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Jan. 9, 2017: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Everyday along his route in Boulder, Colorado, mail carrier Jeff Kramer stops to say hello to Tashi, a black Labrador Retriever he first met a few years ago. As Tashi has aged, it’s gotten harder for him to walk up and down the front steps of his house, and his owner has had to carry the 70-pound dog. Having experienced this with his own elderly dog, Kramer knew how hard it was and stepped in to help. On his day off, he stopped by the house anyway to build a ramp for Tashi like the one his own late dog had used. Now, Tashi can get up and down the steps on his own again. “I can't imagine not having the ramp now. It's the only way he gets in and out,” said owner Karen Dimetrosky, who was touched by Kramer’s generosity. — Watch it at Colorado’s Daily Camera
Tilikum, who was about 36 years old, died Friday at SeaWorld Orlando. The killer whale was infamous for killing his trainer, Dawn Brancheau, in 2010. That incident inspired the 2013 documentary “Blackfish,” which made the SeaWorld orca shows controversial and led to decreased ticket sales for the theme park. SeaWorld responded by ending the killer whales’ tricks and breeding. Over the weekend, the park said it would end its One Ocean orca performance at its San Diego location. It will, however, introduce a new show about orcas that it describes as a more educational experience, reports NPR. — Read it at the Orlando Sentinel
Firefighters in Denver saved a dog who fell through the ice at Washington Park on Sunday afternoon — their second such rescue in two days. Francis ran onto the ice after some ducks and fell in. “She kept swimming and swimming and when she was rather tired, she attempted to get out of the water,” said Dr. Dan Berman, a veterinarian who witnessed the event. “She gripped the ice with her two front feet but was unable to get up on the ice and [after] multiple attempts she got tired.” The firefighters slid a craft out onto the ice and pulled her aboard, then dragged the craft back to shore. Berman helped assess Francis after the rescue and said she was likely to be tired on Monday but otherwise OK. — Watch it at Denver’s 9News
GoPro footage from a guide dog who works in London is offering a new perspective on what it’s like to help a blind person through a busy city. Kika, a 3-year-old yellow Lab, was matched with Amit Patel in September 2015. Patel, 37, lost his sight about five years ago due to a disorder called keratoconus. Kika helps Patel navigate through the streets and the subway to commute to work in London. “Ninety-nine percent of my journeys are absolutely fantastic. There are so many nice people out there, but it's that 1 percent that makes life difficult,” Patel said. Kika recently wore a GoPro video camera to help educate the small percentage of people who Patel said have been “rude” to his loyal dog. “If she has a bad day, I have a bad day and vice versa ... I just wanted to tell people if you budge her or if you hit her, it's unacceptable — especially a dog who’s guiding a blind person.” — Watch it at ABC News
In a heartbreaking moment, a horse named Sereno mourned his beloved owner at his funeral in Brazil last week. Wagner de Lima Figueiredo, 34, was killed in a motorcycle accident on Jan. 1. Wagner had worked in rodeos for almost a decade alongside Sereno, who he cherished. Family and friends at Wagner’s funeral were shocked to witness the horse cry and lay his head on his owner’s coffin. “As we brought the coffin out at the beginning of the funeral, (Sereno)sounded like he was crying and as if he recognized that his owner was finally leaving him. He pounded the ground with his hooves and kept on whinnying. It was very sad,” said Francielio Limiera. Wagner’s brother has agreed to honor his brother by caring for Sereno. — Watch it at USA Today
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