When it comes to animals, there are those softies among us who see nearly everything they do – especially dogs — as magical and motivated by love.
Then there are those – generally not ohmidog! readers — who see dogs as unfeeling beasts concerned only with their next meal and their own comfort.
When a dog does something that seems kind, noble or otherwise amazing, members of that first group will “ooh” and “ah,” while members of the second will say “so what?” Anything a dog does, in their view, is explainable solely by instincts, training and will to survive. That way dogs snuggle with you at night? They are just trying to keep warm. Those goo goo eyes adoringly staring at you? They’re just trying to manipulate you into providing a treat.
For sure, the first group may often read too much into the motivations behind a dog’s behavior. But, just as surely, the second group sometimes isn’t reading en0ugh.
I, being author of a blog on the amazing things dogs do, am clearly a member of the first group. But, also being a realist and even more of a cynic, I can sometimes – just sometimes – see the second group’s point. As soon as I watched this video, for instance — once my “awwwwwwww” came to the final “w” — I started wondering about the motivations of the lion and dachshund, and, realistically, who was getting exactly what out of this relationship.
Bonedigger, the lion, and Milo, the dachshund, live together at Garold Wayne Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, Okla. Milo was among a litter of puppies living a the park when Bonedigger, who suffers from a bone disease, arrived as 4-week-old cub. The pups and lion eat together every day.
After the meal, Milo licks Bonedigger’s teeth clean.
I’d venture Milo is not exhibiting love — or at least not love alone — when he sticks his head into the mouth of a lion. I’d submit, too, that Bonedigger’s dental hygiene is not Milo’s top concern. (Then again, you never know.)
More likely, Milo is after a few final morsels, and Bonedigger, for his part, cooperates because he appreciates the attention, or the gum massage, or having a wiener dog who serves as his own personal flossing aide.
Park president Joe Schreibvogel says the dogs and lion have eaten together since they were youngsters. They also cuddle with each other, and sometimes even mimic each other. It’s as if, species differences aside, they’ve become a pack.
“The dogs thought it was just a big puppy and have loved each other since,” Schreibvogel, who goes by the name “Joe Exotic,” told Today. The video of the lion and the dog has brought some needed attention to the Oklahoma zoo, which suffered about $18,000 in damage during the recent tornadoes. A spokesperson for the zoo says they’ve taken in about 100 homeless animals — domestic and exotic — since then.
But back to Milo and Bonedigger, and the question at hand.
Who’s getting what from this unlikely inter-species relationship, and who is benefitting most – the tooth-sucking canine, or the massive feline, who, rather than roaring at the little dog, says “ahhh” (or is it awwwww?) and lets him have at it?
My guess, is it’s a third species, one whose members sometimes over-analyze, and sometimes under-analyze, but still haven’t loss the ability to be amazed; one whose members – just as Bonedigger seems to appreciate a good tooth-licking — like to have their hearts warmed now and then.
Judging from the half million views this video has gotten in the past month, I’d say it ’s us.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 17th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: amazing, animals, behavior, bonedigger, dachshund, dachshunds, dog, dogs, emotions, exotic, exotic animal park, garold wayne, human, humans, inter-species, interspecies, joe exotic, joe Schreibvogel, lion, lions, love, loyalty, milo, motivation, oklahoma, pets, relationships, symbiotic, trust, unlikely, video, view, zoo
A springer spaniel chasing a seagull ran off the edge of the cliff and plunged 300 feet into the water during a walk in East Sussex.
After her fall, the dog, named Poppy, managed to swim to shore, where a lifeboat retrieved her.
Poppy was treated for a partially collapsed lung after the Valentine’s Day accident, but has now made a full recovery, according to The Telegraph.
On the day of the accident, the dog was being walked by a sister of the owner.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 24th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 300 feet, amazing, animals, chasing, cliff, cliffside, dog, dogs, east sussex, fall, falls, news, pets, plunge, poppy, seagull, survives, u.k.
Baltic, the Polish dog rescued from an ice floe in the Baltic Sea, is back at sea — this time wearing a life jacket and riding aboard the ship that saved him.
The Associated Press reports that Baltic embarked Wednesday on a three-day mission alongside his new owner Adam Buczynski, the seaman who pulled him to safety from an ice sheet in the Baltic Sea last month.
Buczynski said the dog seemed stressed by the commotion of preparing for the trip.
Ewa Bardziej-Krzyzankowska, spokeswoman for the Sea Fisheries Institute in Gdynia, co-owner of the ship, said the crew had anti-nausea pills for Baltic in case he gets seasick on the journey, whose purpose is to collect samples of fish and sea plants for an aquarium in Gdynia.
Bardziej-Krzyzankowska said Baltic quickly learned that he was to only use one spot on an outdoor deck to go the bathroom, one which the crew hoses down regularly. Baltic resisted a bath after his rescue, she reported, leading Buczynski to take the dog into his arms and take a shower with him.
Buczynski and other crew members spotted the dog Jan. 25 floating 15 miles from land. Baltic was first seen two days earlier on the Vistula River, 60 miles inland, drifting on ice past the city of Grudziadz, where firefighters tried but failed to save him.
(Photo: Krzysztof Mystkowski/Associated Press)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 10th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adam buczynski, amazing, animals, back to sea, baltic, baltic sea, crew, dog, fear, floating, floe, gdynia, ice, ice sheet, miracle, mission, pets, polish, rescued, sea, sea fisheries institute, seaman, trip, vistula river
For David Hartwig, the joy of showing off dog tricks died in 2007, along with his dog Skidboot — the remarkable blue heeler we’ve shown you before.
Skidboot’s still gone, but Hartwig is back.
Due to popular demand, he’s entertaining audiences with a trio of new dogs – Tiedown, Bois’d'arc and Little Skidboot, the Dallas Morning News reports.
None is as gifted as Skidboot, Hartwig is quick to point out — in his blunt and folksy manner.
“If you had never seen Skidboot, you’d think this was a real smart dog,” he said, talking about one of his new charges. “But compared to Skidboot, this dog has a bad case of dumbworms.”
The newspaper reports that the new dogs are learning the old tricks:
One morning at his Hunt County ranch, Hartwig tossed a stuffed hot dog toy in the dirt and instructed Little Skidboot:
“When I say three, I want you to get that toy, but don’t get it until I say three.”
The dog was eager but didn’t budge.
“One, two,” Hartwig said. “Four!”
Nope, the dog didn’t even flinch.
“Seventeen! Twenty-one. Three!”
Little Skidboot raced to the toy, picked it up and ran back.
“Good boy!” Hartwig said.
Posted by John Woestendiek January 6th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: amazing, animals, blue heeler, dallas morning news, david hartwig, dog, dumbworms, hunt county, pets, skidboot, texas, tricks, video
I don’t know anything about this video, but it was on The Huffington Post today, so I’m guessing it’s legit. If so, it’s one of the most moving things I’ve ever seen.
If any of you can provide a translation, send it along.