Happy news about animals

Drowning horse saved from pond

Author: Dora | Filed under: Horse & Pony

Rescue workers from Horsham Fire Station and a specialist animal rescue unit based at Storrington Fire Station were called to the pond in a field at Bashurst Hill, Itchingfield at 14:29 yesterday afternoon, after witnesses reported a mare was “lying down in the water” and “drowning”.

Onlookers and the owner of the field held the horse’s head out of the water until rescue workers arrived. Animal rescue equipment was used to pull the horse out of the water, which was afterwards treated by vet Becky Stubbs from Arundel.

“She must have stumbled into the pond,” said Kieran Smith, watch commander of Redwatch Horsham. “I expect she was in the water for about an hour and a quarter in the end. She was not injured but was quite distressed when she came out because she’d been sitting on her hindquarters for so long.”

The vet administered some painkillers and after three quarters of an hour the mare was returned to her stable.

Dolphin trip a dream come true for Amy

Author: Dora | Filed under: Dolphin

Schoolgirl Amy Morris is to realise her dream of swimming with dolphins and riding a rollercoaster for the first time.

Because she was born with a rare heart defect, the 12-year-old twice needed emergency surgery and had a pacemaker fitted to her original heart before, in October 2003, she received a life-saving transplant.

On Saturday the Westhoughton High School pupil flies to Walt Disney World in Florida after being chosen for the holiday of a lifetime by the Wish Upon A Star charity, which makes dreams come true for children who have suffered serious illness.

Amy, of Stanley Close, Westhoughton, was nominated by her mum, Tracy, and will travel to Florida with her dad, David, grandparents Marlene and Alan Backburn, 11-year-old sister Danielle and uncle Steven Calderbank.

She said: “I can’t wait. Because of my heart problems I haven’t been able to go on a roller coaster before it will be fantastic.”

Puppy-Saving Turns Into Man-Saving

Author: Dora | Filed under: Dog & Puppy

A man jumped into Lake Michigan near Montrose Harbor to save his puppy, but quickly found he needed help himself Saturday.

The man, in his 20s, was rushed to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center after firefighters helped him and his puppy out of the water, Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford said. Firefighters got extra help from a local boy who pointed firefighters in the right direction.

Daniel Lopez, 17, ran to firefighters, and quickly brought them to where the man and his dog were in the lake, Langford said.

“This guy was close to being in there too long,” said Langford, “but we got him and the dog out.”

Langford said the water temperature is probably around 36 degrees this time of year and that a person has just about 15 minutes to survive in that type of water.

The puppy has been sent to a local vet to be checked on.

As the director of Senior Services, Inc., in Winston-Salem, I often hear stories of independence, ingenuity and perseverance on the part of older adults, such as the story told to me by a Meals-on-Wheels volunteer about one of his feistiest recipients. Mrs. Taylor was a proud woman in her late 80s with multiple health problems. A tiny woman, she was not at all steady on her feet and used a walker to maneuver around her small house.

One day when the volunteer was delivering a hot lunch to her, Mrs. Taylor, standing with her walker in the middle of the living room and dressed in her nightdress and bathrobe, asked him to bring her a ladder from the garage so that she might change a light bulb in a ceiling fixture. The volunteer, picking up on the subtlety of Mrs. Taylor’s request, offered to retrieve the ladder and change the light bulb for her. Mrs. Taylor accepted the volunteer’s offer with well-rehearsed surprise and delight.

So it was with Mrs. Taylor in mind that I responded to a call from my 84-year-old father, Milton, one Sunday morning this past summer. Milton, having moved to Kernersville a year before to be closer to his grandchildren, telephoned me for directions to the airport in Greensboro. It seems that my father was going to look at some dachshund puppies and possibly buy one, and he was meeting the owners near the airport.

For the previous six months, my father had been talking about getting a dog, but I was not quite sure how serious he was. That morning he had read an advertisement in the classified section of the Journal, placed by a couple that breeds dogs.

In his telephone call to me that morning, my father was as eager to see these puppies as an 8-year-old boy.

Knowing my father’s driving skills and his sense of direction, neither of which have improved at all in the last 65 years, I told him that I would gladly drive him to the airport and that my elder daughter, Rachel, would come with us.

The dog breeders were waiting for us in a Suburban SUV in a parking lot near the airport. When Milton, Rachel and I arrived, three dachshund puppies in a large wicker basket greeted us, two males and one female.

As we observed and played with the 6-week-old puppies for a while, their owners described the puppies to us: the female puppy was “well behaved,” one of the male puppies was “laid back,” and the remaining male puppy had “personality.” I voted for the laid-back male; Rachel was rooting for the female puppy; and Milton fell for the one with personality, whom he subsequently named Mike. To this day, when he tells people how he came to purchase Mike, Milton says that Rachel and I picked him out.

Mike’s presence has transformed Milton’s life. Before Mike, the subjects of our daily conversations were often about my father’s arthritis or the results of his latest blood work; now the conversations center on whether Mike has been a “good boy” and whether he did a “number one” or a “number two” outside. Before Mike, my father’s daily trips consisted of going to the grocery store or to a medical appointment. Now he often ventures out to the pet superstore to buy Mike a new toy, a dog bed or a leash.

My father recently turned 85, and the remarkable thing is that he appears younger than he did a year ago. Taking Mike for a walk each day and bending down to pick him up or retrieve his food dish keeps Milton limber. And when Mike wakes him up in the morning by wagging his tail against the bedroom door, Milton has more than just himself to get out of bed for. Despite some chewed-up furniture and the fact that Mike thinks his name is “No Biting!,” Mike and Milton have become an awfully good pair.

Dolphin tagging trip proves successful

Author: Dora | Filed under: Dolphin

Dolphin tagger extraordinaire Don Hammond went to the Bahamas last week looking to catch and tag dolphin for the Dolphin Tagging Research Project he heads.

What he didn’t catch was a break in the weather while fishing out of Highborne Cay in the southeastern Bahamas aboard Makara with Capt. Tom McMurray at the helm.

The Makara crew, out of Beaufort, N.C., and Hammond faced stiff east-northeast winds while fishing for dolphin on Great Exuma Sound.

“The weather was nasty, [with] east-northeast winds from 15 to 30 [knots] depending on the day. It was a typical Bahamas trip for me,” Hammond said with a laugh.

Despite the conditions, the venture was a success as the crew managed to tag and release 24 dolphin ranging in size “from 24 inches to well over 40 inches,” Hammond said.

The mission for Hammond, a retired S.C. DNR biologist who coordinates the tagging project through his Cooperative Science Services, LLC, was to help confirm a migratory path for dolphin from the Bahamas to central/north Florida and up to the Carolinas along the East Coast.

Hammond, through anecdotal information from anglers who fish for dolphin in both South Florida and the Carolinas, has a theory regarding dolphin catches along the Southeast coast. He says the general consensus is dolphin anglers in the Carolinas “tend to catch more big dolphin than [anglers in] South Florida do in a given fishing year.”

It is well documented through the tagging program that dolphin migrate northward up the Gulf Stream from South Florida in the spring to reach the waters off the Carolinas.

“If our fish were solely coming up the Florida Straits and up the East Coast, the Florida boys would have first shot at the big fish,” Hammond said. “Seeing that [Carolinas anglers] are catching more big fish than they are, there has to be another source [of dolphin] in the equation.”

The nomadic dolphin follow ocean currents in their migratory movements.

“Dolphinfish utilize the Gulf Stream and [similar] currents throughout the world as their highways, that is their highway system,” Hammond said.

Hammond surmises dolphin travel in the Antillean Current, moving northward up the eastern side of the Bahamas Bank. The current starts joining the Gulf Stream off Cape Canaveral and fully joins it off Brunswick, Ga.

Hammond’s program already has produced one tag recovery from a fish that was tagged in April, 2005, near Eluthera in the Bahamas and recovered 37 days later off Brunswick.

Hammond is hoping some of last week’s batch of tagged fish will be recaptured off the Carolinas coast, helping further prove his theory.

“I just hope we can see some of these fish show up off our [South Carolina] coast,” he said. “That would be fantastic.”

Why is Hammond so interested in proving the dolphin connection between the Bahamas and the Carolinas?

“We’re trying to prove it’s a common stock, that we’re fishing the same stock of fish, so as to indicate they must be managed jointly,” Hammond said.

Satellite tags

Hammond discussed the details of the data received from a pair of bull dolphin in the 30-pound range that were recently tagged off South Carolina with pop-off satellite archival tags.

The first fish was tagged on June 4, 2005, aboard Tag Team out of Mount Pleasant while the second was tagged June 21, 2006, aboard Jenny Lynn out of Charleston.

Tag Team’s fish was tracked for 10 days while Jenny Lynn’s fish was tracked for six days. The movement of the two fish, including water depth and temperature conditions, was constantly monitored by the satellite while the tags were in place.

“This is the first time we’ve ever been able to look at the diving behavior and temperature selection of dolphin,” Hammond said. “We have seen there are differences in diving behavior and temperature selection depending on the region they occur in.”

The satellite data showed the two tagged fish dove into water as cold as 61 degrees and, as Hammond said, are “purpose driven” when making deep dives.

“When they make these deep dives, they stay down briefly but never linger long in water temperatures below 71-72 degrees,” Hammond said. “They never spend more than 10 minutes [in water temperatures] below that.”

How does this relate to the typical dolphin angler in South Carolina?

“How many times have fishermen, myself included, come across this weedline in perfect water that has all the elements of perfect habitat, but you just find nothing there, it’s a desert?,” Hammond said. “We now know there may be fish associated with that weedline but they’re staying deep. They may be there but not at the surface when the fisherman comes by.

“These fish use a very large portion of the water column. This new data has proven that.”

Hammond relates a story on his Bahamas trip. Hammond said the mate got tired of “seeing dinner swim away” since all dolphin caught were tagged and released. He decided to target wahoo and deployed a deep bait on a wire line.

“The first two fish we caught [on the deep line] were dolphin,” Hammond said.

Tiny bird grounds plane

Author: Dora | Filed under: Bird

A flight was delayed for several hours after a tiny bird flew into the cockpit of the plane and refused to leave.

The bird came in through an open door of the plane as passengers boarded at the Ben Gurion Airport, near Tel Aviv.

All 178 passengers of the Israeli airline EL Al flight to Vienna had to leave the plane while the airline brought in a professional bird-catcher.

They had to wait in the passenger lounge for hours until the bird had been caught and removed from the plane.

A spokesman of the airline called the incident “extremely rare”.

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