Pet Scoop: Lawmaker Reunited With Dog After a Year, Man Gets Gorilla Birthday Kiss

July 18, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham is happy to be reunited with Kiwi.
Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham
Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham is happy to be reunited with Kiwi.

Pooch Found 8 Miles From Home

U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., is celebrating the return of her 9-year-old Shih Tzu mix, Kiwi. It was 13 months ago that Kiwi ran off from Lujan Grisham’s backyard, after being scared by a hot air balloon. The Congresswoman, her daughters and their neighbors searched every day for the lost dog, who Lujan Grisham credits with helping her cope with her husband’s death. Then, late last week, a Good Samaritan found the pooch 8 miles from Lujan Grisham's home and brought her to an animal hospital in Albuquerque. A microchip showed she belonged to Lujan Grisham. Kiwi had lost four teeth and was a “little lethargic,” but was happy to see her owner. “It’s like being reunited with a long-lost family member … I was really heartbroken when I lost her,” Lujan Grisham said. “I think it’s a miracle.” — Read it at The Hill

Dogs May Remember Past Events

Long thought to “live in the present,” a new study from Hungary shows that man’s best friend may actually have “declarative memory.” In an experiment with eight adult dogs and their owners, the owner would demonstrate an activity. Then, the dog would get a break of up to 10 minutes. After the break, the owner (or a stranger) would say “do it,” and the dog would perform the task he or she was shown earlier.  The study was published in the journal Animal Cognition. — Read it at Discovery News

NOAA: Kennedys’ Sea Turtle Rescue Was Illegal

Brothers Max and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. had good intentions when they came to the aid of an entangled leatherback sea turtle on July 6. The Kennedys found the 500-pound endangered turtle with a buoy line wrapped around its head and fins while they were out sailing in the Nantucket Sound. But officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say that the rescue was actually a violation of the Endangered Species Act, which makes it illegal to handle an endangered animal — and that it was dangerous because they could have become entangled themselves. “Our first impulse was to do what we could to help free the animal," Robert Kennedy Jr. said in a statement on NOAA's website. "But we realize that the action we took was pretty risky, these are large, powerful animals." The agency recommends calling to report the situation and staying by the animal until help arrives.— Read it at AP via Yahoo News

Mark David gets a kiss on the cheek from a gorilla in Uganda.
Mark David gets a kiss on the cheek from a gorilla in Uganda.

Gorilla Kisses Man on Face

For his 60th birthday, Mark David was able to cross one thing off his bucket list. His son, Brandon, says his dad wanted to track gorillas for his birthday. So, the David family traveled for five days through Uganda, where his dad had a much closer gorilla encounter than he expected. The Davids visited Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a rainforest animal sanctuary that’s home to 320 critically endangered mountain gorillas. On a video taken by the family, one gorilla comes right up to Mark David, who didn’t move a muscle. "The gorilla breathed hot air into my dad's ear for a few seconds, then pressed his lips against his cheek,” Brandon David said. “The guide gave a low guttural gorilla noise and the gorilla scampered off.” — Watch it at ABC News

Photographer Promotes Senior Dog Adoption

With her “Silver Hearts” project, photographer Lori Fusaro is highlighting the large number of older dogs who need homes. While doing volunteer photography at animal shelters in Los Angeles, Fusaro says she was shocked by the number of senior dogs who were stuck there because their owners were unable to care for them and few people are willing to adopt them. While she was nervous about adopting an older dog herself, Fusaro took in Sunny, a then 16-year-old with cancer. “I always come back to the idea that no dog should have to die alone. Even if she got just two months of joyous, happy life, it’s worth it for my heartbreak,” Fusaro said. Since then, Fusaro has photographed older adopted dogs with compelling stories. She hopes to publish a book with the photos to raise money for three senior rescue groups." All I really care about is changing the perception of older dogs,” Fusaro said.— See photos at Today

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