They’ve been playmates and cuddle-buddies for several months now, so when Ruuxa, a cheetah cub, underwent surgery last week at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, a puppy named Raina was there for him.
Raina, Rhodesian ridgeback, stood guard while the cheetah recovered from an operation, and licked and nuzzled him once he woke up, zoo officials say.
The two were paired up shortly after Ruuxa, seven weeks old at the time, arrived at the zoo. Born alone, instead of in a litter, he was rejected by his mother, as zoo officials say is often the case with single-birth cheetahs.
Figuring he needed a companion, staff teamed him up with Raina as part of the zoo’s animal ambassador program.
They are both about four months old now, and have become close friends.
Last week, KPBS reports, Ruuxa underwent surgery to correct a growth abnormality causing a bowing of his limbs.
Raina, according to animal training manager Susie Ekard, grew distressed. She waited outside the operating room during the surgery at the zoo’s veterinary hospital. When Ruuxa, still sedated, was in recovery, Raina was allowed to stand guard.
“She appeared very concerned about Ruuxa when she saw he was sleeping and she couldn’t wake him,” Ekard said.
Once Ruuxa woke up, Raina licked and nuzzled him and layed down beside him, Ekard said.
Under the amabassador program, Safari Park officials pair cheetahs with domestic dogs, with the idea that they will be companions for life. according to a zoo blog. The dogs help the wild animals feel more relaxed and comfortable in their surroundings and to be less fearful of people.
Here’s a video of the two not long after they were first paired up:
(Photo: San Diego Zoo Safari Park)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 8th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, behavior, cheetah, cheetah and dog, cheetah and puppy, cub, dog, dogs, friends, operation, pets, raina, relationships, rhodesian ridgeback, ruuxa, ruuxa and raina, safari park, san diego, surgery, video, zoo
Here’s a sweet little story out of Albany, Minnesota, where a dog named River — described as part pointer, part “Walmart greeter” — serves as both friend and inspiration to many in the small town.
River lost the use of his hind legs after being attacked by two larger dogs while out on a walk.
But he has persevered, and — aided by a set of wheels — he’s enjoying his walks as much, if not more, than he ever did, his owners say.
Carol Mader says River seems more concerned about the people around him since his injury.
“He pulls out the people, I think, that are hurting.” she told KARE11. “It’s just like he senses they need attention.”
“He has no use of the back legs at all,” says her husband, Herby. “Probably a lot of dogs would give up, you know, where he’s not.”
River’s veterinarian Dr. Wendy Womack calls the 11-year-old dog “a regular icon” in Albany, a town of about 2,600.
The Maders take River for walks four or five times a day, during which he makes new friends and revisits old ones.
“…I always see him every day, twice a day, three times.” says Ron Koczur, who lost a leg to diabetes and greets River from his wheelchair. “Even though he’s lost of a couple limbs, he’s still happy and proud.”
Posted by John Woestendiek August 20th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: albany, animals, behavior, cart, disability, dog, dogs, empathy, friends, handicaps, minnesota, perseverance, pets, pointer, river, sensitivity, social, walks, wheel chair, wheelchair, wheels
Here’s Zeke, a recently rescued pit bull, and his new friend.
Zeke’s owner said the deer approached their backyard fence one day.
After the animals checked each other out, the dance began.
She was able to capture the scene on her cell phone.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 30th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, deer, deer and pitbull, deer and pitbull video, dogs, friends, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, play, unlikely friends, video, wildlife
That up above is Friday, June 13th’s “Honey Moon,” under which Ace and I slept during a quick beach trip over the weekend.
Given the next Friday the 13th Honey Moon won’t come along until 2098 — and given Ace is 9 and I’m 60 — we decided, after some math, it was best to take full advantage of it.
So, even though there was plenty of room inside the home of our hosts on North Carolina’s Figure 8 Island, we slept outside on lounge chairs, so we could fully bask (though I remained clothed) in whatever it is that is so special about it.
The honey-colored full moon always occurs in June around the summer solstice, when the moon, in its orbit around the earth, comes closest to our humble planet. That point is called “perigee,” not to be confused with pedigree, which is a silly certificate, or peregrine, which is a falcon.
On Friday, the perigee coincided with the moon’s full phase, and coincided with a Friday the 13th as well.
All of which sounded too magical to not sleep under. The last time all those coincided was June 13, 1919, according to Universe Today, and it won’t happen again until June 13, 2098.
The honey moon is likely what gave us the phrase “honeymoon,” according to atronomer Bob Berman.
“That phrase dates back nearly half a millennium, to 1552 … The idea back then was that a marriage is like the phases of the moon, with the full moon being analogous to a wedding … meaning, it’s the happiest and ‘brightest’ time in a relationship.”
We’re not sure what sunrises are analogous to, when it comes to relationships, but maybe they’re reminders to wake up and see the brightness in your partner every day — the Saturday the 14th’s, the Wednesday the 23rd’s, and all the other non-special ones.
In any event, there was a nice one the next morning — sunrise, that is.
One of the advantages of sleeping outside is that you get to wake up to something like this:
Our beach trip is an annual affair, a gathering of college buddies, sponsored by the humans of a dog named Earl.
Earl and Ace are both starting to get up in years
That’s them to the left in their University of North Carolina garb. That’s them, not so far left, receiving the daily doggy blessing from host Steve, during which they sit enraptured, either by his words or the Milk Bone they know is coming.
As older dogs, Ace and Earl react a little more slowly (except when treats are involved); grunt, sigh and harrumph a bit more; sleep a lot more; and, unlike the sun and moon, they don’t always rise and set so effortlessly.
All of which I could also say about myself. I did manage on Saturday, even after my restful sleep under the Honey Moon, to work in two — or was it three? — naps.
I’ve noticed I seem to spend with each passing summer a little less time in the surf, a little more time in the hammock, only occasionally getting those dog-like, running-in-circles, bursts of energy.
But I guess all those quiet moments allow me to figure some things out — such as, when it comes to dogs, and truly good friends, the honeymoon is never over.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 16th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, aging, animals, beach, dog, dogs, earl, figure 8, figure eight, friday the 13th, friends, honey moon, honeymoon, island, moon, moonrise, north carolina, old, pets, rise, set, sun, sunrise, sunset, travels with ace
Hang around long enough — whether you’re a YouTube video or a Labrador retriever — and you might find some love.
This video of a yellow Lab persistently trying to gain the attention of a three-year-old boy with Down syndrome, was posted on YouTube in June 2012, but only recently has its popularity soared, topping 4 million views.
Ana Marta Vegas says her son, Hernan, usually avoids any kind of physical contact.
In this video, shot by his family, you can see the boy, after grabbing the dog’s paw, continuously backing off and at times seeming to push her away.
But the Lab is calmly persistent — nuzzling, licking, nibbling, pawing and inching ever closer to the boy.
At one point, she sits and gently puts her paw on his shoulder.
Eventually, nearly four minutes into the video, Hernan responds and gives the dog, named Himalaya, what appears to be a hug.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 27th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: affection, animals, attention, bond, boy, dog, dog and boy, dogs, down syndrome, friends, hernan, himalaya, hug, humans, labrador, making friends, persistence, pets, retriever, vegas, video, yellow lab
Roo, a Chihuahua, was found freezing in a ditch, where he’d apparently been discarded after being born with no front legs.
Penny is a silky chicken who was once used for experiments at an area veterinary school.
The dog, believed to have been abandoned by a backyard breeder when he was just seven weeks old, was found on Christmas day, 2013, under some leaves in a ditch.
The chicken, once the undisclosed experiments she was part of were completed, was likely going to be put down, but an offer was made to adopt her.
Officially, both now belong to an employee at the animal hospital in Gwinnett, Alicia Williams, who brings Roo and Penny with work to her most days.
Williams, the client services receptionist at Duluth Animal Hospital, told Channel 2 Action News the dog and chicken became friends immediately, and some clients schedule appointments for their pets when they know the two will be there.
They’re gaining popularity nationwide, too, through the animal hospital’s Facebook page, and a video (above) recently posted on YouTube.
Roo manages to get around on just his hind legs, but he’s also been outfitted with a special wheelchair.
(Photo: On an outing during the recent Georgia snowfall, Penny and Roo left some interesting tracks / Facebook)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 20th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abandoned, animals, best friends, chicken and chihuahua, chihuahua and chicken, dog and chicken, duluth animal hospital, experiments, friends, friendship, inter-species, interspecies, penny, pets, rescue, rescued, roo, silky, two-legged, unlikely friends, veterinary, video, wheelchair
We humans, with our vastly superior intellects, and being the far more evolved and civilized species, don’t need no stinkin’ animals to show us how to live life.
You’d think not — especially with Christmas approaching. Between all the peace, good will and fellowship the season supposedly brings, and all the attention, with his death, on Nelson Mandela’s legacy of kindness and forgiveness, we shouldn’t be needing, right now, any furry creatures reminding us bigger-brained, two-legged types how to get along with each other.
Yet, in the past month, they seem to keep doing so — almost as if they think the message has failed to get through.
First, it’s a goose and a dog partnering up in the UK. Then it’s an elk and a dog becoming backyard playmates in Washington state. Both pairs were shown at play, raising the question, at least in some heads, if animals of different sizes and species — like elephants and dogs, or cats and crows – can get along with each other, why can’t we?
Now comes this latest pair, a fox and a dog in Norway who met in the woods last summer and became fast friends.
Norwegian photographer Torgeir Berge was out for a walk with his four-year-old German shepherd, Tinni, when they encountered an abandoned baby fox. Since then the fox, which Berge named Sniffer, has regularly met up with them on their trips through the woods, and Berge has been taking pictures of the get-togethers.
Now he’s working on a book about the unlikely friendship with writer Berit Helberg, who told TODAY.com that the fox was probably an orphan whose mother had died, and was probably seeking food, help and company.
“Not many people are privileged to see and enjoy a friendship like this, but Torgeir Berge has both seen them in action and gotten the opportunity to catch this in images that don’t need words,” Helberg wrote in post. They hope the story will raise awareness for animal rights and the conditions that some animals are forced live in as a result of the fur trade, Helberg said.
Yes, animals of different species far more often kill and eat each other to survive. And these unlikely interspecies friendships, seemingly choreographed from the grave (or wherever he is) of Walt Disney, are the exception. It’s not like animals got together and said ”Let’s rethink this whole survival of the fittest thing, and live together in harmony, eating wild berries.”
It was from animals, after all, that we most likely learned that mindset — that the world belongs to the fittest, richest or whoever roars the loudest.
Heartwarming as these unlikely friendship stories are, they’re not messages being sent to humans by animals.
But, particularly at Christmas, they are messages worth receiving, and learning from.
(Photos by Torgeir Berge, via Today.com)
Posted by John Woestendiek December 10th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, book, cat and crow, christmas, dog, dog and elephant, dog and elk, dog and fox, dog and goose, elephant, elk, fox, fox and dog, friends, goose, humans, interspecies, kindness, love, man, mandela, norway, pets, photographer, photography, relationships, society, torgeir berge, unlikely friendships, wildlife