Mia Wins Hearts at the Agility Course

Mia knows the agility course, and she's got plenty of speed and agility. But Mia is a beagle, and is therefore both happy and distractible. She delighted the audience at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

(Facebook link)

Don't be a beagle, don't be a beagle!

That's a good dog. To see how it is supposed to be done, watch Tex, the 2015 winner. -via Metafilter

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Meet The Monkey Mom Of Illinois

For some reason animal lovers still think having a monkey as a pet is a novel idea, but nine times out of ten the shit hits the fan soon after they bring their pet monkey home and they realize they've made a terrible mistake.

And once those people have learned their lesson a poor little monkey is left without a home- unless they're lucky enough to land in the arms of Airocolina 'Pinky' Janota, aka the Monkey Mom.

Airocolina runs a primate sanctuary in Beecher, Illinois, where she currently serves as 'alpha monkey mom' for six orphans- two Marmosets, one Bonnet Macaque and three Rhesus Macaques.

All of the monkeys Pinky takes in at the Settlers Pond Shelter were abandoned by their owners in the United States, but in Pinky's care they're living the high life, with dapper duds to wear and all the finger food they can eat.

See Illinois woman keeps SIX primates and is even teaching them sign language here

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Historic Best In Show Winners From Westminsters Past

Each year a carefully selected pack of canine contestants strut their stuff for the judges at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, where they represent their breed and try to prove they're the Best In Show.

This year the competition will be even hairier, since three new breeds have entered the battle- the Pumi, the American hairless terrier and the Sloughi, all very interesting dogs indeed.

But enough about the now, let's look back at Westminsters past with Miss C's article 12 Historic Westminster Best In Show Winners and see who won about 100 years ago.

His name is Haymarket Flawless, and he won Best In Show in 1918. Hay was both the first Bull Terrier and the first Canadian dog to win, and he definitely could have been the Spuds McKenzie of his day.

And speaking of dogs with star power, get a load of 1957's winner- Shirkhan Of Grandeur.

Shirkhan was the first Afghan hound to win Westminster, and he was so gorgeous and elegant looking TIME Magazine felt compelled to bow down:

The others walked or trotted, ran or cantered like dogs. Shirkhan moved like a king."

But you don't have to be doggy royalty to win Westminster, just ask Tickle Em Jock.

Scrappy little Tickle Em Jock was purchased from a London butcher for $15, and he became the first Scottish terrier to win Best In Show in 1911.

However, Jock obviously had a hard time putting his rough and tumble past behind him- because he bit a judge at another show later that year after winning Best in Breed. Tickle 'em indeed!

See 12 Historic Westminster Best In Show Winners at mental_floss

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This Otter is Quite a Polite Eater (For the Most Part)

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There's no doubt that otters are adorable, but who knew they could eat at a table like civilized people as well? Or at least he does... until he just gets tired of it and then he goes back to laying and munching. Ultimately, this otter is all of us, playing our part to be "polite" until we get home alone and take off our pants so we can eat a tub of ice cream while sprawled out on the couch.

Via Laughing Squid

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Cats Demanding Attention

Cat owners know how it is: when you want to snuggle with your cat, they won't have anything to do with you. But when a cat wants your attention and love, they can be pretty demanding. If you aren't in the employment of a cat yourself, watch this and see how it is.

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A cat knows what it wants, and they want it now, no matter what else you have going on. As someone once told me, a cat has never seen a downside to asking for what they want. And they get it, too! Who could say no to that adorable little fuzzy face? -via Tastefully Offensive

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Why You Should Never Play Hide-And-Seek With A Cat

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Most dogs don't get the hiding part of hide and seek, although they are really good at seeking thanks to their keen senses, but if cats want to hide and stay hidden, even in plain sight, they have the power to do so.

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Cats have mastered the arts of camouflage, burrowing and diversion, and if all else fails they will just use their ninja like climbing abilities to head to higher ground, so they can ambush the seeker if need be.

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So if your cat invites you to play hide-and-seek you may want to politely decline and distract them with some catnip, or else you're playing right into their paws.

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See Photographic Proof That Cats Are The Greatest Hide And Seek Champions Ever here

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Fake Feline Friend

A clowder of five cats in Thailand have to check out the new member of the family, a realistic plush cat taking a nap. They seem flummoxed by the newcomer, and I can't say I blame them.  

(YouTube link)

And the more cats concentrate on studying something, the easier they are to startle. They didn't even stick around long enough to hear the new cat speak.  -via Laughing Squid

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Sloths' Voices Are Just As Cute As Their Faces

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Sloths are fascinating creatures that are adored by the public. Strangely though we still know very little about them -both scientists and the public. Here's one more thing you might not know about the cute little critters: they make absolutely adorable sounds. Just listen to these little guys speak!

Via Mental Floss

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Ziggy the Good Dog

(YouTube link)

Ziggy loves going for a walk! The Staffordshire Bull Terrier helps his human Keren get everything he needs for walkies. That's a good dog. Ziggy Trixx does all kinds of tricks, and is also an accomplished skateboarder. You can follow him at Facebook.  -via Metafilter

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Pooh the Amputee Cat Gets Bionic Legs

The cat named Pooh was brought in to a Bulgarian animal shelter with multiple injuries, including two missing legs. Locals thought he might have been the victim of a train, since he hung out near the tracks. Doctors at Central Veterinary thought he was a good candidate for some groundbreaking prosthetic technology. A machine translation from the Bulgarian page on Pooh explains his treatment.

The chance of Pooh is called ITAP prosthetics or placing implants that replace the missing part of a leg directly into the bone.

This is an innovative form of prosthetic limbs, a new medicine for human and animal described isolated cases in the literature.

The aim of the fitting is placing titanium stalk (stem) in bone paw and its subsequent attachment to the outer (exo) prosthesis.

The method has enormous advantages over standard external prostheses in animals that require daily maintenance by the owner to bear is difficult (in cats, even if at all) and often cause complications. With ITAP proteza, all these drawbacks are avoided.

Continued "implementation" of titanium implant in the body is a huge challenge, it happens during a slow process that lasts between 6 and 8 weeks.

Pooh is the first cat in Eastern Europe (and the second cat in all of Europe) to receive two bionic hind legs. According to the shelter's Facebook page, the cost of his surgery has been covered by donations, and he is up for adoption. Read Pooh's story and see plenty of pictures at KittenToob. Through the sequence of pictures, you can see the progress Pooh has made not only in adjusting to new legs, but in his overall health.

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Woman Meets Kitten and Can’t Sleep Until She Adopts Him

The Atlanta Humane Society was looking for a home for Grant, an adorable special needs kitten. Grant has cerebellar hypoplasia, a condition we first posted about in 2007. Grant was passed over by many potential adopters, but when Emma Wheat met him at a PetCo event, she couldn't get him out of her head.

Emma Wheat didn’t rush headlong into the adoption, but after meeting Grant and getting to know him for a minute or two, Emma went home and did her homework on Grant’s condition and what it would mean to take him into her home. Come next morning, Emma was the first person in line at the Human Society, a big smile on her face as she asked to adopt Grant then and there. She’d done her due diligence and found that not only was she able to take Grant into her home, she simply couldn’t wait any longer.

Having learned what she would need to do in order to keep up with his medical needs, Emma then made preparations for Grant to come home with her before ever making her way back to the Human Society. Emma even professed that she couldn’t sleep the night before adopting him, claiming that she was ready and more than willing to take Grant into her home.

Grant is doing well and is having fun in his new home. Eventually, the kitten will have a job of sorts. Wheat is a music therapist for children who have developmental disabilities, and Grant will be a fine example of how disabilities don't preclude happiness. Read his entire story at KittenToob. 

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Cat Jumps At Door Until Her Human Goes Out And Plays With Her

Cats want humans to leave them alone until they really, really want humans to pay attention to them, at which point they pull out all stops to make sure all human eyes are on them.

Some cats use the power of the meow to get attention, others knock stuff off shelves and counters to ensure they're not ignored, like furry little Nihilists.

But Nala the Norwegian Forest cat (previously at Neatorama) has a cuter method of calling her humans- she jumps at the door and peeks at them through the window until they come out and play.

(YouTube Link)

How could anyone ignore the call of the wild Nala?

-Via Laughing Squid

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Watch Deadly Animals Attack In Slow Motion

Deadly animal attacks are best viewed on a screen from the safety of your own home, because when you run into a deadly animal in the wild you should give them a wide berth or suffer the painful consequences.

That's not to say all animals deemed deadly will be looking to sink their fangs, bill, beak or bony ridge into you should you cross paths, but it's more pleasant to watch them strike when you're well out of range.

Oh, and watching it in slow motion looks really cool!

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This video from BBC Earth Unplugged shows how an owl, croc, chameleon, praying mantis and more look while they strike, in super slow motion so you can study their style before your next dinner party.

-Via Sploid

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Chicken Plays "America the Beautiful"

Jokgu is a piano-playing chicken. We've seen chickens peck at toy pianos and produce sounds, but Jokgu has been clicker-trained and is equipped with a keyboard that lights up the notes in sequence. Still, it can't be easy to get a bird-brained hen to perform a song this well.

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Jokgu's owner, Shannon Myers, has a coop full of chickens who record music under the name The Flockstars. Their music is fairly haphazard, but Jokgu stands head and shoulders above the rest as the real talent of the flock. You can follow the musical chickens and their owners at Facebook. -via HuffPo

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This Giant Panda Loves To Pose For Selfies With Tourists

Getting a wild animal to take a selfie with you is really hard to do, and the human often gets battered like an annoying paparazzo just for trying, but the giant panda in these pics clearly likes humans- and posing for selfies.

It almost seems like the giant panda posing for the pics, like it knows that thing on a stick is taking a picture of him, but that's impossible, right? It seems that way until you see this pic:

The panda is clearly looking into the camera!

Taking a selfie with a giant panda is one of the amazing services offered by the Dujiangyan Panda Base in Chengdu city, China, which may explain why this pretty panda is such a good poser.

See This Giant Panda Has Mastered The Selfie Game here

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Relax This Weekend -Watch This Corgi Wearing a Propeller Hat

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Life is stressful -especially right now. Some people are stressed about politics and some people are particularly eager to see their team win the Super Bowl. If you need to relax a little, this video is the way to go. What's better than a pup in a propeller hat just relaxing in the wind?

Via Incredible Things

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Las Vegas Overrun with Bunnies

In Las Vegas, it's illegal to abandon a pet. But people do it anyway, just not at a shelter. People who have abandoned pet rabbits by just setting them free have sparked a takeover that might remind one of the movie Night of the Lepus.  

The yards, parks and lots of Vegas are home to thousands of feral rabbits. Known as “bunny dump sites” to the legions of volunteers that care for their residents, they’re strange places, more tragic than adorable, where the human heart clashes with the limited resources of the state. Released by overwhelmed pet-owners and left to breed, the rabbits now overwhelm any attempt at government control, digging up public property, chewing on pipes, and ending up dead in the sewers. To survive, they depend entirely on the kindness of self-identified “bunny-lovers”—volunteers faced with an impossible task.

People feed the abandoned bunnies, but that leads to more bunnies. Local shelters are trying to "trap, neuter, and release" the rabbits, but have limited funds, and that's technically illegal anyway because of the abandonment regulation. Read about the bunny infestation in Las Vegas at Atlas Obscura.

(Image credit: Dave Schweiger)

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Ear Gauges and Snakes Are a Bad Mix

People end up going to emergency rooms for a lot of strange reasons, but having a snake stuck in your ear gauge is probably a new one even for the veteran ER doctors. Ashley Glawe of Portland Oregon found out the hard way not to let your snake get too close to your ear gauges. 

According to her Facebook posts where she shared the pictures, the snake got too close to the hole and before she knew what was happening, it was already stuck in her ear. On the upside, she and the snake are ok and she got to use some truly one-of-a-kind hashtags on the post like #SnakeStuckInEar and #SnakeStuckInEarlobe.

Via Distractify

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You Need to Get Your Paws on These Cute Puppy Planters and Vases

Not everyone can have a shiba inu or a kitty, but that doesn't mean they don't like pets. Even if you can have a pet, you probably can't bring it to work. That's why we love these awesome pet planters and vases by Etsy seller Sirosfunnyanimals.

While she sells other designs, she really specializes in shibu inus like the planter at the top of the page and the vase above. Each sculpture is a perfect way to bring a little extra fun to your pet-free homes and offices.

Via Incredible Things

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Bow To This Shoebill Stork And It Will Bow Back

Some birds are really good at imitating sounds or movements made by humans, but the shoebill stork in this video is way too polite to make fun of humans that way- so it has mastered the art of the bow.

This stuffy stork even shakes its head as it bows just like a human, and although the dinosaur bird looks like it wants to bite its affectionate visitor the stork maintains its composure and keeps on bowin'.

(YouTube Link)

-Via Laughing Squid

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Here, You Hold These For a While

Rescue Rovers Dog Adoptions took in a pregnant pit bull and placed her with foster mother Stevoni Wells. Grayce gave birth to eleven puppies! When they were just two days old, she took them in her mouth one by one and placed them all in Wells' lap.  

Wells and her husband seem to think that Grayce wants to be petted but doesn't want to leave the puppies unsupervised. It's also possible that Grayce wants some help from an experienced mother. Or maybe it's just a gesture to show how much she loves and trusts her foster mom. -via Metafilter

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Watch A Wild Orangutan Use A Handsaw To Cut A Branch

We all know how smart primates are, and how they have learned to use certain tools both with a little help from humans and on their own, but knowing about their craftiness cannot compare to seeing it in action.

So here's a video showing an orangutan from Southeast Asia using a handsaw to cut a branch in two, using her feet to hold the branch steady and clearing the sawdust from the cut as she works.

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This wild orangutan with a knack for sawing stuff is featured on the BBC nature documentary series Spy In The Wild, which features:

animatronic animals fitted with high-definition cameras, revealing never-before-seen footage of wildlife, up close and personal.

-Via IFL Science

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Two Goats, One Pot

Two goats in Nepal got their heads stuck in the same jar. Whatever was in that container must have been really good, or else the critters are just insanely competitive.

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It appears the farmer rescued them by brute force. Wouldn't it have been easier to shove one goat further into the pot while pulling the other out? -via Digg

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Forget Snakes on a Plane, Here Are Falcons on a Plane!

Redditor lensoo posted this photo saying a friend of his sent him this image of a flight where a Saudi Prince bought tickets for 80 falcons (technically, he said they were hawks, but Business Insider points out that they were actually falcons as falconry is a popular pastime in the Middle East). It's also relatively common for them to travel on planes in that part of the world.

According to Atlas Obscura, falcons can actually get their own passports for flying in the UAE. The regulations about falcons flying on planes are pretty strange, but also pretty interesting. You can read more about falcons on planes on Business Insider.

Via PetsLady

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Screw Politics, Watch This Puppy Dance

Can you imagine how hard it must be for a little doggy to sit in a pet store window all day watching people walk by who will not be taking them home?

Now that I've broken your heart prepare to have it repaired, filled with squee then melted into a pile of warm goo by this little puppy's Sold Pupper Dance.

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Whenever you feel like an unwanted mongrel, and whenever you get tired of reading about the dark state of the world today, watch this video and let those Sold Pupper feels take you away from it all!

-Via Boing Boing

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A Huge Collection Of Really Cool Tattoos Dedicated To Dogs

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People looking for a lasting way to pay tribute to their beloved pet often get a tattoo with their name or likeness, so that pet will be with them for the rest of their lives.

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This is a really sweet way to remember a pet you've loved and lost, but the ink memorial can have the opposite effect on you if the artist does a crappy job of rendering your dear pet's likeness.

But we're not here to dwell on bad tats, we're here to check out some really cool body art dedicated to good dogs both alive and gone to that great big dog park in the sky.

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If you like tattoos this collection will inspire you, if you like dogs this list will probably touch you, but if you hate dogs and tattoos then I suggest watching Benji with your local tattoo artist!

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See 10+ Of The Best Dog Tattoo Ideas Ever here

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This Lobster is Ready for Love

It's normal for lobsters to get barnacles on their shells, but usually they just show up in random patches. This beautiful boy has a heart tattoo on his back that makes him truly special.

It's the perfect lobster for Valentine's Day -assuming he doesn't end up on someone's plate. After all, it's kind of hard to eat something that says it loves you while you chow down.

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Protect Your Cat in Battle With This 3D Printed Cat Armor

We've featured cat armor before, but it's always been expensive and hard to get a hold of. Now you can get your own in no time with this 3D printed cat armor available at Print That Thing. In fact, the armor is even free to print, so your cat can be protected for simply the cost of 3D printing materials. 

So download your cat's armor over here.

Via Geek Girls

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The Secret History of the First Cat in Space

The Soviets sent the dog Laika and other animals into space before humans. NASA sent chimpanzees into space to pave the way for astronauts. The French, a little behind the superpowers, sent a cat into space.

On October 18th, 1963, the Centre national d’études in France was set to send a small cat named Félix into space. After lagging behind its Soviet and American competitors, France was eager to stake its claim in the space race—with cats, for some reason. But on launch day, the mischievous little beast went missing—and an accidental heroine stepped in to take his place. Her name was Félicette.

From the streets of Paris, this tuxedo kitty—nicknamed “Astrocat”—would reach heights never achieved by feline kind. On October 24th, 1963, Félicette jetted 130 miles above Earth on a liquid-fueled French Véronique AG1 rocket, soaring high above the Algerian Sahara Desert. She returned just fifteen minutes later, already a decorated heroine for her nation.

Read about the French space program that launched a kitty at Gizmodo.

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Easy and Cheap Valentine's Day Photo Shoot Ideas for Your Dog

Whether or not they have a partner, many people still consider their dogs to be the most important figure in their lives. Now thanks to Kol's Notes you can find nine clever photoshoot ideas to celebrate your true love.

Best of all, the ideas all cost less than $5 to create so you can get an awesome picture of your perfect pooch without spending all kinds of cash. Of course, the ultimate success of your photoshoot will depend largely on both your photography skills and how patient your pup is, so the guide won't help you if your pet is the type to destroy props before you even get the camera in focus.

So see the full list of photo ideas at Kol's Notes.

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