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Owner Finds Stray Dog after 8 Years of Searching

Renee Yates




Sophia Hanson let her two large dogs, Laila, and Blake into the yard in 2009. A little later, she went outside to discover that they had vanished. Hanson told The Dodo that she is still unsure if they were stolen since no doors were left open and both disappeared.

After one year of searching, Hanson and her husband saw a post on Craigslist that someone within close proximity to their San Antonio home was selling a pit bull for $500. The dog looked suspiciously like Blake. Naturally, they were pretending like they were going to purchase a dog with money in hand. Hanson noted that when they went to the seller’s house, they confirmed it was him and he was wearing the largest chain they had ever seen.

Sadly, the treatment of Blake caused major issues for him. Blake had to go through an entire rehabilitation process which has made him a giant teddy bear once again. Seeing this type of treatment of Blake made the Hansons fear the treatment of Laila, who was still missing. Hanson continued checking the local shelters for many years.
Thankfully, Laila had a guardian angel looking out for her. In 2018, Janice Rackley spotted Laila alone in a field, severely malnourished; not more than skin-and-bones. By her appearance, it was clear that she had been alone, uncared for and unloved for a long time. Rackley knew she had to take action quickly.

Rackley told The Dodo that the dog needed medical attention and nobody was going to help her get the proper treatment. Rackley further noted that she felt she found the dog for a reason and it was to help her. Laila was entirely dependent on Rackley for assistance.

Each day following, Rackley drove out to the field with heavy jugs of water and dog food. Initially, the dog was so frightened that she would run in the opposite direction as soon as Rackley approached. Eventually, Rackley had earned her trust.

After around six-months, Laila began to come closer and closer until she finally let Rackley pet her. Rackley then thought that maybe she could put a leash on her while eating. However, whenever Laila saw the leash, she would become frightened and run in the other direction.

Finally, as New Year’s Eve approached and the weather became cold, Rackley determined that it was the last chance to rescue the dog so she picked up Laila, tossed her over her shoulder and brought the dog to her car. Surprisingly, Laila was calm and very sweet about the entire situation. For the one-month following, Laila would not leave Rackley’s home.

Once her personality revealed itself, Rackley learned that the dog’s past had many secrets. Laila knew how to sit, shake and lay down indicating that this dog had been well-trained so someone had to be missing her. Rackley brought Laila to animal control to be scanned for a microchip which had all of her information.

Meanwhile, 40-miles away, Hanson and her husband were ending their evening in the home. Just before they turned off their light in bed, they received a call from Rackley and could not believe what they were hearing. Hanson immediately jumped in the car as she could not wait another moment to see Laila. There was an emotional reunion when Laila and Hanson could not believe it was the other.

Hanson noticed that Laila had changed in many ways but Laila still remembered her past life. They previously nicknamed her Scooby Doo because of the sounds she made. When Hanson’s husband yelled out, “Scooby-Doo! Scooby-Doo!” Laila made the same sounds once again. Today, Laila is home with three senior rescue dogs, including Blake and is adjusting to her old life. While she is still wary of her new siblings, she is so happy and grateful to be home with mom and dad.



Giant Seal is Beached and Then has a Baby

Renee Yates



The exact moment when a mother sees her newborn baby for the first time is one of the most amazing sights in the world. The utter disbelief and joy on her face in combination with wonderment is one of the finest moments in any woman’s life. It is the same feeling that animals have when they give birth and the look on their faces when they first see their babies is as equally magical.

Recently a tourist spotted a large female seal on the beach. She appeared to be in great pain because of the manner in which she was writhing around. The tourist shot a video of the seal. A few minutes later, the elephant seal appeared to have a spot beneath her tail. After some hard pushing, her calf was born. She quickly turned around and inspected her new baby to make certain that it was okay.

Elephant Seal Interesting Facts

Giant seals or elephant seals are the largest seals in the world. There are two types: the Northern elephant seal and the Southern elephant seal. The northern species are found in the coastal waters near Canada and Mexico and the southern species are found off the coast of South Africa, Argentina and New Zealand.

The adult bull or male seal has a proboscis that appears much like the trunk of an elephant, making it easy to distinguish males from females at a glance. The males roar through this appendage during the mating season to attract females. They also use it to fight with other males in order to win battles and claim females as their own.

The average adult southern male can weigh up to 6,600 pounds and reach a length of 16 feet in total. The female adults weigh about 2,000 pounds and measure around 10 feet long. Elephant seals may be light brown, dark brown, gray or rust colored.

Southern elephant seals can live to reach 22 years old and the northern species life span is only about 9 years.

Elephant Seal Reproduction

Elephant seals return to the coast for their breeding grounds in the winter. Female giant seals reach maturity between 3 and 6 years old and males mature slower between 5 and 6 years. Males battle each other to gain the alpha status that allows them to mate with the females. A male will mate with 30 to 100 females. A bit over 50 percent of first time breeding seals fail to produce a pup. A female elephant seal has one pup per year and the gestation period is 11 months. So, when females arrive at the breeding grounds in the winter, they are already pregnant. Females don’t eat while nursing their pups for the first month of its life.

Don’t Get Too Close to Wildlife

If you ever spot an animal of any kind that appears to be hurt, it’s best not to get too close to them. In 2000, Homer, an elephant male seal terrorized Gisborne, a town in New Zealand. He attacked trash bins, cars, boat trailers, a tree and a power transformer in a rage. It isn’t known what made him so mad, but it’s best to keep your distance from all wildlife—thus the term of wild and life.

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A baby bear, tiger, and a lion found in a basement 12 years ago are now best friends

Kelly Taylor



Wild animals try to stick to their natural habitat and they also tend to follow their natural social characteristics. For example, leopards are known to be very reclusive creatures and often prefer a solitary life. Bears and tigers are also not very social too.

In this fascinating story, a bear, a tiger, and a lion have grown up to become best buddies. In a video posted online, a 12-year-old Black Bear, named Baloo, walks over to his friend, Shere Khan, a Bengal Tiger, and cuddles with him as if they are brothers. Tigers don’t even get along with their kin. So this friendship between the bear and tiger is even beyond kinship. To make things even more unbelievable, they have another friend, named Leo. You guessed it right, Leo is a lion.

What might explain this unusual friendship is their common history. 12 years ago, when these three animals were babies, they were being kept in terrible conditions in a basement. Fortunately, they were recovered by the police and bought to Noah’s Ark Sanctuary in Locust Grove, GA. The three animals have cared for their entire life at the Sanctuary.

The staff at Noah’s Ark Sanctuary have never heard of such friendship between a big cat and a bear. They do share the same habitat, especially in the Fat East, but any encounters between them as most aggressive or they just ignore each other and keep out of the way of the other. They don’t walk up and cuddle each other.  The staff at the sanctuary does point out that out of these three, Shere Khan has kept a little bit of natural wild mannerism but he is still very friendly. When it is sleep time, the trio shares the same room and cuddle together. They were kept as pets in that basement, which was legally not allowed. The owner of the basement was a drug dealer. They were confiscated and bought the sanctuary. Since then the owner of the sanctuary has looked after these three.

Unfortunately, Leo has passed away, leaving his loved ones with wonderful memories of him. He was 15 years of age when he passed away. He had been feeling sick and during surgery, his doctor found 80% of his liver was damaged. He could not have survived in such a condition. The difficult decision to let him go had to be made so that he does not suffer. His end in the world was peaceful.

Leo’s best friends, Shere Khan and Baloo, were able to say a final goodbye to him. They have been doing all right since their best friend’s departure. The staff at the sanctuary keeps a close eye to check off any worrisome signs of depression or change in behavior. The staff believes these two already knew Leo was terminally ill long before the staff was able to find out.

Leo’s final resting place is located by the clubhouse at the sanctuary. Such compassion and bond in animals of different species are very rare. In the wild, they might have been foes, but at the sanctuary they were brothers. Their story is an example of when nurture overtakes nature. They grew up together and build a bond that went beyond the design of nature. Humans do not fully understand the communication or relationship dynamics of the animals. This story is an example of how wild animals can get along in the right environment.

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Cat Takes a Ride Among the Boxes

Kevin Wells



If you’ve ever owned a cat, you’ve observed the peculiar affinity cats have toward boxes.  There are several reasons people love cats. They’re affectionate, cute, soft and generally low-maintenance. For an average family cat, the monthly expense is approximately $100. You could lower that expense by replacing fancy cat toys and play-houses with empty cardboard boxes.

The comfort and security cats find from lounging in cardboard boxes went a little too far for Millie McMahon’s adventurous cat Trixie. Trixie, like most cats, loves empty boxes. This worked out great for Millie when she was preparing to move from Boston to San Francisco. All the empty cardboard boxes around the house kept Trixie entertained and out from under foot while Millie packed her house.

As the moving truck retreated from Millie’s driveway, Millie let out a deep sigh of relief. Only a few essential items remained, which Millie would pack in her car for her own trip across the country. Trixie was one of those “items”, except Trixie was nowhere to be found. Millie waved it off as Trixie just being skittish about the packing and the movers, and her world being in disarray.

Trixie didn’t show up the next day either. Or the next. Millie began feeling worried. She couldn’t leave for California without her cat.

Meanwhile, traveling across the country in a moving truck, was Eddie. Eddie was no stranger to driving trucks. He found comfort in the humming of the wheels on the highway as he ambled along his route. He found it meditative. 

Eddie lost his meditative mood on the second day of his drive. On day two he woke from his motel, showered, ate breakfast and settled into the driver’s seat. Shortly after, as he rolled down the highway, he started to hear an odd squeaking noise. At first, he thought he was imagining the occasional soft mewing. By the end of the day he found it maddening. He ruled out engine issues after checking under the hood. He decided it had to be something in one of the boxes. The boxes, however, were too tightly and perfectly packed to unload and investigate. He’d have to just live with the unnerving noise.

Eddie finally arrived at Millie’s new house and began unpacking his truck. At the back of the moving truck, among a shelf of blankets, shone a pair of glowing yellow eyes. Eddie was startled to see the eyes.He was even more shocked when the cat to whom the eyes belonged jumped from the blankets and onto Eddie’s chest. Instinctively Eddie caught the cat and held him. This is the source of the three days’ noise!

He held the cat as he walked to the cab of his truck, not knowing where the cat came from or what he was going to do. He just sat and looked at the cat, as the cat stared back at him, purring. He poured water into his coffee cup and thought how hungry this cat must be. He made a short trip to the corner market for some kitty food. As he opened the truck door, Trixie jumped out and ran quickly behind the building. Eddie couldn’t see where the cat went.

Eddie returned to Millie’s house to be sure it was secured, knowing Millie wouldn’t be arriving for a few days. It was there that he spotted Trixie, sitting inside, in a sunny window! 

Eddie called the number that Millie had given him, for use in the event of an emergency. Millie was relieved to hear that Trixie had been found. Eddie left enough food and water for Trixie. Millie could now embark on her own trip to California knowing that her cat was safe “at home”.

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My Hero Mango

Shannon Jackson



In 2019 Shawn and Rita Fitzgerald settled into the realization that they were never going to be parents. Rita had suffered multiple miscarriages. She found it difficult to spend time with friends who had children. It was painful for her to mingle among neighbors with children. 

Their neighbors across the street, Martin and Leslie had a young son, Owen. Rita had heard through the grapevine that Leslie was now expecting another child. Rita was devastated to hear this news, which for most women would bring excitement and job. Shawn was worried about Rita. 

On his way home from work one afternoon, Shawn stopped at the local animal shelter and met Mango. She was a sweet, quiet, caramel colored pit bull. Despite the negative stereotype pit bulls are known to have, Shawn filled out the application to adopt Mango. A week later, Shawn was driving home with Mango to surprise Rita. He was sure Rita would absolutely fall in love with her. 

He was right. Rita and Mango became inseparable. Rita’s melancholy demeanor dissolved slowly, despite having to watch Leslie’s belly grow through her pregnancy. By the time Leslie’s new baby, Aiden, was born, Rita was happy. Mango was exactly what Rita needed. As it turned out, Mango was exactly what Leslie needed, too. 

Leslie was a bit of a neat freak. She liked a clean house. She was a big fan of candles to enhance the fragrance of cleanliness. 

One quiet afternoon, after a long walk in the woods, Rita and Mango took a nap on Rita’s couch. Rita was startled awake when Mango jumped from his slumber and raced to the front door. Rita followed, looking out. Mango was whining uncontrollably. Rita started to open the door when Mango pushed her aside and raced out and across the street to Leslie’s house.

Mango nosed open the screen door of Leslie’s house and disappeared inside. Rita wasn’t sure what was happening. Then she saw the smoke billowing from the second story of Leslie’s house. Leslie’s car was in the driveway, so Rita assumed Leslie was home with the kids. She instantly called the fire rescue.

Rita let herself into the smoke-filled house, finding Leslie and the baby asleep on the couch. Owen was nowhere in sight. Rita was shouting waking Leslie. She ushered them outside to find the fire truck approaching. The firefighters disappeared for what seemed an eternity. They brought Owen out of the house, but not Mango.

Her fear about Mango turned into panic. She knew Mango was still in the house. The entire second floor was now entirely engulfed in flames. The firemen eventually retreated, without Mango and they continued working to extinguish the fire.

Hours later Rita sat in shock, knowing her beloved Mango was gone. She sat on her porch staring at the ruins of Leslie’s house, too stunned to cry. In too much of a shock to hear Leslie’s husband and toddler approach. The three of them sat in silence as Owen climbed into Rita’s lap. He rested his head on Rita’s chest and after a while he said softly, “Mango is my best friend”.  

It took Leslie and Martin more than a year to completely restore their home. During that time, Owen came to visit Leslie every day. He insisted on taking walks with Rita, asking questions about Mango. He got Rita to laugh, talking about her caramel colored hero.

On the anniversary of the perilous fire, Leslie and Martin accompanied Owen on his visit to see Rita. They brought a box which held a framed photo of Rita and Mango, Mango’s collar that had been found among the ashes, and a check for $25,000 that Leslie and Martin were giving to the animal shelter.

It didn’t bring Mango back to Rita, but it did make her happy that Mango saved this sweet boy Owen and that many animals would benefit from Martin and Leslie’s gift of charity.

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An Abandoned Puppy Finds His Forever Home Thousands of Miles Away

Kelly Taylor



There are countless animals out there that are in need of families who are going to love them and take care of them. Sometimes, animals are born on the street and end up as strays. They struggle to find food and water as every day is just a struggle to stay alive. In other cases, animals might be the victims of abuse and are looking for owners who are going to show them love and compassion instead of cruelty. Those who welcome pets into their homes will agree with this sentiment. If there was enough room in everyone’s home to adopt a pet, most people would. This is the story of a dog that spent his life on the street until he was taken in by a family at the end of a very long and arduous journey. This simply shows what some animals are willing to endure in an effort to find love.

Several years ago, there was a golden retriever who has left to fend for himself on the streets of one of the biggest cities in the world, Istanbul. At the time, there was a trend unfolding in the country. Many families in the local area decided that a golden retriever was the best type of dog to have in the local area. Of course, like other fashion trends, this one started to fall by the wayside. Once families realized that having a golden retriever would not elevate them in the social stratosphere, they decided to dump the dog. This is how this golden retriever ended up on the streets. The story and trend are both absolutely heartbreaking. Nobody should ever kick their dog to the curb; however, this is what happened to this poor golden retriever.

Even worse, this golden retriever was just a puppy at the time. He had just turned one year old and was being asked to fend for himself. Furthermore, the golden retriever was born with some defects. He had an elbow joint that was not quite fully formed. This meant that one of his legs was crooked. This made it even more difficult for him to move around and survive on his own. It is easy to see how this golden retriever could have trouble finding food and water on the streets of one of the biggest cities in the world.

Because of the situation going on in Istanbul with so many dogs being left for dead on the streets, a local charity for dogs in Atlanta decided to step in. The organization got wind of what was happening and decided that enough was enough. They adopted dozens of dogs from the local shelters in Istanbul to try to alleviate some of the problems that were unfolding in this bustling city.

When the charity brought the dogs back to the states, there was a couple that was looking for a sibling for a dog they already had. This couple had a dog that only had one eye. Even though some people might not want a dog with a disability, this couple is trying to break the stigma. Therefore, they stepped right up and adopted this golden retriever who had a problem with his elbow and front leg. 

In this way, this golden retriever traveled thousands of miles across the ocean to find his forever home. For this family, it was love at first sight. To this day, they say the golden retriever fits right in with their family. Now, this golden retriever gets to live happily ever after with a family who lives him.

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