Rhode Island when a car failed to avoid him and the driver was unaware where the dog had gone. The dog, was, like Elvis 'all shook up' but okay otherwise. Or Frankie the strange Jack Russell who travelled from Gravesend to London, by train, unaccompanied, cost his owner £58 to travel up to London to fetch him back. The loyal little Lhasa Apso, Toby ran to fetch help when his master, aged 81 got stuck in mud at Borth in Wales. He ran to security guards a quarter of a mile away and led them to the rescue. Mind you, Bruno, the chaps other dog, a Staffie cross simply walked away from it all; Toby, you're class, Bruno, just crass!
Dogs are, well, just dogs when all's said and done. If dogs are sometimes strange its usually human beings who are the problem. Dogs at a Diva Dog Day at Stapleford Abbotts in Essex wore police uniforms, tutus, suits and superhero costumes. Could only happen in Essex. (Is The Only Way is Essex a true representation of the place??) My home town of Derby is turning out Royal Crown Derby fine china dog bowls at £1,500 each. Some pooches are indeed pampered; Nikka, the sniffer dog in Vaughan, New Mexico deserves to be. He became the only qualified member of the force when the police chief and the only other officer on the force were both forced to resign. Mind you Nikka cost £6,000 and has yet to sniff out a single drug. Doggedly difficult it would seem! It's not only dogs that make the news.
A pair of Galapagos Giant Toitoises in the Reptile Zoo in Klagenfurt, Austria called Bibi and Poldi have fell out, reason unknown, after 115 years together. It is thought to be the world's longest relationship. Oh well, nothing lasts for ever. Including parrots, Tarbu, an African Grey, thought to be one of the oldest parrots in captivity died recently in Exeter aged fifty five. Also mourned was Meow, a 39lb cat at an animal shelter in America. He was on a diet but I guess it was a little late. Talking of putting on weight, a hedgehog in a rescue centre in Somerset has been put on a diet. Its so fat it can't roll into a ball in order to defend itself!
No lightweight either, Lucky Larry, a three foot long, 16lb lobster in the Blue Reef Aquarium in Portsmouth is indeed a lucky boy. Two seamen saw him on a fishmonger's stall and took pity on him, bought him (£100) and presented him to the aquarium. (By the way, how do you 'sex' a lobster?)
Just a few examples as to how the animal kingdom makes our stressed lives more interesting. And two final stories that made me think. A chap in Bideford uses a bow-tied duck to help collect for charity. So what happens. A row has broken out between various charities about using ducks, such enterprise thought of as an unfair advantage. Trust human beings to find problems in such an innocuous activity. Whilst a boy in Innsbruck has bonded with a marmot, not an animal normally inclined to human friendship.
So much so that the eight year old boy visits the natural habitat of the marmot annually and is recognised and acknowledged by his furry friend. Mankind is a very clever animal, and he is after all only an animal but he could learn much at times from his less sophisticated cousins.