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Interesting & unusual

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  • January 14, 2016

    Four-legged pants for dogs hits the market

    No, it’s not about wearing matching outfits. It’s about mud and, more specifically, about alleviating the time spent cleaning it off your favorite pooch. The Canadian company was producing the product for a niche market until the images went viral and sales jumped by 2,800%. Now, there's a waiting list.
  • December 23, 2015

    Santa's canine helpers: now at an airport near you

    Air travel is stressful, especially at this time of year and especially if you’re packing up the entire family. One airline is changing that by introducing Santa’s canine helpers at select airports. On Dec. 21, United Airlines announced that it is once again offering a unique Christmas program, United Paws, this time at its airports in Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, and Washington/Dulles. It is deploying 200 dogs and their handlers, reported the Los Angeles Times.
  • December 3, 2015

    Holiday pet photos: coming to your practice?

    Nothing warms the heart this time of year like a sweet or funny photo of staff and/or family, including four-footed ones, to decorate a holiday card to send to clients and loved ones. And sometimes it’s the informal photos—the ones that make us smile or laugh out loud—that mean the most. Such memorable moments were captured in the 2015 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.
  • November 12, 2015

    Cat painting sells for $826,000

    Pet owners often stand solidly in one of two courts—cats or dogs—and today, their passion floods the Internet. In 1891, when images could not “go viral,” that passion still existed, especially for one wealthy American philanthropist, art collector, and animal lover. Kate Birdsall Johnson loved her cats, and she had that love captured on canvas, apparently, it appears, for future generations to appreciate. The painting, My Wife’s Lovers, a 6-by-8½-foot oil painting weighing in at a hefty 227 pounds, was sold at Sotheby’s on Nov. 4 for $826,000 to an anonymous California buyer, reported The History Blog. The sales price was triple the estimated selling price.
  • November 5, 2015

    AAHA-accredited practice serves hero dog patient

    What do you get when you cross a canine with a hero? A hero dog, of course. And one of AAHA’s accredited members, Augusta Valley Animal Hospital, celebrated one of its own recently. Chara, a Norweigian elkhound and patient of August Valley Animal Hospital, an AAHA-accredited practice since 2004, was awarded one of eight 2015 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards®, televised nationally on Oct. 30 on the Hallmark Channel. Chara’s award was in the Guide/Hearing Dog category.
  • October 29, 2015

    And the winner of one pet Halloween contest is...

    Originality and creativity go a long way on Halloween, and those skills emerged in a pet Halloween costume conducted by the North Carolina News & Observer. Their first place winner was a six-year-old German pinscher and German shepherd mix named Koko. Her owner, Matt Gaebel, dressed Koko as the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz, his all-time favorite movie.
  • October 22, 2015

    Skewer-swallowing dog wins Hambone Award®

    A Persian cat who ate three feet of packaging tape. A miniature dachshund that fended off a rattlesnake. A skewer-swallowing boxer. It was a tough choice but the votes are in. On Oct. 7, Nationwide Pet Insurance awarded Curtis, a five year old boxer from Princeton, W. Va., the Hambone Award®, honoring the most unusual pet insurance claim of the year. Curtis will receive the award and a gift bag. The Virginia College of Veterinary Medicine, who treated Curtis, will receive $10,000 to treat pets whose owners could not otherwise afford treatment.
  • October 14, 2015

    Where does your state rate in pooch pet pampering?

    If you practice in Massachusetts or Rhode Island, you may want to consider adding a pet-pampering service to your hospital's offerings for its canine patients. At least, that’s what some new consumer research suggests. Thumbtack, a consumer review website in San Francisco, asked consumers across the United States to identify whether they used nine dog-related services, ranging from dog walking to grooming to massage. Researchers then analyzed the data in each state. The result is a state-by-state Pet Pampering Index (PPI), published on Sept. 10.
  • October 1, 2015

    Cat on a wet tile roof: feline paw print 2,000 years old discovered

    Had Tennessee Williams been writing 2,000 years ago, he might have coined the name of his play differently to reflect the times. At least, that’s what a recent discovery suggests. Researchers in Gloucester, England accidentally discovered a feline paw print on a type of tile—tegula—dated approximately 100 A.D., according to the BBC. The tile was dug up in 1969 but rediscovered in June by a researcher.
  • September 24, 2015

    Giraffes may hum to each other at night

    As summer vacation becomes a memory, and dreams of next year’s trip take shape, if that dream trip includes giraffes, be prepared to stay up late if you want to hear them talking. Giraffes’ late night humming may, in fact, be a form of communication, researchers at the University of Vienna suggested. Their findings were published Sept. 9 in BMC Research Notes.