Blog Posts by Bridget Marquardt

  • A Visit with a Pet Psychic


    Do you ever wish you really knew what your dog was thinking, or that you could better understand your pet? I recently met with Dana Miller, an animal communicator, for a reading with my dog Wednesday. It turns out Wednesday had a lot to say. Who knew she was so wise!

    If you're interested in finding out more, you can check out Dana's website at http://www.whatanimalstellus.com.

  • Chimpanzee Sanctuary Gives Former Research Chimps a Happy Retirement



    We recently visited Save the Chimps. It's a very unique chimpanzee sanctuary in Fort Pierce, Florida. Most of the chimps there are former research chimps who endured difficult living conditions in harsh facilities where they were often confined to cages.

    Today, their lives are very different. There are no cages at Save the Chimps, just twelve islands, separated by moats and filled with tall grass and platforms for them to climb. The chimps live in family groups of 20-25 on the islands, where they are free to interact with each other. They play with each other, groom each other, and hug each other. It's a great place to be a chimp.

    If you want to find out more about Save the Chimps, you can visit their website at www.savethechimps.org.

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  • Manatees: A Visit with Florida's Endangered Sea Cows


    I recently visited a State Wildlife Park in Homosassa Springs, Florida, where I got to see all sorts of native Florida wildlife, and even meet the park's biggest stars: the manatees. These large aquatic mammals are actually closely related to elephants, and they look it!

    During the winter manatee season (yup, there's a manatee season! Who knew?), the balmy freshwater springs in this park can be home to as many as 80 manatees when they swim up the river in search of warm water when the ocean gets cold.

    The park is also home to four permanent residents. Sadly, these injured female manatees are all victims of boat strikes. Collisions with humans and our machines are a common accident for these gentle, friendly animals, who are curious about boats and unafraid of humans, but cannot quickly move out of the way.

    Luckily, the park is able to provide these manatees with a safe home, isolated from dangers and in a natural environment where they can swim, graze and enjoy their days. Take a

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  • Hero Dogs: Military Dog Handlers Talk About the Dogs Who Saved Their Lives


    Animal Nation recently attended the 2012 Department of Defense K-9 Dog Trials, where Military Working Dogs from all four service branches competed for the title of Top Dog.

    That's where we met two dog and handler teams: Air Force Tech Sergeant Justin Kitts and his canine partner, Dyngo; and Army Sergeant Jason Cartwright and his dog Isaac. We were privileged to sit down with both of these teams to hear them talk about the bond between dog and handler.

    Both teams recently deployed to Afghanistan, where their primary job was explosives detection, searching for IED's and roadside bombs. Dyngo and Isaac (and their well-trained noses) saved hundreds of lives abroad, but they also served an equally important mission: one of being a companion and a reminder of home for both their handlers and the other service members who served next to them.

    These days, both dogs and handlers are back home. Tech Sgt. Kitts is currently stationed at Luke Air Force base in Arizona where he works as an

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  • Meet the Reptiles


    I recently visited the LAIR -- it's the Los Angeles Zoo's newest exhibit and it's filled with living amphibians, invertebrates and reptiles (hence the name). Animal Keeper Byron Wusstig let me follow him around as he fed some rattlesnakes, checked in on a king snake, and trained the crocodiles.

  • Baby Animals and Their Moms



    In honor of Mother's Day, we thought we'd bring you some of the cutest videos we could find of baby animals and their moms. Enjoy!

  • Falconry: Hawks and Falcons and Owls, Oh My!


    I visited West Coast Falconry to meet some amazing birds of prey and get a quick lesson in this ancient sport. From holding an owl to flying a hawk, I really got to see these birds up close and in action. Have a look!

  • Walking Your Cat on a Leash


    I'll admit that I've tried and failed to walk my cat on a leash before. I saw people doing it and it looked like fun. I figured it would be easy and my cat would love it right off the bat, but, well, not exactly.

    That's why I invited Jackson Galaxy to give me some tips. Jackson's a cat expert with a great new book coming out called "Cat Daddy". He and a very lucky rescued cat named Lucky (of course!) showed me how leash-walking was done. His simple tips?

    1) Know Thy Cat: Figure out if this is right for your cat. Not all cats will want to go outside. Look at your cat: if he or she is constantly looking out the window, chomping at the bit, then maybe it's something they'd like; if your cat is more timid and content to stay inside, then maybe it's not for them.

    2) Be Patient: Work in baby steps, rewarding after every step as you go. Constant positive reinforcement is the key to getting cats to do what you want.

    3) Distract and Reward: Getting your cat into a harness and onto a leash

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  • Urban Mushing: Sled Dogs Without the Snow


    For one group of Southern California Huskies and their human companions, there's a new exercise craze that has them burning off some extra energy while embracing their natural instincts. It's called urban mushing, and it's like dog-sledding....without the snow.


    Watch: High-tech animal hospital  treats pets like people


    Rancy Reyes started the group about seven years ago after he discovered the sport while looking for a way to exercise his energetic Husky pup. These days the group has grown to accommodate all kinds of dogs, from purebred Huskies bred with mushing in mind, to Husky mixes from the pound, on to Dobermans and terriers. Reyes says he's even seen a poodle take a turn at the sport!


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    The dogs pull a wide range of vehicles: some dogs work in teams of three to eight pulling custom-built carts, while others work alone or in pairs carrying their humans on bikes or scooters. And they all seemed to love it! As

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  • High-Tech Animal Hospital Treats Pets like People


    From CT scanners to physical therapy, this state-of-the-art veterinary hospital has everything pets (or humans) could need.

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