Pet Scoop: Bear Cubs Take a Dip in a Backyard Pool, Rafalca’s Olympic Bid Comes to an End

August 8, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Bear cubs go for a dip in a backyard pool in Pasadena, Calif.
Two cubs had their own private pool party at a home in Pasadena, Calif.

Cubs Cool Down in the Pool

When temperatures top 100 degrees, everyone wants to find a way to beat the heat — even bear cubs. A Pasadena, Calif., homeowner was shocked when she spotted two cubs swimming in her pool, while their mom watched nearby. “They were just having a great time swimming, and pulling the vacuum out and just having a blast . . . like little kids,” said Maral Shekerdemian, who caught the pair on video. After about 15 minutes, the cubs climbed a tree for a nap. — Watch it at CBS Los Angeles

Ann Romney’s Horse Won't Be Medaling at the Olympics

Rafalca, the mare co-owned by Ann Romney, made her final appearance at the Olympic Games on Tuesday. Her score in the dressage competition wasn’t high enough for her to continue on to the medal event. Rider Jan Ebeling tipped his hat to Romney and Rafalca’s other two owners as they watched from the stands. “She was elegant and consistent again. We just love her," said Romney. — Read it at NBC News

Pet Theft Is on the Upswing

According to findings from the American Kennel Club, 224 pets were reported stolen during a seven-month period in 2011. In 2010, that number was just 150 during the same period. — Read it at Yahoo Shine

Plus: The percentage of pet-owning households has dropped by 2.4 percent over the last five years, based on a study from the American Veterinary Medical Association. The percentage of dog-owning households dipped 1.9 percent, while homes with cats plummeted 6.2 percent. — Read it at DVM 360

A dog trained by NW Truffle Dogs demonstrates during a training seminar.
A pup trained by NW Truffle Dogs demonstrates his skills.

Dogs Learn the Art of Truffle Hunting in Oregon

The pups are in heaven, and the people can enjoy the fruits of their labor. NW Truffle Dogs, a school in Oregon, trains canines to use their sensitive noses to sniff out four kinds of prized Oregon truffles, which retail for about $400 a pound because they’re so labor-intensive for humans to harvest. In Europe, where the fungi can go for up to $4,000 a pound, dogs and pigs have long been used to search for high-quality truffles. — Read it at The New York Times, and watch it on YouTube

Jessica Biel’s Dog Hops Into Her Suitcase

It looks like the Total Recall star isn’t going anywhere without Tina. The Pit Bull made herself right at home in Biel's suitcase as the actress was packing. "I'm gonna need a bigger bag," Biel said on her WhoSay page. Biel often posts photos of her pup as part of a series called Tuesdays with Tina. — Read it at People Pets

Baby Rhino Snuggles a Caretaker in South Africa

In a photo taken at the Entabeni Safari Conservancy in South Africa, a 4-month-old, orphaned black rhino calf curls up with a caretaker. The conservancy is one of the only groups in the world that will take in rhino babies whose parents have been poached for their horns. — See the photo at NBC News

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