Petersen Pet Hospital - October 2023


3 Reasons 536 Was the Worst Year in Human History When Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, it poured so much dust into the sky that the sun over Eastern Washington went dark. Ash drifted overhead, traveling into neighboring Idaho and forcing temperatures down by as much as 15 degrees F. Locals spent a few weeks scared and shivering under dull skies. They had no way of knowing it, but they were experiencing a tiny fraction of the horror humans felt back in 536 — a time that Harvard University historian Michael McCormick once called “the worst year to be alive.”


us determine if your pet has an undiagnosed disease process occurring. Different diseases are common in our older pets, so we need to conduct these screenings to ensure they’re in tip-top shape Catching underlying illnesses while in the early stages is crucial for your pet’s overall health because in dogs and cats 7 years old and

For decades, the year 536 was a historical mystery. Records showed that it was a terrible time, stricken by the triple threat of:

1. 2. 3.

Unexplained, unending darkness Unseasonably frigid weather

younger, 14% have conditions that need treatment. For pets 8 to 10 years old, that percentage jumps to 20%, and if pets are 11 years old or older, 40% have conditions that must be addressed. Your friends at Petersen Pet Hospital want the best for you and your furry companions! And one of the best ways they can assist you is by conducting a wellness exam. Please call the office today for more information or ask about their wellness profiles during your next visit!

Crop failures and famines

Those horrors and the economic and political instability they brought ravaged the globe from Ireland to China. Although 536 was arguably the worst year, things didn’t get better for more than a decade. In fact, they got worse in some areas! In 541, the Plague of Justinian — the first bubonic plague pandemic — appeared in Egypt and spread through Europe, killing roughly one-third of the continent’s population. For decades, archaeologists and historians have puzzled over the tipping point in 536. “What went wrong,” they wondered, “to make the sun go dark and trigger snow in summer?” It was a head-scratcher until 2018. That year, researchers finally solved the mystery with help from, of all things, a Swiss glacier! The glacial ice was riddled with volcanic glass. Further study revealed enormous volcanic eruptions in 536, 540, and 547 likely caused “The Dark Ages.” It wasn’t just metaphorically dark — it was literally dark thanks to ash blotting out the sun and coating people’s homes, skin, and clothing. Scientists have traced the 540 eruption to Ilopango, a volcano in El Salvador that’s currently inactive, but they’re still hunting for the source of the 536 eruption. As we write this, volcanoes in Iceland and Alaska are the most likely candidates.

Let your furry friend celebrate the fall season with these simple pumpkin dog treats!


2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

2 tbsp Xylitol-free peanut butter

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2 large eggs

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1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup canned pumpkin pureé

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

We’ve already survived a pandemic this century, so for everyone’s sake, let’s hope both regions stay quiet until at least 2100. We all deserve a break!


Preheat oven to 350 F and grease your baking sheet.

2. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients. The mixture will be dry and crumbly, so add 1 tablespoon of water to moisten the mixture and knead the dough. Add a tablespoon of water at a time while kneading until the dough is a thick but dry consistency. 3. On a floured surface, roll the dough out until it’s around 1/2-inch thick. Using cooking cutters, cut out individual shapes and place them on the baking sheet. 4. Bake for about 35 minutes or until hard. Let cool and serve!


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