Happy New Year! As we head into 2024 many pundits and newscasters are looking back over 2023 and revisiting some of the key moments. As it turns out, our canine friends also had several important moments as well. This article features the top dog stories of 2023, as compiled by a local Galena, MD veterinary clinic.
Chiquita, a sweet 12-year-old dog, was finally adopted after 650 days in the care of a North Carolina animal rescue. The Watauga Humane Society’s celebratory posts received an overwhelming response, with many reaching for tissues as they read the news. Chiquita, also known as Chiqui, was terrified of the shelter environment, and had been splitting her time between the adoption center and foster care. The pooch is described as a love bug with a sweet personality. We suspect that 2024 will be an excellent year for Chiquita, who enjoys taking walks and naps.
The concept of paw pad buttons, which speak programmed words when dogs step on them, may sound out-of-the-box. However, Man’s Best Buddy has proven to be quite adept at communicating with his humans this way. In fact, Fido’s affinity for speaking is the subject of a research project by the University of California San Diego.
However, if your pup is quick to pick things up, you may want to try these! Just don’t expect deep conversation: most pups use their paws to request treats, walks, belly rubs, and play time.
We are always moved by stories of dogs reuniting with their owners. There was a particularly special case earlier this year in San Antonio, Texas. U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Mike Alcala was able to adopt his former canine partner, John, a German shepherd who had formerly served as an explosive detection dog. The pair met in 2018, and quickly formed a strong bond. They became certified as a team just two weeks later and spent the next three years working together, protecting high-profile clients such as the U.S. vice president and first lady. Alcala was thrilled to be able to adopt John and give him the retirement he deserves.
Despite it being one of our least favorite stories of the year, this one is still worth mentioning. You may have heard about an outbreak of a mysterious respiratory disease affecting our canine pals. More than 16 states have reported cases. Canada has also reported outbreaks.
Unfortunately, a number of dogs have already fallen victim to the mystery disease, with some passing away within just 24 hours. Places where multiple dogs congregate, like kennels and dog parks, pose the highest risk for contagion.
While there is no need to panic, we do advise taking extra precautions, especially if your furry friend has a weakened immune system or pre-existing health conditions. Keep an eye out for symptoms. These include coughing, fever, loss of appetite, and difficulty breathing. If you observe any of these warning signs, contact your Galena, MD veterinarian right away.
Home delivery services are more popular than ever these days. One-click shopping was extremely helpful during the pandemic, and that trend does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Unfortunately, porch piracy also increased. However, there is at least a little bit of silver lining here, in that one particular episode of attempted package theft produced some really funny footage.
A Prime delivery driver found his day going to the dogs when a German Shepherd repeatedly attempted to take off with a delivery package. You can watch the resulting chaos at @juicecupboxx’s TikTok account. As you can probably guess, the footage is both adorable and hilarious.
The old adage of everything old becoming new again seems to ring true for the Bracco Italiano, also known as the Italian Pointing Dog. Believed to be the oldest European Pointer, this breed is a combination of the now-extinct Asiatic Mastiff and the Segugio Italiano. Originating in the fourth or fifth century B.C., the Bracco gained popularity during medieval times, and was a favorite pet among aristocratic families during the Renaissance. However, poor breeding practices eventually led to health issues for Fido. Thankfully, at the beginning of the 20th century, diligent breeders came to Fido’s rescue. The new Bracco was the result of breeders carefully selecting and combining two distinct variations of the breed. Today, Fido is smart, faithful, and versatile, and makes both a great pet and a great hunting buddy. (He’s also super cute.)
We’re delighted that the Bracco finally got his time to shine, and was welcomed by the AKC last year. He also made quite an impression at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show last year. Tim McGraw’s co-owned dog, Lepshi, won Best In Breed in the new Bracco category.
One lucky canine has been found and taken to safety after spending a whopping seven years on her own. The 12-year-old Patterdale terrier, Rose, was discovered near Crawley Down, a small village in West Sussex, England. A local volunteer nonprofit rescue, Lost Dog Recovery UK, stepped in after someone called to report the little stray dog. The rescuers arrived with food and a camera. After several days, they successfully captured the pup. (Rose turned out to be quite particular about her diet: it took a warm roast chicken topped with paté to coax her into the trap.)
This is where things took a startling turn. Rescuers discovered that the sweet dog had a microchip. Subsequent research revealed that Rose had been reported missing back in 2017, and that she had been lost within 24 hours of being adopted. The poor little dog had survived in the wild for all that time! Although her former owners were unable to take her, due to a change in their circumstances, they were thrilled to hear that she was alive and well. We’re just happy that Rose is now safe and warm. (And perhaps by now, soaking up love and affection in a new home.)
Typically, the weather report isn’t exactly the most riveting topic on the news, except when there are strong storms or unusual temperatures. In 2023, there was a delightful break from this trend when a fluffy canine named Bella crashed the morning weather report. Josh Judge, a New England weatherman, was delivering a forecast of sunny skies when he received an unexpected visit from the cute black and white pooch. It turns out Bella belonged to one of the weekend anchors and was on set for a segment featuring veterinarians. (Note: we think all weather reports should feature dogs.)
We’re always thrilled to see dogs find forever homes. In Pennsylvania, a number of homeless shelter pups finally got their wishes for loving homes last year. The Adams County Pennsylvania SPCA happily shared that, for the first time in almost half a century, all of the dogs in their care had found loving homes, leaving them with empty cages. (Well, almost empty – a cat wandered in just before the official announcement.)
The shelter took to their Facebook page to celebrate this wonderful news. They also mentioned that they have successfully adopted out 598 animals and reunited 125 lost pets with their worried owners in 2023. We’re hoping those cages stay empty!
Please contact us for all your dog’s veterinary care needs in 2024 and beyond. As your Galena, MD pet hospital, we’re dedicated to offering top-notch care!