It could be Kim Jong-Un bending over. Perhaps it has to do with Kim Kardashian's latter (and fatter) parts. It could have to do with Putin's chesty breastal regions. Or it may just be a goat. The goat above, in fact. Some think this little guy's expression says "smug." Some think it's proud. Personally, I think it vaguely resembles a goat version of success kid (one of my favorite memes).
Did you notice a theme developing in our feature banner at the top of the blog this week? We had dogs with degrees, research on dogs barking, Marilyn Monroe’s dogs, and even corn dogs. And now that we’ve made it to the end of Dog Week at Neatorama, it’s time for something just plain silly. We are going to examine the phenomena of The Good Dog. Who’s a good dog? We ask our dogs that all the time, and them, being dogs, just have no idea.
And like any small child with a balloon, she goes into a panic when it gets away from her. There’s a bit of tension in this story, but things work out in the end, and Evie gets her balloon back. -via Tastefully Offensive
A photo posted by Courtney (@courtneyskitsandk9s) on Oct 20, 2014 at 9:17pm PDT
This adorable kitten looks aghast, but he’s okay. That’s just the way his eyes look all the time! Bum was brought into the San Diego Humane Society’s Kitten Nursery and was adopted by employee Courtney Morman. Bum is all grown up now, and helps Morman with the other kittens she cares for. Morman gave Bum his own Instagram account because so many people love his worried eyes. You can see plenty of pictures of him there.
Out: yoga with cats and dogs. In: yoga with rabbits! Metro News reports that Sunberry Fitness in Richmond, British Columbia, recently held classes in which people performed yoga while rabbits hopped around the studio.
The studio offered these classes in conjunction with Bandaids for Bunnies, a local rabbit rescue charity. Their goal was to offer a new yoga experience and get some of the rabbits adopted into good homes. The first two classes sold out and there’s a waiting list for future classes.
Andrew came to the conclusion that the bizarre black fish is actually a rare variation of the striated frogfish, but Andrew was amazed by the fish's jet black coloration considering they're normally brightly colored and boldly striped.
Simon Tofield, the animator behind Simon’s Cat, talks with Nicky Trevorrow, a cat behavior expert at Cats Protection about why our furballs do the odd things they do, specifically the sudden craziness. You’ve seen your cat switch off his senses and explode in a flurry of activity like a scalded haint. That’s crazy time.
Better yet, Trevorrow gives us tips on how to help cats release that energy in a more productive way. Tofield is beginning a new series of videos called Cat Logic. Future episodes will explore other cat behaviors that seem incomprehensible to us mere humans. -via Tastefully Offensive
The little newborn foal filmed by Sammi Hill experienced his first sneeze and went for a tumble. Either he’s a bit unsteady on his legs or he’s discovered a superpower. Get back up try again, little foal.
Pet owners often assume their cats and dogs will instinctively know which plants are safe to eat and which ones are toxic.
But for some reason domesticated animals will chew on just about anything if given the chance, including common plants that are actually pure poison for pets.
If your cat likes to hang out on the counter they might be enticed by that beautiful bouquet of lilies you bring home, but lilies can cause kidney failure in cats and ingestion is fatal if not treated within 18 hours.
The sap from both the elephant ear and dumb cane plants can be fatal if ingested, and if the sap gets into your cat's eyes while it's prowling around they can get mighty infected.
Learned that one the hard way, and lemme tell ya- it's no fun trying to hold your cat down and give them eye drops!
Those beautiful foxgloves that sprout up all over the place are poisonous to both pets and people, but your pets probably won't notice them until you bring them inside, so leave them in the yard where they belong!
The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research, now in all-pdf form. Get a subscription now for only $25 a year!
Research in, on, or about barking by Nan Swift, Improbable Research staff
Molnar’s Barking Dogs in Review “Barking in Family Dogs: An Ethological Approach,” Péter Pongrácz, Csaba Molnár, and Ádám Miklósi, Veterinary Journal, vol. 183, no. 2, February 2010, pp. 141-147. The authors, at Eotvos Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary, report:
Although it is one of the most conspicuous features of dog behaviour, barking has received little attention from ethologists or from an applied perspective. In this review, an ethological look is taken at the communicative aspect of dog barking. Emerging new research has indicated that in the repertoire of dog vocalisations, barking has unique features in showing wide ranges of acoustic parameters, such as frequency, tonality and rhythmicity. Barking has been shown to be context dependent, and provides information for humans about the inner state of the dog although there are few indications that barking is used for intra-species communication. It is assumed that dog barking emerged through selective processes in which human preferences for certain acoustic aspects of the vocalisation may have been paramount. A more experiment-oriented approach is required for the study of dog vocalisation that could shed light on the possible communicative function of these acoustic signals.
Detail from the study “Barking in Family Dogs: An Ethological Approach.”
Molnár’s Method to ID Dogs by Bark Identification (2005) “Human Listeners Are Able to Classify Dog (Canis familiaris) Barks Recorded in Different Situations,” Péter Pongracz and Csaba Molnár, Adám Miklosi, and Vilmos Csanyi, Journal of Comparative Psychology, 2005, vol. 119, no. 2, 136–144. The authors, at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary, report:
Dexter is a Boerboel, a working and guard dog of South African origin. At 175 pounds, he’s a lot for the vet techs to handle. Here he is at the veterinary clinic getting his nails trimmed. Two techs appear to have him under control while the third works on his nails. But when a 175-pound dog decides to leave, nothing is going to stop him. Dexter bolts and one tech rides him like he’s a bucking bronco at a rodeo.
The daughter of Imgur member Cymcherrytree picked a rose. There was a special gift hidden inside: a little lizard taking a nap. Noting that it was a special moment, she remarked “As long as I live I will probably never see this again.”
These true stories of accredited canines show that you really can get anything online- even a college degree for your dog.
Story: In 2004 Peter Brancato, a reporter with the Schenectady, New York, television station WRGB, filled out an application for a degree from Almeda University for his dog, Wally. Brancato wrote that Wally "plays with the kids every day" and "teaches them responsibilities, like feeding the dog."
Result: Wally received an associates degree in Childhood Development …and a transcript certifying that he’d completed courses in European culture, algebra, and public speaking. (Ruff!) After WRGB aired the story, Almeda University issued a press release accusing the station of weaving a "smear campaign" against them. The "university," which is still in operation, gives its location as Boise, Idaho, but its headquarters are actually on the Caribbean island of Nevis.
Update: In 2008 Wally was featured in a political cartoon showing him with a thought bubble that read, "I graduated with Bill Chesen." Chesen, a candidate for mayor of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, had listed a degree from Alameda University on his resume. Chesen accused his opponent of defamation, but the district attorney took no action. (And Chesen won the election.)
Story:GetEducated.com is an organization that monitors online universities. In 2009 the company decided to test one of its subjects, and had "Chester Ludlow" -a pug belonging to one of its employees- apply to Rochville University.
Like many other animals, Maru, a Shiba Inu owned by Shinjiro Ono. has a favorite toy that comforts him to sleep. Maru's stuffed toy happens to be a round, roly poly polar bear, one whose body lines resemble his own. This pairing leads to adorable photos of Maru sleeping with his toy. The pictures have amassed a huge (2.3 million) following on Instagram.
Visit Maru's Instagram account to see more sweet photos of him with his little stuffed pal. For anyone who loves cute animal photos, it's a virtual jackpot.
An unlikely bond between a rhesus macaque monkey and a puppy warmed hearts and brought out curious crowds in Erode, India earlier this month. The monkey apparently took the stray pup under her wing and off she went.
The macaque made sure her adopted baby ate well, and kept a tight hold on him as she traveled both on the ground and up in the treetops. Locals who found the pair endearing set food out for them and watched as the monkey had the puppy eat before her.
Last Saturday, April Hamlin of Elkmont, Alabama, let her hound dog Ludivine out in the backyard. Ludivine snuck out of the yard and wandered around, which is not out of characters for her. She walked about a quarter-mile away where the Trackless Train Trek Half Marathon was about to begin and was petted by some of the runners, including Tim Horvath. When they took off, Ludivine ran with them. And she continued for the entire 13 miles! Ludivine stayed within sight of Horvath through most of the race.
“One time she went over and met another dog next to the course,” Horvath said. “Later on, she went into a field with some mules and cows. Then she’d come back and run around our legs. I wondered if she was going to get tired or go back to wherever her home was.”
But Ludivine kept running despite her distractions and eventually finished just behind Horvath who ran 1:32 for sixth place. Once Ludivine crossed the line, she slowed to a walk. Volunteers, apparently in awe of the spectacle, put a medal around her neck and started taking photos, Horvath said.
Race officials were delighted with Ludivine’s accomplishment. Friends called Hamlin to congratulate her, which was a surprise. Hamlin didn’t even realize Ludivine was gone from the backyard! Read the whole story of Ludivine the marathon dog at Runner’s World. -via Metafilter
Tian Tian is an 18-year old panda that lives at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. The winter snow storm has hit that region hard, but Tian Tian and his friends are having a great time there. This morning, caretakers spotted him rolling playfully in the snow. Pandas have thick coats and the cold doesn't bother them at all.
When you think about heterochromia in cats, you picture a left eye of a different color from a right eye. This cat has two colors in each eye, the outer half blue and the inner half gold! The effect is heightened by the cat’s slit-shaped pupils. See more heterchromic cats, mostly white cats, at Love Meow. -Thanks, hearsetrax!
Last December, Bolivia's government released approximately 100,000 baby turtles (auto-start video) belonging to several endangered species into the Guaporé River, which is a tributary of the Amazon. One of those species can grow up to 3.2 feet wide and live for a century. There were so many turtles that they had to be scooped into the water.
When adorable poodle mix Coco Hammond is presented with a milk bottle that has milk left in it, she looks at it as a tasty puzzle to be solved. She paws and turns the cap until she pops it off, and then feeds herself the bottle as if she's both mom and baby. Way to work it, Coco! Via Tastefully Offensive
Six-year-old Kham La, the juvenile elephant shown in the video above, is a resident of Elephant Nature Park in the Chang Mai province of Thailand. Darrick, a tractor driver at the site, has become Kham La's favorite human. Whenever she spots Darrick, the young elephant makes a beeline to him and, under the watchful eyes of her herd, she gets attention lavished upon her in the form of pets and softly spoken greetings.
Kham La had an unfortunate past of being taken from her mom and subjected to being "broken,” a way to make elephants submit to human demands, and subsequently trained as a performer. Thankfully, the youngster was rescued and is now free to roam (and choose friends) as she sees fit. What a wonderful ending to what could have been a tragic story! Via Slate
Image: Toronto Zoo Toronto Zoo welcomed this precious female polar bear cub on November 11, 2015 when Aurora, one of the zoo's two adult female polar bears, gave birth to two cubs. Unfortunately, the sibling of this cub did not survive his first 24 hours. The surviving cub was immediately moved to the intensive care unit of the facility to give her the best care possible. Though the staff is taking things day by day in terms of her health, it appears she's doing well thus far.
Due to the disappearing sea ice, experts estimate that there are only 20,000-25,000 polar bears in existence. Scientists predict the worst case scenario being the loss of two-thirds of the polar bear population by the year 2050. The species is classified as "Vulnerable" on the IUCN Red List.
This footage, shot by the owner of Cole and Marmalade, is of San Diego Humane Society’s Kitten Nursery. There, orphaned kittens are given around-the-clock care by an attentive staff. The nursery was established in 2008, and provided a desperately needed refuge for these animals, who otherwise would have been subject to euthanasia.
I've been saying for about 20 years that there's certain to be a market for a dog rental service. After all, dogs are awesome, but not everyone is in a position to get a dog. Do you like spending time with dogs? Would you be willing to pay for it?
And that's where the kibble starts pouring in.
That hasn't happened yet, but we're getting close. Bark'N'Borrow is a new app-based business that lets people spend time with dogs by borrowing them. Maya Kosoff of Business Insider signed up and wrote about her experience.
After exchanging a set of messages and emails with his owner, I met up with Charles in a park near my apartment. I was a little nervous — I wasn't really sure what to expect at a dog meet-up. Charles, his owner, and I went for a walk together and it was surprisingly fun. But don't feel like you're limited to meeting up with a dog and its owner — once you establish a level of comfort and trust with a dog owner, you can actually borrow their dog for an overnight or for a few hours. It's up to the two of you. It might not be a service for everyone, but it's essentially the sharing economy ... for dogs. If you can't have a dog yourself for whatever reason and want to feel like you do, Bark'N'Borrow is probably the most convenient way to do it.
In the cat version of "a man walks into a bar..." this pretty kitty wandered into an unidentified pet store. The employees later found him, gettin' crazy with the catnip toys. Eventually, his owner was called to give his pet the feline version of a SafeRide. We all need a bit of an escape from time to time, don't we kitty? Via Arbroath