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Dog Alert! (Video)

This isn't as dramatic as a lot of the things we get here, but it's a nice reminder that our dogs are alert and talking to us if we listen.

A ten year old fell through the ice on a canal near his home. His seven year old brother grabbed him, but wasn't strong enough to pull him back onto the dock. Meanwhile, a neighbor dog saw the boys and alerted his person that something was wrong. Police fished the boy out; everyone is fine.
Current Mood:
cheerful cheerful
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Oscar the cat was adopted as a kitten by the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Rhode Island. He was only six months old when he easily and lovingly slipped into his new job as a therapy cat and soon he was a favorite among the seniors and the staff.

Soon, the staff noticed that Oscar would lay down with patients just before they were about to die. He would climb into the patient's bed and curl up beside them, letting them know in their last moments that they were loved and could go on in peace. To this day, Oscar has kept vigil over 50 people.

Some people conpare him to an angel of death but Oscar is, instead, a hero. He cares about his friends, wanting to be with them when they die so that they aren't alone. Love in life and death is heroic.

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Read Oscar's Story
Current Mood:
good good
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This isn't a story about an animal hero per say. However, friendships are worth mentioning and can make heroes in their own right.

Watch this video on a touching friendship:

The Orangutan and the Hound

Current Mood:
relaxed relaxed
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Baby the cat saved her family from a house fire this week. Josh Ornberg and Letitia Kovalovsky were woken up by the 13 year old Baby as they slept and the house spilled with smoke. They are expecting twins in a couple of months and are so grateful for the cat that woke them in time to put the fire out and leave the house safely. However, once the family was outside, Baby disappeared. Maybe she has other people to save.

If you live in Wonder Lake, IL, keep an eye out for the hero cat Baby. She's a gray, white, and brown tabby.

The Story

Current Mood:
hopeful hopeful
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Many of you might have heard the story of the famous sled dog Balto. I watched the Universal Studios movie Balto when I was a kid but I never knew this brave hero actually existed.

In January 1925, a deadly diphtheria outbreak was rushing through the isolated Nome, Alaska. The only medication to save the sick in Nome was thousand miles away in Anchorage. All planes were already dismantled for the winter and the only way to get the medicine was by dog sled. A train delivered the medicine to Nenana where it was met by a team of dogs that would relay it to Nome through blizzards, strong winds and temperatures as cold as -53 degrees.

A musher named Gunner Kaasen picked up the relay on February 2, 1925 with Balto in the lead. No one is sure exactly what breed Balto was but it is most likely he was a Siberian husky or an Alaskan malamute. Balto's team was going to make the last leg of the trip into Nome but they faced many dangers. Kaasen was worried that they wouldn't make it. He did not think that Balto was a strong enough lead to get them through.

Balto proved him wrong. He led his team on the Iditarod Trail through whiteout conditions when Kaasen could not see his hand in front of his face. Kaasen drove his team onward blind but suddenly Balto stopped and refused to go on. It was only after Balto stopped that Kaasen realized they had been headed straight into the Topkok River and certain death. The only thing that saved them was Balto.

They pushed through the blizzard toward Nome with Balto in the lead. They arrived in Nome at 5:30 am, delivering the medication in time to save the lives of the people dying from Diphtheria. After arriving, Kaasen attributed their successful journey to Balto's indomitable spirit leading them through the terrible blizzard and saving them from a cold death in the Topkok River. The story of the strong sled dog that saved the people of Nome spread around the world. Bravery and heroism is everywhere.

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Balto

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The statue of Balto in Central Park in New York City. It reads: "Dedicated to the indomitable spirit of the sled dogs that relayed antitoxin six hundred miles over rough ice, across treacherous waters, through arctic blizzards, from Nenana to the relief of stricken Nome in the winter of 1925. Endurance... Fidelity... Intelligence."
Current Mood:
nostalgic nostalgic
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Animals are amazing in the fact that they can find it in their hearts to save their masters or other human beings in need. However, they don't discriminate. Many animals have been known to save one another.

In 1983, Tuk the polar bear was asleep in his enclosure in Stanley Park Zoo in Vancouver. It had started out as a regular day with visitors stopping by his pen to look in on the mighty bear. However that all changed in a moment when a young man ran up, opening his jacket. He pulled a small kitten out from his pocket and threw it into the polar bear's pool. Everyone looked on in horror as the little kitten struggled in the freezing water and sunk below the surface.

It was then that Tuk stood up and stretched lazily. The onlookers gasped as the giant bear lumbered over to his pool in slipped in after the kitten. A moment later he resurfaced with the kitten held gently in his mouth, much like a mother cat would. He swam to the edge of the pool and laid down. He shielded the small kitten between his huge paws and began to lick it gently. He dried and warmed the kitten until zookeepers were alerted.

Even a giant bear has a gentle heart.
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Early in the morning on Tuesday, August 28, 2007, Todd Endris was starting a day of surfing with friends at Marina State Park off of Monterey, California. He was laying on his surfboard waiting for a wave when suddenly, a massive great white shark hit him. The shark, between 12 and 15 feet long, was unable to get his jaws around Endris and the surfboard in the first attack but didn't give up. It hit him again, clamping down on Endris' torso and shredding the skin and muscle in his back. That attack would have killed Endris if his vulnerable belly had not been pressed to the surfboard and relatively protected. The shark didn't stop at that. It came for Endris again, swallowing his right leg and trying to tear it off.

Endris was taken completely by surprise from the attack. "[It] came out of nowhere. There's no warning at all. Maybe I saw him a quarter second before it hit me. But no warning. It was just a giant shark. It just shows you hwat a perfect predator they really are," Endris said of the attack. When the shark swallowed his leg, Endris finally was able to fight back. He kicked at the shark's nose and eyes with his left foot until it let him go.

The injured surfer was alone in the waves for several seconds, bleeding and waiting for the next attack. However, suddenly there were more dorsal fins in the water. A pod of dolphins that had been playing in the waves nearby swam over and formed a protective circle around Endris. They swam around him, keeping the shark at bay and giving him the chance to paddle for shore and save himself. They never left his side during the long swim, protecting him until his friends were able to get to him and save his life.

The shark could have finished Endris that day in the waves. Instead a passing group of dolphins saw his life in danger and took it upon themselves to save him. After Endris made it to shore the shark and dolphins all swam away and disappeared.

"Truly a miracle," Endris says of the rescue. To this day he continues to surf and will never forget the attack and his rescuers.

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Todd Endris

MSNBC Story
Current Mood:
peaceful peaceful
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One of the most misunderstood animals in the world of pets is the pig. Most people think of pigs as dirty and unattractive. However, pot bellied pigs are clean, intelligent and devoted pets. Lulu the pot bellied pig showed the world just how loving and heroic the unsung pigs of the world could be.

A woman named JoAnn was pig-sitting Lulu for her daughter and the two developed a friendship. Everything was going fine when suddenly JoAnn suffered a major heart attack and fell to the ground unable to move and unable to get help. Knowing that her life was in danger, JoAnn called for help but no one could hear her.

Lulu somehow also knew her friend's life was in danger. She ran out of the house to find help. Unable to find anyone to help, Lulu ran into the middle of the street and laid down, stopping traffic. Passersby paid no attention to the frantic pig but Lulu refused to give up. She returned to the house several times to check on JoAnn but kept running out of the house to find help. Finally someone noticed something was wrong and followed Lulu back to the house and called 911 for JoAnn. The paramedics rushed JoAnn to the hospital and she survived. JoAnn enjoys life everyday thanks to the heroic acts of one loving pig.

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JoAnn and Lulu
Current Mood:
surprised surprised
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One day, Debbie Parkhurst was enjoying an apple as snack. Suddenly, she began to choke as a piece of the apple lodged in her throat. Her two year old Golden Retriever, Toby, was nearby and flew into action. He knocked Debbie to the ground and began jumping on her chest with his front paws. Toby performed his version of the Heimlich Maneuver until the piece of apple in his mistresses throat dislodged and she could breathe again.

Two years earlier, Debbie had found Toby as a puppy abandoned in a dumpster. She had no idea then that the puppy she had saved would return the favor and save her life. When The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) heard about Toby's heroic act they honored him with The ASPCA Dog of the Year award in 2007.

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Debbie and Toby
Current Mood:
enthralled
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