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Sept. 11, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
On today’s 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, we have a heartwarming story to share about a reunion between a war dog and his military handler. Jjoe, a detection dog who served for years in Afghanistan, was reunited Tuesday with former U.S. Marine Robert Hulsey, who served as his handler in 2011. Shortly after Hulsey’s deployment in Afghanistan ended, Jjoe was taken off the front lines because he became very sensitive to explosions and loud noises. But he remained in the command center and field hospital, where troops discovered he had a special gift for comforting wounded service members. Hulsey has been working to adopt the black Labrador Retriever from the contracting company that owned him for three years and faced several delays in the process. He arrived in Dallas this week thanks to Mission K9 Rescue and the American Humane Association. “I fell in love with him when I first started working with him,” Hulsey said. “I’m ready to give him the retirement he deserves. I just want to take him home and let him live out the rest of his life relaxing and getting spoiled.” Jjoe will live with Hulsey and his wife and baby in Texas. — Read it and watch it at the Dallas Morning News
A long-term study of more than 200 wild female baboons in Kenya finds that those who are most sociable live two to three years longer than more isolated baboons and that socializing with males increased their longevity even more. Baboons take turns grooming each other to make friends. Socializing with males lessened the females’ chances of dying within a given period by 45 percent. "Males' larger size may make them better than females at defending their friends against potential bullies," said study co-author Susan Alberts of Duke University. The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. — Read it at Science Daily
Researchers who analyzed dog registrations around the release of major movies with dogs in leading roles found that while they used to have a big impact on dog registrations, the effect isn’t as dramatic as it once was. "When "Lassie" came out [in 1943], it was the only movie with a dog, so that was a big deal to people," said study author Stefano Ghirlanda of Brooklyn College. "We can see a rise in Collie registration for 15 or 20 years after its release. It was iconic, and everyone talked about it." But with the increase in both entertainment options and the number of movies with dogs in them, movies have had much less of an effect on viewers. The findings were published in the journal PLOS ONE. — Read it at the Washington Post
Pam Haugh, who teaches English at a middle school in New Jersey, thought she heard meows coming from her Honda Odyssey when she arrived at school Monday morning. She was afraid to look under the hood, so she flagged down the school’s vice principal, Dominick Tarquinio, for help. “I unlatched the hood of the vehicle and there was this cute little button face sitting behind the engine block,” said Tarquinio. After about 15 minutes, he was able to coax the little black kitten from his hiding place and brought him to the office. The school’s Animal Club named the young kitten Midnight, and he’s been adopted by Haugh, the teacher he hitched a ride with. — Read it at New York’s WPIX
Photographer Seth Casteel has a sequel to his successful 2012 book “Underwater Dogs” coming out. “Underwater Puppies” will be released Sept. 16. In its pages, you can see the priceless expressions of young pups as they go for a swim. For now, you can catch a preview of some of the shots. — See photos at People Pets
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