A news site about animals

This Dog Knows What’s Up

Dogs are smart. They can learn words for all their favorite things, like “walk”, and also for their not-so-favorite things, like “bath”. It’s probably a good thing that they’re not quite smart enough to figure out when we’re messing with them. :-P

Thank-you YouTube Channel America’s Funniest Home Videos for this hilarious video!


Hero Dog Earns Medal After Losing Leg in Afghanistan

A military German shepherd, who lost a leg while sniffing out a roadside bomb, has been awarded the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross after serving in more than 400 missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Lucca,  now 12-years-old, served in the US marine corps for six years, protecting the lives of troops by sniffing out munitions.

Her efforts were awarded with the PDSA Dickin medal, the highest award for animals serving in military conflict. Lucca is the 67th animal to be honored in this way and the first US marine corps dog to receive the medal.

There were no human casualties during any of her patrols, but in 2012 she lost a leg and suffered chest burns after discovering a homemade bomb in Afghanistan and retired.


Lucca’s owner, Gunnery Sgt Chris Willingham, travelled to London with his pet to accept the medal. He said,

“Lucca is very intelligent, loyal and had an amazing drive for work as a search dog. She is the only reason I made it home to my family and I am fortunate to have served with her. Today, I do my best to keep her spoiled in her well-deserved retirement.”


Jan McLoughlin, the director general of the PDSA, said: “Lucca’s conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty makes her a hugely deserving recipient of the PDSA Dickin medal. Her ability and determination to seek out arms and explosives preserved human life amid some of the world’s fiercest military conflicts.”


Since the introduction of the medal in 1943, it has been awarded to 31 dogs, 32 second world war messenger pigeons, three horses and one cat.


Thank-you for your service, Lucca.


The Dog with Two Noses

Toby, a two-nosed, 2-year-old Border Collie-Australian Shepard mix from California, has thankfully escaped being put down, finding a new forever home alongside two other dogs with unusual physical attributes.


The canine was caught while wandering the streets of Fresno, and was due to be put down, until Todd Ray came across a post from a local animal shelter and asked about adopting him. Ray and his wife immediately agreed to adopt Toby. Toby now lives with Ray’s family, which includes two other dogs, Rocky, a five-legged Miniature Pinscher, and Pinky, a two-legged Chihuahua.


“For me, they are incredible. I’m fascinated by unique animals’ beautiful differences and by the magical lessons that they teach us,” he said.

“The uniqueness of their forms show us that ‘normal’ doesn’t exist. The sad thing is that, at this time, people are at a place where they will let a two-nosed dog get put down before they will adopt him – only because he looks different.”


Thank-you Todd Ray, for seeing the beauty and import of all dogs.

Thank-you YouTube Channel venicebeachfreakshow for this awesome video.


The Iditarod Begins

In downtown Anchorage, Alaska on Saturday, The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race  began, as it always begins: on the first Saturday in March.

Shortly before the race, a ribbon-cutting ceremony is held under the flags representing the home countries and states of all competitors in the race. The first musher departs at 10:00 a.m. The race will last approximately 9 days. The following video shows footage of this year’s ceremony.

Thank-you YouTube Channel Wochit News for this newsworthy video.


The race’s namesake is the Iditarod Trail, which was designated as one of the first four US National Historic Trails in 1978. The trail in turn is named for the town of Iditarod, which was an Athabaskan village before becoming the center of the Inland Empire’s Iditarod Mining District in 1910, and then becoming a ghost town at the end of the local gold rush. The name Iditarod may be derived from the Athabaskan haiditarod, meaning “far distant place”.


The Iditarod race began as a tribute to the most famous event in the history of Alaskan mushing: the 1925 Serum Run to Nome, also known as the “Great Race of Mercy.” A diphtheria epidemic threatened Nome, and the nearest quantity of antitoxin was in Anchorage. Since the two available planes had never been flown in the winter, the governor approved a safer route. The cylinder of serum was sent by train from the southern port of Seward to Nenana, where it was passed to the first of twenty mushers and more than 100 dogs who relayed the package 674 miles from Nenana to Nome. The dogs ran in relays, with no dog running over 100 miles. The Norwegian Gunnar Kaasen and his lead dog Balto arrived in Nome just five and a half days later. The two became media celebrities, and a statue of Balto was erected in Central Park in New York City in 1925.

Balto. (Source: Public Domain,

All dogs are examined by veterinarians before the start of the race. All dogs are identified and tracked by microchip implants and collar tags. On the trails, volunteer veterinarians examine each dog at all of the checkpoints. The dogs are well-conditioned athletes. Training starts in late summer or early fall and intensifies between November and March; competitive teams run 2,000 miles before the race. Also, the dogs’ smiling faces and wagging tongues will show you just how much they love to mush.