Bob the cat and his owner James are best friendsJames Bowen spent nearly a decade battling homelessness and heroin addiction, but in 2007 he saved a kitten's life. In return, the cat saved his.
Bowen found the tiny orange tabby curled up in the hallway of his government-sponsored apartment building in London.
The kitten had a severe case of fleas, so Bowen scrounged up enough money to get him antibiotics. He named the flea-ridden feline Bob, and the cat found his place at Bowen's side.
Bob provided Bowen with companionship he didn't know he needed and soon became the lifeline that saved Bowen from drug addiction.
Also see: Watch a video of Bowen and Bob
Bowen scraped by as a street musician, but when he started bringing Bob to his daily performances in Covent Garden, he began making a decent living. With his friendly feline on his shoulder, he attracted crowds of tourists and passersby, who were more than willing to drop a few coins into his guitar case.
"The minute Bob started working with me, people started paying more
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Bob the cat and his owner James are best friendsJames Bowen spent nearly a decade battling homelessness and heroin addiction, but in 2007 he saved a kitten's life. In return, the cat saved his.Read More »from This Cat Put an Addict on the Road to Recovery
Who would take this cute dog?After a long day of grilling and fun in the sun with my family, I was ready to turn in for the night. Glancing at my phone, I noticed a missed call from an unfamiliar number and stopped to check the message.Read More »from What is Dog Flipping?
"We have your dog Lulu," they said. "You can call us back at…"
My heart froze. It couldn't possibly be my Lulu. Rushing to her crate, I discovered that Lulu was nowhere in sight and it was nearly 11 p.m. But I called the number. They were awake and ready for me to pick up my pooch. I grabbed my keys and drove to the neighboring subdivision, nearly three miles from home. Thanks to her ID tag and a pair of good Samaritans, we were reunited.
Some pet owners aren't so fortunate.
Pet flipping occurs when someone finds - or in some cases steals - a pet and attempts to sell it. Ads on Craigslist often say the person can "no longer afford to keep the pet," but the price tag indicates they want to make money more than they want to secure a good home. Recovering a lost or stolen pet can
Yummy vegetablesEating more fruits and vegetables is one of the central tenets of a healthy diet.Read More »from 5 Great Ways to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables
And because meat and dairy typically require more resources to produce than vegetables, eating lower down the food chain is also one of the easiest ways to green the impact of your food. (As food writer Michael Pollan puts it "Eat food. Mostly Plants. Not too much.)
It's relatively easy, of course, to make changes to your own diet. But how do you go about encouraging children - many of whom are notoriously picky eaters - to put down the hot dog and reach for the broccoli instead?
Even if you're not trying to raise 100 percent vegetarian children, there's little doubt that children will benefit for years to come if they can develop a taste for plant-based foods.
Also see: 8 tips for taking food photos you'll friends will salivate over
Here are a few ways to help make that happen.
1. Connect to the source
Children often live in a world of mass marketed, processed foods. Try reconnecting them with the source of
Is this dog yawning because you are?If your canine companion has ever yawned after you yawned, it could be because he empathizes with you, according to a study.Read More »from Why Dogs Yawn when We Yawn
It may seem simple, but the fact that this behavior is contagious is actually quite remarkable because very few animals do it. Yawning itself is rare in the animal kingdom, and besides people and dogs, contagious yawning has been observed only in gelada baboons, stump-tail macaques and chimpanzees.
We know that humans and chimps tend to yawn more with friends and family, suggesting that "catching" someone's yawn is tied to feelings of empathy, and past research has shown that dogs are more likely to yawn after watching familiar people yawn. However, until recently, it was unclear if dogs' yawns were tied to empathy.
Also see: Why do dogs eat their poop?
But a study conducted by researchers at Portugal's University of Porto found that dogs yawn even when they hear only the sound of a person yawning, providing the strongest evidence yet that man's best friend is
Are jelly beans a choking hazard?On average, 57 children in the United States choke to death on food each year, and beyond the fatalities are a concerning number of non-fatal, food-related choking episodes that send an average of 34 children a day to the emergency room, according to a new study published in Pediatrics.Read More »from 11 Foods that Children Choke on Most
Dr. Gary Smith, who worked on the study at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and his colleagues analyzed injury surveillance data from 2001 through 2009 to come up with the figures.
"These numbers are high," said Smith. What's more, he added, "This is an underestimate. This doesn't include children who were treated in urgent care, by a primary care physician or who had a serious choking incident and were able to expel the food and never sought care."
They determined that candy was the most common cause of choking; but children choking on hot dogs, nuts and seeds were two to three times more likely to require hospitalization than those who choked on other foods. Ten percent of children
- Mother Nature Network (mnn.com) | Pets – Tue, Jul 30, 2013 10:23 AM EDT
Brandon Harker and his beloved dogWhen 1st Lt. Brandon Harker returned from Afghanistan, he couldn't wait to hug his dog, Oakley. He'd entrusted Oakley to a friend during his nine-month deployment.Read More »from Soldier Returns from War, Learns Dog was Given Away
Harker adopted the purebred yellow Labrador over Memorial Day weekend in 2011 while he was at Georgia's Fort Benning, and he describes Oakley as "a very big baby" who loves to snuggle. The two were inseparable when Harker was in the U.S, but whenever he was deployed, he'd leave his dog with "a good friend."
But when he got home to Washington state, he discovered that his friend had grown tired of the purebred yellow Labrador and given him away or sold him.
Harker called local animal shelters and veterinarians to try to track down Oakley, who's micro-chipped and registered. He then turned to social media to try to find his dog and soon learned that the dog had been listed for sale on Craigslist some time between February and June.
Although selling pets on Craigslist violates the website's terms of service, it often happens
Do dogs know how we are feeling?Dogs may truly be man's best friend, according to a study that suggests canines empathize with humans more than other animals.Read More »from Dogs Really Do Empathize with Humans
Researchers at the University of London Goldsmiths College found that dogs comforted people - both their owners and strangers - when the individual pretended to cry.
In the study, 18 dogs of different ages and breeds had four separate 20-second human encounters. The study's participants included the dogs' owners as well as strangers.
Also see: Why dogs yawn when we yawn
For one encounter, the person hummed in a weird way, so scientists Deborah Custance and Jennifer Mayer could see if an unusual behavior itself could trigger canine concern. During the other encounters, participants talked or pretended to cry.
When exposed to the crying person - owner or not - most of the dogs acted submissive and nuzzled or licked the individual, the canine equivalent of comforting.
Custance and Mayer think this behavior could have been bred into dogs. They say our canine
- Mother Nature Network (mnn.com) | Pets – Mon, Jul 29, 2013 1:16 PM EDT
Pigs enjoy a swim at the islandPigs haven't exactly evolved for an aquatic lifestyle, but apparently that doesn't stop the pigs from Big Major Cay, aka Pig Beach or Pig Island, part of the Exuma Cays archipelago in the Bahamas. The island is uninhabited by humans, but wild pigs have taken over, and over time they have become good swimmers.Read More »from Where Pigs Swim: Island Boasts Plenty of Pigs, No Humans
There are about 20 swimming pigs on the island, which they share with a few stray cats and goats. (No word yet on how good the cats and goats are at swimming.)
There are many legends and theories surrounding the swimming pigs. According to one theory: "[They're said] to have been dropped off on Big Major Cay by a group of sailors who wanted to come back and cook them. The sailors, though, never returned; the pigs survived on excess food dumped from passing ships. One other legend has it that the pigs were survivors of a shipwreck and managed to swim to shore while another claims that the pigs had escaped from a nearby islet. Others suggest that the pigs were part of a business
Will this cat land safely?You've likely heard that cats always land on their feet, but while felines have extraordinary gravity-defying abilities, they don't always safely nail the landing.Read More »from Do Cats Always Land on Their Feet?
Most of the time, a falling cat will land on its feet, but the height of a cat's fall plays a role in how likely it is to right itself and absorb the shock of the landing without injury.
A cat's innate ability to reorient its body during a fall is called the righting reflex, and it's observable in kittens as young as 3 weeks old. By 7 weeks, this skill is fully developed.
The physics of a falling feline
French scientist Etienne Jules Marey tested the reflex in 1890 by dropping a cat and using his chronophotographic camera to capture up to 60 consecutive frames a second of the cat's fall. Afterward, he was able to watch in slow motion how the cat began to shift its balance the second the fall began.
A vestibular apparatus in a cat's inner ear acts as its balance and orientation compass so that it always knows
- Mother Nature Network (mnn.com) | Pets – Fri, Jul 26, 2013 10:53 AM EDT
Lori Fusaro's photograph of Shady the dog.The hardest part of loving a pet is having to say goodbye. That's why the idea of adopting an older animal made dog lover Lori Fusaro so uneasy.Read More »from Don't Be Afraid to Adopt an Older Dog, Says Photographer
"I thought it would just be too sad and painful," Fusaro told Today.com. "I didn't think my heart could take it, so I wasn't willing to open myself up."
But that all changed in June 2012 when Fusaro met Shady while she was photographing dogs at the South Los Angeles Animal Shelter. Shady was 16 years old with infected eyes and a large cancerous tumor on her leg.
"She was so sad and depressed. She wouldn't even lift her head for a treat. I didn't think I could adopt her and I left the shelter without her. But her face never left my mind. She kept popping into my thoughts."
Also see: 12 pets that survived crazy accidents
As she contemplated adoption, Fusaro sought out more information on the dog.
"I thought Shady was a stray that found her way into the shelter," she wrote on her blog. "Turns out I was wrong. Living her entire life with a