Dogs who find themselves bonded to one another meet in a variety of ways, but their bond is always unbreakable. That is what happened for two dogs names Jukebox and Agatha who both live at the Pima Animal Care Center in Tucson, Arizona. They did not enter the shelter together, but they are together now. Agatha entered because she was an owner surrender to the shelter and Jukebox was a stray. But once they met their incredible bond was instant. The staff at the shelter say typically bonded dogs have spent their lives together, but these two really didn’t know each other before they met. They first met in a playgroup and they have been together ever since.
When they arrived, both dogs were struggling with being in the shelter which is often a stressful place. They were able to find love and comfort in one another. They are so bonded that the staff allowed them to share a kennel so they can spend all their time together. They love to snuggle and play together and don’t seem to mind that they just have one small bed. The staff shared a photo of the two dogs snuggling on Facebook and they are getting lots of attention on social media. The staff typically won’t stipulate that two dogs must be adopted together, because that means it takes much longer for them to find a home. But with Jukebox and Agatha, they are just meant to be in a home together.
The staff says they are still trying to find the perfect adoptive family who is willing to adopt both dogs together. They also say that it is a miracle that the pair found one another in the crowded shelter. The Pima Animal Care Center takes in approximately 17,000 animals per year and currently has just over 400 dogs. But they are together now and all that’s missing is a home!
Maria Luiza moved all by herself to Brazil and once she got settled in her new apartment, she decided she needed company. So, she adopted a dog named Chips and the two immediately bonded. But Chips was so bonded to Maria that it was difficult for him when she had to leave him alone by himself. Like so many other dogs out there Chips has separation anxiety and is known to bark and whine when he is left alone. Maria was worried that her dog’s cries and whines were reaching her neighbor’s apartments. But one day she got her answer where she came home and saw a mysterious letter and a package at her door.
She was worried initially because she wasn’t sure who left the box and had no really spoken to any of her neighbors in the building. But once she took a closer look she realized the note was addressed to Chips and it was from another dog named Corote. The package had some dog toys inside. The letter was written in Portuguese and here’s what it said:
Hi, my friend.
I’ve noticed that you’ve been crying a lot when you’re alone, and I’ve been through this phase.
I talked to my mom yesterday and together we decided to give you these toys, so you have a distraction when you feel alone.
I’m here to make you an invitation: I live alone with Mom and, because of that, I have a room of my own to horse around in as much as I want, so you can spend some time here with me! We can do a lot of partying together!!!
We hope you enjoy the things we gave you!
Many kisses from Corote and of my mother Nichole.
Maria and Chips went over to met Corote and Nichole and the two dogs hit it off immediately. The two love to play together and the toys and new friends have made Chips anxiety much better!
For a senior Chihuahua named Scooter, his comfortable life completely changed when his owner passed away suddenly. Rather than living in a comfortable home with people who love him, the little dog was instead living in an animal shelter. Little Scooter was scared and he did whatever he could to comfort himself through the experience. He was given a dark blue blanket with white stars on it and he used it each night to tuck himself in. Each night Scooter went to the bed in his kennel, climbed up on the bed and pulled the blanket up around his body. Anyone who walked by could only see his ears and his little face peeking out. The staff knew little Scooter was sweet but they were worried he would not be able to find a home.
Scooter is twelve years old and had a hip injury and he was living in the Humane Society of Branch County which is a no kill shelter located in Michigan. So, the employees did what they thought might work: they shared the sweet photo of Scooter wrapped in his blue blanket. The photo soon went viral and offers to adopt the sweet dog began pouring in from all over the world. But the perfect family was ready thanks to Jessica Lynn Howard, who had adopted two Chihuahuas from the shelter in the past. She and her husband were lying in bed and saw the photo of Scooter and knew they had to go get him. So, the next morning she drove three hours to the shelter to get Scooter and bring him home.
As soon as Scooter arrived in his new home he fit right in with his two Chihuahua brothers: Jax and Hank. The family now has a total of six dogs in their pack. Once Scooter settled in, his personality emerged: he is goofy and fun and just loves to be around people and his dog siblings.
A golden retriever named Barley lives in Amsterdam. His family consists of his two favorite humans, named Marc Wisselo and Zita Butler. Though Barley loves his family very much there is someone else in his life who is even more important. That is a special someone whose name is Fluffy. Fluffy is his best friend, and he is a stuffed animal who is also a golden retriever. The duo has been together since the beginning: Fluffy was Barley’s first toy when he came to live with his new family as a puppy.
His family says right before they adopted Barley they were shopping in IKEA and walked by a large display of stuffed golden retriever toys in the store. They thought it would be fun for their new dog to have a toy who looked just like him. It turned out that was just the case when Barley finally arrived. Fluffy is an important part of Barley’s life and the two go everywhere together. They go for walks, hang out and snuggle and take nap and even go potty together. It is most common for Barley’s family to find him sleeping with his friend Fluffy on the couch. Fluffy even goes along with the family on their adventures to Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, and France. But a recent event had Barley feeling not so great.
Barley was neutered and when he returned from the vet he had to wear the “cone of shame” and he was not happy about it. The typically happy, cheerful dog was sad and depressed. So his family came up with a great idea: they gave Fluffy a cone of his own so he and Barley were looking alike again. Once little Fluffy had his cone and they showed him to Barley, he was so happy and excited. The pair were back to their old tricks and soon enough they both got their cones off and they are back to their old selves—taking naps and going on adventures.
The dog days of summer are in full swing, but for those who find themselves in the Edward Hospital in Illinois they enjoy dog days all year long. For seventeen years, the hospital has been running the Animal-Assisted Therapy Program to give patients the option of a dog stopping by their hospital room while they are there as patients. Cynthia Brooks, the program administrator, says the program is the first of its kind in the United States. Since starting 17 years ago, they have had breeds of all shapes and sizes—70 dogs in total. They have seen large dogs weighing 230 pounds and pint size pups around 4 pounds. Right now, they have 75 dogs and their handlers in the program—but are always looking for more.
Cynthia says studies show that patients are helped by dogs visiting their room—even in many cases meaning that patients need less pain medication. Many patients have dogs of their own and are missing their four legged family members so seeing a dog is an emotional experience. Many patients are happy, excited, and some even cry with joy. The dogs and their handlers are always welcomed with open arms and patients are so happy to see them. All dogs go through a screening process and extensive training before being accepted into the program.
A few requirements of the dogs include understanding basic commands and they need to do well around both people and other dogs. More than anything, the program is in place to help comfort patients when they need it the most. Their visits to the hospital room is a great way for people to help divert their attention away from their illness and perhaps enjoy their stay a bit more. Whether they are recovering from surgery or facing a battle with cancer, the dogs are there to offer love and comfort—which everyone can agree is great medicine.
For therapy dogs, most days involve plenty of work. These dogs have a job, and one that is quite serious: they are handsomely rewarded with treats, but they must be there to help the humans who need them the most. More and more, therapy dogs—and even other animals, have been used to help humans. They are used to offer comfort after tragedies, and even help with humans who have disabilities. There is plenty of research on the positive effect the dogs have on people, but until recently no one has studied how the work is affecting the dogs who provide the comfort and help. A recently study from the Applied Animal Behavior Science Journal has offered some insight.
The study suggests that if a dog that is properly trained and motivated, they can do quite well in their job without suffering any negative effects. The study observed therapy dogs who were helping children diagnosed with cancer and how that work was affecting the dogs. Scientists were looking at the level of a stress hormone called cortisol in the dog’s saliva. They took samples five times a day to see if that hormone spiked while they were working. The scientists also video recorded the dogs while they were working to see if they could observe any signs of stress in their body language or behavior. The final conclusion was that there really was not an increase in stress in the dogs between them relaxing at home or being out working.
Therapy dogs are those used to help humans with therapeutic learning and support conditions like anxiety or stress and service dogs are trained to help their humans with tasks. The researchers say that dogs used for therapy are typically selected based in their temperament and are typically calm, easygoing dogs which makes them perfect for their job. However, their owners should be on the lookout for signs of stress just in case!
As anyone who loves dogs knows, most humans have an instant connection with their canine friends. But there is just something different about the bond between dogs and kids—it’s just extra special for some reason. There are so many stories out there of dogs and children: dogs who comfort crying babies, and even children who comfort dogs who are upset by thunderstorms or loud fireworks. Experts are beginning to explore and try to understand the bond between kids and animals, specifically dogs. They say it could have a significant insight into child psychology. They believe there is already evidence to suggest that animals can help by positively impacting a child’s self-esteem.
It is also believed that dogs and other animals can teach children how to interact in social situations and can help positively impact their cognitive development as well. One thing that many people believe is a big reason for this bond is that being a kid can be fun and also quite frustrating. Children are trying to learn words and that can be a frustrating experience. For children who are headstrong and determined, they can be frustrated when they realize they are too young to do what they want or even have the ability to communicate their feelings. Dogs can help regulate a child’s mood by offering affection and helping humans remember they have a responsibility to care for an animal who is otherwise helpless.
Dogs can also help children gain empathy for others and foster self-esteem. Caring for a helpless animal helps children to understand that caring for a dog makes them feel good about themselves. It is a good lesson in kindness and even socialization to care for an animal who loves them in return. Dogs are patient and very forgiving, and many animal shelters have realized that bringing animals in to read to dogs is a great experience. The dogs get interaction from humans and the kids learn to read out loud to someone who won’t judge them if they make mistakes.
There are thousands of dogs out there who are homeless and in desperate need of something to help them get noticed and ultimately find loving homes. Just getting noticed can make such a big difference for a dog who needs to find a family to love them. That is never more clear to a boy named Darius Brown. Darius is twelve years old and loves clothing and fashion. He knows that fashion can help make a great positive first impression with people—and he knows how important first impressions can be. That is why Darius had a great idea recently that could use the power of fashion to help dogs.
Darius combined his love of dogs with his sewing skills for a genius idea: he starting making bowties for shelter pets to wear. Darius says he was inspired by the idea of first impressions and knew people would see the dogs dressed in bowties looking dapper and cute and could not resist taking a new furry family member home. Darius took this project seriously: he designed the bowties himself and then bought fabric from a craft store and made each bowtie himself. His sister actually taught him to sew and he took extra classes to hone his craft. Darius had such great reception from his initial run of bowties that he decided to make it official. Darius now runs a company called Beaux & Paws and he is now getting requests from all over the world for his dog bowties.
For Darius, it all started when he realized how many dogs were being rescued from Puerto Rico and Texas Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey. When they arrived at the ASPCA in New York to find new homes he made bowties for each of them so they could look fashionable and ready for new homes. Darius is a dog lover, but he makes bowties for cats too—and he has a dream of being an attorney and a fashion designer.
A family looked into their yard one day and saw a large blue bucket on their lawn. They were confused because the bucket didn’t belong to them. Then, they became shocked because they realized there was something moving inside the bucket and when they got closer they realized there were four puppies inside the bucket. Worse yet, they were all bald and in desperate need of help. The family immediately called the RSPCA and a woman named Rebecca Timberlake who is an inspector with the organization responded to the call. She drove over to collect the puppies and was shocked by what she saw when she first laid eyes on the sick little puppies.
She says she couldn’t believe what a terrible state the puppies were in and said they were completely bald with itchy, red, and raw skin on their bodies. Not only were the puppies in terrible condition, but someone had abandoned them. The puppies were taken to the vet who confirmed they had a terrible case of mange. The puppies were also dehydrated and two of the puppies had terrible eye conditions. They were given immediate treatment and then transferred to the RSPCA Millbrook Animal Center to help with their ongoing recovery and treatment. The puppies will be receiving regular medicated baths and medication for the foreseeable future.
Despite their rough start to life, the puppies began to perk up almost immediately with food, water, and treatment. Now that they are safe and receiving the help they need, they are thriving. It will be some time before their fur grows back but in the meantime each of them have names. The RSPCA named them after characters from the show “Stranger Things” El, Mike, Dustin, and Lucas. They are all slowly recovering from their ordeal and once their fur grows back and they are stronger, each will be ready to be up for adoption into loving homes.
The local animal shelter is a place for some sweet and adorable scenes, but also some sad ones too. A recent drop off at the county shelter in Riverside, California was a bit of both. A woman came to the shelter to surrender a little dog, a fluffy white Yorkie-Maltese mix. The little dog was riding in what has to be the strangest “carrier” the staff there have ever seen. The Riverside County Animal Services shared photos of the little pup to Facebook and said they have seen plenty of “creative” carriers in their time. But this dog that arrived inside a box of Cap’n Cruch cereal was a first for them. They say it is certainly the oddest ways a pet has arrived as a drop off.
Upon closer inspection, staff at the shelter realized that the sweet pup was absolutely covered in fleas. The dog, who they named Razz Berry, needed urgent treatment to remove the fleas. The woman who had dropped the dog at the shelter claimed she found her at a park, but the staff thinks she may have been the dog’s owner. It’s possible she couldn’t afford or didn’t want to treat the dog for fleas and didn’t want the bugs to get on her, so she put the dog in what she had nearby: a box of Cap’n Crunch. Despite her situation, things would soon be looking up for little Razz Berry.
Razz Berry was successfully treated for fleas and soon was feeling like herself again—running around the shelter and playing happily. The photo of the little dog in the cereal box went viral, and that’s where Teresa, James, and Hayden Sheets saw the dog and decided to submit an application for her. They had just lost their older dog and were ready for a new dog in their lives. Sweet little Razz Berry now has a new home—and never has to sit in a cereal box ever again!