Happy New Year! Can you believe that we are already in 2024? The start of a new year is usually a time for reflecting back, and revisiting some of the highs and lows of the past year. As it turns out, our canine pals had some important moments in 2023. The top dog stories of 2023 are listed in this article by a local veterinarian.
A Heartwarming Reunion
We are always moved by stories of dogs being reunited with their owners. This is one of our favorites! In San Antonio, Texas, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Mike Alcala had the joy of adopting his former canine partner, a German shepherd named John. John had served as an explosive detection dog for almost ten years previously. He bonded with Alcala immediately when the two first met in 2018. In fact, the pair was certified as a team just two weeks after their initial meeting. For three years, they worked together to protect high-profile figures like the U.S. vice president and first lady. Now that Alcala has retired, he was able to officially adopt his beloved pooch and give him the retirement he deserves.
Mystery Canine Respiratory Illness
Despite being one of our least favorite stories of the year, this one is still worth mentioning. An outbreak of a mysterious respiratory disease has affected dogs in more than 16 American states, as well as in Canada.
This illness can have serious consequences for Fido, and even be fatal. Most pups do recover. However, unfortunately there have been cases where dogs have passed away, some within just a day. The risk of it spreading is highest in locations with a high concentration of dogs, like kennels and dog parks.
While there’s no need to panic, it’s wise to take extra measures, especially if your dog has a weakened immune system or pre-existing health concerns. Be on the lookout for symptoms such as coughing, fever, loss of appetite, and difficulty breathing. If you observe any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.
The Cutest (And Naughtiest) Porch Pirate Ever
Home delivery services have become very popular in recent years, a trend that doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon. Unfortunately, the convenience also comes with a downside for many, as porch piracy is also increasing. However, there is at least a little bright side as well, as at least one of these episodes resulted in absolutely hilarious footage.
A German Shepherd turned a Prime delivery driver’s day upside down by repeatedly attempting to take off with a delivery package. TikTok user @juicecupboxx posted a video of the playful pup repeatedly trying to take off with a package. As expected, it’s both adorable and hilarious.
A Sweet Dog Is Now Home For Good
Occasionally, a heartwarming dog story captures our attention and leaves us reaching for tissues. Such was the case with Chiquita, a sweet pooch who recently found her forever home after spending 650 days in the care of a North Carolina animal rescue. Chiquita, also known as Chiqui, had been bouncing between the adoption center and foster care due to her fear of shelter life. The Watauga Humane Society’s joyous updates garnered an overwhelming response, with many confessing to being moved by the news. The 12-year-old pup is described as a lovable bundle of joy with a gentle demeanor. With plenty of walks and naps in her future, it seems like 2024 will be a wonderful year for Chiqui.
Many of our canine pals have proven quite adept at learning how to communicate with their humans by stepping on paw pad buttons, which speak programmed words when pressed. Although this may sound a bit far fetched, it turns out that Fido seems to enjoy talking with his humans. It is worth mentioning that one dog had an existential crisis when using the buttons, and is now on antidepressants. However, Most pups use their paws to specifically request treats, walks, belly rubs, and playtime.
If your canine buddy is quick to learn, you may want to give these a try!
Mamma Mia! The Italian Bracco Makes A Splash
You may be familiar with the saying that old becomes new again. This holds true for the Bracco Italiano, also known as the Italian Pointing Dog. Considered to be the oldest European Pointer, this breed is a mix of the Segugio Italiano and the now-extinct Asiatic Mastiff. Its origins can be traced back to the fourth or fifth century B.C. Fido gained popularity during medieval times, and became a beloved companion of noble families during the Renaissance period. However, at the start of the 20th century, poor breeding practices resulted in health issues and an undesirable body conformation. Thankfully, dedicated breeders stepped in and focused on careful selection to bring together two distinct variations of the breed.
Today, Fido is revered for his intelligence, loyalty, and versatility, and is an excellent pet and hunting companion. Although it took about 2500 years for this breed to gain recognition, we are delighted that it finally has its time in the spotlight. In fact, Fido even made an appearance at this year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show! (Tim McGraw’s dog Lepshi won Best In Breed in a new category.)
Weather Report: Furry With A Chance Of Barking
The weather isn’t usually the most riveting topic covered on the news. When it does cause a stir, it’s usually due to severe storms or extreme temperatures. There was one delightful exception to this trend In 2023, when a lovable pup named Bella made an unexpected appearance During a morning weather report. New England weatherman Josh Judge was in the middle of forecasting sunny skies when he was pleasantly surprised by the black and white dog.
Bella belonged to one of the weekend anchors and had tagged along for a segment on veterinarians. No word yet on whether she’s been offered a permanent spot.
Also, we think all weather reports should feature dogs.
It’s always heartwarming to see dogs find forever homes. Recently, several pups in Pennsylvania had their wishes granted. The Adams County Pennsylvania SPCA happily shared that after almost half a century, all of their dogs were adopted and the cages were empty. Well, almost empty – a curious kitty snuck in just before the official announcement. The shelter took to Facebook to announce the good news, declaring it as a “true Christmas miracle” to have an empty shelter during Christmas time for the first time in 47 years. They also proudly mentioned that they have found homes for 598 animals this year and reunited 125 strays with their owners.
Our congratulations go out to all of the newly adopted pups, and while it’s unrealistic to hope that this is the start of a trend, we do hope that more similar announcements will come in the future.
Safe At Last
After being missing for an impressive seven years, Rose, a 12-year-old Patterdale terrier, was recently found near Crawley Down, a small village in West Sussex, England, and is now safe and warm. Lost Dog Recovery UK received a call from someone who spotted her and quickly sprang into action. With food and camera in hand, volunteers worked tirelessly over the next few days to successfully trap the little dog. Although she was well-fed and known to the locals, Rose was unfortunately homeless … and apparently a bit picky. Interestingly enough, it took a mouth-watering combination of warm roast chicken and paté to entice her into the cage, proving that even strays can have refined tastes.
The sweet dog did have a microchip. Thanks to the information the chip provided, rescuers learned that Rose had been reported missing in 2017, and had gotten lost within 24 hours of being adopted. Remarkably, Rose had survived in the wild for all that time. We’re just happy she’s safe!
Please contact our animal hospital in Fox Lake, IL for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs in 2024 and beyond.