Pit Bull Dragged His 7-Month-Old Sister By Her Diaper Out Of The Family’s Burning Home

For the most part, babies and dogs are a great combination to have in any home. However, when it comes to dog breeds, Pitbulls are often judged as not being a family-friendly breed. But anyone who’s owned one knows that isn’t true. And one mother in California learned that first-hand after her family underwent a major tragedy.

Latana Chai and her child Masailah were chilling at their home when their neighbor’s house suddenly went up in flames. The fire then began to spread to Latana’s home, but she was completely unaware of the impending danger – until her pitbull Sasha began barking.

Latana heard Sasha making a commotion in the backyard, so she went to investigate. That is when Latana was shocked to see the inferno coming for her home. In the time that it took Latana to process what was happening, Sasha had already dashed into the home and to the back room where baby Masailah was sleeping.

Sasha and Masailah were born around the same time, and their bond was undeniable. As a result, Sasha, who is roughly the same size as the seven-month-old baby, grabbed Masailah by the diaper and began to drag her to safety.

Thanks to this heroic dog, the family has enough of a warning to get out in time and avoid disaster.

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Do Nervous Dog Owners Have Nervous Dogs?

At a beginners’ dog obedience class, one of the trainers and I noticed that one member of the class, a young woman with a large male German Shepherd, seemed insecure and stressed. She was nervously clenching and unclenching her hands and tended to fidget rather than stand in place. The interesting thing was that her behavior seemed to be mirrored by her dog. He exhibited clear signs of stress — he was licking his lips and yawning — and his ears would flick downward whenever the instructor in the center of the room raised her voice or moved quickly. The trainer who I was sitting beside observed the situation and commented to me, “You know what they say: The tension flows down the leash.”

Her comments reflected something that has been casually observed by many dog trainers, which is that an anxious and nervous dog owner often seems to have a tense and nervous dog. Recent research from the University of Vienna seems to back up these casual observations. The team of investigators was headed by Iris Schöberl of the Department of Behavioral Biology, and the study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Like many recent studies on the emotional reactions of dogs (and people), the researchers looked at the levels of cortisol, a hormone related to an individual’s response to stress. If you are simply taking a “snapshot” of someone’s emotional state, the higher the cortisol level, the more stressed the individual is likely to be. However, if you are trying to get a picture of the overall levels of emotion and anxiety that a person or a dog generally experiences, it is more important to look at how the cortisol levels vary when he or she is exposed to stressors over time.

The reasoning comes from research by Canadian behavioral endocrinologist Hans Selye on what he called the General Adaptation Syndrome. He noted that when an individual encounters a stressor, the body rallies to defend itself, which includes the release of the stress-related corticosteroid hormones. However, if the stressors continue over long periods of time, or are simply very frequent, the ability of the body to combat the effects of subsequent stress becomes weaker and weaker. A highly stressed individual will not be able to react as well to the most recent stressor, and this will show up as a smaller change in the concentration of cortisol. So if you find an individual who shows only a small change in cortisol levels when confronted by stressors, it is likely that you are looking at someone who has been reacting to anxieties, worries, and so forth frequently and for a long time.

This new study involved 132 dog owners and their pets. The amount of the stress hormone cortisol was measured in the saliva of both the dogs and their owners a number of times, while the dogs were exposed to a variety of new situations designed to be mildly anxiety-provoking. One example is when an individual wearing a ski mask and a hood approaches the dog in a threatening manner. Another is when the owner is asked to walk the dog across a somewhat unstable wire mesh bridge. Yet another involves simply separating the owner from the dog for a period of time.

A large number of behavioral measures were also taken, including measures of the owner’s personality. Perhaps the most interesting findings from this research had to do with two personality dimensions — neuroticism and agreeableness.

For psychologists who study personality, neuroticism refers to the tendency to experience unpleasant emotions easily, such as anger, anxiety, depressionpessimism and vulnerability. You can think of people who are high in neuroticism as being sensitive and nervous, while people who score low in neuroticism are secure and confident. In this study, the dog owners who scored high in neuroticism had dogs with low variability in their cortisol. This suggests that dogs with highly neurotic owners are less able to deal with pressure and stress.

We can contrast this to the personality dimension of agreeableness, which reflects a tendency to be cooperative and friendly, rather than suspicious and antagonistic toward others. You can view this as a measure of the degree to which a particular person has a trusting and helpful nature and an indication of whether that person is well-tempered or not. This study finds that the dogs with owners who are highly agreeable have greater variability in their cortisol response, suggesting that they are better able to cope with situations involving tension and strain.

There are some interesting sex interactions which are also pointed out by these new data. Previous research has shown that male dogs belonging to female owners are generally less sociable and relaxed than male dogs belonging to male owners. Some researchers have also pointed out that females tend to score somewhat higher on measures of anxiety and neuroticism. This current research seems to confirm these trends since male dogs owned by female owners tend to have less variability in their cortisol responses, suggesting that their ability to cope with anxiety and stress is less efficient.

The researchers are quick to emphasize that the real importance of their results is that the social and personality characteristics of both the dog and the owner tend to interact. How the dog owner responds to situations could shape the personality and the behaviors of their pets. As Schöberl summarizes the conclusions of the team, “Owners behave differently because they are pessimistic or neurotic, and perhaps dogs read the emotions of their owners and think the world is more dangerous — so they are more reactive to it. It looks like people who are pessimistic have dogs which are worse at coping with stress than others.”

Copyright SC Psychological Enterprises Ltd. May not be reprinted or reposted without permission.

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This teen makes adorable bow ties to help get shelter dogs and cats adopted

(CNN)A 13-year-old from New Jersey has embarked on the cutest mission ever. He sews tiny bow ties for cats and dogs to help them get adopted.

Sir Darius Brown came up with the idea in 2017. He wanted to help draw attention to dogs that were displaced by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, according to his website.
“I didn’t have a lot of money to help so I used my creative skills,” he wrote on Instagram in January. He has been making bow ties as a hobby since 2010.

He started by making bow ties for animals at an ASPCA in New York, according to his mom, Joy Brown. But once he got there, he realized dogs all over the world needed homes, and he wanted to help them stand out.Since then, he has made over 500 bow ties and started a company, Beaux and Paws, said his mom. She estimates that he has helped get dozens of cats and dogs adopted at more than 20 shelters.
He’s currently raising money on his GoFundMe page to personally deliver bow ties to shelters in all 50 states.
“He now has this thing where he spins the wheel and he selects a state and animal shelter,” his sister, Dazhai Shearz, told CNN affiliate WCBS.

In 2018, President Barack Obama gave him a Presidential Commendation. In January, he was featured as one of GoFundMe’s kid heroes. And he was he was just named the 2020 New Jersey State Honoree for the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.

“I know that I’m doing something right, raising an amazing kid who is inspiring people all over the world,” his mom said. “I tell him all the time, ”I wanna be like you when I grow up.'”

Company Offers Puppy ‘Pawternity’ Leave For Employees Who Get A New Dog

We’ve heard of maternity leave and paternity leave, but one brewery has made “paw-ternity” leave a thing. The brewery, which is nearly 1,000 employees strong, revolutionized work back in 2017 when it made the announcement that it would provide a week of paid leave to any member of staff who adopts a new dog.

BrewDog posted the announcement to their blog, saying, “[W]e know only too well that having a new arrival – whether a mewling pup or unsettled rescue dog – can be stressful for human and hound both. So we are becoming the first in our industry to give our staff a working week’s leave on us to help settle a new furry family member into their home.”

The brewery is based in Scotland but opened up a new location close to Columbus, Ohio in the United States on February 20, 2017. It was the first company in the US, as well as the first brewery in the UK, to offer a “paw-ternity” benefit to its employees.

As the post wrote, “This brand new pooch-based perk will be available to all BrewDog crewmembers across the globe, including those joining our ship Stateside as part of BrewDog Columbus. We’re not aware of any other American company giving a week’s leave to their staff to help build the bond between them and their dog – but then few other companies have four-legged friends at their center as we do.”

Now if only more companies would follow in their footsteps and provide their employees with “paw-ternity” leave.

 

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Volunteer of the Quarter 

Mutt Militia, meet Connie Katoski Rocke, our Volunteer of the Quarter! Connie started following Marley’s Mutts when she moved to the Tehachapi area in 2012. She was impressed with all we did for rescue dogs and other animals. Connie was retired and had some extra time so she decided to start volunteering at the Rescue Ranch nearly three years ago.

Connie enjoys meeting all the different people at the Ranch and says the staff, fosters and volunteers she has worked with are all fabulous! “Everyone is so warm and welcoming. It’s like a wonderful family.” Some of Connie’s favorite things about volunteering at the Ranch are the community pack walks, holiday decorating and volunteer days. The rescue dogs are special to Connie and it gives her great joy to walk them and give them clean warm blankets. “They are all beautiful, bright and funny in their own way.”

Her advice to anyone thinking about volunteering at the Ranch is to find work that you enjoy. “There is so much to do here at the Marley’s Mutts Ranch. It’s great for retired people like me. There’s plenty to do that doesn’t require heavy strenuous work. Walking dogs is easy. If I can’t lug 50 pounds of dog food around, I’ll just ask for anyone I find to help me as they are happy to lend a hand. That’s important to me”

Connie has 2 dogs of her own, a Doberman named Jake, age 5 and Doberman mix, Jasper, age 8. Jasper even won first place at an agility competition when she was two years old! While Connie was holding the award, Jasper jumped up, grabbed the award and started shredding it! “That is her fun sneaky self.”

Thank you Connie for all you have done and continue to do!

Bhutan PM urges all citizens to adopt stray dogs & plant a tree as King’s birthday gift

To tackle the menace of stray dogs, Bhutan’s Prime Minister Lotay Tshering on Friday has asked people to adopt a stray dog as a gift for the King’s birthday. The King will turn 40 years old this year. For it, he has urged people to give him a gift by either planting a tree, adopting a stray dog or committing to managing waste in your neighborhood.

“At an individual level, Prime Minister said one can choose to plant a tree and care for it, adopt a stray dog or commit to managing waste in your neighborhood. Personal commitment such as this, he said, would be the best gift for His Majesty. He also announced several programs in the areas of economy, education, health, and technology. The programs will be launched over the period of one year,” Bhutan’s PMO stated in the press release.

Stray dogs in Bhutan

The Bhutan government has been taking a number of measures to reduce birth of free-roaming dogs and encourage adoption of stray dogs. In July last year, it launched a project called Bhutan’s National Dog Population Management Strategy.   tTshering had earlier said that the growing dog population has created serious problems in the country. A number of steps has been taken to tackle it through community-based initiatives, the PM had said. Bhutan also has two mobile applications – mass dog vaccination and dog population management – that helps officials working in the field to monitor the team and have access to information like the number of neutered dogs.

Sachin Tendulkar plays football with kids in adorable Bhutan throwback

Informing about the recent development, a Bhutan based journalist Namgay Zam said that she has already adopted 3 stray dogs and urged others to do so. The small Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan is focussed towards happiness of the citizens, and  9th article of its constitution cites it as a goal.  In the last census carried out in 2015  by the Ministry of happiness, 35% of the population answered ’extremely happy’, 47.9% said they felt ’moderately happy’, and only 8.8% of respondents said they were ’unhappy’.

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Soldier Says Emotional Goodbye To His Military Dog And Best Friend

A long and meaningful relationship was forged back in 2012, when Kyle Smith and military working dog, Bodza, were both deployments in Kyrgyzstan. Kyle, who is a soldier in the U.S. Air Force, worked closely with Bodza. When Bodza finally retired, Kyle didn’t hesitate to adopt his friend and give him a golden retirement.

While the pair spent plenty of unforgettable years together, when Bodza was 11-years-old, he developed a degenerative illness that devastated his spinal cord.

When it came time to say goodbye to his loyal and beloved companion, Kyle was surprised when he was joined by his superiors – they had shown up unannounced at the vet’s office carrying an American flag. The kind gesture was a very emotional one, as Kyle draped the flag over the former military dog.

As he later recalled, “For these guys to do this for a dog they’ve never even met…he got a good sendoff that day.”

Kyle also added for Inside Edition, “My favorite thing about him was he didn’t care what you were doing, he just wanted to be there doing it with you. All of us have that dog that is so special to us,”

Kyle stated, “I got married with this dog, I got divorced with this dog. I have a son on the way, and the most heartbreaking part is I really wish he was younger, so my son would be able to play with him. He was the nicest dog in the world.”

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Boy leaves puppy at shelter with heartbreaking note describing father’s abuse

Andrés, a 12-year-old boy, left his puppy behind with a touching letter and a stuffed animal. (Credit: Refugio Xollin)

MICHOACAN, Mexico – A 12-year-old boy in Mexico left his puppy outside a shelter with a stuffed animal and a touching note: He wanted to spare him the wrath of his abusive father.

The boy, who identified himself as Andrés, left the pit bull puppy at a shelter in the Mexican state of Michoacan on February 13.A dog rescue group shared his story on its Facebook page.

“My name is Andrés and I am 12 years old. My mom and I decided to leave my dog in your hands, hiding it from my dad because he is thinking about selling him. But he mistreats and kicks him. One day he kicked him so hard that he hurt his tail. I hope you can help and take care of him,” he wrote in the letter.

“I left him a stuffed animal so he won’t forget me.”

As soon as the group shared the boy’s story, it received more than 300 requests to adopt Rene. The requests came from all over the country.

The group was quick to remind people it has 120 other dogs that need a welcoming family too.

“If everyone opened their heart and their home like this little dog, they would have adopted all our dogs from the shelter,” the rescuers said in a Facebook post.

As far as Rene, the group took the injured puppy to the doctors and dewormed him. He’s on his way to a healthy recovery.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 

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Guy Sets Up A Dog-Walking Group For Men Who Need A Companion To Open Up About Their Problems

Rob Osman from Bristol, England, has had it pretty rough. The 38-year-old has battled with anxiety and depression for most of his life, and at one point was reduced to living in his sister’s windowless basement smoking far too much weed to care. Eventually, however, Rob found a way out of the rut.

Many things have helped him to get better, including the pursuit of a psychology and counseling degree at a local university. But the best remedy was walking his Hungarian Vizsla, Mali. As they were strolling outside, Rob felt his body relax and the tension melting away.

Realizing the huge healing power of this simple everyday activity, he set up a group called Dudes & Dogs. It’s a mental wellness community that encourages men to get out in the fresh air for a walk and talk about their feelings.

“Talking helps. It really does,” Osman wrote on the group’s website. “It’s helped me no end, but sometimes as men, we aren’t the best at it. Well, Dudes & Dogs wants to change that for the next generation. There is no doubt things are changing. We want to be a part of that. By simply getting outside, talking things through, we can start to change our mood.”

It all started during one of those wet, windy, and cold days that the UK is so notorious for. There was no way in hell Rob wanted to go out, especially not the way he was feeling.

But there was the dog. She didn’t care that her owner felt like crap. She didn’t care that the weather was rubbish, she just wanted to get out and play. “It’s been the best therapy I’ve ever had,” Rob said.

Pretty soon, Osman started inviting friends on walks with Mali. Some days, they would chat but often they simply hang out. But most importantly, he discovered that his friends were also benefiting from the dog and fresh. This got the man thinking if he could expand this model to more people. More men.

They are very resistant to seeking mental health treatment. According to a study by Priori, 40% of men won’t talk to anyone about their mental health. Dogs, however, seem to ease them into having these conversations.

“They need someone to listen,” Osman told TODAY. “The idea of using a dog gives people an hour away from the family and gets them out. Dogs are like four-legged antidepressants. When people are around them they drop their defenses. They play with the dog.”

Image credits: dudes_anddogs