Happy New Year! At the start of a new year, many people are reflecting back on the past 12 months and perhaps contemplating their own highs and lows. As it turns out, our canine buddies also had a few noteworthy moments in the past 12 months. Here’s a list of the year’s top dog stories from 2023 from a local Des Moines, IA veterinary clinic,
Even The Weather Has Gone To The Dogs
The weather usually isn’t the most captivating topic on the news. However, every now and then, the forecast takes an unexpected turn. That happened in 2023, when an adorable fluffy dog named Bella made an unexpected appearance on the morning weather report.
New England weatherman Josh Judge was informing viewers about sunny conditions—news that is always welcomed in New England— when Bella crashed his report. The cute black and white pooch belonged to one of the weekend anchors and was tagging along for a guest appearance on a segment about veterinarians. (Have we mentioned that we think all weather reports should feature dogs?)
Truly Puplifting News
Here’s another heartwarming one: several sweet pups in Pennsylvania were able to fulfill their wishes last year. A few weeks ago, the Adams County Pennsylvania SPCA announced that, for the first time in nearly 50 years, all of their adoptable dogs had found homes, leaving all of the cages empty. (Well, almost empty. A stray kitty wandered in just before the official announcement was made.) Talk about a Christmas miracle!
We’re definitely hoping for a repeat of that one. We also want to send our encouragement to the shelter. The post also mentioned that the shelter has successfully found homes for 598 animals this year and reunited 125 lost pets with their worried owners. Keep up the good work, guys!
Furry Porch Pirate Goes Viral
In recent years, home delivery services have become increasingly popular. This trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, either! However, the convenience of online shopping also comes with a downside: porch piracy. It turns out that some of our naughtier canine friends are also getting in on the mischief. Last year, a Prime delivery driver’s day literally went to the dogs when a German Shepherd kept taking off with a delivery package. You can find the video of the German Shepherd’s antics on TikTok, where it was posted by user @juicecupboxx. We probably don’t have to tell you this, but it’s both cute and hilarious.
The Long Way Home
After fending for herself for years, one lucky pooch is finally safe and sound. Rose, a 12-year-old Patterdale terrier, had been living on her own near a small village near Crawley Down in West Sussex, England. Last year, the Lost Dog Recovery UK received a call about the little dog. Rescuers arrived equipped with food and a camera, and successfully captured the pup, who was homeless but well-fed. (Turns out this stray had high standards, as it took warm roast chicken topped with paté to lure her into the cage.)
This is where things took a turn. Rose had been microchipped. It turned out that she had been reported missing back in 2017. The poor thing had gotten lost within 24 hours of being adopted, and had survived all that time—nearly seven years—in the wild.
This is also a good reminder about the importance of microchipping. If your pet hasn’t been chipped yet, we recommend seeing to this right away. Ask your Des Moines, IA vet for more information.
Finally: A Furever Home
This may be our favorite dog story of 2023. Chiquita, a lovable 12-year-old canine, was recently adopted after spending nearly two years in the care of a North Carolina animal rescue. Chiquita, also known as Chiqui, had been splitting time between the adoption center and foster care, because she was terrified of the shelter environment. After a whopping 650 days, the pup finally got adopted! 2024 is looking like a pretty pawseome year for Chiqui, who is fond of walks and naps.
You may have heard about paw pad buttons, which are little pads that ‘speak’ programmed words when dogs step on them. This may sound far fetched, but many of our canine pals have proven quite adept at learning how to communicate with their humans. (It probably won’t be much of a shock to find that most pups use these specifically to ask for treats, walks, belly rubs, and playtime.)
Mystery Respiratory Canine Illness
This one is definitely not our favorite story, but it’s still worth mentioning. A mysterious respiratory disease has been 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. While most dogs recover with good care, tragically, the mystery disease has caused the deaths of multiple dogs, with some succumbing in as little as 24 hours. There’s a lot to learn still, but we do know that contagion risks are greatest in areas with a lot of dogs, such as dog parks and kennels.
You don’t have to panic, but it’s not a bad idea to take extra precautions, particularly if your furry bestie has a weakened immune system and/or preexisting health conditions. Watch for symptoms, which include coughing, fever, loss of appetite, and difficulty breathing. Call your vet immediately if you notice any of these. It’s also important to keep up with your pet’s vaccines and parasite control.
We love hearing stories of dogs being reunited with their owners. A recent one from San Antonio, Texas is definitely a standout. U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Mike Alcala adopted his former canine partner, a German shepherd named John, last year. The brave dog immediately formed a strong bond with Alcala when they first met in 2018. The two became 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.
Italian Bracco: Pointing At Success
The Bracco Italiano, or the Italian Pointing Dog, had a pretty good year. Considered the oldest European Pointer, this breed is a mix of the Segugio Italiano and the now-extinct Asiatic Mastiff. The Bracco seems to have been developed way back in the fourth or fifth century B.C. Fido gained popularity during medieval times and was a favorite of noble families during the Renaissance period. However, his fortunes took a turn for the worse at the beginning of 20th century, when poor breeding practices resulted in undesirable body conformation and a slew of health problems. Thankfully, dedicated breeders stepped in and saved the day. They focused on careful selection, and also managed to unite two distinct variations of the breed. The result? This Very Good Boy was saved from extinction.
Today, Fido is known for being intelligent, loyal, and lovable. He also bounded onto the Westminster Dog Show last year. Tim McGraw’s co-owned dog, Lepshi, won Best In Breed in the new Bracco category.
Happy New Year from all of us here at Ingersoll Animal Hospital, your local Des Moines, IA animal hospital. Please contact us for all your dog’s veterinary care needs in 2024 and beyond.