2015 Masters Agility Championship

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The Master Agility Championship is part of the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. On Valentine’s Day, Tex the border collie showed them all how it’s done. Watch this dog go- just under 31 seconds with no errors! He beat 329 other dogs to take the prize. At the end, he barks “I’m a good boy! I’m a good boy!” If he goes too fast for you, you can see stills and action pictures from the event at the Westminster Kennel Club. That’s a good dog. -via Daily Picks and Flicks


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Pups on Ice

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This video by The Pet Collective shows a litter of golden retriever pups exploring a big bowl of ice cubes on a summer day. Some cubes stick to the puppies, who playfully try to shake them off. One even lays down for a nap on a comfy-cool bed of cubes. This video may be from a summer past, but for some of us, it's nice to see gaiety in warm temperatures, even if it's via video footage.  Via Laughing Squid


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14 Cats Whose Favorite Pillow is a Dog

Image: Reddit/inospeakenglish

For a lot of us, it's been a cold winter, the freezing temperatures of which are hanging tough. Many humans have big, fluffy blankets, but what about felines? They're rarely afforded such seasonal luxuries. In circumstances such as those, kitties must improvise. Getting creative with what one has handy is the key. Are dogs off limits? Are they ever? Certainly not. Pile on and ignore those puppy dog eyes. After all, it's what cats usually do anyway.

See more cats making themselves comfortable on the family dog here. 

Image: Reddit/NotMyRealName14


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Prophecy: A Photographic Exploration of Hairless Dogs



French-born, New York-based Sophie Gamand (previously at Neatorama) is a gifted fine art photographer who concentrates heavily on the subject of dogs. Sophie's projects don't just skim the surface of adorable appearance, however. Gamand deeply ponders her subject matter and uses her art to make a statement about her observations. 

For this series entitled Prophecy, Sophie chose hairless dogs as her focus, specifically two major breeds, the Chinese Crested and the Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican hairless dog). In her discussion of the series on her website, Gamand explains,

"I wanted to explore the unique beauty of hairless dogs who are often mocked or called "ugly." I wanted to look beyond their physical qualities and into their personality and charisma. I wanted to pierce the mystery surrounding them. I had never even touched their skin before.

At the center of my photographic exploration is the idea that dogs have been engineered by men. Through artificial selection, for the past millennia, they have been selected, manipulated genetically, breeds have been created, shaped and trained to fulfill our needs. Whether it is to perform tasks for us or simply for companionship, humans have subdued an entire species for their own needs, alleviating their deep sense of solitude. In a way, dogs are the first example – and most striking one – of Man acting like a god towards Nature. This series is a reminder that playing God with Nature often comes with consequences and a price to pay, sooner or later.

For this project I approached private breeders as well as rescue organizations specializing in hairless dogs (such as Bald is Beautiful and Bare Paws Rescue). To learn more about the Xoloitzcuintli, visit the Xolo Club of America's website."

Visit Gamand's website to see the rest of this charming series, and keep up with her projects on social media via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  

 

 

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The 6th Annual Pawscar™ Winners

The American Humane Association has announced the winners of the sixth annual Pawscars™, the awards for animal acting and other cinematic achievements by animals. Picture above is Crystal, a capuchin monkey who was recognized with the Lifetime Diva Achievement Award.

This beloved capuchin monkey has been an animal star for 18 years starring in more than 25 films including the “Night At The Museum” series, “The Hangover: Part 2,” “American Pie,” and the “Dr. Doolittle” films, as well as television shows, and commercials. One amazing fact about Crystal is that she is a rescue animal. Crystal is far from the only rescue animal working today: approximately 80 percent of the cats and dogs you see on the large and small screen are rescues or adopted from shelters. This monkey is so beloved that the late Robin Williams called her “his favorite leading lady.”

There were winners in ten categories. You can see the announcement video and read about all of the winners at the Humane Association’s website. -via Time


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10 Fun Things You Can Do With Your Dog

Having a dog seems like a lot of fun when you're living a dogless life, but after a while all the stick fetching, leashed walking, rolling over and playing dead can start to feel mighty dull.

That's why it's important to find fun new activities that allow you and your dog to spend some quality time together without boring you both to death. Here are ten suggestions that'll help you spice up your dog lovin' lives:

1. Go Skydiving-

Skydiving is an activity on many people's bucket lists, but dogs would much rather keep their feet firmly planted on the ground. However if your dog is a daredevil at heart then it won't hurt to plan a tandem skydiving trip and take the plunge together!

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Dogs that bark in the face of danger seem to genuinely enjoy parachuting to the earth below with their owners

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Just make sure your dog can handle the experience before you jump, or you might end up with a face full of something far less pleasant than bugs!

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2. Have A Tea Party-

This is an oldie but goodie that kids of all ages will enjoy- place a tea set on a table along with some finger sandwiches and similarly dog-friendly treats and ask your pet nicely to sit.

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You may be surprised how patient your dog can be when the snacks start rolling in, and it's a great excuse to dress your dog up all funny fancy.

Kids will get a big kick out of sipping tea with their favorite pet pals, and the photo ops are priceless!

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Sea Lion Makes a Game out of a Child's Mitten

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Miles Barnhart, during a visit to St. Louis Zoo on Saturday, captured a sea lion entertaining herself with a game of chasing a child's pink mitten, to the delight of onlookers. Though I know the St. Louis Zoo to be a great organization that provides excellent care for the animals, seeing videos like these makes me fantasize about pulling a Brad Pitt in 12 Monkeys move. 


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The Opposing Desires of Two Cats

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Sebastian appears to be addicted to the computer. You can’t blame him for enjoying the fish swimming across the screen. Hamlet, however, can take it or leave it. The two cats illustrate the conflict that occurs when one of a couple can’t stop playing video games, while the other feels neglected. “Honey, you’ve been on that computer for hours. Why don’t you come play with me for a while?”

The videographer described the action as Hamlet trying to prevent Sebastian from scratching the screen. Although they are both cases of anthropomorphism, I prefer my interpretation. Who knows what really goes on in the minds of cats?  -via Daily Picks and Flicks


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10 Animals With the Most Bizarre Sex Organs Around

Last weekend was Valentine's Day and while plenty of you got a little freaky with your special someone (or watched someone else get freaky by checking out 50 Shades of Grey), I'm doubting many of you got anywhere near as freaky as the animals in this Toptenz list do when they get down. 

From the fruit fly with sperm 20 times longer than their bodies to the water baotman with a penis that can make sounds as loud as 100 decibels, the animals in this article are a great reminder of how strange and amazing nature can be.


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Amur Tiger Cub is Sole Survivor of Her Litter



A rare Amur Tiger cub at Germany’s Zoo Berlin was allowed to greet visitors last week. The female cub, called Alisha, was the lone survivor of her litter of three born to couple Aurora and Darius. Zoo staff made the decision to hand raise Alisha after the death of her littermates, which likely saved her life. She is now in fine health.

See additional pictures of Alisha and learn more about Amur tigers at Zooborns.

Image: Zoo Berlin 


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The World's Tiniest Rodeo



Based in Indonesia, photographer Hendy Mp specializes in wildlife. This charming series of Mp's captured a tree frog riding on the back of a giant horned wood-boring beetle, as if it was a tiny horse in a rodeo. 

The frog is an endangered species called Reinwardt’s Flying Frog, part of the family Rhacophoridae. The family of species is native to India, Japan, Madagascar, Africa and Southeast Asia. Frogs in this family have long, webbed toes that enable them to glide or "fly."

Mp, a lover of macro photography, shot this series near his home in Sambas, Indonesia. See additional photos of frog riding beetle here. See more of Hendy Mp's impressive wildlife photography at his 500px site, Facebook and Twitter.  


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Kitten and Ducklings

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A curious kitten jumps into a box to find out what all that squeaking it. It’s an incubator full of ducklings! You’d think that would be kitten heaven, but this little guy is soon overwhelmed. You’ve probably seen the .gif going around, and here’s the full video, courtesy of Ignoramusky. -via Everlasting Blort


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Real-Life Lassie Saves Owner


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Lassie the dog famously saved her owner in almost every episode. Little Timmy was forever falling into wells or getting stuck in old refrigerators or whatnot. The fates wanted him dead and only Lassie kept Timmy alive. Certainly Cat Lassie wouldn't have done what this dog in Germantown, Wisconsin did (warning: auto-start video).

For unknown reasons, Crystal Lauer fell unconscious on her front porch. It was only 3°F outside. She was dressed in pajamas and a housecoat. So she was in great danger of freezing to death.

Johnny, her black Labrador Retriever, ran into the street, agitated. Officer Jeff Gonzalez spotted him from his patrol car. Johnny led the officer back to Lauer's porch, where he found the unconscious woman. She had been on that porch for about an hour. Thanks to timely medical intervention, she's now recovering in a local hospital. 

-via Nothing to Do with Aborath


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Zoo Bunny Balances on Front Legs

You’ve seen the cartoon trope of an animal that displays amazing tricks in order to avoid being eaten. That scenario played out in real life at a zoo in China. The zoo in Liuzhou, Guangxi, purchased five live rabbits from a vendor, intending to feed them to a giant python that requires live food. However, one of the bunnies, at only two months of age, walked around on its two front feet! The trick proved the rabbit to be more valuable alive than as feed, so it was put on display.    

Zoo spokesman Xiong Shao said: "We thought that perhaps the rabbit had damaged its back legs, but when it isn't walking on its hind legs the two back legs seemed to work perfectly. It doesn't seem to be in any pain so there is no reason for it to walk like this, it can't be easy. We are completely baffled as it was too young really to have been taught any tricks, and whoever heard of teaching rabbits to walk on their front legs?"

The bunny has proved to be a very popular draw among zoo patrons. That’s one smart bunny.  -via Arbroath


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Parrot Imitates Bickering Couple


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Peaches is a Moluccan cockatoo. Her first owners were a couple who eventually divorced. It must have been an acrimonious separation because ever since, she's been having outbursts that sound like a couple angrily arguing.

It's been 23 years since Peaches left that home, but she still remembers. Her current owners, Elaine and Don Sigmon of Maiden, North Carolina, report that she's an otherwise happy parrot:

"A few days after coming into our home, she began her show and we all laughed hysterically. We cannot make out what she is saying when doing this arguing," Sigmon said.

"Hearing her is one thing, but to watch her movements with her head as if pointing aggressively at my husband is hilarious," she added.

However, Peaches is known to have a softer side; her repertoire also includes friendly phrases such as "I love you," "What you doing" and "Hello."

"Even during her episodes, I can go to her and she will get on my hand or arm and begin to cuddle. Many people have asked us if she was in a happy environment and yes, she is," Sigmon said.

-via Jonah Goldberg


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The Snow-loving Cat

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Nala the cat lives in Norway. A Maine Coon/Norwegian Forest Cat mix, she is well-adapted to cold weather because she wears a thick fur coat -and she loves snow! Watch her beg to go outside, run through snow, dig in snow, catch snowballs, chase snowballs, and even eat snow. Alexander Fredriksen says that when she pops up in the window, it's not because she wants in, but because she wants someone to come out and play with her. There are also some non-snow clips of Nala, who is altogether an attractive cat. -via reddit


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Boppity Bunny

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It’s been a while since we had a new song from Parry Gripp, and this one is about bunny love!

I’m a Boppity Bunny and I need your love
Visit me at the bunny shelter, give me a hug
Drive me to a fancy restaurant in your car
Set me down on the lettuce in the salad bar

These bunny rabbits were filmed at the shelter called Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter (B.U.N.S.) in Santa Barbara. They are available for adoption. -via Tastefully Offensive

See also: more songs by Parry Gripp.


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Dog Runs Away from Home to Visit Hospitalized Owner

YouTube Link

Iowan Nancy Franck was in a Cedar Rapids hospital for over a week after having cancer surgery. While Nancy was away, Sissy and Barney, her miniature schnauzers, were at home being cared for by her husband Dale. But 11-year-old Sissy evidently decided early one morning that it had been too long since she had seen her mom. When Dale took the dogs out at 1:30 AM last Saturday, Sissy ran off, and Dale was devastated.

Little did Dale know he had no reason to worry. Sissy walked 20 blocks to Mercy Medical Center and entered the automatic doors at the entrance, proceeding to roam the halls looking for Nancy. Dale told television news station WJLA that Sissy had never been to the hospital before, but once she rode in the car with Dale when he dropped Nancy off at work near the hospital, though he didn't take the same route Sissy did on her walk. 

Read more on this sweet story here.  


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10 Delightfully Bizarre Pet Products

Manufacturers of pet products are well aware that we're obsessed with our furry family members, and they're constantly creating new products which are invented in an effort to please our pets.

Meanwhile, cats would rather sleep in a cardboard box than a pet bed, dogs would rather chew on any old dead thing they find in the backyard than that expensive chew toy, and most pets could care less if they leave the house properly dressed.

Even though many pet products are frivolous and serve no real purpose they're really fun to check out (purely in the name of research, of course) so here are ten pet products that make pet ownership a real hoot!

1. Table Leg Cover & Dog Chew Toy-

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It should go without saying that giving your dog permission to chew on the legs of your dining room table is a bad idea, but if your dog's gonna chew they might as well chew in style!

This Table Leg Cover & Dog Chew Toy by Gala & Gino keeps your table legs from becoming a pile of splinters, and adds a bit of functional canine fun to your home decor.

2. Fish N Flush Aquarium Toilet-

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Tired of staring at the same old boring white toilet while you make water? Replace it with this Fish N Flush Toilet Tank Aquarium and potty time will become an oceanic adventure!

Your fishy friends will be glad they're not the ones being flushed, and you'll have yet another place to put an aquarium, bringing you one step closer to becoming a real life fish whisperer like your hero, Aquaman!

3. Bow-lingual & Meow-lingual Pet Translator-

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If you're certain that your pets have been talking trash about you behind your back then you need to strap one of these handy dandy pet translation devices to their neck and bring their slander to the light.

The device comes in Doginese (BowLingual) and Meownish (MeowLingual) versions, and it's made in Japan by toymakers Takara Tomy, so you know it works right every time. Just look at how purr-fectly satisfied this cat is with the MeowLingual's amazing meow translation abilities!

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Swan Rescued after Beak Freezes Shut


(Photo: Europics)

A swan was swimming amidst a group of ducks in the Peacock River, Korla, Xinjiang, China. A couple walking along the river noticed that in the cold weather, the swan's beak had frozen shut with a thick layer of ice. The swan was unable to eat food offered to her.

The couple alerted the Swan Guard, which is a local force that provides care for resident swans. The Swan Guard lured the swan into a warm building, where the ice thawed. The New York Post reports:

“I have been caring for swans for years and I admit that this is the first time I have ever come across anything like this,” said Swan Guard Sheng Liang. “We think it must have happened when she fell asleep with a wet beak.”

Sheng, 45, lured the frozen fowl to shore, then rushed her to a “swan house” the group uses for healing sick or injured birds, according to CEN.

“Once there, we put her in a warm room and waited for the ice to melt,” Sheng said. “Once she could open her beak again, we gave her a special treat of fish before taking her back to the river.”

-via Huffington Post


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No Cat Do

YouTube Link

Jennifer Morales has a beautiful Persian cat. A beautiful, willful Persian cat (though it may be redundant to use "cat" and "willful" in the same sentence). Morales catches the cat red-pawed, poised to knock a glass of water off a table. She tells the cat no, which obviously registers with the animal. He may know what it means, but that doesn't mean he'll follow your rules, Jennifer. On the contrary. -Via Tastefully Offensive


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Izu The Lion Gives A Speech At The San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Izu the lion could've had a successful career in public speaking, but thanks to conservation efforts and the caring people behind the San Diego Zoo Global he doesn't have to work for a living.

Despite his life of leisure Izu still has a lot of feline concerns flitting around inside his massive head, and as you can see in this video shot at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park he has no problem speaking his mind!

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It's anybody's guess what Izu was trying to say to the Safari Park crowd that day, but it's a sure bet when Izu speaks people listen! 

-Via The Daily What


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A Dog Who Can't Get to the Dog Park Fast Enough

YouTube Link 

Jason Ephraim's dog Baxter, like many of his species, just loves the dog park. One day, while getting in the back of the car to go to the park, Baxter realized that a minor, canine-fixable detail was slowing down the process. Ephraim explains,

"Baxter loves going to the dog park and realized one day that I couldn't close the trunk with his leash hanging out. My jaw dropped the first time he pulled it in himself. Obviously, he isn't willing to wait for Pluto to come to the same realization."

Aw, Pluto. You'll learn the ways and means of traveling to the dog park eventually, buddy. Until then, Baxter has your back. -Via Tastefully Offensive


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Tiny Hamster's Tiny, Romantic Date

YouTube Link

The latest video in the tiny hamster series finds our tiny hero escorting his equally tiny date to a romantic restaurant for a tiny Italian dinner. A not-so-tiny chef waits and watches anxiously, at the ready to ensure the couples' satisfaction with their dining experience. Single guys without a Valentines Day date, have hope: if the tiny guy can score a babe, so can you. -Via Laughing Squid


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The Japanese Village of Foxes

Japan has a Cat Island and a Rabbit Island, and now it also has a village of foxes! Zao Fox Village is a sanctuary with six different breeds of foxes, and is open to the public in case you want to get up close and friendly with the inhabitants. However, the staff does not recommend touching them, feeding from your hand, or bringing small children. After all, foxes are wild predators. You'll still find some folks bending the rules. See a ton of pictures of Zao Fox Village at Kotaku East. -via Fark

(Image credit: moke_x2)


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