Now There Is Scientific Proof, Dogs Love Humans!

Like most dog lovers and dog parents, I believe that our dogs do love us. But until recently, there was no scientific proof that this was true. Thanks to Gregory Berns, M.D., Ph.D., a distinguished Professor of Neuroeconomics at Emory University, we now have scientific proof.

Dr. Berns Dog Project took on the task of successfully completing an MRI brain scan of conscious and willing dogs. The dogs had to be conscious so that the MRI scan would show the conscious brain of the dog, which would be different from that of an unconscious dog. Plus the dogs had to be willing because an unwilling dog could provide inaccurate data. The dogs had to go through a lot of training to prepare for the MRI. They had to independently be able to get onto the patient table all by themselves, crawl into the MRI tube, rest their head in a type of cradle to keep their head still during the scan, remain completely still for 20 – 30 seconds at a time while enduring the loud noises of the MRI machine. Far from an easy task!

In Dr. Berns book, How Dogs Love Us A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain, he went through the entire process of obtaining approval for the study, the use of dogs, the steps taken to prepare for the MRI, and the results of the brain scans. Dr. Berns was able to train two dogs to participate in the study. Both dogs successfully went through numerous MRI scans in order to collect data.

Dr. Berns states that the “data showed that their mental models included the identity of important people in their lives that persists even when the people aren’t even present.”

Dr. Berns continued to say that “the evidence continues to accumulate that not only are the dogs sensitive to where humans’ attention is directive, but dogs are also sensitive to the social context. They know when it is appropriate to attend to their human’s attention and when it is not. This means that dogs have more than a Theory of Behavior. They have a Theory of Mind.” Theory of Mind means that both humans and dogs can imagine what another might be thinking!

According to Dr. Berns, the Dog Projects purpose was to “understand the dog-human relationship from the dogs’ perspective, and the most important thing we learned was that dogs’ brains show evidence of Theory of Mind for humans. This means that they not only pay attention to what we do but what we think, and they change their behavior based on what they think we’re thinking.”

“People become intensely attached to their pets. … It is not an exaggeration to say that for many people, their pets are their primary relationships and that they love their cats and dogs more than people.” It is so nice to have scientific confirmation of the feelings I have for my dogs, and that they reciprocate those feelings as well. I thought that maybe I was just a crazy dog lady, which I still may be, but I am among many others!

 

Dog Identification ~ a MUST Have!

Everyday I receive an electronic newsletter called “Nextdoor”. Many neighborhoods around the country have this. What I find distressing in my neighborhood is the amount of Lost Dog or Found Dog notifications there are.

Dogs can be great escape artists to even the most watchful Dog Parent (unfortunately I know from first hand experience). Thankfully there are several easy ways to help your dog get returned for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One is obviously an ID Tag that attaches to the dogs collar. There are several cute styles available and all that is needed is the dogs name and your cell phone number.

Another is to make sure your dog is micro-chipped. Micro-chipping can be done by your veterinarian. With a micro-chip, you don’t have to worry about your dogs collar, and therefore their ID tag, coming off. A found dog can be taken to a veterinary office to be scanned and easily returned to their Dog Parent.

The third option is to license your dog with the state and attach the license to the dogs collar. Again a found dogs license number can be called in and contact information for the dog parents can be obtained. Assuring that the dog is returned to its home.

It is also important to know that if your dog ends up in a shelter, the shelter does check for ID Tags and micro-chipping.

I personally use all three forms of ID, the ID tag, License, and micro-chip. I will never forget the time when my Old English Sheepdog Sir Winston Thomas got out through the backyard gate. This was before cell-phones so his ID tag had my home phone number and address on it. Thank Goodness! I will never forget the sight of two very pretty blonde young ladies driving a white sports car with Winston sitting in-between them! They had tried calling me, then when I didn’t answer my phone, realized that I was out looking for him. Having my address, they were able to drive him home…back to me! I was sooo very happy to see him and extremely grateful to those ladies.

Make sure your Fur Baby can be returned to their home. Make sure that there is a way that you can be contacted when someone finds your dog!

Introducing Our New Breeders Program!

Are you a breeder and would you love to see you business grow as fast as your puppies grow? Gem Lady Treasures would love to help you do just that!

As a breeder you have a most unique position, a position that other businesses don’t have. You do not sell puppies, you give families the opportunity to grow their family. Society has changed over the past twenty years. Dogs are no longer possessions; they are four-legged kids – fur babies!

According to an article written for Bloomberg Business Week by Ben Crair on August 18, 2015, he stated, “The U.S. pet industry has more than tripled over the past 20 years.” In an article for Consumer Affairs on August 15, 2016, Sarah D. Young wrote, “Americans spent upwards of $60 billion on pet products last year, and that number is expected to climb by $2 billion this year.” As a breeder I am sure you have felt this change. The question is, are you taking advantage of this boom in the industry?

How can you enhance your buyers experience? How can you create a relationship with your clients to build a repeat business? How can you encourage your clients to refer you to others? This is where Gem Lady Treasures comes in.

I spoke with a Dog Mom who received a unique collar when she purchased her dog from a breeder. She told me that even though her dog has outgrown the collar, she has kept it because it carries such wonderful memories for her; not only of the adoption, but the breeder as well. Another Dog Mom told me that she received a special dog collar from the breeder of her dog as a first birthday gift. She was absolutely thrilled to receive such a wonderful and unexpected gift. In addition to her dog being remembered by the breeder, it bonded her more to the breeder. She also said that she has sent other families to that breeder.

As a member of the Gem Lady Treasures Breeder Program, we will work with you in selecting natural gemstones and a design that would be specific only to you. Another option would be to create natural gemstone dog collars using the stone of the puppies birth month or adoption month. The dog collars would then either be a gift to the puppies family at the time of adoption, or as a first birthday gift. This gift is what is going to bond your customer to you just as your puppy is going to bond to their new family.

Business today is all about building relationships with our customers. Building a strong connection with your clients is smart business, doing so with natural gemstone dog collars is a creative way to grow your business.

Please contact me at gemladytreasures@gmail.com so we can discuss in depth how the Gem Lady Treasures Breeder Program can help you create that special bond and wonderful memories with your clients, as well as grow your business!

 

Gemstones; The Beauty of Earth’s Treasures

When I was thinking about writing a blog on this particular subject, I asked several of my gemological friends what was their favorite gemstone and why. The responses I received were surprising. Only a few people were able to narrow it down to one gemstone.  Douglas Liebman, GG* and owner of an Estate Jewelry business claimed that Cats Eye Alexandrite was his favorite. “The reason being is that it combines the two most interesting phenomenon in gemstones; color change and chatoyancy (cats eye).”   Cornelis Hollander, Fine Jewelry Designer, favors Paraiba Tourmaline due to its “most beautiful neon green colors” he has ever seen.   Dana Hanna, owner of Scottsdale Sparkles admires Pink Tourmaline for its metaphysical properties. “The vibration of this lovely pink crystal brings an influx of love, joy and happiness into your life.” Everyone else had more than one. Shelly Sergent, Curator of Somewhere In The Rainbow, A Modern Gem & Jewelry Collection, stated that “I can’t answer that…impossible!!!” Shelly went on to say that she likes “bright or sultry gems that sing, dance and are sexy”.

Color Change Cat’s Eye Alexandrite
Paraiba Tourmaline
Paraiba Tourmaline
Pink Tourmaline
Pink Tourmaline

 

 

 

 

There were a couple that could narrow it down to a favorite gemstone to collect and a favorite gemstone for a piece of jewelry. William F. Ashford, ADM FGAA – Qualified Jeweller, Gemmologist, and Diamond Grader in Australia stated his favorite for jewelry was the classic diamond due to its “eternal beauty, durability and rarity”. As an Australian Gemmologist William chose Fine Precious Opal for a collection piece. It “exhibits full spectral colours rarely seen in any other natural gemstone”. Fellow Australian Donna Bollenhagen, Gemmologist and Diamond Grader, loves Tourmaline for jewelry and Rainbow Lattice Sunstone to collect. As far as collecting is concerned, Marc Allen Fleischer, GD, AJP* and Curator/Online Editor of Fleischer Museum prefers to collect specimens. His favorite specimens are the different varieties in the species of Tourmaline. Marc states that “Tourmaline is quite complex in its chemistry and is the last to crystallize in a cavity/pocket. That is how you get those wonderful color zones as the ‘soup’ of liquids and gases mix.” he further says that cutting a tourmaline loses the “termination and the striations that are observed in a natural crystal.”

Opal, Photo Courtesy of Craig Lynch
Opal, Photo Courtesy of Craig Lynch
Australian Rainbow Lattice Sunstone, Photo Courtesy of Donna Bollenhagen
Australian Rainbow Lattice Sunstone, Photo Courtesy of Donna Bollenhagen
Tourmaline Specimen, Photo Courtesy of Marc Allen Fleischer
Tourmaline Specimen, Photo Courtesy of Marc Allen Fleischer

 

 

 

 

 

Craig Lynch, GG* and Certified Insurance Appraiser is the owner of Ouellet & Lynch. He prefers to separate his favorites by color. “Red = Spinel, Green = Tsavorite (Garnet), Blue – Kashmir Sapphire, Orange – Spessartite (Garnet), Pink – Spinel, Pink/Orange – Padparadscha (Sapphire) or Topaz”. Whereas January Gaul, GG* favors gems with lots of color and movement in them such as Agates and Jaspers. I as well have two favorites, the first being Red Beryl. Red Beryl is a very rare gemstone which is principally mined in Utah, but there are also a couple of mines in New Mexico. It’s red color has been referred to as gooseberry red, carmine red, and scarlet red. My other favorite is Bi-color Imperial Topaz.

Padparadscha Sapphire
Padparadscha Sapphire
Agate
Agate
Rough Red Beryl
Rough Red Beryl

 

 

 

 

So what do you see when you study these photographs? I see gemstones with intense color, gemstones with two or more intense colors, and gemstones with phenomenon. All gemstones that Mother Nature creates are beautiful in their own right, but thanks to these gemological enthusiasts and professionals we have been exposed to some very special colored gemstones. Maybe next time when you visit a fine jewelry store, you may spend a little bit more time looking at them!

*GG: Graduate Gemologist degree Gemological Institute of America

*GD: Graduate Diamond degree Gemological Institute of America

*AJP: Accredited Jewelry Professional degree Gemological Institute of America

 

 

 

 

Gemstone Dog Collars Verses Dog Jewelry

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These adorable little fur babies all have the same doggy necklace on. For fun, like in the magazines, who is wearing it the best?

 

 

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I will be the first to admit that dogs wearing jewelry are adorable, but I will admit there is a strong practical side of me.

Whenever I see a picture of a dog wearing a piece of dog jewelry they are usually not wearing a collar. I do understand that some pet parents don’t keep collars on their fur babies all the time, but there are a lot who do. I do because if my fur baby Nathan ever got away from me, I want him to have his ID tag on so hopefully with the help of someone, he can find his way home to me. Another reason is that it is really easy to clip a leash onto a collar but not a doggy necklace. They are just not made strong enough to control a dog through the use of a leash. I have also seen warning tags on doggy jewelry to not leave the jewelry on the dog when the dog is alone, choking could be a dangerous issue.

I made doggy necklaces for my Dalmatian Mix Lady Lacy Marie, however hers were always worn with the collar that she had. The reason for this was that I could not locate a fun ‘Princess’ collar in her size. They were all made for XSmall or Small dogs of which she was not.

Gem Lady Treasures created our Unique, Handmade Leather and Natural Gemstone Dog Collars for many of these reasons. Our beautiful collars use real natural gemstones unlike most dog necklaces. The natural gemstones are securely attached to our collars by hand sewing and knotting. Nathan has been wearing his Natural Poppy Jasper collar for nine months now and not one gemstone has even come loose. Double dee rings provide room for attaching a leash and tags without crowding. In addition, there is no danger for choking!

Gem Lady Treasures Gemstone Dog Collars are also made in all sizes, XSmall to XLarge plus have the benefit of being Unisex. Boys as well as girls can wear them! Please click on the link above to see all of our fabulous collars.

 

 

How a Gem Lady Treasures Collar is Made

Probably the biggest misconception about our collars is that we purchase leather dog collars and then add on the gemstones. However convenient that would be, it simply would not give us the tight quality control that we like to have on our product. I order strips of a high quality belt leather in a natural color. Two different widths are used; a five-eights inch for the xsmall & small and a one inch width for the medium, large, & xlarge.

For the collar, I take the leather strips and first cut them to the length I need. I then bevel the edges, both top and bottom. The reason is that it is more comfortable for the dog plus it is a nice finishing edge detail. Holes are then punched into the leather for the buckle to use and for assembling the collar. There is also a wrap around piece of leather that needs to be cut, beveled, and holes punched. This wrap around piece is how the buckle is attached to the collar. At this point if the leather is to be dyed black, that is done all by hand. Even when wearing gloves my hands always have a significant amount of black dye on them afterwards! Some comes off with major scrubbing and polish remover, but it usually takes several days for my hands to be back to normal! After dying and drying for 24 hours, the leather is then buffed by hand and a sealant is put on. This is then allowed to dry for at least 12 hours.

Beveling Edges
Beveling Edges
Punching Holes
Punching Holes
Stamping
Stamping

 

 

 

 

When completely dry, I use a leather stamp to stamp the size of the collar onto the wrap around piece. I also stamp my makers mark “GLT” (Gem Lady Treasures) onto the tongue of the belt. Here again care is needed when using the stamps. I have a Wedium instead of a Medium as proof! Now the assembly begins with hardware that is all nickel plated solid steel. The roller buckle is placed into the middle of the wrap around piece, being careful that the side stamped with the size is to the back side. Once again I learned this the hard way! The end of the collar is placed in-between the wrap and a rivet is hammered into place. The first dee ring is placed in-between the top of the wrap and the collar piece and then another rivet is hammered into place through all three layers. The second dee ring is added and the final rivet is hammered home. At this point, what I refer to as a ‘blank’ is completed. A blank is a collar that is ready to be stoned. I try to keep a number of sizes in blanks in both the natural and black colors on hand. That way when an order comes in, and I don’t all ready have one made, all I have to do is add the customers desired stones. By doing this I can ship out the order as fast as possible so the customer does not have to wait long for their purchase.

Not that the process up to now is not fun, but it is at this point where I can see the final dog collar coming together. When I first added the gemstones to the collars, I did a ton of measuring, converting inches (collar width) to millimeters (bead size) and back. Making sure all of my math was correct I used a quilting ruler to mark where I needed to place my needle punches. The major lesson I learned here was that despite using calibrated stones, no matter how many times I measured, how accurately I measured, and how accurately I converted my numbers, the layout was always off in some manner. I finally learned to use the actual stones themselves when measuring. By laying them out in the pattern I desired, I was able to place my needle punches in accurately. This is such a crucial part because once a punch is made, it is there forever. A needle will not go through the leather without a hole made for it. The needle punch is much smaller than a hole punch, only large enough for a needle and thread to go through the leather. If a mistake is made at this point, it is a costly mistake. After all, you have the investment of the materials and labor into a piece that is no longer useable. I have a few of these ‘very exceptional’ collars – (NOT) hanging in a special location in my workroom. I keep thinking that at some point in the future I will be able to figure out a way to use them!

Needle Punches
Needle Punches
Stoning in Progress
Stoning in Progress

 

 

 

 

We currently have two Collections for our collars. The In The Ruff Collection uses Crazy Lace Agate, Dalmatian Jasper, Labradorite, Sodalite, and Unakite. The Haute Dog Collection uses Amethyst, Apatite, Aquamarine, Carnelian, Moonstone, Rose Quarts, and Ruby Zoisite. Each of the two collections has its own design. In The Ruff has the oval gemstones laying horizontal whereas the Haute Dog Collection has the oval gemstones laying vertical. I decided on this to help separate the two collections and give my customers options. Whichever design I am using, the process is basically the same. For the Haute Dog Collection, I do a backstitch on the back of the collar and add a drop of adhesive to secure the backstitch. Then I pull the needle and thread through the needle hole, place in a knot (much like you would see on a pearl necklace), add a natural gemstone bead, place another knot and then down the next needle hole. I do not tie off after each bead is placed in because then the back of the collar would look messy with starts and stops of the thread and dots of adhesive. For the In The Ruff Collection, after securing the thread on the back, I come up through the needle punch hole, add a natural gemstone bead and then go back down the next hole. I come up again in the next hole and then place a knot. The natural gemstone bead is then added and the process is continued. In this layout, the knots are placed in-between each bead. Another thing that I should mention is that when stitching on the natural gemstone beads, the tension in the thread is very important! The thread needs to be as tight as possible so that the gemstones are on the collar as tightly as possible. This ensures that the gemstones won’t get caught on anything and accidently pulled off. After a quality control check our unique, handmade leather and natural gemstone dog collar is complete.

As you can clearly see, our Gem Lady Treasures Dog Collars are labor intensive and created with lots of love, and yes, blood, sweat, laughes and tears. Depending on which gemstones are used, they all have their own personalities. I sincerely hope that there is one in either of the collections that will suit you and your Fur Baby. If not, let us know so we can find the perfect gemstone just for you!!!