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  • Military Dolphins Trained to Search -- and Attack?

    By Linda Lombardi |

    Ken Ramirez, executive vice president of animal care and training at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and an expert dolphin trainer.It is impossible these days to turn on the national news without hearing an update on the conflict in Crimea. This week, a story that involves animals caught our attention. Now that Russia has annexed Crimea, it has reportedly also seized dolphins that were trained for the Ukrainian military.

    The idea of dolphin soldiers may sound like something from a James Bond movie, but it's real - and not just in Crimea. The United States Navy has long had a marine mammal training program. In fact, the Ukrainian dolphins and the U.S. Navy dolphins are trained to do essentially the same job: use their echolocation abilities to find things underwater, such as land mines and scuba divers.

    Giving this story an even more 007-like twist are rumors that the Ukrainian dolphins were trained to carry weapons and attack enemy scuba divers. (The U.S. Navy strenuously denies such rumors about its own dolphins: "The Navy does not now train, nor has it ever trained,

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  • 7 Signs You're Ready to Get a Dog

    By Shayna Meliker |

    ThinkstockThinking about bringing home a dog? Before you take the plunge, check out this list of seven requirements you should meet before getting a new puppy or adult dog.

    1. You have the time to train and socialize a new pooch. Bringing home a puppy (or even an adult dog) means a huge commitment of time and patience. You have to teach him the rules of your home - including potty training, safe interaction with children or other pets, and which items are dog toys and which are Mommy's brand-new pair of expensive dress shoes. On top of that, you should have time for training sessions - check out Mikkel Becker's list of the three lifesaving commands every dog should know - and, of course, adequate exercise.

    SEE ALSO: 18 Best Breeds for First-Time Dog Owners

    2. You've considered which kind of dog fits your lifestyle. If you're a retired senior looking for a laid-back companion who doesn't need much exercise, a Border Collie may not be your best bet.

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  • Dog Rescued After Racing Train

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres |

    Tie was rescued from train tracks in Harlem after trying to race a commuter train.A stray dog was rescued on Tuesday morning after running for a mile and half alongside a Metro-North commuter train on electrified tracks in New York City.

    "She was just running like she didn't have a care in the world," said engineer Joseph Delia. The pooch met the train in the Bronx, and ran on a parallel track until she passed the train when it stopped at a red signal. Delia slowed the train way down, alerted other engineers in the area to watch out for the dog and called the MTA police for help.

    Two officers and a station worker at the train's next stop in Harlem headed for the stairs to try to lure the dog from the tracks. She walked right into their arms as the passengers on the train and the crowd gathered at the station clapped and cheered. "At first she appeared frightened, but started wagging her tail," said officer Luis Alvarez. "Having a dog of my own, I could tell she was very friendly." MTA workers named the 3-year-old

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  • Dog Breeds Most Sensitive to Drugs

    By Dr. Marty Becker |

    ThinkstockIf you live with a herding breed, you probably know that your dog may be sensitive to certain parasite-control products, antibiotics, sedatives, chemotherapy drugs and pain medications. Many Collies, Australian Shepherds and related breeds can suffer life-threatening illnesses or even die if given those medications. That's because they have a gene mutation that allows these drugs to build up in the brain, where they can cause neurological reactions, including tremors, disorientation and blindness.

    I'm proud to say that it was researchers at my alma mater, Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, who first discovered the mutation of the multidrug resistance gene, known as MDR1, and then, in 2010, developed test procedures to identify dogs with the mutation.

    SEE ALSO: 10 Dangerous Foods for Pets

    What does this mean for you? It's now easy to determine whether it's safe to give your dog a particular medication without

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  • 6 Secrets of Dogs Revealed

    By Dr. Marty Becker |

    ThinkstockIt's no surprise that I love animals. They've always been a part of my life as a farm kid and as a veterinarian, and I was fortunate to marry a woman who feels the same way. We've always had pets as part of our family, and we simply can't imagine our Almost Heaven Ranch without the cats, dogs, horses, wild animals (elk, turkeys, wolves - yes, wolves!) and many more who share our land.

    With our own animals, we have certainly learned to laugh at living with them. They probably think we're pretty funny, too, sometimes: The dogs laugh with us, and the cats laugh at us!

    Since I previously wrote about "The Secret Life of Cats," I thought I'd do the same about dogs. Here's what I came up with:

    1. Bedroom Secrets Revealed: In the sack, dogs have it made. They get their choice of where to sleep and how long to sleep. In the classic paintings, dogs are shown asleep, a contented crescent of fur at their master's feet. Not so today! Dogs stretch

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  • Town Reveals Cat’s $8,000 Statue

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres |

    Hamish McHamish gets a closer look at his statue in St. Andrews in Scotland.People in the small town of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland, have pulled together to raise $8,000 for a bronze statue of the town's beloved 14-year-old cat. Hamish McHamish belongs to resident Marianne Baird, but since he was about a year old, he's spent his time in various houses, shops and university buildings around the town.

    Hamish arrived in a convertible as a crowd gathered to watch the unveiling of his likeness, proudly sitting next to it. The kitty is a local celebrity, with his own Facebook page and Twitter account - and there's even a book written about him. "Our statue is a way of saying thank you to Hamish for being so 'purrfectly' adorable and to celebrate him and the joy he brings us," said Flora Selwyn, a local magazine editor who organized the fundraising for the statue. - Read it at Time

    More on

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  • Martha Stewart Lives the Good Long Life with Pets

    By Blaine Novak and Portia Stewart

    Martha with her Chow Chow and two Frenchies.Martha Stewart's path to living a good long life includes a plethora of pets - from her Himalayan cats and French Bulldogs to her singing red canaries and horses to her Chow Chows so often featured on magazine covers and books. While Stewart has made a study of living beautifully, part of that commitment involves offering the best care for the animals that share her life.

    SEE ALSO: 7 Best Dog Breeds for Country Living

    Whether you've seen this Emmy award-winning TV show host on television or read her how-to tips for living in magazines or books, you've likely invited her into your home to help you with lifestyle advice that ranges from cooking, gardening and crafting to organizing and entertaining. And in her latest book, Living the Good Long Life: A Practical Guide to Caring for Yourself and Others (Clarkson Potter, 2013), Stewart created a guide for living your healthiest life, including her own 10 Golden Rules for Successful Aging.

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  • 15-Year Old Dog Found Wandering Mudslide Site

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres |

    Boomer, 15, was found in the mudslide debris field three miles from his home.Boomer wasn't caught in last month's deadly mudslide in Oso, Wash. But last week, he went missing and was found wandering around the dangerous debris field.

    The 15-year-old Golden Retriever was found on Wednesday night by two people who were searching for their own missing dog. Boomer suffered injuries to his legs and hips after walking through the rough terrain for three days. He lives three miles from the site of the disaster, with the sister of his original owner. His first owner was lost in the slide, and some people speculate that Boomer went to the area to look for him.

    Even though he wasn't a slide survivor, finding him brought some happy news to search crews working in the area, where at least 30 people have died. "He recovered beautifully," said vet technician Kellie Bartlett of Arlington Veterinary Hospital. "When Boomer saw his owner, he was wagging his tail. It's a happy ending for someone who's lost a lot." - Read it at the New

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  • 7 Best Dog Breeds for Country Living

    By Shayna Meliker |

    When we think about life in the country, we automatically think of animals - particularly the faithful farm dog, who will follow you on rugged walks across the fields and keep your livestock in line. For many terriers, setters, spaniels and other breeds, there's no better home than one in the country, with lots of work to be done and space to run and explore. These dogs, many of whom were bred for farm jobs or hunting responsibilities, tend to feel right at home in rural areas - although with adequate exercise, they can live happily just about anywhere.

    We spotlight seven dog breeds who love country living.

    Border Collie1. Border Collie (photo credit: Anna Pozzi, Animal Photography/

    One of the most iconic farm dogs around, the Border Collie lives to work. She was developed in the border country between Scotland and England, and still thrives on her original purpose: herding sheep. Just make sure you're prepared to live with a dog

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  • 7 Comments that Make Cat Owners Cringe

    By Caroline Golon

    Contrary to what some people may believe, cats are active, personable pets. Cats are sweet, loving, funny pets who are oft misunderstood by those who haven't had the pleasure of owning - or, rather, being owned by - a cat. As a result, cat people often hear misguided comments about their life with their cats.

    Here are seven things that you should never say to a cat person - unless you want to get swatted.

    I like dogs better. They're friendlier.

    So, you're basically saying that your cat-loving friend doesn't like friendly creatures? That makes no sense. Why would anyone share a home with a little furry jerk? Just because cats might not bound over to you with goofy abandon the minute you walk in the door doesn't mean they're not friendly. Cats often take a little time to assess the situation and the people around them before they cozy up. Some are more outgoing than others, but plenty of cats are simply scoping out the landscape before selecting the most comfortable lap.

    RELATED: 14 Things Only Cat Lovers Know

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