There’s a joke about how there’s more sheep than people in New Zealand. And now, there’s more driving dogs than anywhere else in the world, too. Members of the New Zealand Society For the Prevention of Animals wanted to prove how intelligent their shelter dogs were — so they taught them to drive. Like, really. Three dogs were taught how to drive stick shift. I can’t even drive stick shift! [CBS News]
Whether you like Fiona Apple’s music or not, it’s tough not to be moved by this sweet and sad letter, explaining to fans that she won’t be going on tour so that she can stay home and take care of her dying dog. Her 14-year-old dog Janet is sick with cancer, and Apple doesn’t want to risk going on tour in South America. Animal lovers will no doubt empathize with Apple’s choice. Her full letter — posted to her Facebook page – is after the jump.
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I pretty much love anything comically oversized, and that goes double for animals. So you better believe I’m a little bit obsessed with Zeus, the 44-inch tall Great Dane that took top honors as the tallest dog in the world. The Otsego, Michigan, pup is just three-years-old, and stands 7-feet 4-inches when on his hind legs. He weighs a lean 115 pounds, and eats up to 12 cups of food a day (aw, a growing boy!). “Zeus is an awesome dog,” said his owner Denise Dorlag. “The only downside is that everything costs more; the food, medicines, transport. We had to get a van to be able to transport him, oh, and if he steps on your foot – he leaves bruises!” We bet! [Discovery]
Wisconsin man John Unger loves his pup Schoep a lot. He’s had the 19-year-old Husky since the dog was a puppy. So when vets told him that Schoep was suffering from painful arthritis that made it impossible for him to sleep, Unger decided to help him in the only way he could — he took Schoep swimming in nearby Lake Superior. The calming water lulls Schoep to sleep. Unger does this every night. Explains photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson:
“Shep falls asleep every night when he is carried into the lake. The buoyancy of the water soothes his arthritic bones. Lake Superior is very warm right now, so the temp of the water is perfect. I was so happy I got to capture this moment for John. By the way, John rescued Shep as an 8 month old puppy, and he’s been by his side through many adventures.”
Schoep also saved Unger’s life.
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Earlier this week, important news broke: a mutt named Lejon adopted white lion cub JoJo after JoJo’s mom became sick and was unable to take care of her. They’re the best of friends, and oh my God, my mind is exploding from the combined cuteness. Make. It. Stop.
But Lejon is hardly the only animal to take up caring for another species in need. After the jump, we’ve got several more surprising (and super cute) inter-species adoptions.
Humans aren’t the only species to get into the holiday spirit. Check out these animals — festooned with ridiculous hats and outfits — doing their best to get into the 4th of July festivities.
Earlier this week, Victoria Beckham kindly put us all in our place by posting a photo of her dog Harry wearing one of her dresses. A dress that I definitely can’t afford. Harry was apparently being treated to a dress fitting because he suffered through getting his teeth cleaned. I wonder what Vicky does for David when he goes to the dentist. [Twitter]
Meet Thomas O’Malley Flufferpants and her dog companion Murkin. Both were rescued — Thomas was a feral cat and Murkin a shelter dog — and developed a strange attraction. The pair are virtually inseparable these days, after Murkin helped nurse Thomas through surgery to remove two infected teeth. Love takes many strange forms.
Whoa boy, DogCarGate just won’t end, and now it’s Mitt Romney’s wife Ann who’s speaking out and defending the family’s practice of traveling with their dog Seamus on top of the car. The Romneys had previously gotten flack for admitting to a strapping Seamus (in a crate) to the roof of the car during a 1983 family trip from Boston to Ontario. And in an interview with Diane Sawyer earlier this week, Ann Romney claimed the dog loved traveling that way.
“The dog loved it,” Ann Romney said. “He would see that crate and, you know, he would, like, go crazy because he was going with us on vacation. It was to me a kinder thing to bring him along than to leave him in the kennel for two weeks.” Keep reading »
The main thing I measure an animal’s cuteness by is its fluff factor. The less you can see of its face, the better. Cody has a great fluff-to-face ratio, which makes him appealing to me. But he has other things going for him, namely his howl. How in God’s name does he make that noise? He sounds like a grown man going bungee jumping. He just sounds absolutely terrified. Which leads me to my secondary measure of animal cuteness: how awkward it is. I feel an intense connection with any animal that’s just a little bit odd. Duh, because I am a little bit odd. Cody, you shall be mine. [Buzzfeed]