Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mama dog protects newborn baby

I love stories of animal heroes. Which is why I post them here. :-) They give me warm fuzzy feelings and make me want to go hug my cats. Because animals are awesome!

I came across this news story about a dog in Argentina. An excerpt from the CNN article "Dog protected abandoned newborn, doctors say":

The temperature was a chilly 37 degrees, Salcedo said.

The dog had apparently carried the baby some 50 meters from where his mother had abandoned him to where the puppies were huddled, police said.

"She took it like a puppy and rescued it," Salcedo said. "The doctors told us if she hadn't done this, he would have died."

Isn't that sweet? The mama puppy found an abandoned baby and took him in along with her six other puppies. I wonder what she was thinking? Her motherly instinct took over?

After observing our cat gave birth to four kittens, I can appreciate the motherly instinct that mama animals have.

This post brought to you by unlocked cell phones

Friday, August 22, 2008

Rescued furbabies

I saw the above picture attached to an article in the New York Daily News (online). It was entitled "Saved by a whisker! Furballs in Fay's way get rocky Georgia rescue". I'm sure most of us have heard about Hurricane/Tropical Storm Fay battering Florida right now with rain and wind. Some kittens got stranded on some rocks and were about to be rushed away with the waves! But they were rescued just in time.

It's a sweet story! And I just love the pictures that were captured. I am so happy they are rescued and dry. :-)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Favorite sprawling spot

We have at our computer an old upholstered office chair. Our cats - Lewis in particular - find it a nice place to relax when one of us is using the computer. The annoying thing about Lewis getting up there is that he's so fat that it tilts the chair back a little! I'm not really sure how good it is for the chair, either. However, as any cat owner will tell you, good luck keeping a cat off furniture. :-)

Lewis' usual hang-out spot

What's that, a camera?

Must go investigate!

This post brought to you by Clarks shoes

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What to do when you find a lost animal

My coworker was recently telling me about her friend who found a kitten. He was about 8 months old, very sweet, loved humans, and well-fed. The friend fell in love and decided to keep the cat. My coworker privately expressed concern to me that the cat obviously belonged to someone, and that her friend had not tried at all to find the original owner.

As the owner of a pet who ran away, my heart ached to hear it! I honestly believe that is what happened to Jera - that someone found her and took her in, never bothering to check to see if she belonged to anyone else. They sometimes justify it to themselves by saying, "Well if the original owners really wanted their pet back then I would know about it." That breaks my heart. We tried so hard to find Jera, but living 4 hours away it was too hard. We did the best we could, but we had to draw the line at some point.

So what do you do if you find an animal wandering around? Here are some ideas:

1) Use appropriate caution when approaching a strange animal. This goes without saying.

2) Watch the behavior of the animal and study its health and appearance. There are many signs of it being a stray: it is scared of humans, very thin, has wounds that have healed over, the coat is matted and/or rough to the touch. If the animals is friendly, well-fed, has a clean and soft coat, etc. then it is probably someone's pet. (Though it could have been taken care of and then abandoned.)

3) If you have pets, be cautious about keeping the stray around them until you can get it to a vet. A lot of strays can carry diseases and/or parasites that are potentially dangerous, and you don't want to spread that around.

4) If you can catch the animal, take it to a vet or animal shelter. Check it for potential health problems, and also have it scanned for microchips. That will definitely help you know if the animal is a stray or has an owner desperately looking for it!

5) Put up signs, check out sites like and Craigslist. Do a search engine search for local "Lost and Found" sites. Post a listing of the found animal and see if there are any labeled "missing" that might match the animal you find.

6) Let local veterinarians and animal shelters know of a found animal. Those are definitely the first places someone will contact if they have lost their pet.

These are just some ideas to make sure that lost animals are able to find their way home.

This post brought to you by no balance transfer fee

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008

Make way for ducklings!

I thought this was an amazing story! It reminded me of a childhood favorite book, Make Way for Ducklings. (I LOVE Robert McCloskey!) Oh, and Snopes confirms that it's a true story!

Something really amazing happened in Downtown Spokane this week and I had to share the story with you.

Some of you may know that my brother, Joel, is a loan officer at Sterling Bank. He works downtown in a second story office building, overlooking busy Riverside Avenue. Several weeks ago he watched a mother duck choose the cement awning outside his window as the uncanny place to build a nest above the sidewalk. The mallard laid nine eggs in a nest in the corner of the planter that is perched over 10 feet in the air. She dutifully kept the eggs warm for weeks and Monday afternoon all of her nine ducklings hatched.

Joel worried all night how the mamma duck was going to get those babies safely off their perch in a busy, downtown, urban environment to take to water, which typically happens in the first 48 hours of a duck hatching. Tuesday morning, Joel came to work and watched the mother duck encourage her babies to the edge of the perch with the intent to show them how to jump off!

The mother flew down below and started quacking to her babies above. In his disbelief Joel watched as the
first fuzzy newborn toddled to the edge and astonishingly leapt into thin air, crashing onto the cement below. My brother couldn't watch how this might play out. He dashed out of his office and ran down the stairs the sidewalk where the first obedient duckling was stuporing near its mother from the near fatal fall.

Joel looked up. The second duckling was getting ready to jump! He quickly dodged under the awning while the mother duck quacked at him and the babies above. As the second one took the plunge, Joel jumped forward and caught it with his bare hands before it hit the cement. Safe and sound, he set it by the mamma and the other stunned sibling, still recovering from its painful leap.

One by one the babies continued to jump to join their anxious family below. Each time Joel hid under the awning just to reach out in the nick of time as the duckling made its free fall. The downtown sidewalk came to a standstill. Time after time, Joel was able to catch the remaining 7 and set them by their approving mother.

At this point Joel realized the duck family had only made part of its dangerous journey. They had 2 full blocks to walk across traffic, crosswalks, curbs, and pedestrians to get to the closest open water, the Spokane River.

The onlooking office secretaries then joined in, and hurriedly brought an empty copy paper box to collect the babies. They carefully corralled them, with the mother's approval, and loaded them up into the white cardboard container. Joel held the box low enough for the mom to see her brood. He then slowly navigated through the downtown streets toward the Spokane River, as the mother waddled behind and kept her babies in sight.

As they reached the river, the mother took over and passed him, jumping into the river and quacking loudly. At the water's edge, the Sterling Bank office staff then tipped the box and helped shepherd the babies toward the water and to their mother after their adventurous ride.

All nine darling ducklings safely made it into the water and paddled up snugly to mamma duck. Joel said the mom swam in circles, looking back toward the beaming bank workers, and proudly quacking as if to say, 'See, we did it! Thanks for all the help!

Thankfully, one of the secretaries had a digital camera and was able to capture most of it (except the actual mid-air catching) in a series of attached photographs. Please join me in celebrating my brother - The Downtown Duck Hero!

This post brought to you by cardboard boxes