Monday, February 29, 2016

Animal Tales: Odd Couples and Other Oddities


The same tactic is practiced with racing horses, except that they use goats.
Racing opponents would literally attempt to kidnap (no pun intended) each other’s goats in an effort to upset the horse and cause them to lose the race.
Hence the origins of the idiom of getting someone’s goat.

Cadiz is in the southern part of Spain and in the late 1980’s there lived a man who had a dog named Canelo. On the surface, Canelo looked like just an average dog of the area - nothing unique stood out about him from his appearance. But he was very unique on the inside and had a huge heart that loved his owner beyond belief.

His owner lived alone and Canelo was his only true friend and companion. Every morning the local people would see them walking together through the quiet streets of the city when the old man took Canelo for a walk. But the man was also very ill and once a week they would walk to Puerta del Mar Hospital, where the man was undergoing dialysis treatments due to kidney complications.

Because the hospital’s rules did not allow animals inside, he always left Canelo waiting at the door. The man would undergo his treatment, meet Canelo at the door on his way out, and together they would head home. This was a routine that had been going on for a long time for them.

Sadly one day the man suffered complications in the middle of his treatment. The doctors were unable to revive him and he passed away in the hospital. But, Canelo as always, was waiting outside on his own lying by the door of the health center only to have his owner never come out. Canelo sat there, day after day, waiting for his owner. Neither hunger nor thirst would persuade him to walk away from the door. In the cold, rain, wind or heat, he continued lying at the hospital’s door waiting for his friend to come out so they could go home together as they always had.

The local people soon realized the situation and decided to care for Canelo but to still allow him his freedom. They took turns to bring him food and water, and even arranged for a pardon from the local dog pound when he was picked up by them. During this time, Canelo waited for twelve long years outside the hospital for his owner to return. He never sought a new family. He only knew that his only friend had gone through that hospital door, and that he would wait for him so they could return home together someday.


The hippopotamus, nicknamed Owen and weighing about 300 kilograms, was swept down Sabaki River into the Indian Ocean, then forced back to shore when tsunami waves struck the Kenyan coast on December 26, before wildlife rangers rescued him.

“It is incredible … a-less-than-a-year-old hippo has adopted a male tortoise, about a century old, and the tortoise seems to be very happy with being a ‘mother’,” ecologist Paula Kahumbu, who is in charge of Lafarge Park , said.

“After it was swept away and lost its mother, the hippo was traumatized. It had to look for something to be a surrogate mother. Fortunately, it landed on the tortoise and established a strong bond. They swim, eat and sleep together,” the ecologist added. “The hippo follows the tortoise exactly the way it followed its mother. If somebody approaches the tortoise, the hippo becomes aggressive, as if protecting its biological mother,” Kahumbu added.

“The hippo is a young baby, he was left at a very tender age and by nature, hippos are social animals that like to stay with their mothers for four years,” he explained.




Doodlebug loves his teddy… [he] will lay in the grass next to the teddy, will cuddle the teddy and even practice his kicking against the teddy. He has company; it’s like mum is always standing there beside him, which is what would be happening in the wild… So, teddy fulfils a huge role in his life.

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