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How to Pill a Dog

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Here is a technique for pilling a dog without getting your fingers crushed between the dog's molars. Try this technique if your dog manages to spit out the pill no matter how you disguise it, or if the pill disintegrates too quickly for any other means of delivery. The technique should work with medium or large dogs. I don't know how well it works with small dogs.

I was able to train my shar-pei mix to enjoy pilling for many years, although later in life it became less fun again. My cattle dog mix never cared for the pilling, but she is happy to get it out of the way because I always reward her with a meal afterward.
Cardinal RulesThe most important rule when pilling a dog is that the dog should be happy to have participated by the end. Praise her each step of the way for even the slightest bit of cooperation. For a dog, praise is an excited, happy tone. The words you use hardly matter. Praise especially when you're done.

The corollary of this rule is that pilling a dog sho…

How Spiders Get Bigger by Molting

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It had always been a mystery to me how arthropods manage to get bigger by shedding—or "molting"—their exoskeletons. If you're molting an exoskeleton, you're losing mass, right? It makes more sense that an arthropod would get smaller by molting. I've seen spiders before and after molting, but it wasn't until I witnessed a large spider molting that I finally understood what was going on. It turns out that I had seen the process before when a butterfly emerges from a chrysalis.

It is most apparent that a spider's legs get longer after molting. Here are two photos I took of a spider in 2011. Both photos are of the same spider, taken two days apart. The bottom photo is of the spider prior to molting, and the top is of the spider after molting. The measurements given are the lengths of the first legs. The two photos are proportioned correctly relative to each other, so you can visually compare the before and after sizes.


The spider is a male Mecaphesa dubia, wh…