Pet Scoop: Hero Dog Honored for Protecting Friend, 12 Marines Reunited With K9s

Oct. 16, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee reads a proclamation honoring Setter-Spaniel mix Tillie, for protecting her friend Phoebe.
AP
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee reads a proclamation honoring Setter-Spaniel mix Tillie, for protecting her friend Phoebe.

Tillie Stayed by Stuck Pal’s Side

A very loyal dog was honored by Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee Thursday for standing guard for nearly a week last month while her friend was stuck in an old cistern on Vashon Island. Tillie, an 11-year-old Setter and Spaniel mix, got a written proclamation that she was “Washingtonian of the Day” and a Washington apple pin on a ribbon was tied around her neck. The governor called on "everyone in Washington to celebrate the bravery and loyalty of this canine companion." Tillie and Phoebe, a 4-year-old Basset Hound, were found after volunteers helping owner B.J. Tuft search for them got a call from someone who’d seen a reddish dog run on to their property and bark before heading back to a ravine. When they were found, a volunteer took a photo of them with Tillie waiting by the side of the cistern while Phoebe waited for help, and their story went viral. "It really made me think a lot about their friendship and Tillie's commitment to her companion,” said their owner. — Read from the AP via The Kansas City Star

12 Marines Reunited With K9s

A dozen Marines have begun to be reunited with the dogs they served with while deployed in the Middle East, after spending years apart. K2 Solutions, the company that trained the dogs and their handlers, recently got U.S. approval to start trying to reunite the last 12 dogs from the Marines’ now-defunct Improvised Explosive Device Detector Dog program with their original handlers. "I never thought I would see my buddy again. I was glad he was OK and even more excited I could adopt him," said Sgt. Mark Slocum. He was reunited with Tug, a 7-year-old black Labrador Retriever he hadn’t seen in four years, on Thursday. Two other Marines also got their dogs Thursday, and the other nine will be reunited with their dogs on Friday and Saturday. — Read it at ABC News

Study: Wallabies Detect Danger in Poop

Researchers in Australia have found that wallabies can sniff out danger in the feces of their predators. Some members of the canine family prey on wallabies, so the researchers took the feces of dogs who’d consumed wallabies and placed it by feeders in a place where wallabies often gather to eat. They found that the wallabies generally avoided the feeders near the dog feces, and noted that the smell seemed to put them on high alert. They were hesitant to approach the feeders and spent more time scanning for danger, which resulted in them eating less. The researchers also found that the wallabies seemed able to detect feeders that were laced with parasites and avoided eating from them. The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. — Read it at Smithsonian

Koko the gorilla got two kittens for her 44th birthday, including Ms. Gray, who's pictured here.
Koko the gorilla got two kittens for her 44th birthday, including Ms. Gray, who's pictured here.

Koko the Gorilla Adopts Kittens

Koko, the gorilla famous for communicating through sign language, celebrated her 44th birthday with the greatest gift: kittens. Koko lives in Santa Cruz, California, and is well known for her love of kittens. She got her first one in 1984. She had one feline companion, Smokey, for 18 years until she passed away. “They are members of her family,” The Gorilla Foundation posted on Facebook. A video posted on YouTube this week shows Koko meeting a litter of kittens to choose from. Koko fell in love with Ms. Gray, and another, Ms. Black, fell in love with Koko — so she got to keep both. “Koko has adopted these two kittens into her family, and it has energized her world,” reads the video description. The Gorilla Foundation says the other kittens in the litter were all adopted to good homes. — See it at SF Gate

Dog Helps British Couple Win the Lottery

Ruby the yellow Lab is quite the good luck charm. Her owners, Jane and Alan Slater, live in the U.K. and had just won about $230,000 in the lottery, when Ruby found a ticket that doubled their winnings. The ticket had been tucked away in a catalog in the back of the couple’s car until 2-year-old Ruby found it and dropped it at Jane’s feet. The second ticket was worth the same amount of money as the first.  “We both burst into tears when we saw the second ticket was also a winner,” her husband said. “It all happened in such a magical way.” — Read it at People Pets

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