Dog Heros: Past and Present

We rely on our dogs for companionship and compassion, but sometimes they come through for us in some truly amazing ways.

The internet is rife with inspirational stories of brave pooches who have gone beyond all expectations to act heroically…

Whether that’s making an emotional farewell to their dying owner or putting themselves in harm’s way to save strangers, dogs are capable of performing incredible feats of bravery without asking for anything in return. We thought we’d highlight a few of our favourite dog heroes from around the world to show just how brave these creatures can be…

Hospital Visits

Whether you’re going into hospital for a private CT scan or chemotherapy, it’s doubtful that you’d ever be able to take your dog with you to keep you company. There are understandably strict rules across the world that prohibit animals from entering hospitals on the grounds of infection control, however there have been some cases where hospital staff had made exceptions so that owners can say goodbye to their furry companions.

In March 2018 such an exception was made for 70-year old Peter Robson who asked to see his eight year old Shep one more time before passed away. In a show of real compassion, the hospital staff at Ninewell’s Hospital in Dundee worked around infection control rules to reunite the pair one last time.

A similar exception was made in the States some years ago when 33 year-old Ryan Jessen unexpectedly passed away. In this case hospital staff were kind enough to allow Ryan’s dog Molly into the hospital to say goodbye to her owner so that she understood why he wan’t returning home. After this touching video went viral the family were quick to inform the public that Molly would be looked after the family.

Rescuing People

Dogs are regularly used in the emergency services for a wide range of reasons. They sniff out illicit parcels in airports across the world, assist in rescue operations during natural disasters and are even employed on the battlefield – but not all dogs need to be trained to perform these tasks. In September of 2017 two civilian dogs were given the chance to show their mettle as they jumped to the rescue of a family struggling for their lives at sea. Luckily for this family Guy and his son were walking their dogs, Dave and Baxter at the time who instantly saw the danger the women were in and dove in to pull them out of the water.

Saving Other Animals

It’s not just humans that dogs go out of their way to save, in July 2018 a young service dog practically dragged her own out to ‘the middle of nowhere’ to rescue seven kittens who were left to perish in a cardboard box. The three year-old husky Banner had been acting strangely all morning according to her owner, she wasn’t responding to her owner’s calls and was more eager to get outside than usual.

Tugging her owner by the dress, she led Whitney to a cardboard box in the middle of a forest and picked out a kitten that was on the edge of death. Further inspection found six more which Whitney was quick to bring back home. Since taking the kittens back to her home Banner has acted as a mother to her new charges, ensuring that they are all present and healthy – showing that a dog’s compassion crosses all species boundaries.

Bunny Ownership Guide

Are you really ready to buy a bunny?

There are around 1 million bunnies living in households in the UK, but not many people are aware of the kind of commitment that is required to responsibly keep these sensitive social animals.

Buying a pet rabbit is an important decision that should not be undertaken lightly. Despite what many think rabbits are by no means a ‘casual’ pet, they require consistent care, freedom, socialising and feeding in order to live happy lives.

Choosing your rabbit

Picking your rabbit is not simply a task of finding the ‘cutest’ or ‘most adorable’, it’s important to consider the breed of rabbit that you’re buying and how that might affect your involvement in its care. For example, the Cashmere Lop is a stereotypical ‘fluffy’ rabbit which has a wide appeal to young and old alike, but this long-haired variety requires regular grooming to avoid their fur matting and infections setting in.

Whichever breed of rabbit you decide on you should always buy from a certified breeder rather than a pet shop, as you can better guarantee your rabbit’s good health and well-being pre-ownership. Lastly, rabbits are very sociable creatures, so unless you’re planning on spendingĀ a great dealĀ of contact time with your pet you should buy a companion of the opposite sex to keep it company. Getting both animals spayed and neutered should be a top priority as this will avoid medical bills and potential fatalities in the future.

Where will they live?

Traditionally rabbits have been kept outside in hutches, although this is a legitimate way of keeping these creatures it is now becoming more common to keep them in the house. Litter trays can be bought for them to defecate in, you should also create dark spaces for them to relax in during the day.

Rabbits are delicate creatures who require enough space to run and jump so that they can stay in good shape, if you do choose to keep your rabbits in a hutch then it is vital that you let them have free reign of open space for at least a few hours a day, otherwise they will soon grow depressed and lethargic.

What do bunnies eat?

In order for bunnies to stay healthy they need access to a constant supply of food that is high in fibre, as well as fresh water. Hay (which can be bought from most large supermarkets) is a rabbit’s staple food so they need to have plenty of this readily available, as well as a variety of greens to simulate the occasional leaf or vegetable that they’d be able to pick up in the wild.

A rabbit’s front teeth grow continually at up to 3mm a week, they like to chew on things to keep their teeth filed down so you should also make sure that you’ve got something to gnaw on, otherwise you might find that they get to work on your home! You can buy chew toys for them but spare bits of wood, pine cones and cardboard boxes will also do just fine.

How do you play with them?

Rabbits are naturally prey so their instincts lead them to be easily frightened. In order for you to interact and play with them you’ll need to gain their trust which takes both patience and time.

When you first purchase your rabbit it might take a few weeks for it to grow accustomed to you and its new surroundings, so you’ll need to make sure that it feels as comfortable as possible. Don’t approach it from behind and refrain from touching it unless it is actively seeking your attention. Once you’ve spent enough time together the rabbit should be relaxed enough for you to pet it.