Janet Vorwald Dohner, author of “The Encyclopedia of Animal Predators”

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Janet Vorwald Dohner—an author whose specialized books, including “Farm Dogs,” “Livestock Guardians,” and her new one, “The Encyclopedia of Animal Predators,” reflect 35-plus years experience on her small family farm —discusses her formative years in Indiana, before settling with her husband into their 10-acre homestead farm in Michigan.06f03a6505ec691438ce4566008699e8 At my prompting—after confessing that my longstanding interest in the Livestock Guardian Dog (LGD) was initially sparked by the Looney Tunes cartoons featuring Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog—she explains various aspects of LGDs, how they live while protecting their flock, how they differ from herding dogs and other dogs that live more directly with humans, dos and don’ts for approaching LGDs, and more. Dohner also addresses a small sampling of the predators Predatorsfeatured in “The Encyclopedia of Animal Predators,” starting with the increasingly ubiquitous coyote and precautions that individuals and neighborhoods can take to protect against coyote visits, and discourage them. She touches on bears, particularly black bears, whose U.S. population has grown dramatically—as reflected in the 5125THy9c4L._UX250_periodic online videos of bears swimming in people’s pools or otherwise visiting homes—and steps to take to blunt the animals’ attraction to residential areas. Dohner responds to my noting that, among the things I learned from the “Encyclopedia,” is that bears are near sighted, which is why they stand on their hind legs—to catch the scent of something in their distant vision. She also shares what, in the course of conducting research for the “Encyclopedia,” were the biggest surprises she uncovered about these animals. (www.facebook.com/JanetVorwaldDohner)

tns-1609ALSO: I remember Ray Villadonga, a larger-than-life sweet soul who was claimed Saturday by cancer. Ray was an enormously important member of the WMNF family (for 30 years, he hosted “A Step Outside”), of the music community (a fantastic musician-bassist extraordinaire), and the community at large. He was also an animal guy. In fact, with one of his bands, Rayzilla’s PBS, he performed at multiple Talking Animals events, and we hear one of those performances—from the 2011 Talking Animals Festival at the Lowry Park Bandshell. (www.facebook.com/rvilladonga)

COMEDY CORNER: Sarah Silverman’s “Squirrels” (www.facebook.com/SarahSilverman)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” Rayzilla’s PBS’s “Bhanchucho Galaxy/Alley Cat,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Rayzilla’s PBS’s version of “Alley Cat”

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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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