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Oct. 9, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
For most humans, months of training are required to complete a half marathon. But Boogie apparently decided to jump into the competition at the spur of the moment. The chocolate Labrador from Evansville, Ind., met up with runners just as the YMCA Half Marathon was starting on Saturday morning and ran the whole thing without any assistance. Once he crossed the finish line and no one knew who he belonged to, the police brought him to a local shelter, where his owner came looking for him. When they were reunited, owner Jerry Butts learned about Boogie’s big accomplishment and said he couldn’t believe his dog stuck with the race to finish it. On Tuesday, Boogie was awarded a medal for his achievement. — Watch it at Indiana’s 14News
A new study finds that a dog’s behavior could be used as an early warning sign that their elderly owner is struggling to cope or that their health is deteriorating. Researchers from the U.K.’s Newcastle University used movement sensors to remotely monitor a dog’s behavior. The technology could be used as a non-invasive way for caregivers to track how an older person is doing. "A dog's physical and emotional dependence on their owner means that their wellbeing is likely [to] reflect that of their owner and any changes such as the dog being walked less often, perhaps not being fed regularly, or simply demonstrating 'unhappy' behavior could be an early indicator for families that an older relative needs help," said Nils Hammerla, a behavior imaging expert. — Read it at Science Daily
New research suggests that the migrating Alpine swift can fly for 200 days across more than 1,200 miles without even stopping to eat or sleep. Scientists in Switzerland outfitted six of the swallow-like birds with tags logging their acceleration and the ambient light during their yearlong migration from Switzerland to West Africa and back again. "Their activity pattern reveals that they can stay airborne continuously throughout their nonbreeding period in Africa and must be able to recover while airborne," the researchers said in their report. "To date, such long-lasting locomotive activities had been reported only for animals living in the sea." The study was published in the journal Nature Communications. — Read it at Live Science
You may think you’ve made inroads by getting your reluctant cat to let you pet him. But, an international group of researchers says that what’s a happy moment for you may be a stressful experience for your cat. “Our data suggests that cats who tolerate, rather than enjoy or dislike being petted, seem to be the most stressed,” said Daniel Mills, a professor of veterinary behavioral medicine at the University of Lincoln in the U.K. The same study also found that the generally solitary animals don’t seem to mind living in a house with several cats. The team’s findings were published in the Journal Physiology and Behavior. — Read it at Phys.org
The baby pandas at China’s Chengdu Research Base got to go outside for the first time on Monday. They didn’t exactly go exploring … the adorable black-and-white fur balls basically just snuggled on a pink blanket on the ground where their caretakers placed them. But any video that includes 14 panda cubs is a must-see! — Watch it at People Pets
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