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Archive for May 15th, 2009

Friends indeed: Orangutan and dog

An orangutan named Suryia and a dog named Roscoe — both now residents of a South Carolina animal sanctuary — will be showing up today on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

And the unusual friendship — reminiscent of the one we showed you between Tarra and Bella, the elephant and dog who are buddies at a Tennessee animal sanctuary — will be part of an upcoming National Geographic Channel program as well.

Suryia and Roscoe, a blue tick coonhound, live at The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (TIGERS) in Myrtle Beach.

The pair encountered each other two years ago when Roscoe followed institute staff home. He was spotted by Suryia, who came over to introduce himself. They’ve been fast friends ever since.

“As soon as he saw Roscoe, Suryia ran over to him and they started playing,” Bhagavan Antle, founder of TIGERS told UK’s Daily Mail. “‘It was unusual because dogs are usually scared of primates but they took to each other straight away.”

“‘Roscoe looked really thin and a little lost so we fed him and took care of him … We made a few calls to see if he belonged to anyone and when no-one came forward, Roscoe ended up staying.”

Suryia, while helping to raise baby primates at the sanctuary, always takes some time to spend with Roscoe, swimming, rolling around in the grass, or going for walks.

“Suryia will take Roscoe for walks around the enclosure and even feeds him some of his monkey biscuits,” Antle said.

World’s tallest dog loses leg to cancer

Gibson, the Guinness World Record’s Tallest Dog, recently had his front right leg amputated due to complications from bone cancer.

Standing at 42.2 inches tall, the harlequin Great Dane has held the Tallest Dog title for four years.

Gibson, who has appeared on the “Oprah Winfrey Show” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” also serves as spokesdog for K9 Grass, an artificial grass designed for dogs. A certified therapy dog, he has worked work with cancer patients, veterans and amputees.

The surgery was performed to prevent the cancer, found in the dog’s paw a few weeks ago, from spreading, according to a company press release.

The surgery gives Gibson a 95.5 percent greater chance of surviving. He’ll be having follow up chemotherapy treatments in the upcoming weeks.

Gibson will continue to hold his title as the World’s Tallest Dog and be the official spokesdog for K9Grass, ForeverLawn Inc.’s line of artificial turf designed for dogs.

(Photo: Courtesy of ForeverLawn Inc.

Bobama Beanie Baby beckons buyers

Bo — the Beanie Baby version — is officially on the marketplace, and the maker says a portion of proceeds will be donated to local animal shelters.

They’re made by the the same company that got in some trouble when it comandeered the images of the Obama children and released two dolls as part of its Ty Girlz collection with the names “Marvelous Malia” and “Sweet Sasha.”

After Michelle Obama said using her daughters’ names was inappropriate, the dolls were renamed “Marvelous Mariah” and “Sweet Sydney.”

Oak Brook-based Ty Inc. introduced Bo, the First Dog on April 16, two days after the Portuguese Water Dog made his White House debut.

“We are very proud of the First Family and wanted to join in celebrating their choice of a family pet,” Ty chief executive officer Ty Warner said in a statement.

The “Bo” doll’s suggested price is $4.99. It auctioned Wednesday on eBay for between $5 and $139.95.

Making the best of a sticky situation

Vote now for the “People’s Hero” dog

The Humane Society of the United States has announced the 15 finalists in the Second Annual Dogs of Valor Awards, sponsored by PetPlan Pet Insurance. The awards honor dogs that have exhibited extraordinary courage.

The People’s Hero winner, chosen by online voting (it ends at 5 p.m. today), and the Valor Dog of the Year, chosen by a panel of celebrity judges, will be announced May 17.

Here are the contenders:

Aubrey (Millbury, Mass.) – Led owner from a running trail to a man who was lying unconscious on an overgrown path.

Baby C. (Albuquerque, N.M.) – Found help when owner’s SUV plummeted 20 feet off the side of a mountain and wedged upside down between two trees.

Baby W. (Charleston, W.Va.) – Awakened owner as a fire spread from the garage, eventually causing their car to explode and destroying their home.

Boo (renamed “Hero”) (Jim Thorpe, Pa.) – Barked to get attention and led police to his owner who had been knocked unconscious after falling between two isolated buildings.

Buster (Clarkridge, Ark.) – Alerted owner and led him to his wife who had collapsed and was unable to move after a severe stroke.

Butch (Poplar Bluff, Mo.) – Ran down to the basement, a place he greatly feared, and woke his owner’s son as a fire quickly spread.

Charley (Loganville, Ga.) – Begged to go outside and then led owner several houses down where a man had fallen off a ladder.

D-boy (Oklahoma City, Okla.) – Shot three times as he charged towards an armed man who had broken into his home.

Hank (Dublin, Ga.) – Roused his owner and helped him to his feet after a tractor ran over him, causing massive internal injuries.

Jake (Omaha, Neb.) – Pulled a boy to safety when he was swept away and pulled underwater by currents in the Platte River.

Julian (Reading, Pa.) – Barked until he got his owner’s attention, leading the man to find his wife in a diabetic coma.

Laney (Portage, Ind.) – Bit the foot of a boy to wake him and his two friends as fire spread throughout the house.

Piper (Garland, Texas) – Pawed at and roused her owner as she struggled to breathe during an asthma attack.

Tripod (Batesville, Ark.) – Awakened her owners as a fire spread through the home, igniting their bedding.

Tyson (Stuart, Fla.) – Barked and pawed at pool’s surface, alerting owners that their infant nephew was floating in the water.

Their complete stories can be viewed here.