Pet Scoop: “Today” Raises Guide Dog Puppy, Lab Rescued From Icy River After 30 Minutes

Jan. 14, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Today anchor Savannah Guthrie cuddles with a guide dog puppy.
Today anchor Savannah Guthrie cuddles with a guide dog puppy.

“Today” Has a Furry New Addition

Move over, Savannah and Matt. An adorable new personality debuted on NBC’s “Today” show this morning: a 10-week-old puppy. The pup, who appears to have stolen the anchors’ hearts already, is more than just a cute face. The “Today” anchors and staff are teaming up with Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a New York based non-profit, to raise the puppy for a visually impaired individual. The future guide dog will spend the next 16 months appearing on the show and having the “unique socialization opportunities” that it offers. Puppy raiser and Guiding Eyes staff member Saxon Eastman will be the pup’s “‘Today’ handler,” according to Guiding Eyes. She’ll be with the pup whenever he’s on the Studio 1A set to make sure things go smoothly and will bring him to his weekly training classes in the Westchester, New York, puppy raising region. After the pup’s first live TV appearance, “Today” will be asking its viewers for help with choosing his name. — Read it at Today and read our story on what it takes to be a puppy raiser

Is a Dog’s Roll Over Move Really Submissive?

Most people assume that when dogs are playing and one of them rolls over, they’re being submissive, and saying, “OK, you win.” But new research from the University of Lethbridge in Canada and the University of South Africa suggests something different. The team watched a female dog play with 33 separate partners of different breeds and sizes. They also analyzed 20 YouTube videos of dogs playing. Each time a dog was observed rolling over, they characterized it as submissive, combative or defensive. They found that most of the rollover maneuvers they observed were defensive — and none were submissive. The study was published in the journal Behavioural Processes. — Read it at Discovery News

Fish Has Surgery to Get Glass Eye

A rockfish at the Vancouver Aquarium had its eye removed because it had cataracts, and now has a special taxidermy eye to replace it. But it wasn’t just for looks. The medical team was concerned the fish could be attacked if it only had one eye. "We do find when fish are blind from one eye and [have] no visible eye, other fish recognize that and will kind of attack from that side," said Dr. Martin Haulena. He said the patient seems to be adapting well to his new eye. — Read it at ABC News

Firefighters rescued Chocolate Lab Stella from an icy Ohio river Monday.
Firefighters rescued Chocolate Lab Stella from an icy Ohio river Monday.

Lab Rescued From Icy River

Firefighters in Troy, Ohio, came to the rescue of a 7-year-old chocolate Labrador Retriever who was struggling in the icy Great Miami River Monday morning. At first, they tried to lasso the dog from a bridge, but when that didn’t work, they deployed a specially designed watercraft. A firefighter pulled her from the water and helped her onto solid ice. Stella had been in the frigid water for 30 minutes, and when she was taken to a local veterinarian, her low temperature didn’t even register on the thermometer. She was given an IV and warmed up with heating pads and piles of blankets. She’s now back home recovering with her owner. — Watch it at Ohio’s WHIO and read our tips on how to keep your dog safe around ice

Rhino Calf Meets an Unlikely Playmate

After drinking from her giant bottle Monday, Chutti, a 6-week-old greater one-horned rhino at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, had a playdate with a potential friend — 8-month-old Ankole calf. The pair were introduced three days earlier. They’re still getting to know each other, but the zoo staff is hopeful that they’ll become longtime companions. Chutti is being hand-raised in a nursery setting, so it’s important for him to have some company. The staff also hand-raised the female Ankole calf who they call Moo Moo Kitty and thought she’d make a great playmate for Chutti, as they’re both social animals. The staff has successfully paired rhino calves with unusual companions in the past, including exotic cows, Barbary sheep and goats. If this pairing works out, they’d be companions until Chutti is weaned, in about 14 to 15 months. — Watch it at YouTube


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