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Dog Allergy Sources Aren’t Across the Board

Kevin Wells

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Those with asthma are familiar with allergies. Asthma already involves a weakness in one’s ability to breathe normally and allergies would only heighten this situation. And, no surprise, when people have allergies, they also likely have pet allergies in 1 out of almost 3 cases. This is a common situation. At least a fifth of most modern societies have allergies to furry pets, cats or dogs or everything in between.

Dogs May Have Gotten a Bad Allergy Rap

For the rest of society, dog ownership tends to be a benefit. Aside from companionship and notable loyalty compared to other animals, dogs also seem to be able to help those suffering from cardiac arrests survive the events with a higher probability than without a canine pet. However, those who have allergies frequently believe dogs have to be included in that stimuli and avoided as a result. This, it could turn out, may not be correct.

Folks try to start with dogs that don’t shed, assuming a hypoallergenic canine might avoid the allergy reaction. However, this misses the fact that pet allergies aren’t triggered by fur and animal hair. Instead, it’s the dander of the animal and saliva that are the real culprits. Scientifically, the root of the problem is a protein generated by a canine’s prostate. Some people are allergic to certain breeds and fine with others. Some seem to be allergic to all breeds. However, what’s not widely known is that there is a protein difference given off, depending on the gender of the dog involved. That’s a gamechanger; people with pet allergies, even those with asthma, could actually be a dog-owner once the specific male breed can be identified. Female and neutered dogs become viable pets for far more folks previously handicapped by their heightened reaction systems.

The Culprit Not Expected

The specific protein involved is known as the Can f 5 protein. Again, this biological trigger is produced in the canine prostate gland and emanate through the dog’s skin, hair and urine. The protein is so light, it can even aerosolize and be breathed in. Worse, for those with allergies, the proteins can hang in a surrounding for a long time if there is no vibrant airflow, triggering allergies long after the dog has left. Furniture, bedding, clothing, and carpet are all capable of holding onto the proteins as well.

On the other hand, allergies can be “sedated” over time as well with repeat exposure. Eventually, the body adapts and the reactions lessen, especially if the ongoing exposure occurs early in age, as in one’s first few years of life. The results have actually be studied and noted in reducing the impact of asthma in such sufferers versus increasing it as they get older.

For those who are too old though, a dog’s gender interaction with allergies is a huge breakthrough to enjoy the bond with a pet. It just has to be the right gender.

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You Want a Capybara as a Pet? Isn’t it a Giant Rat?

Kevin Wells

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What in the world is a Capybara?

Take a small to medium size pig, turn it into a guinea pig with longer legs, give it clawed feet, and add in an absolutely loving attitude towards anything that pays it attention. Technically, the Capybara is a rodent, a very large rodent. These creatures can easily get up to 4 feet in length and up to two feet tall. They range in weight, with various specimens coming in anywhere from 70 lbs to as much as 150 lbs in size. Most folks first faced with one would likely back up from a Capybaras at first, but these creatures are absolutely affectionate regardless of what they are facing.

They Eat a Lot!

In terms of feed, the Capybara counts as an herbivore. It will easily consume up to eight pounds of food and they love to splash around in water, often leaving near creeks and rivers in the wild. And then they have this cuddling thing. They love to get up close with anything that pays them attention and doesn’t try to eat them. The Capybara will do fine with dogs, cats, cattle and they even be seen giving a monkey a ride around the yard. They have a reputation for being used as a couch by a lot of other animals ranging from birds to other rodents, even when walking around.

The Party Hugger

Tame Capybaras will make friends will all kinds of animals most folks would never assume could hang out with these creatures. Rabbits are often seen snoozing with them when saddled in the same pen, and if there’s a kiddie pool made available you can be these oversized rodents are going to play king of the mountain and park themselves right in the center of it. They not only have the ability to function as natural swimmers, a Capybara will frequently be found sleeping in water as well. It’s not uncommon to see one slip underwater asleep and come back up in a splutter. They also have the ability to dive and stay under water up to 5 minutes long, easily getting away from danger on land if needed.

Natural Capabilities

Interestingly, Capybaras are no slow or easy to catch. They can run as fast as 35 kilometers per hour, easily keeping up with a typical horse. They tend to live in herds ranging from 10 to 20 in the wild, and at one point there was a concern they were going to become rare. However, domestic farm-raising of Capybaras solved the problem, and now there are plenty of the rodents available again.

It’s not likely that a Capybara will be allowed as a pet in most jurisdictions in the U.S. Many states have laws barring the entry of non-native species to prevent them from causing environmental damage and wiping out a native species. However, if you ever get a chance, spend some time with these creatures in a tame setting. Their willingness to be friendly and inquisitive makes them absolutely interesting to watch, observe and interact with.

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How One Lost, Little Piglet Stole the Hearts of State Troopers in New Jersey

Kelly Taylor

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We’ve all heard that nursery rhyme about the little piggies and their different experiences, but they may have been missing a member. Not too long ago, one little piggy got loose in New Jersey and he had one heck of an adventure.

This all happened a while back in Commercial Township, New Jersey.

Some state troopers were just going about their day when they received what was quite the unusual call from one of the township’s residents. The caller reported that a small piglet was apparently on the loose.

Upon receiving the call that a little piglet was wandering around the town, the dedicated state troopers immediately sprang into action.

Tracking Down the Little Piglet

According to this report from FOX 29, Port Norris troopers Bryan Blair, Ray Coleman, and Julio Ferrer were the ones who responded to the call about the wandering piglet. One would be forgiven for thinking that wrangling a little piglet would be an easy job, but it’s apparently easier said than done.

A report from the Philly Voice revealed that the state troopers had a bit of trouble catching the piglet. He apparently led them on a bit of a chase around a couple of houses before finally being caught.

Commenting on the adorable yet unusual situation, the New Jersey State Police said that they did not include catching piglets in the training program for police officers. They did add that it might be “cooler” if they did introduce that program and jokingly said that they would consider the move.

The Piglet at the Police Station

So, what happened after the piglet was caught and the state trooper brought him back to the police station, you ask? Well, he and the police officers apparently had a bit of fun.

Soon after getting back to the station, the little piglet got more comfortable. He felt so at ease that he was even fine with taking part in an impromptu photo shoot.

The state troopers also took quite a shine to the piglet and they even gave him the nickname of Norris.

Comfortable as Norris might have been in the police station, that’s not exactly the most accommodating location for small farm animals. With an owner not emerging in the hours after Norris was caught, state trooper Coleman decided that he would step up to the plate and take the little guy home.

Officer Coleman had no problems volunteering to care for Norris because he already has previous experience caring for farm animals.

The Little Piglet Goes Home

Following a few nights at state trooper Coleman’s home, it was finally time for the little piglet that had stolen the hearts of the police officers to go back home.  A farmer nearby noticed that he was a piglet short and got in touch with the police department to see if they could help.

As it turns out, the missing piglet the farmer was looking for was indeed none other than Norris himself. Shortly after the farmer got in touch with the police department, Norris was able to go back home where he belonged.

Piglets can be fascinating creatures, especially if you take the time to observe how they interact with their littermates. According to Farm Health Online, piglets will quickly form relationships with their littermates. It’s also not out of the realm of possibility that a social hierarchy among the piglets can be established right away.

Hopefully, little Norris manages to form great relationships with his brothers and sisters back at the farm. What we can say for sure is that the state troopers nearby will always be his friends.

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Are Dogs as Dumb as Cows or are Cows as Smart as Dogs?

Renee Yates

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Cows don’t typically get a lot of support for their intellectual capacities. In most descriptions and references, bovine cattle frequently tend to be referred to as fat, smelly, not much smarter than a rock, and no visible emotion whatsoever. In other words, just dumb cows. While cows do smell quite a bit (and most other animals would too if they had to stomp around and eat in the same pasture that they go to the bathroom in), those who know them have found cows able to express quite a portfolio of emotional reactions.

There’s Clear Evidence Something is Going On Mentally

First, if anyone takes the time to really observe bovine behavior, he or she is likely to start noticing that cows communicate quite a bit with each via contact. They clearly have and frequently practice the ability to share affection with each other, cozying up and wrapping their necks with each other for no other reason than to share comfort with the other.

Second, cows that are isolated generally tend to exhibit signs of extreme anxiety over time as well. And cows aren’t that dumb after all; they can solve simple puzzles once they are able to realize the connection between an action and the solution that interests them, such as getting to food.

More interestingly, however, cows get quite attached with their human owners, especially if they have been exposed and raised by that person from a young calf stage. In some cases, the calves will literally follow their owners inside homes if allowed and makes themselves at home, even parking on the family room couch if no one is looking just like a dog would.

Then There’s That Dog Behavior Some Cows Practice

No, it’s not likely that a cow will be beating a sheep dog anytime soon through an obstacle course or herding the rest of its fellow bovine creates in and out of the barn on command. However, cows definitely have no problem cozying up to a sleeping farmer and giving him a hug. They actually like having a belly rub (just watch out when they roll over), and they don’t have a problem with a dog well-known to the herd and as familiar as the farmer. They might even give the dog an occasional lick on the face when they think no one is looking!

They Could be Spies!

And with the range of behavior cows do show subtly, they probably end up watching humans quite a bit wondering why in the world the two-legs constantly engage in such silly behavior all day long instead just eating grass like any common-sense animal should. We just don’t “hear” the conversation when cows are talking loudly.

Yes, fundamentally, cows are raised for farm production and food. But once people really start taking notice about how these bovine creatures behave, the willingness to have a hamburger afterwards might trigger a bit of hesitation and a second thought in more than one person.

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Wild Canadian Horse’s Dramatic Rescue

Kelly Taylor

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Canada is known for many things, including its beautiful scenery, friendly people, diverse animal life, and frigid winters. All of these things came together in a powerful and moving way one day as fate played out a hand that involved a matter of life or death. A small group from the Help Alberta Wildies Society (HAWS) was patrolling the beautiful countryside one day. HAWS is a group of volunteers committed to helping and protecting the rich lineage of Canada’s wild horses. They help support the preservation of native wilderness that the horses call home and also work to protect the animals and catalog their populations. On a chilly winter day, a small group of HAWS volunteers ventured out to search for newborn foals in Alberta, Canada, so they could document the new additions to the local herd. As they were out searching, they came upon a heartbreaking sight.

They spotted a young foal stuck in a muddy bog. The wild foal was desperately struggling to drag itself out of a muddy hole. There was no telling how long the young horse had been trapped but it had more than half of its body sunk into the 6-foot-deep hole that as filling with sticky mud and near-freezing water. The horse lovers knew what they had to do. If anyone was meant to find this helpless creature, it was the HAWS heroes and so they quickly got to work. As they worked to figure out how to rescue the foal, they kept an eye out for any of the wild horses that might still be in the near vicinity. They quickly concluded that the young filly likely had been abandoned by the herd when she fell into the hole and was unable to get out.

The small filly just did not have the strength to pull herself out of the hole against the viscous muds and numbing water that was surrounding her. To make things even more difficult for her, and her new rescuers, was the rim of ice that was forming all around the hold. The young foal was unable to get her bearing or get a good foothold and it made getting to her more of a challenge. They knew they were the foal’s only chance of getting out alive, but time was running out, and she was growing more exhausted by the minute. They had to act fast!

For over an hour, the group worked, desperately and tirelessly striving to save the horse before she would succumb to exhaustion and the elements. Using their ATVs and a bunch of ropes, they finally managed to break the muddy suction seal that trapped the young wild hose and they pulled her out of her freezing prison. When they finally pulled her out, they quickly undid the ropes they had used to free her, expecting her to bolt for the hills. They could tell she was exhausted and starving and knew she had to have been trapped for quite some time. However, instead of running away in fear and confusion, the young filly stuck around and showed her rescuers her gratitude and let them know she knew they were friends and that they could be trusted.

It just goes to show how smart these wild animals are and how important it is to protect them and all the other creatures that make up the diverse ecosystem of the Canadian wilderness!

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Xbox Tears Marriage Apart After Family Dog Runs Away

Shannon Jackson

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When welcoming a new member into your family, whether a dog or a child, both parents should discuss and agree upon how to teach their children. Families who aren’t on the same page are sure to endure much stress and many challenges. As a warning to others, a Facebook user recently shared the experience that tore her family apart. 

While pregnant with their second child, their son begged for a puppy. With the advent of a child approaching, she was concerned about adding more to the household, but her husband reasoned that it would teach their son responsibility. After many fights, she relented and they adopted a puppy, Scrupples.

As a busy nurse and caring partner, she trusted her husband to take care of their son and dog while she was gone. However, she was accosted with the obvious difference in parenting styles one day. 

Their son approached her husband after accidentally leaving the back door open, allowing Scrupples to run out of the house. Without taking his eyes off the Xbox he was playing, he told their son to look for Scrupples himself.

After five days of no luck finding Scrupples, the mother found her son weeping on the couch. He told her what happened to Scrupples and how his dad wouldn’t help find the dog. 

Recalling the many fights over not wanting to get a puppy, she stormed into the basement. He brushed off the situation, not concerned for either his son or the dog as he continued to play his Xbox. In a fit of rage from his abrasive and heartless response, she pulled the Xbox out of the wall and threw it into the TV screen. 

Walking out of the basement, she took their son outside to look for Scrupples. They posted signs up around town and knocked on doors to see if any of their neighbors had seen their dog. 

After a few days of searching, they came back home empty handed. The woman’s husband wasn’t home, his car gone in the driveway and his suitcase missing from their closet. There was no note and no indication as to where he had gone. 

Then, the phone rang. A woman talked to the mother and told her she had found Scrupples a few days ago, digging up the dirt in her garden, and had been taking care of the dog since. She thanked the woman repeatedly and rushed over to get the dog a few neighborhoods away. 

A few weeks later the woman shared an update on Facebook.

The father had not returned and she had not heard from him since he left. She had been struggling through her days, calling on family and friends to help take care of her family while she worked. However, with one hand holding her son and the other petting Scrupples, she knew she had all she needed right there and that she would make it through. 

Parenting is hard enough. When two people aren’t in agreement as how to share care and take care of a child or pet, life can get a whole lot tougher, but things always have a way of working themselves out.

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