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Dogs & Cats in the News

Looking for current resources to use in your Mutt-i-grees lessons? Dogs & Cats in the News provides a compilation of news stories featuring dogs and cats that may inspire students to put empathy into action.

The Perfect Companion

At first glance, they draw us in with their fluffy hide and a spine-twisting wag that signals the playful sense of mischief already stamped on their furry disposition has been fully activated. With only a brief glimpse into their soulful eyes, man’s best friend effectively seals the deal on what will become a lifelong relationship built on a foundation of unwavering loyalty, unconditional love, and boundless enthusiasm. Of all the domesticated critters that might wander across the threshold of our hearts, it is the dog that wiggles into that muscle with imperceptible determination and stealth.

Our modest dwelling has been host to a variety of woolly beasts across the years, and despite an unbridled love for all creatures great and small, it’s been our dogs that have left the biggest footprint on our consciousness. There appears to be but one goal in a canine’s too short life: to please their humans until days’ end. There is no chore too mundane and, unlike their human counterparts, a dog seldom grows bored with the task at hand. They literally quiver in excited anticipation of their favorite command, and willfully carry out instruction in exchange for a modest return—the simple acknowledgement of a job well done.

The common dog holds their humans in perfect, unfaltering esteem and they forgive us a multitude of shortcomings without hesitation. A dog always has time for their owner, even though we often struggle to make time enough for them. They possess an uncanny sense of knowing our precise need long before we recognize it for ourselves—they bring order to chaos, balance to a world off-kilter. Our most complex worries can be quickly eradicated by a timely, insistent hug from a bottomless heart. They are hardwired to give—they bear no grudges, driven only to serve.

A dog’s focus may be narrow, but the lessons they impart, vast. They live in the moment—yesterday has already faded from memory, tomorrow doesn’t exist yet. For a dog, the only relevant moment in time is now; eliminating the unnecessary uncertainty spent pondering countless "what ifs." These devoted beasts are four-legged reminders of all that is truly important in the cosmos—everything else reduced to a frenzied chase after an elusive ball we have little hope of ever catching.

Despite our inability to ignore the extraneous distractions that add only clutter, the ceaseless devotion of a dog brings us back to center. We need only look as far as their faithful and forgiving eyes to find acceptance for all our flawed eccentricities. They bring both meaning and purpose to our lives, delivered on just four paws and conveniently bundled in fur.

I’m certain there is a Heaven, but I doubt it was ever intended for us. I suspect the Gods had this reward in mind for their best work: the dog.

For Maggie...

Monica McArthur,
EXECUTIVE EDITOR
Costco Health Guide

Relationship Between Man and Cat May Be Older Than We Think

Humans and cats have been enjoying, or at least tolerating, one another’s company for a very long time. But when, exactly, did we start hanging around together? Newly published research suggests it was way back in the 4th millennium B.C.E.
Read more:
http://www.psmag.com/navigation/health-and-behavior/relationship-man-cat-may-older-think-75933/

Chicago aldermen pass anti-puppy mill ordinance 49-1

Beginning next March, Chicago pet stores won't be able to sell dogs, cats or rabbits obtained from large-scale breeding operations that critics call "puppy mills." All such animals, mostly dogs, sold in the city will have to come from government pounds, rescue operations or humane societies.
Read more:
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-03-05/news/chi-chicago-antipuppy-mill-measure-advances-20140304_1_pet-stores-chicago-aldermen-homeless-animals

Owners, Not Breeds, Predict Whether Dogs Will Be Aggressive

Some dogs get a bad rap. Pit bulls, rottweilers, dobermans are all considered aggressive dogs, while labs and corgis are supposed to be fun and docile. But while breeding might have something to do with temperament, a recent study suggests that a far better predictor of how aggressive a dog will be is what their owner is like.
Read more:
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/owners-not-breeds-predict-whether-dog-will-be-aggressive-180949962/

Heroic Dog Takes A Bullet For Her Human Family, Crowdfunding Saves Her Life

When Charlie and two other dogs faced down intruders in their Los Angeles home, four bullets were fired, striking Charlie in two legs. Charlie's family didn't have the resources to pay for the medical care she needed and were forced to surrender her to the police, who took her to North Central Shelter, a high-intake facility run by the Los Angeles Animal Services.
Read more:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/03/heroic-dog-takes-a-bullet_n_4892892.html