy costs the company nothing, and staff often say it's their favorite perk. Conklin also says it helps with employee retention, too, though longevity can become bittersweet.
"It's oftentimes very emotional, because sometimes you see someone come in with a puppy and you watch that dog go through its life," Conklin says, her voice cracking. "And then unfortunately sometimes we lose them, and it's amazing to see that lifespan of that dog here at work."
Studies show pets lower stress hormones, and some show that workplaces that allow pets see higher morale and productivity.
Hey, did you know that cat people are smarter than dog people? Or that they’re more sensitive? Or more independent? And dog people, there’s good news for you guys, too. Dog owners tend to be more satisfied with their lives, possibly because they make more money, enjoy more robust social lives, and have more sex. It’s true. Google it.
The stat about dog owners having more sex, for example, came from a small survey conducted by a company that manufactures pet nutraceuticals — but still, it generated a bunch of headlines when it was released.
“We all know perfectly well that people don’t always acquire their pets through their own actions. You might decide to live with and/or marry a person with a beagle named King, and so now you qualify for a new status as part owner of a dog. It’s possible that the reason you were attracted to your intimate partner is because both of you are equally extraverted, but it’s also possible that because like doesn’t always pair up with like, you are the complete introvert.
Taking this one step further, now that you’re King’s co-owner, perhaps having such a large and friendly animal starts to have an impact on you and your personal qualities. Now you have to take this dog out for walks, and because the dog goes ahead and sniffs other dogs, you are almost forced into conversations with strangers that you never would have engaged in otherwise. Over time, perhaps you get a little bit less introverted as you find these conversations to be pretty enjoyable and rewarding. You never thought of yourself as a dog person but now you do.”
The researchers found that dog people scored higher on extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness, while cat people showed higher levels of neuroticism and openness.
A 2007 study in the journal Society and Animals found that cat owners tended to rate their pets as more hostile, while dog owners rated theirs as friendlier, more loving, and more submissive — traits that may speak to to their owners’ emotional needs.
As the app builds up a database of behaviours (cross referenced with a central database) it will attempt to make 'translations' for itself which the owner will be asked to validate or refute. For example, "WhatsYapp thinks Rover wants to go for a walk".
Over time, the owner's data, and the data from a central system of owners, will  make a personalised translation system between the human and the dog.
Enter Pickles — a snorting, wheezing, wiggling 15 pounds of smoosh-face French bulldog bliss that is technology’s answer to my dog dilemma. Using a new app called Bark’N’Borrow, an Uber-type matchmaking service, we borrowed Pickles recently for an overnight dose of dog companionship.
The idea behind Bark’N’Borrow and other new dog-service apps like Rover and Dog Vacay is to create a community of dog lovers both with and without dogs — pairing those who crave canine companionship with dogs that could use a little more people time. Bark’N’Borrow also connects dog owners for pooch playdates and has a portal for potential dog-sitter matches as well. Rover and Dog Vacay, meanwhile, offer boarding options for pets in people’s homes rather than a kennel.
A similar service in Britain and Ireland called BorrowMyDoggy has amassed thousands of users and more than 200,000 Facebook fans in the three years it has been operating. The San Francisco-based start-up Walkzee has also been met with widespread approval for pairing people with animal shelter dogs to take for walks. Walkzee has been in beta-testing for several months in more than 100 shelters across America and went live to the public this fall.
The 7-year-old dog, named Simba, was traveling in his crate in the cargo hold, and just as the plane was about to cross the Atlantic, the heating malfunctioned. This problem wouldn’t have affected the passengers in the pressurized cabin but would allow the cargo hold to drop to below freezing temperatures. Knowing Simba was in danger, the pilot diverted the flight to Frankford, Germany. “The pilot is responsible for all lives on board whether it be human life or even canine life,”
The decision cost the airline up to $10,000 in fuel and landing fees and caused a 75-minute delay for the approximately 260 passengers, but if not for the pilot’s actions, Simba likely would have frozen to death. Simba and his grateful owner boarded another flight to Toronto. “It’s my dog, it’s like my child. It’s everything to me,” the owner said.
PETALUMA (California) — A 10-year-old mutt named Quasi Modo, whose spinal birth defects left him a bit hunchbacked, is the winner of this year's World's Ugliest Dog contest.
"My appearance can be a little unsettling to some (I have had grown men jump on top of their cars to get away from me because they thought I was a hyena or Tasmanian devil) but once they get to know me I win them over with my bubbly personality," his biography said.
Dog food standards are set by The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), the same people who regulate livestock feed. However, the FDA supposedly determines the quality – but their regulations clearly are not working – all the recalls and poisoned pets are a testament to that.
“Ingredients from rendering facilities, for instance, should be avoided. You’ll recognize these ingredients on the label under generic terms like ‘meat’ and ‘meat meal.’ In California, they’ve given them the appetizing name of “dry rendered tankage.” So why avoid them? It’s almost impossible to tell what’s being rendered: it can be road kill, zoo animals, and sometimes even spoiled meat from the grocery store that’s still wrapped in plastic.”
Not only do dogs seem to love us back, they actually see us as their family. It turns out that dogs rely on humans more than they do their own kind for affection, protection and everything in between.
the study revealed marked similarities in the way dog and human brains process emotionally laden vocal sounds. Researchers found that happy sounds in particular light up the auditory cortex in both species. This commonality speaks to the uniquely strong communication system underlying the dog-human bond.
Dogs don't just seem to pick up on our subtle mood changes — they are actually physically wired to pick up on them

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