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Nuts About Dogs—and Other Animals

Some animal enthusiasts go to amazing lengths to care for their furry family and friends.

I was feeling a tiny bit self-conscious this week as I went about preparing to leave my pets behind while I go away on my first overseas holiday in nearly four years.

  • Two cases of canned dog food (rabbit, venison, lamb…no chicken—Tatsu has sadly developed an allergy to it).
  • Ten cans of canned cat food (seafood flavors, primarily).
  • Two huge bags of grain free dog kibble and one giant bag of sensitive stomach dry cat food.
  • Twenty hefty dried beef tendon chews for dogs.
  • Two new antlers to chew on.
  • Restocking of all pet medications and supplements.
  • As many beef marrow bones as our freezer will hold.
  • Three pages of pet care notes and instructions for Shannon Mayer of Big Little Cat Dog who has taken care of my pets nearly every time I’ve had to leave them over the past decade.
  • You get the idea.

My personal preparations for this trip to Sri Lanka will be miniscule in comparison to the things I feel compelled to do in order to make my absence as stress-free and enjoyable for my dogs and cat as humanly possible. Just as I began to feel like I was a little too nuts with regards to my pets, stories of humans going to even more extreme lengths for the animals they love came to my attention to put my mind at ease. 

Custody Battle for Knuckles the Puggle

Indeed, puggles (pug/beagle crosses) are endearing, but according to the New York Post, one Manhattan man has gone ape in a custody fight with his ex-girlfriend in California over their dog, Knuckles. Craig Dershowitz claims that Sarah Brega “took unilateral control of Knuckles and kidnapped him” after they broke up. He’s burned through his life savings of $60,000 thus far, and is if that weren’t enough, the Los Angeles Times reports that he’s now trying to raise another $20,000 in a campaign he’s calling “Rescue Knux” to keep the legal battle going.

Prosthetics for Animals

I’ve heard more than a few stories about prosthetic limbs being made for dogs. A fairly recent example was reported by CBS Local: kind-hearted Dr. Joe Zulty couldn’t bring himself to just perform an amputation when a stray dog with a crushed and partly missing paw was brought in to the Essex Middle River Veterinary Center. The dog received $15,000 worth of treatment which included a prosthetic leg. Eventually, the dog was given a home by someone at the clinic.

Review site, Rotten Tomatoes, gives the 2011 film, Dolphin Tale, a Tomatometer rating of 83 percent. The film is inspired by the true story of Winter, a dolphin who received a prosthetic tail after her own was lost after she got caught in a crab trap.

Just as miraculous is the story of, Motala, an elephant in Thailand. David Moye reported in the Weird News section of The Huffington Post that she originally received a prosthetic leg after one of hers was lost to a landmine left over from the ongoing conflicts along the Thai-Myanmar border. She has periodically received new prosthetics as her weight has changed over time. (On a somewhat related note, the highlight of my vacation to Sri Lanka will be a visit to an elephant orphanage. I can hardly contain my excitement over this!)

Amazing stories like these make the efforts of us ordinary pet enthusiasts striving to provide our furry families with quality diets, comfortable surroundings and daily routines enriched with plenty of fun and activities seem like small potatoes. With that comfort, I’ll continue about my vacation preparations feeling a little bit less like the “crazy dog lady” than I did before I started writing this piece.

Please note:  I’ll be away for the next two Fridays, but will return to my on Friday, June 8. Happy tails!

Joy May 25, 2012 at 05:45 AM
I can totally see that about the puggle custody battle! I own a puggle and I would fight for him too! My hair stylist also has a puggle and she and her ex have a joint custody agreement...they literally meet up every week somewhere and trade the puggle off and on. It's hilarious. http://www.hugglepuggle.com
Joy2012 May 25, 2012 at 05:46 AM
I can totally see that about the puggle custody battle! I own a puggle and I would fight for him too! My hair stylist also has a puggle and she and her ex have a joint custody agreement...they literally meet up every week somewhere and trade the puggle off and on. It's hilarious. http://www.hugglepuggle.com
Bette Yip June 14, 2012 at 09:58 PM
That's a riot! :) Love the joint custody of puggle story.

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