The sweetest friendship: Terrier in wheelchair becomes guide dog for blind fox

Get ready to have your heart melt. A terrier who uses a wheelchair has become an unlikely guide dog for a blind fox, winning them fans as a ‘fox and hound’ duo on walks.

Blind Fox

The fox learned to follow the sound of her ‘big brother’s’ wheels, spurring on their sweet relationship. West highland terrier, Jack was taken in by vet Ana Lapaz-Mendez two months after she gave the one-year-old fox Pumpkin her forever home in East Finchley, North London, late last year. Since then the caring pup has looked out for her.

Footage shows docile Pumpkin following Jack closely using sound and smell while on park walks. Even cuter, when Pumpkin gets distracted the terrier will patiently wait for her to catch up.

Jack is protective warns other cats and dogs away from bothering Pumpkin too, as Ana says he ‘feels a responsibility to look after her like a brother does with a sister’.

The 42-year-old saved both animals from being put down, after Pumpkin was found with two broken legs and Jack needed constant attention after a spinal tumour halted his ability to walk.

She says the pair quickly became famous with her neighbours and Instagram videos of their loving relationship have more than 100,000 views. Ana said: ‘Jack was really slow at first and didn’t know the area so he’d follow me and then Pumpkin would follow him. ‘Whenever she hears the wheels she will go in that direction. ‘If the sound of the wheels are behind her, she’ll stop, do a circle and follow them. At night she’ll even run next to Jack. ‘Now Jack can move better, he’s begun to be more interested in squirrels, but he’ll still come and check.

He’ll walk off and then wait for Pumpkin. It’s become a natural thing now. ‘It’s great that Jack has never treated Pumpkin like a fox, thinking he has to chase her. I’m not sure how much Pumpkin is aware that she’s even a fox.’ However, it’s not all endearing as Ana said they clash sometimes in the same way siblings do.

‘It’s not the perfect relationship because sometimes Jack gets annoyed with her, but it’s like a brother and sister relationship. ‘He tells Pumpkin off a lot when she needs it without hurting her, but I’m not sure how much she understands with her learning difficulties. She needs 100% help.’ Even so, he’s always there to look out for her. Ana said: ‘If another dog goes for Pumpkin or tries to smell her, Jack defends her. He’s got between a cat and Pumpkin and told the cat off. ‘It feels good to see, but it feels tiring too. Jack helps Pumpkin but he’s really naughty himself now he’s more independent and thinks he’s top dog.’

Ana believes he’ll probably always need wheels, even though he walks better now than when his tumour was first removed. Ana’s other rescue dog, Croqueta also takes her turn to check on Pumpkin – but as a fully able dog she’s more help finding Jack when he gets lost in bushes. Though they used to often walk in Hampstead Heath, North London, the attention from other dogs and owners grew too much.

Ana said: ‘When school children are around they like getting close to Pumpkin because he’s a fox that won’t run away. Everybody loves them. ‘I’ve heard a lot of people on walks talking about Jack and his wheels and then they see the fox is coming along too. ‘There were too many people so we walk in quieter areas now.’ However, you can catch the duo on video as their walks have been shared across the internet to much excitement.

Kobin Kuzmia commented on one video, saying: ‘Awww jack and the fox that sounds meant to be.’ Teija Flink said: ‘Amazing the disabled little doggie is a service or guide dog for the fox, really heart-warming.’ Theresa Smith added: ‘This story just warms your heart and makes your soul smile.’ Ana is hoping that as Jack continues to regain strength in his legs he’ll keep checking on Pumpkin – despite his new-found obsession with squirrels.

Teacher rescues injured fox using a mega box of Dreamies cat treats

A teacher who takes in stray cats has told how she rescued an injured fox hiding under her car – reviving the hurt animal with some Dreamies cat treats. Georgia-Blue Townshend, 28, from Colchester, Essex, had left her house on March 7 to fetch some nappies and toys she’d left in the car for her nine-month-old son, Eden, when she spotted something curled up on her driveway.

Beneath the back of her car was a whimpering fox. The secondary school English teacher who lives with her partner, John, 30, and Eden, said: ‘I was just going out to get the things out of my car when a neighbour told me there was something curled up by the back wheel.

‘On a closer look, I realised it was a fox and all I could think was “the poor little thing” – it definitely looked injured.’ Taking one of her coats from the car, thinking it could be used as a bed for the animal, she crouched down and slowly approached. She said: ‘The fox was obviously in pain – she kept looking up at me, not moving. Very slowly, I crept over to get a better look. She had ticks all over her eyes and some sort of ulcer on her nose. It was really sad.’ Laying the coat out in front of the scared animal, Georgia-Blue decided to grab a mega box of Dreamies cat treats from her house and offered some to the fox. ‘She loved the Dreamies,’ Georgia-Blue said. ‘She seemed to perk up when I offered them.’ Revitalised by the feline treats, the fox began to move.

Georgia-Blue noticed the fox’s back legs didn’t appear to be working, so she laid a towel over her to keep her warm and waiting for help to arrive. With the aid of neighbours, Georgia-Blue searched on her phone for an appropriate rescue centre. But she was informed that, because the fox seemed tame, it was unlikely that anywhere could rehabilitate her and release her back into the wild. Georgia-Blue continued: ‘One rescue organisation advised it was likely that the fox would be put down as she was too friendly and tame.’ They continued searching quickly until, after 10 minutes, they found a local fox rescue centre willing to take her in.

Georgia-Blue said: ‘It was important to us to find somewhere that wouldn’t put her down but even the centre we found agreed that the fox would never be re-released.’ An expert from D and K Fuzzy Ferrets and Fox Rescue suggested that the fox would live out her days in a sanctuary once her leg was mended. Rescue staff assessed her condition, telling Georgia-Blue that the animal she’d rescued was two years old. The neighbours decided to name her Gillian, but also found out some hard news – it was possible she had parasite infection toxoplasmosis (which would explain why her back legs didn’t work).

The disease can impact a fox’s central nervous system, their lungs causing pneumonia, their liver resulting in hepatitis, and their eyes. Georgia-Blue added: ‘Unfortunately, it means Gillian can’t be released back into the population because it breaks down all of her instincts and she’s become tame.’ Filled with concern and wanting to offer the fox a loving home, Georgia-Blue requested to adopt Gillian after she was rehabilitated. Settling the fox into the home posed no problem for Georgie-Blue, who has four cats and has rescued strays before. But it was decided that the best place for Gillian was an animal sanctuary in Whitby, North Yorkshire, where she could be professionally cared for.

Georgia-Blue said: ‘The wildlife sanctuary has turned out to be the better option so that’s fine, I want what’s best for her. ‘The rescue centre is allowing me to be there on the day of her move to say goodbye. If I ever pass by Whitby, I’ll make sure to pop in and see how she’s doing.’ And the animal-lover said: ‘I couldn’t help but connect with her when I first saw her – that look in her eye said she needed someone to save her. ‘I’m sure there will be more animals in the future in need of a loving home. We have a busy house but there’s always room for another.’

(Article source: Metro)

Life savers: ‘Training dogs to sniff out deadly diseases is serious work – but I have to make it fun’

Simmy Moore has an incredibly important job – he teaches dogs to become life savers.

Life Saver

More accurately, he works as a trainer of medical detection and assistance dogs, teaching them not only how to affectively sniff out deadly diseases such as cancer, Covid and Type 1 diabetes, but to also let someone know when their life is in danger from one.

Talking about his job, Simmy tells, ‘I work with the advanced training of assistance dogs, and with the clients [the people with the illness] themselves, to make sure we get the best possible match for each of them.’

Along with being able to provide warnings about low blood sugar for clients living with Type 1 diabetes, there are other illnesses that the dogs Simmy trains can assist with too.

‘There’s Addison’s, which is cortisol imbalance that can affect your adrenal glands,’ he explains. ‘Pott’s disease is another – it can create a rapid increase in heart rate, which causes people to faint. ‘What we’re doing is using the dog’s nose, which is phenomenally powerful, to detect the onset of an episode of illnesses like these.’ Simmy works for the charity Medical Detection Dogs, which is championing through our 2021 Lifeline campaign.

To help raise money, so he and his colleagues can continue to do their amazing work, we’ve organised two fundraising hikes for readers and charity supporters to take part in June, alongside celebrities Alexandra Burke, Dr Christian Jessen, Pete Wicks and Debbie Flint.

The reason their work is so vital, Simmy explains, is because although the dogs might not be able to cure any of these conditions, their actions can still be lifesaving. ‘They can allow their owner to know whether they need to take medication, or have to lie or sit down, which saves them so much time,’ he says. ‘Before these people were probably going to the hospital left, right and centre, so the dogs help them manage their days a lot better.’

Training a dog to alert people to be aware about certain illnesses is a much more complex process than simply training them to sit, or roll over. It’s a huge commitment for Simmy, who even takes the dogs he is training home with him for a fully immersive learning experience. ‘Everything we do has to be positive, and it has to be fun for the dog,’ he explains. ‘If it’s not enjoyable learning, they won’t do it. Some of them will have to alert their owners up to 15 or 16 times a day, so they have to love their job.

‘Initially, we start with games with the dog to see how much they use their nose. If I were to hide his favourite toy, how long would that dog keep going to try to find that toy? ‘Is he the type that will give up and have a lie down on the mat, or just wants to go and go? And that is what we need, that high drive and that high motivation. Once we identify that a dog that is suitable, we then get clients to give us samples of their odour when they’re having episodes.

They’re picked for these roles as they do tend to be the persistent ones, but it all has to be positive. We don’t like the dogs to bark, or do anything that could scare a person, so instead we encourage them to nudge, or maybe jump up.’ Another interesting part of Simmy’s job is ensuring that the animals are equipped to behave well and do their jobs effectively in public spaces, and with lots of distractions.

‘One of the dogs was being trained for nut detection, so had to learn to do an environmental search – like a bomb dog would do for nuts, peanuts, cashew nuts. ‘If his owner came into contact with them she would go into anaphylaxis, so we also worked with him on trains, as he had to be really good in these conditions as well as at home. ‘We need the type of dog that’s going to be switched on and persistent,’

Simmy adds. ‘If you’ve got a dog that when you send him to his bed, he goes and lies down and stays there, that’s no use to us we need a dog that is going to break that command if needed. Especially if it is going to have to get up and alert its owner in the night.’

Simmy worked training guide dogs for the blind for nine years before taking on his role with Medical Detection Dogs, training animals in Scotland and the North East. He says that balancing family life and working with the dogs can be a challenge, especially when he brings them home, but it’s also a crucial part of the animal’s development. ‘It’s also a challenge for the dog because it’s a change,’ he adds. ‘Like all dogs, it can take some time for them to get used to somebody new. ‘I’ve got a wee girl, she’s four years old. So we go places with the dog all together.

She jumps around, and she has tantrums sometimes – all of this is good for him though, as it’s really important that they get used to being in a normal family lifestyle. ‘We have to mimic being the client essentially, which is the most effective way for the dog to learn.’

Interacting with a dog all day sounds like every canine-lover’s dream job, but Simmy says there is much more to his role than the hands-on, practical training. And a lot of that involves getting his head around complicated spreadsheets, as they need to collect a lot of data to ensure their dogs are up to the job and receive annual accreditation.

‘It can be quite time-consuming, but it’s a vital part of our job,’ he explains. ‘And if we find that if a dog’s not doing as it should, we have to do a bit of detective work. Maybe the client is doing differently or there’s been a change in the environment… Sadly, you can’t ask the dog, so it’s our job to figure out what’s going on.’ ‘This work is not an exact science, but when you get that feedback that the client is loving having the dog and that the alerting is working well for them, that is the high point,’ adds Simmy. ‘When you see that smile on the client’s face and you know they have a good match with a dog, there’s no better feeling.’

(Article source: Metro)

Pet owner shocked to discover her dog is a wolf – and needs to keep it secret

Meghan was always being told how wolf-like her dog Bodhi looked. She could not believe it when a DNA test revealed he actually was one.

wolf dog

The Express reports that Bodhi has tall ears, a ruff-like neck, deep brown eyes and a thick coat of white and brown fur. His owner, Meghan, was often told how wolf-like Bodhi looked so she bought a DNA test.

She could not believe it when the results came back that he was eight percent wolf. Meghan and Bodhi live in Wisconsin in the United States where laws around dog-wolf hybrids are complicated.

It is legal to own a wolfdog in Wisconsin, but illegal in some other states across the US. Due to a history of attacks perpetrated by the hybrid animals, they could be put down if found.

Now Meghan knows that she must keep Bodhi’s ancestry a secret. Wired reports that she said: “I don’t tell anyone he’s a wolf because I worry about the reaction.

“Apartment complexes have the right to make their own rules on what pets they allow, and I wouldn’t want anyone at the dog park to know in fear that they would kick me out.

“My dog has been invaluable to me during this time. Pets are so wonderful because they love unconditionally. Knowing Bodhi has some wolf in him doesn’t change that.”

The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) veterinary charity say that wolfdogs have been growing in popularity in recent years and are usually created by breeding a wolf with a German Shepherd, Husky, or similar breed of domestic dog.

The direwolves who starred in Game of Thrones largely drove the surge in popularity. The wolfdogs who played Summer and Grey Wind in the hit HBO fantasy show have reportedly received several enquiries from celebrities wanting to buy them.

However, the PDSA warns that even though a wolfdog looks striking, owning one is much more challenging and they are not meant to be kept as pets.

They are wild animals and need plenty of space to fulfil their wild behaviours. They can be difficult to train and need much more exercise than a domestic dog.

Wolfdogs are less inclined to think of humans as friendly so there is an increased risk of aggression or injury. They crave the company of a pack so should never be left on their own.

It is legal to own a wolfdog in the UK as long as they are three generations away from the original parent wolf. Owning a wolfdog requires a licence.

(Story source: The Express)

Sainsbury’s in danger of running out of dog and cat food pouches due to ‘national shortage’

The supermarket chain is attributing the problem to higher demand due to the number of new pets bought during the pandemic.

cat and dog food

Inews reports that the dramatic rise in pet ownership over the past year has resulted in a “national shortage” of cat and dog food pouches.

Sainsbury’s has experienced a surge in customer demand for pet food, with products served in individual pouches proving especially popular among new pet owners.

So great is the demand for pouches of wet food, the supermarket chain fears it could run out of product lines entirely, though it stressed that supplies of dry and tinned food were not affected.

In an email to customers identified as possible pet owners, Sainsbury’s warned shoppers they might struggle to find their cats’ and dogs’ regular dinner options while it tried to resolve the issue, and it expected the shortage to last for the whole of 2021.

“Due to a national shortage of dog and cat food pouches, we’re sorry if you’re not able to find your usual product at Sainsbury’s. We’re working hard to resolve this,” the email said.

“We think the issue will be ongoing through the year, but we hope to get them back onto shelves as quickly as possible.”

The company is attributing the problem to higher demand due to the number of new pets bought during the pandemic.

Sainsbury’s said in a statement: “We are seeing an increased demand for pet food pouches and are working hard to maintain stock levels. We continue to offer a range of canned and dry options.”

Last autumn, six months into the pandemic, The Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA) announced there had been a “staggering rise” in pet ownership since Covid-19 hit the UK.

More than one in 10 (11 per cent) of all UK households had welcomed a new pet into their home in that time, and a further 10 per cent planned to do so, according to a PFMA survey.

Millennials were most likely to become new pet owners during the pandemic with more than one third of adults aged 24 to 35 taking on their first pet, or planning to do so in the months that followed.

(Story source: Inews)

Dog theft: Owners ‘scared’ of taking walks as incidents increase

Dog owners have become more scared of taking their pet for a walk in the last year
amid fears of ‘dognapping’, a survey has suggested.

Dog Theft

BBC News reports that almost 125,000 people responded to the survey organised by Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne.

A large majority of those said dog theft was a “serious problem” and stiffer sentences were needed.

Ms Bourne said the Home Office had asked to discuss the findings. It is estimated dog thefts have risen by 250% nationwide following increased demand during the pandemic. But at present, dog theft is not defined as a specific crime, with dogs classed as “property” under the Theft Act 1968. Ms Bourne said she would be “exploring whether it is time” to change this.

Key findings of the survey were:

• 97% of respondents said dog theft was a serious problem
• 22% knew someone whose dog had been stolen in the last year
• 78% of people to whom the question was applicable, said they had grown more fearful of taking their dog for a walk during the day
• 83% to whom the question was applicable had grown more fearful of taking their dog for a walk at night

‘Living every day in fear’

Holly Morgan, 26, from Nottingham, had her dog stolen in August. She said having her dog stolen was “the worst, stressful and most heart-breaking situation” she had ever been through.

She was eventually reunited with her Cocker Spaniel Bud, who was found 130 miles away after 18 days.

Despite this, she said: “I am still living every day in fear that it will happen again. “I won’t walk my dogs by myself anymore, even in daylight, as I’m so petrified that they will be stolen from me.”

Ms Bourne said: “Pets are part of people’s family and the devastating emotional impact of this crime should no longer be overlooked.

“The Home Office have asked to discuss the findings… I will be exploring whether it is time to consider defining pet theft as a specific crime.”

(Story source: BBC News)

Safe walkies: Eight ways to reduce the chances of dog thieves targeting you on walks

Dog theft from people out on walks is risky for thieves and so not as common as other types of dog theft; but this also means that thieves that do perpetrate thefts from dog walkers usually mean business and will often be very determined.

safe walkies

This article will tell you eight ways to reduce the chances of dog thieves targeting you and your dog on walks. Read on to learn more.

Don’t tag yourself on social while walking your dog

Many people tag themselves, check in, or share their location on social media when they’re out somewhere, and this is particularly the case with people with dogs who want to share what their dog is up to, and funny pictures of them playing and having a good time.

However, this is something we really don’t advise doing, particularly at the present time when the level of dog theft in the UK is very high because just as your friends and the people you trust can see where you are and what you’re up to, so may others; including dog thieves.

This is far more likely to be the case if you post on a public platform or your privacy settings are wide open, but can even happen by accident if a friend of yours shared the post, or even mentioned it in passing to someone else.

Arrange to walk with a friend or family member

If you have a friend with a dog or even a friend who just likes to meet up with you and your dog to go for a walk, having two of you present greatly reduces the chances of your being targeted by thieves in many cases.

Obviously if the two of you are concentrating on your conversation and not paying any attention to your dog or dogs,
this isn’t so; but two people watching one or two dogs and being on hand to assist or call for help or generally make life difficult for a thief is far better than one.

Thieves are highly unlikely to even attempt a theft from two people if the dog is close to them or on a lead and they’re both paying peripheral attention to their surroundings; it is just not worth the potential risk, while one person on their own might be an appealing mark.

Even if you can’t always arrange walks with others, try to make any walks you take at unsociable hours or when it is dark walks that you don’t take on your own.

Get to grips with an extending lead

Dogs do need room and freedom to roam and run off the lead, but a compromise between this and being on the lead if they have poor recall, go too far, are in a very open space or you otherwise don’t think they can be let off safely is to get an extending lead.

These give dogs more freedom to move about and keep their own pace (and so are not suitable for use on roads when extended) while still keeping your dog in reach at all times.

Thieves do sometimes seize dogs from their owners directly, and they could easily cut such a lead, so this is not fool proof; but it does mean your dog would not be able to run off and so, perhaps be picked off by a thief.

Get to know other dog walkers

Getting to know the other people in your area and in the walking spots you use is a good idea for the protection of all of you. Firstly this helps you to recognise regular faces and so know if anyone is new or different, and it also means you can build up something of an informal network so news will spread quickly if, say, somebody dodgy-looking has been spotted hanging around or another dog walker has had problems.

Visit familiar spots at unfamiliar times

When you walk your dog in the same spot regularly you get to know it, and the people that use it; this helps you to spot immediately if something is amiss, like a newly cut fence, someone out of place, or someone acting oddly.

There is merit then to walking in places you know, but also, merit to visiting them at different times of day, as failing to follow a reliable routine for dog walks makes life much harder for would-be thieves.

Know where you are

Imagine if you had concerns about someone around you and wanted to alert someone in case a problem arose, or you even wanted someone to come out and meet you or take you home; or worse, if someone did try to take your dog or even succeeded; if you didn’t know where you were and how to tell someone else, things can get very difficult.

Even if you know a route like the back of your hand and could get to and from it blindfold, do you know what it is called or how to describe it? What if you needed to give a location to the emergency services?

Collate this information for the places you walk so it is to hand in an emergency, and download the What Three Words app, which is also used by the emergency services, and which allows you to identify and share your location instantly.

Teach your dog not to approach strangers

It is good practice to teach your dog not to run up to or jump at strangers because this is bad manners, but also good from a security perspective to teach your dog not to approach other people anyway (even if they call your dog) until you give them a cue or the ok. This is easier to do when your dog is young, but worth working on for dogs of any age.

If something feels wrong it probably is

Finally, don’t ignore your instincts, nor write off those little alarms and warnings that can tell us that something is wrong. If something feels off, even if you’re not sure what, pay it attention and act on it. Whether you suddenly find that several of the lights in the park in one area are out (why might this be?) or that someone appears to be say, talking on their phone but the screen doesn’t look like it is in use, don’t gloss over these things, as they might be warnings something is wrong.

(Article source: Pets 4 Homes)

Owning a cat is good for you! Ten health benefits of cat ownership

It’s official – cat ownership is good for you! There are a number of health benefits of cat ownership, some of which have been scientifically proved, while others have long been known about by those who love cats.

cat ownership

Cat owners have healthier hearts

A study in Minnesota showed that people who own cats have around a 30 – 40% less chance of dying of a heart attack or stroke. This may be due to the fact that cats are known to lower stress levels – see later point here – or for some other reason, but it is definitely the case. Recent research has shown that the frequency of a cat’s purrs has been shown to be medically therapeutic in a number of ways, so this probably contributes to heart health.

Cat owners have lower blood pressure

Cat ownership has also been shown to lower blood pressure. This is thought to be something to do with the frequency of their purrs as mentioned above, or perhaps just the general calming effect of cats.

In one study, a room full of cat owners was observed talking to each other, and then talking to their cats. Talking to other people elevated their blood pressure somewhat, which was to be expected. However, when talking to their cats, the owners’ blood pressure was not affected.

Cat ownership prevents loneliness

A common saying is that ‘one small cat turns coming home to an empty house to coming home’. Certainly all cat owners know that cats are great companions, and this is particularly the case for those who live alone, who are very grateful for the companionship of the cat waiting at home for them. And a Swiss study showed that having a cat was similar to having a romantic partner in this respect.

Even those who have been bereaved, often find that their cat provides an understanding and non-critical companion during a very difficult time. People in mourning have reported talking to their cats to work out their feelings, which is sometimes easier since a cat will not feel the need to respond or judge, or find a solution to a problem which is insoluble, but simply listens quietly.

Cat ownership reduces stress and anxiety

Owning a cat is soothing, and stroking a cat can trigger the release of chemicals which can greatly reduce anxiety and stress. The frequency of a cat’s purrs also seems to reduce anxiety, though the exact mechanism involved is not clear. And the unconditional love of a cat is useful in making someone feel less anxious.

Cat owners sleep better

Several studies and polls have shown than people think that they sleep better if they have their cat with them. Research shows that there may be really something in this. A study conducted at the Mayo Clinic Centre for Sleep Medicine showed that 40% of people slept better because of the presence of their cat, though a smaller number did say that the presence of the cat led to sleep disturbances. Of course, a cat leaping all over you at night is not conducive to good sleep, but a purring cat snuggling up to you… that is a different matter, as many of us know.

Cat ownership boosts immunity

It may sound unbelievable, but it has been shown that cats can actually act as immune system boosters. Since having them around makes you feel happier, this feeling in itself is helpful to the immune system. It has also been shown that exposing children to pet dander and other allergens in cat fur results in increased resistance to allergens and asthma.

Cat ownership can help with depression

Clinical depression is an illness which often requires medical help, and simply owning a cat is unlikely to cure it. But it can help with the symptoms of mild depression, and also with the general feelings of being depressed which many of us have from time to time. Stroking a purring cat is an excellent antidote for these feelings.

Cat ownership can make you fitter

This is not something which has been scientifically proved, but it is known by all cat owners. We may not have to take cats for walks as dog owners do, but cat ownership generally means quite a lot of physical activity is required, from carrying cat food home from the supermarket, to cleaning out the litter trays, to hoovering up cat fur from the floor. Particularly in the case of multi-cat households, these activities take up quite a lot of time on a regular basis, keeping cat owners physically fit and healthy.

Cats can sometimes help with autism

This is not something which has been proved, but there is some anecdotal evidence of cats being useful to children with autism. Indeed, books have been written on the subject, dealing with specific cases in which a child was greatly helped. People with autism tend to have difficulties with communication, and sometimes they can better communicate with a cat than with other people. This has also been used in a form of therapy in which autistic children are taught to communicate using a cat.

Owning a cat can even save your life

Of course, this does not happen all that often. But again, there are a fair number of stories of cats saving their owners’ lives. One cat in this country regularly warns her person if he is about to have an epileptic fit. And a cat in the USA woke its owners to warn them about a leaking gas pipe. And other cats have done similar things, sometimes becoming aware of danger by some means long before their owners were aware that anything was amiss.


So there you have it – scientific proof that owning a cat is good for you, both physically and mentally. But is that actually anything new? We cat owners always knew it anyway, didn’t we?

(Article source: Pets 4 Homes)

Golden Retriever saved abandoned baby koala and brought him home with her

On a cold winter night, a golden retriever had saved an abandoned baby koala’s life by keeping him warm with her fur..

abandoned koala

Paws Planet reports that her action has wowed numerous people, including her owners.

That morning, Kerry McKinnon and her husband woke up to find a totally strange guest in their house in Strathdownie, Western Victoria Australia.

And no, it wasn’t their golden retriever Asha, it was a tiny koala who was snuggling cosily in her fur.

There’s no doubt that the couple was stunned.

“It was quite early in the morning, and my husband yelled out to me to come have a look at something,” said the 45 year-old woman.

“I didn’t know what he was talking about at first, but then I saw this tiny baby koala snuggled on top of Asha.”

As Kerry shared, Asha did seem a little bit guilty after seeing their expression, but she insisted on keeping the baby on her back.

And the little koala shared the same feeling. After making himself comfortable, he refused to leave Asha.

“When we took the koala off to wrap it in a blanket, it hissed at me and carried on,” Kerry said.

“I think it would have been happy to have just slept there all day. It was really an amazing thing to see and so uniquely Australian.”

Nobody knew exactly what had made the unlikely duo get together, but it’s safe to say that Asha had picked up the little koala in the street and brought him home with her. Maybe the poor bear was suddenly separated from his mother.

During winter nights, the temperature in Australia could drop to 5C (41F), and without thick fur coat, it would be hard to survive, especially for a tiny baby like that.

“I think the baby koala fell out of his mum’s pouch and didn’t know what to do,” Kerry continued.

“Asha definitely saved the koala’s life by keeping him warm. He would have died out there if left alone all night. The poor thing could have been taken by a fox or something too.”

The koala later was examined by a veterinarian, who confirmed she was in a completely good condition.

Kerry also called the local koala carer to bring him away for more proper care.

Hopefully, the baby koala will be able to come back to the wild as soon as possible.

(Story source: Paws Planet)

Dog looks after injured friend hit by car all night until help finally arrives

The loyal dog refused to leave its friend’s side and stayed next to it for the whole night and the next morning until an animal rescue group arrived and rushed them to the vets.

loyal dog

Paws Planet reports that heart-warming footage has captured a loyal dog taking care of its friend who had been hit by a car until help arrived the following morning.

The stray dog was struck on a main road in the centre of the Brazilian municipality of Iguatu on the afternoon of 14th February. In footage that has gone viral online, another dog was filmed lying by the injured pooch’s side. It remained there the whole night until a local NGO came to its rescue.

“We were unable to go to the location on Sunday afternoon because we had no available vets, but on Monday morning we received news that both of them were in the same place,” nurse Marina Assuncao said. “I went there with my friend, who is a vet, and we took the injured dog to a clinic.”

When the women approached, the caring dog became aggressive but they eventually managed to win over its trust. She added: “It stayed close to the injured dog the whole time, it licked it and ran its paws over its body as if it were trying to revive it.

“When we put the injured pooch in the car, the other one had already jumped on the seat and stayed with its pal right up to the moment it received treatment in the clinic.”

The dog was given medication and food and water. It is still unable to walk but will soon be seen by an orthopaedist to see if there have been any fractures to the ribs or spine.

Marina said she was taken aback by the “companionship” shown by the dog to its injured counterpart. “We are not sure if they are siblings,” she added.

“They must be the same age, between nine months and one year old, but we were taken by the companionship displayed by the other dog towards the injured one the whole time, from the moment of the accident to the arrival at the clinic and now at their temporary home.”

The NGO, Adota Iguatu (Adopt Iguatu), is currently campaigning online to raise funds to continue the animal’s treatment. It hopes the pair will later be put up for adoption.

(Story source: Paws Planet)

Strays found guarding blind elderly woman asleep by river

Dogs don’t need words to show when they care about people.

strays guarding woman

They convey this with their bodies. For example, you might have recognised your dog guarding you. They might lie against you or stand over you. They may even growl at any movement that might be a threat.

This is a primal behaviour tracing back to dogs’ wolf ancestors. Still, it really clearly shows which people a dog cares about.

On March 3rd, Facebook user Ake Srisuwan shared photos of two stray dogs by a riverbank. One sits close to the water and one slightly farther back. From a bit far away from the edge of the river, it’s hard to tell what the dogs are doing.

A close up paints a clearer picture. One of the dogs is visibly sitting over an elderly woman who appears to be sleeping in the mud.

Srisuwan did not have much more context for the dog’s behaviour towards this woman. He was, however, very touched by this simple act of dedication.

These photos say everything: Dogs don’t have any biases. They don’t judge character based on appearances or wealth. These dogs know this woman, and they want to protect her. Even if that means getting muddy.

The Aftermath Of The Photographs

Nepali News Update reported that since the photos circulated, local authorities reached out to the woman to provide help. Reportedly, the dogs and the woman pictured received treatment.

The sweet but natural behaviour of the stray dog was enough to get the pack noticed. It sure is adorably sweet!

(Story source: Paws Planet)