Happy New Year! As we take down those old 2023 calendars and hang new 2024 ones up, many people are reflecting back on the past 12 months. As it turns out, Man’s Best Friend had a few noteworthy moments to look back on. Here’s a list of the top dog stories from 2023 from a local Houston Heights, TX veterinarian.
The Weather Report Has Gone To The Dogs
The weather usually isn’t the most interesting thing on the news, unless of course there are extreme conditions. However, every so often, the forecast takes an unexpected turn. That was the case in 2023, when an adorable pup named Bella made an appearance on the morning weather report. New England weatherman Josh Judge was informing viewers about sunny conditions when a fluffy black and white pooch made an unannounced guest appearance. While this may not have been as funny as the poor weatherman who was terrorized by a cockroach, it’s definitely canine comedy gold.
Turns out that Bella belonged to one of the weekend anchors and was on set to appear in a segment about veterinarians. Or, maybe she was just excited about the forecast, which would of course be great walking and playing weather for our canine buddies. (Our take? All weather reports should feature dogs!)
Some Truly Puplifting News
Just a few weeks ago, the Adams County Pennsylvania SPCA announced that, after nearly 50 years, all of their adoptable pups had found homes, leaving all of the cages empty. Well, almost empty. A stray cat wandered in just before the official announcement was made. (Leave it to Fluffy to steal Fido’s thunder.)
The shelter shared the good news on their Facebook page, declaring: “This is the first time in 47 YEARS that the Adams County SPCA is empty, let alone at Christmas time, it is a true miracle!” They also noted that they had adopted out 598 animals and successfully returned 125 strays to their worried humans. We’re sending our congratulations to all of those newly-adopted pups, and hoping for more similar announcements in the coming years.
Furry, Four-Legged Porch Pirate
Home delivery services have become increasingly popular In recent years, and were a lifeline for many during the pandemic. This trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon! Unfortunately, the convenience also comes with a downside: porch piracy. While this can be incredibly frustrating, it has at least provided entertaining … particularly for our canine pals. Last year, a Prime delivery driver’s day literally went to the dogs when a German Shepherd kept running off with his owners’ delivery package. Adorable chaos ensued. You can find the footage of the playful pup’s antics on TikTok, where it was posted by user @juicecupboxx. (No word as to whether the package actually contained dog toys.)
English Stray Rescued After Seven Years
One fortunate canine is now safe and sound after fending for herself for a jaw-dropping seven-years. Rose, a 12-year-old Patterdale terrier, had been living on her own near a small village in West Sussex, England. Last year, the Lost Dog Recovery UK received a call about the little dog after someone noticed the stray. Rescuers came equipped with food and a camera, and successfully captured the pup. Rose, though homeless, was well-fed. In fact, she was actually a bit picky: it took warm roast chicken topped with paté to lure her into the cage.
Rescuers soon found that Rose did have a microchip. This is where her story takes a remarkable turn. It turned out that the poor thing had gotten lost within 24 hours of being adopted … back in 2017! The tough little pooch had survived all that time in the wild. We’re just happy to hear that she is safe and warm. (And hopefully still enjoying roast chicken with pate.)
Shelter’s Longest Resident Finds A Furever Home
We always love hearing about dogs getting second chances. That certainly is the case with Chiquita, a lovable 12-year-old canine. Chiquita, also known as Chiqui, was recently adopted after spending nearly two years in the care of a North Carolina animal rescue. The poor pup had been splitting time between the adoption center and foster care, because she was so scared and uneasy in the shelter environment. After a long 650 days, she finally got a home! It’s looking like 2024 will be an excellent year for Chiqui, who is fond of walks and naps.
It’s always heartwarming to hear stories of dogs reuniting with their owners. A recent one that stands out is from San Antonio, Texas. Recently, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Mike Alcala was fortunate enough to be able to adopt his canine partner, a German Shepherd named John. The two first met in 2018, and the brave pooch immediately formed a strong bond with Alcala. The pair got certified as a team just two weeks later, and worked together for three years, often protecting high-profile figures. Last year, Alcala was able to give John the loving home and comfortable retirement he deserves. We hope this Very Good Boy’s life is full of treats, trails, and tail wags from this point on.
Everything old really does become new again. That is definitely true for the Bracco Italiano, or the Italian Pointing Dog. Considered the oldest European Pointer, this breed seems to have been developed way back in the fourth or fifth century B.C. as a mix of the Segugio Italiano and the now-extinct Asiatic Mastiff. Fido gained popularity during medieval times and was especially favored by noble families during the Renaissance age. However, his fortunes took a turn for the worse at the beginning of 20th century, when poor breeding practices resulted in health issues and an undesirable body conformation. Dedicated breeders stepped in and saved the Bracco from extinction by focusing on careful selection and uniting two distinct variations of this breed.
The Bracco was welcomed by the AKC in 2022. He also made quite an impression at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show last year. Tim McGraw’s co-owned dog, Lepshi, won Best In Breed in the new Bracco category.
Outbreak Alert: Mystery Canine Respiratory Illness
You may have heard that a mysterious respiratory disease is affecting our canine friends. Outbreaks have been reported in both the US and Canada. Dog owners should be aware of the potential danger the as-yet-unnamed illness poses. The illness can make Man’s Best Buddy very sick, and can even be fatal. While most pups recover with good care, tragically, the mystery disease has caused the deaths of several, with some succumbing in just 24 hours. Contagion risks are greatest in areas where there are a lot of dogs intermingling, such as dog parks and kennels.
There’s no need to panic, but it’s a good idea to take some extra precautions, particularly if your furry bestie has a weakened immune system and/or preexisting health issues. Keep a close eye out for symptoms, such as coughing, fever, loss of appetite, and difficulty breathing. If you observe any of these warning signs, call your Houston Heights, TX veterinarian immediately.
Happy New Year from Complete Care Hospital for Pets, your local Lake Echo, NS animal hospital. Please contact us for all your dog’s veterinary care needs in 2024 and beyond.